wikiHow to Build the Perfect Freelance Writing Portfolio

Two Methods:Physical PortfolioOnline Portfolio

Freelance writers, like other self-employed business-people, must attract clients. While others use a resume to sell their skills and experience, writers showcase their talents with a writing portfolio, a neatly packaged sampling of previous work. It's not enough, however, to have great writing to show prospective clients. You must present it in a professional manner if you want to be hired. Showing up with a poorly constructed writing portfolio is like going to a job interview in a wrinkled suit.

Method 1
Physical Portfolio

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    Select less than 10 samples of your best writing. If you write a variety of things (magazine articles, press releases, marketing materials, etc.), make sure you have a sample of each. If you're only interested in one type of work, make all your samples this type. Don't include anything that's less than your best just to have a sample to show.
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    Print hard copies on good quality paper, preferably 24-pound with a brightness over 90. Paper with some rag content will hold up best to being handled by prospective clients.
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    Leave off design elements unless you are also marketing yourself as a graphic designer. These will only be distractions to prospective clients. Remember that you want them to read and evaluate only your writing.
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    Make several copies so you can leave samples of your work with prospective clients. Each should include your current contact information. Don't rely on the information that appears with your bylines.
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    Attach evidence that your writing has helped your former clients increase sales, generate traffic to their websites or improve business relationships. Include testimonials if you have them; if not, you may want to ask former clients to share their experiences.
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    Include a cover letter on stationery and place it, your samples and your business card in a color-coordinated, two-pocket portfolio.

Method 2
Online Portfolio

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    Reproduce your physical portfolio as closely as possible by using the same samples as in your physical portfolio. Keep everything simple and clean; don't clutter your samples (or your website) with fancy designs and graphics.
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    Create PDF files of your samples so they can be downloaded and read by prospective clients. Include a link, if you can, so your prospective clients can find the websites where your work appears, such as the online versions of magazines that have published your articles.
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    Avoid attaching your writing samples in emails to prospective clients. Instead, provide the URL of your online portfolio.
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    Ensure that you provide a way for prospective clients to contact you by email or phone.

Tips

  • If you're new to freelancing, it's okay to create mock samples as long as you don't misrepresent them as work for actual clients.
  • Consider investing in your own domain name to make it easier for prospective clients to find you online.

Article Info

Categories: Visual & Written Media | Marketing