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If you are a freelancer, you will understand the importance of attracting your clients. While the perks of being your boss guarantee the freedom to be your boss, building an impressive freelance portfolio is the key to kickstarting a successful freelance business.
Setting up a freelance portfolio is similar to setting up a business website, especially more so if you choose to have an online portfolio website with a unique domain. Building an online portfolio website is for clients to have a strong impression of your business, while showing off your niche, service, and testimonials.
A freelance portfolio is the main tool for your brand. With that said, as a freelancer, you yourself ARE your brand. Just like renowned brands, a freelancer needs to showcase proof that they are who they say they are. After all, freelancers need to build their client base/
A freelance portfolio allows freelancers to tell a story based on the services they provide. It is also an opportunity for freelancers to show off their skill sets. A good way to show off your freelance portfolio website is to show high-paying projects. These high-paying projects are your best work, and it is what clients look for. Moreover, high-paying projects can reflect your success and your niche, as well as your credibility and work quality. For example, if you were a logo designer for Nike, clients will know that you have worked with a renowned big brand.
From a business perspective, it is important to use the right keywords to attract people. These keywords need to catch the clients’ attention. For example, if your service and niche is career coaching, you need to clarify the service as a "career coach". Using the right keywords in your freelancer portfolio helps clients understand your brand.
If you’re wondering how to build a freelance portfolio, the first step you must do is prepare the materials that will be included in the portfolio. To build a successful freelance portfolio, compile samples of works and other materials to include in the portfolio.
These materials include:
Graphics, photos, and videos are evidence of your work. You can leverage this evidence creatively. For example, as a freelance content creator, you can demonstrate your expertise in the field by showcasing your best videos or projects. The same goes for a freelance photographer or a freelance graphic designer.
When choosing the media you want to include in your freelance portfolio, quality comes over quantity. Make sure to include only your best works.
What better way to show your project than having a description and results? Add a brief portfolio description for your freelancer account. Write down how you solved problems and what results you achieved.
For example, as a freelance content creator, you can showcase the thought process behind the content or the background problems that kickstarted the work.
Freelancers need to be transparent about their customers' feedback. If you are not sure how to show testimonials, search for the best freelance portfolio website. Testimonials work similarly to word of mouth. People want to see your skills and speciality validated by others.
It’s important to ask for permissions before showing off your recognitions, even better if the clients are renowned. Some clients or companies might even ask you to sign an NDA prior to working with them, so be mindful of these when creating your freelance portfolio.
A case study details a short story about the project. You can write about what challenges and problems you solved, and how you helped the business grow.
Your freelance portfolio website can demonstrate social proof by listing references. References can be your former clients or your current clients. References are similar to testimonials.
In truth, there are rarely any freelancers out there who only provide one single service. If you build a freelance portfolio as a writer, you may offer other writing services - SEO writing, technical writing, and business writing. Categorizing your work can help clients understand your service better and more conveniently.
Storytelling is a compelling technique to draw people’s attention. As a freelancer, you want to utilize your skills in various manners. Reflect your skills in the portfolio.
To do this, you can categorize your work and provide a creative project description. For instance, if you like to write about health and fitness, you can say - “I provide content writing services for health and fitness topics, including for blog posts, articles, or website content”.
Always include new works in your freelancer portfolio. Don’t include projects from 3-4 years ago. Even though you may be tempted to show the clients how your skills have evolved, it is still best for your clients not to see obsolete projects.
If you still want to include old projects in your freelancer portfolio, write the descriptions so that it emphasizes the popular skills needed for your line of service.
If you don’t have any paid experience yet, try to include personal projects or hobbies that reflect your skills and qualities. For example, if you are working as a freelance writer, you can include your personal blog posts, journal entries, or any other form of writing that you have done previously.
A call to action allows you to show clients the impacts of your services. It is highly effective when it is implemented with a sales pitch. A call to action should be genuine and not forceful.
Remember, a call to action can be as simple as this – “If you like my service, I’d love to work with you. Reach out to me at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible”.
Create your online presence and personal branding by creating your very own online freelance portfolio. Check out these creative freelancer portfolio designs and freelancer portfolio examples, and create your very own online portfolio for free on CakeResume!
Jennifer is a writer from Brooklyn. Her portfolio is simplistic by design. One of the best features of her portfolio is that she organized her portfolio based on various topics, making it easy for the website visitors to find the works that interest them.
Kati Forner provides a full-service creative studio with an impressive short video. Her landing page immediately grabs your attention. Large images allow the audience to see details of each work. The intro’s huge font also grabs attention and is very to the point.
Adrian Z utilized a simplistic yet powerful interactive design on his landing page. Moreover, he implements a short description of himself and a strong call-to-action message at the top.
Robby’s portfolio shows that he is very creative. On the landing page, he shows two different categories of services. He also wants you to see his work immediately. You can launch his work as soon as you visit his page.
Eri uses narrative illustrations using digital tools. The grid layout on her portfolio makes it easy to have an overall outlook of her work.
Lisa Emmanuel is a freelance UI/UX designer based in Auckland. Her profile shows that she is very concise. Each project on the website has a short description and a clear image to get clients’ attention.
Chun is a freelance artist based in Taiwan. Her concept is based on pain, rejection, and sadness. Her homepage is short and easy to understand. Each selected work has a short and concise description, with an image next to it.
Adam is good at showing his identity as a front end developer. He is not only a coder but also a designer. One of the best things in his portfolio is that he actively shares his latest work.
While it is difficult to find a format for a freelance data entry portfolio, it is not different from any others. As you can see on tumt8789’s profile, he shows the services he provides, evidence of his work, and testimonials.
Briony is a digital marketer based in Glasgow. Her landing page shows that she has a strong call-to-action message. Clients notice immediately that she is providing digital marketing services for independent businesses.
🔑 Key Takeaways:
In this article, we highlighted important tips and tricks for freelancers. As freelancers often need to showcase their portfolio, it is imperative to keep track of “what to include” on a freelancer portfolio.
To create and show the best of freelancers’ work, they need to be creative. Show testimonials, make use of called-to-action messages and categorize their work. Descriptions of the projects don’t need to belong, but it needs to reflect your work and skills.
If you are not sure how to create the best freelance portfolio website, go ahead and check other freelancers’ portfolio websites. Imitation is the sincere form of flattery. If you are a beginner freelancer, don’t worry about not having a unique website yet. It takes time to build up a good freelance business.
Freelancers need to think of their work as a business. For a business to successfully operate, you need to set goals. Creating a personal brand for beginner freelancers can be challenging, especially because you may not have a niche yet. But, using personal projects, to begin with, can suffice.
If you are an experienced freelancer, you can monetize your services in many different ways. Create an ebook, a YouTube channel, or give talks at events.
--- Originally written by Diana Shih ---