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Sep 13, 2023
6 Unique Portfolio Ideas From Successful Freelancers

6 Unique Portfolio Ideas From Successful Freelancers


To help freelancers find innovative ways to showcase their work, we asked six experts from the fields of Public Relations and Business Ownership for their best tips. From "Showcasing Work Through Storytelling and Editorial Layouts" to "Creating Interactive PDF Portfolio with SEO Metrics", discover the unique strategies these professionals have used to make their portfolios stand out.


  • Showcasing Work Through Storytelling and Editorial Layouts
  • Narrating Project Stories for In-depth Showcase
  • Multi-format Approach for Diverse Portfolio Presentation
  • Leveraging Instagram for Dynamic Portfolio Showcase
  • Building Personal Website for Portfolio and SEO
  • Creating Interactive PDF Portfolio with SEO Metrics


Showcasing Work Through Storytelling and Editorial Layouts

First and foremost, I consider the audience or the end user by choosing the best way to showcase my work that aligns with the most user-friendly medium. 


I lead creatively to draw an audience to connect and engage with my work. 


My most effective approach is to showcase my work through storytelling and editorial layouts or concepts that represent why a company is hiring me. 


For example, my clients want to be in magazines, newspapers, and on TV shows or broadcast segments, so I often showcase my portfolio in an editorial layout that resembles that of a magazine, or I compile short clips on video as a two-minute compilation PR campaign or manifesto that tells a story and communicates my vision and mission as a PR practitioner. 


I keep my portfolio short and sweet, with three to five categories or samples of my best work that start the conversation.


Amore Philip, Director of Public Relations, Apples & Oranges Public Relations


Narrating Project Stories for In-depth Showcase

Rather than just listing the projects you have completed with images and descriptions, turn each significant project into a story.


Start by setting up the problem or challenge your client faced and the objectives they wanted to achieve. Explain your role, the strategies, and creative ideas you employed, the process, and how you navigated any challenges or unexpected turns. Then reveal the outcomes, showing before and after scenarios, providing context for the success. You can also incorporate testimonials from the clients or other stakeholders in the project.


This narrative approach not only displays the finished work but gives potential clients an in-depth look into your problem-solving skills, creativity, and effectiveness. It's one thing to see a finished product; it's another to understand the journey it took to get there. This storytelling technique provides an engaging and dynamic way to showcase the depth and breadth of your capabilities.


John Cammidge, PPC Expert, jcammidge


Multi-format Approach for Diverse Portfolio Presentation

As a creative freelancer turned business owner, taking a multi-format approach to showcase my work portfolio has always worked best for me. When I want to showcase a particular skill or project, I like to take a multi-format approach and include text, images, videos, and sound clips, showcasing my proficiency from multiple angles and perspectives. I firmly believe that creative portfolios require a multi-format approach, and I really appreciate the platforms that enable us freelancers to employ this approach in our portfolios.


Ken Savage, Owner, Ken Savage


Leveraging Instagram for Dynamic Portfolio Showcase

Leveraging social media platforms has been a transformative experience for me as a former freelancer, and now, as a founder of an outdoor gym equipment business. A vivid example that comes to mind is when I used Instagram to highlight a particularly innovative piece of equipment we'd designed. By documenting the whole process from initial sketch, to fabrication, to installation, and finally, showing the equipment in use in real time, we managed to convey the full scope of our capabilities, craftsmanship, and commitment to quality. This virtual portfolio, enriched by community engagement and feedback, has not only boosted our visibility but also helped build a sense of trust and reliability in our brand. I believe it’s an interactive, dynamic way to showcase our work and connect with our target audience.


Lucas Riphagen, Co-Owner, TriActiveUSA


Building Personal Website for Portfolio and SEO

Creating a website for yourself to act as a portfolio can be beneficial in several ways:


(1) It gets you started on your SEO.


SEO takes a while to wrangle, so getting a start at it as early as possible is a nice bonus to creating a website to hold your portfolio. You can start publishing content, growing your domain authority, and even build some links.


(2) It can transform into anything you want it to.


Once you've turned your freelancing into something more, you will already have a website that you can change and transform into whatever it might be. A website can become whatever you want, so get started.


(3) People can find you, not just be seen by people you send it to.


If your portfolio is a PDF or slideshow, or whatever it might be, you can send it to others easily. But people can't find you.


Even if you don't buy a domain and have it viewable through a website builder, it's still a nice way to showcase your work as a freelancer!


Shaun Connell, Founder and CEO, U.S. Dictionary


Creating Interactive PDF Portfolio with SEO Metrics

As a writer, I didn't want to share complete documents with clients, since this would have made for a very long portfolio that isn't visually appealing. Instead, I created a PDF portfolio with clickable assets for easy review.


Each page highlights a different vertical (e.g., tech, real estate), and the user can click the link in the table of contents to be taken to their desired page. I included an image of each article with the title, then embedded a link so the user can click the image to read the full article. Rather than sending the user to the website, I linked to a PDF of the full article so that the article is permanent.


I also included some SEO metrics and search performance. For example, clients can see how much traffic the article is getting, the number of keywords and backlinks, and other details.


Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance