The importance of a good portfolio

You work as a freelancer. Your online profile shows a solid working experience, academic background and training that support your know-how, along with certificates of seminars and specialized workshops.

But you might not have included a good portfolio yet witnessing how you perform and how experienced you are in your business.

A portfolio should be a key element of your business card. It’s like an “online folder” of previous works for other clients, faithfully reflecting your expertise. When you’re contacted by a potential client, having your work collection into a good portfolio will greatly add value as a reference to your work.

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For freelancers belonging to certain areas –especially those with specific works which can be “materialized” such a Design, Translations, Advertising, Editing or Video Production, among many others, it’ll be much easier to embody their experience on a portfolio.

For other areas (usually those related to providing a service) a portfolio is not expected as it’s too difficult –sometimes impossible– to show a sample of those results.

Why is it important to include a portfolio in your profile?

It supports your experience

Adding samples of former works is a tangible way to support your experience in the area. For a client working on a selection process, the portfolio will prove as a key element before making a final decision.

As a freelancer, you may count on a very sound experience within your area but it’d be great to show that with specific samples.

It speaks about your work

The concept that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is particularly true here. And when we say “picture”, we’re actually referring to a specific example, not necessarily a photo, video or drawing.

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The good thing about a portfolio is that it makes it easier to move from principle into practice. It helps the client visualize your job, rather than just figuring out how you design, or write, or translate, or make videos, whichever might be the case.

It’s a tool for Personal Branding

A portfolio gives the client a much more accurate idea of your working style. Through it you’re promoting yourself and advertising your work and your skills, so it’s crucial to analyze what you’ll include there.

What should I take into account when picking samples for my portfolio?

Basically, include works which are representative of your performance level (quality) and which provide the client with an overall idea of what you have to offer (variety).

Quality

Pick your work samples sensibly. You’ll probably have many works that you might consider relevant, but your profile shouldn’t be overloaded with too many samples. Make sure to include high-quality, representative works, those you feel really proud about, those which speak for themselves.

Variety

The idea of a portfolio is also showing diversity. You should label the different works and include a sample of each into your expertise areas. Then you’ll be serving a much larger market, showing a diversified profile and exposing your work from a wide range of approaches.

Consider the portfolio as an essential tool that speaks volumes about you. It’s your personal touch –it should convey your commitment and passion for your job… a key to differentiation.

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