A good portfolio can be your greatest business card.
If well done you will impress and awe potential clients with what you can do. If done poorly it can end up hurting you more than it helps.
So what is a good portfolio?
If you offer several services then you’ll want to include your entire, diverse range of abilities. Try to include something for everyone.
If you are more single service focused you should still highlight a range of projects you’ve done and hopefully one or two things will appeal to everyone.
One of the hardest things when just starting out freelancing is simply filling your portfolio but there are ways you can get a kick start.
Make up projects for yourself. Create theoretical problems and tasks your similar to what you would be dealing with when doing work for clients and then solve them.
If you are a web designer there is nothing wrong with designing a web page that you never use.
If you are a coder you can make a free app or plug-in for one of the many opensource scripts online.
Don’t skimp on effort just because you aren’t doing this for a real client. If sloppy work is in a portfolio you plan to use to promoter yourself, then you’re better off not having one.
You can get ‘real’ jobs easier by offering to do something for a charity or popular websites will sometimes have unpaid contests for a new design or logo.
Now that you have some ideas you can build up some projects faster.
When you think you have a decent enough amount to create your portfolio here are some things to keep in mind.
-Keep it usable, don’t invent new user interface concepts.
-Be sure to provide as much as you can for potential clients to see.
-List what you did on each project.
-Provide demos if you can.
-If you have a well-known client, put them at the top.
-Try to keep it on one page that can be easily navigated.
-Don’t use a splash screen, get to the point.
-Keep your site targeted – if your market is businesses then keep it professional