5 Reasons ‘Personal Work’ is the Key to Unlocking Dream Clients
When I first left college my goal was to have an online portfolio of almost all client work, but the work that kept drawing clients in was my personal work.
I still think having good clients under your belt is very important, but I think when it comes to your portfolio, it’s your personal work that really shines, and here’s why:
1. It helps your break into new industries…
Would you buy a computer if the display model didn’t work? No way.
In a similar way, Clients will not hire you to do work that you haven’t displayed that you can do. No one likes taking risks with money.
Creating personal work which exhibits qualities that you believe your dream clients are looking for makes you one step closer to breaking into that industry.
2. Clients don’t want to look like other companies…
Clients want a starting block to build on, and they don’t want a starting block that’s another competitor’s finish line. All of your client work is work that companies have already done. Target doesn’t want to look like Sony did last year.
Good clients want something fresh. Work with no relation to any client is great for this.
3. It’s shareable!!!
Have you ever seen companies trying extremely hard to ‘go viral’? Doesn’t it remind you of the kids in high school that tried extremely hard to be cool?
Having a hidden agenda to ‘go viral’ is easy to smell a mile away, and it makes it harder to enjoy the content. In a similar way, there are possible hidden agendas when work is attached to a brand. This is just an extra hurdle for someone who might share your work on a blog or in a tweet.
4. You can become the ‘insert specialty here’ guy…
Want to be the ‘type’ guy? Want to be the ‘funky patterns’ guy?
I wanted to be the ‘character’ guy, that’s why I spent an hour every weekday for a year drawing 260 of them on my NOD blog. This project has brought in the best work of my life because it’s suited to the type of work that I really want, character work!
P.S. doing 260 characters also made me a lot better at making characters!)
5. People love to work with people…
People hate to work with robots and they can’t trust ‘em! Think about the people you loved working with most, I can almost guarantee it had something to do with the fact that you could relate to them as a person.
Personal work is a great way for people to get to know your personality, strengths and ideas. True, being yourself can eliminate clients from working with you, but it means the ones that are best suited to you will be more interested!
Personal work is a must! It takes a lot of discipline to pour the time and energy needed to make great personal work, but it has the highest potential for reward.
Has personal work been important to you?