It’s been a few weeks or even months since you signed up as a freelancer on UpWork, but you still haven’t had any luck finding work.
Does this sound familiar?
One of the main reasons why most freelancers struggle to get work on platforms like UpWork is because they have incomplete or poorly written freelancer profiles.
That’s because when you apply for a job on UpWork, the first thing your client does is check out your profile to learn more about you. And an incomplete or poorly written profile can give your clients the wrong impression of you.
UpWork, Freelancer.com, People Per Hour, and Guru.com are all great places to start freelancing. However, just signing up for an account and filling it with some random text is not going to work for you.
If you’re serious about a freelance career, the first thing you need to do is create a complete and attractive freelancer profile.
Here are some of the things to look for in an UpWork profile.
Note: UpWork is currently the most popular freelance platform on the web. So, I used the platform as an example to show you how to create a great freelancer profile. But, you can use these tips to create a solid profile on any other platform.
1. Use Your Real Name
Even though it’s common sense to use a real name when conducting business, many freelancers still use fake names on their freelancer profiles.
Don’t be ashamed of your real identity. Don’t be afraid to use your real name on your freelancer profile. It will help you stand out. Your name doesn’t have to sound cool or ordinary. There are too many Johns and Janes out there. We don’t need any more!
Also, avoid abbreviations of your name (for example, John S. or Amy C.). Use your first and last name!
If you’re afraid of revealing your identity, get out! You don’t belong in the freelance industry.
2. Upload A Professional Photo
Don’t even think about using selfies or really weird webcam photos as your profile photo. It’s a mistake most amateur freelancers make.
Get cleaned up. Dress well. And get someone else to take your picture. Make sure not to pay too much attention to the background. Most importantly, SMILE!
Did you know that not only does a smile make you look more attractive and confident, but studies have shown that it also increases your chances of getting a promotion in your job?
If you can, go to a studio and have your picture taken by a professional. It’ll be worth it.
3. Craft A Specific Headline
Your headline should be a description of your job title. So try to be as specific as you can to make it easier for your client to understand what it is you do for them.
No, not like that.
This is not Twitter. Use a more professional headline.
For example, if you’re skilled at writing eBooks, you might describe yourself as an “eBook Writer” instead of just a “Writer”. Or “WordPress plugin developer” instead of “web developer”.
You’ll have a better chance of getting discovered on a large platform like UpWork if you narrow it down to a niche.
4. Write Your Bio In First-Person
Don’t describe yourself in the third person like you’re narrating a movie, and avoid writing your freelancer profile like it’s a corporate website.
See what I mean? Did you enjoy reading that description?
And take a look at this. See what’s wrong here? Does this person sound like a professional copywriter?
Yes, this is also a real profile.
Instead, I want you to get personal. Imagine you’re writing this bio to send to a friend. Not a close friend or a recruiter, but someone who doesn’t know you very well.
Something like that.
I wouldn’t call it the perfect bio, but it’s efficient. And I have to admit that the last postscript made me laugh.
Your clients aren’t interested in your hobbies or life goals. So keep those personal details to a minimum. You’re creating a freelance profile, not an online dating profile. And try to keep the description under 200 words.
5. Describe Your Qualifications And Experience
It’s best to include a sentence or two in your bio about your qualifications and experience. Try not to brag too much, though. Don’t be like this guy.
In addition, use your work history, education, and other skills sections to add personality to your profile.
6. Showcase Your Best Work In The Portfolio
UpWork has a dedicated section in your profile to showcase your portfolio. Make good use of it to showcase your best projects.
Be sure to upload an attractive image, write a detailed description of the project, and include a link to the source of the work.
If you’re trying to set up your profile on another platform without portfolio capabilities, use sites such as Behance to upload your work.
7. Connect Your Social Networks
With UpWork, you can connect your social networks and portfolios to your profile as a freelancer.
Although links to your social profiles are not shown to your clients, it’s important to connect at least some of your social profiles to the platform to help UpWork better understand you, create a more personalized experience, and display more relevant jobs in the Find Work section.
8. Skill Tests Aren’t Important, But Take Them If You Can
At least that’s what UpWork says on its website. But it doesn’t matter how many tests you pass on UpWork. Clients don’t care about these tests because these tests are no substitute for real hard work.
A skills test in Windows XP? Is this 2001?
Don’t worry about taking tests as long as you have a solid portfolio to show off your reputation.
But if you have the time, feel free to take as many as you can.
A Few More Tips For Going Forward
- Perform a spelling and grammar check: Use a tool like Grammarly to check your profile bio for errors before you publish it. It only takes a few seconds and could save you a lot of embarrassment.
- Steal it: If you’re not sure what to write in your bio, or even how to write it, take a look at some successful freelancer profiles to get an idea.
- Ask for reviews: Most clients will leave a review immediately after a job is completed, but don’t be afraid to ask for one if they haven’t.
- Ask for referrals: If your client says you did a great job, ask them to refer other clients to you. There’s no shame in asking for a referral or help.
- Add a video: UpWork now allows you to add a video to your freelancer profile. This is a great way to draw more attention to your profile. However, it is not mandatory.
Keep in mind that your freelancer profile is your online resume. So, don’t make it too personal. Forget selfies and emoticons. Be, or try to be, a professional.
Now go impress your clients with your amazing profile.