Your Side Projects Should Be In Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is not just a collection of work, it’s your personal story. It’s how clients find out more about you, experience your style and see what you do.
Ideally you’d want that to be a brilliant experience, right?
Then you need to spice things up. What a lot of people end up doing is providing example after example of the same work. Showing a collection of similar work for similar clients is all well and good, but it won’t intruige potential clients. It will show them you’re competent, but that’s not enough to make them want to work with you. Aim to take people on an emotional roller coaster ride whenever they see your work. Have a good mix between what you do, and what you really enjoy doing, your side projects and creative works. Yes, it’s important to display your competence, but design is about creativity and fresh approaches to things, about knowing how to think. That’s what people want to see when they look for a designer to work on their project.
A potential client isn’t browsing your portfolio to see if you can design – your job description does that just fine – they’re looking to see how you design. Without even thinking about it, people look to see your style, your passion and what you can bring to them or their business. Your side projects are a perfect way of showing your own style and how you would run a project, given full control.
If your personal work and side projects are what you want to be doing, then a good mix of both your ‘typical’ and creative projects can show clients that you’re able to do much more than they may have expected, and with the right exposure could open doors you didn’t know existed.
So next time you take a look at your portfolio, ask yourself what impression it gives people, and how that exciting piece of work you did that should really deserve to be shown. It could be just the boost you need.