As a copywriter, your portfolio is your magic wand to reel in potential clients.
If done right, it’s a potent weapon to swing the client’s decision in your favour, forming the first impression that could seal the deal.
However, many copywriters, especially new ones, find it daunting to create a client-winning portfolio. Don’t panic If you’re one of them. You’ve landed here.
This post will teach you the secrets to building a compelling writing portfolio that showcases your exceptional skills and attracts clients. Read on.
- Creating a Copywriting Portfolio: The Basics
- What Should a Copywriting Portfolio Look Like?
- Do You Need a Portfolio as a Copywriter?
- Benefits of a Copywriting Portfolio
- What Should a Copywriting Portfolio Include?
- How to Build a Copywriting Portfolio
- Best Copywriting Portfolio Builder Tools
- How to Write a Copywriting Portfolio with No Experience
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping up
Creating a Copywriting Portfolio: The Basics
While creating a portfolio may seem intimidating, it’s surprisingly easy. And the good news is, as a copywriter, you already possess the necessary skills to make it happen.
Before we delve deeper, let’s discuss the fundamentals.
What is a Copywriting Portfolio?
A copywriting portfolio is an organised collection of your previous written pieces demonstrating your copywriting prowess. It’s an integral part of becoming a copywriter as it showcases your creative abilities to prospective clients and highlights your writing style, the results you have achieved, and feedback from previous clients.
Think of your copywriting portfolio as a skill marketing tool that positions you as an authority in the copywriting domain. It consists of your most impressive writing pieces that dazzle people while furnishing them with social proof.
What Should a Copywriting Portfolio Look Like?
When you think about your copywriting portfolio, you must consider who will review it – your potential clients. What exactly are they looking for? Let’s see.
Your portfolio should have an inviting look that clients can’t work past. When potential clients land on your copywriting portfolio, they want to understand what you’re about and what you have to offer at a glance.
One way to do this is by organising your portfolio by categories such as Website copy, landing pages, emails, blog posts, long-form content, Ads, etc. This way, they can go straight to what they are looking for.
House Your Best Works
While adding all your past work to your portfolio might sound like a good idea. It’s not. Your portfolio is neither your swipe files nor it is your work archive.
You must be selective about the pieces that make it to your portfolio. Make sure that each one is of the highest quality. The goal should be to convince them to hire you after seeing the least number of work possible.
Show Your Personality
Want to show potential clients that you’re more than just a cookie-cutter copywriter? Infuse your portfolio with your unique personality and style.
While your work may give a glimpse into that, it’s better to come all out. Add a personal statement showcasing your voice and tone, or include a section highlighting your hobbies and interests. That will make you stand out and make your portfolio memorable.
Flaunt Your Versatility
There’s no crime in specialising in a specific type of copywriting. But copywriters are known for nimble creativity.
The ability to pivot from niches to niches, topics to topics and still deliver results is what clients want in their to-be copywriter. So add content for various niches, industries and audiences in your portfolio.
Add Context as Applicable
Adding background information about each piece in your portfolio can go a long way to help clients see what value you can bring to their projects.
While some works, like blog posts, may not require extra information, more complex or specialised work, like a landing page, requires sharing insight into your thought process and how the page comes together.
Do You Need a Portfolio as a Copywriter?
A copywriting portfolio is not a must-have. But having one will open more doors of opportunity. If you mean business, you need a portfolio for your copywriting career.
Clients want to see your best work, but they can’t afford the time to dig the internet for them. Your portfolio puts everything they need to see in one place.
A copywriting portfolio includes samples of your writing abilities, helping them trust the quality of your work.
Benefits of a Copywriting Portfolio
Get More Jobs
A well-crafted copywriting portfolio increases your exposure and helps you attract new clients, particularly when you leverage effective search engine optimisation strategies. It helps clients find you online as the internet is the first place they look for services.
By targeting a niche like B2B SaaS copywriting, you can optimise your portfolio website with keywords in your main headers and throughout your body copy.
That way, your page might appear when potential clients use search engines like Google to search for SaaS copywriters.
And the rules of the internet are simple. The more traffic you generate, the more prospects you will likely convert.
Impress Potential Clients
A visually appealing copywriting portfolio makes an impactful first impression on potential clients.
It gives them a sense of your style and tone and your ability to create compelling copy that resonates with their target audience. A portfolio is a great way to show people you’re serious about your craft and confident in your abilities.
Showcase Your Best Work
You’ve written many pieces, the good, the bad and the ugly. But potential clients are not ready to sift through all to find your best work.
That’s where a well-organized copywriting portfolio comes in. Putting your great pieces in one easy-to-find location is a better way to convince clients to hire you.
And by continually updating your portfolio with your latest work, you can show your growth and progress as a writer and demonstrate your commitment to excellence.
Reveal Your Writing Process
Coming up with any type of copywriting assets requires a well-structured approach. How do you tackle this task? What are the steps you follow? How long does it take to complete the process, from inception to the final revision?
Your copywriting portfolio can hint at all the above, displaying your organisational skills, meticulous attention to detail, and thorough research methods.
By revealing your work procedures, you show transparency and foster trust with potential clients. Your portfolio is a testimony to the effort and hard work you put into each project.
What Should a Copywriting Portfolio Include?
Now that you have a clear idea of what a portfolio can do for your copywriting career, the next question arises – what should you include in it? How do you fill it up with the right content?
Both can be tricky questions. But don’t worry, we’ve helped you nail it in 3 points.
- Different Kinds of Samples:
- Different Brand Tones and Styles
- Samples Closest to What You’d Like to Write in the Future
Different Kinds of Samples
As the world of businesses is diverse and vast, so is the realm of copywriting. That’s why including various writing samples in your portfolio is essential.
