Freelancers – How You Can Create a Stunning Profile That Lands You Projects.
Time and time again, change has proven to be a constant in all things. Whether for better or worse, everything keeps changing. As a result, the need to adjust or adapt to each era in any endeavor cannot be overemphasized. Updating oneself is never a luxury; so is upgrading one’s tool.
Today, how people work and get jobs is markedly different from what it was a decade. The internet has changed both the landscape and skyline of things today. The traditional landscape of work which requires one to wake up each day and head to an organization’s office complex to do one’s duties is paving way for remotely working from anywhere which in turn encourages freelancing. Also, the skyline of work which is the old manual approach of writing an application letter and submitting a printed CV/resume to an organization in order to get a job has almost gone moribund, which also favors freelancing.
All thanks to the internet, freelancing has become a norm in almost every society. Now, anyone can work from anywhere with as many clients (both individuals and organizations) as he has the time to work with. Being a freelancer puts one in charge of one’s time management and what’s done with it. However, getting a freelance job can be a very tough nut to crack. It is not as easy as just creating your account on a freelancing platform. The bit called, “Setting up/building a profile” can be both the enzyme that speeds up jobs-getting rate if done properly, and the latch that keeps the door of jobs closed if not done or poorly done.
A freelancer’s profile is as important as his/her actual ability on the job. Profile, today, is like a native attire; it requires clear-cut tailoring. The content of a freelancer’s profile is what controls how often he/she is hired or gets jobs. As a freelancer, your profile must effectively describe your expertise and skillset. You must know that jobs don’t just come because you can do the job. It’s not even enough to just say you can do the job; you have to communicate your ability to get the job done in the most professional way possible. This is called “Profile Optimisation”. It is all geared towards ensuring that you are visible to whoever is looking for professionals in your field. You don’t want a high-paying client to scroll past your profile just because it doesn’t appeal to him well enough.
Optimizing Your Profile for freelance projects
Clients generally search randomly on freelance platforms to get professionals to work for them. Naturally, the next thing they do after typing in their search query, and the results are in front of them, check out the top-ranking profiles in the search results; these are usually the first five or those on the first page of the search results only. This is a reflex action because nobody has the time to check out every ten to twelve profiles that appear on each of the twenty-something pages of a search result. In most cases, those front row profiles contain the information they are looking out for to trigger them to hire, hence, they discontinue checking other profiles and hire one of those front row guys. So, as a freelancer, you want your profile to be one of the front row profiles each time a search is done for professionals in your field. Here are a few tips to help you optimize your profile and ensure it always ranks among the top ones whenever anyone searches for professionals like you:
- A clean and clear profile picture/avatar. This is the first thing everyone sees about you. You must know that you are attempting to sell yourself, and as a result, you cannot put up just any image as your profile picture. As a rule, your profile picture must be an actual image of you that shows your full face; it should be a close shot and of good resolution; and no excessive make-up on your face or editing of the image. Every employer wants to know exactly how who they are hiring looks like.
- Write your official name along with your relevant certifications. Always write your name as it appears on your documents, and put your certifications in the order of highest academic degree, professional license, and other relevant ones in front of it. E.g.: Chris Adams, Ph.D., ICAN. However, if any of the certifications have a substitute title, you can as well write it before your name. E.g.: Dr. Chris Adams, ICAN. One reason you should do this is that it is these titles and certifications clients put in their search queries. So, if you have any, but fail to include it in your profile, it drops you far down the list. Thus, you reduce your chances of getting jobs.
- Thematically-phrased Headlines/Taglines. Every field has certain words to describe professionalism and specialization. You must ensure you deploy anyone that is true to you. E.g.: A Python Data Analyst, A Chartered Accountant, etc.
- Value-preaching and capacity-professing Introduction/Description. Always write your introduction to show the values you are capable of giving your client. Don’t just go saying that you are a professional, rather tell the results you are capable of delivering because of the certifications and years of experience you have in your field. Another way to go about it is to talk about projects you have done and their impact on your career or organizations you have worked with and the heights you attained while you worked focusing on how it puts you ahead of most practitioners out there. You can also mention the institution you got your training or certification from especially when they are a household name in your field. Lastly, always capture each point in one sentence.
- Fill in your skills. The idea of freelance or freelancing is to project one’s skills and earn a living from those skills. As such, it won’t make any sense for any freelancer to leave out the skills area of his/her profile. Select all available ones relevant to your field on the platform you choose to operate. However, in the case of platforms with a limited number of selections, your best bet is to select those that are in demand and you are quite proficient in them. They help sell you faster to prospective clients and boost your chances of appearing at the top of search results.
- Educational Qualifications. Filling them in does the same job as filling in your skills. They are usually the words prospective clients use in their search queries and if you fail to add them to your profile, you may not even appear in the entire search results, not to talk about being among the first five or on the first page.Pricing. This has been the dross on the shiny silver the profile of many freelancers could have been. Pricing yourself right, however, is not rocket science. How one can get it right is to look up the pricing on the profiles of professionals in your field with the same level of experience, expertise, specialization, etc. on the platform you are signing up with and price yourself as such. You can’t afford to say you can perform like the best and your price is something an intermediate would have to compromise to accept. That doesn’t add up! No client will consider you to be a serious person.
Visibility is the key to landing jobs regularly in freelancing. However, that won’t be possible if one’s profile is not optimized. Let me say here that optimizing one’s profile is not a one-time action. You must continue to update every aspect of your profile whenever you have relevant information to add.
To more jobs as you freelance!