How to create a professional portfolio

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

– Maya Angelou

A portfolio is more than just a collection of your work. For creatives and non-creatives alike, a portfolio is a calling card to the outside world. It’s a way for you to showcase your abilities while sharing your story.

Portfolios can be used to help boost your personal brand, share your skill set, increase your digital visibility, and most importantly attract potential clients.

Creating a portfolio that stands out while quickly and clearly sharing your expertise and value with visitors is important. First impressions count no matter what industry you’re in, it’s not only designers and creatives that get to create amazing portfolios.

Even if you work in a non-creative role, thinking outside the box can help you represent your work visually and take advantage of the way people process information.

So, what elements make up a well thought out and professional portfolio?

You & Your Work

You want to create a portfolio that shows off who you are and what you’re offering. Help clients understand what it’s like to work with you by introducing yourself, sharing your experience, personality, and background.

The work you decide to include in your portfolio has to be the right mixture of ingredients to shine. Include your best (or most successful projects, quality over quantity), and content that targets your ideal client (keep to your niche or where you want to be).

Don’t limit yourself to work projects alone, include personal projects or mock-ups. Having a mixture of content lets you showcase your skill and creativity, something all clients are looking for. 

Showcasing you and your work together is all part of building your personal brand.

Simplicity (Design and Navigation)

When it comes to portfolios ‘less is more’ really is the best. Keeping the design and layout of your portfolio clean and simple to use is important in creating a good first impression.

Categorizing (or filtering) your work makes your portfolio easier to navigate and informs clients of the different skills or areas of expertise you have. Make yourself accessible so clients know how to best contact you.  

Awards and Accomplishments

Including social proof or your track record in the portfolio helps build credibility and trustworthiness in your personal brand.

Share client testimonials, awards, and certificates. Let people know how good you really are.

Keep evolving

A portfolio is an evolving collection of your work and professional career. Search engines are always looking for fresh content and clients want to see up to date styles.

Update and change your portfolio as you grow, your goals change and your work evolves.

Creating a portfolio is an effective way to highlight your uniqueness in a sea of competition, it helps potential clients understand more about you, your style, abilities, and accomplishments.

Is your business using social media’s full potential?

At Brieffin we use our expertise to unlock everything social media has to offer your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success. Let’s talk.

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Do I need a logo for my personal brand?

Personal Branding is not about pretending to be a perfect person. It’s being real to the world with your flaws and fortes.

– Bernard Kelvin Clive

To answer the question of whether a personal brand needs a logo it’s best to start with a question.

Why do you think your personal brand needs a logo?

A common answer here is, “ because I need an Identity “, “ it’ll make me look credible, especially for social media ”. And while the primary function of a logo is to identity, there is a difference between a logo used by business brands, to differentiate and create separate identities for their products and services, and one representing a personal brand and reputation.

To get a logo for your personal brand just because, would not be a good reason. A personal brand can survive and succeed without a logo.

However, there is a case to be made for having a logo for the right reasons. A personal brand is a combination of your unique style, values, and beliefs, and the logo you choose to use should attract and remind audiences of your style and values. A logo forms part of your personal brand identity, it shouldn’t be what defines it.

A logo also helps you stamp your expertise in your specific niche, enhance your marketability, and through your logo design aids in helping people build an affinity towards your personal brand and you as a professional.

So, what makes a good logo? There are a few elements that determine if a logo is good or not.

Is it simple? Simple logos are quicker and easier for people to recognize. Limit the colors, fonts, and wording you use to keep the design clean and simple.

Is it relevant? Not just to your niche but to the market and time. This is why we see companies rebrand and reposition themselves over the years.

Is it unique and memorable? Your logo should grab attention while showing off your uniqueness. Having a well-designed memorable logo is a way for people to instantly connect and associate with you and your personal brand.

Is your Personal Brand using social media’s full potential?

At Brieffin we use our expertise to unlock everything social media has to offer your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success. Let’s talk!

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Why Invest In A Social Media Manager?

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

Ryunosuke Satoro

As technology has become more accessible and user-friendly over the past few years, the ways that we interact with the world are different than before. Sometimes called the “Do-It-Yourself” or “DIY” economy, when we need a service, we’re more likely than ever to take things into our own hands. Even if we’ve never done it before.

