One of the great things about freelancing is the ability to create a new career…
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When you want to attract freelance clients, your freelancer profile needs to be interesting and convincing.
You’ll want to showcase your skills, make a good first impression and set yourself apart from the competition. Be it on dedicated freelancer platforms or business networks like LinkedIn, people will decide within seconds, if you could be the right choice for their project or not.
So how do you make a freelancer profile that really stands out from the crowd? Keep reading to get the top 9 tips for creating your best possible freelancer profile.
Why you need a freelancer profile
Maybe you’ve never felt the need to create a freelancer profile for yourself, because you’re quite successful in getting new freelance clients based on recommendations from your existing or previous ones. Or you just have a lot of contacts, and new opportunities keep presenting themselves on a regular basis. Or maybe you work for a few clients on a long-term basis, and you feel you don’t need to put yourself out there because you wouldn’t have time for new projects anyway.
But you never know. Your long-term clients can quit, contacts can dry up, and at some point you might reach the end of where the recommendations can take you.
That’s why it’s great to have a profile on LinkedIn and on dedicated freelancer platforms. It gives you the opportunity to present yourself and your skills and services. Whenever you’re in need of a new project, you can become more active on the platform and find something quickly.
Plus, creating a profile is much easier than launching your own freelance website. You don’t have to worry about hosting, design and creating a lot of content.
Let’s take a look at the most important elements of a freelancer profile!
How to Make a Freelancer Profile
1. Make a great first impression
The first two things a person usually sees when your profile is listed somewhere are your title and your freelancer profile picture.
With your title, you tell them what they can hire you for. It should be expressive to stand out. Instead of just calling yourself a designer, copywriter or developer, you should list your areas of focus, and possibly also an adjective that describes your working style. “Creative UX copywriter specializing in software” or “Problem-solving marketer with a growth mindset” sound much more interesting, right?
On LinkedIn, you should add a “Freelance” to your title, so people know about your status immediately. On a dedicated freelancer platform, that is obviously not necessary.
Your freelancer profile picture should show your face, so don’t go for big hats or sunglasses there. Smile at the camera and look your potential clients in the eye to create a connection. It doesn’t have to be a professional picture taken by a photographer. People who hire freelancers don’t expect them to have a corporate look. But make sure you look likeable and trustworthy.
2. Give the hard facts
When a potential client is looking for a freelancer, it’s likely that they want to start soon and it’s likely that they have a budget. So you should give them the information they need – your availability and your hourly rate.
But it depends on the platform. On a dedicated freelancer platform, this makes a lot of sense, and they might even have features to show it, so you don’t have to include the information in your description. But on a platform like LinkedIn, it could look strange to list your hourly rate.
3. Keep it concise and skimmable
Put yourself in the position of a busy recruiter, team lead or start-up CEO. What would you prefer when you’re checking dozens of freelancer profiles to find the right fit for your next project? Long blocks of text with detailed descriptions or clear bullet points you can skim to decide if this is a promising candidate?
Be aware that people will not read your whole profile thoroughly at first. Make it easy for them to identify the relevant parts.
4. Make your freelancer skills and services clear
If you’ve been a freelancer for a while, you probably have a lot of different skills, and some of them you don’t even use in your daily work.
Don’t be tempted to go for a “more is more” approach and list every skill you’ve ever acquired. Instead, be clear about the services you want to offer, and align your skills with them.
If you’re a developer, for example, make sure you focus on your programming languages, tools, and agile skills. You don’t have to list your content writing skills, even if that was part of a job you once had. You can make an exception for skills you would like to use more, even if they are not part of your core skill set. There’s a chance someone is looking for a developer who is also a good writer.
5. Be specific about your achievements
No matter if it’s previous freelancer projects or jobs you had as an employee, make sure you show the value you provided to your clients or employers.
Don’t just list the work and responsibilities on your profile. Instead, use numbers to illustrate your success. “50% more visitors due to my website redesign” or “Increased conversion rate by 10% through conversion rate optimization” sound far more convincing than “Designed a new website” or “Did conversion rate optimization”, right?
6. Add freelance client testimonials
Another great way to convince potential clients who look at your freelancer profile is including testimonials.
Ask happy clients to give you a few sentences describing your qualities. Depending on the platform, there might be a way to automatically ask for feedback after completing a project.
On LinkedIn, for example, you can ask anyone for a reference. But even if the platform doesn’t have a dedicated feature for this, you can still collect testimonials and display them in your “about” section. If you don’t want to bother your clients too much, you can also offer them to write the statement yourself and give it to them for approval. Most of them will agree to this.
7. Include work samples
Your freelancer profile should not only tell people you’re great at what you’re doing; it should also show them.
This is especially important in creative fields like design, videography or writing. Potential clients want to check out if your style is what they are looking for, or if you’re versatile enough to provide what they need. Again, the exact way to do this depends on the platform. It might have an option to upload your portfolio. But even if it doesn’t, there are external websites for creating one. You can simply add a link to that from your freelancer profile.
8. Use all the options a freelance platform offers
Freelancer platforms are different in their focus and in the options they offer for creating your profile. Be sure you make the most of the options you have.
Check out all the available sections for your profile. Maybe you can make it stand out by adding a header image. Or you can upload a video to introduce yourself. Or you can include certificates you’ve obtained. Take some time to create a comprehensive and attractive freelancer profile. Try to have a look at other profiles on the platform for inspiration.
9. Proofread your freelancer profile
And the last one: Make sure you proofread your profile to avoid appearing unprofessional with spelling or grammar mistakes.
If that’s not your strong side, ask a friend to help you out. When you’re putting a lot of effort in your profile, you want to make sure the effect is not spoiled by small and avoidable errors.
Now that you’ve learned how to make a freelancer profile, want to learn more tips about freelancing? Take my free mini-course Get on the Right Path to Freelancing here.
Marc Clemens is the founder and CEO of 9am, an innovative freelancer platform making lives easier for both freelancers and companies. He is a serial entrepreneur who studied at University of St. Gallen and HEC Paris. In 2016, he founded CodeControl, a curated marketplace and a community of the best tech freelancers in Europe.