5 Common Portfolio Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Are you a freelance designer, writer, or creative? Then you’ll probably know that showcasing your work in a portfolio can be the best way to land you new clients. This has become even more crucial in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic turning the world of freelancers into an even more competitive place.

If you have already started building a portfolio, or are in the process of doing so, chances are that you are focusing on how to achieve the best possible results.

What you want to bear in mind, though, is also how to avoid portfolio mistakes. These are much more common than you’d expect and can cause you to miss out on great job opportunities.

So, if you’re serious about promoting your work in a way that does you justice, then read on. We are going to tell you what the five most common pitfalls of a portfolio are, and how to avoid them.

1. Poor Quality Design and Layout

Think about your portfolio as your business card, or as a photo of yourself. You want it to represent who you really are while displaying your best features, right?

To achieve these results, your portfolio homepage needs to be crisp, clear, and compelling. Avoid low-res and stock images, steer clear of boring and over-used fonts and minimize layout complexity.

With a great-looking homepage, you might even get Clint Stinchcomb to take an interest in your work!

2. Too Much or Too Little Content

Whoever is going to check out your work, is likely to do so while being pressed for time. If you don’t want them to swiftly move on to a competitor, then you need to ensure that your portfolio features the right amount of projects.

Include too many items, and you’ll make it more difficult for your readers to focus on the quality of your work. On the other hand, adding only one or two projects won’t come across as professional or experienced, leaving your audience deflated and discouraged from hiring you.

3. Grammar Errors and Typos

This is a particularly terrible mistake for freelance writers. Showcasing your most remarkable work won’t cut it if you end up making easily avoidable mistakes and typos.

Proofreading your portfolio before publishing it is crucial. If you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself, it’s worth investing in the services of a professional proofreader.

4. A Website That’s Unfriendly and Difficult to Browse

Something that is sure to put off pretty much any potential client, is a non-user-friendly, difficult to navigate website.

If your portfolio is not clearly laid out, or if it features tiny font sizes, very small thumbnails, or other non-intuitive icons, it will frustrate whoever is reading, and cause you to lose traffic (and job opportunities).

5. No Way to Contact You and No CTA

If you’ve nailed all the previous points but fail on this one, then you’ll be in big trouble. You’ve managed to showcase your most impressive projects, your website is user-friendly and attractive, and you clearly have heaps of talent.

The next step for anyone interested in working with you would be to get in touch. So, a portfolio that lacks a “contact” section is an incomplete portfolio. Including personal information is essential to allow potential clients to hire you.

No More Portfolio Mistakes

Now that you are aware of what the most common (and dangerous) portfolio mistakes are, you can easily avoid them and create a great portfolio to promote your work.

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