These days, with AI coming into the spotlight, having a well-built portfolio is a must for any graphic designer. The point is not only to showcase your work and achievements. It is an opportunity to exhibit your unique personality and leave a lasting impression.
Presentation is everything
It doesn’t matter if you use tools like Dribbble and Behance, or decide to create a dedicated website – although this way, you can let your creativity unwind and reveal who you are as a graphic designer. Therefore, your portfolio will stand out and the chance of people ordering your services will be much higher.
However, the first step is to put together a portfolio, of course a digital one. This way, your potential clients can easily find you online and even recommend you to someone else just by sending a link.
But what's most important, you get a chance to prove your skill as a designer and present your previous experience and successes to your audience – just like a graphic alternative to the classic CV.
According to FinancesOnline, 90% of graphic designers are freelancers. They don't rely on an agency to bring clients to them but have to attract them on their own. So if your competitors have a portfolio while you don't, they can pull in a lot of potential clients from you.
What should be included? Basically, anything that displays what your work looks like, which can include:
- Product design
- Original illustrations
- UX design
- Ad campaigns
- Brand identity
- Motion graphics
Remember to make it organized so that your potential clients can easily navigate through it. For them, this is a new territory and they need to be able to find the samples of your work that might be important to them intuitively.
To make your online portfolio shine, it's important to be selective when choosing designs you want to share. Remember, your portfolio acts as the first impression for potential clients, so you want it to showcase your absolute best work. By incorporating a personal touch into your portfolio, you can make it even more attractive and engaging.
It's not just about the graphics
Even though the main purpose of a portfolio is to show off your work, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Potential clients may like your graphics from a personal perspective, but that doesn’t say anything about the impact it will have on their business profit and customer experience.
Unveiling the power of case studies
One of the best ways to showcase your experience and skills is through case studies. What are they? Basically, stories about the times when you accomplished a project successfully. And most importantly, about the added value your designs brought to your client.
The specific structure of a case study can differ based on your personal style and preferences. However, it generally involves presenting the client’s problem or task, showcasing your solution, and describing your approach. A highly effective method is to adopt a case study design resembling a magazine or long-form web article, complemented by visual content.
As you construct your case study portfolio, dedicate a separate page to each case study. Additionally, compile a comprehensive list of all your case studies, each with an accompanying image and link for easy access.
Remember that ten positive references (ask your clients for them!) are more than a hundred great case-studies. But it's great to have them because they give you an expert perspective and increase your credibility with potential clients.
Get your blog up and running
Another way to communicate your expertise is to set up a blog that will complement your graphic portfolio. Some designers are reluctant to write about how they work out of fear that someone will steal their know-how. How about turning that around and taking it as an opportunity to show that you understand your field?
Through well-written content on relevant topics, you can drive your audience to your portfolio from organic search as well as social media. Even though we live in an era of video content, in a Databox.com survey, 84% of online entrepreneurs said that blog posts bring them more traffic than videos. So their statement – video may have killed the radio star, but blogging is still alive and kicking – definitely holds true.
In your blog, you can cover a wide range of topics, such as design tutorials, industry trends, or insights and analysis. Furthermore, you can provide tips and advice for aspiring designers or offer insights into their personal experiences and challenges. Additionally, you can review design tools and resources and share design inspiration.
The possibilities are endless, allowing you to create engaging content that resonates with your audience.