How to Build a Stunning Social Media Portfolio: A Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

A step-by-step guide on building a stunning social media portfolio — navigate NDAs, create case studies, see examples — & get more work!

How to Build a Stunning Social Media Portfolio: A Step-by-Step Guide with Examples
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Social media is booming, and the need for social media marketers has exploded. Every team requires someone to handle their social media accounts, whether it's for content creation, monitoring brand mentions, or replying to customers.

Given this increasing demand, you might be considering how to promote your abilities and services in this crowded market. That's where a social media portfolio can help you seal the deal in several ways.

An essential aspect of social media is that algorithms are constantly evolving. So, what worked six months ago on Twitter, may not work as well anymore. And hence, there's a lot of outdated information on what works on a social media platform. Your social media portfolio can illustrate that you're up-to-date with current trends and have the body of work to prove your worth.

This article will dive into all aspects of creating the perfect social media portfolio. We'll cover the basics: the what, the why, and the how, and then guide you on what you need to look out for when choosing a social media portfolio builder, followed by examples of some fantastic portfolios.

What is a social media portfolio?

A social media portfolio is a collection of your social media work samples that you've done either on a freelance/contract/full-time basis for yourself, for clients, or as part of in-house staff. It is proof of your expertise, that you're staying current with social media trends, that you've driven results, and in all likelihood, will be able to do so again for prospective clients. A résumé or CV pales in comparison as you cannot showcase your creativity, skills, and expertise for potential employers to trust you.

Why you need a social media portfolio

As mentioned above, a social media marketing portfolio can be the difference between a client or an employer passing on your profile or not. Yes, the market is flourishing, but the competition for these roles is quite high. To stand out, you'll need to showcase a track record of successful campaigns that have produced the outcomes your potential client or employer is looking for.

A social media portfolio can demonstrate how you've gone about your work by showcasing the content you created directly. A CV or résumé can only highlight where you've worked and a synopsis of the results you've driven.

For potential clients, actually being able to see the work that you've done will go a long way in convincing them to pick you.

Tips on how to present your social media marketing portfolio

To begin with, let's address the more pertinent questions that come up when you create a social media portfolio.

1. Navigating an NDA, ghostwritten, or agency content

In your career as a social media manager, you're likely to be working on various social media profiles where clients are reticent about letting you showcase the work on your portfolio website. It can happen when you've signed a non-disclosure agreement, you're a social media ghostwriter, or you've worked for an agency under contract to keep their involvement with the final client private.

So, the question is, how do you reliably demonstrate that you've been involved in the campaign?

There are some cumbersome ways around it: you can reach out to ask for permission, blur out the company name from the creatives, etc.

But the best way to showcase this social media content is via a private link. Here's where you should be careful about picking the right social media portfolio builder — choose a builder that lets you create a private collection.

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Authory is one such portfolio website builder that allows you to create super useful collections for NDA, ghostwritten, or agency content.

2. Showcase both high-quality work and the amount of work

On numerous occasions, I've come across advice online that suggests a portfolio website should showcase just your best work. And this advice is the same for writing, journalist, digital marketing, content marketing, or social media marketing portfolios.

I'm afraid I wholeheartedly have to disagree.

Yes, your portfolio website should contain your best work, but that is not enough. Your career can't be reduced to four or five content pieces, whether they're social media creatives, articles, or more. As a marketer, it is crucial to showcase all your content, which is true for social media, writing, content marketing, or digital marketing portfolios.

Especially in the case of a social media portfolio, you will want to present your expertise and experience across various social media campaigns — you need to show off the breadth and depth of your work. That is a sure-shot method to impress potential clients. They will be able to judge your portfolio more thoroughly and know that you aren't a one-trick pony who got lucky with a single social media campaign or tweet that went viral.

If you listen to the advice above, remember to organize your portfolio website so potential clients can easily navigate through it. Also, pick a portfolio builder that allows you to import all your content from your social media profiles.

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Authory is a portfolio service where you can import thousands of social media posts — a process that backs up all your content as well.

3. Create collections for your favorite social media campaigns

One way to organize your social media portfolio for easy navigation is to use collections. Collections are groupings of your portfolio that you can employ for a more systematic presentation — for a specific campaign, client, or creative type (image, video, etc.).

And remember, since you're showcasing all your work, you do need to curate it into collections for easy parsing.

It's great to use collections to highlight your favorite campaigns and make them shine. This can be for campaigns that were highly creative, drove results, or both.

Additional creative projects: While your social media portfolio should focus on your social media content, you might have written the occasional article, or you might have been a guest in a podcast, YouTube video, interview, etc. This additional activity can increase your credibility, and you can feature it on a separate tab (or collection) on your portfolio.

Client testimonials: You can even use collections for client testimonials. Simply write up all the testimonials and collect them into a single section. A collection like this will give confidence to potential clients and employers.

