Do Unpaid Projects In Your Downtime. Most people don’t know how to create a portfolio when they don’t have any clients. It’s actually pretty easy. If you want to build your freelance portfolio, then do unpaid projects when work is slow. These generally fit into two major categories.
First, you can have fun with major brands that everyone knows. For example, if you’re a logo designer, then try recreating or adjusting the logos for iconic brands like Coca Cola or Microsoft, and put those in your portfolio.
Second, reach out to small businesses in your area and offer to do small projects for free. Just keep them small so that you actually follow through and complete them. You should not expect anything in return, but people will often reward you with paid work if they find the free work exceeds their expectations.
Whenever you do unpaid work, make sure you publish it on your website and social profiles. Be sure to include a paragraph that describes the project requirements and your thought process. And, if you did free work for a small business, then be sure to ask them for a published review when it’s done.