Every freelance artist or writer needs their own website, right?
Wrong! I don’t think this is true anymore. I do believe having your own (hosted) website and blog can be helpful, but with the advances of technology and social media today, it’s not the only way to maintain an online portfolio of your work.
In fact, it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing way to do so either. Instagram makes it easy to share your art, display your editing skills, or even document a daily blog of your activities.
Pinterest has opened the door for all kinds of visual imagery, and here’s how you can take advantage of it to showcase an online portfolio to share with potential clients.
1. Create an online portfolio
If you don’t have a website, what are your options for creating an online portfolio or resume? There are a few I know of and probably a few more I’ll learn about from y’all creatives. But, Pinterest is one that I’ve been using for a couple of months now, after Carrie told me about it in one of our mentoring sessions.
A friend of mine also uses Contently and swears by its ease of use and professional look. And Carrie uses a new service called ClearVoice which syncs with your Google+ account to curate all the content you’ve written on the internet into one place — while also showing the social shares.
I have it on my list to look into one of those for the future though, because one thing that does stand out prominently is the stats. This is a great way to showcase your readership, through social proof and media popularity.
2. Pinterest is for more than DIY
When people think of Pinterest, they tend to think of fashion, food or handmade crafts — which is great. But most people don’t connect it with a portfolio to share and market your writing, art, design or photography samples. It can be used for all of the above — plus more!
One thing I love about using Pinterest for an alternative writing portfolio, is that it’s more than just a place for people to view your work. It also serves as a marketing engine for your current and past articles, so that your work has more potential to be viewed.
It has a better chance of going viral or at least of being shared more easily.
You can also see Carrie’s writing portfolio on Pinterest, by clicking here. She includes links to podcasts, interviews and other media mentions that she’s been featured in.
3. Start a portfolio board in seconds
It’s super simple and quick to set up your own Pinterest board of freelance samples. Here’s how:
Start a new board and begin adding content by pinning things directly via the website your article is published on. You do this by adding it via your Pinterest board page (and linking via the url) or by using the “Pin It” button via Google Chrome.
Here is my current method of keeping my online portfolios up-to-date:
- Article goes live
- Pin it to my Professional Writing Samples Pinterest board
- Share via Facebook (which automatically posts to Twitter)
- Add to Google+ or LinkedIn profiles
- If it’s a new client, I’ll add them to the Hire Me page on my website
And here is Carrie’s process of updating her Pinterest portfolio:
- New article is published
- Copy the link into a Portfolio links for Pinterest doc
- Then once-a-month pin all new posts onto the Pinterest Portfolio Board
- Update the portfolio page on Careful Cents with new links
- Share new articles on social media throughout the month
Carrie’s note: I do not believe it’s smart to have posts automatically shared from Facebook to Twitter and vice-versa. Each social media platform is unique, has a specific voice, and targets a different kind of user. Your social media content should reflect that customization.
This might look (and be) redundant, but it’s what works. I’m trying to maximize a few social media tools, with the thought that over time I’ll be able to measure what’s working for me and what’s not. Then I’ll cut the ones that aren’t and/or possibly trade out for a new option.
Remember, you don’t have to be on all the social channels! Just use the ones that work best for your business, your personality, and which ones you enjoy actually interacting on.
4. Use unique and interesting photos
Since Pinterest is all about pinning aesthetically pleasing content, it’s important to use good photos. You can take them yourself, buy them online or find unique images that are completely free.
Online resources to find the best photos:
Death to the Stock Photo
Death to the Stock Photo offers a free and premium version. But I’ve found the free version to be simply awesome! Once a month you’ll receive a complete file with about 10 images, based on that month’s theme, that are anything but boring stock photos. In fact, several of the photos found on Careful Cents are from this site.
This is my current go-to image site when it comes to sourcing free quality photos for posts. When using Compfight, make sure to highlight the creative commons option when searching, to ensure that only photos that can be used come up. Sponsored (read: paid) photos always come up at the top, which still throws me for a loop from time to time. They are always perfect, but I’m cheap and usually select a runner up photo that I can use for free!
It might take a little time to scroll through all the awesome images on this site, but photographers from all over the world share inspiring images on Unsplash. You’re bound to find something beautiful to share on Pinterest.
New Old Stock
New Old Stock is a site all about giving vintage images and photos a new spin. They are licensed under Flickr’s Creative Commons rule, so you are invited to share such photographs under their new usage guideline called no known copyright restrictions.
Of course make sure to credit appropriately using the caption section under the image details in a WordPress blog post or you can also copy and paste it at the bottom of a post in the HTML section. A lot of people will italicize it to differentiate it from the post.
5. Add Pinterest to your pitch
One thing that I’ve done that makes it easy for potential clients to see where they can find me is to perfect my pitch email. I use my footer to showcase where else they can find/connect with me socially — this also lets them know that I know a thing or two about social media management.
This is easy to do using Gmail, under the settings section. Don’t forget to double check that your links work and go to the correct place (I found this out the hard way!).
Leverage Pinterest to find more work
Pinterest can be used in your business in more ways than just creating an online portfolio — but this is a really great place to start.
If you don’t currently have an online portfolio or if you’re looking for another option to showcase your work in an eye-catching manner, look into creating your own samples board today.
Don’t forget to use great photos, credit them appropriately and find other ways to direct traffic to your Pinterest board.