Why you need a portfolio if you work in social media
Long gone are the days where social media talent could pop in a few outstanding stats from social media campaigns on the key achievements section of their resume. Previously the domain of graphic designers, art directors and copywriters, a portfolio is now a must for social media talent. We’ve had numerous clients – both agencies and in-house brands – asking for portfolios when hiring social media talent. Reels and TikTok are so important to a company’s marketing strategy that businesses need to see examples of what candidates can do before hiring them.
Get your portfolio sorted now and you’ll put yourself ahead of the competition. Here at Creative Natives, we speak to a lot of social media talent but don’t see a whole lot of social media portfolios. You’ll instantly stand out from the pack with one, plus it could help speed up the interview process, since companies can instantly see your expertise and what you can create – rather than waiting for you to send through examples.
So if you’re keen to get started, here’s our guide to creating a social media portfolio.
Choose your portfolio format
There are different ways you can present your portfolio, but we’re going to talk about websites and Canva.
Let’s start with websites. From WordPress to SquareSpace, the world is your oyster when it comes to picking a website to host your portfolio on. The one you pick will depend on how techie you are – some are super simple drag and drop editors and others you’ll need coding knowledge – and how much you’re willing to pay. Some websites have free versions that you can utilise, others will require you to pay for a subscription.
Do some research about which is the best for you – we recommend Googling something along the lines of, “The best websites to create a portfolio for social media”. There are lots of blogs out there that go through the pros and cons of the different providers, so we’ll leave that to them.
Alternatively, Canva is an easy option. They have tons of templates to choose from that you can then customise and it’s very simple to upload the content you’ve created and insert it into the template. Once you’re done, it just sits in Canva and you share a view-only link with anyone who wants to see it, but it’s not searchable via Google. Canva also has a website portfolio builder if you prefer that instead.
Just a note on PDF portfolios. We know some people prefer a PDF for their portfolio, but they come with some issues. PDFs are static and if you update it, it’s hard to redistribute it to everyone who has a copy. You run the risk of people assessing you off an old version of your portfolio and not hiring you because they think you’re not across some skills or platforms. We rarely see PDF portfolios anymore, most people are on the website/Canva bandwagon now.
Create your story
You’ve picked the format for your portfolio, now it’s time to do what you do best – tell a story. There are so many things that you could include in your portfolio, but we think these are the most important things:
- About you
Write a few lines or a short paragraph introducing yourself. Talk about how long you’ve been in the social media game, who you’ve worked for and your social media experience. Don’t be afraid to show some personality either!
- Top campaigns and content
Showcase your work with some of your best content and campaigns. Outline the strategy, goals and process of creating the content, example of the content, plus stats showing how successfully the social media content performed. This may sound like a lot, but most of this information would be in the post-campaign report, so it’s a simple copy-paste job.
- A list of your skills and the tools you know how to use. This can just be a quick list, there’s no need to go into massive detail here. If your content in the previous section doesn’t cover everything you can do, pop that information in here.
Curate your content
Less is more! It may be tempting, but don’t share everything you’ve ever worked on. You’re trying to sell yourself, so pick a variety of content that was successful and met its goals – there’s no point showing that TikTok video that looks pretty but got zero engagement (don’t you hate it when that happens?). Don’t forget to also share content that showcases your different skills, like social media strategy, copywriting, content creation or video production.
Update it regularly
Make sure to keep your portfolio up-to-date. As you work on big, successful campaigns or upskill in a certain area or across a new platform, add it to your portfolio. You want potential employers to be across everything you do – and that’ll only happen if you are regularly updating your portfolio.
This is where having a PDF portfolio gets difficult. Are you going to redistribute it every time you update it? How do you make sure it gets to the right people? It can make your head spin.
Granted, this is more relevant if you’re trying to go the freelance social media manager route, but having them on there doesn’t hurt. Testimonials give you and your skills credibility – so whether it’s from previous clients or an employer, ask the people you’ve worked for to write a couple of lines about your social media work. And if they’ve agreed to provide one, but they’re time poor, write a couple lines for them and flick it over to them for changes and approval.
Some final tips!
- Don’t forget to include all of the ways potential employers can contact you – that’s email and phone. Some hiring managers don’t have the time to email back and forth. Make it easy for them to contact you.
- Think about the journey you want to take people on with your portfolio. Lay it out in a way that makes sense and it clearly flows from one thing to the next – don’t make the reader jump back and forth to see all of your work.
- Get some constructive feedback. Share it with a couple of people you trust (if they work in social media/marketing, all the better) and ask them to take a look and provide any feedback. Ask them the all important question, “would you want to interview me from looking at this portfolio?” and if it’s a yes, you’re on to a winner.
Want to put your new social media portfolio to good use? Ready for a new social media challenge? Get in touch today at email@example.com to see what social media and content roles we have going!