You want your portfolio to reflect the best possible version of yourself. You want to feel proud when you share it.
The best version of yourself is the version you are today. You have never been any better.
So why do you only show your past work on your portfolio? Why do you put so much focus on your old projects, while in the meantime you have improved significantly? Your portfolio is not something that is definite. In fact, it should be the opposite.
Your most important portfolio project should be the one you are currently working on.
There is something really valuable about your current project. It is extremely relevant. It shows your current skill level. It shows what you are learning. It even shows what you currently care about.
So don’t wait with adding your project once you have finished it. Add it while you are working on it. Just show your visitors where you are in your process. Communicate that the project is still running.
A portfolio that has not been updated for more than a month is an outdated portfolio. A portfolio that has not been updated for more than half a year, is a dead portfolio.
Replace an old project with your current project and make it the most important one.
Yes, I know it is scary. It is scary to share your project while you are working on it. You cannot drop out halfway. There is no way back. Here is what I have to say about that. You cannot fail. There is no way you can possibly fail.
You can only fail by not sharing.
It is okay if you struggle. Your work is not going to be perfect. That is actually the point of it. It humanizes you.
It is also a great way to let your personality shine, making you stand out. Your uniqueness is the most important value proposition you have.
You are the reason your visitors return. You are the reason they start following you. Not because you are perfect, but because they see you grow.
Your learning process is meaningful to others.
Your portfolio should be a place that gives visitors a reason to return. A place that turns visitors into followers and invites them to engage with you. Where their voice can be heard and appreciated.
So how do you enable yourself to keep your recent project up to date? Having a content management system (CMS) is crucial. It enables you to keep your portfolio alive.
Your CMS is not just the backbone of you portfolio, it is the beating heart.
You will also need to document your project’s process carefully. Make sure you have your camera ready at all times. By taking photos you can quickly capture your process without interrupting your workflow.
Once your project is over you have a decision to make. You can either move the content to your blog or you can keep it as a project. Just make sure you are creating a new space for your new project.
This episode is part of a series called Portfolio Principles. In this series, I help people to build a more effective portfolio. Get weekly portfolio building tips.
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