Many Graphic Designers are aware that they need to have their portfolio online and that being discoverable is the new marketing for our industry. The question then becomes: what websites are available to showcase your online portfolio? Which one is the best, or should you use more than one?
Your Own Website
First you should consider starting with your own website. Even if you’re not a web designer, having your own website with a professional domain and a professional email address is important today. You can put together a very simple portfolio website without coding if you take advantage of web hosting platforms like SquareSpace. If you have some skill in web design, consider a WordPress website.
Your site will be a hub for people to contact you and reach out if they want to contract your services, review your work, or any content you are creating to market yourself. There are of course advantages to having your work in other places, which already have an audience.
Here is some overall Portfolio advice you may find helpful:
Why You Need Other Websites
Your website may not get a lot of traffic, especially when you first launch, so it is still important to have your portfolio on other high profile websites so you can leverage their traffic.
These sites also may provide features that would be too complicated for you to implement on your own. Here are a few to consider.
One of the best sites for showcasing your portfolio is Behance.net. With its clean user interface, tracking statistics, social media integration, and direct ability to share your creations from Adobe Applications, Behance is probably the leading portfolio site (and a great networking hub) for creative professionals.
Behance features a job board, as well as groups, helping you to easily transition opportunities into work. Behance also allows you to showcase your portfolio by individual projects that can have multiple images and embedded content such as video from YouTube. This gives you probably the widest range of options for presentation and creativity outside of your own website.
One of the oldest online portfolio sites for designers, artists, and other creatives is DeviantArt. This site has seen some decline over the years due to competing sites that are more streamlined. DeviantArt has been very slow to update and adapt to emerging technology and trends. As a consequence, the website feels dated and sometimes using it can be very frustrating.
However, it has one of the largest user communities and if you are interested in collaborations and feedback it has some great value to offer you. In terms of job opportunities and being discoverable, it is a bit lacking when compared to other sites. Though for “art commissions” DeviantArt is probably more frequently used. The site also has ads the interrupt the experience unless you have one of the paid membership offerings.
With over 1 million views per month, Krop is considered one of the best portfolio sites for designers. However, the free version does limit you to ten images, while the paid version is $9.99/month, and lets you include unlimited images and video.
Krop is heavily viewed by some of the top design companies in the world, so despite the price, it may be worth considering as an investment.
Consider using social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook as places where you can house and market your portfolio as well. Social media sites like these that allow you to post your images have several advantages over a traditional portfolio site. Some, like Pinterest and Facebook have huge audiences that easily dwarf the niche portfolio websites, and allow you to add context in a way that can help you target potential clients.
The ratio of consumers/clients vs. creators is also better in social media. You are in a position to market yourself directly to consumers instead of sitting in a pool of artists to choose from. In most cases, potential clients also have the ability to direct message you in real time, which can be a huge advantage for you in closing a deal with a new prospect.
Be In as Many Platforms as You Can Manage
Having a strategy for each different platform/site you want to showcase your portfolio can be daunting. In fact it may be something that is beyond you. Avoid taking on too much, especially if you’re frequently updating your portfolio. Pick a portfolio platform to focus on (at least initially), and use it as effectively as you can.
Over-extending yourself can be a problem. On the other hand, a presence in more platforms will give you the ability to reach a larger range of people, and this in turn will translate to more opportunities to find clients or employment.Tags