How to Build a Portfolio the Right Way

If you’re a service provider or a freelancer, it pays to have a solid portfolio. Your portfolio will show potential clients that you have the experience and skills to handle their projects. However, one of the challenges to creating a quality portfolio is gaining the experience. Here’s how to build a portfolio the right way.

* Courses – There are a number of quality skill-building programs online. These programs often offer homework assignments along with professional feedback. This is an exceptional way to create a portfolio. It gives you the opportunity to work with experts in your craft. Additionally, you’re able to use the class as a source of credibility on your marketing materials.

* Spec work – Spec work is work that you essentially do for free. The agreement between you and your client is that if they like your work, they will pay you for it. If they don’t like your work, they won’t pay you. It’s a good way to get around the fact that you may not have a solid portfolio just yet, because it reduces the risk for your client.

Additionally, once they’re pleased with the work – and they will be because you’re going to knock their socks off – then you can use the work in your portfolio. Don’t forget to also add their testimonial to your sales page. And if they don’t like the work, you can still use it in your portfolio if you’re proud of the results.

* Volunteer work – Volunteer work is another opportunity for you to build a portfolio and to do good at the same time. Many non-profits can benefit from the work of freelance service providers. They get a service for free and you get quality samples for your portfolio. It’s great when you can reference something and show potential customers where they can find your work online too. It’s instant credibility.

As you build your client base, ask clients if you can use your best work in your portfolio. They’re most often quite proud to be shown off and it’s good exposure for them as well. Display your work in the most professional manner. If you have print samples, scan them onto your computer and save them as an image. Don’t just link to sales pages and content because those links will change. Actually, save the work you’ve done as an image or a document so your prospects can see your work first hand.

Have confidence in your work, whether you’re just starting out or have a portfolio full of professional samples. Confidence and the courage to take a few risks will help you build a portfolio the right way.

How to Write Your Way to the Bank

Did you know that writers are in high demand? In fact, there are many writers that easily take home six figures a year. And they get to make that money from their own home, the beach, the coffee shop – anywhere they can take their laptop. The writer’s life is a good one. Here are a few tips and suggestions to write your way to the bank.

1 Choose a lucrative writing field – Some writing opportunities pay more than others. For example, copywriting pays more than blogging in general because you’re selling a product or a service. Ghostwriting books pay more than article writing. And business to business writing is in high demand simply because there just aren’t enough writers providing the service.

2 Hone your skills – The great thing about writing is that you can always improve your skills. Writing is a craft and like most crafts, there is always room for improvement.

Be a constant student. Sign up for writing workshops, read books from expert writers, and learn your trade inside and out. You’ll be better able to answer your client’s questions and to provide the best service money can buy.

3 Specialize – In order to become a credible expert it helps to have a specialization. The specialization provides you the opportunity to fine-tune your craft, to offer a better service, and to charge more for your time.

You can specialize in a topic or field of interest, or you can specialize in a format. You can also specialize in both, for example, “self-help sales copy.”
4 Be ultra-professional – While there are many writers selling their services, many of them don’t take their business as seriously as they should. They miss deadlines. They don’t hire an editor and they don’t handle feedback or communication well.

As a writer, you’re a service provider and a business owner. Professionalism and customer service matter.

5 Be more than a writer – That isn’t to say that you should offer additional services; however, you can really write your way to the bank if you act as a consultant. You’re an expert, right? So people will come to you with questions. They’ll want your advice. Be ready, willing, and able to give it. When clients are able to count on you as a partner and consultant, they’re more than willing to pay you the big bucks.

6 Network – One of the best ways to build a writing business is to network. Connect with your clients and ask for referrals. Stay in touch with them by sending information they might find useful, or send them simple notes to say hello. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing device and it’s an effective way to build a writing business.

7 Be confident – Many writers charge much less than they can. Be confident in your skills and charge what you’re worth, keeping in mind what the market can support.

Writing your way to the bank is possible. Don’t believe the myth that writers don’t make any money. They do. Specialize, hone your skills, network, and be confident in what you have to offer. To your success!


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