Freelance life is amazing. However, it can sometimes be a bit frustrating. The amazement lies when you work from home with no bossing environment to piss you off, you can pick up holidays at your will, and all you need is a stable internet connection and a laptop of an average performance. The sad thing is that you can’t enjoy your freelance in a bed of roses if nobody buys whatever services or products you are offering. You just can’t pull in people and sell them right off the bat. This is when the frustration knocks your front door.
Dealing with a poor income in freelance can lead you to give up. If you don’t really know what’s wrong and how you can hurdle this obstacle you will be slowly digging your own freelance grave. If things are going as well as planned, that means something is wrong with the way you market your services, the way you are spreading your word to the right people who are willing to open their gates and pay you.
While there are a variety of reasons that prevent you from getting clients to your business and eventually slow your freelance business progress, I truly believe every downtime aspect lies on the absence of an online portfolio.
An online portfolio holds a strong importance as your skills as a freelancer. In short, we can wisely label these two facets as both sides of the coin. Without a portfolio you can’t showcase your value to prospects and without skills there is no point of focusing on getting people to view what you can do for them when you actually aren’t talented for that certain task. It makes a perfect sense.
Building an online portfolio is one of the most essential things you must do for your freelance growth. Whether you are a freelance writer, graphic designer, journalist or photographer, you should always consider having your portfolioattached to your business line. There are many benefits building an online portfolio can bring in to your business in the long run. Let’s dive into some of them that will change your mind if you haven’t thought of building one yet.
1. Pulls in New Clients
One of the most beneficial things a portfolio can bring to your business is the opportunity to land new clients. If your freelance business is stagnant and you seemingly can’t land new gigs, the best option is to build a killer portfolio where you will show off all your skills. A portfolio will reflect your creativity and how you can help other clients grow their respective businesses. This is what will make you more hirable than others.
2. Generates an Awesome First Impression
An online portfolio is a synonym of professionalism. It is a good sign that can help you be move few miles ahead your competitors. Clients don’t constantly face problems on finding great freelancers, but when it gets hard to select the best, they generally opt out for professionals who have an online portfolio incorporated on their freelance business.
3. Boosts Up Your Online Presence and Visibility
Nowadays, it is huge mistake to neglect the benefits of an online presence. An online portfolio is an affordable option you can go for to create a strong online presence and visibility. Unless you live under rock, you probably know that clients will not hire you unless they know where to find you. Some freelancers find it effective to go for advertising and social media marketing. But when it comes to long term and consistent presence and online portfolio won’t leave you in the lurch.
4. Describes Perfectly About Your Business
One of the main problems freelancers face is the ability to describe perfectly what their business is really about. If you label yourself as car seller, there is no point of plugging in your business card details about your clothing factory. Though, these two fields can overlap, it distracts buyers and confuses them. Well, with a portfolio you can have your problem solved and it can help describe the pure salt of your business without seeming like a “do-it-all” guy.
5. Makes You More Accessible
Surely when you build an online portfolio you won’t only have the opportunity to showcase your creative work as a specific freelancer. But also, you will make yourself accessible for hire. Some best practices on your online portfolio include attaching links of your social media profiles, put your contact information to get in touch or embed forms that will enhance your accessibility.
Important Elements of an Online Portfolio
An online portfolio doesn’t have to be so hard to create. If you meet the basics, and don’t miss its most fundamental elements you can pull off a killer portfolio that hooks good paying clients. Here are some elements that are worth a mention.
Your Creative Work
In your portfolio you must make sure you showcase your top shelf and most creative work. You know you have a boatload of work to show off. However, you should make sure only the best deserves to be displayed. Avoid including work of average quality because this may affect negatively on the other top quality work that is posted on your site.
An About Page
An about page also deserves some attention. After all, prospective will always want to get know who is the person they are planning to hire in a near feature. You don’t have to write your boring story. Your background, your business description, and links to other sections of your online portfolio areeverything you need in a simple portfolio without sacrificing its quality.
A Contact Page
A contact page is the most important piece of your marketing campaign. After all, you want to make yourself accessible for hire. Make sure you create a contact page that is visible in your online portfolio. It should also be simple with a contact form and your business contact information to make sure the client will find you when he needs you.
