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Fed up of the drudge? Four ways to build a portfolio career

Experts have shared their tips on how you can gain new clients and balance various roles

With freelance careers becoming increasingly popular, experts have shared their tips on how you can gain new clients and balance various roles.

Starting to freelance whilst working full-time

Before you take the plunge and become a freelancer, experts suggest building a client base, creating a dedicated website and joining relevant social media and networking groups. The managing director of Boomerang, Katy Cowan, suggests getting out and networking and creating some business cards.

She explains that you need to build a presence before you take the leap – unless your job with your current employer will be at risk. Build your client base through friends and family, looking for other businesses where you can do associate work or even working for a friend’s business to get started. This will give you a testimonial and case study that you can use in your own marketing efforts.

Career coach Rachel Brushfield adds that there are a growing number of online platforms for professionals and work, so keep your eyes peeled.

Show off your portfolio with a website

To let clients know about you and to show off your work, creating a website is a must. The managing director and founder of Career Coaching Ventures, Dasha Amrom, recommends getting tips for building a website from YouTube. With various tutorials on the different platforms available, a lot of the basics are covered.

The founder of HR and recruitment consultancy Fairman Consulting, Lydia Fairman, also says that there are a number of platforms that allow you to build your own site, and these can work well. She recommends WordPress and Leadpages.

Find new work

The owner and career coach of CareerWorx, Lisa LaRue, says that quality connections are the way to land good freelance work. She believes that attending industry events is the best way to put yourself in front of the right sort of people and to build up your connections.

Fairman also suggests trying to find people to connect with on social media, with Twitter being a good place to meet and find people who are happy to pass on your details. LaRue also comments that LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for building up connections and showcasing your talents.

Balance your work and social life

When you are getting your freelance career off the ground, you will probably find that you are juggling several jobs at once. How do you find time for yourself? When you have more work than time, your time management skills will only help you so much.

If you do not do the things you really like or need to do, such as eating properly, you will probably find that you start to get downhearted. This is why it is important that you find someone who can help you, or even turn down some of the work. If you can’t turn down the work, you will need to find other ways of getting support, such as by paying someone to help you on a per-project basis.

Cultural consultant Laura Crossley says that if you have to decline a job, supply the names of other freelancers. Supporting other freelancers is not only a great thing to do but also provides a positive solution for your client.

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