Case studies: Write up your case studies and place them in one section in your portfolio so your prospective clients can quickly go through them and truly understand your digital marketing genius. Each case study should focus on the goals, the creative work that went into it, and the results achieved — a case study isn't complete unless you have data to back you up.

Here are a couple of portfolios where case studies have been showcased:

  • Gabriel Swain is a digital marketing specialist who has been in the business for over fifteen years.
  • Pamela Rosen is a B2B and B2C creator for both short and long-form content.

4. Have a great "About" section

The "About" section can discuss how you got into social media and your love for what you do. It shouldn't be too long — a paragraph or two should do — but it should sound both affable and professional while elucidating the motivations behind your social media career.

I especially love this example of a great "About" section from Liz Fong-Jones.

Liz’s great “About” section

She isn't a social media manager per se, but developer advocates like Liz are generally involved with the community and hence, social media. That said, it's such a good illustration of what you should aim for!

Notice how she says what her current role is at the outset, then goes on to talk about her past experience in a way that highlights her expertise using keywords that are relevant to her field. And then finally, she tops it off with personal details that give clients a far more holistic idea of who she is as a person. Amazing!

Besides saying how brilliant you are in this section, you may want to include your contact information and social media profiles. This can vary depending on the portfolio website builder that you use.

To that end, let's discuss what you should look for in a portfolio builder.

What the ideal social media portfolio builder should have

1. Auto-updating functionality

The ideal social media portfolio builder should be able to self-update. As a marketer, I find that I don't have time to update my portfolio, and I'm sure you're in the same boat. An auto-updating portfolio builder solves that issue.

And, more so than with other forms of digital marketing, social media portfolios are about timeliness. There's no point in showing potential clients a two-year-old post on your portfolio. But if you can showcase posts that are just a few days or even hours old — that's amazing!

So, look out for this functionality when you're shopping around.

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Note: A portfolio built on Authory self-updates. Once your social media profiles are added, those will continuously update on their own.

2. Backup functionality

I've known folks who have lost access to their social media accounts because they were hacked or erroneously banned. The truth is, you don't own your content if it's on a social media website.

Moreover, social media tends to be somewhat ephemeral. Content gets deleted, blocked, and, more importantly, often can't be found anymore — you may have experienced difficulty in locating a tweet from the past.

So, it's critical to have a backup of all your content. And ideally, your portfolio builder should do this for you.

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Note: Authory is a portfolio builder that automatically backs up all your content forever so that you own your content.

3. Search functionality to keep track of all your work

At some point in your career, you will want to look back on your old ideas for inspiration or research. This can be especially hard when it comes to social media work because it's virtually impossible to reliably locate previous tweets, LinkedIn posts, and the like.

That's where your portfolio builder should help out — search functionality where you can trawl through thousands of posts in seconds — a perfect research assistant.

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Note: Authory has in-built search functionality where anything you've ever posted is at your fingertips — even if you haven't specifically added that tweet from eons ago.

4. Easy setup

The ideal portfolio builder needs to be easy to set up — you don’t want to spend forever looking at your past social media content, then trying to create a homepage to add the content there, etc.

It must be simple, intuitive, and, most importantly, fast. So, look for a portfolio builder that can get you up and running within minutes.

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Note: Setting up your portfolio with Authory takes only three minutes, even if you have thousands of social media posts.

How to create your stunning social media portfolio: a step-by-step guide

We'll use Authory to make the perfect social media portfolio.

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Note: We're using Rishi Alwani's work to create this portfolio. Rishi, who has very kindly consented to us doing this, is a renowned gaming journalist based in India. Besides his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, you can find more of his writing on his Substack or the gaming website he runs.

Step 1: Add social media sources

First, sign up for Authory's 14-day free trial, and then import your sources, social media or otherwise, into Authory.

Importing your social media content into Authory

Step 2: Build a collection

Next, build a collection. Go to the “Collections” tab at the top, and create a new collection as shown below.

Creating a collection on Authory

Let’s create a Twitter collection of all tweets. The name and description can be anything you feel are best.

Naming a collection on Authory

There are two methods to create a collection. Let’s choose the first — the “Set Rules” option.

Using the “Set Rules” option to create a collection on Authory

Follow the steps in the wizard and choose the source for the collection. In this case, we’ve selected Twitter as the source.

Selecting Twitter as the source for this collection on Authory

Here’s how the collection will look after set up.

Twitter collection on Authory

Let’s pin a tweet that we want seen first by potential clients and employers.

Pinning a post inside a collection on Authory

This is how it will look once pinned.

Pinned post in a collection on Authory

Step 3: Add the collection to your portfolio

Next, we need to add the collection to the portfolio. Unless this connection is made, the collection will not show up on the portfolio.

Navigate to the “Portfolio” tab at the top, and click on “Add existing collection”. We’ll choose the Twitter collection.

