Although it might seem like a good idea to include everything you’ve ever written in your portfolio—especially if you don’t have a huge bank to pull from—we’re here to tell you to think again.
You want the items in your portfolio to really count—each piece should highlight your skills and your style. Anything that doesn’t should be left out. Here are three things to keep in mind when selecting pieces.
- Content matters the most: More important than design or where a piece appeared is its content. Because clients will be looking to you to create content for them, that is going to be their focus when looking at your portfolio. Start by picking your strongest pieces.
- That being said, the “where” also counts: A well-written piece in a well-recognized outlet adds legitimacy to your work, so if you have to choose between two equally strong pieces—one from a well-known publication and one from an unknown—go with the one from the well-known publication.
- Decide on a theme: This varies depending on whom you are submitting to, but decide to emphasize variety or continuity and include pieces that support that theme. Have a few core pieces that are included in every portfolio you share, but then also have secondary pieces you can add or take out that appeal to specific target audiences.
Don’t worry if your portfolio is small at first. As you gain more experience, you can expand it. Remember that potential clients are busy—if the first piece they come across is poorly written, they won’t even take the time to check out your amazing piece a little farther down the list.
This leads us beautifully into step 3: “Creating a Freelance Portfolio: Organize Content,” which we’ll be posting shortly. Or, learn how to create content for you portfolio by visiting step 1: “Creating a Freelance Portfolio: Create Content.”