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The Freelancer Grind: Creating an eye-catching portfolio

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You need a strong online portfolio to be able to make a good impression on prospective clients. Many designers I meet have weak portfolios and wonder why they don’t find work.

Your portfolio showcases you as a designer, your skills and capabilities, and does pretty much all the talking for you as a freelancer. From my experience, there’s no interview process for 90% of freelance gigs, therefore, this is your stand-in for that vetting process.

Setting up a portfolio

This is cheap and simple nowadays because of sites like Behance, Cargo, and many more. I would suggest using a drag and drop platform because you don’t need to deal with the hassle of coding and web hosting.

Keep it simple

No need for that long essay on your about page, keep it concise and simple, your prospective clients just need an overview of who you are and what you do.

Balanced portfolio

A good portfolio needs to be balanced, showing not only your best work, but work that you know will entice clients. This is a tough one, but sometimes you need to put that bigger brand project in. Even if it’s not your favourite, it will allow clients to understand the level you are working at, and most importantly, see that you are good enough to handle working with such brand and have accountability. Check out mine.

What was your role?

Be clear about what you have done on a project. I see many portfolios that don’t do this, and it can be deceiving. As a client, I would need to understand this to see how you can be useful to my project.

Contact info

Make sure to add basic contact information, somewhere clear on your portfolio, an email address is best. Oh and please make sure the email is a suitable one, not your old Hotmail account from when you were 15!

Keep it updated

Most importantly, keep it updated with your latest work. The worst thing is seeing a website that hasn’t been updated in years. This shows your attitude to your work and self-promotion, also clients can’t see what you’ve been working on recently and will not know how busy you are if you don’t.

We’re international, baby!

Remember, the beauty of today’s connected world is that you can work with anyone, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. So your online presence can get you a job with a client from across the world! Stay busy and stay updated on those social platforms, you never know who can slide into those DMs asking for work.

Read part one of The Freelancer Guide - Understanding your role as a freelancer - here.

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