Who else agrees with me that building a powerful online presence is of great importance to the freelancer? Don’t you? For a moment, I would try to convert you to my side of the fence.
You could be a highly skilled freelancer and still not get noticed by clients, or get your work promoted as it ought to if you aren’t taking the time to build your portfolio- and to maintain it.
In this age of digitalization, clients are getting connected to freelancers several hours or days away from where they are based, simply because of the ability to view such a freelancer’s work online. Your portfolio is what makes you trust-worthy, what helps you to resonate with your client.
While there are a lot of talented freelancers out there, only a minute proportion of this group of excellent individuals get job satisfaction, and not having a strong portfolio contributes immensely to this. Usually, a little adjustment in an area which is readily overlooked might just be the determinant of how much progress one makes, and how fast such progress is made.
Now, let us talk about how to maintain this portfolio (that’s all shades of awesome).
1. Create something representative
To have a beautiful portfolio, you need to sit down and describe yourself to yourself. What do you do? What services do you provide? Your portfolio cannot be a shoddy representative of yourself if it would stand out as something unique and different in the marketplace.
2. For each of the services you provide, have a portfolio piece
Your portfolio has to be strategic, consisting of all of the services which you provide. That’s not all; you have to ensure that for each of those services, you take the pain to describe it adequately- with pictures and screenshots as required; so as to convince your clientele of your proficiency in that regard.
3. Be as explanatory as possible- without the use of jargon
Let each of your portfolio pieces be self-explanatory. What’s the use of having a portfolio which no one else but you can interpret? If you are a freelance photographer, for instance, you would need to refrain from launching into long preaching sessions on the megapixels of your camera or its lens. We don’t need to know the length of time required for a single shot, or a massive education on the different angles that could be used. That’s for you to know- and we trust that you know it; all we need, are breathtaking pictures to show how good you are at what you do and how much it would benefit us, and a simple, concise description of what you are trying to show us.
4. Go through your portfolio as frequently as possible, and modify as required
Maintaining your portfolio is more like revising a book you’ve read prior for an examination, or better still, going through your journal from a year before. Of course, some things have changed. You are no longer the exact same person you are one, two or three years ago. Why should your portfolio still remain the same?
It isn’t only clients that ought to go through your portfolio, as a matter of fact, if need be, schedule time out to go over your portfolio, as there might be some areas that need to be revised, or totally scrapped from it
5. Refreshing Pieces!
Anyone who knows me would attest to the fact that I can be a little mechanical- always desirous of knowing the time limits of anything at all which I would have to take a part of. While that might not be the best frame of mind for every singular task, it sure pays off many times.
Your portfolio needs to show your skill set, and you would have to, time and time again, infuse refreshing pieces of information, pictures, and work did into it. Since it cannot remain the same way it was 5 years ago, and you can’t just keep deleting non-representative pieces alone, you have to keep on adding more beautiful, representative pieces to it, thus making up for the ones which have been deleted.
This is where the programming starts. If you can guarantee that you would add these pieces on a consistent basis- for example, monthly, then that’s fine. But I’m sure most of us would fall short of this pledge (I wouldn’t even bother to pledge!), and so, to ensure that there is consistency, I would advise that you mark out time, (writing it out would be preferable) and set a reminder for a certain time of a certain day of every month for example, where you would update your portfolio.
‘Update my portfolio: 6 am on the first Saturday of every month’.
After a while, you get used to the routine. I hope it helps!