I’m a member of a few Facebook and other social media groups. As a result (of my responses to others’ posts?) I receive a lot of inquiries from fellow freelancers. Most of those freelancers haven’t yet begun their careers.
They need clients.
They know I have them.
And they want to know how to get them.
So I’ll lead these newcomers through the basics of pitches, proposals and platforms. But there’s one common thread I’ve noticed about these people.
They’re resistant to building a freelance portfolio.
Y’all, just do it. It’s so easy to do, and costs about ten bucks and a few hours of your time.
Here are a few FAQs I’m asked about setting up your freelance writing portfolio.
Why Do I Need a Freelance Portfolio?
Because you want clients, that’s why. Whether you’re using a platform like Upwork or pitching prospectives via email, you want to have a place to which you can easily direct those editors and clients.
Your client doesn’t want to click thirty thousand files, scan them for viruses, pray that they’re compatible with their word processing software and then, finally read a sample that may or may not be relevant.
Your client doesn’t want to receive an email from you that contains six files of deliverables you’ve written for other clients.
Plus, your client is busy. That’s why she needs a freelance writer. Trust me – the shorter your pitch, the better.
Good morning, Miss Smith.
I’d love to chat with you about writing a piece on the rising cost of emu eggs in Wisconsin. You can check out my portfolio at www.shanathompson.com to get a feel for my writing style.
Sound interesting? Let’s talk! You can contact me directly through my website or just reply to this message!
Short. Sweet. Done.
Do yourself a favor and show your clients that you’re a professional. Take the time and effort to put together a portfolio.
But I’m a Writer! Not a Web Designer!
People, it’s so easy to set up a website.
Here’s a shameless affiliate link for you. Go to One.com and buy the starter package. Use that link and you’ll get $2 off, but the prices are already phenomenally low. A year’s hosting plus your domain name costs around $12. Total.
Then, install WordPress.
WordPress is technology’s gift to humanity. Anyone can do it.
Choose a theme you like, then start posting.
If you feel as if you’re not technically inclined enough to do even that, there are people who can set it up for you. (Myself included.)
The only thing you need to know how to do is type and click.
What Should My Freelance Portfolio Look Like?
Anything you want. There are oodles of WordPress themes available, and hundreds are free.
You can set your portfolio up to look like a blog.
You can set it up to look like a resume.
Or you can set it up to look like a business website.
It doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s professional, error free and easy to navigate.
What Should Be Included in My Portfolio?
Again, whatever you want. And it depends largely on your target client.
Are you a resume writer? Include a few.
Content marketer? Add it.
Journalist? Add both short and long form news pieces.
You can also add a personal essay if you like, but remember to stay away from religion, politics and other sensitive issues.
Ask your current clients (if you have any) if you can link to pieces you’ve written for them or otherwise include that work.
Make it your own, and let your personality shine! Your clients want to see your work, sure. But they also want to know you’re not just another writer in the crowd.
I Don’t Have Writing Experience. What Now?
Create writing experience. Write original pieces meant solely for your portfolio. Need something to write about? Ask around on social media, or browse trending topics.
Why Am I So Resistant to Setting Up a Freelance Writing Portfolio?
I truly haven’t the damndest idea. Get your website set up and start writing.