Top Tips To Improve Your Creative Portfolio
Technical skills–check! Creative execution–check! Experience tackling complex briefs–check! You’re ready to make your mark. So how do you nail that digital pitch, create the perfect portfolio and land a creative brief?
The Vidsy team have worked with thousands of creators, and we see hundreds of new portfolios every month.
With that wealth of experience, we’ve put together a handy guide to crafting the perfect website to host your portfolio. It’s time to stand out from the crowd...
A clear structure is the foundation of a great portfolio. There are fundamentals that every client comes to expect when they’re scouring portfolios looking for their next star.
The universally expected pages of a portfolio include:
Always link to this page first and foremost so clients don’t need to go looking for it, and ensure it’s easily accessible through a clearly defined menu for anyone who stumbles across your site through a different route.
Separate your skills into different sections within your work page. Put all your motion graphics work in a motion graphics section, for example. All your film work in a filmmaking section. It’s great that you have multiple skills, but you need to differentiate between your talents or they’ll become muddled in the client’s eyes. This technique of labelling everything will also aid your chances of discovery through organic search.
Treat the homepage of your work like a library. All cover images and titles. You don’t need to go into great detail straight away, just choose a visually engaging capture of each project that entices the client to click-through and learn more. If you worked with a brand, include their name in the title. This will give potential clients a fantastic overview of your style as well as a general overview of your experience.
This is your chance to show some personality. Think of it as a less-formal application cover letter, an opportunity to drive home your talent and experience. Talk about your journey into your chosen profession, what drives and inspires you, and what kind of projects you enjoy working on.
If a client likes your work, the way you present yourself here could seal the deal. Don’t be afraid to include a little personal information, like hobbies, and maybe even a friendly picture. After all, it’s nice to remind people that they’re working with people, which is easy to forget in the digital world.
Email address. Email address. Email address.
Set up a form to capture potential client information too, if you’d like, but always display your email address. Too many creatives opt for a single form in order to protect their email, and this can act as a barrier for some clients.
IMPORTANT: It’s vital that you obtain permission from your client before sharing work publicly on your portfolio. You don’t want to steal a brand’s thunder by sharing content before they’ve gone live with a campaign. (If you’ve worked on a Vidsy brief, give us a shout and we can let you know if you’re good to share).
THE DEEP DIVE
You’ve separated your skills into sections. You’ve provided an overview of all your projects to date. Now, how do you structure the in-depth information when a client clicks-through to learn more about an individual project?
Start by bringing to life your work with titles and descriptions. We’re talking about how–and why–you created your work. What was your objective and how did you achieve your goals? What were the complexities of the brief? How did you tackle the challenges within the brief? What inspired you? Anything you’re particularly proud of?
If you’ve got the room, some behind-the-scenes content would work especially well here to give clients an idea of how you consider projects. Check out volume one of our Creator Spotlight for three creatives who are especially strong at conveying how they develop their work.
THE PERFECT SHOWREEL
Looking to make an immediate impact? Creating a showreel of your greatest work is a surefire way to highlight your skills in attention-grabbing style. The trick is to treat it as its own video, not just a collection of shots. This is your chance to really show your creative colours.
Get straight to the action. Forget the slow introduction screen with “My Showreel 2019” overlays. We know what we’re watching. Hook your audience immediately by keeping things punchy and starting with your best work.
Show a wide variety of techniques. Show of a load of different projects (e.g. 2D, 3D, camera-tracking, rotoscoping, editing etc.) and ensure each skill is clearly portrayed.
Show off a little bit. Treat your showreel like an advert. Edit your showreel to music, establishing a pace and rhythm that fits together perfectly. Allow for moments that surprise and delight, such as comedic pauses or twists.
Leave the client wanting more. Length is a tough one to get right. Around one to one-and-a-half minutes is perfect. Too short, and it’ll be overwhelming, too long and the impact will waver. End your showreel with a bang and the client won’t forget you anytime soon.
Looking for more ways to stand out as a Vidsy creator? We’ve put together a Video Toolkit to help you tackle any brief.