In this lesson, we are going to walk through some of the top mistakes I see designers and creatives making on Behance.
The reason I know this is I made these very same mistakes, so I want to tell you these because it's something that you can avoid, and if you know these things upfront you'll be that much better when recreating your portfolio, or creating your portfolio for the first time.
Mistake #1 - You put every piece of work on the platform.
I've made this mistake. I've even mentioned in a previous video publicly that when I was creating my portfolio, I used it somewhat like a place of record, so any work that I did I would put it up on my portfolio no matter how large or small. I would just put it up because I wanted to know what I worked on. I wanted to be able to go to my portfolio and notice my progression as a designer.
That's okay, but in terms of getting a portfolio and creating a portfolio to entice clients to work with different agencies, and collaborate with others, and get recognized for your design work, that's not a good thing to do in terms of putting everything you work on. You want to put your best foot forward and show your best work.
That mistake is putting everything on the platform. Don't do that.Limit your portfolio to your 12 best things. You don't even have to get that high, but I would say if there is an absolute top limit, it needs to be 12. You can go back and update old things you worked on, or maybe you worked on something in the future that was way better than what you had in the past, you need to go back and change it. The max limit is 12, no higher than that.
Mistake #2 - You're not consistently active on the platform.
Again, in the past, I would log on to Behance, upload whatever items that I had, and I would log off, or not go back on to the platform. Then I would expect people to appreciate my project, or like my work, or do something of that nature, or find me somehow. That wasn't the best idea to using the platform, so if I wanted to benefit from Behance, I'm going to receive the exact amount of effort that I invest in the platform.
Yes, Behance is a place to put your work, but there is also a massive community of other people, some people starting, some people who are experts, and some agencies and clients looking to hire, right. You have the mix of these different types of people, and you need to interact and talk to them, so if you comment on other projects that you can also receive love back and get to know different people. Make sure you're consistently active on the platform.
Mistake #3 - Not Using Mockups
A huge mistake that I also made is not investing enough time in mock-ups and portfolio elements. What I mean by this is, a lot of times when I was working on a project, or anything of that nature, as I mentioned, I just threw my work up, so if it's a logo I just put up the logo. I didn't put any applications of the logo.
I didn't talk about the process of how I got to where I was. I didn't put a mock-up of a logo on a folder, on a business card, or a T-shirt, or even showing it on a coffee mug, anything like that. I just put the logo up by itself. That's a huge mistake because you need to utilize mock-ups to highlight and show that the work you did is worth it, and the work you did can be seen in the real world and used in the real world.
Help people visualize that what you created has worth by setting an application for it. You can use mock-ups for that. We'll get into another lesson that talks about where to find these. However, that needs to be an element in your portfolio, utilizing mock-ups.
Mistake #4 - Your portfolio projects reflect clients you want to attract.
Again, I know this because I made this mistake. You can't put everything in your portfolio. If you want to work with sports teams, and about athletic wear and look for those type of clients, that's perfectly fine. But, your portfolio needs to show what you've created that has benefited sports teams, athletic clubs, or even clothing lines that support sportswear, or whatever that might be.
You need to speak to that aesthetic, and focus on that. Someone can't visualize that you being a cartoonist relates to creating logos for a sports team. They won't be able to merge the two unless you show them that you're capable of doing the work, so the items that you selected for your portfolio will also be a calling card for those same type of people that want to work with you.
Mistake #5 - You're Projects are Not Consistent.
Each project does not reflect the consistency of the results. What I mean by that is, you're trying to create a project or a portfolio item that highlights and shows you're able to consistently go through a process and arrive at the best design solution to solve a problem. Again, you need to show that consistency in each portfolio.
How it works that out in each portfolio item is you create a project, and the project follows a similar logic. Maybe they see the beginning, they see your process, and then at the end they finally see the applications and mock-ups, and then you give a summary of what happened.Different things, like what I just laid out, would be consistent.
If you consistently show that over and over then people would understand this designer gets it, and I have a hint to his, or her, or their process, right. As we go through this course, we'll get into a framework of how you can consistently show your work in the right manner that'll take care of most of the problem.
Mistake #6 - Do not submit items as "student work"
The sixth and final mistake I see on Behance is, do not submit student work. Treat the work like it's an actual project because it is. Now, what I mean by student work is maybe you're in school, a design school, art school, you're in college or university, or even if you're taking a course online and you're trying to learn how to be a better designer.
You may make something that doesn't have any real-world application. It wasn't for a client, and you weren't hired to do the work, but you're just doing it to get experience. And then you put it up on Behance in your portfolio, and you state that it's student work. This is a mistake because the mentality is you are inexperienced, right. Just because you may be a student, or you may be learning that doesn't mean you are inexperienced.
One lesson I had to learn as a designer was, I remember I created something and I felt like it wasn't worth a lot because I was new, I didn't have that much experience. Then I found out what I created to look very similar to something that an experienced designer created, but I created this on my own. It looked just as good as the work of an experienced designer.
Again, if you are a student, or you're learning don't highlight that in your portfolio, just put the work up because the only difference between student work and work that is from a professional is the fact that you're getting paid to do the work, but the quality of work may look exactly the same, so focus on that, the quality of the work. Don't state, or highlight you're a student, or you're inexperienced. Just put your work up and let your work speak for itself.