What to do as a beginner freelancer if there is no portfolio

You will need to work for some time to create the portfolio.

What to do as a beginner freelancer if there is no portfolio

The most common question for beginner freelancers is how to switch to freelancing without a portfolio? We tell you what to do if you have no experience and portfolio but want to work. It will require time and effort devotion. You will need to work for some time to create the portfolio. Yet, the applied actions will bring you the best result of new skills and a good-paying job. Let's start!

Create a CV

The first step you have to take is to find out what you want to do for a living. Then, it would be best if you created a CV. Next, add more detailed information about your working past, skills, and education. Then, when you gain new knowledge, write it down. The CV is the first step in this way! If you feel that you need a helping hand, you may hire a writer to assist you with your CV. Take a look at the list of services and peculiarities of their job.

Develop the portfolio

The portfolio is a must to convince a potential employer as a sign of freelancer professionalism, along with recommendations and reviews. However, a novice freelancer may have problems with this, in the sense that so far, there are no completed works that you could show to the client.

Sometimes there are situations when you lose your job and decide to go freelance, you don't have a portfolio, and you also want to change the field. In this case, give yourself a month: every day, work exclusively on the creation of new works and in different categories (if you are an illustrator, do not concentrate on only one type of illustration - to receive orders, you need to have at least 3-5 works on different topics: graphic design, characters, sketches, logos).

Where to take tasks?


A potential customer needs to see not what you have done for others but what you can do. Therefore, a job seeker can form a portfolio from educational projects you completed as part of a course, master class, or internship. Such academic centers and activities often do good work because they encourage you. You perform them under the supervision of professionals. They are not ashamed to show the world. Do not be shy that this is a study job - if you develop and improve your skills, this is a good sign for the client.

Search on freelance platforms

If you do not know where to get orders, use a life hack: browse projects and competitions on exchanges and try to make a project on open guidelines and requirements. Then you can either send the completed order to the customer (even if you did not respond to the project, offer to look) or immediately add it to the portfolio.

You do not infringe copyright: you have completed the project yourself on an assignment published in the public domain. If you are worried, fantasize about the topic proposed in terms of reference and do your own project.

Make up your tasks

The last option is to work on projects with a fictitious task. Yes, create yourself a mission and represent it with your solution. If there are no blueprints for an actual project, come up with it! And implement it the way you would if a client ordered it for you. It often happens that it is your projects that customers recognize you. To some extent, this works as part of your self-promotion.

Ask your friends

Another option is to do work for friends. Indeed your friends, relatives, and colleagues are working on or running their projects. Offer them your services on preferential terms or for free. That will make it easier for you to start: there will be a reason to practice doing custom work, and you will not feel intense pressure - it is easier to agree with friends.

Yet, be aware that working with friends and family is a high responsibility. When it comes to money, conflicts, misunderstandings, and quarrels arise. Cooperate with acquaintances only on a barter basis or agree, clearly prescribing all the transaction terms.

Devote time to do your job for free

For copywriters, the perfect way to get your first orders is to come up with them yourself. There are several resources where you can publish your texts for free (and somewhere you will even be paid). Then, if your articles are approved, you will get an excellent line in the portfolio and a couple of solid links.

Write in the editorial office, and suggest topics and articles (do not forget about the issue: do not send a report on web design to the city magazine). But make sure they are unique, that is, freshly written, not taken from where they have already been posted. And do not send the exact text to several publications.

The main thing is to look for opportunities to show yourself and not underestimate your talents. Don't expect an "ideal project" that will be "worthy" of portfolio placement. Instead, spread everything you made with your own hands. At the beginning of the transition to freelance, try to disable your perfectionism and self-criticism, allow yourself to make mistakes, and be an imperfect performer.

Then, when you have a portfolio and fulfill a hundred or so orders, you will realize that the perfect project will never be because we learn and develop throughout life, and each new job will be better than the previous one. When your portfolio is ready, add it to the freelance platform.

Find a mentor

Take a look! Many experienced freelancers can't handle a large amount of work. Thus, they often look for helpers. Try to find such a mentor and you. For beginners, teamwork is a great way to improve your skills, get support from real pros, build a portfolio and take your first orders.

Practice in the interested group

Get a job as an intern at the studio. It is an easy option for those who have not had orders yet. In the studio, you will not only go through the school of a young fighter, hone your skills, but also be able to learn from colleagues. Often this work is routine, but then you have a whole arsenal of projects for the portfolio. Remember that you cannot add to the portfolio work completed by a team where your participation is partial. Over time, you will become more confident in yourself and be able to go free swimming.

Do not hesitate

Take the initiative into your own hands and at first do the work for reviews and recommendations while building a portfolio of your work. Most customers indicate that they always pay attention to the quantity and quality of thoughts from a freelancer. The more positive reviews and the fewer negative ones, the more credible the freelancer is.

To sum up, there are techniques to get the dream job even when you are a newcomer. So do not be afraid, be ready to work and create for your career's sake. Finally, we wish you good luck with your endeavors!