Make Bank with Your Behance: Simple Strategies for Perfecting Your Online Portfolio

For the uninitiated, Behance is a mix between a portfolio showcase and business networking site. For visual artists, it’s an easy way to display work online. When used correctly, it can get you actual contacts from potential clients and recruiters. Here’s how to bump up your chances of that happening…

Make the best bio.

This is the hardest kind of writing: super short and highly personal. You should mention any accolades or achievements. If you don’t have those, you should submit to our marketing and advertising awards.

Show the context of the work.

Usually the graphic file of a digital deliverable does not fully convey how it is shown in the real world. If you did a logo, show how it looks on signage or a t-shirt. If you did a billboard, show the billboard rather than the original graphic on its own. Mobile app mockups look better when you stick them on the screen of an iPhone.

Make a case study.

The best Behance portfolio includes case studies that lay out your process, the purpose behind creative decisions, and the results they got. If you build a website that increases sales by 15%, that statistic is as important as what the site looks like. Here’s a great example of a case study that also does a good job of showing the context. There are plenty of Behance tutorials and project templates online to give you a starting point for creating multi-slide and scrolling portfolio samples.

Put you best thumbnail forward.

If a recruiter is scrolling through projects, looking for a sample that fits their project, all they will see is a bunch of thumbnails. If yours isn’t worth clicking on, even the best Behance portfolio won’t get exposure.

Hashtag like hell.

Hashtags aren’t the main driving factor of traffic to a portfolio on Behance networks, but it takes less than a minute to add relevant descriptors in the form of hashtags.

Comment on other posts.

As with most other social networks, your best way to connect with people is by genuinely interacting with them. Simple as that sounds, it actually takes a bit of time and effort. You should write something sincere and thoughtful. Don’t just say “cool!” with a link to your portfolio. Spamming other people’s work might get you a few more views but it’ll hurt your personal brand and people might start to question whether you’re a real human being.

Follow others.

They might follow you back. If you pick people whose work you admire, you’ll have no shortage of inspiration.

Keep up your other networks.

When you post a new design, share it on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and any other social networks you might happen to be a part of. To actually get some benefit from that, you need to be out there connecting to others, interacting with their content, and getting them to follow you back. Just like we recommend on Behance. Maybe your connections can get you work. If not them, you never know if they might be hooked up to someone else looking to hire.

Part of the reason we created The Digital Shortlist is to promote the works of individual creative pros and students. If you are looking for the kind of exposure that can get you more work and better gigs, submit to one of our contests.

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