If you’re a freelancer, you have to pay your dues and work your way up the ladder. The problem is that a lot of people are sitting on portfolio material which can make getting the better jobs a lot easier. Many freelancers do work like book printing jobs and don’t seem to realize how valuable this work actually is.
The fact is that some of the most basic work forms the basis of all jobs. Good work in these fields is a lot more useful than people think it is. If you’ve done work as a ghost writer, cover designer, or formatting work for a book print, you’ve also done the fundamental work required for some much higher paying jobs.
Targeting a portfolio
Contracts and employers are looking for skills. The better your skills, and the more value you can bring to a job or a contract, the more likely you are to get that job. You’ll also more than likely get more work and above all add to your portfolio some of this very valuable higher rate material.
The classic mistake when going for jobs is to be a bit too literal minded in interpreting what the job wants. It’s advisable to do your homework on any job which attracts your interest.
Start with the basics:
Check out the products, content and design issues: This is like a map of the realities of the job. It’s valuable information, and it can also show you how to approach getting the job.
What does the job really need? This is critical approach. Look for the strengths and weaknesses in the work. If the job lacks something you can do, you’ve got material to work with.
What additional values can you bring to the job? What would you say you can do that they’re not doing? Don’t get too modest about this issue, because your skills may be exactly what this job needs.
What materials can you use to give a really good presentation? What do you have in your portfolio that’s better than their existing work? Remember that you’re the expert in this case, and your skills need to prove that you know what you’re doing. If the contract sees good value, you’ve got the job.
What can you create to show the contract or the employer? This is a slightly sneakier approach, but it’s effective. Can you do something in their type of business as a mockup, which will act as a portfolio presentation, even if you don’t have direct experience? If so, you’ll at least get their interest, and quite possibly any extra outsourcing work they’ve got, as well.
The idea is to make yourself very clear:
- Yes, you can do everything the job requires, and more
- Yes, you can prove your skills
- Yes, you can do brochure printing, greeting card content, flyer printing, whatever they need done.
A successful presentation has nothing to do with luck. It’s content that counts in getting the jobs as much as your designs and your content work. Keep that in mind, look for opportunities, and you’ll do very well.
What do you think?