Image by Pawel Nolbert

How to get unstuck.

(and launch your long awaited online portfolio)

This article is for designers who plan to finally launch their own online portfolio that they’ve been talking about for so long.

I know how it is, I’m a designer myself and one of the biggest challenges we face with most of our projects is getting started, or getting finished at all. Especially with our own projects (such as our portfolio) we struggle and it seems impossible to please ourselves.

We want it to be perfect and the moment we think we finished and take a step back, we have this strong urge to redo everything again.

While we’ve been working closely with great creatives for our Semplice launch (a new portfolio tool) we learned that most of them are struggling even though their body of work is amazing and all of them have dozens of great ideas for their portfolio.

Ideas are cheap, getting it done is everything.

As with everything — Ideas are cheap & getting it done is everything. But even by knowing how to execute and what tools to use we established some simple tips & tricks that helped most of our users to launch something great within a short amount of time.

Step 1: Keep it simple, max. 4–6 projects.

Make sure to prepare only 4–6 of your best projects for your portfolio. Oftentimes the reason we are not getting anywhere is because there are too many projects we want to showcase and each of them should be perfect.

There are many positive aspects to this exercise, but mainly it helps you to focus on showcasing your best work first. At the same time it helps your visitors not getting overwhelmed with your portfolio. If you think you need to prepare 10–20+ projects for your first launch you already did something wrong — No one is going to look through 20 projects anyway, you’re not doing anyone a favor by showing too much.

And don’t forget, this is for your first launch, it’s expected from you to keep updating & curating your portfolio regardless with what you first launch.

Build your portfolio with the work you want to
do in the future instead of just using it as a backlog of projects.
Your portfolio is not what you did, but what you’re going to do next.

Step 2: Set yourself a deadline

Followed by the first exercise, give yourself a deadline of 4 weeks.
Launch your portfolio no matter what, even if it’s not perfect and even if some projects are missing, you have to launch! The key is to ship fast and keep iterating on it over time to make it better. By making sure to keep it simple as described in the first step you will be able to make it.

Portfolio by Pawel Nolbert
“Action expresses priorities” — Gandhi

Step 3: Get inspired

Inspiration plays a big role, push yourself by looking at other portfolios and get inspired as much as you can. In the end it all comes down to letting your work speak for itself. By looking at great portfolios you can get a sense of how other designers present themselves & how you would like to position yourself. I highly recommend the Semplice Showcase with fantastic examples by other great designers — Each of them struggled to get their portfolio online, but all of them finished with the help of following step 1&2.

Now it’s up to you! Put on some good tunes and get it done!

PS: This article is not about using Semplice, our learnings are of course from working with the amazing Semplice community which we’re happy to share with you, but we hope you apply all of the above to whatever tool you might end up using. Keep on rocking!

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Your’s truly,
Tobias

Header Image by: Pawel Nolbert — Thank you!