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All freelancers need a freelance portfolio. It’s important to have somewhere to point potential customers so they can see if your work is the right fit for their needs.
A well-presented portfolio convinces new clients of the value you can add to their business. It also makes you look like a reliable and trustworthy service provider. The best thing is, it doesn’t cost a lot – or take much time – to set up a freelance portfolio using one of these free websites!
Tips for a strong freelance portfolio
Use your online freelance portfolio to showcase what you do. If you don’t have any client samples to show, make some up! Starting out with ‘spec’ samples is still a great way to show off your talents.
Show them the strategy behind the project
The project itself can look spectacular, yet the client wants to see how you solve problems. Hence, make sure that each piece of your displayed work gives a clear and thorough answer to the following questions:
- What is the problem we are trying to solve?
- How do we know that is a problem?
- Do we know that the problem has been solved?
Include a memorable introduction
Every great portfolio has a strong ‘about me’ section. This is where you introduce yourself, talk about what you do and how you can create value for the people that work with. This part is most likely the first thing the client will look at, thus the stronger impression you give, the more likely they are to start the browsing through your work with a positive attitude. Everybody loves authenticity, so don’t be afraid to show some personality!
Use recommendations or testimonials
What better way to show how great and easy it is to work with you than hearing it from someone else? If you can convince your current clients or previous colleagues to give you a written recommendation, definitely do it! Testimonials act almost like product reviews; they will create more trust and reassurance for your clients.
Choose the right platform
The average person waits less than 3 seconds for a page to load before they close the entire website altogether. Make sure you choose an effective platform that enables quick page loading!
Aside from loading speed, there are many things to take consider when deciding on your website creation package. There are multiple options you can choose from, depending on how much experience you have with websites and the type of freelance work you do.
WordPress is one of the major players in the content management sector. Although it’s not primarily focused on digital portfolios, you can create a robust website with a variety of themes, designs, and pages, for customisation to your liking. It is a terrific option if you want to be in complete control of your portfolio and design layouts. It’s also perfect for showcasing several skills, as it provides multiple pages. You can start a website for free, but for more upgraded offerings, they offer a personal plan at £3 per month as well as a premium, business, and eCommerce subscription with higher fees.
Wix is great if you want to drive traffic to your website. Similar to WordPress, Wix has great flexibility of customisation with over 500 available templates. The online pages are quick to load, with an optimised display for all devices.
It’s also perfect for beginner website builders, scoring high in customer scores and ease of use. Wix offers step-by-step guidelines for search engine optimisation and allows you to add meta tags to your images for better online visibility and increased traffic.
Another great free alternative is Jurno Portfolio. Unlike WordPress and Wix, customisation possibilities are limited to 6 themes. You can add links of your published work, write directly on the platform or upload offline content (e.g. PDF files). Other useful features include the construction of different webpages and built-in analytics.
Jurno Portfolio allows you to see how many visitors you’ve had, how long they spent on the platform, and where they came from. Aside from Google Analytics, it also includes Sumo Me which brings more advanced engagement tools, such as newsletter sign-ups.
Behance is one of the most widely-used portfolio websites, with millions of UX designers and artists. It’s a user-friendly platform and also provides access to a network of like-minded individuals. Once you created a project or a list of upcoming projects, your followers can give you feedback and support your work.
You can also link the portfolio to your social media accounts as well as track the number of people who viewed and liked your work. Behance is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud which has a premium monthly subscription, yet a free version is available with more limited options.
If your focus is writing and design skills are not particularly your forte, Muck Rack excels in ease-of-use and it’s exactly what you need. This platform automatically compiles all your work and creates the layout for you.
You can customise your bio and choose to remove or spotlight particular pieces. Muck Rack is also a free media database for journalists and PR professionals, who can see, share, comment, or tweet your work. This will enable you to gain more exposure and network with industry professionals.
More Freelance Tips
A freelance portfolio is just one of many parts of a successful career. Check out these articles for more tips about making it as a freelancer!