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How to Create a Freelance Portfolio That Gets You Hired

If you are a freelancer here in Nigeria, then you know that one of the most important things to have is a strong portfolio. Your portfolio is essentially your resume; it’s a way for potential clients and employers to see your work and decide if you’re a good fit for their needs.

Creating a strong portfolio can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to create a freelance portfolio that will help you get hired.

What is a portfolio in freelancing?

When it comes to freelancing, your portfolio is your best friend. It is a collection of your previous work that you can show off to potential clients to demonstrate your skills and abilities. 

It is the tool at your disposal to help impress potential employers and get them to hire you.  

A portfolio is a collection of your best work that you can show potential clients and employers. It is a way for them to see your work and decide if they’re a good fit for their needs. 

As you can guess, a good portfolio can make or break a freelancer’s career, so it is important to put time and effort into creating one that will impress.

And that’s the goal of this guide, to help you figure out the right magic to craft a perfect portfolio that will wow your clients.

How to Create a Freelance Portfolio That Gets You Hired

1. Know your audience first.

When creating a freelance portfolio, first choose your audience. Are you targeting businesses or individual clients? Once you know who you want to reach, you can tailor your portfolio to appeal to them.

Let me explain.

If you are looking to attract businesses, put together a portfolio that showcases your work in a professional manner. Be sure to include any relevant experience or qualifications, as well as contact information.

For individuals, meanwhile, it is often best to focus on the quality of your work rather than putting together a formal document. 

A simple website or blog featuring your writing or design samples can be enough to get the attention of potential clients. 

2. Create a website to showcase your work. 

The last thing you want is coming out as the other freelancers, just dropping emails with attached documents.

If you are going to win that project, you need to be unique!

Luckily, a portfolio website is exactly what you need to get that edge and showcase your work to attract new clients. 

To help you out, here are a few tips to create the best portfolio website for your business:

  • Use an easy-to-use platform: Choose a website builder that is easy to use and navigate. This will make it easier for potential clients to find the information they need about your services.
  • Include plenty of images: Make sure to include plenty of images of your work on your website. This will give potential clients a good idea of the quality of your work.
  • Use keywords: Be sure to use relevant keywords throughout your website so that it appears in search engine results when potential clients are looking for freelancers with your skillset.
  • Add testimonials: Include testimonials from past clients on your website to show off your satisfied customers. 
  • Include your contact information. Make sure to include all of your contact information on your website so that potential clients can get in touch with you.

When it comes to creating a portfolio, you have a lot of options. You could use a pre-built platform like OLITT or Wix, or opt for something more custom like WordPress. 

Choose the platform that will best showcase your work and make it easy for potential clients to view your portfolio and contact you.

Related: WordPress in Nigeria: How To Create A Website.

Read also: 7 Reasons Why You Need A Website for Your Small Business Now.

3. Tell a story for each service you provide. 

If you want to win clients and sell your services, tell a story. Stories are a powerful way to connect with people and persuade them to take action. 

The best stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and they usually follow this basic structure:

  • Introduce the problem or challenge your protagonist is facing.
  • Describe how your protagonist overcomes the problem or challenge.
  • Explain what the reader can learn from your story.
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When you’re telling a story, make sure to focus on the emotional aspects of the tale. What did your protagonist feel during the conflict? How did they feel when they finally overcame the obstacle? And what can the reader take away from the story that will help them in their own lives?

You can apply this to your freelancing business in Nigeria. 

Instead of simply explaining how a system works, tell a story about the time you had to troubleshoot that system. 

Or instead of telling your readers about the last time you worked with a customer who didn’t pay on time, tell them about the time you got your own bill past due. 

4. Gather 5 or more samples of your best work. 

When creating a freelance portfolio, be sure to include only your best work samples. Relevant samples that demonstrate your skills and abilities in relation to what your clients want are key. 

For each project, include additional details about your role to paint a clear picture for potential employers.

Including 5 or more of your best work samples is a great way to showcase your skills and abilities as a freelancer. When selecting these samples, be sure they are relevant to the type of clients you want to attract. 

For each project, include a brief description of your role and what you contributed to the overall success of the project. 

For example:

  • Explain what your main task or deliverable was
  • Describe how you tackled the client’s problem
  • Highlight the skills, tools, and technologies you used to fulfil the client’s requirements
  • Include any other important details about how you nailed the project goals.

By doing this, you will give potential employers a better idea of the value you can bring to their team. 

5. Gather great reviews and testimonials.

Research has shown that social proof can be one of the most persuasive elements in your profile. 

