The power of a great portfolio

Apr 03, 2019

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

Creating portfolios may seem easy. You pull your best works in some spreadsheet or template (you borrowed from someone) in one place and send what you got to a prospecting client. Easy right?

The truth is, samples and portfolios are among the most valuable assets a freelance can have, so they call for your complete attention. Portfolios show potential clients how you work and whether you are fit to fulfill their demands.

You can create portfolios from anything regardless of your marketing strategy or core principal. But if you are struggling to do so, read on, because we'll show you four avenues you can leverage when creating portfolios.

Why make a portfolio?

Two very good reasons are:

  • "One of my clients is going out of business today and probably will delete all their accounts. I did some of my best work on their page. How do I preserve my work to show future clients?"

  • Relief from the constant cycle of pitching.

So where can you put your best work?

On Wordpress.com or WordPress.org

WordPress is the most widely used CMS and an ideal platform to host work samples. This software comes in two forms, each with their benefits and limits.

You can opt for a Wordpress.com blog or settle for a Wordpress.org website complete with your domain name. The advantage with a WordPress.com blog is that it easy to set, run, and it is free to use. However, it does not allow things like plugins or access to change the code.

WordPress.org website, however, brings better returns but at a cost. You pay for web hosting, domain name, and the subscription to plugins. The advantages of having a WordPress.org website include:

  1. The ability to drive additional income through affiliate marketing.
  2. Expansion of your skills.
  3. Portfolio plugins that allow you to easily upload your work samples.

Both WordPress.com and .org are ideal options for your portfolio, and don't require any deep knowledge of the software.

Contently

Contently is a free platform that connects your new and existing accounts, work samples, and expertise in one place. Better, if your Contently portfolio is a good fit, you will receive offers from clients on Contently network to take work.

In short, Contently is not just a place for hosting portfolios but also for connecting you with clients in your area of expertise. According to the platform, however, the latter depends on demand and supply — as well as your work sample and knowledge.

The advantage of Contently include:

  1. It’s free.
  2. It matches you with potential clients.
  3. It pulls all your work samples scattered over the web in one place.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the perfect place to show clients you are not just looking at memes on social media, but are connecting, interacting, and creating meaningful relationships with prospects and your networks.

People who visit LinkedIn have a genuine reason for engaging on the platform. Clients visit LinkedIn to find freelancers who can sort their content needs. Job seekers and freelancers too call on the platform to connect with employers.

LinkedIn works well because:

  1. You can add projects via SlideShare.
  2. You can list skills, recommendations, and post experience.
  3. It's perfect for growing your network.
  4. It is free.
  5. Writers can leverage LinkedIn writing and increase their credibility.

To succeed on LinkedIn, you should:

  1. Participate in the network by liking, sharing, and commenting on other people’s posts and articles.
  2. Ask for recommendations from former work colleagues and superiors.
  3. Join all groups that are relevant to you.
  4. Share industry news.
  5. Guest post for other blogs.

Building portfolios may be time-consuming and demand a lot, but the ROI is immeasurable. If you are a freelancer and haven’t thought of doing so, rethink your samples and portfolio strategy by leveraging the four avenues above. You can start slow, but start today and enjoy a stress-free pitching process.

Derick loves digital content, knowledge, imagination, freelancing, and the Python programming language.