As you go through college, you’ve almost definitely heard about students “creating” their personal portfolios. You see them get internships, add stuff to their LinkedIn and wonder, where do I even start?
Let’s break the entire marketing portfolio down, look at some great projects to start with and see how you can build your personal portfolio up.
A personal marketing portfolio is your ticket to show your talents off. Essentially, it is your diary that evolves and transforms as you progress. It’s imperative that you update it, curate specific content, and hone in on your skills. Your portfolio is a sneak peek for agencies looking to hire at evaluating your best work. With that being said, your best work is subjective and it’s important to branch out and add new project types and categories to show off your versatility and breadth of knowledge.
It's great to showcase a flashy, bright ad campaign, but is it effective? Can it really be used in real life? How costly would it be? Agencies evaluate your portfolio in every which way. Aside from agencies, use your portfolio to show off your skills and don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others! You don’t have to have a crazy innovative design like Bruno Simon, but it’s always helpful to be unique!
One question that comes up a lot, is how many? How many projects or examples of work do I need to showcase? The answer simply put is, only your best work. You should rarely have more than five or six projects up on your portfolio as it actually deteriorates from the great work you’ve put in. Make sure to showcase your versatility by displaying different types of projects you’ve worked on.
Now let’s look at some great projects to get you started!
Work samples and case studies are vital to include in your portfolio. Often, this is what can make or break evaluations from agencies. Additionally, not just for case studies but for all projects, if possible, try to include data that supports your project. How effective was it? Did the social media account gain traction in the form of followers? Having this type of information will drive the point of how successful your work really is.
Another great marketing project for your portfolio is sample ads. Agencies are constantly looking for people who can realistically create and design ads for companies. These ads can also take various forms: Print, Digital, Poster, etc. For example, find any ad of your favorite company and try to make a true to form ad that could actually be used. One great example of this is from someone who goes by Levii. Their Nike Ad demonstrates their skill, the feasibility of the ad and proves that they are creating innovative, unique designs.
The next project you can use is an email marketing campaign sample. In another blog, we discussed what email marketing is and saw how important it is. We also mentioned some best practices like working on a “wow” subject line and using alternate text and links on images.
Finally, but not limited to, Logo Redesigns are a great sample project that showcases your skill. Again, agencies and individuals look for feasibility, is it realistic, does it fit with the current culture and evaluate based on those criteria. Similar to the Sample Ads project, find a company you like and get working! Use your creative juices to improve or re-visualize the logo and then showcase your work.
With all of these projects, it’s important if possible to be data-driven. Mention any stats that back up your work and explain your work process. How did you do what you did? What was your inspiration? Lastly, remember to be unique and have fun. It’s your personal portfolio at the end of the day!