Casing Up Your Portfolio – Don’t Show, Do Tell – A Case Study

  • 6 mins read

Got a portfolio site? Great! – do you know what you missed out on?

Especially, if you are a dev or a designer – you likely have an outdated habit of listing your projects like this:

– Insert Project Name
– Insert Images that show off? Something that Google Images doesn’t?
– Insert Spam Keywords that don’t translate to anything
– And if you were smart, you added a link or two to the work you did
All snark aside, this is no longer enough to stand out.

Having a bunch of pictures and logos won’t tell anyone, anything
I mean you could have put anyone’s logos and claimed you worked on it –
Who has the time to verify, am I right?

Enter ‘Case Study’

A way to showcase your impact without breaking your back with design and dev updates.


Here’s the thing, generally speaking, people do portfolios for 2 reasons:

1 – To have a place to showcase themselves – for no reason at all – more power to you
2 – To have a place to showcase themselves – to get hired/get work – this is for you

Small difference in perspective – Big impact on your wallet.

Now what does a case study achieve that your older style of showcase didn’t?

1 – It shows you actually know what you did – didn’t just paste logos on your site
2 – It shows you are willing to share value by showing your process behind the work
3 – It shows you have the skills to document, present, and communicate your work – not just showcase it
4 – And, It shows you are smart enough to know that SEO is a thing – ok a little bit snark

Don’t get me wrong
A few case studies won’t rank you at the top as a dev or a designer – blame the SEO spammed sites –
But, a few of them DO get you to a place where many are not

Just google my name ‘Saqib Tahir’ and then google your name – notice a difference? 

If you do here’s why:
https://thewanderingpro.com/how-to-improve-your-presence-online/

If not, then I am delusional, I suppose

JK, I too don’t have case studies either,
‘Insert Brain Explodes Emoji’
Just like you, because –

Writing case studies is painfully annoying – who wants to write about what they worked on?

Until it clicked me – it doesn’t have to be arduous anymore – as cringe as it is – GPT can be useful here:

All you need is to input this to generate a Short Case Study

Project Name: Name
Some Details of the Project: A summary of what the project/work was based on
Tech Stack in use: Any technical aspects of the project/product
Key Challenges: 2-3 points of main issues you had
Key Solutions: 2-3 points of how you solved the issues
Key Impact: 1-2 points of how you created impact

Feed this 10-12 line excerpt into any gpt and you’d be surprised with the output.

Adjust and repeat till you have something that explains your work in greater detail than anyone else’s out there.

Here is the result for a Simple Case Study

Prompt

Write me a structured case study in the order of:
Summary
Challenges
Solutions
Impact

Here is what I have:

Project Name: Saqib’s Big Case Study

Details of the Project: A lot of freelancers and solo folks don’t have case studies on their portfolios and that harms their chances of standing out from the crowd.

Tech Stack in use: WordPress or any website builder, Writing tool like GPT to structure information,  Canva to design assets

Key Challenges: Most folks don’t know where to start writing a case study, most folks shy away from showing their work, most folks don’t have the time to detail out their work

Key Solutions: People can use tools like GPT to write out their initial variation of a case study, people should be proud of their work and show it on a pedestal, people should understand that this time investment is the largest leverage they will have when they are negotiating their next gig

Key Impact: Stand out as a professional with case studies to back your skillset and expertise

Results

Summary:
The “Saqib’s Big Case Study” project aims to address the challenges faced by freelancers and solo professionals who struggle to showcase their work effectively through case studies on their portfolios. Many individuals in these fields lack the guidance, time, or confidence to create compelling case studies, hindering their ability to stand out in a competitive market.

Challenges:

  1. Lack of Direction: Most freelancers and solo professionals are unsure about how to initiate and structure a case study, leading to hesitation and avoidance.
  2. Reluctance to Showcase Work: Many individuals shy away from showcasing their projects, fearing criticism or underestimating the value of their work.
  3. Time Constraints: Limited time resources prevent professionals from investing the necessary effort into detailing their work comprehensively.

Solutions:

  1. Utilizing Technology: Encouraging the use of tools like GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) to assist in the initial stages of case study creation. GPT can provide a structured foundation for content, making it easier for individuals to build upon.
  2. Promoting Pride in Work: Fostering a mindset shift where professionals take pride in their achievements and recognize the importance of showcasing their projects. This involves creating an understanding that displaying one’s work is not only a testament to skills but also a valuable asset in career advancement.
  3. Time Management Education: Providing insights into the long-term benefits of investing time in creating detailed case studies. Emphasizing that the time spent on documenting work can serve as a significant leverage point during negotiations for future projects.

Impact:

By implementing these solutions, the “Saqib’s Big Case Study” project aims to achieve the following impacts:

  1. Enhanced Professional Visibility: Individuals adopting these practices will stand out in their respective fields, showcasing their skills and expertise through well-crafted case studies.
  2. Increased Confidence: Encouraging professionals to take pride in their work will lead to increased confidence, positively influencing their approach to client interactions and project presentations.
  3. Negotiation Leverage: Investing time in creating comprehensive case studies will serve as a powerful tool during negotiations for future projects, enabling professionals to command higher rates and secure desirable opportunities.

In conclusion, the project seeks to empower freelancers and solo professionals with the tools, mindset, and understanding needed to overcome the challenges associated with creating and showcasing impactful case studies. Through these efforts, individuals can position themselves as standout professionals in the competitive landscape.

So here we are

Now I am no Proompt Engineer and neither am I claiming to be one – the example above shows with just 5 minutes of brain usage you can get something that actually does 10x more than anyone out there showcasing their work.

Will you be working on case studies now?
I know I am getting 5 done this month. Hopefully….

Case up your portfolios!