So you’re getting ready to take your graphic design, photography, architecture, or other portfolio online, or you’re just considering transitioning to a new platform. Is Behance for you? Here are 7 reasons I think it’s invaluable. And no, Adobe didn’t pay me to write this post.
1. Efficiency: The Behance user interface makes it quick and easy to upload your portfolio and take it live in no time. With minimal requirements about image dimensions, few required fields, and no external hosting plan required, adding projects on the fly is painless, compared to competitors. You can even add new projects from the mobile app, which is perf for the instant gratification type… guilty as charged.
2. Networking: One of the beautiful aspects of the platform is that it knows no geographical boundaries. Explore and follow other designers you appreciate who are across the world, that you likely would never discover any other way. Seek inspiration on new projects and “appreciate” work; the bonus to that is it’s quite frequently reciprocated.
3. Job Seeking: Major companies like Google, Facebook, and MTV turn to Behance for their recruitment and talent searches. The engine is so powerful, that even if they find a designer they like that is thousands of miles away, or not seeking new opportunities, they can search “similar” projects which uses a complex algorithm to potentially find similar designers like you. The testimonials from designers say it all, like this one, from Barton Smith who posted an experimental project that landed him his dream job: “I first received a call from Facebook in 2009, having just posted my ‘Facebook Facelift’ project to Behance. Three years later, I was sitting in their Menlo Park office, interviewing for a position. They hadn’t forgotten about that design.”
4. Exposure: I won’t lie, just a few months ago, my own portfolio wasn’t on Behance. But after attending AdobeMAX it was quickly inculcated in me that it’s an invaluable resource, so I got right on it. In one week, my (incomplete) portfolio received 253 views, 58 likes, and an email from a recruiter asking if I was exploring new job opportunities. That’s way more exposure than any external, SEO optimized personal portfolio would ever receive. And, every time you upload a new project, you get quick links to share your new work on social media, earning even more exposure.
5. Industry Standard – With 63 million project views in the last 30 days, Behance has essentially become an “industry standard” portfolio site, and is accepted by recruiters far and wide. Gone are the days where you need to tinker with WordPress themes, pay monthly for Squarespace, or code your own site. Unless you boast programming and HTML/CSS skills, I personally don’t believe it’s necessary to have a fancy bells and whistles portfolio site up for graphic designers; your work should speak for itself. However, if you are a programmer, I would still supplement your own personal website with a Behance version of your portfolio, for traffic and exposure purposes.
6. Customizability: For those of you who do feel the need to express a certain amount of individuality on top of your own projects, Behance has all kinds of color mods and shortcodes to modify the standard layout. But, if you’re yearning for more, you can upgrade to a ProSite which has more extensive variations on layout and design, the option to live on your own URL, and is ad-free. What I love most, is switching at any time from a standard Behance site to a ProSite is just a few clicks away, the two sites will sync right up and you don’t even have to re-upload projects or input content over again. Plus, if you’re already a Creative Cloud subscriber, it’s free of charge!
7. Statistics: Unlike hosting your own portfolio website, Behance offers the opportunity to view specific statistics about individual projects and galleries. Watch metrics and make decisions on what you should post in the future based on performance. No one likes a bloated portfolio, so if projects aren’t getting acknowledgement and traffic, maybe it’s time to replace it with something more noteworthy, or reconsider your tags and categories.