One of the worst mistakes I did when I was starting out my freelancing career was not putting enough thought into my profile. My bio was horrible, I used a selfie as my profile picture, and I didn’t include enough examples of my work. Because of those mistakes, it took me a long time to land my first client.
When registering with a freelancing site like UpWork or Freelancer, the first thing the site asks you is to complete your profile and take it from me, you should take their advice more seriously if you care about scoring more clients.
Having a complete profile on a freelancing website is the key to getting recognize and showing your authority. It’s basically your personal resume that you show to every client and competitor that connects with you on a freelancing site. Here are some of the things I did to improve my profile that helped me get a lot of invites for jobs and increase my success rate.
Write a Killer Bio
Your bio is the first thing that people read when they visit your profile. So, take your time to craft a killer bio that grabs the attention of your potential clients, speak to their minds, and explain who you really are.
Avoid writing your bio in third-person view, like “Roshan is a freelance writer. He is an experienced blogger”. Always write it in the first-person view, like “Hello, I’m Roshan”, to make the copy more personal and effective. Also, try to keep it short. Don’t turn your bio into an academic essay. Highlight your career in a short paragraph and explain what kind of skills you bring to the table.
I’ve seen some freelancers describe themselves as “experts,” “gurus,” and “totally skilled”. I recently saw a freelancer’s profile that says he was born with an allergy for “real work”. That is not an effective way to get clients interested in yourself, unless your clients are 5th graders.
Use the Perfect Profile Picture
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Never, ever use a selfie or a photo that you took on your birthday party for your freelancing site’s profile page. Your Facebook profile picture or Instagram photos are not going to work here either.
Treat this profile page as your Resume and include a photo that makes you look like a professional. A decent front-facing picture is the ideal style of a photograph to use on a freelancing profile. A smile can also go a long way as well. Studies show that a profile picture with a smile showing teeth appears more attractive and friendly than others.
Rent a suit and a tie and go to a studio to take a new picture if you have to. It will be worth it.
As a freelance writer, I never felt the need to show off my work. I would simply send links to my published work whenever a client requests them. Then while I was improving my profile, I decided to attach several screenshots of my published articles. And I started receiving twice as many invites and requests from clients.
Whether you’re a freelance writer, web designer, graphic designer, or a video editor, always include samples of your work in your profile. It’s a great way to boost your credibility as well. That’s why freelancing sites like Fiverr and Envato Studio highlights screenshots and previews of work for each service.
Update Your LinkedIn
Does anyone even use LinkedIn anymore? Yes, all the professionals still do. When a client is looking to hire you for a big job, the first thing they do is search your name on Google to see what pops up. And then they check out your LinkedIn profile.
How do I know this? Because I started receiving notifications from LinkedIn, you know the ones that you get on your email saying “People are looking at your profile”. This usually happened right before a client accepts my pitch or send me a proposal. I started to see a pattern so I immediately improved my profile with all my work history, a great profile picture, and a bio.
Believe it or not, people are still using LinkedIn for hiring and discovering professionals. Imagine if you are losing clients because of your incomplete LinkedIn profile. Don’t let that happen. Updating your profile will only take a few minutes. Do it immediately.
I explained the importance of guest blogging to enahce your freelancing career and building your reputation in detail through my previous post. Blogging is the easiest way to share your expertise and mark your name in digital ink on the Internet. Spending years building my website was all worth it because it was the main reason for my freelancing success.
So, publish some guest posts on popular websites, start a blog if you can, or start a personal blog on a site like Medium and share your thoughts. Connect with other bloggers. And make sure to include links to your freelancing profiles in those articles to proudly say you are a freelancer.
Forget about those silly exams and skill tests on freelancing sites. Employers and clients almost never check for those qualifications. I never took any of those tests and I still receive more work than I can handle.
When I tell people about how I get more than enough clients without even having to pitch or applying for new jobs, they think I’m bragging. But, it’s actually the truth. I receive so many invites on freelancing sites that I had to turn down most of them to manage my time.
Follow these tips, be unique, be consistent and that day will soon come to you as well.