The new year has begun, and you’re past due for updating your portfolio. We all know what that means, and it is a harsh reality to realize that just as you’ve gotten used to a bit of relaxation, it’s time to get back to work. As creatives, we often find ‘starting’ to be the difficult part, especially when considering a updating or creating a new portfolio. And when you don’t keep your site/blog/portfolio updated continually, the thought of updating can be overwhelming – more like a marathon than a sprint. We are so focused on creative perfection that we forget that the important thing is to have our work shown, not hidden.
Here at Flothemes, we understand the importance of marketing your creative business and want to share 5 tips to help you easily update or launch a new site in no time:
#1 Overcoming your Fear
Some call it procrastination, others laziness, but for most of us, it is fear — fear to show your work and let yourself be vulnerable to criticism. As creatives, we are perfectionists and usually lose focus on what our clients actually want to see: our work. This is where a pen and paper comes in brilliantly. Simply write out the type of clients you had/want plus those you enjoyed working with and explain why. Find the work you did for them and ask yourself, “Does this reflect the style I appreciate and want to continue?” That may or may not mean re-editing those images, but your first goal is to curate the clients you want moving forward and the work you feel confident in creating. If you have those two areas in place, you can overcome your fear and feel good about yourself and what you provide. Nobody is born with sales skills – we can only develop them, and the first rule of sales is confidence. So make sure you are confident in your work, and if you struggle, find something from those projects you can relate positively to – things like relationships, connections, the location or the culture you acquired.
#2 Go Live is more Important
Simplicity is your friend. Repeat it with me. Simplicity is your friend. We live in an age where the web is full of so much text and imagery that people are overloaded. Simplicity gets your message across. A popular question we receive is “How many images should we have, how many galleries, and what pages should we have?” By adopting point 1 above, you should start with not more than 3-4 galleries and not more than 20-25 images. A portfolio is about quality, not quantity. Having a simple about and what you offer with contact and a portfolio with a few galleries is all you need. Once you simplify, you can be sure that your prospective clients will have looked through your entire site, and if they wanted to see more images they will be interested to learn more about you. This is why many with minimal sites actually have more successful businesses as not only is the design user friendly, it also showcases the work quickly and gets the message across. The last point here is that if you curate less content, it makes keeping your portfolio up to date much easier. Going live with a few galleries of work you are confident in is more important than nothing. Once you go live you will have wished you did it sooner.
#3 Perfect with Milestones
Now that you are live, you will receive new inquiries and feedback. From here you can easily build out your portfolio if you want to show more or tell more of your brand’s culture. Set milestones. We suggest to do it once every 4-8 weeks in order to update and swap out your portfolio with 1 or 2 new galleries. Remember to go back to point number 1 on confidence, and this will help you select what gallery work to show.
#4 Adapt & Limit Yourself
Trends change and so do markets. As you develop as an artist, your style may evolve, mature or completely change. Keeping your site simple will allow you to easily update your site if you find a layout isn’t working, change your portfolio or information if you aren’t getting bookings, or simply keep your business’s face updated online. Make sure to limit how much you have on your website. We live in an age where less is more and with the rise of mobile users, it’s wise to limit the info you share.
#5 Continue to be Inspired.
As creatives, we feel the need to be inspired. From doing branding and positioning businesses for nearly 9 years now, the biggest mistake I have made and have witnessed others make is interpretation of inspiration. Discerning between what works for someone else versus for yourself is vital to your success and growth. When taking inspiration or comparing remember we are all different. When viewing the work and portfolios of other creatives you admire, notice how they show their work and present themselves, then interpret what might work for you and your business.
Now it is up to you! Take a leap and try the steps above and see how they work for you. Make sure to stop by our group here, and share your process and new site with us so we can help you spread the word online.