The goal is to demonstrate your versatility and show potential clients you can create the type of content they require.
Different writers need different portfolios, but here are some examples for a copywriter;
- Website copy: Homepage, about, services, product and contact page copy.
- Advertisements: Print, display, search, and online banner ads.
- Marketing Materials: Brochures, flyers and sales letters
- Social Media Posts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn content
- Product Descriptions: E-commerce product pages and catalogues
- Articles and Blog Posts: Personal blog and guest posts, feature articles and news articles
- Scripts: Video scripts, jingles and radio Ads
- Speeches: Keynote speeches and event speeches
- Press Releases: Product or service launch and company news
Different Brand Tones and Styles
For your copywriting portfolio, variety is key. A portfolio with varied writing styles and tones shows clients how adaptable you are.
From formal or casual brands, serious or playful brands, humorous, and everything in between, show potential clients that you have the flexibility and creativity to write in a way that fits their brand tones and resonates with their audience.
Similarly, it’s essential to include different writing styles in your portfolio. For example, look at technical writing, B2B writing, D2C, and B2C marketing writing.
Samples Closest to What You’d Like to Write in the Future
Creating separate portfolios for the type of writing you’re most interested in pursuing increases your chances of landing clients.
Focusing your copywriting work on specific niches positions you as a subject matter expert and increases your value in the eyes of potential clients. As such, you can land high-ticket clients and command higher rates.
For instance, you could advertise as a web copywriter and add relevant work samples such as web copy, service page, product page, blog posts and landing page, and sales page copy to your portfolio.
Similarly, you can create a portfolio as an Ads copywriter and have display ads, social ads, and social and magazine ads in your portfolio. You can be an email copywriter as well.
How to Build a Copywriting Portfolio
When it comes to building your copywriting portfolio, you have 2 options;
- Option 1: Build a personal portfolio website from scratch
- Option 2: Use a copywriting portfolio builder tool
Building a website from scratch sounds cool, but it can be an unnecessary burden when starting. A beginner’s time is best spent honing their skills, building connections and pitching clients.
Creating a website from scratch can be time-consuming and require some technical skills. That includes learning about website builders, themes, plug-ins, on-page SEO, and web hosting, coupled with the cost of running it.
While you can hire a developer to handle these details, it can be cost-prohibitive for beginners.
You can set up a copywriting portfolio website using a copywriting portfolio builder tool in a few clicks and hours. The good part is that some of these tools are free. Below are 3 of the best tools for that purpose.
Best Copywriting Portfolio Builder Tools
Clippings.me offers writers, bloggers, and journalists an effortless way to showcase their writing skills. With over 100,000 users, you can create a stunning portfolio by uploading writing clips and customising the design.
Clippings.me free plan allows writers to add a bio, media clips, and other customisable features to make their portfolio stand out.
Carbonmade is another excellent portfolio builder tool for copywriters. The platform offers several templates you can customise to match your brand.
Starting at $9 per month, users can create up to 8 live projects. And if you aren’t ready to go live, the free plan has everything you need.
Copyfolio is a powerful portfolio builder with free and paid plans. With its free version, copywriters can access a website template, three website pages, and several mock-ups.The paid version with all features is $15 a month.
All the above tools make it super simple to get your portfolio website up and running quickly. No coding is required, and no hefty setup and maintenance costs. You can get started with any of these platforms in 3 steps;
- First, sign up and choose a template, a preset colour palette and your font.
- Next, it’s your chance to shine. Add some witty copy to your home, about me, and contact pages.
- Now, impress potential clients by adding and categorising your projects.
It’s that simple.
How to Write a Copywriting Portfolio with No Experience
One of the most common questions among new copywriters is: How do I create a copywriting portfolio without experience?
Does that sound like you? Here are some ways you can get samples to populate your portfolio:
1. Do Spec Work
The first way to fill your Copywriting portfolio with samples is to do spec work. It means writing for a job you don’t actually have.
You can pick any company on the internet and write copywriting pieces for their websites, social media, landing page, ads etc.
The goal is to create a made-up project and show potential customers what you can do. Note, make sure you indicate this in your portfolio.
2. Write for Non-profits
Agreed, you want to get paid for your hard work, but you can sacrifice and get something in return- worthy portfolio samples.
Non-profit organisations are always on the lookout for volunteers in different roles. You could offer your service as a copywriter to gain hands-on experience. You won’t only be building your portfolio, but you will also be serving humanity.
3. Exchange Your Service
While you wait to land your first project, nothing stops you from offering your copywriting service to other businesses and getting the reward in kind.
For instance, write the website copy for a web design company and let them create an essential portfolio website for you.
It’s a double win. You get samples to add to your portfolio and a website. This kind of relationship works well with friends and family members who need copywriters for their businesses.
4. Work as an Intern
Another way to gather experience and build your copywriting portfolio is to work as an intern. You’ll find companies looking for copywriting interns on job boards. An internship program offers you the chance to work on real-life projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Pieces Should Be in a Copywriting Portfolio?
Quality over quantity is the watchword when it comes to your copywriting portfolio. While cramping as many pieces as possible may be tempting, it’s better to handpick five or six pieces that best showcase your skills for each copywriting category.
Does Copywriters with No Experience Need a Portfolio?
Of course. Even if you have no experience, you can create a copywriting portfolio. You can take on spec projects, work for charity as an intern or exchange your service with other businesses.
Building a client-winning copywriting portfolio takes time, effort, and a strong focus on quality. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a portfolio that impresses and wins over clients.
Remember to prioritise quality over quantity and continuously update and refine your portfolio to reflect your best work and current skill set.
We hope you find this guide helpful. Do we miss any important aspect of creating a copywriting portfolio? Share with us in the comment section below.