As a copywriter you need an online portfolio. But, if you put your work up on Behance, do you still need your own site, too?
Short answer? Yes.
Longer answer? Yes, yes, yes.
Keep Prospective Clients Focused on Your Work
With so many great sites out there dedicated to hosting your online portfolio, you might be asking yourself why I’m so adamant about you creating your very own site.
If you’re not familiar with it, Behance (and other sites like it, such as the less-used Creative Hotlist) are sites that host many people’s portfolios. They usually give you the ability to upload your pieces within their prescribed template and a place to write a bio about yourself.
They host many people’s portfolios and offer employers and clients a way to search for talent and then contact the candidates they like. You can certainly get business from Behance. And you can absolutely put your samples and bio up on these sites if you want to.
Now, for the downside of these sites, all we have to do is go back to the last paragraph’s first sentence: These sites offer people a way to search for other talent. And that means that if you provide your client with “www.creativehotlist.com/[YourName]” as your portfolio site, they can go there to check out your work—and then search through the listings for other writers.
Now, I’m not saying that every potential employer will do this. But look at it this way: If you needed to hire a plumber and your plumber gave you a link to a site that listed him but also many, many other plumbers, wouldn’t you at least look around?
All I’m saying is that you don’t want to give people the opportunity to be distracted by other writers when what you really want them to do is go through your pieces and read your bio. You want to keep them single-mindedly focused on you.
When you send them a link to Behance, they have the opportunity (whether they take it or not) to then also search other writers. But when you send them a link to your website at your dedicated URL, the only thing they’ll be focused on is you, your talent and deciding whether or not you might be a good fit for their needs in.
Stay in Control of Your Client Outreach
When you send prospective clients to your own, personal portfolio site, you control the interaction much more so than when you send them to a portfolio listing site.
Behance isn’t like Upwork. On Behance, clients can reach out to you about potential projects, but you still have the ability to turn that work down and talk through rates. On Upwork, clients propose the projects and any number of creatives can submit proposals for the work. That means you’re spending tons of time on proposals that may not be selected (which is often the case since clients on Upwork want the best work for the cheapest rate). It’s a race to the bottom.
But on any of these sites—Behance or Upwork (and others like them)—you’re still putting control of your career in other hands. The best way to avoid freelance dry spells and control your income is to control your client outreach. And the best way to do that? Value-based pitching.
Should you go ahead and set up a listing on a site like Behance? Absolutely. But you also need to set up your own portfolio website. And that URL is the one you need to be sending out to potential employers and including on your resume/selected credits resume.
On Episode 22 of the Build Your Copywriting Business podcast, Nicki and Kate dig further into why copywriters need an online portfolio. Learn what most online copywriting portfolios are missing, plus what you should keep off your online portfolios and how you can make your portfolio stand out.
Your turn! Do you have a standalone portfolio site or a page on a portfolio listing site? Or both? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on July 1, 2023