And why wouldn’t we? With the internet full of YouTube videos, blogs, and step-by-step instructions, it’s easy to see why we’d want to give things a shot on our own before paying for someone else to do it. In some cases, we know that our own version of the product or service may not be perfect, but it’s good enough to meet our needs.

So the continuing evolution of the DIY economy begs the question: when should we pay someone to perform a service?

Here’s a more specific example: why should any business pay to hire a social media manager when they can do it in-house? Almost everyone living in the 21st century knows how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram already.

However, it comes down to the quality and/or quantity of the social media presence that’s expected. Here are a few good reasons why hiring a social media manager is a great choice for many businesses.

1. Social media is always changing

Not only is the digital landscape always evolving, but each individual platform undergoes tweaks from time to time. Whether it’s a change in the Twitter algorithm or Instagram removing the number of photo “likes,” it’s true that when it comes to social media, the only constant is change. Rather than grappling with the changes on your own, a social media manager is an expert at tracking the shifts in social platforms and adapting content to reflect those changes.

2. It’s all about strategy

Social media can exist without a strategy, but that’s best left to personal profiles – where you can feel free to live-Tweet your favorite team’s game or post your toddler’s funny quotes. When it comes to business, having a strategy is important if you want to make social media work for you. Having one of your employees posting randomly can do more harm than good and doesn’t count as a strategy. On the other hand, working with a social media manager can ensure that your brand’s image and messaging are cohesive across multiple touchpoints and are advancing your company’s goals.

3. Show me the numbers

While some social media platforms have started to integrate insights and statistics at the user-level, it probably isn’t enough to give the larger picture of your social media success. A dedicated social media manager will track and monitor all social media campaigns, making note of which ones are high performers and making content, creative, or strategy tweaks when necessary – based on the numbers. Putting all this information into a report for clients is a valuable tool.

If you want to know more about how a social media manager can benefit your business, reach out to us at Brieffin. We have more than 8 years of experience, and we challenge ourselves to stay on top of industry trends to provide the most value to our clients. Plus, we just like learning. 😊

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3 Things To Know About SEO

Having an open mind is the most important precondition for creating new ideas.

Eraldo Banovic

Search Engine Optimization – often known as SEO – is something that has become increasingly in the forefront of digital marketing over the past years. You likely have an idea already about what SEO is. Put simply, it’s the way that your content ranks when someone performs a search using a search engine. You might even have heard a little bit about how the “algorithms” work, which what everyone wants: to understand the algorithm and use it to their advantage.

Since the digital world changes so quickly, it’s important to keep an open mind to the new changes if you’re interested in adapting the best practices. Here are a few things you may not know about SEO for your brand or business.

1. It’s more than just keywords

Keywords are probably the first thing that comes to mind regarding SEO, but it’s far from the only thing. Another way to make your page rank is by utilizing “snippets,” which are small text boxes that display under search results. Not only does this help your page rank higher, but it also makes it more enticing for potential customers. They get a little preview of your content, which could make them more likely to click through to your page if they want to learn more.

And, applying your target keywords to your snippet helps to reinforce the search algorithm. Add a photo for even more SEO power!

2. Optimize photos and videos… and more

Speaking of photos… did you know they can be optimized as well? The same is true for videos and other types of media. Just because it isn’t text doesn’t mean it can’t be optimized! Captions, alternative text, descriptions, and even file names can be strategically populated with your target keywords to further bolster your content’s SEO position.

3. Don’t forget about mobile

Having a mobile-responsive website is more than just about aesthetics and ease of use for consumers in an increasingly mobile-dependent society. In fact, Google recently changed its SEO algorithm to prioritize mobile results. And considering that 58% of Google searches take place on mobile devices – and 87% of smartphone users conduct at least one search daily – this isn’t surprising.

Mobile technologies are solidifying their role in the future, and the search engine algorithms will adjust accordingly. It’s all about streamlining the user experience.

If all this information about SEO makes your head spin a little bit, don’t worry. Whether you feel like an SEO expert already or you’re just getting started – or you’re somewhere in between – Brieffin can help. We have all the tools you need to revolutionize your social media, digital marketing, and SEO strategy.

After 8 years, we know how much and how quickly things change. But we’ve committed ourselves to the challenge of staying on top of it all and sharing that knowledge with others.

Reach out to us, and let’s get started. Together.

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Making The Most Of LinkedIn

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.

