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This is a problem I'm running into as a beginner. I'm losing clients because I don't have a portfolio yet (Web Design), the clients that don't ask are very few and I don't know what to say to those who ask for it.

Is this a wrong start? What should I do in this case?

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    That you're a beginner in freelancing doesn't mean you're a beginner in webdevelopment. Perhaps you have some things you made for your education you can show? Also, if you have your own website, that's the first portfolio item :) – user19 Jun 9 '13 at 12:56
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    A starter portfolio can contain "project sites" (AKA dummies, AKA they-never-launched) that show your abilities in web design. That way you can show potential clients a portfolio instead of standing there empty-handed. – e-sushi Aug 25 '13 at 8:36
  • most clients want to see if you can do it, and what, and not have you done it for someone else. Once they see you can do what they want and have done it they are interested. – Muhammad Umer Jul 18 '14 at 9:35
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You are not loosing clients because they are not your target group yet.

The clients that are asking for portfolio are looking for experienced webmaster. Sad but true, but most of them are not interested in hiring someone that hasn't done at least a couple of projects. They want to be sure that you really can do the things and secondly, they also want to see what's your style, to check if that passes to them.

What to do? You're a beginner, so you should consider taking significantly less money than the professional with large portfolio. At the beginning everyone earns less.

But the most important thing is to make your portfolio. Just look for some local non-profit organizations such as school or sport clubs and make a site for them. Or just make a few hobby projects and put them into internet. The site about breeding grasshoppers, or about West-African legends, or anything. You need to invest a little in hosting services, but you need to be able to show something that is running in Internet.

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