In 2023, it's becoming increasingly more common for digital creators, artists, and other creative types to need a digital portfolio. Whether it's a website, Instagram blog, short video, or something different, there are many ways you can develop a strong portfolio. The kind of portfolio you create largely depends on your industry and your goals. Nevertheless, having some sort of digital portfolio is a major game changer that will help you to stand out in your company, industry, or job applications.
You might be thinking, Why should I have a digital portfolio? Digital portfolios are often considered to only be useful for creative people and industries like artists or content creators. I really believe that portfolios are important for everyone regardless of your job title, industry, or dream job. You might also be thinking, What exactly is a digital portfolio? It's a portfolio that can easily be shared with and viewed by someone else, but it doesn't have to be jaw dropping and exceptionally beautiful. I recommend starting off with a simple list: write down your accomplishments, awards, major projects, and notable positions (professional, full-time jobs or volunteer positions).
On your list, also consider writing various modifiers about who yourself. For example, on my website, I state that I'm a "virtual assistant, digital creator, and content strategist. I've cycled through so many modifiers like this to figure out what feels best to me—and I'm sure those qualifiers will change over time as I strengthen my skills, develop my experience, and build my portfolio. If you're a beginner and you're not sure what type of descriptive titles to use, search for people in your industry and see what they're using. Don't low ball yourself and not give yourself the credit by choosing not to call yourself an "expert" or "professional" but also be honest with the ones you choose. Use modifiers that accurately describe your skill level and experience.
Once you have a list of the accomplishments, awards, major projects, and notable positions that you want to highlight in your portfolio, brainstorm ways you can properly convey it in a cohesive digital platform. A good place to start, in my opinion, is by developing your personal LinkedIn profile because it's an extensive resume/CV that you can link to in your digital portfolio. Your personal LinkedIn profile is a digital hub for almost everything you've done; it'll be helpful to develop a strong LinkedIn profile because you often can't fit every single thing into your digital portfolio—and that's okay. Remember: your portfolio is a highlight reel of your accomplishments and skills not an endless list of everything you've done.
With that in mind, make sure your digital portfolio isn't bogged down with too many things. The great thing about digital portfolio is typically it's very easy to edit and expand. If you gain more experience and want to highlight different things, depending on the type of portfolio you have, you can usually remove, add, or change it. Creating a record of everything is really important, and that's why I recommend adding to your original list as your digital portfolio grows. That way you have private record of your accomplishments, awards, major projects, and notable positions; this will help prevent forgetting or losing things as you edit your public, digital portfolio. I also recommend creating a folder (on your flash drive, computer, or Google Drive) with your list of your important documents, honorable mentions, awards, links to your work/projects, etc.
Having all of these contributing assets in one space will help you develop an amazing collection and manage your work more easily. For example, I have a folder on Google Drive for my marketing portfolio; in this folder, I have different subfolders for specific things. I have folders for social media graphics, newsletters, important documents, client logos, etc. I also have a resource folder where I save links to inspiration and helpful guides or tools. With an organized hub, you'll be able to expand and edit your digital portfolio more easily without the fear of losing any of your handwork. For that reason, I highly recommend creating this folder on a flash drive or platform like Google Drive that can be accessed from anywhere. If something happens to your computer, you can access Google Drive or use your flash drive from anywhere.
After this quick dive into digital portfolios, I'm curious: Have you started brainstorming what kind of portfolio you want? For beginners, I recommend checking out Canva's amazing presentation and portfolio templates. Canva has so many wonderful resources, beautiful elements, and awesome templates to build on with your portfolio. You can also add links to your Canva designs, which is really great because you can direct the viewer to other pieces of your work, honorable mentions "in the press," or your social media. I highly recommend following Pretty Little Marketer Founded by social media manager Sophie Miller, PLM is a wonderful Instagram blog where she offers so many amazing marketing and freelancing tips, including Canva advice.
Creating a digital portfolio is a major project in and of itself so I recommend taking small steps. Start with your list, research what others in your industry are doing, and find the right platform or medium is right for you and your goals. That could be an Instagram blog, website, short video, or something else. Remember: there is no right answer for the type of portfolio you choose—just do what you can manage. Don't bite off more than you can chew Don't forget that simple portfolios can often be the most successful because you'll be able to showcase your accomplishments when it's more visually appealing and easier for your viewers to read.