Why Your Portfolio Is Your Best Marketing Tool as a Copywriter

As a freelance copywriter, you need some marketing tools in your arsenal to have lasting success. Finding new clients and work is challenging, but having a portfolio can make all the difference. Today, we’re talking about all things portfolio related, starting with defining what we’re actually talking about when we talk about portfolios.

Join us if you’ve ever wondered what a portfolio could do for you.

What are Portfolios in Copywriting?

In copywriting, a portfolio is a collection of samples of your writing that you can present to clients. It’s similar to a resume for someone looking for a full-time job. Portfolios serve a couple of primary purposes for you as a copywriter.

Firstly, your portfolio proves you can produce excellent work that your clients love. Secondly, it acts as a record of your improvement and progress throughout your career. Most copywriters use digital portfolios housed online to showcase their work to prospective clients. 

An online portfolio makes it easier to maintain portfolios for different niches without manually switching samples from your portfolio. It also makes it simple to add additional sections and contact information to your portfolio. Now that we’ve clarified what copywriting portfolios are, let’s discuss their value.

Why is a Copywriting Portfolio Important?

As a freelance worker, you must produce evidence of your skills to prospective clients. A copywriting portfolio is the most convenient way to go about it. You can build on your portfolio as you progress in your career, looking back at older work to see how much you’ve developed professionally. 

Copywriting is a skill you can build on throughout your life. Keeping a record of your older work shows your improvement clearly. It also makes it easy to showcase only your best work. When you improve as a copywriter, you can replace samples in your portfolio so it reflects the work that makes you the most proud. 

One of the main reasons clients hesitate to work with freelance workers is that they worry they won’t get their money’s worth. The crucial reason to have a copywriting portfolio is to have proof that you can produce the work your client needs. It also shows your history in specific niches, like medical writing or SEO writing.

Furthermore, you can include your contact information in your portfolio, allowing clients to contact you directly. Your portfolio can become a marketing pipeline to bring more work your way - what could be better?

However, having an excellent portfolio is about more than just throwing some samples together.

How to Create a Great Copywriting Portfolio

A great portfolio needs to do several things. Ideally, your ‘completed’ copywriting portfolio will fill these roles.

  • Demonstrate your abilities

  • Invite clients to contact you

  • Have an aesthetically pleasing finish

Your copywriting portfolio should show off your abilities, but taking it from a basic portfolio to a great one requires you to invest more time. So, let’s discuss what your portfolio needs to be your best marketing tool.

What Should Be in a Copywriter Portfolio?

We can break a simple copywriting portfolio into three main pages, with some optional additions depending on your experience and preference. Most copywriting portfolios break down like this.

  • Homepage: This is the landing page for your portfolio, where you can display a brief introduction and your writing samples.

  • About Me: This page will have more information about you, your educational background, and any work history you had before becoming a freelancer. You should also include personal information, like your favourite book or a film that impacted you.

  • Contact Me: On this page, you should include information about how to get in touch with you. You should also provide an estimate on how long it typically takes for you to reply - and stick to it.

You can also include optional pages like these in your portfolio.

  • My Services: This is a page for you to tell clients what services you offer. You can specify types of copy like blog posts, email campaigns, and landing pages. Some copywriters combine this page with the ‘contact me’ page.

  • Other Niches: More experienced copywriters who have established a presence in various niches might use this method to organise their portfolios. Rather than having a homepage with writing samples, they’ll have a more straightforward homepage with a directory of their areas of expertise.

  • Client Testimonials: If you have some experience and some satisfied clients, get their permission to include their testimonials in your portfolio. Client testimonials can reassure prospective clients and encourage them to work with you.

     

Now that we have an overview of what you should include in your copywriting portfolio let’s go into greater detail. 

What to Include in Your About Me Section

Your ‘about me’ section is a biography where clients can learn more about you and your background. Include different subheadings to distinguish between your educational experience, work history, professional values, and personal information. It would help if you also considered a photograph of yourself.

A professional headshot makes you more reliable and trustworthy to clients. So much of freelance work today is done digitally. Emails can lead to phone or video calls, but writers and clients rarely meet face-to-face in today’s freelance job market. Giving clients a chance to see your face clearly gives you some credibility and builds trust.

As a professional copywriter, you should find an eloquent phrase to summarise your mission statement. Identify why you’re passionate about copywriting and what you want to help businesses achieve. Condense your ideas into a slogan or tagline that suits your style as a copywriter, and include it in your portfolio.

