Every copywriter’s primary aims are to impress potential clients with their work and to land as many paying projects as possible. Having a comprehensive copywriting portfolio can help you achieve these goals!
A copywriting portfolio is a curated collection of your past written content and published articles. It shows prospective clients what you are capable of, the kinds of writing that you can produce, the results you achieved, and what your past clients and customers had to say about your work.
Your professional portfolio should always showcase your best work in order to convince your potential clients to hire you. The pieces of content you choose to include in your portfolio should show that you are a highly literate and capable copywriter who has experience in your industry and can meet deadlines and work according to specific briefs.
The perfect copywriter’s portfolio often contains both long- and short-form pieces of content that span a wide range of formats, topics and tones. It’s a good idea to add content samples for both commercial and editorial work if you specialize in both fields too.
Let’s take a closer look at the art of building an effective copywriting portfolio, what your portfolio should contain, and how you can set yourself up for success in the competitive copywriting industry.
Why Every Copywriter Needs a Portfolio
Every prospective client is looking for a copywriter with specific skills and capabilities. Every copywriting job advertised differs from the next, and not every writer will be well suited to a specific task.
When a client looks at your copywriting portfolio, they will typically have three main questions in mind:
1. Does this writer have the tone, style and quality of writing that I’m looking for?
2. Has this professional worked with businesses or industries that are similar to mine and written similar pieces of copy to what I require?
3. Does this writer appear professional, capable, reliable and capable of meeting my deadlines?
Ultimately, the purpose of creating a copywriting portfolio is to provide prospective clients with evidence that you can produce the type and quality of work they require.
If you are working in the copywriting industry or planning to enter it soon, you may already know that potential clients don’t want to have to sift through dozens of pieces of your work to assess your talents and skills. Most clients and editors are pressed for time, and simply aren’t interested in spending hours reading your past articles.
Your portfolio gives them a few carefully curated, high-quality pieces of your work to assess, which makes their decision-making process around hiring you simpler and more efficient. This gives clients a great impression of you as a professional right off the bat, and it also ensures that you can consistently show off your best work.
What Every Copywriting Portfolio Must Include
Each copywriting portfolio will differ from the next due to the diverse and varied nature of the writing industry. However, there are a few key features that every successful portfolio needs to include.
Your copywriting portfolio should focus on conveying these four groups of information to clients:
- Your skills, abilities and competencies as a content writer. Your portfolio should clearly demonstrate your ability to write effective, engaging and grammatically correct articles that align with the needs and specifications of your clients.
- Examples of your work that highlight the work that you would like to complete for clients in the future.
- Client reviews and testimonials and other forms of social proof to evidence your reliability and knowledge in your field.
- Details of your featured projects, including their briefs, methodologies, challenges and results.
It should offer your potential clients these details about you and your services:
- An ‘About Me’ page that tells clients about your education, skills, accomplishments and copywriting expertise.
- Your contact details, including your professional phone number, email address, and links to social channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
- A full list of the services you offer and how long you would take to complete each task in an average scenario. This gives clients a solid and realistic idea of the turnaround times they can expect when working with you.
- The benefits that your services will offer your clients should they choose to hire you.
- Case studies of your past projects that show exactly how you met those clients’ needs and creatively solved their problems.
- Positive testimonials from past clients satisfied with your work and abilities.
- A list of your rates.
What You Should Leave Out of Your Copywriting Portfolio
Now that you know what you should add to your professional copywriting portfolio, let’s delve into additions that are best left out altogether.
- Too many work samples. Prospective clients don’t have the time to read every article you’ve ever written, so it’s best not to include them all in your portfolio. Stick to adding your highest quality, most impressive pieces of writing and updating your portfolio regularly as your career expands.
- Low quality or outdated work samples. Articles that you wrote at the very start of your career may not adequately impress your clients 10 years down the line. As you gain new skills and experience in your copywriting field, add new and more technical work examples to your portfolio to accurately reflect your current capabilities.
