Pygmy Nuthatch

Succeed Outrageously as an Independent Creator

Curate Your Portfolio

Let’s talk about the kind of work you display to potential customers. It’s reasonable to assume that in order to fill up your pipeline with as much work as you can handle, your portfolio should be as broad and flexible as possible.

The downside to that philosophy is that the best clients aren’t looking for broad and flexible. They’re looking for a high-value partner who has the exact expertise and track record they need to solve their specific business case. Think about it. If I’m a commercial real estate broker looking to hire a new copy writer, and I view two portfolios—one of which contains articles about dogs, traveling through Asia, and Bitcoin, and the other has press releases about commercial real estate—which writer do you think I will hire?

If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, then it makes sense to cast a wide net as you probably don’t know yet what your sweet spot is and which industries you find appealing. However, as you grow in your skills and your value proposition, you will need to narrow your focus down to a small number of key selling points that resonate with your top client demographic.

I chose the word curate for the title of this post not to be trendy, but because you should treat your body of work as a museum curator treats the selection that the museum presents. Certainly you’ll want to show off your best work, but you’ll also want to show off the work that most appeals to the target market you want as future customers.