Even when starting out as a freelancer, you need to have a freelance portfolio to get clients. Unfortunately, freelancers are making many mistakes with their portfolios. Don’t make any of these costly portfolio mistakes.
- Not fit for your audience
- Too much in your portfolio
- Not Adding navigation
- Being vague
- No lead generation form
A portfolio is your client’s first impression of you. So would you want to show the client a sloppy portfolio?
If you had a job interview, you would dress up. Put on your make-up, perfect your hair, and prepare talking points. So why would you not give your portfolio as much attention in getting clients?
Neglecting our portfolio doesn’t represent you and what you can offer the prospective client.
Looking good and having great talking points is all good. Though, if you don’t have a portfolio that truly represents the work you’re capable of, you won’t get the client.
So don’t make the portfolio mistakes many freelancers are making. Here are the top 5 mistakes freelancers are making and how you can avoid making the same mistakes.
#1 Not Fit For Your Audience
When creating your portfolio, you need to consider what potential clients are wanting to see when deciding if they want to work for you.
For example, let’s say you’re a Pinterest graphic designer for clients who work in the women’s fashion industry. They want to see a portfolio that will leave them with the wow factor.
These clients are not looking for examples of Pinterest boards of different industries or post examples for other social media platforms. Clients want to see what you can do for them on Pinterest.
To fix this number one mistake, you need to learn to speak to your clients throughout your portfolio.
Speak to your potential clients in your portfolio
Don’t know who your audience is?
You’ve got a clear vision of the services you want to provide and have gained some experience to put in a portfolio. Use that experience with the client you loved working with the most.
Visualize that client you worked with. Who are they? Really dig deep into this.
Dig deep into their pain points and hopes. Really be able to paint a picture of what their vision of heaven and hell is. Nail it down so that you’re talking directly to them.
Add work you’ve done with that specific client in mind. Tell the story in a case study that paints a picture. Paint a picture including
- Where the client was when you met them
- What they wanted to achieve
- End result they got from working with you
Using the example of a Pinterest assistant, their end result is beautiful Pinterest boards, engagement, and high click-through rates. Prospective clients want to read these case studies as it visualizes for them what you can do for them.
Take it up another notch by adding a quote or video testimonial from the client you worked with before. Adding this social proof builds trust in your prospective clients that you’re the real deal.
#2 Too Much In Your Portfolio
Yes! You can actually show off too much. This may sound strange, but it’s actually true. So you really do have another reason to get super clear on who it is you want to serve and how.
Keeping your portfolio down to a handful of samples for your specific client. Specific to the problem they want to solve or results they’re aiming for.
Make your samples easy for potential clients to find. A potential client has gone onto your website to find out what you can do for them. What they don’t want is to try and work out where they have to go to find your samples.
People by nature want things to come to them straight away. If your samples aren’t easy to find then the potential clients will just click off your website and forget about you.
An easy quick fix for this problem is to add a navigation to your portfolio.
#3 Not Adding Navigation
Not just easier for the potential clients to find your work. But also easier for you to organize your work into specific places.
For example, if you’re a freelance copywriter. You can have a handful of samples for each of these areas
- Social Media Ads
- Email Marketing
- Website Copy
- Blog Posts
Make it easier for clients to get the right samples they want to look at faster.
For example, a potential client that wants to work with a freelancer copywriter to write their Facebook Ad. They’re not wanting to see samples of blog posts the copywriter has written.
Potential clients wanting copy for their Facebook Ads want to see Facebook Ads you’ve written and the engagement on the posts. Plus, a testimonial or case study from the client you worked with.
#4 Being Vague
Another problem that freelancers miss, is not telling the clients about who they are.
Potential clients need to know who they are buying from. Therefore, start introducing yourself.
Introduce yourself on the About me page. Saying just find me on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter is not enough. You need to include an About me page and then redirect them to your social media.
Another mistake with being too vague, is not even giving away your contact details.
Why do you think there is even a contact page?
Just by having a contact page with your phone number and, or email address is enough. Enough for the potential client to contact you over any future projects.
#5 No Lead Generation Form
Your contact page is not the only way to start conversations with clients.
You’ve seen the contact forms sprinkled on websites such as when you go to buy your home insurance. You can also place contact forms on your website.
These contact forms are quick and easy ways for potential clients to leave their email address or phone number securely.
With a WordPress site, you can get a free template that allows you to add lead generation forms in the header, sidebar, and footer.
How you can design your WordPress site easily
Freelancers are paying website designers hundreds or even thousands of GBP. As a newbie freelancer you do not have the money to pay this humongous amount of dosh. Especially if you are in the position where you are counting every penny that comes in and goes out.
Is there an alternative?
If you are thinking to yourself, I just can’t afford that!
Don’t give up and throw in the towel just yet. You still have hope with building your own website.
Build Your Own
I feel you, I was the same when I started. In fact I was so overwhelmed by the whole thought of it. I paid a web designer (what I thought was a great deal) money which I didn’t really have.
What I got in return was a website that was nowhere near what I wanted and didn’t have the functionality I wanted.
I got my money back, thankfully.
But then I came across the whole WordPress thing. Reading you can build and design the website however you want. Plus, you can have the functionality without spending a fortune.
Thinking that’s great, but what support will I get when I do something wrong. I’m not technically minded at all and never understood anything about website design.
With zero understanding of coding or any other computer technical jargon, I still need that support.
Getting the support
After hours of looking for companies that offer the support I need and reading reviews, I finally chose. Bluehost was the clear winner by far.
Why choose BlueHost
Bluehost has been an amazing company to be with from day 1. With a support system where you can just pick up the phone or use the online chat support to get instant advice.
Additionally Bluehost offers
- Free domain for the first year
- Free SSL certificate (needed to show your site is safe and secure)
Ultimately you get a WordPress site that you can customize, design, and gives the functionality you need. All of this for only a fraction of the cost of a website designer, just a minuscule £3.25 a month.
In A Nutshell,
Having a portfolio for your freelance business is essential to get you off the ground running. But you don’t need a fancy pants website to do it. You can build a website yourself that will do the job easily without spending a fortune.
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