- Very personal details. Your ‘About Me’ section should definitely contain details about your work experience, your professional accolades, and even about your personal life to an extent.
You can show some of your unique personality in your portfolio by mentioning where you live, what world topics you’re passionate about, and any talents or professional pursuits you have alongside your copywriting career. It’s a good idea to leave details about your marital status, children, height and weight, and your favorite food out of your portfolio.
- Selfies. It’s a great idea to add a photograph of yourself to your copywriting portfolio in the About Me section. However, this photo should be a high-quality image taken by a professional photographer. Using a professional image of your profile that you have taken yourself is acceptable too, but steer clear of using that holiday beach selfie as a portfolio profile picture.
- Unprofessional personal email addresses. Email addresses like ‘[email protected]’ simply don’t look good on a work portfolio. You can easily create a personal or business email that includes your name or the name of your company to add to the document instead.
How to Set Up Your Copywriting Portfolio
Here’s our complete guide to building an impactful copywriting portfolio to help you get started.
Step 1: Curate Your Work Samples
The first and most important addition to your portfolio should be your work samples. Choose the very best work you’ve completed so far in your career and feature work that is in line with the work you would like to do more of in the future.
If you have screenshots of your finished work, be sure to crop them and neaten them up before adding them to your portfolio. You can convert samples in document format to .jpg or .pdf formats to create viewable but immutable evidence of your past work.
Step 2: Add Your ‘About Me’ Page
This is undoubtedly one of the most crucial pages to add to any portfolio website – no matter what platform or website builder you use. Your About Me page is where potential clients will learn about you, your education, your professional skills, and your achievements and awards in the content writing field.
If you’re a freelancer, your name is essentially your brand, so you should always dedicate a page of your portfolio to promote yourself positively.
This section should include a brief summary of who you are and needs an amicable but professional tone. Try to keep your bio short and sweet. Your aim is to offer enough information about you to intrigue prospective clients and motivate them to learn more about you.
Many copywriters develop powerful taglines and include them above the text in this section for added impact. You can also add a good quality photograph to this section.
Step 3: List Your Services
This page should assist all of your potential clients to quickly ascertain whether or not you can help them with an available task. Use this page to detail the field(s) of copywriting you are working in. For example, you may be a specialist in eCommerce content, advert copywriting, blog writing, social media content writing, email marketing copywriting, or landing page writing.
This section should include your topics of interest and knowledge, such as technology, finance, business, health and wellness or education.
Step 4: Mention the Benefits of Hiring You
This should be the most compelling and convincing page of your portfolio website, so it’s advisable to put some thought into writing it well! This section should tell prospective clients exactly what they stand to gain by working with you.
Are you excellent at meeting tight deadlines, or can you offer specialized forms of copywriting that few of your peers can match? Do you pride yourself on being able to write engaging commercial copy that boosts sales figures, or are you particularly adept at technical writing?
Do you offer competitive freelance copywriting rates? List the benefits of working with you and how your skills and proficiencies can help to meet your clients’ needs.
Many writers add facts and figures to back up these claims on their copywriting portfolio motivation pages.
For example, you could note that you’ve written 100 Facebook posts that received over 50 likes and shares, 85 landing pages that helped your clients to boost their sales, or email marketing campaign content for newly established startups that were recently covered in a major business publication.
Step 5: Write Compelling Case Studies
It’s not enough to add your best pieces of copywriting work to your portfolio. You need to create and add case studies that show potential clients exactly how you work according to your strengths, skills and experiences.
For maximum effect, write your case studies in a task, solution, result format. Tell potential clients about each of the tasks you completed, the techniques and skills you used to develop solutions to your past clients’ needs, and how these solutions affected their businesses. This section should tell your potential customers exactly what you can achieve using the knowledge you apply on a daily basis.
