Freelancers are very different from salaried and wage-based employees because, among other things, they must prove themselves whenever they want to attract new clients. Rather than simply having a boss who learned your background during the interview process, your freelance career is based on your ability to showcase your skills quickly and clearly, over and over. Creating a freelance portfolio website is one of the quickest ways to demonstrate your abilities, which is part of why almost everyone needs a freelancer website to be successful.
How a Portfolio Website Helps You Succeed
Fits Easily Into Queries and Emails
No one wants to read a query or email that includes a variety of attachments or a pile of different sample projects. Instead, smoothly link to your portfolio when you are reaching out to new potential clients, giving them the chance to explore your work without getting bogged down in the actual email itself. Your portfolio is also much easier to “share” if it has a simple URL that you can include on a business card.
Shows Breadth and Depth of Experience
Websites, even with a very clean interface, can hold a lot of information. Your portfolio allows you to show that you can both accomplish a variety of tasks (breadth) while also having substantial experience in any given topic (depth). Creating tabs and galleries on your website can showcase many different kinds of work in a way that creates your credibility for new clients. When you reach out to potential new clients, make sure that your portfolio is up-to-date and can show both how versatile you are and how experienced you are in the specific kind of work that you are offering to them.
Features Testimonials and Recommendations
While a portfolio website should showcase your work first and foremost, it is also a great place to aggregate recommendations and testimonials from past clients. Especially if you are just getting started, every positive statement you receive from a client is a good way to build confidence for new prospects. Ask client permission before you feature their testimonial or recommendation, and make sure to thank them again for that permission.
Allows for Organic Contacts
While a portfolio website may begin as a tool to share with clients you are emailing, it will also rank in search engines higher and higher as you add content. This means that people who are searching for someone who offers your services will actually come to you instead of you having to go and find them! The portfolio website is a great place to use SEO for your job description (i.e. “freelance writer for hire”) so that people who need your services will reach out to you through the website to inquire about working with you.
Clearly, a freelance portfolio website is worth the time it takes to create one. As your freelancer website grows, you will see a great ROI on this time investment, since organic contacts can result in great new clients with very little outreach on your part.