How to Create a Freelance Profile that Stands Out (15 Tips)

Making it shine will do wonders for business.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

How To Create A Freelance Profile

Freelancing is a great way to put your expertise, skills and passion to work… on your own terms.

The key to making a success out of freelancing is to ensure your profile stands out from the crowd. With platforms such as Freelancer, Fiverr and Upwork providing a good resource to showcase your freelancing talents, it is vital that you write a strong profile that differentiates you and helps you secure clients.

This article covers the importance of an effective freelancing profile and provides 15 great tips on how to put one together.

What is a freelance profile?

Freelancing profiles are online representations of what freelancers do and how people can work with them. While some freelancers might have their own website, these profiles are typically set up via freelancing platforms like Freelancer, Fiverr or Upwork. Freelancers’ profiles are used to showcase their talent and market themselves to potential clients.

The importance of a well-written freelance profile

A well-written freelancing profile offers many benefits, the most important of which is making a great first impression and attracting potential clients. Effective freelancing profiles also set expectations and communicate clearly to clients what it is that you do.

The best profiles will showcase freelancers’ skills and abilities, and include a portfolio of work, allowing prospective clients to get a visual and thorough idea of what they might expect to receive. This can also assist in building trust and credibility.

Finally, profiles that are optimized for web searches will drive traffic to the freelancer, resulting in greater interest and more business.

What should you include in your profile?

The goal of your freelancing profile is to draw in clients, market what you do, and close sales. The best freelancing profiles include an array of elements that must be presented succinctly to maintain interest, yet comprehensively to ensure buyers can make an informed decision.

All information must align closely with your expertise and target audience, be professionally laid out, and easy to access and read. Everything on your profile should be regularly checked for accuracy and updated accordingly if needed.

Here’s what to include when starting your freelancing journey and creating your freelance profile:

  • A portfolio of work
  • A résumé summary
  • Your availability
  • Your biography
  • Your education, qualifications and certifications
  • Client reviews and ratings
  • Your contact information
  • Links to other platforms or social media (check that your existing platform allows this first)
  • A professional profile picture
  • Profile headline or masthead
  • Rates of pay
  • Recommendations
  • Search engine optimization keywords
  • Skills and expertise listed as bullet points

How to write a winning profile

As we have discussed, a lot of information must be included in a freelancing profile, and it needs to be laid out effectively in order to showcase what you offer. Here are 15 great tips on how to write a winning freelancer profile.

1. Create an attention-grabbing headline

The headline or title on your freelancing profile makes that all-important first impression! Headlines draw in potential clients and succinctly explain what you offer. While short, text-based headlines can work well, some headlines, especially on freelancing websites like Upwork or Fiverr, make use of images as well.

Ensure your headline explains what you do and uses action words such as “accomplished”, “compelling” or “succeed”. You can also add the number of years’ experience you have. Remember that headlines must be punchy, and often less is more!

2. Invest in a professional headshot

Clients love to put a face to the name. Ensure they know who you are by investing in a professional headshot, taken by a photographer who specializes in commercial or business portrait photography.

A high-quality profile photo can be incorporated into your headline or masthead and can also be used on freelancing websites as an “avatar” so people can see you when you reply to messages or update blog posts. Doing this will convey transparency and openness on your profile.

Additionally, images give your profile an additional dimension, professional polish, and can make it visually engaging.

3. Consider multimedia

If a profile picture adds a different dimension to your freelancing profile, multimedia propels it to a different universe. Videos, demos, gamification, downloadable portfolios and slideshows require a little bit of technical know-how to set up, but they are tremendously appealing to prospective clients and can align your website to that of a major corporation.

When picking multimedia to use, ensure that it is connected to your service and skills, and that it doesn’t distract clients, ensuring it directs clients to buying services from you. Finally, the power of multimedia works both ways: if done well, it can create a lot of business. If it’s poorly executed, its negative impact can be massive.

4. Engage with your industry

Networking with freelancers and other professionals in your industry offers many benefits, one of them being that you can share freelance profile best practices.

Ask your network how your profile can be enhanced and participate in forums and discussions to exchange tips and tricks to make it stand out. Engaging with your industry can also help you build connections and affiliations that you can feature on your freelancing profile to add credibility and a sense of professionalism to what you do.

5. Tailor your profile to your niche

With freelance industries being highly competitive and increasingly saturated, it’s important that you carve out a niche for yourself. This will give you a unique selling point, enabling you to stand out from the crowd.

Consider what you enjoy doing and what plays to your skill set. Be specific and illustrative when writing about this on your freelancing profile. Ensure your niche flows through into all facets of your profile such as your headline and pricing options.

