What does it feel like to be in awe of someone’s freelance portfolio? If you would be the client, wouldn’t you jump right off to hire someone with a good portfolio? 

Well, you see, that is the power of an effective freelance portfolio.

As a freelancer, you need to stand out from the crowd and be the preferred choice for your clients. It helps you document and collect all your previous samples in one place.

Whether you get clients through networking or platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, it is essential to show your freelance portfolio samples. Having a visible Upwork portfolio is your key to staying relevant on the Internet, building your connection, and getting new clients. 

Your portfolio can convince potential clients that you are the right fit for the job. It demonstrates your ability to work and deliver to your clients.

If you are a beginner, check out this fresher’s guide on how to get started on Upwork.

Oops- I don’t have one; how to build a portfolio?

Relax, for starters, take a deep breath. If you are new to the freelancing world and do not have a portfolio…I will help you make one RIGHT NOW.

Follow these tips to create a job-fetching freelance portfolio.

Create your portfolio page or website

When creating a freelance portfolio for Upwork, you need to build your personal brand identity. If you do not want to be a regular freelancer who the client just flips through, you need to showcase your work in a creative manner.

What better way to showcase your portfolio through a website or a video, or a personal page? Whether you create a design portfolio or a copywriting portfolio, you need to stand apart from your peers.

Organize it well and avoid any clutters. Keep it clean, appealing, and easy to navigate. Add a little bit about your personality and let your client know your style, hobby, and ethics.

There are many website templates available for building a freelance portfolio. So, you just need to buy a domain and get started right away. Or, to keep it simple, you can also put up your portfolio on Behance or Instagram and send the page links to your clients.

Show relevant samples

You would have heard ‘Actions speak louder than words, and that is the entire purpose of showing your freelance portfolio samples. 

The most critical element is to have samples for your freelance portfolio. By sharing across your samples, you give a living example of your work.

Collect some of the best samples from your previous work- your articles for a copywriting portfolio, your designs, SEO, website designing, coding, and others. Aim for the best five to ten pieces of your work that reflect your abilities and expertise.

Read on- how to become a copywriter.

If you are a fresher, showcase the work that you did in your college projects and internships. The clients need to know the quality you can deliver and how eager you are to learn. 

As long as it is relevant and done by you, you can include any work in your freelance portfolio.

Showcase studies and screenshots

You need to show social evidence of your work to create an impressive freelance portfolio. Showcase your experience through screenshots. Add relevant screenshots of your research, designs, reports, social media, website, documentaries, photographs, apps, or anything on the planet.

Keep them relevant to the job you are applying for. Each of these work samples will make your portfolio credible and can increase your chances of winning a new client.

You can also share some client stories in the form of case studies. Do not hesitate to show how your work helped the client grow, even a little bit. Ask your clients to share their data with you and make it a part of your freelance portfolio for Upwork.

If you have also helped someone personally to accomplish their business goal, that also counts as a case study. So, look out for every opportunity to build a story around your work and show that through your portfolio.

Include unfinished or current projects

Portfolio samples need not be all finished projects. 

If you are a beginner, you might not have any complete projects under your umbrella. Does that mean you cannot create a freelance portfolio? If you have just started with your first project, can you not show anything on your portfolio? Hell, NO.

Your portfolio can include projects that you are currently working on.

If you are a freelance designer, show your pivot designs in the portfolio. If you are a freelance writer, show an excerpt of your article in your copywriting portfolio. Who knows, you might land a client while you are still finishing the current work.

So, no rule says you need only to present completed projects in your portfolio. Be creative and witty in your use, and leave nothing to waste.

Pro tip: Always remember that if you do not value your work, nobody else will. So, be it your first project or the hundredth project, value each project and complete it with utmost dedication.

Show results

As I mentioned about showing evidence for your work, it is equally important to show your results.

Each project will have some results- it may not be dramatic- but it will show some positive trends. That is your chance to boost off (obviously, not too loud).

Show some proof of your results through screenshots or reports. There is nothing better to impress your clients than by showing the actual results of your work.

Include your hard-earned praise and testimonials

I agree that your work speaks for you, but what is the harm if others speak for you too?

A freelance portfolio is the best place to share client testimonials, appreciation, and other words of praise for your past work. It is social proof of all that you are verbally claiming and adds to your ability to deliver the work.

Moreover, when you get feedback from other clients, it generates trust among the new ones, and they will be willing to approach you easily.

In fact, sharing clients’ testimonials is one of the eight successful tips for Upwork. So, make sure to use that wisely.

If you are building your copywriting portfolio, you can also include some published articles and platforms that have featured you. Make sure you have proof for everything you have done because they will add enhanced value to your portfolio.

Include your pricing and charges

Make sure to inform your clients about your charges and contracts. Freelancers work on both short-term and long-term projects. It is important that you include your hourly and fixed charges in your portfolio.

It also helps showcase your professional side to the clients, and they will know about everything up front.

Ease your hiring process with a relevant CTA

You may be doing all the right things but still not able to fetch new clients?

It could be that the clients are unable to reach you.

Your freelance portfolio is your chance to sell yourself. It should be so appealing that clients want to connect with you, and when they wish to, they must be able to locate your necessary CTA.

Insert a call to action in your portfolio. Add your name, business email, contact number, and social media handle so that they can reach out to you in any way they want.

By including the right CTA in your freelance portfolio, you can dramatically increase your chances of getting hired.

Takeaways- Put your best foot forward

All of us want to get that dream job that is going to transform our careers. Well, that takes some dedicated and smart work. Take the first step by creating an appealing and relevant freelance portfolio. So, put in those extra hours to create a winning portfolio because, in the end, it’s all worth the time.

Stay true to your work, present accurate data, and keep updating your portfolio with the latest work. In the end, trust yourself and put your best foot forward.

If you need any help in working on your portfolio, you can always connect with me at vikas@lancerninja.com. I would be happy to help you! Join the Discord community of like-minded freelancers here.

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