Portfolios are most often associated with artists and writers - a bundle of paintings, a collection of photographs, or perhaps a folder full of poems. The concept, though, is relevant to nearly every career. At its core, a portfolio website is a compilation of your best work: the projects that exemplify your qualifications, training and experience - whether its a professional model portfolio or something else. For marketing professionals, such a collection is vital for highlighting your specific skill set and professional style. Armed with this resource, you can earn the attention of recruiters, obtain new job opportunities and bolster your credibility in the industry.
Rather than compiling a printed collection of your work, nowadays you’re better off creating a portfolio website (see best portfolio website builders) and putting your portfolio online. Here’s everything you need to know about how to create a marketing portfolio, including what it should include and tips to build your own. To make the process go smoothly, we’ve also gathered examples of portfolio websites and web portfolios that you can use as inspiration.
What is a marketing portfolio?
A marketing portfolio is a collection of work samples that showcases a marketer's skills, experience and accomplishments. It can be used to apply for new jobs, attract new clients or simply demonstrate one's expertise in the field.
Why you need a marketing portfolio
A marketing portfolio is a valuable asset for any marketing expert looking to highlight their achievements and skills. Coupled with a strong resume, it can give your career a huge boost.
While a resume tells the world what you do, a portfolio shows how you do it. This makes your experience more compelling to job recruiters or prospective clients. Think about it: people are more likely to show interest in your work if you provide them with evidence of your achievements. Whether your marketing specialty is SEO, advertising, social media marketing or any other type of online, or offline marketing, showcase it with your own portfolio.
On top of that, a marketing portfolio is the type of website that offers inspiration to the people who might want to work with you. When presented with compelling examples of your work, your audience can better envision the kinds of projects you’ll create for them.
Finally, putting your professional portfolio online helps establish your authority in the industry. By building your online presence, you build credibility in your field. It also makes it much easier for people to find and contact you for professional opportunities.
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What to include in a marketing portfolio
As you start to piece together your marketing portfolio, here’s a quick checklist of the elements you should include:
Short bio: Introduce your work with a strong professional bio that highlights your interests, background and expertise. This is also a great place to include a mission statement - an explanation of why you find your work meaningful.
Resume: Add a resume to your portfolio to outline your experience and give some context behind your work. Be sure to incorporate all the fundamentals of a strong CV, including employment history and academic background.
Contact details: If the goal of your portfolio is to get people to contact you for work opportunities, you’ll need to make it easy for them to find your professional email address and phone number. If you have social media accounts relevant to your profession - for instance, a LinkedIn account or an Instagram page showcasing your work - you may want to link to those pages as well.
Samples of your best work: This is the heart of your marketing portfolio. Highlight your most successful projects by sharing stunning visuals of your work, as well as explanations of the thought process and methodology behind each project. You should also accompany each explanation with data-driven metrics, such as increases in conversions and revenue. This is how you'll start the process of communication, with prospective clients or employees, so make it impactful.
Testimonials: To create a strong first impression, place positive customer testimonials side-by-side your work samples. Assuring people that customers were satisfied with your work can boost the credibility of your claims.
Awards and recognition: If you’ve received any public recognition - whether it’s an award in your field or a feature in a publication - don’t forget to include it in your portfolio. This will help portray you as an authority in the industry.
Cover page and table of contents: Finally, it’s a good idea to prepare a printable version of your marketing portfolio that you can bring to interviews, meetings with prospective clients and more. In this case, prepare a simple cover page with your name, professional title, and business name and logo (if relevant).
How to create a marketing portfolio
Now that you know which elements to include in your portfolio and this type of website, it’s time to put it all together. Here’s how to build a marketing portfolio that will present your work in the best light and capture the attention of your audience:
01. Choose an online platform
Displaying a portfolio of your work online makes you come across as more professional, showing potential employers that you’re serious about your career. By creating a website for your marketing portfolio, you’ll make it easy to get found by clients and recruiters and have the opportunity to present your work to the public.
A convenient way to get started with your online portfolio is to create a professional website using Wix. The entire process of learning how to build a website, from inception to publication, is completely free, and there’s a wide selection of portfolio templates that you can customize according to your needs.
02. Create a compelling homepage
As you build your professional portfolio website, keep in mind that the homepage often forms your audience’s first impression of your personal brand. To perfect your homepage web design (first of all, check out these web design portfolio examples), make it crystal clear what you’re about from the very beginning. Introduce your site - and yourself - with a 1-2 sentence statement that concisely explains your professional activities and goals.
You should also make the homepage easy on the eyes and straightforward to navigate. Don’t clutter the page with loud images or long chunks of text. Remember that your goal isn’t for your visitors to linger on the page, but to direct them to other areas of your site. With this in mind, use your homepage to provide clear links to your portfolio page and work samples.
On top of that, you should include enticing calls-to-action (CTAs) near the top of the homepage. Clickable buttons reading “Contact me” or “Start now” can bring visitors one step closer to working with you.
03. Design a strong About page
Don’t forget to include an About page as well. This is where you can place your professional bio, resume and links to your LinkedIn page and other relevant social media profiles.
