If you are a creative person such an artist, musician, or writer you probably have an accumulated body of work that can be loosely called a portfolio. You might also want to create a professional portfolio for the purpose of efficiently presenting your skills and qualifications to interested parties. Basically, a portfolio is a collection of creative or related work that displays your skills or talents.
In the 21st Century, you have an exciting new way to display your portfolio and get more exposure than in almost any other way. That is to create an online portfolio. Many individuals learn how to make a website with the express intention of using their knowledge to host their portfolio online.
In case you are not sure about whether it is worth your time to create a website for your portfolio, here’s a little info to help you decide. Let’s take a look at 7 reasons you should make a website for your portfolio.
1. Having an Online Portfolio Gives You a Professional Look
The addition of your website’s URL on a business card, email signature or social media profile gives you a professional look. It affords individuals that you come into contact with an opportunity to learn more about you and how they can get in touch with you if they are interested in the contents of your portfolio.
Being able to direct someone to your website instead of promising more information through some other means shows a level of preparedness that will make you stand out from the crowd. In today’s competitive world, any edge you can give yourself is well worth the effort.
2. Make a Great First Impression on Prospective Client or Employers
Your online portfolio is your identity and should contain the materials that you want to present to new clients or during a job interview. Rather than having to get back to these individuals with follow up materials, a much better strategy would be to simply direct them to your website.
With the proliferation of mobile devices, this should be able to be done in almost any location and shows that you take your work seriously. According to themuse.com, having an interview portfolio online makes a great impression on hiring managers. Being able to show a new acquaintance that may turn into a customer your portfolio on your smartphone is a great way to close a sale.
3. Gain Exposure for Your Work
Searching the Internet has become part of daily life for a large part of the population. You probably have engaged in the practice yourself. Having a website that contains your portfolio gives your work a vast new audience that may include many potential fans or customers. Some of them may even find you through a random search.
This is certainly preferable to having to identify individuals who might be interested in your work. Your population of potential clients grows exponentially when you develop an online presence. This is an opportunity for publicity at a very low cost.
One of the advantages of having a website to host your portfolio is the increased flexibility that the online format affords you over other formats you could use. Your website can be updated as often as you like, and new work can be posted almost as soon as it is created.
You can experiment with different ways to organize and present your work that are not possible with hard copies of your creative efforts. You may even develop a following that waits with bated breath for your next offering. After all, that is the goal, isn’t it?
5. A Website is an Alternative to Social Media
According to statista.com, close to 80% of the population of the United States is involved with at least one social media platform. With a population of over 300 million people, that means that over 60 million of them do not use social media at all. Additionally, with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others, there is no guarantee that anyone is on the same social media platform as you.
Social media can be a powerful tool for interacting with the public and getting your work noticed. You can still use social media if you have a website. Include the address on all of your profiles to give anyone who is interested in you the ability to further explore your work.
6. Protect Yourself From Job Uncertainty
There is no denying that the old concept of working for a single company for your entire life is outdated. It can be dangerous to live with this misconception, and you need to be prepared to be flexible as economic conditions change. A work portfolio that includes examples of successful projects that you regularly update can be an indispensable tool when you are suddenly faced with finding new employment.
Take care not to post anything that infringes on the intellectual property of your current or former employers, but include enough details that your next employer gets a real sense of the value that you will add to their enterprise.
7. It’s Easy and Everyone is Doing It!
While I would usually never suggest that you should take any action based on peer pressure, this might be an exception. You certainly don’t want to be the only artist in town that cannot point potential fans and clients to your website. You’ll be left in the digital dust and considered to be some sort of modern-day Luddite.
The excuse that you don’t have the time or that you’re not technical no longer holds any water. With tools and platforms available that streamline the process of creating a site, you need to get out there and do it! You only risk your creative future by ignoring the advantages that an online portfolio can bring to your work.
These are a few of the reasons why you should make a website for your portfolio. It is not an expensive or overly technical proposition and there is almost no downside to going online. Take the plunge, dive into the digital ocean and make your work accessible to the world. They are waiting for it!