Your portfolio is something a client would usually ask first before they decide whether to hire you for a certain project or not. This portfolio is basically the collection of your previous works which would showcase your skills, style, and creativity. If you are planning on working as a freelancer and is worried because you have no portfolio to show your client yet, fret not – today, we will be sharing with you how to build your freelance portfolio from scratch!
Compile past projects
If you’ve already had previous clients, all you have to do is compile the past projects you have done for them. Be it a writing task (articles, scripts, short stories) or an editing task (logos, business cards, e-book covers, flyers, videos). If you have a previous client who lets you manage their social media pages, you can attach some screenshots of the tasks you have done as a social media manager and along with it, including the link to the social media page you managed.
Use your free time
Instead of sleeping during afternoons or binge-watching your favorite shows, why not write some articles, scripts, or edit some photos and videos and include them in your portfolio? By doing this, you will not only be building your portfolio but you will be perfecting your skills too.
Be a contributor
While you are still in the process of building your value as a freelancer, you can apply to be a contributor to some well-established sites. Most of them take in contributors without pay, but, if one of your works get published on their website, this will serve as free promotion for you especially when they already have many subscribers and followers. Of course, the pieces you will be submitting as a contribution will also form part of your portfolio.
Compile testimonials from previous clients
You may let your work samples speak for itself, but, having testimonials from previous clients can boost your legitimacy and can surely add more value to your portfolio. To do this, simply ask your clients or the people you’ve worked with for a short feedback on the work you’ve provided them. You can send them a short follow up after you have finished a project and it may be as simple as this:
“Hi, I would appreciate a short feedback from you! This would be of great help to me as it would boost my trust rating and help me land more clients. I hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!”
Or, you can give them a template you have already written and tell them that they can make some changes to it if they want to or just use it as it is. For instance:
“Joanna is very accommodating and she always gives updates regarding the status of the project. She works fast and submits every task with the quality you expect. Looking forward to more projects together!”
Offer free services to a non-profit organization or charity
These non-profit organizations need writers, editors, and social media managers too! You can extend a helping hand to them and offer them your services for free. This way, you are not only making new pieces for your portfolio but you are also making a difference in your community.
Use your previous assignments
If you have just graduated from college, you can use your previous home works, projects, research, and essays and include it in your portfolio. Of course, don’t just simply add everything you’ve done in your past few years in college. Scan through your works and select those which are worthy to be presented to your potential clients.
After you’ve already compiled your previous work samples, it’s time to upload them on a site made especially for this purpose! Displaying your portfolio in a professional platform will surely give you an edge. Some free online portfolio sites you can try are Behance, Clippings.me, Crevado, and Portfolio Box.
If you have more tips on how to build your freelance portfolio from scratch, you can let us know in the comments section below!