How to Create a Smutlancer Portfolio
Is a smutlancer portfolio a requirement to find clients or get published? Not at all. But it can be a handy marketing tool to promote yourself and show off your abilities. It’s also an easy to way let a publication or brand you want to work with know what you’re all about.
No one can guarantee success with any specific tool, but being able to showcase your best work in a portfolio definitely helps. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Portfolio and Why is It Important?
This of your portfolio as a resume or CV. Instead of listing all the jobs you’ve had in the past five or ten years, you’re showcasing the work you’ve actually completed — with text links or images. It’s not a list of job titles; it’s proof of work you’re capable of doing.
An online portfolio for any content creator isn’t that much different from an artist’s portfolio. Instead of a binder, though, you’ve got a single page to hold your work. A smutlancer portfolio should showcase examples of the type of content you create — text, audio, graphic, video — and some of your best or favorite (or both) examples of that work.
- Content that received a lot of positive attention
- Work that you’re really proud that you did
- Things you’ve created that showcase your skills and breadth of your ability
Whether someone comes across your portfolio as they browse the web or because you send them a link, you’re giving them a quick glance at what you’re capable of. Catch their eye, and they make have a deeper look.
How to Set Up a Portfolio
There’s no single right way to make a portfolio.
- Create a page on your existing website and add links to your published work. This is relatively easy and completely free.
- Set up a subdomain (portfolio.YOURWEBSITENAME.com) or new domain name and use a portfolio theme. Setting up a new domain and choosing a professional theme costs as much as you’re willing to pay.
- Use an outside tool like Contently to showcase your written work.
Contently is something I learned about when I wanted a portfolio for my vanilla writing work (under my legal name). It’s a free tool but requires manual input for smaller or lesser known sites. It’s not sex-friendly, but it let me create a portfolio as Kayla Lords (check it out here).
To add your work, you can either type in the URL of a website who’s published your work and let Contently pull in the work it finds. Or add URLs manually for each post or article you’ve had published. It’s a little time consuming but ultimately creates an easy link to add to your website or send to anyone interested in seeing your work.
Bonus, by creating a free portfolio with Contently, you can also (potentially) pitch to other publications who look for freelancers through their site. Which, let’s be real, will be primarily vanilla content — so this may be a better option for smutlancers who side hustle as a vanilla freelancer, too.
What Work Should Be in Your Portfolio?
What exactly should you include in your smutlancer portfolio? Ideally the best, most successful content you’ve created. A viral blog post. The podcast episode with the most downloads. Content that got the most attention on social media. Any work you’re proud of for any reason.
But that’s not enough. You also want to showcase work that you want to do more of. Blog posts, social media, video, graphics, audio — any and all content you’ve created is fair game in your portfolio.
You can organize your portfolio by content type: written, audio, graphic, etc. or you can organize by topics: kink, sex, gender, sexuality, etc. Or you can scrap both ideas and go alphabetic, date of publication, or some other system. But put your best work as close to the top as possible. You don’t want it to be missed and most people skim until something catches their attention.
What To Do if You Haven’t Been Published Yet?
You don’t have to have work published by someone else to create a portfolio. You can begin right now with your own content.
- Add what you’ve published to your own sex blog or YouTube channel (or wherever).
- Guest post for a fellow smutlancer and add that link to your portfolio.
- Share links when your work (writing, pictures, etc) have been featured in round-ups or Share Our Shit Saturday posts. This counts as social proof that others enjoy your work.
As your pitches are accepted or you’re hired to create content for a brand, you can add links to that into your portfolio. You can replace your former links or simply move them down the page. It’s up to you.
These may be the most difficult to get, but if you have them, use them. When a client or brand says something nice about your work, ask if you can use it as a testimonial. Grab links to tweets where someone you admire or respect complimented your work.
Once you have a good working relationship with someone, ask for a testimonial. The good things they say about you may help a brand make a decision about whether to reach out to you. Because, frankly, it’s not just about doing quality work (although that’s extremely important). It’s also about meeting deadlines, offering good service, and being a smutlancer people want to work with. What your clients say about you helps you find more work.
Should Social Media Be Included in a Portfolio?
That depends on the kind of work you want to be hired to do.
If you want brands and companies to advertise with you or hire you as an influencer, you may be better off with a media kit. The quick and dirty definition of a media kit is a snapshot in time of your social media and blog following and what your personal brand is all about. (I’ll do a more in-depth post on this soon.)
But there’s also nothing wrong with including information about your social media in your portfolio, too. This may be helpful if a brand wants to leverage your name as one of their content creators. Sort of an “And look who writes stuff for us now!” kind of thing. This won’t be important to everyone who needs sex-based content, but it won’t hurt to include it either.
Including your social media information is definitely a personal choice. Just remember, you’ll have to update this frequently as your audience grows, too.
Why is a Portfolio Important?
I said at the beginning that a portfolio isn’t required when you’re looking to get hired as a smutlancer. And it’s not. But it can be valuable.
It provides a quick glance of your talents and abilities.
Your portfolio serves as social proof that other companies or brands will hire you.
You have a single place to showcase multiple projects, techniques, styles, and skills. Many of us do more than a single thing (writing, editing, etc.).
Ultimately, your portfolio gives potential companies a more complete view of what you’re capable of.
To get more eyes on your portfolio, link to it on your website, share it on social media, and send it to brands or companies you pitch. It’s not the single tool that will get you hired, but it helps you appear more professional and it will definitely help make a good impression with companies you want to work with.
Over to you…do you have a portfolio already? Is this the first time you’ve ever heard of a portfolio?
Great article, Kayla 🙂 Do you routinely update yours? I find that my media one-pager is often slightly out of date each time I go to use it 😕 how often do you recommend re-visiting it?
Unfortunately, no, I don’t. I think it’s very important to update it in the beginning, when you’re establishing your business. But once you’ve got steady work, it begins to feel less important — although it should still be updated.
I would say it should be updated at least every six months, but sooner if you have something really important you want to add to it.
I don’t update mine often enough. At minimum, you should update a media kit every six months to a year. But anytime you go through big changes (a large following, big growth, etc) so ahead and update it. If nothing else, plan to update it before you send it out, if you’re not emailing it on a regular basis already.