If you are a new freelancer or an old one that is changing direction, you may be thinking about your portfolio. The fact is, that a portfolio is the make or break of a business. It is a method to advertise your services, as well as attracting new clients. Building a portfolio can be a struggle—if you do not know where to look. Read on to discover some of the best methods to build a portfolio.

The first, and the most obvious one, is to work for free. It will entice clients and get your name out there, as well as building your experience.

Alternatively, you could consider working for a lower fee. This is financially safer yet will still give you an advantage in getting clients.

Check out freelance sites for smaller gigs. You could offer to do it for a lower fee in order to get your business going, but taking on a small, shorter-term project is a fantastic way to build up some samples of work—while still getting paid.

Your portfolio does not have to be comprised of completely full projects. You could include partially completed things labeled as “excerpt” or a sketch (depending on your industry). This will show the quality of your work, while not taking too long to do.

You can do some practice projects on topics that you enjoy as examples.

Another option would be to include case studies to show off your project management and your results-driven work. This shows your process and the benefits of working with you.

Including testimonials is another valuable option for your portfolio—if you do not have any, you could always contact past clients. Or, simply wait, and build up some quality reviews.

Do your own content—you should build a relationship with your audience and presence in the community. The kind of blog you do can be dependent on your industry—for example, having an active Instagram account could be beneficial, alternatively starting a blog could be the better option.

Additionally, do not forget to include some highlights from your resume—skills, education, and experience are all things your audience will be interested in.

In conclusion, portfolio building is the same as business building and is an essential element of the freelance business creation process. A quality portfolio is pivotal to success.