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Why a ‘Portfolio’ is Significant in the Freelance World

Freelancers often come across the term ‘Portfolio.’ Well, what exactly is one?

It’s defined as the collection of one’s work samples and projects and it’s essential for most freelancers when it comes to finding work. While full-time employees can be constantly evaluated on the basis of their performance in the workplace, portfolios are the only means to judge the caliber of a freelancer. It presents a freelancer to the job market, by showcasing their skills thus enabling them to be hired for projects and gigs.

 

As a freelance writer, when you look for work assignments, you should realize the importance of having an impressive portfolio. Not just a mediocre snapshot of the work you’ve done but a stellar representation of your talent and skills. Moreover, when applying for freelance projects, you should have an eye on creating a brand, a professional and reliable identity. Although, a portfolio showcases past work it should be viewed as a vehicle to your future.

Portfolios should include samples of previous work as a means to highlight one’s strengths. They should also reflect the essence of hard work, dedication and commitment. However, you can’t sit on your laurels, it’s essential to develop new skills and to make efforts towards improvement. Updating your portfolio every few months is paramount.

It’s not necessary to include everything you’ve done. Because it’s the best of your work, your proudest achievements that make you hireable. In addition to showcasing your past achievements, portfolios can also offer you a sense of satisfaction.  For example, when I look over my published articles, update their links and take in my body of work, it’s hard to not feel pride for all that I’ve accomplished.

 

The bottom line, portfolios are essential at every step along the freelance journey. They are tools, instruments of negotiation if you will. They are your first impression to a prospective client and play an instrumental role in making or breaking your desirability as an independent contractor.

Your body of work will also influence what potential clients think you’re worth, or in lamens terms, how much you get paid. If your portfolio looks lackluster so will your bank account.

Drafting a portfolio isn’t about creating a list of past work assignments. It should reflect the variety and capability of your skills. When updating my freelance writer portfolio, I work towards highlighting my versatility as a writer. I focus on key articles in every domain and I toil to provide a complete picture to my future prospects.

A Portfolio is a freelancers identity, so it’s imperative that you invest enough time and energy when creating one.  Of course, you’re a hard worker, aren’t we all? But actions speak louder than words and you have to present yourself as an essential worker. You’re future is in your hands, you have to put your best foot forward.

Designing an impressive portfolio is just as important as working hard for each assignment you receive. Portfolios provide samples of quality writing, design or whatever your niche may be, to your clients. They demonstrate past successes. They show your potential clients that you mean business and that they can trust you.

 

In short, a portfolio expresses all the services that a freelancer can offer. Though they may sometimes differ from what is expected by the client, they can summarize all your past accomplishments and open doors that may have otherwise been closed.

With this in mind, let’s discuss the five most essential aspects of a great portfolio:

 

  1. Showcase all of your skills

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A portfolio represents all of your skills, talents and capabilities as a freelancer. Yet, it’s important that you showcase your skills without being long winded. If you excel in more than one domain, you should include examples of all of your work. Depending on the job requirements of the client, you may be able to work in many avenues with them which can result in higher pay and a longer contract. The trick is to explain all of your capabilities while highlighting your specializations.

 

  1. Update and refresh:

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Updating your portfolio at regular intervals is very important. Though you may want to present work from several years ago, it will do more harm than good. It’s better to replace outdated work samples with your newest and most relevant ones. Updating your portfolio demonstrates your relevance in today’s job market, not the market from 5 years ago. You have to stay abreast of the latest job trends and client requirements.

 

  1. Add brief descriptions

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It’s not about copying and pasting a string of links to past work. You have to include a short description of your work while highlighting your strengths as a freelancer. This offers a clear picture of your past projects which helps clients get a good idea of exactly why they should work with you.

 

  1. Work towards more additions

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Freelancers often encounter dry spells with no work assignments in sight. While some days may be extremely busy with loads of assignments, the well can quickly run dry. Even though there are free days in the life of a freelancer, you must work towards building an active portfolio. Personal blogs, voluntary  article contributions and guest blogging are some of the ways I stay active.

 

  1. Create a unique style

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Though there are several websites that provide templates for portfolios, you should be creating a unique style, a way of standing out amongst countless other freelancers. Be creative, authentic and professional and watch the jobs start rolling in.

 

Keep these aspects in mind and you can work towards building an impressive portfolio. By staying active, paying attention to detail and with much determination, the fruits of success will be in your reach.

Build a powerful portfolio and work towards bagging those dream projects, after all, freelancing is about variety, independence, passion and enjoyment.

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