It’s important for any freelancer to have a portfolio of work ready for a potential client to take a look at and make a hiring decision.
Clients like to know that they’re in good hands and some can be particularly cautious when hiring someone online. So it’s important to show them that you’re competent, experienced and can produce similar quality work for them.
Make sure you’ve got something to put on it first of all. If you’re new to freelancing this is going to be more difficult. You’ve got a number of options. You could do work for free or for low fees in order to build up some experience and evidence of it. If you’ve got friends of family you can do a piece of work for, you can always use these as part of your portfolio or even get testimonials from them.
Your other alternative is to create samples of work as if you had been hired. Just make sure you’re not pretending that this is real work from real clients. Misleading clients isn’t getting you off to a good start.
Have a place to put them
If you haven’t already thought about getting a website, now is the time to get one. Everyone else is online and you’re going to be missing a trick if you’re not.
If potential clients want to find out more about you and you want to make a good impression you’re going to have to rely on more than a simple Twitter or Facebook page. Having a website gives you some authority and makes you more trustworthy.
A website gives you space to explain what you do and what your services are. It’s a good base to host your portfolio and blog if you’ve got one.
You want your portfolio to be presented in a clean and clear format. It needs to be user-friendly so that a potential client can get a quick glimpse of your previous works in order to make the decision to hire you.
How you design it is up to you as long as it looks good. Try to eliminate any effort on the client’s part and avoid them having to click through to numerous different websites to find your work.
Pick and choose
Don’t feel the need to include every single piece of work you’ve ever done (unless you’ve only done a couple). Be selective and only choose your best work.
Also, don’t let it gather dust. Hopefully the more you work, the better your work will be. This means that you should update your portfolio so that you’re making sure it’s showing your best and fairly recent work. If all your samples are years old, the client might wonder what’s wrong with your current work.
Research should be your best friend. Take a look at other freelancers’ websites and portfolios to get inspired and see the kind of thing that works.
Don’t outright copy someone’s portfolio, make sure you create something that’s yours and fits into your branding.
How’s your portfolio looking? What else do you think is important to include in a portfolio? Share your thoughts!