Your freelance portfolio is perhaps on of your biggest selling points. Depending on the type of service provider you are, you’ll want to put a few different elements into it. Here’s a list of some items to include in your freelance portfolio:
Samples – This is particularly important if you are a graphic designer, a writer, or some other type of artist. Clients want to see what you’re capable of. This may include scanned copies of articles or graphics you’ve done for the print industry.
For example, samples can include an article you’ve had published in XYZ magazine or graphics you did for a local company’s brochure. It may also include image files of websites you’ve done work for and PDF files of content you’ve written for other companies. It’s recommended to save as a PDF and password protect any content in your portfolio so it can’t be copied.
Websites – If you’re doing the majority of your work for online or for internet entrepreneurs, you’ll want to be able to demonstrate your work by linking to it. This demonstrates that you’ve done professional work and it adds credibility to your portfolio. If you’re a graphic designer, you can link to websites where you’ve designed the logo, the website template, header, and so on.
If you’re a writer, you can link to website pages where you’ve written the copy or content. And if you’re a virtual assistant you can link to websites you’ve worked with and depending on the projects you handle, you can link to work you’ve done online. For example, if you created a form for a website owner or wrote content for them then you can link to that.
Testimonials – Good testimonials go a long way. Even if someone doesn’t see exactly what they’re looking for in your portfolio (because some people look at it like a grocery list and if they don’t see what they need then they dismiss you as a potential provider), quality references may be your foot in the door. Testimonials can attest to your professionalism, flexibility, and quality of work. They’re an excellent tool to motivate a potential customer who is trying to decide if you’re the right choice.
What to Do with Your Portfolio
There are several ways to get your portfolio in front of your prospects.
Make sure you have a link to it on your website. This way, as potential customers hear about you from friends and associates or through their online search, they can review your portfolio immediately.
Email your portfolio along with a cover letter to people you’d like to work with. If you have a company you’re excited to work with, by all means send them a cover letter, resume and your portfolio. Don’t be shy!
Share your portfolio with partners. If you have friends and associates who are not direct competition, send them your portfolio or a link to it and ask them to send it to people they think might be interested in your services. You can also give your friends and associates a referral bonus or reward for anyone they send your way.