How To Create A Stunning Portfolio

Why Empathy Matters

One big mistake almost everyone makes in their portfolio is assuming that the reader is familiar with their industry, style, brand, and way of thinking. But I don’t know you as a person, so you can’t expect me to always understand or appreciate your efforts.

For example, simply seeing a photograph on its own won’t give me any idea about:

  • Why did you choose this moment?
  • Where, when, and who was this?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • Were you trying to achieve a specific effect?
  • What was the response?

In that case, a caption would help. Case in point, having empathy for your audience is crucial. You must briefly provide *CONTEXT* behind every page and piece. And that starts by providing an overall bird-view explanation of the portfolio, which is the “summary” section.

(3A) Summary / About Me

In your executive summary, include in bullet points:

1NicheWhat’s your expertise?I’m passionate about online content marketing.
2EthosWhat’s your core style?Because when it comes to modern advertising, I believe marketers must create value for users if they want to build long-term relationships. This can be achieved through authentic, useful, entertaining, and relatable content.
3ExecutionWhat to expect ahead?So expect to see snippets of:

– My signature topical posters (inspired by trending hashtags)

– Share-worthy infographics

– And creative games or memes that will engage you.

4BackgroundWhat roles have you played?These are glimpses from my work in fintech startups like Fave & RinggitPlus, where I’ve worked as a strategist to connect various teams like designers, copywriters & sales with the goal of creating a coherent brand identity.
5AspirationWhat are your career goals?Armed with an all-in-one creative skillset that includes copywriting, performance (FB & PPC), graphic designing, video editing, and CRM, I aspire to work with startups in Asia Pacific as a senior executive to develop their digital communities through
strategic content creation.

(3B) Case Study

Once you’ve introduced yourself, its time to bring in the big guns. Before you begin every case study, you should include a short text box containing these 5 bullet points. Each point should have no more than 1-2 lines of content:

1CompanyWhat does the brand sell?Fave is a lifestyle coupon deals aggregator (F&B, Beauty, Travel, etc.) with mobile payment features.
2GoalWhat was the challenge/brief?Content on Instagram was outdated and not relevant or important to young audiences.
3StrategyWhat was your unique solution?So I redesigned the social personality to align with the media consumption of target millennial users.
4ExecutionHow did you implement this idea?I used trending hashtags to do moment marketing with topical ads referencing current events.
5ResultWhat was the outcome/response?In 3 months, we saw a 22% increase in Instagram engagement, and a 2x increase in reach.

If you’re a student, swap company for the subject, goal for the assignment’s subject and title, strategy for the theme or structure of your project, execution for the research methodology and your writing style, and results for the grades you scored.

For creatives, after every piece of work, include a 1-liner explaining it’s individual significance. In my case as a social media guy, I showcased my best posts/visuals, and included a short caption talking about why we posted it. Here are some examples:


(3C) Additional Links

After you’re done with your best work, you can include links to other projects that the reader can check if they have more time.

(3D) Contact

If I’m impressed by your work but don’t know how to reach out for a discussion, you’ve just lost my lead. So at the very last page, do include your LinkedIn username, phone number, and email ID for further discussions. Here’s an example from my work:


That brings us to the end of the portfolio. You can check out my complete portfolio to gain a more hands-on understanding here.

Not enough? Looking for more inspo? Flip the page to see some examples that caught my eye. Or go back to the home page.

Published by Manik Rege

Hey there! Full disclosure, I'm a bit of a mess. But my interests range from Career Growth Strategy to Marketing & Branding, and Animal Rights to filter coffee. Same vibe? Tweet to me @manik_rege.

5 thoughts on “How To Create A Stunning Portfolio

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