Video is becoming an essential part of content marketing. Consumers love it. According to research by HubSpot, 55% of people are more engaged when they watch a video than when they read a blog post. Combine that with Cisco’s prediction that by 2021 video will make up 82% of all consumer traffic and we’ve got quite rosy picture. Video is going places.
Now is the perfect time to put together your killer video portfolio and land the work of your dreams. Let’s take a look at how to structure, craft, and promote your portfolio so you attract the right kind of people.
Video portfolio examples
When it comes to putting together your portfolio, you’ve got a number of options. You can create a video portfolio website, put together a video reel, or use a portfolio service. Let’s take a look at how some other awesome people are doing it.
The self hosted website
Zangs Film are a production team specializing in high quality cinematic videos ranging from small shoots to large scale corporate productions.
Their website tells visitors more about them and the services they offer. They’ve made sure their work is front and center, and show off an extensive portfolio with short descriptions of the purpose behind each piece and the client that commissioned it.
If you want to set up your own business, a clean website that shows off your best work and tells people what you do and how to reach you is invaluable. It gives you an air of professionalism and shows clients you’re committed to making things happen.
The Carbonmade portfolio
Animator Jacquelyn Evans uses portfolio service Carbonmade to host her video portfolio. This portfolio offers a compelling snapshot of the animator’s best work to hook the viewer — and it works. Once you’ve seen the demo reel of what the artist can do, more info and full versions of the works are just one click away.
Using a service like Carbonmade to host your video portfolio is a great alternative to investing time and money into building a complete website. It works really well if you’re looking to land a job with your dream company or dip your toes into the world of freelance work.
The video reel
Director and animator Hannah Jacobs uses her own website to show off her work, including this beautiful showreel of her most recent projects.
Hannah creates within a number of mediums — from animation, to illustration, to animated illustrations. Hannah’s portfolio website seamlessly showcases her illustrations and videos alongside each other, and lets her feature the show-stopping showreel front and center.
Video portfolio websites
As we saw from the video portfolio examples above, when it comes to presentation, you’ve got a lot of options.
The self-hosted route
You can create your own portfolio website and host it online. Here are a few options:
Self-hosted WordPress Site: Buy hosting through a provider like SiteGround (disclosure: we have no affiliation with these guys, but a few of our people use them and they’re pretty great.) Use the WordPress CRM with a responsive theme designed for video portfolios. There are a lot of themes out there, so here are few to get you started on your search. Check out Vlog, Videobox, and Videotouch.
Squarespace: If you want an easy-to-build, super-intuitive site with ready made themes, Squarespace is a great option. While their visual themes are mostly designed to help photographers and designers display their work, themes like Wexley are among the best Squarespace templates for video as well.
- Wix: Like Squarespace, Wix is a hosted service with its own templates. They have a number of templates specifically designed for showing off a video portfolio — scroll through them to find the right one for you!
A professional site can look pretty attractive to clients, but it does involve some upkeep. A self-hosted WordPress site probably takes the most work but gives you a huge amount of flexibility. Before you choose, you need to decide how much time (and money) you’re willing to invest.
Host your portfolio using a service
Carbonmade costs $12USD a month and limits the number of videos you can upload, but it’s really easy to use and makes you part of a searchable user base that potential clients can use to find you. A Pro Dripbook account costs $24USD a month and lets you upload up to 12 HD videos.
To be honest, the cost is quite similar to hosting your own site with a service like Squarespace, so it really comes down to two things: time and marketing. A portfolio service adds you to their database so clients can find you and requires no maintenance on your part. If you create your own site, you have to take charge of your own marketing.
Video Portfolio Tips
We looked at how to physically create a portfolio and now it’s time to dive into the stuff that’s gonna get you noticed. How do you create an irresistible portfolio that lets you put your best foot forward?
1. Show off your best work
This isn’t the time to throw in everything you’ve ever done. Be picky. Choose projects that have value and show off specific skills.
2. Show work that emphasises your unique style
Show people why they should want you instead of someone else. Include video samples that emphasise your unique style and show off the kind of videos you like making.
In the case of work, opposites don’t attract. You’ll likely get offered projects similar to what you’ve already done. That’s why you should include samples of work you’ve done, but also, in your own time, create some examples of the kind of videos you’d like to be making, and include those too.
3. Keep the quality sky high
Show off high quality videos that stream quickly and don’t take ages to buffer. Hosting your video on a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo could help you streamline the quality.
4. Make the video the star of the show
Your video portfolio has one purpose — to show people why you’re great so they fall in love with your work. That’s why your videos need to take front and centre — this isn’t the time for pretty packaging. Less is more.
5. Have a strong CTA
A lot of creators make something, put it out in the world, and expect people to come to them. The truth is, people are lazy. We often chose the path of least resistance and unless we are prompted to act, we don’t.
That’s why you need a strong call to action at the end of each video. Tell people what you’d like them to do next.
- If you’re hosting your video on YouTube, use YouTube cards to craft an interactive CTA and send people to your service page
- Ask viewers to follow you on social media
- Ask for a video share
Whatever you want, whatever your goal is, make sure you ask. Because if you don’t ask, you won’t get.
We watched a lot of incredible video portfolios while putting this post together, and many of them suffered from the same mistake: simple spelling errors.
Small, obvious errors can really detract from your otherwise awesome video skills, so before you hit publish, have someone else proofread it. Trust us, this is a worthwhile investment. (And yes. We realize that because we’ve said this, there will be a simple spelling mistake somewhere in this post. Guaranteed.)
A video portfolio that does your work justice
A video portfolio will help you show your work, attract new clients or leads, and land that dream gig. Show off your personality, include work you love and have fun with it.
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