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This is Day 25 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.
Yesterday, you sought more testimonials or feedback about your freelancing services. Today, you will continue to enhance your reputation, generate more exposure, and get more social proof of your skills. Not through testimonials, but by distributing samples of your work on the Internet.
More specifically, today you’re going to build up your online portfolio. Let me begin by defining “portfolio” as:
a collection of materials which represent your work.
Some people think all you need is a portfolio. However, as we’ve discussed in the series about creating your freelancing website, your work samples are only part of what makes a client-getting website.
Why Do You Need An Online Portfolio
The most obvious reason you need an online portfolio of your work samples is to help your prospective client decide whether you can deliver the work he or she requires. Your portfolio is another form of proof of what you can do. By displaying your best work, your prospects are more likely to hire you (assuming your services are a good fit with what your prospects want).
But there’s another benefit to having your work samples on the Internet. Especially if you don’t have paying clients yet, having your work published somewhere online gives you more credibility and exposure. It’s as if you’ve received a stamp of approval from the various website owners, that you’re good enough to have your work on their sites.
Another benefit is that you can actually earn some money on the side by posting your work on the web.
Where Can You Get Published Online?
If you’ve set up your professional website, then that’s the most logical place to publish your work. We’ve already discussed writing a page to display your work samples.
But beyond your samples page, you can highlight your expertise another way – by blogging. This is obvious if you’re a writer. Each post you publish is a sample of your writing style. (You may also want to read my answer to the question, “To blog or not to blog?” here.)
However, even if you provide other services, blogging allows you to show off your expertise. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant, you could use your blog to experiment with social media and blog about your results there – did using Twitter or Facebook increase your website traffic by 200%? Write a blog post about it. And do mention that you provide social media promotion services to your clients.
If you’re a graphic artist, you can post your design experiments and publish your thoughts about them, whether you think they are good or bad, and which situations each design would be most suitable for.
That said, you should also strive to…
Get Published on Other Sites
It’s a good idea to have your work published in bigger, more established sites than your blog. Some options for writers include:
The advantage of Suite101.com is that you have to apply and meet their criteria before you can write for them. This gives you further “social proof” that you writing skills are excellent.
Suite101.com and AssociatedContent.com will also pay you, depending on the number of page views your articles generate. You should read each site’s policies to find out the specific details of how to be eligible for performance payments.
EzineArticles.com does not pay for articles or page views, but it is the biggest and most popular article directory as of this writing. Your target clients could very well be reading EzineArticles.com. In fact, copywriter and business consultant Michel Fortin recommends article marketing as a way to attract higher-paying clients.
But what if you’re not a writer? Take heart, you can get published on other sites, too. For example, Envato.com has a number of marketplaces for different types of work: graphics, video clips, WordPress themes, website templates, and even audio.
If you’re a photographer and video producer, you can post your work at iStockPhoto.com and a number of other photo stock sites.
Do you know of other sites where freelancers can publish their work? Please share by posting a comment below.
PS: Remember to always link to your professional website from any site you get published. See, your website is your home on the Internet, and it’s the central hub for your online marketing efforts.
photo credit: juanpol