This page should summarize your professional experience and highlight your achievements in a way that sets you apart from others in the field. Ideally, it will explain how you got to where you are today and the purpose behind your work.
You can also include a handful of customer testimonials to add credibility to your claims and to show that you stand behind your professional values.
04. Showcase your best samples
Here comes the meat of your marketing portfolio: your work samples. Begin by creating a separate page titled Portfolio or Work. This will be the canvas for presenting your most successful projects.
Most likely, you’ll have several projects to choose from. Rather than attempt to showcase all of them, carefully select the ones that best represent what you’re capable of. Remember, quality is better than quantity here. First, site visitors won’t want to sift through dozens of samples in search of your best work. Second, an in-depth analysis of 5 projects is far more compelling than minimal commentary on 50.
If you’re stuck on which samples to include, consider the following:
Prioritize examples with great results: As you scan examples of past projects, begin by selecting the ones that yielded the most success. Whether you coordinated a campaign for a large company or built a startup’s digital marketing strategy from the ground up, choose examples with measurable data and impressive metrics.
Showcase your most innovative ideas: Perhaps you helped orchestrate a project launch, managed a successful rebrand, or introduced a new marketing channel to a client. Providing such an example in your portfolio can emphasize your creativity, outside-the-box thinking and project management skills.
Highlight an integrated marketing campaign: If you’ve successfully pulled off a complex digital marketing project - for instance, a campaign that integrated website content, social media content, email marketing and more - you should absolutely highlight that in your marketing portfolio. This will show that you are a strategic thinker and know how to target different audiences across a wide range of channels.
05. Explain your work process
Selecting your work samples might be the trickiest part of creating your marketing portfolio, but it’s not the final step. To do justice to your experience, you’ll need to explain the context behind each project. You can place these explanations side-by-side examples of your work, or share case studies and other insights on your website’s blog.
As you explain your work process, be sure to include the following elements:
The goals behind each project
Your role and responsibilities
The challenges you faced and how you overcame them
An overview of the process from start to finish
The final outputs and results
06. Make yourself easy to contact
Finally, encourage visitors to reach out by placing your contact details in various places across the site. Anticipate where people might look for your contact details, and place the information there. This includes the website’s footer and the About page, as well as a dedicated Contact page.
It’s also important to include a contact form on your site. This way, visitors won’t need to copy and paste your email address on a separate tab, but can instead send a message directly through your website.
Marketing portfolio examples
Once you've selected the elements to include in your marketing portfolio, take a look at these examples to jumpstart your inspiration:
01. Lets One
Web design agency Lets One works closely with business to create an integrated marketing strategy that involves website creation, branding and social media. On their site, a page titled Our Work allows visitors to see a portfolio of their most recent projects. Clicking on a particular item in the portfolio immediately leads to a page with a robust overview of that project, including several images of the websites and branded content they’ve created for their partners.
02. Adapting Social
This marketing portfolio example from Adapting Social displays work from a wide range of services. Their portfolio page - titled What We Do - is divided by category, including media creation, email marketing, lead generation campaigns and more. Visitors can then view projects within each category, depending on their interests.
Influencer marketing agency Incast facilitates partnerships between brands and social media influencers. Rather than searching for their marketing portfolio on a separate page, visitors can learn about their work via a long scroll on their homepage. About halfway down the page, they provide several examples of pet videos they created for social media, using both eye-catching images and impressive data to illustrate their success.
This graphic design and branding studio builds meaningful brands through design. To generate immediate interest in their work, they place images of their projects front and center on the homepage. Using their online marketing portfolio, they’re able to increase the visibility of their brand and capture the attention of their clients.
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Creating a marketing portfolio without experience
If you don't have any experience in marketing, you can still build a marketing portfolio. Here are a few tips:
Start with personal projects. If you don't have any experience working with clients, you can start by creating marketing materials for yourself or your friends and family. This could include designing a website, creating social media content or writing blog posts.
Volunteer your services. Many nonprofits and small businesses are looking for volunteers to help with their marketing efforts, which helps you gain experience and build your portfolio.
Take on freelance projects. Once you have some experience, you can start to take on freelance marketing projects. This gives you the opportunity to work with different clients and build a more diverse portfolio.
Contribute to open source projects. There are many open source marketing projects that you can contribute to. This is a great way to gain experience working on real-world projects and to collaborate with other marketers.
Participate in marketing competitions. There are many marketing competitions that you can participate in, helping you test your skills and to get feedback from other marketers.
Marketing portfolio best practices
Here are some best practices for creating a marketing portfolio:
Tailor your portfolio to your target audience. What skills and experience are they looking for? What types of work samples would they find most impressive?
Choose high-quality work samples. Your portfolio should only include your best work. Take the time to edit and polish your work samples before you add them to your portfolio.
Tell a story with your portfolio. Each work sample should tell the story of a successful marketing campaign or project. Be sure to explain the goals of the project, the strategies you used and the results you achieved.
Use visuals. Visuals can help to make your portfolio more engaging and visually appealing. Include images, videos and infographics to showcase your work.
Make it easy to navigate. Your portfolio should be easy to navigate and use. Visitors should be able to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for.
Keep it up-to-date. Be sure to update your portfolio regularly with new work samples and accomplishments.