Portfolio vs Case Study: Which One Does Your Business Need?

There are so many moving parts when you start a website. It can be difficult to know what information you need to include for your business. I’m frequently asked if case studies or a portfolio are needed on a website and if they’re really necessary for success. Let’s talk about the benefits of both and why I think you definitely need to feature one or the other on your site.

What is an Online Portfolio?

It’s designed as a way to feature your most recent work. Portfolios are commonly used in the creative field for artists, content creatives, and designers. It’s a great way to land a new job, find a freelance gig, or renegotiate your salary. You can easily add a landing page to your website, showcasing your work. It’s also helpful for potential clients to decide if they think it would be a good fit to work with you. Printed portfolios are still used during in-person interviews; however adding one to your website has become very popular and simple to send a link to anyone who would like to take a look. 

What Are Case Studies?

You’ll have the ability to showcase a past client and how you were able to help them achieve success. Typically, they’re featured as a landing page or downloadable pdf. An example of a case study  would be a web designer sharing how they rebranded their client’s website and, within three months, saw an additional 5000 views a month. There are a few points that should always be included in a case study, including:

  • The Issue – Identify your clients pain points or the problem they needed solved
  • How You Helped – Tell your audience how you outlined the project and created a plan to help your client resolve this issue.
  • Implement Your Strategy – This will where you include the most details. Provide the summarization of the process you took to help your client.
  • End Result – Show your readers the stats of the study. Give them tangible evidence to show that what you did was effective. This helps give them a reason to work with you when they can see that your strategy was effective

As a side note always be sure to get permission from a client before creating a case study about their business.

Online Portfolio or Case Study

Both are great ways to show potential clients what work you’ve in the past and to give them an idea of what it would be like working with you. Portfolios are excellent for freelancers such as artists, content writers, and graphic designers. Many people are looking for a simple project and need to quickly identify if you can get the job done and have a similar style to what they need. On the other hand, case studios appeal to clients who are looking for a data-driven perspective. They’ll be able to see stats and real-life examples of how you helped your past client. If you plan to sell a course or e-book, case studies are a great way to bring in new customers. By showing them how past clients have taken what they learned from your course to go out and accomplish great things.

Why Is It Important to Showcase Your Work? 

Your portfolio or case study are proof that you’re an expert in your niche. By showcasing past projects or successful campaigns, future clients will be able to have reassurance that you know what you’re doing and will be able to help them grow their own business. It also helps to match you with clients that will be a good fit. If you’re a technical writer, chances are a lifestyle blogger isn’t going to hire you. By providing samples, they can quickly determine if you’ll be a good fit saving you both time from having to go back and forth. 

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