A Great Website Can Help Freelancers Stand Out from the Crowd, Says Moonfruit

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Freelancers should make themselves stand out from the crowd, attract clients and improve their career prospects with an online portfolio showcasing their work, according to free DIY website builder Moonfruit.

According to website specialists Moonfruit, a professional online portfolio is key in attracting clients to freelancers.

As highlighted recently in an important industry report by freelance hub Elance, increasing numbers of people are working freelance, with 74 per cent of businesses expecting to take on more freelance support in the next year, which is a high statistic which will effect many business'.

A recent report in Forbes magazine examined a new take on the freelance market, where the worry of being paid and chasing payments was somewhat alleviated by an organisation called Rev. Rev matches freelancers with work and takes a percentage of payment, while also paying freelancers on a weekly basis for work undertaken the previous week. This is a recognized way of bringing in more work, and building up experience, and is a big movement within the freelance industry.

Regardless of what industry freelancers work in, and whether they find their work through third-party sites or independently, creating an effective online portfolio is a vital step in attracting clients. Elance reported that it had seen a 60 per cent increase in companies hiring freelancers through its service. So, with more freelancers out there, a good online presence is more important than ever.

For example, few people would hire a wedding photographer without seeing previous examples of their work. A well-presented online portfolio is the best way to do this. The trouble is, with the exception of web design freelancers, many lack the experience, time and money to create a website from scratch. According to Forbes, freelance transcribers can earn about $250 a month through Rev while translators can expect average earnings of $1000, although many do earn more than this.

Moonfruit is a DIY website builder which enables freelancers to set themselves up with online sites for free – always an appealing word to freelancers just setting out. This could be for a professional freelance photographer or illustrator, or for someone who wants to monetise a hobby e.g. selling home-knitted garments for charity.

A spokeswoman for Moonfruit was keen to emphasise how important a good online portfolio is in the current market: “If you’ve got something to show in a visual format, a portfolio can be a great addition to your CV when it comes to attracting clients and job hunting,” she said. “Clients and employers will no doubt be impressed that you’ve taken the time to do it, creating that all-important great first impression. We’re always impressed when people applying to work here have built a site with us to demonstrate their experience”

The spokeswoman also added that while an online portfolio does not need to replace a physical portfolio, the two can actually work well together.

“Digital portfolios allow you to show your work to people before you’ve secured a meeting (and would hopefully help to secure a meeting in the first place). They’re quicker to send and more convenient for both parties,” she explained. “You can always take a hard copy portfolio along to meetings and interviews as well as having your digital version. Offering both to potential employers could well score you extra brownie points!”

Most people now look online when searching for services, so it's more important than ever for anyone working freelance to have a strong online presence, whether that's a musician trying to get their work out to a wider audience or a local dog walking service.

To see a useful step-by-step guide to creating an online portfolio, click here.

About Moonfruit

Moonfruit is a DIY website builder that enables individuals and small businesses to start a free website, whether to showcase their work or sell online. Freelancers can use their site builder to create online portfolios with ease and total design control.

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Vicki Shiel
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