In freelancing, you have higher chances of landing jobs when you have a portfolio. However, what should you do when you're just starting out and you don't have a compilation of your actual work to supplement your resume?
If you find yourself in this rut, don't fret. There are ways to create a portfolio from scratch.
Have the Right Perspective
Finding gigs is different from jobhunting. Yes, both aim to find clients, but when you’re a freelancer, you’re an independent professional who already has a complete skill set that’s integral to providing specific solutions that a client needs. Since you already have it in you, you are an expert who no longer needs training, as opposed to individuals who are looking to be hired. That should be your mindset at all times, even if you’re still starting out.
So when you’re looking for freelancing gigs, make sure to exude confidence in what you can offer. Clients need to see that you know what you’re talking about before they can trust you.
Create a Knowledge Inventory
If you want to make it in freelancing, you shouldn’t underestimate what you know.
Think of all the things that you have considerable knowledge of. Do you have skills in graphic arts? Do you have a knack for writing? Are you passionate about scuba diving? Make sure to list all these things down, because this will be your knowledge inventory, which will serve as a list of possible services you can offer.
Look for Clients
Well, of course, you have to get out there and find clients. When you’re starting out, this can be extra challenging. As a beginner, here’s what you can do to get clients and find jobs that you can eventually put in your portfolio. Here are two ways on how you can do so.
First, you can offer your services for free or for a very low cost. You can do this by:
· Letting friends and families know about your services
· Going online and looking at job listings like those on Freelancer
· Offering your services to a non-profit organization
· Talking to local businesses and establishments in your community
What you get from doing this will not affect you much financially, but it is an excellent way to market your skills. If a client likes your job, your services can be easily spread through their word-of-mouth or testimonials. Once you’ve built your reputation, you can now ask for a rate that actually matches the quality of your work.
Second, you can create your own project. When you choose to go this route, make sure that you add variety to your style, so that clients will see how versatile you are. Also, stay organized and focused on the task at hand. Yes, this is a personal project, but that doesn’t mean that you should be less professional about it.
These tips will enable you to build a portfolio from scratch. It can be quite challenging, but it’s not impossible. Just enjoy this initial phase of your freelancing career and deliver quality work regardless of how much you earn from it. Don’t worry – it will all pay off in the future.