Step 6: Add Client Testimonials
Personal reviews are great at convincing potential clients to invest in your services. They are even more convincing when you add photographs, links to the social profiles of the customers who wrote the reviews, and even testimonials in video format.
Step 7: Detail Your Rates
This is a simple but essential addition to any copywriting portfolio. Clearly list the prices you charge for your services, and add details about any discounts or promotions you may be offering.
It’s important to describe your rates in detail so that potential customers understand exactly what they will receive for their money. Specify rates for specific word counts, copywriting formats, variations, editing, proofreading, and any other services that are relevant to your business.
Step 8: Write Down Your Contact Details
The ‘Contact’ section of your online copywriting portfolio should be instantly accessible to all of your website’s visitors. Ideally, they should be able to click to your contact page from any other page on your site using a menu option or icon in the upper corner or footer of your screen.
Include all of your professional contact details in this page, including:
- Your mobile phone and landline numbers, if applicable
- A professional email address
- Your legal work address
- Your working hours, schedule and time zone
- A location in Google Maps to tell prospective clients where in the world you’re based
- Information about your company if you operate under a company name. Include its official name, legal details, and payment methods accepted.
- Alternative contact methods, such as social media handles, instant messaging contact information, links to social groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, and a feedback web form.
3 Copywriting Portfolio Examples to Inspire You
#1: Kelsey O’Halloran
Portland-based writer Kelsey O’Halloran has a highly effective and aesthetically pleasing copywriting portfolio for her clients to peruse. Her website is stylish and easy to navigate, and offers all the essential home-page additions you should include in your portfolio.
This copywriter’s online portfolio starts with a professional picture of her and a brief description that tells you exactly what you can expect from her business. In this case, it’s interview-based website copy for entrepreneurs in the service industry.
O’Halloran displays testimonials from her past clients, which provide social proof to new clients and show that they can trust her expertise and skills. Alongside her short description on the front page, she has added a single sentence bio, another photograph, and a link to her About Me page.
O’Halloran’s portfolio features her top projects alongside descriptions of each. Each project has a call to action button attached which clients can click on to learn more. Lastly, this portfolio makes it easy for clients to get in touch with the writer thanks to its many contact buttons and a prominently displayed email address.
#2: Gari Cruze
Navigate to Gari Cruze’s copywriting portfolio and you will immediately know about this writer’s agency background. Cruze has dozens of impressive projects in his portfolio, and the best ones feature prominently on his home page using bright and colorful thumbnail images.
You can hover over each of these images to discover that Gary has worked for the likes of Lyft, Slack, Folgers Coffee, and even the US Department of Education. This is a creative and unique portfolio set up that would pique most clients’ interests for long enough to get them to click through.
Gari has made it easy for visitors to learn more about him in his About link, which is found in the website’s main menu. He has even included a quirky “17 Random Things” about himself page, along with a professional resume and his contact details.
#3: Sara Frandina
Take one look at Sara Frandina’s copywriting portfolio and you can immediately tell that she takes copywriting seriously. She markets herself as a ‘conversion copywriter’, a tagline that sits directly under her name on the front page of her site.
Frandina has a standard format that she uses for all of her case studies, which makes her portfolio neat, cohesive and simple to navigate. She divided the first part of each of her case studies into two columns. One which contains the clients’ names, project dates, and screenshots of the completed copy. The left column contains more details about the background of each project.
Since most of Frandina’s copywriting portfolio projects are email campaigns and website copy, she has included the results of her work in her portfolio. She adds specific numbers detailing how her copy improved retention, conversion and sales rates for her past clients.
She also includes testimonials after these case studies, followed by a powerful call to action to compel prospective clients to get in touch.
Make Your Portfolio An Asset
If you’re considering a career in copywriting or you already work in the copywriting industry, it’s time to build yourself an impactful copywriting portfolio.
Your portfolio will draw in prospective clients and give them all the information, evidence, work examples and glowing testimonials they need to decide to work with you and to get in touch.
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