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In the last post, I looked at the most essential things you would need to get started in the freelancing business. In this entry, I am going to look at another important component which is essential for you to be able to find work. Before you start looking for work, you need a good and professional portfolio.
Many of you are failing in the freelancing business not because of inadequate skills, but because of a bad image. In order to be successful, you should present yourself as a leading expert in your field. For example, if you are a programmer and you want to work on programming projects, you have to demonstrate your skills so you can attract potential buyers.
When I started, I didn’t have a proper portfolio. I relied mostly on plane words and as you can imagine, these were my first failures. It was a real pain for me knowing that I was not selected to work on any projects, despite being placing bids non-stop (At times, I have been placing bids for over 20 different projects in a single day). I was disappointed and saddened, but I decided to experiment and I took a different approach. One day I cancelled all bids that I have placed, opened my favourite text editor and started to do my portfolio / CV. It contained all of my recent works as well as an extensive list of all technologies, languages and programs which I am fluent in, plus, details of a few references who could recommend me if the buyer decides to contact them for an independent opinion about the quality of my work. Then, I saved the file and uploaded it on my personal blog. Then I went to the freelancing site I am using to look for projects and placed a few more bids with the link to my portfolio inside.
Amazingly, after a few hours I won my first project. After a day, I have already completed the work and requested my money from the site and after a week, I was having my first $30USD into my PayPal account.
So my advice for you today is to write a compelling and eye-catching portfolio and I guarantee you will receive many more projects by doing so. Not only you’ll look more professional and trustworthy, but the buyers will know what exactly you can do for them and what you have done before, so they will have realistic expectations when they choose you to work on their projects. Yes, many times you will not be selected because, for example, a provider with better feedback has placed his / her bid on the same project as you, or, because the buyer has decided to work with a provider from a specific country or with a specific set of skills, but this is quite normal in the freelancing business. Nevertheless, your chance of success is quite high if you have a good and professional portfolio at your disposal.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go and do your first portfolio or CV. If you want inspiration, grab my CV to see how easy it is to do.