Even small businesses and entrepreneurs in the arts need to learn the Art of Impressing Potential Clients. One of the most effective ways to do this is to have a concise, and up-to-date portfolio you can send out at a moment’s notice.
There are three different kinds of portfolios:
1. Print Portfolios:
2. Digital Portfolios: and
3. Show Reels.
Over the next three Tuesdays, we’ll take on each of these portfolios and share what you should include in each of them. While each of them is a portfolio, what you include as well as what you exclude matters. For greatest impact, it’s imperative to include what the potential client or the media needs to see while excluding the extraneous stuff that may be cool, but is largely unimportant to the potential client or the media.
The traditional portfolio is, of course, the Print Portfolio.
When you put together a Print Portfolio, you don’t want to overwhelm the potential client or the media with too much information. You want a streamlined portfolio that highlights your best attributes and targets what your potential client or the media needs to hear about you and what you do.
Here’s a list of what you should keep in mind as you choose and arrange the items you’ll be including:
1. Include 10 or fewer pieces in your Print Portfolio;
2. Create categories so your pieces flow easily and coherently;
3. Pick only your best work and/or reviews;
4. Include 1 or 2 high quality photographs (where applicable) that is easily reproduced; and
5. If you choose to include information that dates back to your earlier work, make sure it showcases your talents, skills, abilities, achievements, etc., in a positive light.
If you create the Print Portfolio in-house, make sure that it’s done so that it stands its ground beside Print Portfolios created by a printer who is proficient in Photoshop, computer technology, printing, etc. The delivery is as important as the content when it comes to portfolios.
Remember to include your name and contact information on every piece included in the portfolio. Remember that potential clients and media people will take those pages out of the portfolio, looking them over, and possibly forgetting to put those things back in the portfolio should they get interrupted while they are perusing your materials. Having your name and contact information on each page ensures that even if it gets separated from the portfolio itself, the potential client or media people will know who the page is about and how they can contact you.
Never minimize the effectiveness of a great business card, and make sure you include 2 in your portfolio: one for the person receiving the portfolio to keep, and one to be shared with someone else.
Next Tuesday, we’ll take a look at Digital Portfolios, and how to create one that will grab the attention of those who see it.