How I prepare for referral clients before they even come

Diane Serra

Be ready to submit your CV and book that client

{A version of this article was initially posted on my freelancer blog, here.}

Imagine having coffee out with a girlfriend, because you know- you get to make your own schedule as a freelancer (or hope to…eventually), and you get a call from a potential new client who was referred to you from a past client.

What do you do? Do you wait until you get home to update that portfolio and CV and then (if you’re fast enough) send it over to the potential new client hoping they are still interested in hiring you?


Because I know portfolios can take forever to “update” and CVs even longer. So by the time you finally get it all together, the potential client may have found someone else who was more prepared.

So here is how I prepare, and it serves me very well as a freelancer. It also catches my potential clients by surprise because I am “so prepared”.

I offer a variety of different design skills and nothing will sit well on one CV or portfolio. So I made hidden web pages on my website that showcase different portfolios for each design skill. For example, all of my interior design projects are on one portfolio, all of my UX Design work is on another portfolio and so on. Each hidden page is also listed as a clickable link on each resume.

Each resume? Yes, I have more than one resume as well. Every resume is organized in its own Google Drive folder that I can access from wherever I am as long as I have my phone on me (which is damn near all the time).

In fact, I also have as many resumes as I do portfolios and therefore I can easily send my web design clients a web design resume with a clickable link to my web design portfolio, etc etc.

Then, when a new client comes knocking on my door let’s say- when I’m out to coffee, I can quickly take the call and immediately afterwards text or email them a copy of my CV and link to the hidden portfolio on my website.

{The reason I have my portfolios on hidden pages is because I have many portfolios showcasing each skill set so it would clutter my main website.}

What I’ve noticed is that more often than not, this level of preparedness often impresses the potential client and I end up booking the contract. So best be prepared ahead of time as it will work in your favor. And if you want to know the top 3 platforms I use to help me run my freelance biz efficiently and professionally, check out this post, here.

Diane Serra is a multidisciplinary designer living in San Diego, California and Barcelona, Spain. When she’s not blogging or slanging design files, you can find her navigating motherhood and Instagramming at @dianeserra.

Diane Serra

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I design, I code, I also write content.

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