Saturday, April 28, 2007

the myth of online portfolios

How many design professionals, in a moment of weakness, give in to subscribing to an online portfolio web site?

I'll confess – I have myself, and the grand total of referrals and inquiry, let alone business developed from them, is... $0.

The sites ( and DirectoryM) aren't necessarily the most appropriate for a design firm to advertise on. Then again, neither are the yellow pages.

If you're a generalist firm, then perhaps they are a good option for your firm ( and then again, maybe not). But if you consider how many new clients you develop as a result of your web site, versus the relationships you nurture, then the answer should be fairly obvious.

A firm that specializes won't need a listing like that in a directory. Clients will seek you out as your expertise and reputation grows.

So... resist the siren song, so you don't get lost in the crowd of a directory. Invite your potential clients to come to your web site on your terms, not somebody else's.

1 comment:

dan said...


At we offer free portfolio listings as a way for people to drive traffic to their own sites. I agree somewhat with your notion that they do not do any good, I think however illustrators, photographers, and other freelancers benefit the most as art directors and designers look for talent.

Great blog by the way, keep up the good work.