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This is Day 12 of 31 Days to Start a Freelancing Business (or Make Yours a Better One). If you want to catch up, click here to read Day 1.
Today, you’re going to put together something that can cause your prospects to hire you or not: your work samples or portfolio.
Your task today is to put together samples of your work that will help you put your best foot forward and win clients. Collect every piece of work you’ve done that you’re most proud of. You should have at least one good sample for every service you plan to offer.
Got everything? Your work has just begun.
Organize your work samples
But wait – first of all, digitize your samples, if they aren’t in digital format already.
Group together samples of the same type of work. And then compress each set into a zip fils. This is a little tip I picked up from Trish Lambert. This is one of her strategies for getting bids out in minutes. It will make it super easy for you to send samples whenever a prospect asks for them. And by grouping samples of the same work together, you’ll be sending relevant samples instead of a hodge-podge.
If your samples are in websites, organize them into lists, preferably hyperlinked to the actual sites. Remember to double-check these links regularly to make sure they still work.
What if you don’t have any samples to show?
Here are some things to try when you haven’t actually made anything yet:
- If you’re a writer, sign up for a site like Suite101.com and Associated Content. I like Suite101.com because you have to apply to wrote for them. I’m not sure if they actually decline anybody, but it does give a sense of exclusivity. What I like about these sites is you can earn money from your articles at the same time. I still get the occasional PayPal payment for the handful of articles I published in Suite101.com over a year ago.
- If you’re a web designer, create designs for fictitious sites or products. Put them up online (preferably on your own site, but more on that on a future post), with a brief description of what the site or product is, why you designed it that way, and what the marketing objectives are.
- If you’re a virtual assistant, offer a free service in exchange for a testimonial and permission to site the client’s business or site in your portfolio.
- If you’re a copywriter, write copy for a fictitious product. Or if you like, you could rewrite the existing copy of a product and even offer it to the owner for free – again, in exchange for a testimonial and use of the marketing material in your portfolio.
The freelancing portfolio is one of the most written about topics in freelancing. Here are articles you might want to check out:
1. “How to Decide What to Include in Your Portfolio” from FreelanceSwitch
2. “Building Your Portfolio with No Clients” from FreelanceFolder
3. “20 Tips for a Winning Portfolio” from the Odesk blog. Good tips, nevertheless.
What do you think of today’s task? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.
photo credit: 8-30.pl