Have you noticed that it’s just not enough anymore to show good work?
Not because every designer’s work is good–indeed it isn’t. Or even that the standard for good work has gotten higher. Indeed, it hasn’t. The problem is that most clients can’t tell the difference between your good work and your competitor’s mediocre work. Most clients don’t have the experience, the design sensibility, or sometimes even the time, to look closely enough to distinguish excellent work from meh.
That means no matter how amazing your work is, your traditional portfolio, whether online or off, will not be able to communicate the breadth of what you have to offer your ideal client or why you are the right one for their project. Why?
- A traditional portfolio tells nothing about your process. This level of transparency is becoming increasingly important. Clients want to understand how you think and how you solve problems. Execution is important, but showing how you got there is the difference between a one-hit wonder and a creative genius with real staying power.
- A traditional portfolio doesn’t speak to the experience of working with you. Are you a diva or are you collaborative? How do you address challenges and opportunities? Do you have special obstacles to overcome? Was the client happy? Did they get the results they expected (or more)? Your portfolio is mum on all of the above.
- A traditional portfolio doesn’t specify what role you played in the process. Nor does it express to what extent. It’s one thing to create a new visual identity and brand platform for a client, for example, but it’s an entirely different thing to extend an existing identity and brand to new applications in print or digital media. How will they know the difference if all they see is the logo?
- A traditional portfolio won’t distinguish you from other creatives. Unless your work is significantly and markedly different (at a glance and evident from a thumbnail!) from what other creatives are producing, or is very highly specialized, a traditional portfolio won’t be enough to single you out in a crowd.
So you have to differentiate yourself some other way. And the best way to set yourself apart these days you have to show your process. But how?
I suggest showing your process, letting the client get a peek at how you think, how you approach their design challenge and how you begin to come up with the best solution. And what better way to do that than with a strategically crafted case study?
A well-written case study wins over the traditional portfolio on all counts.
Yes, a case study takes more work to pull together; but its value can be multiplied many times over when repurposed and recycled into your own content marketing to engage new prospects.
Plus, it will make it easier for you to sell your services without becoming that pushy salesperson you dread. Read more about that here.
Now, start working on a case study of your very best project—the one that you want more like.
PowerPoint. The very mention of it is enough to send many designers screaming from the room.
But in this workshop, PowerPoint expert Laura Foley presents compelling reasons to change your mind about the world’s most popular presentation design software. Find out how you can use PowerPoint to better serve your clients, increase your marketability & create effective self-promotion.
Enroll today! Course runs Dec. 26, 2017 – Jan. 2, 2018