Before you connect, make sure your portfolio is ready. Slamming, in fact. The best it can be.

portfolio - Notturno by Gualtiero You must have some or all of the following: Email-ready samples of previous work, links or a company website.

You want to be taken seriously, so take yourself seriously. The very first thing a prospective client will ask is “Can I see some of your work?” Invest what you need to produce the best possible “quick glimpse” showcase of what you’ll be bringing to the table. Get them responding like Pavlov’s dogs about the idea of working with you.

A client wants to be able to visualize their goal through your talent. Most potential clients are busy people who will give you one chance to connect. It’s a little harsh, but once is all you get – to impress, to dazzle, to bring it home. You don’t ever get to explain why you failed- you simply get ignored or politely rejected.  

This means you need to make a power-packed first impression. 

It doesn’t mean cram everything you have ever done into a single PowerPoint slide, or email a 30-page attachment as a look at previous work.

Have something reasonable and appropriate to show your new contacts that you mean business. Show where (specifically) you have delivered to other businesses in the past. When you can include any data around the measured effect your writing had, it gets ’em every time.

Once you have a website in place or at least some email-ready samples, it’s time to find more work.

And that brings us solidly into the rest of our lives, people – balancing a decent portfolio with the right amount of cold calls and repeat visitors to stay fat-and-happy.