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5 Mistakes you’re making in your freelance portfolio

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Your portfolio makes or breaks the success of your freelance career so don’t make any of these mistakes.

Even when starting out as a freelancer, you need to have a freelance portfolio to get clients.

Unfortunately, many are making these freelancing mistakes.

A portfolio is your client’s first impression of you.

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.

Wouldn’t you give your portfolio as much attention for prospective clients?

Neglecting your 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.

5 portfolio mistakes and how you can fix them

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Here’s the top 5 portfolio mistakes freelancers are making so you know what to avoid.

If however you see that you’ve made any of them, don’t panic, as you’ll know how to fix these mistakes.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links’. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Not Fit For Your Audience

If your freelance portfolio is not fit for your audience then you’ll never be able to get work from that client.

When creating your portfolio, you need to consider what potential clients are wanting to see.

This will help you avoid this costly portfolio mistake from the start of any conversation with a freelancing client.

Avoid this mistake and it’ll help them when deciding if they want to do work with 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. What pins and boards you’ve created that’s gotten great conversion rates ie pin clicks and engagements.

Your portfolio is all about the client, not you.

To fix this number one freelancing mistake, you need to learn to speak to your clients throughout your portfolio.

Speak to your clients through storytelling and tell a picture of what life is like when you’ve done your work for them.

Too Much In Your Portfolio

Nobody likes a showoff.

Yes! You can actually show off too much in your portfolio.

This may sound strange, but it’s actually true.

If you’re showing off all of your work, even when it’s irrelevant to clients, it’s showingoff.

For example, using the Pinterest graphic designer example. You may have had success with SEO and Pinterest ads but the client doesn’t want to see this.

Clients just want to see your designs and engagements.

Showingoff your success with SEO and Pinterest ads are completely irrelevant to the client. In fact, it may just end up confusing the client and what you can do for them.

This is another reason to get clear on who it is you want to serve and how.

Keep 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.

Not Adding Navigation

Your prospective client finds your porfolio!

Happy days.

But they don’t have clarity on how to navigate around your website to find samples of your work.

Not adding navigation to your portfolio results in potential clients just exiting your website and not wanting to work with you.

By adding navigation to your website you make it easier for potential clients to find your work and you organise your samples in a more clear way.

For example, using the Pinterest graphic designer example. You may have had success with SEO and Pinterest ads but the client doesn’t want to see this.

Clients just want to see your designs and engagements.

Showingoff your success with SEO and Pinterest ads are completely irrelevant to the client. In fact, it may just end up confusing the client and what you can do for them.

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.

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.

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.

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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