How To Make Your First Freelancing Portfolio

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Author: Tatiana Rivers Tati Rivs Social Media Marketing

Why You Need A Portfolio

Every freelancer needs a portfolio. It is the best way to showcase your talents and most clients will want to see it before they hire you. Since many freelance jobs are virtual, your portfolio will be how you make that first impression. If you are just beginning with your freelance career, you may be wondering how to start. If you haven’t booked a client yet or done any work, how can you make a portfolio? You may spinning, you need a portfolio to book a client, but you need work experience from a client to make a portfolio. Seems like a catch 22. Not to worry, we are here to give you some tips on how to make a great portfolio, no experience required.

If You Build it They Will Come

Your portfolio needs to show your potential clients what you can do for them. The best way to do that without any experience is by pretending. That is right, the old "fake it till you make it" technique. Put together at least 10 client profiles, the kind of clients you would like to attract at this point in your career. Make up a fake company name and imagine what kind of work you would need to provide for them. For example, if you are a graphic designer, pretend one company is a restaurant that needs some branding work done and a logo. Let your imagination run wild and put together some designs that reflect the quality of work this potential client could expect. Now do this for a few more “clients”. Now you can't lie to clients and pretend these are realy clients, this is just for you to create some work samples so your prospects have something to looks at.

Once you have examples of your “work”, onto phase two.

Putting The Portfolio Together

1.Create a Portfolio Website

Making a website is easier than ever these days, and there are many free options. Sites such and Wix and Weebly excel at making your portfolio come to life. There are hundreds of templates, no coding required, just simple drag and drop and the themes look very polished and professional. You can easily create a slick looking portfolio is less than an hour. Don’t forget to use as many features as possible. Fill out that "About You" page with a great bio and photo of yourself. Maybe do some personal branding and create a “company” logo. Add explanations to samples of your work and even take advantage of writing a blog, a great tool for marketing yourself. If you are really smart and ambitious, get that email subscription list going straight from the beginning.

2. Use Social Media To Further Your Reach

Now that you have an online portfolio that looks great. Start making your social media work for you. So as not to mix personal and professional too much, it is a good idea to create professional handles and link them to your portfolio website. Use them to tell your story. You can use them to share blog posts and other samples of your work and also use them to give your client an idea of what you are about. For example, if you are a freelance photographer using a platform like Instagram, you have a great space to give some more information about your photos and the style you use to shoot. Show clients what inspires you or go through the story of how you got your experience. When potential clients come across this they might feel more connected once they get a feel for who you are and how you like to work.

3. Go Pro Bono

A tried tested and true way to build a portfolio is to do some work for free. For example, if you are a blogger looking to get some work published, the best way to do this when you don’t have experience is to guest blog. It won't’ be hard to find someone that needs some free work done. Make sure that you can keep the credit and use the work you did on your portfolio. A few pieces of published work will help you go for zero experiece to officially a freelancer.

See? Not so hard. Follow these three easy steps and you will be way on your way to launching your freelance career!

Looking for some portfolio inspiration? Check out some of these links for killer freelacne portfololio examples.

50 brilliant design portfolios to inspire you

15 Freelance Portfolio Essentials to Win Higher Paying Clients

9 brilliant freelance portfolios for 2017

For more tips and tricks on freelancing check out some of our other posts and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Sep 13, 2017

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