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I do have a portfolio with the projects I worked on the last 8 years. I used to work at advertising agencies and started to work as a freelancer last year. I usually have two types of clients:
– direct clients (small business, professionals). I struggle with that a lot. Most of the direct clients that I prospect usually like my work and my proposal but “have no money to hire me”. I don’t send standardized quotes and always make a customized proposal based on what the client needs. I have a system to calculate my hourly rate though, which I’m always transparent with the client about. Sometimes this works but I haven’t build a long-term contract with this kind of client yet since I mostly offer social media strategy and data reports. I don’t like to work on the daily management on SM itself because I see a very demanding behavior on these kinds of clients and I find it not worth it for the rate I charge.
– agencies. I find this easier to manage. I send messages on Linkedin and emails presenting myself a lot, with my cv and portfolio and saying that I’m available for freelance projects only. I also use my contacts a lot to do that, I ask my ex-colleagues about open positions or needs that the agencies they work for may have and that can possibly match my skills. I got my last freelancer gig like this and managed to build a long-term contract with them because they liked my work.
About the portfolio and the information sharing: there are agencies/clients that ask me to send them internal materials (strategies I built for clients, presentations and reports that were made by me) but I never share them and it also makes me second guess about working for the place that asks something like that. They know that presentations, reports and strategies can’t be shared because this kind of material is for agency and client’s eyes only. I only share results that are public (like metrics from social media channels that are still live) or information that had been previously released from the agency or client itself (like results that are on campaign video cases when the campaign is running for advertising awards or stuff that the client shared with the press etc). In my portfolio I talk about the project, share public results, some content and show how everything worked together (I explain a bit of the strategy).
When working with direct clients I always ask them what can be shared about the project. If you want to take a look at my portfolio, PM me and I’ll be happy to share with you and talk about the social media freelancing stuff as well. 🙂