Jimmy Johnson

Some parts of the job search are the same as they’ve always been – like your resume and cover letter. But technological advances have led to some marked changes in how we make ourselves stand out as job candidates.

One of these big changes is the digital portfolio. Rather than bringing a paper folder to an interview, applicants can make an impression on hiring managers as soon as they apply. By attaching a link to an email, they can share a summary of their work digitally – allowing hiring managers to make quicker decisions on who to invite back for an interview.

But equally important, these days, is having a strong LinkedIn profile. As the world’s largest professional networking site, LinkedIn has secured its status as the place to be for job searchers, recruiters, and hiring managers alike. According to Hootsuite, 30 million companies have profiles on LinkedIn. And despite a stagnant number of new users on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn continues to grow year over year – with two professionals signing up for LinkedIn every second.

So, why is it so popular?

Essentially, a LinkedIn profile is like an interactive resume. It’s not limited to one or two physical sheets of paper, so you can add more detail. (My LinkedIn profile includes some of my less-relevant jobs – like when I was a waitress in college, though that definitely doesn’t make the cut on my official resume.) When you list a company as your employer, it becomes a live, codified link that is clickable for anyone seeking more information. And like a digital portfolio, you can upload samples of your work or important projects and display them on your profile as well.

If you’re looking for a job, LinkedIn is a good place to start. Three million jobs are posted on LinkedIn every month. Some of them, you can apply directly through LinkedIn with the click of a button. And not only will LinkedIn recommend jobs you may be interested in, but you can also utilize your network to help make connections within your desired companies.

Even if you’re not a job seeker, it’s a good way to stay in touch with industry trends and others in your network. You can join any number of specialty groups based on your profession or interests, which may even lead to new opportunities. Additionally, LinkedIn hosts its own blog publishing platform, allowing any user to blog about any topic they wish. You never know how far that post could reach!

At Brieffin, we want to help you take your professional image to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for website development, personal branding, resume design and writing, or even spicing up your LinkedIn profile, we’re here. For you.

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Why Good Website Design is Important

Creativity is a combination of discipline and childlike spirit.

Robert Greene

It’s 2019, and long-gone are the days of the “old” internet. The days when having a website at all was an achievement, rather than an expectation. The days when websites were designed using handwritten – hand-typed? – HTML and CSS codes. The days when the idea of visiting a website via mobile phone was completely unthinkable.

Now, things are totally different. Good web design – including appealing visual design, a strong user interface/user experience design, and responsiveness – is crucial to the success of any company, brand or personal brand, or business. 

But if you’re not convinced, here’s a list of four reasons why good web design is something you’ll want to aim for.

To make a good impression

When your customer visits your website, what is the first thing they’re going to see? Within just a few seconds – maybe without even scrolling – they’re going to make a judgment about your brand. It might not necessarily be a fair assessment, but it’s going to happen. So it’s important to be prepared.

According to a study by Adobe, consumers prefer to look at something that is beautifully-designed, rather than looking at something plain. With an uninspiring designed website, customers may be more likely to leave the page.

To build trust

It’s harder for an audience to want to trust a brand if a website isn’t mindfully done. As we’ve discussed in prior blog posts, most people still seek and crave human connection, even though we’re living in the online world. A clean, well-designed, updated website gives an important insight into the type of brand you are.

Your website can even serve as the first contact when it comes to customer service. It’s important to make your audience feel welcome when visiting you online.

To increase SEO

Search engine optimization – SEO – has become increasingly important over the years. If brands want to capitalize on the search engine algorithms, then it’s essential to create, and index, website content accordingly. Even the little things, like including photos and tagging information in the right way, can make a big difference.

It all comes down to visibility. Web design can be challenging – though it’s a bit more manageable with content management platforms, and good practice of SEO fundamentals are what can really help your website get a step ahead in the search engine algorithm game.

To stay competitive

Even if you’re skeptical about all these other reasons listed above, there’s one more that might make you think twice: good website design is essential if you’re planning to keep your brand or business competitive in your industry. The truth is that your competitors might already be working on designing the latest, greatest website.

With more than 1.5 billion websites online, why should audiences spend any of their time on websites that don’t offer a thoughtful experience? You can probably remember times when you’ve been searching online, and for whatever reason, you didn’t like or trust the website you were on. (Maybe you were on your phone and it wasn’t mobile-friendly.) What did you do? You probably left the page in search of the next website that met your needs. Good web design will keep your audience from doing the same thing to you.

