What’s a portfolio delete, you ask? It’s a work sample you’ve deleted from your portfolio.
My “regular” portfolio is a separate album on my Facebook Page. But I also have the equivalent of a portfolio on my LinkedIn profile: work samples. I limit both portfolios to 20 pieces.
Maybe it was too weak. Maybe you decided it was sending the wrong signal about what kind of work you’re looking for. Maybe you tried to include too many pieces in your portfolio, and no one wants to wade thru it all.
Lessons: Infographics can be funny and entertaining. They can even become part of one’s brand. (RBC’s client reports use lots of pie charts and bar graphs to convey complex financial information.)
2. A header image for my Twitter profile page.
Lessons: Use hi-res images and do the necessary research: most headers require specific dimensions. Headers display differently on different devices, and certain areas may get overlaid. Do a search for tutorials. Use a template, if one is available.
Also: Any project is a chance to demonstrate your expertise. (I wrote a how-to post after creating my header.) Header images are part of your brand. A fuzzy incoherent image creates a very poor impression.3. For The Partner Channel Magazine. The author began by asking this question: How do you get inside of people’s heads to get them to buy from you? The buzzwords refer to Robert Cialdini‘s 6 psychological triggers that influence the way people buy and behave.
Lessons: Every assignment is a chance to expand your skill set. I created this image in Photoshop. Previous to this assignment, I had never applied text to a path. I learned how to do it to create the effect you see below. It was also my first exposure to “sales triggers.” Learning about them give me a better grasp of marketing techniques.
4. An editorial illustration for an article about the state of Connecticut mandating recycling for all types of batteries. That’s Governor Dan Malloy as the Energizer Bunny, leading the parade. You can read more about the assignment here.
Lesson: I had fun with this assignment, but for me, it’s a reminder that you can’t do better than the market you serve. This was one of 5 illustration assignments for a particular client. They all required a lot of research, a lot of time, and I had very little artistic freedom. (The editor usually had a very specific idea in mind– this particular drawing
was the lone exception.)
All for very little pay.
My fault entirely. A painful lesson, and, I think, one every freelancer makes at some point. You cannot– you simply cannot– undervalue your work by accepting assignments which pay less than your work is worth. By doing so, you will attract similar clients– and be trapped in a vicious cycle. You cannot get the clients you want, if you accept work from clients you do not want.
5. A header image for a guest post I wrote, which you can read here.
Lessons: Every freelance creative has to be a businessperson. You have to embrace that side of it, because– unless you’re a superstar with an agent and/or clients constantly beating on your door– you have to market yourself. You have to be proactive about pitching projects and seeking new clients.
Lessons: Never miss an opportunity to “repurpose” your work. (I’m recycling Mickey here yet again.) Content marketing and social media aren’t new. Spillane was practicing both a long time ago. (His first bestseller was published in 1947.)
Do you have a portfolio? How do you decide what to put in it?
Do you do your own marketing? How do you promote your services?
Have you ever learned a vital lesson from an assignment? Care to share it?
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