Do you need a freelance portfolio site?

August 21st, 2012

I sat on a panel tonight at a personal branding event at the University of Washington. One of my suggestions was that creative freelancers — writers, designers, illustrators, photographers and the like — set up an online portfolio as soon as possible. 

You even don’t need your own website to create an online portfolio. A number of free or nominally priced prefabbed portfolio sites make creating your own digital portfolio a cinch. Here are a few I’ve found. If anyone knows of any others, feel free to add them in the comments.

For writers and media professionals: mediabistro, ebyline, contently, pressfolios

For designers, illustrators, photographers and other visual artists: behance, carbonmade, cargocollective, etsy

For those who need a landing page to tie together all their online projects:

I’d also be curious to hear what kind of freelance job leads people are getting from these prefabbed portfolio sites. I’ve had my portfolio on mediabistro for the past couple of years and it’s paid for itself many times over. Yes, some inquiries from potential clients and editors don’t pan out (usually because their budget is too small for my taste). And yes, I may not get a nibble from an interested editor for months. But this month alone, my portfolio page yielded a four-figure assignment for a women’s magazine I’d never written for and another contact at a high-profile newsstand magazine that I hope to write for in the coming months.

How about you? What portfolio sites do you use and what kind of leads are you getting from them?

Entry Filed under: Branding,Client relations,Portfolios

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. StickGrinder  |  August 22nd, 2012 at 12:40 am

    In addition to I feel like promoting Zerply (I’m no way involved in the project, just a happy user). It’s in between for it’s lightweigth and visually enticing and LinkedIn (but NOT so cluttered!) for it allows other users to follow you on socials or endorse your reported activities, so that visitors can be assured you’re not talking big.

    I posted my profile in the URL field so you can see how it performs.

    JM2C. Nice post, thanks! :)

  • 2. Teresa Y Green  |  August 22nd, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you for these ideas. I am going from being a service provider (I’m a licensed acupuncturist) to a writer, and any information on getting your name and offerings out in the world is helpful.

  • 3. KristenHG  |  August 22nd, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve let my MediaBistro profile lapse; I’m sure the information there is not the most current and most awesome work I’ve done. Sounds like I should take the time to rectify that.

    I am using (or; they’re the same thing) as a way to present my best clips online. These days, I usually include a direct link or two to a relevant recent article in a pitch email and then the link to my site.

    In case you’re curious:

  • 4. Joss, elsewhere August 23&hellip  |  August 22nd, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    [...] Bookmarked The Anti 9-to-5 Guide » Do you need a freelance portfolio site? [...]

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Who I am

Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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