How To Create A Portfolio When You Don’t Have One

How To Create A Portfolio When You Don’t Have One

Create A Faux Show That’s For Show

One of the plethora of challenges I faced when I decided to leave the corporate world after ten years to become a solo entrepreneur in the creative field, was how to show my work.

First, there was that pesky non-disclosure agreement that basically forbid me from using anything and everything I had worked on the previous ten years as part of my portfolio.

Second, I was part of a creative team that worked together to produce the brand marketing for the products in my division. It didn’t feel right to claim sole credit for stuff that my former colleagues had also put many hours into creating with me.

And third, I spent my time working on projects for my former employer, not thinking about creating a portfolio of my own.

So what’s a person to do when they can’t show off any of the work they created from a previous job? How does a person show potential clients the kinds of skills they have? How do you create a portfolio to show people what it is that you can do when you don’t really have one?

What Is A Faux Show?

A faux show is a portfolio that’s a representation of the kinds of work you can do, in lieu of showing real-life examples of work that you’ve already done.

How To Create A Faux Show

Pretend you are your potential client and create things you would want to see from you. What? Let me describe how I created my faux show.

I decided I wanted to start my own website design, brand development and internet marketing business. So, I treated me like I was my first client (pro bono, of course). I created the brand messaging, the website and the internet marketing and social media plan, then I re-created it ten times in ten different ways.

This served two primary purposes. For starters, it showed potential clients that I could, in fact create a brand message, a website and an internet marketing and social media plan. Additionally, by creating a single project in ten different ways, it allowed me to show my creativity and the variety of features that other clients would probably want to see as well.

Keep On Keeping On

Being a creative without a portfolio is sort of like a tennis player without a racket. People won’t know what kind of game you’ve got until you can show them. Creating a faux show is fun and allows you the chance to practice your craft, hone your skills and produce a body of work that represents what you can do.

As you begin to develop work for new clients, you’ll be able to replace elements of your faux show portfolio with real-life examples of your work.

Until next time, xoxo, K.