Time spent improving your profile is the single easiest way to convert profile views to projects.
Imagine that you are a small business owner. You’re hoping to hire a freelancer to complete some of the older work that you’re behind on; how hard can it be? Soon after posting, you are sifting through a huge number of bids from freelancers all over the world. This presents a new problem; how to decide which freelancer will be best. Are you expected to hire someone with only 4 stars and hope they do a great job? The answer is no. You will most likely pick the freelancer who did:
- Upload a professional photo
- Make their summary compelling
- Upload only their best work to their portfolio
This is the short reason why completing a profile carefully is so important.
You already know that as a freelancer, bidding on projects before filling out your profile is like expecting an interview without including your job history in your application. With little information about your past experience, an employer will look at your profile to discover more about you.
If you’re an employer looking for a writer who pays extra attention to detail, seeing a summary that features one line of text with a spelling mistake won't make a positive impact.
So what will get you noticed? How can you emphasize the value that you will add to a project by filling out your profile?
Look at the data. What makes a good professional profile image?
If you don't have the technology to collect your own data, you should use data that others have made available to the public.
Upload a professional picture.
Professional in this case means you have considered a number of things that affect your professional image. Lighting, your position, the background, what you’re wearing, your expression and the photo quality.
Avoid fluorescent lighting
Avoid dark photos
Avoid photos so light the objects can’t be seen
Facing the front, use the rule of thirds to position yourself slightly off centre
Someone else should be holding the camera
Avoid holding the camera too high or low
Business professional or styled to suit your profession is best.
Avoid sunglasses and hats, and anything that places shade over the eyes.
It’s difficult to get quality right without a decent camera. It doesn’t have to be expensive, although a comparison against a professional photo is always useful. Things to avoid:
2. Make your summary compelling.
Your employer is going to scan your summary for key words. You can stand out by mentioning how your service is different and what makes you the best fit for their project. Things to list:
Your core competencies
Provide how many years of experience you have. This does not have to be paid experience.
3. Upload your best work to your portfolio.
Your portfolio will reveal different aspects of your style. Whether you’re a writer, an illustrator or a coder, your portfolio sets the expectations of your employer. A great portfolio should contain the work that you are most proud of.
4. Test your profile.
Testing your profile will tell you how effective your content is. To do this, you might compare the number of projects that you receive with two different profile images, or two different summaries. You will need to consider other factors, like how many bids you have made.
Remember to upload an image of you, or someone representing your team, as building trust is crucial to your profile performing well.