How To Make Your Portfolio Better And Get More Clients: Part 2
In the last part of this topic, I covered ways to improve your portfolio. Usability was the main issue at hand, and I presented many ways in which you could make your portfolio user-friendly, and therefore attract more potential client interest. In the second part of this topic, I decide to go deep into the realm of marketing; and obviously in particular, the marketing of your portfolio.
Now, there are an abundance of ways for freelancers to market their portfolio in order to get more exposure and ultimately get better clients. I’ve noticed that freelancers in particular don’t take time out of their usual schedule to come up with new, creative ideas on how to promote their portfolio. A lot of freelancers don’t dedicate nearly as enough time as they should marketing and they don’t do it right. Well, here’s a list on ways in which you can effectively market your portfolio (also included are ways you could directly land more clients as well).
Ways To Creatively Market Your Portfolio And Score More Clients
1) Start a blog with tutorials/resources/articles
As a freelancer, you should always be trying to expand the audience of your portfolio. A lot of the time though there isn’t much more to attract visitors than your work (because obviously, it’s a portfolio, it’s meant for that) but by adding additional content to your portfolio you can attract visitors that would not have necessarily visited otherwise.
For example, if you write a bunch of articles on finding the right freelancer on a blog you’ve put up on your portfolio, then soon enough when someone searches with regard to that topic, your portfolio will come up with that article, and you’ll be receiving targeted, relevant traffic to your portfolio that could potential convert into a client.
To look at this in another perspective, say for example you’re a freelance designer and you really enjoy designing user-interfaces for web applications. Why don’t you write up and distribute programming tutorials on your portfolio? That way you’ll be attracting a programmer-based audience, some of whom may be looking for a good user-interface designer for their web applications. Even if you don’t manage to score those programmers as clients, you’re still spreading your name around which is always a good thing when it comes to recommendations.
2) Purchase Advertising
I don’t really recommend this method much because it isn’t that effective (well, from what I’ve tried) but if you’re experienced enough in private ad purchasing you could make this work. Try and find cheap advertising on targeted, relevant websites with good amounts of traffic for your portfolio. Make a small, creative ad for your portfolio and purchase any ad spots you find that fit the bill.
3) Join networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
By joining websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and the rest of them you can get your name out there much more effectively. Remember, the Internet is a crowded place, and competition is fierce for positions such as freelance designers and coders. Make sure your profiles have a link back to your portfolio.
4) Join your local Chamber of Commerce
This one isn’t so much about increasing exposure to your portfolio but about scoring direct clients from ‘word-of-mouth’. I doubt you’d score any clients straight off the bat from this method, but over time you will. The best way to take advantage of ‘word-of-mouth’ advertising is to network face-to-face with other people – that way you’re fresh in their mind when they need to recommend someone.
5) Establish yourself as a market leader
This one’s a lot tricker than the rest. How do I establish myself as a market leader I hear you say? Well, first off you can put yourself forward to talk at local design/coding/writing events (or events related to whatever you’re freelancing in). This will naturally get you established as a big name in the market. You could also try publishing articles in the bigger media outlets related to your freelancing field. For example, if you’re a freelance designer you could try and get articles published on major design-related sites like Smashing Magazine.
6) Participate in related forums
By participating in discussion in related web forums to your freelancing field, you help garner a name for yourself. Don’t forget to include your portfolio in your signature! I stress to you NOT to post spammy type posts on forums, they don’t get you anywhere. Instead, try to discuss important issues with regards to your field.
7) Spread those cards!
Do you have business cards? No? Well, get some printed. They don’t have to be expensive or anything, just decent; although you could be very creative with your business card and therefore garner a lot more attention to yourself (which could in the end land you more clients). Some people have been so creative with their business cards it’s unbelieveable.
8) Ask for recommendations from family and friends
There’s no harm in telling your family and friends what you do and telling them to refer anyone interest in such a service to you. You can hit the odd client or two like this and it requires little effort.
9) Best and only the best
Make sure you only place the BEST of your work on your portfolio. Personally, I would place a maximum of 6-8 seperate pieces of work. Potential clients just need to get a feel for the quality of your work, not examine all the work you’ve ever done!
There you have it, a couple ways for you to increase exposure to your portfolio, and a few general ways in which you could potentially land more clients. Following these tips will hopefully bring you good results, and land you some really valuable clients.
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