Step one: Put together an amazing portfolio of your best work. Step two: Attract clients. Here’s how to do it right.
Creative writers, journalists, web designers, photographers, visual artists, musicians and virtually all creative persons interested in attracting clients should have an online portfolio to show potential clients samples of their work.
But where’s the best place to host that portfolio?
Quite a few places online offer creatives a home for their work so others can check it out. Here are nine essential online portfolio locations every creative professional should consider. (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Your own website
No matter where else you post your work, you should have a website to showcase samples of your creative projects. Whether you’re a writer, a musician, a web designer or work in another medium, you should have a website.
LinkedIn is the perfect portfolio site, especially if you’re looking for business clients. Fill out your profile completely and add new projects to your portfolio on a regular basis.
Writers can add new links and descriptions of their bylines to the “Publications” section of their profile. You can also upload files to LinkedIn, so if you’re a photographer, web designer, musician or another creative, upload your portfolio files and feature them on your LinkedIn profile.
Joining Google+ has its perks, not the least of which are the benefits associated with increased rankings when members of your network conduct a search.
Besides the Google search and authority benefits, you can add links to sites you’ve contributed to on your Google+ profile. If you’re a small business, you have the added benefit of listing your freelance business at Google+ Local for more effective geotargeting.
Behance is a dedicated portfolio site for all kinds of creatives, from architects to web designers. You can showcase visuals of your work and network with other professionals worldwide.
Visual artists of all kinds can show their work off at DeviantART, which is a social network for visual artists.
Flash animators, photographers, graphic artists, digital artists and even literary artists can showcase visual representations of their finest work. DeviantART has several active groups, so you can meet other artists in the same field. You can also buy and sell your artwork through the site.
Flickr, owned by Yahoo!, is one of the oldest photo sharing sites on the web. Many photographers use it as a portfolio site. You can assign usage rights under the Creative Commons license to give your work wider distribution.
Shownd is another all around portfolio site for web designers, illustrators, writers and all sorts of creative artists. Employers can post jobs. Creatives can browse the job board.
Just like Flickr, YouTube allows you to upload videos. You can have your own YouTube channel and share your creative videos with the world. This is a great showcase for animators, directors, producers, videographers and even voice and screen talent who want to use the world’s largest video sharing site as a portfolio destination.
Since Google owns YouTube, you’ll have the added benefit of making your videos easily searchable on the Web.
Scribd has recently changed its business model. Independent book publishers and authors can distribute their books through Scribd, using it as a membership library.
Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or hustling on the side to get your business off the ground, use these nine portfolio destinations to help you build your business and attract new clients.
For more information about how to promote your portfolio once it is posted, check out Christopher Jan Benitez’ article, “How to Make Your Online Portfolio Really Work for You.”
Allen Taylor is a freelance writer who hangs his hat at Taylored Content. You can see his online writing portfolio at LinkedIn, at the Hire Me tab on his website, and at Google+.