Portfolio Time

Day 124 Week 18 Q2 Friday, May 3, 2024

All creative outliers have a collection of their work. However, not all of it is suitable for public presentation. At some point, you’ll be asked for samples of your work, whether for a performance, gallery, or video showing. In today’s digital age, it’s crucial to have a digital version of your portfolio. It can be on a website, computer, tablet, or phone. Keep in mind that a phone’s screen real estate is insufficient for visual work, so a tablet or laptop is recommended to showcase a broader range.

Another approach is sending someone a link to your curated work. Or, if closing the deal in person (which I prefer), bring your tablet to show and point out pieces. Laptops are suboptimal as the screen creates a barrier when opened on a table, forcing awkward positioning.

A tablet, preferably with a large screen, is a valuable tool for presenting your portfolio. It allows you to lay it between you and the other person, point to it, and even rotate it toward them while still seeing it upside down. This level of interaction and flexibility is far better for informal, rapid presentations than projectors, screens, or URLs that delay their viewing.

Remember, your portfolio is not just a collection of your work but a representation of your professionalism. How you present yourself is part of the audition and closing the deal. Even if you’re a terrific artist, musician, or videographer, an unprofessional presentation can prevent compensation. So, ensure you have a selection of familiar materials ready to present naturally without searching. Part of being a professional is representing yourself professionally.

It is a good idea to create the portfolio before you need it because if you are trying to create it at the last minute in response to a request, it is not going to be as good because she will not have enough time to test it and perfect it. Even if you have not had a chance to create a portfolio, you should be thinking about it for a long time before you try to create it so that it will go more smoothly.

A note of caution: it always takes more time to create a portfolio than you expected. People always spend less time looking at it than you expect them to. The return on investment in terms of their time versus your time may not sound very good, but remember the goal is to get the gig, not to have a great hang. If you are clear and professional and can present yourself, it’s such a manner as to respect the other person’s time of a great deal. It will go a long way toward them respecting you because you were demonstrating respect to them. And remember not to sell past the close. Once they are interested, close the deal and get out of there before anybody has a chance to change their mind.

Once people have already signaled agreement and are interested in moving ahead, stop giving them more reasons to do so because you might confuse them, and then they might change their mind, and then you would have been better off. If you kept your mouth closed after the indicated willingness to move forward.