To be a successful freelancer, you must commit time and dedication to both your work and marketing yourself. One of the best ways to market yourself is to set up an online portfolio to showcase your work. You can set up your portfolio as a blog, a website, or as a dedicated solution that’s just intended to showcase your work.
Whichever way you decide to market yourself, follow these tips to build a successful portfolio and increase both your sales and your online exposure.
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Ensure you include relevant keywords within your portfolio and any other online content you create.
1. Pick a Type of Portfolio
If you don’t already have an online portfolio, your first step is to pick the type of portfolio you’d like to set up. You can create a blog, a website, or a dedicated solution to showcase your work. Take a look at what other freelancers are doing in your industry and improve upon it. Whatever type of portfolio you choose to go with, make sure you update it frequently and showcase your best work.
2. Keep Things Simple
The goal of the portfolio is to showcase your work and give potential clients a way to contact and hire you. Keep your website or blog simple and to the point. If you’ve created the website as a way to have clients contact you or hire you directly through the site, ensure that it’s clear how to do so. If you make the process too drawn out or complicated, you could end up losing business.
3. Create an “About” Page
Your portfolio should clearly explain who you are and the type of work you do. If you don’t have one already, create an “About” page on your website. Ensure it answers who you are, the experience and qualifications you have in your industry, and whether or not you are looking for additional work.
Include a way for potential clients to hire you directly on your portfolio.
Include a link to your online portfolio on your “About” page. If you’re a web designer, include samples of websites you’ve designed in the past; if you’re a freelance writer, include sample articles; and if you’re a photographer, include links to pictures you’ve taken and edited in the past.
Make sure your portfolio accurately reflects the type of work you do. Don’t include samples of your past work if it doesn’t reflect on your current work situation. In other words, don’t advertise services you’re not currently selling. Remember, keep things simple!
4. Include a “Contact” Page
In addition to creating an “About” page on your website, make sure you include a “Contact” page. Include your office address if it’s open to the public, business phone number so potential clients can reach you, and your business email address. It’s not a bad idea to include a contact form on this page so visitors can send you a message without leaving the website. Don’t include any other information on the “Contact” page except for ways for your clients to get in touch with you.
5. Optimize Your Portfolio
Once you’ve created an online portfolio, it’s time to add a bit of search engine optimization. Conduct keyword research to find out what keywords are relevant to your industry. Include long-tail keywords and phrases customers can use to find your business. If you’re marketing your services to local customers, ensure you’ve included this information somewhere on your site.
Don’t stuff your portfolio with keywords just because. It’ll end up hurting your search engine rankings in the long run. If you create any blog posts or articles to advertise your service, ensure you include your keywords within those, as well.
Advertise your portfolio to your social network on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other networking site of which you’re a member. List your services in local business directories both on and offline. If you’re already listed on sites like Yelp and Foursquare, ensure you claim your listings and respond to your customer’s reviews.
If you don’t have an online portfolio, you’re not doing enough to market yourself online. Get started right away, but keep things simple and to the point. Make sure your visitors know who you are, what you do, and how to contact you, and always include relevant examples of work you’ve completed in the past.
Brian Flax is a freelance writer based out of the Washington, D.C., area. He is experienced in a variety of topics, including Internet marketing, education technology, and business management. Checkout his website for more details.