Are you a freelancer looking for techniques to develop and enlarge your client base? Your communicative skills and openness will produce the desired effects but may leave space for something more. You need to show in black and white a sample of your work to your prospective client. This collection of some of your work in a compiled form is your portfolio. You may be a graphic designer, a writer, a photo journalist or a freelancer with some other job. You must prepare a portfolio containing some of your best works. This will, no doubt, help you in bagging that coveted assignment which would have otherwise been elusive. Your prospective client will browse through your portfolio and decide whether he will get the services he is looking for. This is the best way to convince your client about your capabilities of producing quality work.
Now how do you prepare that perfect portfolio which can promote your work?
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Features Of A Perfect Portfolio
You have been working hard as a freelancer to market your skills. Plan the perfect portfolio and see its result.
• Collect all the good work that you have done so far and put it together. Put aside any work that you consider inferior. There is no point adding it to your collection and letting it undo your good work. By ignoring it you can be sure your reputation will remain intact and you can expect some good offers.
• You may produce good quality work but your talent can go waste if your portfolio does not have the punch. If you are a writer, why not include some of your humorous pieces or a write-up that has won you an award. Keep your portfolio simple with similar work which will not confuse your client. You can try out a different portfolio for separate themes.
• Now that you have decided to put all your best work together and stuck to one theme, you should make sure it is easily accessible. Your portfolio should be available to whosoever would like to see it. While it should be accessible, your clients from anywhere on the globe should be able to understand it. As a freelancer you can hope to have clients from any corner of the globe.
• Just having your portfolio online is not enough exposure. You need to search for sites that allow you to post your portfolio after opening an account with them.
• There may be a glut of online portfolios and potential clients. Try and showcase your portfolio in an innovative manner so as to catch the eye of your client. You could add some catchy music or a graphic with your portfolio.
Put It Together
Since you are going to present your portfolio to your prospective clients you need to assemble it carefully. Your perfect portfolio will not fail to impress if you have taken care of minor details.
• Your portfolio should begin with a title page that highlights the theme. You can follow it up with a table of contents that will make it convenient for the client to specifically go to the page he is interested in. Write your personal statements which can be a brief description of your mission, values and goals. You can place your resume next, which again should be as brief as possible. You can add some of your best projects with a little write-up. Follow it up with details of relevant courses and training that you have undergone. You may have attended a leadership workshop or learnt a foreign language. You can put it together under your next page which elaborates your experience and skills. Add some copies of some letters of recommendations from satisfied clients. Showcase any awards that you may have received either in a hard copy or a digital form.
• You can rearrange the contents of your portfolio to your liking. For instance, you may like to place experience and skills as a part of your resume.
• You might like to change the entire portfolio and arrange it to showcase your skills. You can have different heads written, communicative, leadership and languages. Your portfolio will look impressive if it includes some information and samples about each.
• Since your portfolio is about marketing you should make sure that samples of your work dominate your portfolio. You can add or remove samples depending upon who the client is and what sort of work he is looking for. Feel free to add videos or CD ROM if you want to present it digitally.
• Although you can present your portfolio in hardcopy you can also post it online or have it on a CD. While a hardcopy may be cumbersome for a client to go through, you can easily make some extra copies of the CDs.