We know web design isn’t easy, especially with the never-ending changes and evolutions in the technological landscape. At Brieffin, our digital marketing focus has led us to a wealth of experiences in the web design space. We are proud of the websites we’ve created in cooperation with our clients over the past years.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you achieve your website design goals, we’d love to chat with you – so reach out to us!

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Social Media Engagement: Building a Community

True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything.

Paul Pearsall

Social media users know the difference between a brand that engages with its consumers and one that doesn’t. Of those that engage, these social media interactions can make or break the associations that consumers have about your brand – positive or negative.

Although it may seem that negative interactions may have more lasting impacts, positive engagements can go further than you may think. In fact, these positive experiences can build a community of extremely devoted customers, who may be quite outspoken in their loyalty.

Here’s a personal example that I love to share:

I was once on a Southwest Airlines flight to San Francisco with a short layover in Los Angeles. While I was on the flight to LA, I received a courtesy text message notification that my flight to San Francisco had been canceled.

I started to panic. My mother and I were meeting in San Francisco for a weekend together, and I was afraid the trip was ruined. What if I couldn’t get there?

Since I was cruising at 10,000 feet, I couldn’t call Southwest to help me. I wasn’t able to rebook a new flight in my app. I had one option left: I bought the $8 in-flight WiFi service and sent a desperate direct message to Southwest on Twitter.

Within 45 minutes, a social media agent had responded, apologized for the inconvenience, booked me on the next available flight from LA to San Francisco, and checked me in for that flight.

By the time I touched the ground – as other passengers arrived to the news that their ongoing flight had been canceled and took their places in line at the customer service desk – I was ready to continue my journey, stress-free.

This happened more than three years ago, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve spoken about Southwest’s fantastic customer service and recommended them to others. With that service they provided to me, they converted me into a fan for life.

Though not all brands are in industries that can provide that kind of save-the-day service, social media engagement can still go a long way with your target audience to create a community of loyal customers.

Here are some best practices when it comes to social media engagement.

1. Respond in an appropriate timeframe for your business.

According to a study by Lithium Technologies, 53% of social media users who tweet at a brand expect to receive a response within one hour; 72% expect that response in the same timeframe if it’s a complaint. This is especially true with time-sensitive issues such as a delayed or canceled flight.

However, if you’re like us and have a specialized industry – like industrial brands – a prompt response would most likely not be expected by your audience. If they’re asking a highly technical question about a piece of equipment, you as a social media manager may not be equipped to answer that question. In that case, it’s best to post an acknowledgement of the question and then get in contact with a specialist who can answer the question.

In these cases, don’t worry about speed – the quality of response is more important.

2. Talk with your audience, not at them.

Most young people – Millennials and Generation Z – don’t like being targeted by brands. They’d rather engage with you on their own terms. This is where alternative channels for content creation, such as blog posts, can be beneficial. Provide this audience with useful information without expecting anything in return, and you’ll gain their trust organically.

3. Share the good stuff.

When your consumers are happy and tag you in their social media posts, share it on your own channels! It’s basically free advertising. Whether it’s selfies with LOESCHE Mills or an excited customer that just received a long-anticipated delivery, sharing this consumer-created content shows that you care and you’re celebrating their positive experiences with them.

4. Don’t censor your users.

Some social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, allow a brand to delete other users’ comments from their page. But the internet was meant for the freedom of expression, so instead of deleting a negative comment, think again about the best way to handle the issue. While not everyone may have the experience with your brand that you’re hoping for, attempting to silence those users reflects badly on your credibility.

5. Be authentic.

Some brands – particularly fast-food chains – have recently gone viral for their quick-witted humor and sarcastic clapbacks to consumers and other brands on social media. While some might enjoy this kind of social presence, others feel it gives an air of inauthenticity and “trying too hard.”

Remember to stay true to your brand’s voice. Consistency is important, and while your brand’s personality and tone may evolve over time, customers need to feel like they “know” you in order to feel a strong sense of loyalty.

Our world has always been about connectedness, and today’s technology allows us to connect in a different way, on a larger scale than ever before. By putting in the work to streamline your social media content efforts and engage with your consumers, everyone involved is able to benefit from this new form of connection – a true online community.

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Industrial social media specialists of the year 2020 - Spain