portfolio and presentation: freelance series



If you have read the last newsletter you would instantly connect that this again is a theme. Last time we talked about Resourcefulness, if you haven't read it, you can get it here. I swear, this issue started as "What all should go on your portfolio?" and we are definitely going to talk about that. But again, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this is about putting on a presentation. It could be a portfolio today, a pitch tomorrow. Understanding the theme of it will help you in the long term.

In this issue, I will stay away from the paragraph style, and will give you more bullet points of Dos and Don'ts in a presentation (mostly portfolio). Take everything in stride, nothing I have written below is absolute truth, mix it with your creativity and use it the way you want. Let's begin.

it's your shop 🛒

  1. At any point of time, remember that this is not about you, this is about a potential customer. When you see a portfolio of other folks, don't evaluate it from a techie's perspective.

  2. Mix the professional with personal. Keep faces, keep icons, keep smileys, keep the language casual. But don't get too casual. Remember they want to work with you. They don't care about your beer parties, or use of foul language. Don't try to sound too cool!

what your portfolio is not? 🏆

  1. Don't play the "Best Portfolio Ever Created" game. You're setting yourself up for failure. A portfolio is not the playing ground you want to play at.

    1. You're a developer. There's very little work to do for a dev in a static site anyway.

    2. Don't get blinded by a designer's portfolio, it's their job to make things beautiful, your job is to make things functional.

  2. Do your survey. See portfolio of other folks, get some inspiration.

  3. Keep it simple. Don't try to put everything you can find at every site (or like) in your portfolio.

  4. Treat this as a gateway to show your most promising work, your most promising content. Don't bombard the end customer with too many choices, hordes of information.

understanding psychology 🧠

In any kind of presentation and specially in the ones where you want to convince or sell something fast, some understanding of psychology is extremely important. So, maybe, read about it. Below are few tips

  1. naam me kya rakha hai what's in the name? There's actually a lot in the name. That's why people name their kids Ram and not Raavan. Names build instant trust. Names which are easy to pronounce build more trust. Therefore, know your target audience and find a nice name and domain. There's a reason people pay so much for domains. Now, I am not saying you should pay for a kickass domain, all I am saying is try to find out a domain/name which is available and also makes sense without having to explain it.

  2. Don't create your brand with your favorite color. Similar to names, colors also create a feeling of trust, love, royalty etc. Do your research before you finalize your logo, or the primary background.

  3. People like other people who sound positive. On your main page, reek positivity. If you remember, in last week's edition, I talked about doing work for an NGO. It helps to showcase that here.

  4. Rule of thumb: Good first impression is job half done. In any presentation.

build trust 🤝

  1. Show your smiling face and your team's as well. Seeing someone creates trust. Again, formal + casual combination as said previously.

  2. Get reviews from your previous clients: the NGO, your Google Play, Chrome Store, a tweet, a reddit comment. Anything is fine. Connect it to the actual content so that folks can click and see.

  3. Get reviews/recommendations from influential personalities (with brand names) if you can. If you have a recommendation from a Software Engineer at Microsoft, or a speaker at NASSCOM, or an author, basically anyone your customer can place their trust on and then following the chain of trust, can trust you.

  4. Brand associations create trust. If you participated or won any challenge from the brands people know, try to showcase it somewhere. Worst, use influential personalities' quotes somewhere. This all boils down to resourcefulness though. Give all of this considerable amount of thought.

showcase 🌟

  1. Show your best 3 to 5 projects (keep it an odd number). Don't list down everything you have done. You're the best judge. At the same time, try to show variety.

  2. Problem with putting links to your app is that it would ask for login, it's a good idea to create a demo/dummy account. Going back to the point: make it easy for the customer to enjoy your shop's experience.

and we take a break.. 👋

There're more obviously, I want to talk about showing your stack, your stats, your knowledge and finally a way for your customer to contact you.

But we will do that next week. I can list all the points at once but then some of these points will slip. There's only a finite amount of information our brain can hold after reading continuously. And if I don't care about my audience when I am talking about presentation, it would be quite hypocritical isn't it? There's zero story or humor in this one, so you might have got bored already by now.

Like always, I would love it if you can tweet your reactions out. Find me here