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Stand Out on Upwork: How to Make Your Portfolio Sell for You

portfolio upwork Mar 14, 2024

As a freelancer who’s built a pretty good business on Upwork, I get asked all the time — “How did you stand out in a sea of so many freelancers?”

One little-known secret? 🤫 Leverage your portfolio as a hidden sales tool!

Your portfolio is prime real estate for showcasing your skills, process and past success. But most freelancers completely miss out on using this section strategically.

Don’t leave money on the table. Follow these pro tips to make your portfolio pop and do some serious selling for you.

Hook Clients Instantly with Eye-Catching Visuals

Your portfolio thumbnails are one of the very first things a potential client sees. They’re scanning for someone who looks legit and is showing off impressive work.

So ditch generic stock photos! Feature custom graphics, logos, screengrabs, or branded images from past client projects. This builds instant intrigue to click and explore further.

Outline Your Process from Start to Finish

Many clients have no idea the steps it takes to actually get what they need. It’s your job to talk them through your typical process from start to finish using photos, graphics, screenshots and captions.

the tools you use, key milestones, deliverables, and results you achieve in each step -this builds huge trust and credibility.

Get Specific About WHO You Help and HOW

For each portfolio item, explain exactly who the client was, their unique challenge, and how you solved it successfully. Get into the details!

Quantify your results with real stats — traffic increases, ROI, conversions, etc. Prove you know how to help clients in their specific niche or circumstance.

Weave In Social Proof and Testimonials

Did a client rave about how amazing you were to work with? Ask to use their kind words in your portfolio or a testimonial widget.

Doing this makes your portfolio a brag book of happy customers and amazing feedback.

Social proof sells 10x better than you tooting your own horn.

Link to External Sites to Show You’re the Real Deal

If you built a website, managed a social campaign, or have a live product featured in your portfolio, link out!

Seeing the live, functioning end result you produced goes much further than just a static screenshot to build credibility.

Refresh and Update Frequently

Your Upwork portfolio has unlimited room.

So take advantage by adding new projects regularly to keep it fresh and ever-evolving.

Rotate older items out as you complete bigger and better work over time. Reflect your growth and expanding skills.

Strategically Pin Your Best Projects

Upwork lets you “pin” your top 3 portfolio items right on your profile. Make them shine!

Pick the most impressive projects that align with your niche and the types of clients you want to attract. Show off your best work.

Fill Your Portfolio Feed Too

In addition to the main pinned projects, you can add smaller portfolio thumbnails in the “feed” section of your profile.

Populating this with additional examples makes you appear more established. Don’t let it stay empty!

Your portfolio is prime real estate for showcasing your skills, process and credibility. Take advantage!

Curate it intentionally with your ideal clients in mind and watch it work overtime to attract your perfect prospects.

Need more help building a compelling portfolio? Check out my free masterclass on How to Create a Standout Profile on Upwork. No matter where you’re at in your freelance or business journey this FREE training will help you feel confident creating a standout profile and landing more clients on Upwork.

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