First Rule of Freelancing: Build an Impressive Profile (And Here’s How)

— November 3, 2016

The number of freelancers listing services on labor platforms is constantly expanding. According to a recent report by JP Morgan, “4.2 percent of adults had ever participated in the Online Platform Economy in September 2015—a 47-fold growth since October 2012.” So, it is more important than ever to ensure your freelancer profile stands out (in the right ways) to employers.


The key is to present the right information to attract potential new clients. The following strategies will help your profile stand out as professional, reliable and qualified.



  • Get their attention with a clear and concise title

In today’s world of flashing gifs and loud and misleading advertisements, the best way to get someone’s attention is to be straightforward and authentic. Previous job titles don’t matter. Keep it simple and straightforward and don’t be cute.


Different platforms allow you to list specific services or more generally advertise your skills and expertise. Either way, it is a good idea to keep your title short yet descriptive. This gets employers the information they need fast.



  • Use a high-quality, friendly photos

With remote work, freelancers may not interact with clients face-to-face, but the appeal of a friendly photo still goes a long way. Employers are not only hiring you for your skills. They also want to know you are easy to work with and reliable. Avoid the scary selfie you just snapped a few seconds ago. They don’t look good and often project the wrong image to a prospective hirer.


Most platforms will allow you to upload several images, but it is important that you make them high-quality, professional and relevant photos. What do I mean by “high-quality”? When an employer clicks a thumbnail of your image, it will often expand. You want to make sure the images you upload are larger .png files, or else they will be pixelated and look unprofessional when expanded.


Feel free to upload images relevant to your service, not just images of yourself. Employers love to see pictures of you engaging in work relevant to your skills. So go ahead and share pictures of completed projects, designs or creations that help you stand out from the crowd.



  • Think like a client

In the details section of your service listing, make sure to get to the point fast. A great way to start is to ask yourself, “What would a potential client like to know about me?”


In your bio section, make sure to list 1) your skills, 2) years of experience, 3) awards and recognitions 4) industry expertise. A strong opening will make the client want to read more.


Make sure to list your experience, including successful accomplishments, and tell clients what they need to know to prove you are qualified for the job described. If the client looks over your service listing quickly and sees that you meet several qualifications, you will make the shortlist.



  • Show Diversity

Most platforms offer a skills section for clients to quickly see your technical skills and program knowledge. Make sure to keep an open mind and show a wide variety of skills you can offer. Try not to narrow your chances too far as many employers, especially small business and start ups where most all new job growth is coming from want freelancers to be multi-talented and open to all sorts of projects. (i.e. “content writer” can be a “web copy specialist”).



  • Back up your skills with samples and references

It is important for clients to know that you have been hired before, as well as successfully completed projects. You can do this in several ways.


The first is to include links to samples in the details section, as well as images of sample work. This is a great place to name drop if you have worked with well-known companies. The second way is to encourage past clients to provide testimonials or ratings, if this is provided on the platform. Real life ratings from real life clients can help you grow your freelance business into a full time business.



  • Avoid fluff!

Stick to only the important information included in the steps above. Once you have listed this information, just stop. There is no need for anecdotes or personal stories. You can share more nuanced information later if the client specifically asks. Think like you are Google search algorithm. Keywords are what matter to the potential client so they can hire you as fast as possible.


Labor platforms such as Moonlighting and Upwork help connect freelancers with clients and vice versa. Remember, a great profile and service listing not only helps clients know if you are right for the job, but it also helps you find a job that you will excel at. In order to best showcase your talent and find work that you love, make sure to follow the six steps.

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Author: Jeff Tennery


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