Being able to provide good sample of work can help build confidence for the client in what you have to offer.
Client hiring you as a freelancer for the first time knows little about your services. Only thing that drives a client towards what you offer is your cover letter and samples of previous work.
Being able to provide good samples can help build confidence for the client in what you have to offer and more importantly helps client judge if you can get the job done or not.
Allow me share with you some common samples that new freelancers can use in showcasing their portfolio.
SEO – Rank your site higher
The best way to showcase your talent and build a portfolio as an SEO expert is to rank your company or personal website higher for some of the competitive terms related to SEO.
If you only do link building make sure your site has high quality links that you can showcase.
If you cannot SEO your own site or build links to your own site, there are high chances that your proposals may get declined or cover letter may get ignored.
Designer – Awesome designed sites
Designer can create samples far more easily. Create few good designs and showcase them as a portfolio. Those designs can be for clients but if they aren’t make sure they showcase your talent as a designer.
- Logo Designs – Create good logo’s to showcase your talent.
- Web Designs – Create good web pages or templates to showcase your talent.
- Brochure design etc etc.
You can even participate in design contests on sites like Freelancer.com, 99Designs.com, DesignHill.com. If you win a contest that’s awesome but if you don’t, you build a portfolio. A complete win win situation for a freelance designer.
Developer – Contribute to Open Source
As a developer you should be able to show some of your custom development work and I don’t see a better option then releasing your code as open source.
If you work in any particular language or framework or CMS, you can share your code as an add-on or plugin for the CMS.
If I am looking for functionality that I don’t see as available, I share it as plugin on WordPress, vBulletin and recently on Xenforo.
The reason to share such plugins is multifold.
- Helping others who have similar requirements.
- Show your plugin as a sample of your expertise.
- Released plugin or add-on can fetch you further customization work.
Writer – Start A Blog
As a new writer, it can be tough to show case your portfolio of work. You can tell clients what you can write, but if you cannot show them samples it can be tough to convince them.
If your blog cannot hire you to write, how can you expect someone else will hire you to write.
A blog is a must for a writer and there can be no excuses to create your blog with samples.
Cover letter or email interaction with clients may also be seen as sample of your writing or fluency of English by clients.
Blog can fits perfectly for writers but for developer and web researcher can also use a blog to describe what they can do and how they work.
Work for Review
If you provide web related services, you can help a webmaster with your services just like that.
As an example if you offer to make a website faster, contact webmasters of slow sites and email them everything that needs to be done.
- What needs to be done with exact details like change the image size on the home page from 300px to 280px for XYZ benefits.
- Webmasters may not be technical and so you can tell them like you possibly need to edit the xyz file in your templates folder.
Once you have everything that needs to be done and how to do it, offer them to get it done for a review. Most of the webmasters will be more than happy to get it done as well as willing to hire you for more of their future work.
Working for reviews can be implemented by everyone.
- Designer – design a good logo for a site and send it over to the webmaster offering them free to use.
- Copywriter – Let the webmaster know what changes he can make in the copy for better results.
- Ethical hacker – let the webmaster know of the issue and even tell them what could be the possible fixes.
Apart from web related services, at times some clients are looking for super cheap work on sites like Upwork.com and so instead of working for money, you can work for a feedback to build your portfolio.
Over to you
Samples can vary depending on what you do as a freelancer. If you are a freelance photographer, the photographs becomes your portfolio. How did you create your portfolio? Share in comments below.
Further Reading …