What to Include in Your Copywriting Portfolio Samples

Writing samples are the foundation of your copywriting portfolio. But you shouldn’t just include samples without further information. For each writing sample, you must include details about the project you worked on and what kind of direction and interaction you and your clients had throughout. Contextualising your samples helps prospective clients see the depth of your understanding and ability.

Samples for your portfolio don’t need to be the entire length of the finished work. In fact, for content like articles and blogs, you shouldn’t fully feature the piece for a few reasons. For one, you risk devaluing the rankings of the original content you produced for your clients if you duplicate it in its entirety. Also, prospective clients just don’t need to read that much to know if they’re interested in hiring you.

What to Include in Your Contact Page 

In an ideal world, looking at your portfolio is enough for a business to want to reach out and hire you. With that in mind, the information you include in your ‘contact me’ page is crucial. Give clients a business email they can send inquiries to and a timeframe for when they can expect to hear back from you.

You should also link to your social media pages if they’re an extension of your freelancing business. At the very least, connecting your LinkedIn page with your portfolio reinforces your authenticity for clients. The reverse applies too; link your portfolio on your socials to attract more clients and elevate your reputation as a freelance copywriter.

Once the first version of your portfolio is complete, you can start sending it out to prospective clients.

How to Send Your Portfolio to Potential Clients

There are a few ways to send portfolios as a freelance copywriter. The two main ways are cold pitching and warm pitching. Cold pitching is when you send your portfolio to a potential client you’ve never spoken to before. It follows the same basic concept as a cold sales call.

How to Cold Pitch Your Portfolio

When you’ve found a client you’d like to work with, begin with comprehensive research. You want to learn about the company’s products or services, as well as its history, culture, and values. Find out who the most relevant person to contact is, likely a hiring manager or a marketing manager, and see if you can find them on LinkedIn to learn more about them.

When you write your email, customise it to the company as much as possible. Talk about recent projects they’ve started or completed, and describe how you would be excited to provide your services as a copywriter. Mention any relevant experience you have within their niche as well.

Try to balance being polite and personal. It’s essential to make a professional impression, but emails without personality are easy to overlook amidst the waves of correspondence we receive daily. Beyond cold pitch emails, there are also warm pitch emails.

How to Warm Pitch Your Portfolio

Warm pitching is when you send a pitch to someone you’ve either worked with or have some basic relationship or connection with. Depending on how well you know the recipient, you can be a bit more informal with warm pitches.

You should still conduct the same amount of research for a warm pitch as you would for a cold pitch. Thoroughly preparing is the best way to get to the next step with your prospective client. The same applies to mentioning any history you have that could benefit the company.

Draw on any personal relationships or connections you have with the recipient. For example, perhaps you used to work with their colleague or briefly met at a recent convention or event. This is why networking is an essential tool for freelance copywriters.

Essentials for Portfolio Pitches

These are the necessities you must remember for your most successful portfolio pitch.

  • Include a Link to Your Portfolio: It sounds obvious, but it’s easy enough to forget to link your portfolio in your emails. Ideally, make a professional email footer with your information and a link to your portfolio so you can never entirely ‘forget’ it.

  • Always be Polite: Obviously, you should be polite when you talk to clients. Although you also want to be charismatic, don’t risk a jokey comment that can potentially offend the recipient.

  • Invite Communication: Pitches aren’t really about securing a client so much as it’s to open the door to negotiations with them. Mention that you’re excited to hear back from them to discuss how you could help them, and always encourage them to reach out to you.

There you have it, just about every aspect of why your portfolio is your best marketing tool as a copywriter. If you need more guidance or information about copywriting, join us at The Author’s Pad, where writers live and work.

FAQs

Here are our responses to some frequently asked questions about marketing yourself as a copywriter.

How do I Market Myself as a Copywriter?

We firmly believe that your portfolio is your strongest marketing tool as a copywriter. It shows your abilities and your work history in one fell swoop. Beyond your portfolio, networking in person or online is an excellent way to get the word out that you’re the freelance copywriter any business would love to work with. 

How do Copywriters Get Clients?

Networking with other copywriters is one of the best ways to get clients. One of the most complex parts of being a copywriter is finding new clients, and most copywriters are happy to recommend each other for specific niches or projects. Joining a community of similar copywriters gives you an inside track of the latest jobs.

What do Clients Want from a Copywriter?

Clients want a creative copywriter who can inject fresh ideas into their business. They look for writers who can think through an SEO lens to create unique content that enhances their products and services, deepening their relationship with their market and elevating their brand identity.

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