When working as a freelancer, your career can live or die by your online presence alone. Making sure your website is updated, your social media platforms active and you are continually being a part of the online conversation is crucial. However for many freelancers, the bulk of their work comes from online platforms such as twago, so their freelancer profile there is just as important.
Most freelancing platforms will confirm that the freelancers who consistently get the most work are the ones with the most completed and detailed profiles. Of course don’t let an incomplete profile prevent you from submitting proposals, but you should know that the result you get from your pitching might be affected if your profile is out of date.
1. Add a professional photo
The first step is introducing the world to who you are. Your profile photo should show you as your best and most professional self. It’s unlikely you’d wear a hat in a job interview so why do it in your profile photo? Sunglasses are out too, as are holiday backgrounds, cheeky facial expressions, poor lighting, cartoon versions of yourself or badly designed logos. Treat it with the importance of a passport photo, but with the addition of your own style and personality.
If you’re a business or agency, always use a high quality version of your logo, or professional photo of your team.
2. Use your real name, not an alias
Imagine you were meeting the client in person – what would you wear, what name would you introduce yourself with and what would you want to tell them about yourself? Upon meeting an important client face-to-face, you wouldn’t say “Er, my name is DesignGuy2010 and I like to design stuff”. You’re more likely to say, “Hi, my name is Dan Steely and I’m a versatile award-winning UX Designer with 10 years’ experience in web and mobile design”. Make sure the name you do use matches across all of your other online profiles – clients may check your website or social media profiles. Adding a middle initial sometimes helps you to differentiate between your personal and business profiles but whatever you decide, be sensible and be consistent. Choosing a fake or generic style name can often seem dishonest. Try to avoid names that look like passwords for example. People want to engage with a real person and feel confident in who they are paying to take care of their project.
3. Show-off your skill-set
Some projects require you to learn a new skill and when you are busy it’s easy to lose track of how you are developing as a freelancer. Blogging is a skill, but most bloggers don’t just write a post, because each client has different needs. They also need to know their way around WordPress, as well as being able to edit and resize images for online publishing, not to mention social media promotion of their posts through Facebook and Twitter. See what I did there? One broad skill just became half a dozen specific ones. Very important ones if you are looking for ongoing blogging clients as opposed to just once off projects.
Adding skills to your profile as you obtain them or once a project is finished helps populate your skill list over time and boost your overall profile score. Building this into your workflow also means clients can see you are engaged with the platform and updating your profile regularly. They want to see your professional skills but updated information gives them confidence that you will be accessible to them through the platform and reliable. It also means you can have a positive experience with the platform, making your investment or time and money worthwhile and ensuring you can win the best possible projects.
4. Market yourself, the real you
It’s important to be clear and concise about who you are and what you do. What you display online must reflect what you offer in person. Don’t try to create an illusion when what you are selling is yourself. Think about the kind of work you want and refine what you say about yourself to align with this goal. If you’re looking for copywriting jobs then there’s no need to say you used to be a personal trainer. Unless its copywriting for a fitness studio. Get it? Also, give some brief but interesting context – for example ’born in Spain, based in Paris’, gives specific information that lets clients know you are a real person with a story that validates you exist.
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5. Add visual work samples
Scrolling through numerous profiles can be arduous if everyone is saying the same thing as you. Being creative with your profile will make your work history and skills stand out and give you the competitive edge – but make sure you do it well! Combining a few documents into one PDF for example is a great way to collate a few examples of a skill in one place. If you have the know how, you could also create a short video that offers an overview of who you are and what you can do, in an engaging and entertaining way. Being memorable is a vastly underestimated skill. If you don’t know how to make a video, why not teach yourself then update it in your skills section!
6. Build-up evaluations & recommendations
It goes without saying that you should do a good job, but an added incentive is to get good evaluations and recommendations on your profile from your clients. These help show other clients the experience and skills you offer, but from an unbiased perspective. When wading through a lot of profiles it’s also refreshing for the client to see some visual examples of your work. Screenshots of things you’ve done can have a stronger impact than just another paragraph for them to read. Your membership level also can help boost your profile. With different levels of membership you have the possibility to ad promotional videos, and extra marketing materials, as well as sell more twago Products (we’ll get to that in a bit). Another great feature on twago is being able to import your recommendations from LinkedIn.
7. Your portfolio is your greatest hits!
It’s good practice to visually archive past projects for your portfolio. You might need to take screenshots or take some notes about what the project involved and how you achieved this. Once you send off your invoice, the next step, wherever possible, should be to add that job to your profile. When you do this job by job it means your profile is updated quickly and simply, in a way that is integrated into your workflow. This of course includes videos, pdfs, images and other documents. Make sure you are only adding the best of your work though – too much of an average thing will not achieve the result you want.
8. Sell twago Products
twago profiles also now display the twago Products you offer – twago Products are fixed-priced services such as Logo Design, or SEO Assessment, or PHP Expert Per Hour. Once you have selected a product and confirmed as an official provider for that specific product, it will show up on your profile. twago products offer packaged skill-sets or tasks that enable clients to get certain specific jobs done and with a fixed price in place. Having twago Products featured on your profile gives clients a simple way to see your skills and price points in one place, so if you haven’t explored twago Products yet, do it now!
9. Browse the best profiles on twago
If you’re still feeling unsure, why not take a look at some other freelancer and agency profiles and get some inspiration. There are many professionals on twago who have been working hard through the platform for some time and have managed to develop their profiles to an extent that they are the highest ranked freelancers and agencies on twago.
Profiles like this one (note: profile is in German) offer a great example of how to showcase your talents using videos, flyers, portfolio items and products, while this profile (also in German) shows how impressive a comprehensive skill-set looks against a great profile, created by following the steps outlined above.
10. Remember – your profile should never be thought of as finished
As long as your career is in progress, so is your profile. Spending a bit of time on it regularly is not only important to attract new clients, it also serves to remind you that you are talented and great and definitely worth investing in.
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