Testimonials also play an integral role on landing a new gig. They help you prove your claims. If prospects still doubt your skills, a testimonial can help you break the ceiling glass that impedes this client to hire you. Well, if you don’t have testimonials of your work, you can always use a feedback of your previous clients if you have any. But make sure you ask for permission to post it in your portfolio.
An Optimized Hire Me Page
An hire me page is a section you should consider adding in your portfolio. It acts pretty much like a sales page where you include every type of work you are selling to your prospects. This page is where prospects can find all the information and details of your business and how you can be reached. You don’t need to include your rates on it; however, you should focus more on the benefits rather than your services.
After going through some fundaments of an online portfolio, if you feel ready to jump in building one and your coding skills seem to be a weight that drags you down. Fret not, because the following tools will save your life sanity.
Tools to Build an Online Portfolio
Following are 6 tools which will help you build an online portfolio without any coding knowledge.
Pixpa is one the best online tools to build online portfolios. It is dedicated for artists, designers and photographers who are willing to share their creative work online. Pixpa comes with a variety of features that makes this tool worth an investment. It includes 100 presets of designs to choose the best to describe your business. Moreover on Pixpa, you can customize your design at your will to feed your imagination and make it unique for your brand. With this tool you can also create unlimited galleries and videos for a flexible structure. You can give it a try for 15 days before deciding to invest on their provided plans.
Carbonmade is undoubtedly one of the most popular and powerful tools for designers. This tool helps you create and manage your online portfolio with flexibility. You can showcase your impressive and creative work without any coding skills and still impress prospective clients who are willing to buy what you have to offer. The designs of online portfolio on Carbonmade are visually and uniquely appealing since it allows you to customize colors, fonts and logos in different elements of your website. The “visitor stats” is another feature that makes this tool interesting. You can keep track of your visitors by integrating the tool with Google Analytics. The premium accounts starts from $ 12/month. However, before you decide to go for it, you can initially register a free account.
3. Behance Prosite
Behance is a widely known and perhaps the largest network of designers, artists, photographers and all media-related professionals. Alongside this tool you are provided with a plethora of features to build beautiful portfolio that sparks with prospects. BehanceProsite integrates a drag & drop system that allows you to play around with your design elements without having to plug in any html or css codes. The tool features a full resolution of media display, Typekit fonts as well as a personalized domain URL. The good thing about this tool is that it is not only for freelancers who lack knowledge in coding, savvy coders can also add personal touch with ancustomizable HTML & CSS feature.
If you don’t have background in web design, we suggest you to embrace FolioHD as your new partner. The tool allows you to design beautiful pages that look awesome in the eyes of prospective clients. The users on FolioHD are provided with flexible features to build portfolios in no time. Customizable fonts, background colours, unlimited upload of images and videos are among the basic features. The uniqueness of FolioHd is shown to us with a “create folder” concept that allows you to create folders and include inside them your design elements, such as, images, Youtube videos, contact form and more.
Krop is another great portfolio building tool that doesn’t disappoint the users when it comes to deliver the work. Krop features almost every tool you need to create that astonishing online portfolio that will impress your portfolio visitors. It comes with preset templates where you can choose the most suitable with a single click. The interesting thing about Krop is not only the boatload of features to create an online portfolio with simplicity; it also integrates a creative database of freelancers to be hired. This is a perfect boost for online exposure and presence.
Krop isn’t the only portfolio building tools that matches powerful tools to create portfolio with a creative database of freelancers. Coroflot is another one that knows how to do the work. Unlike Krop’s, Coroflot’s database is seemingly wide for exposure and trust. Brands like Nike, Google, Facebook and Yahoo have been relying on the database to hire perfectly suited professionals. On Coroflot, you gain an instant audience and online visibility because the portfolio will automatically be connected with the database so that you don’t have to beat your head against walls to be seen as a talented freelancer.
Well, without an online portfolio you are living a ton of money in the table. With this you are left with no excuses for not building one. If you know nothing about coding, there are tools that can guide you to the right direction.