Online portfolios are all but mandatory for creative professionals in marketing, public relations, and advertising. To get work, you have to show what you can do. A brief online search shows there are more than 30 popular ways to create and host your online portfolio. But good content management versus ease of design versus cost…how to decide? You know you want an online portfolio as a marketing tool for your career, whether you’re searching for a job or not.
But where to put it? And how?
I’ve asked clients where they’ve seen the best portfolios online, and have talked to many of my designer affiliates to present this streamlined version of how and where to put your portfolio online.
Find an online portfolio site (where a what you see is what you get, or WYSIWYG, editor lets you select images from your computer and place them in a simple online portfolio), or build your own. Include images of all your most recent projects (get permission from your clients to post them) and the most stunning examples of your older work. If you’ve won awards for projects in your portfolio, make sure to include those. And if you get a taggable Content Management System (CMS), you’ll be able to sort projects by keyword (e.g., print, online, social; or video, photography, illustration).
You don’t have to be a visual artist to put your portfolio online. PDFs of writing samples, or photos of marketing materials you’ve written should be in your online portfolio.
Student projects are fine if that’s all you have. But as soon as you have professional items in your portfolio, start to whittle down the classroom items. Employers want to see what you’ve done for clients, not for teachers, because the process of working for a client and getting creative approved is much different from doing whatever you want and submitting it.
I’ve heard more about Squarespace than any other CMS, and this review of Squarespace offers pros and cons of the popular site.
Many companies and independent consultants use WordPress, which has dozens of customizable portfolio themes.
Carbonmade is free for a limited number of portfolio items and is relatively easy to design.
Behance really is quite better since Adobe acquired the site, and you can mount a stunning portfolio there.
Crevado is about as simple as free online portfolios come. Of course, if you call simple “severely limited,” I wouldn’t blame you.
Viewbook can be a bit of a challenge, but is still relatively well reviewed.
There are dozens of other sites for building your portfolio online quickly and easily. If you want more resources, check PortfolioBox, Wix, Weebly, Creative Bloq, Krop, Sliding boxes, PortfolioLounge, Brushd, DeviantART, Dunked, Dribble, Shown’d.
The one thing I know for professionals in advertising, marketing, public relations, and communications: you need to have your portfolio online.
If you find a site you like, let me know!