Whether you’re a writer, developer, designer, or other working in freelancing, it’s imperative to have a portfolio that shines. It’s the tool you use to convince clients that you’re worth their time, money, and business. It allows you to continue scoring jobs by wowing clients with quality content and showing them you have something unique to offer.
Upwork’s 2017 Freelancing in America report predicts that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027 as the number of freelancers increases every year. As remote work increases, competition is going to grow fiercer, and with that, you need a revamped portfolio. You want clients to visit your work and remember you.
If you want to create a freelance portfolio that wins you more clients, here are three tips to get you started.
1. Build your site with WordPress
In order to create an impressive online portfolio, you’ll need to choose the right hosting platform. WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) used by more than 32 percent of the web that’s easy to use. Setting up a website takes no longer than five minutes and comes with tons of themes to choose from, endless plugins for customization, and technical support.
It’s important to keep in mind that your website — which hosts your portfolio — is the main point of contact clients have with you and your work. It’ll tell them what they need to know to determine if they want to work with you or not. Choosing the right hosting matters in how you’re represented.
WordPress is completely free for anyone to use. However, if you want your own domain name, extra storage, SSL and HTTPS, and a business email, you’ll have to pay for a web hosting service. There are many options to choose from, but you’ll be able to choose one based on the qualities that matter to you. Consider speed, reliability, and security.
2. Keep SEO in mind at all times
You want to make it as easy as possible for potential clients to search keywords related to your niche and have your business pop up in SERPs. A Moz study found that websites listed on the first page of SERPs get 71 to 92 percent of web traffic, whereas the second page gets only six percent.
First, conduct keyword research. Brainstorm keywords you think potential clients will use to search for your services. This will also tell you the type of content you can create for samples that will interest your audience. Search them in Google and take note of its similar suggested terms.
Use Google Keyword Planner to see what ideal customers are searching and want to know. Focus on keywords that are high in monthly searches and low in competition. Your keyword research will help you plan a successful SEO strategy that gives you higher visibility.
There are quite a few places on your site you should concentrate on optimizing for search:
- Anchor text
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Blog content
Treat your website copy like a project in itself. If it’s going to convert visitors into paying clients, it has to serve its purpose of telling people how it’s going to solve their problems. Tweak your site content until you’re proud to show it off to clients and use it to highlight your best pieces.
3. Gather and create samples
If you’re just starting out on your freelance journey, you may find yourself short on work to show potential clients. This scenario is common and definitely not the end of the world. Everyone has to start somewhere and build on marketing their freelance business.
You can create samples based on projects potential clients would give you. Create work for your portfolio that highlights a problem and how you fixed it. The results don’t have to be shocking or dramatic; they just have to show that you improved a problem in some way. Scour portfolios of professionals you admire and identify what it is about their work that you like so you can implement those practices into your own projects.
If you have existing projects in your portfolio, record and collect measurable results to demonstrate your work’s ROI. Show clients the value, success, and improvement you bring to businesses after they work with you.
Over to you
The key to winning quality, high-paying clients as a freelancer is showcasing your portfolio in a way that highlights your best work, skills, and experience. A solid portfolio will tell clients what you can do for them and how you can improve their projects. Host your online portfolio on WordPress and implement SEO into your growth strategy to lead visitors your way and convince clients your work is worth every penny.