If you want to create a freelance portfolio that gets you hired, then you need to gather great reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients. Video testimonials are the best way to do this. 

As a freelancer, you should be constantly asking for feedback and reviews from your clients. I ask every client to leave me a review on my LinkedIn profile and I also send them a link to my Google Business page (if they have a Google account, which is almost everyone these days). 

If you are using marketplaces like Upwork, ensure you follow up with clients to leave a review after each project. This goes a long way in winning the next project.

6. Describe the steps of your process. 

When beginning a new project, the first step is always to establish what the project entails and what the client is looking for. 

Once that is determined, the freelancer can begin working on the project, starting with an outline or rough draft. 

After that, it is important to go over the work with the client to get feedback and make sure that they are happy with what is being created. After revisions and final approval from the client, the project is complete and can be added to the portfolio.

The onboarding process should be tailored to each individual client. 

However, there are some steps that are always necessary in order to ensure a smooth process. 

First, it is important to have a kickoff meeting in order to determine what exactly the client wants and needs from the project. 

Next, create a timeline for deliverables so that both parties know what to expect and when things are due. This also allows the client to have a clear idea of what they can expect as far as pricing and timeline. 

Every project has its own unique set of challenges, but it is important to tackle them one at a time in order to ensure that the project is completed successfully. 

Ensure your clients know what your process looks like.

7. Include case studies in your portfolio. 

Most people know that a portfolio is essential for any freelancer. But what many don’t realize is that case studies are an essential part of any good portfolio. Case studies show potential clients what you’re capable of and how you work. They’re also a great way to show off your problem-solving skills.

If you’re not sure what to include in a case study, think about a time when you went above and beyond for a client. 

Write about the problem you were solving, the steps you took to solve it, and the results you achieved. 

Be sure to use persuasive language, and make your case study as visual as possible with charts, graphs, and images.

Drafting a persuasive case study can be daunting, but it’s worth taking the time to do it right. After all, this could be the piece that lands you your dream freelance gig.

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8. Include your pricing.

A freelance portfolio is not complete without indicating the prices of your services.

And when it comes to pricing your services, there are a few things you need to take into account. 

First, what is the going rate for similar services in your area? You don’t want to price yourself too high and risk not getting any work, but you also don’t want to lowball yourself and end up making less than you’re worth.

Once you have an idea of what others in your field are charging, you need to decide what kind of pricing strategy you want to use. 

Do you want to charge by the hour, by the project, or a combination of both? 

There are pros and cons to each approach, so think about what will work best for you and your clients.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to negotiate on price. If you’re not comfortable doing that upfront, you can always offer a lower price initially and then revisit the issue later.

9. Include your photo.

Don’t forget to include your photo. And if possible, avoid using white backgrounds. This can make your photos look bland and uninteresting. 

Instead, try to use high-quality portraits of you that show off your personality. 

A professional photograph is also a good idea, as it will show potential clients that you are serious about your work. 

In brief.

When you’re ready to create your freelance portfolio, there are a few steps you should take to make sure it’s up to par. 

First, take some time to assess what kind of work you want to showcase. Do you want to focus on writing samples, or highlight more design-based projects? 

Once you know the direction you want to go in, start collecting your best work. If you don’t have any previous clients, no problem! You can create mock projects that show off your skills.

Once you have a good selection of work, it’s time to start putting together your portfolio website. Choose a platform that’s easy to use and makes it simple for potential clients to view your work. You should also include an about page, so clients can learn more about who you are and what kind of services you offer. 

A good portfolio website can set you apart from your competition, giving you an advantage during job interviews. Here are some tips to help you get started: Make it easy for clients to navigate your site; don t make them hunt for the information they need. 

Use clear and concise language to describe your skills and experience. Highlight your strongest work, whether it’s writing samples or design projects. 

Use an About page to give potential clients a sense of who you are as a person and what kind of services you offer. 

Keep your portfolio updated with new projects on a regular basis; this will show that you’re actively pursuing work opportunities.

Read also: The Top 7 Freelancing Sites in Nigeria.

Freelance Portfolio FAQs

How do I make a portfolio for a job with no experience?

When you’re trying to break into a new field or get your first job, the process can seem daunting. How can you make a portfolio to showcase your skills when you don’t have any professional experience?

Here are some tips:

1. Start with what you have. If you’ve done any projects, even personal ones, that are related to the field you want to work in, include them in your portfolio.

