promoting your portfolio and getting paid work

Promoting Your Portfolio And Getting Paid Work

So, you’ve managed to put together your portfolio. If you feel ready to take the next step, it’s time to start getting some paid work under your belt! In this post, we’ll explore ways of promoting your portfolio and getting paid work. This is one of the most important skills in any freelancer’s toolkit. It’s also one that many of us find difficult.

Promoting your portfolio and getting paid for work can be hard. When you’re working for yourself and by yourself, it’s easy to become trapped in a bubble. Self-promotion is a fine art that takes practice to get right.

A lot of freelancers struggle with imposter syndrome. This can be something that holds you back if you let it.

In this post, I’m going to look at ways you can overcome this if it affects you. I’ll also share some ways you can grow your presence online and find opportunities for paid jobs. There’ll be some affiliate links in this post to some places I’d recommend getting started on your hunt for paid work.

How to start promoting your portfolio and getting paid work

One of the great things about working online is that there are various ways to promote your portfolio. It’s crucial to try and differentiate between yourself and your work. That can be hard when the two are inextricably linked. Still, if you begin to treat your work as a business, a separate entity to you, then things become a lot easier.

I always say that if my job were to promote someone else’s work and help them find jobs, I’d be great at it. However, when you’re doing it for yourself it can be challenging!

Fortunately, there are a range of online marketplaces, newsletters and social media tricks that you can use to your advantage as a freelancer.

promoting your portfolio and getting paid work

Freelancer marketplaces

These are networks or databases where you can effectively register yourself as a seller and offer your services to potential clients. They’re like the Yellow Pages (is that still a thing?) of freelancers! It’s free to list yourself with the vast majority of these marketplaces and they’re a great way to advertise your skills.

One you can start with is Fiverr. It’s free to sign up, plus it’s straightforward to set yourself up with a profile and get started with promoting your services. Something I like about Fiverr is that it lets you post individual services for people to choose from. This means that if you’re a multi-faceted freelancer, you’ve got flexibility. You can offer your design services alongside your writing or web designing skills, for example.

The variety of options available to Fiverr sellers is incredible. There are over 200 different offer categories for freelancers to promote their services. This is ideal if you’re just starting and haven’t quite worked out which area of freelancing is your strength yet.

Post some gigs in a few categories and the work will start coming to you.


Knowing where to look for freelance writing jobs can be difficult if you’re new to it. Luckily, there are some great newsletters for freelancers that will bring the jobs right to your inbox!

You can subscribe to freelance-specific newsletters and you’ll get a variety of curated opportunities emailed to you once a week. Sometimes you might have to wait for the right kind of opportunity. But, if nothing else, they help you work out who to contact when you want to pitch for a job.

Some of the newsletters I’d recommend getting started with are this one from Journo Resources, the Freelance Writing Jobs newsletter, this newsletter from MediaBeans and the Where To Pitch newsletter.

promoting your portfolio and getting paid work

Social media

Social media platforms can be goldmines for freelance opportunities. Most brands now use social media to increase awareness. This is often done with influencer collaborations, but there are also plenty of opportunities for writers, designers, game devs, website builders – you name it!

Twitter, in particular, is great for this. Check out some of the opportunities posted within hashtags relevant to your work. For example, #journorequest often turns up requests from newspaper and media figures who need input from freelancers.

A daily browse of the #prrequest hashtag can reveal opportunities from brands looking for writers to provide them with PR. This can be in exchange for payment or gifted products.

If you’re a game designer or developer, check out #gamejobs or #gamedevjobs. For more generic digital jobs, then #digitaljobs is another great starting point. If you’re an artist, curate some of your portfolio pieces into your Instagram feed and share them frequently online. Different social platforms work best for different types of freelancers, so explore which ones work well for you.

Promoting your portfolio with media databases

Another way to promote your work is to build up a presence on an online media database. If you’re a writer, in particular, this is a great option. It’s easy to do this with sites like Muck Rack, for example, which will curate your articles automatically. You can also add specific portfolio items manually to showcase your best work.

Other media databases and portfolio sites such as Contently or ResponseSource, for example, are also great resources for presenting yourself professionally and driving clients to your work.

Other ways of promoting your portfolio and getting paid work

Word of mouth is often the best kind of promotion, so ask your early customers for feedback. This could be in the form of a testimonial, a recommendation on LinkedIn, a Facebook review or a mention on social media.

The worst they can say is no. If they rate the work you’ve done for them, they’ll usually be happy to recommend you.

Make sure you include links to your portfolio and website in your email signature and your social profile bios. If you’re part of any online forums, add them to your profile signatures. Simple things like this can drive traffic to your portfolio which could convert into paid work! You don’t always have to be loud and in people’s faces to make yourself heard.

Tell people what you can do. List yourself on Fiverr. Share your work on social media. Make self-promotion a priority, but don’t worry if you find it hard. If you can distinguish yourself from what you can offer in your work, then it all becomes much, much easier.

promoting your portfolio and getting paid work

How do you handle promoting your work?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. It’s something that I often struggle with. To push through it though, you have to promote yourself regardless. Do you find it hard to promote your work? What are some tips you’d share with other freelancers about landing their first paid jobs?

Please do share your wisdom in the comments! If you’re here for the first time then you can also check out some of my other posts on going freelance and getting started in the digital world.

If you’ve found this post helpful then please give it a share or a pin on Pinterest. You might also enjoy some of my boards on freelancing over there or getting started with running a small creative business.

promoting your portfolio and getting paid work
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