Adding the Twitter collection to the portfolio on Authory

Step 4: Customize your portfolio’s look

Now, we can customize the portfolio — edit the name and bio, change the portfolio cover, alter the header and content layouts, add social media links, highlight buttons, and more.

Customizing your portfolio on Authory

Let’s first create a great “About” section by editing the name and bio.

Editing the “About” section on Authory

Next, let’s swap the portfolio cover for something more in line with the content.

Editing the portfolio cover image on Authory

We can also add social media profiles and other links.

Adding social media profiles on Authory

Let’s also edit the highlight button and instead of using the “Contact” option, let’s add another link.

Editing the highlight button on Authory

Step 5: Share your portfolio

Now, we can share the portfolio using the “Share” tab on the left. This is what it looks like at the moment.

A portfolio page on Authory

Once we add more collections (for LinkedIn and more) to the portfolio, it’ll look like this.

A portfolio with multiple collections on Authory

Bonus: showcasing ghostwritten content, agency content, or content under an NDA

If you need to showcase ghostwriting, agency content, or social media content that’s under an NDA, you can create a private collection.

To do that, go to the “Collections” tab at the top. And click on “+ Create collection” as shown below.

Creating a private collection on Authory

For the purposes of this example, let’s assume that all the content on YouTube needs to be private as the content is owned by others. We can name the collection accordingly.

Creating a private collection called “YouTube Appearances” on Authory

Let’s select the YouTube source for this collection.

Adding YouTube as a source for the private collection on Authory

Now, this collection can be shared privately using the link generated on the left.

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Note: If at any point, you’d like to revoke access to the link, you can do so by toggling the “Share to web” button.
Sharing a private collection on Authory

And here’s how it’ll appear to anyone with the private link.

Seeing a private collection on Authory shared

And that’s it!

The next section will show you how you can get even more creative with your Authory portfolio with a few social media portfolio examples.

Ten social media portfolio examples for inspiration

We’ve picked a few amazing social media portfolio examples that are all built using Authory!

Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce is a social media ghostwriter for leading entrepreneurs.

Bruce's portfolio on Authory

Rhonda Bradley

Rhonda primarily writes SEO-optimized content for brands but also has a collection of B2B social media marketing content in her portfolio.

Rhonda's portfolio on Authory

Sam Sied

Sam is a writer and social media marketer telling stories about creative people, small businesses, nonprofits, and difference-makers. She has a social media collection in her portfolio.

Sam Sied's portfolio on Authory

Kristen Dahlin

Kristen is a writer and social media marketer working in the B2B and B2c space. She has a collection of work on social media marketing.

Kristen's portfolio on Authory

Zoë Prior

Zoë is a business consultant who specializes in business innovation, social media, and low-cost software to scale your business. She has a ton of content on her social media profile and has pinned a LinkedIn post on her portfolio.

Zoë's portfolio on Authory

Adam Houlahan

Adam is an International Keynote Speaker specializing in LinkedIn strategies for entrepreneurs, and the CEO of Prominence Global. He has divided his portfolio into collections of LinkedIn status posts and LinkedIn company posts.

Adam's portfolio on Authory

Randy Caparoso

Randy is a full-time wine journalist/photographer living in Lodi, California. He has a collection of his LinkedIn Op-Eds.

Randy's portfolio on Authory

Richard Bird

Richard is the founder and president of R.BIRD. He has a strong social presence and his minimal, clean, portfolio has content from LinkedIn.

Richard's portfolio on Authory

Aaron Agius

Aaron is a business buyer, marketer, and author, and is also incredibly popular on social media. His portfolio features content from his LinkedIn profile.

Aaron's portfolio on Authory

Jessica Burgoyne

Jessica is a freelance content writer working primarily in legal, legal tech, and lawtech. Her portfolio features content from Twitter.

Jessica's portfolio on Authory
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Social media portfolio FAQs

What is a social media portfolio?

A social media portfolio is a collection of all your social media work presented in a way so that potential clients and employers can gain an understanding of your skills, expertise, and experience running campaigns, posting content, and driving results.

How do I set up a social media portfolio?

To set up a portfolio, use a portfolio builder like Authory. Simply add your social media accounts and any other website sources, and Authory will find all your content and import it into your account. Then build collections and connect these to your portfolio. Work on your "About" section, customize your portfolio's look and feel, and then you can share it with prospects.

What should be in a social media manager's portfolio?

A media manager's portfolio should have all their content organized into parsable collections for client testimonials, case studies, and campaign highlights and wins. By doing this, prospective clients and employers will get a fuller understanding of how you went about achieving marketing results, and hence will be likelier to engage with your services.

How do I create a media portfolio?

Use a portfolio website builder like Authory to create your portfolio. Add your sources, build collections, work on your about section, and beautify your portfolio. The collections can be for case studies, client testimonials, marketing wins, and more.

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