How to Show, Not Tell with a Project/Case Study Portfolio Built in Notion
I’ve been considering common threads in freelancers and consultants lately — lack of buy-in, visibility into our work, objections handling training. We pour passion into delivering results, yet struggle conveying our worth confidently.
The perfectionist in you hates saying no
On calls when asked about your impact- you scramble to recall metrics. You end up placing and positioning yourself in a power dynamic you aren’t comfortable with.
Here are two very easy solutions you can do (literally today) to improve your qualification, lead gen, reduce imposter syndrome and brand awareness.
And they are free.
A living portfolio for freelancers + lead gen quizzes
I’m compiling case studies, client testimonials, analytics wins, web builds, and more into a master database. Now during propsect ping pong (aka dms and emails) I can pull up real examples of driving growth across metrics and actual things I’ve done.
Prospects appreciate seeing the visual proof. And quantifying my impact in stark terms has helped me finally internalise my talent.
It’s rough, it’s by no means “polished”. And that is fine.
Here’s how I did it…
Why I Chose Notion for My Consultancy Portfolio
Managing multiple client projects, I was overloaded with scattered documents and workflows. I knew there had to be a better way than endlessly rummaging through old cvs, screenshots and emails to find what I’d done.
I explored loads of knowledge management platforms, but most felt rigid not letting me personalise systems my way.
The best part is I can completely customise it to match my brain and services. I’ve consolidated tasks, meetings, notes and documents seamlessly in one place.
Regardless what I’m working on across clients, it’s right there in a seperate workspace from my personal content and “life” dashboard”
Flywheel sales asset management
Rather than emailing one-off collateral, now during meetings I simply share a live link to relevant sections in Notion. It’s brilliant for showcasing achievements in a format I can update continually.
I’ve even installed analytics to see exactly what prospects engage with most.
An exercise for you- if you’re in-house. Go back to your original JD and look at all the language used. You do that stuff and more, right?
I encourage you (whether you’re promoting your writing portfolio, design or are a consultant). Curate your best work, measure progress over time, and review accomplishments.
What to include in a portfolio/work with me site?
This section has a broad about section with high-level details. It’s written in my tone of voice (because why wouldn’t it be?)
Projects & Case Studies
As you saw above, my case studies section is a table view, list and board view- categorised by “in house-FTE”, “proof of concept”, “Failed” and “personal”. I think it’s important to differentiate what I worked on and my motivation (paid or not).
Another filter is the type of project “seo”, “data”, “nocode”, “wordpress” and “ecom”. I’ve worked on a wide range of projects and like any generalist, I have far more than I’ve tried than what I haven’t. This filter helps me readers categorise by their own project scope.
How I Work
How I work gives an example (not seen) of a typical project/engagement scoping and costs ballpark, along with explanations of how I engage with clients (retainer or project).
If you’re making your own portfolio for engagment, a “how I work” and expectation setting page is very helpful.
My Old Pitch Deck
This section is what started my thinking about Notion as a website alternative to begin with. As I used to use it to pitch roles to Founders internally at companies (landed a Head of Operations contract previously).
I’ve noticed now that it’s very personable and doesn’t have as many metrics as I’d like- I keep it in there for nostalgia.
Thoughts on lead gen quizzes/ forms
At the end of the day, successfully demonstrating expertise requires backing up claims with tangible proof points — not just assertions.
Besides the portfolio, lead gen quizzes have been a surprising change.
Here’s how I got started (I used Fillout)
Step 1/ I asked chatgpt to create a list of questions based on the quiz outcome, ICP and my rough idea. Complete with spelling errors!
PS/ You can also create questions (multi and single) right in Fillout. I didn’t realise this till after.
Step 2/ I then asked for some logical conditioning (if rated high, then this outcome etc).
Then asked for some weighted criteria ( to establish my ending pages)
Step 3/ I kept the first 2 questions on one page, and the 6 all on one page.
Some great CRO statistics Baymard on cart abandonment can lead us to deduce that form fill stats are equally as depressing.
The revops nerd in me wants to collect all. the. data
The consumer/buyer in me knows that I wouldn’t want to fill out a long winding assignment with the copy skills of a Census form in the 1920s either.
Step 4/ Because logic and maths likes to escape me- I used chatgpt to figure out a sensible weighted criteria for answers, and adjusted based on my own judgement.
This gave me a potential final score (out of a potential 8 questions, one being optional/logic dependant) of 27. Which seems, weird…
Now I qualify leads in minutes, route them to relevant materials, and have productive first chats. The automated scoring helps me focus energy only on qualified prospects likely to be a good match.
As much as I love helping people, I’ve had to get better at saying “no” if an ask goes beyond my scope or availability. Generosity has its limits when running a business solo.
Redirecting excessive requests to my retainer pricing has been an education. I can still provide value on my own time while reinforcing next steps if they want dedicated services.
So if you struggle with knowing your value or balancing helpfulness with self-prioritisation as a consultant or freelancer, I suggest giving some of these tactics a go.
Portfolios, lead gen quizzes, pre-set templates and pricing all reinforce your offerings and experience so YOU don’t solely have to each time.
Here’s to more progress for us introverts on tooting our own horns without losing ourselves!
Now…what else can I automate this year? 😅