How to Create a Sophisticated Portfolio When You’re Starting Out

  • Step 1: Find your “why”
  • Step 2: Save money
  • Step 3: Get a part-time job or steady income to survive
  • Step 4: Buy your tools
  • Step 5: Hustle

Step 6: Create your brand

Building a brand isn’t as tough as it seems, mainly because nothing’s set in stone when you first start out. You can still change the direction if you’ve made a mistake. While these are crucial steps to build a successful agency, I wouldn’t sweat too much on your branding if your core principles and essences are there.

Step 7: Create your portfolio

I hope you have at least 3 strong projects to showcase by now. Don’t worry about a small number because you’ll be doing more work later.

Step 8: Build your online presence

Nowadays, there are many cheap options for your online home. You can build a website yourself, hire someone to build it, or use off-the-shelf solutions.

Step 9: Take risks while turning a profit

I need to add that at this point, I was running Relab as a one-man show — pitching to clients, building websites and designing — the works. When I needed extra help with coding, I would outsource it to people I trust. My mainstay was mostly building and revamping websites around the 4-figure mark.



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Alvin Hermanto

Alvin Hermanto


Family first // Principal @relabstudios // Customer-obsessed digital design agency // Design sprint advocate // Melbourne // Say hello @alhermanto