Professional writers are where they are today because they know how to attract good clients. A good part of this process is creating a professional portfolio, whether it’s for a content writing site like WriterAccess, a freelancers platform such as Elance or a social media site like LinkedIn. But what goes into creating an excellent portfolio? This piece will cover how to create a portfolio that makes a freelancer more appealing to prospective clients.
Make it real
A picture is worth a thousand words, mainly because the human eye is drawn to it. Having a professional portfolio picture increases your odds of being noticed significantly, with emphasis on the professional part, even if it’s just snapped by a friend.
One of the biggest mistakes I made with my first website was putting a photo from a shoot I did for a knitted hat pattern. Because I have a modeling background, I looked like I was probably closer to my early 20’s after makeup and hair work, and was wearing jeans and a cute shirt. The problem with that picture was that I looked way too young for someone with 20 years’ experience in the workforce. Needless to say, I’m working on getting a new headshot taken that I can use for all my profiles.
Keep it simple
Sure, you could post text to all 128 blog posts you did for a particular topic or website, but most clients just want a taste of what you can do, not an entire library. Pick a selection of the best work you have available and have links for a few more good pieces.
What other people think
Testimonials are the freelancer’s gold. It shows that someone else took a chance on you and thought you did an amazing job. This makes new clients more comfortable. You don’t need to fill the profile with awesome feedback, but a couple can greatly increase the odds of getting the job.
What makes you unique
What do you do that makes you unique or memorable? This is part of branding, which is a whole different marketing topic of its own. Do you skydive, have an amazing reputation or record in a particular writing style or have lots of experience in particular fields?
As an example, I’ve been building my brand as being a MacGyver instead of a rock star, in that my writing is done on a variety of topics, quickly, well and with no grand drama. Half the writers out there claim to be rock stars, so being a MacGyver sets me apart and makes my profile memorable.
Keep it current
Whether it’s contact information changing, document and software updates or checking for broken links, keeping your profile current shows that you are still active in the workforce and are professional enough to keep your profile functional. As you add experience, add it to your profile sooner rather than later so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Cathleen V is a multi-talented writer with experience in many different fields. She focuses on content, article and blog writing for small business management, content optimization and marketing, arts businesses, crafts, agriculture, home improvement, food, nutrition and natural health. She is a top 1% content writer out of over 22,000.