2. Get creative with your projects. If you don’t have any relevant experience, think about what kind of projects would be impressive to potential employers. Maybe you could create a mock website or design a promotional campaign for a product.

3. Use your network. Talk to friends, family, and anyone else you know who might be able to help you get started on your portfolio. They may be able to give you some ideas or feedback or even connect you with someone who can help.

4. Seek advice from professionals. Once you’ve put together a few projects for your portfolio, reach out to people who already work in the field and ask for their feedback. They can tell you what’s impressive and what needs improvement.

How can you stand out as a freelancer?

As a freelancer, it can be difficult to stand out from the sea of other freelancers vying for the same jobs. However, there are some things you can do to make yourself more attractive to potential clients.

First, make sure your portfolio is up-to-date and contains your best work. Secondly, actively seek out positive reviews and testimonials from previous clients. These social proof elements will show potential clients that you’re a trusted and reputable freelancer.

Finally, don’t be afraid to market yourself and promote your services. Let people know what you do and why you’re the best person for the job. By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to standing out as a top freelancer in your field.

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How do I get my first freelance project?

There are a few ways to get your first freelance project. You can start by reaching out to your network of contacts and see if anyone has any project recommendations. You can also search online job boards or freelancer websites. Finally, you can reach out to companies directly and inquire about potential projects. Whichever route you choose, be sure to put your best foot forward and showcase your skills and experience.

What do employers look for in a portfolio?

Employers are looking for a portfolio that is well-organized, professional and showcases your best work. They want to see that you have a good understanding of the industry and that you are capable of producing high-quality work.

What should I write in my freelancer profile?

Your freelancer profile is your first impression on potential clients, so it is important to make it count. Here are a few tips on what to include in your profile to make the most of your opportunities.

First, list your skills and highlight what makes you unique. Clients want to know what you can bring to the table, so don’t be afraid to brag a little. Second, mention your experience and highlight any relevant projects you have worked on. This will give clients an idea of your capabilities and expertise. Finally, don’t forget to include your contact information and rates. This way, clients can easily get in touch with you and know what to expect in terms of pricing.

By following these tips, you can create a strong freelancer profile that will attract new clients and help you succeed in the competitive world of freelancing.

What should a freelance portfolio look like?

First, make sure your portfolio is up-to-date. Include your most recent projects, and be sure to remove any outdated or irrelevant items.

Second, focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have a few stellar pieces that really showcase your talent than a bunch of mediocre ones.

Finally, keep it organized and easy to navigate. Potential clients should be able to quickly find the information they’re looking for without any trouble.

By following these simple tips, you can create a freelance portfolio that will help you land new clients and grow your business.

How do I get noticed on Upwork?

Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing platforms in the world, with millions of jobs posted every year. If you’re a freelancer looking to get noticed on Upwork, there are a few things you can do to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

First, make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date. Include a professional photo, a clear description of your skills and experience, and any relevant samples of your work.

Second, take the time to bid on projects that are a good fit for your skillset. When submitting a proposal, be sure to personalized it for each client and include why you’re the best person for the job.

Finally, stay active on Upwork after being hired for a project. Keep in touch with your clients, deliver high-quality work, and always be professional.

What are the 3 types of portfolios?

There are three types of portfolios: process, product, and showcase. A process portfolio documents the steps a student takes to complete a task or project. It includes everything from brainstorming to finished products. A product portfolio is a collection of a student’s best work. It shows what they are capable of and what they have accomplished. A showcase portfolio is a collection of work that demonstrates the student’s growth over time.

Where can I make a freelance portfolio?

If you’re looking to build a freelance portfolio, there are a few places you can go. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Wix: Wix is a great platform for building a portfolio website. You can use their drag-and-drop editor to easily create a beautiful website. Plus, they have tons of templates to choose from so you can find the perfect one for your work.

2. WordPress: WordPress is another great option for building a portfolio website. They have a ton of plugins and themes available so you can customize your site exactly how you want it. Plus, they’re super easy to use so you can get your site up and running in no time.

3. Behance: Behance is an online portfolio platform that’s perfect for creative professionals. You can showcase your work, connect with other creatives, and get discovered by potential clients. Plus, it’s totally free to use so you can get started right away.

4. Dribbble: Dribbble is a great platform for designers and illustrators to share their work. You can post shots of your work, give and receive feedback from other creatives, and build a following of fans who appreciate your work.

5. Carbonmade: Carbonmade is another great online portfolio platform. You can easily create a beautiful website to showcase your work. Plus, they offer a variety of plans so you can find the perfect one for your needs.

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