6. Showcase your skills and experience

Often, the only way people will know how amazing your skills as a freelancer are is if they use your services. It’s, therefore, important to write a résumé profile that will enable you to clearly list your skills for clients to see.

Additionally, a professional and easily accessible portfolio will really bring your skills to life. Portfolios are most commonly associated with visual freelancing jobs such as graphic design, web design or the arts, but they can be used in any industry.

Great résumé profiles and portfolios are attuned to your specific freelancing gig; you also need to ensure the portfolio content is polished and as perfect as it can be — people will be studying it closely!

7. Make it easy for clients to contact you

If potential clients can’t figure out the best way to contact you (or you don’t reply), they won’t waste their time; they will simply head off and find a freelancer who can be reached. Freelancing platforms like Upwork will often include messaging links and in-app communication services, but it’s on you to reply consistently and promptly.

If you have your own freelancing website, then ensure you add in a “Contact Me” box or provide a generic email address or phone number that is active and reachable. Ensure this information is prominently displayed in various locations and pages.

8. Be clear on the services you offer

Ensure your service is clearly explained and provide examples of what you can do. Try to strike a balance between being concise and offering enough details to aid potential clients in making a decision on whether to hire you.

Consider using technical language to aid this process, but be aware that too much can create confusion. Whereas you need to take time to clearly explain what you do offer, you also have to be clear on what you don’t. Making it clear to clients what isn’t included will reduce the risk of dissatisfaction or miscommunication.

9. Optimize your profile for search

Optimizing your freelancing profile for search engine optimization can increase your visibility and chances of clicks and orders. Begin this process by researching relevant keywords for what you do. Websites like Google’s Keyword Planner can do this for you.

Tailor your résumé profile to include these keywords, and incorporate them into your headline, testimonials and portfolio for maximum impact. Carry through keywords into any supporting social media, and regularly update your profile and conduct regular research for keywords to ensure SEO remains relevant.

10. Communicate your availability and speed

One of the main reasons people choose to freelance is that they can set their own hours. This is all well and good, but it can leave clients frustrated or confused as to when they can reach out to freelancers for work. On your profile, highlight when you are available to take on work and how much notice you need to accept projects.

Some freelancing platforms allow you to set your availability with a few clicks (and this will also mean clients cannot place orders or contact you outside of these times), but if you are using your own website, you will need to manually add this in, as well as how fast you can typically complete orders. Doing this will allow you to proactively manage expectations.

11. Be transparent with your pricing

When it comes to information that potential clients want to see on your freelancing profile, money is key. Include a section where your services are clearly and accurately priced.

Clients value transparency and structure, so even if you decide on varying prices and adding supplementary charges, ensure this is clearly outlined on your profile. Ensure potential clients know what is included, what isn’t, how and when payment is made, and any guarantees you make in terms of refunds or disputes.

It might also help to offer introductory pricing deals for when you start out as a freelancer.

12. Add client testimonials

As your freelancing journey continues, you will likely begin to amass a collection of very happy clients. It pays to share their great feedback on your freelancing profile. Ask these clients for their permission for you to either share their reviews on your profile page or ask if they can write you a testimonial that you can post instead.

Write testimonials accurately, and feature them in a separate section on your profile. Only add in clients’ names or company information if they give you permission to do so.

13. Use consistent branding and formatting

Careful formatting and consistent branding will give your profile a professional feel that will add a lot of credibility to your freelancing offer. Freelancing websites will take care of a lot of this for you, but you still have to choose the right language, and ensure the spelling and grammar are correct and that images or other multimedia are branded correctly.

Consider using a word processing software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs to plan out your profile before pasting it into the website. Similarly, before you publish your profile, give it a second and third look over for accuracy, and ask a colleague or friend to do the same as well.

14. Keep it updated

Ensuring you keep your freelancing profile up to date means that you will have confidence that your pricing, delivery times, gigs and descriptions are all current, therefore advertising the correct service to potential clients.

An added benefit is that updating your profile bumps it up search rankings and also sometimes bumps it to the top of freelancing sites’ displays (for example, on Fiverr, stagnant profiles are dropped down the results page). Consider undertaking regular profile audits (perhaps every month) where you can tweak your profile to ensure it is fresh and current.

15. Consider hiring a professional

Creating a winning freelancing profile is not easy and, as we have discussed, there are a lot of things to think about. Professional freelancing profile designers can take a lot of this work off your shoulders and, for a modest price, can advise you on how to create a great profile or simply create one for you.

Professional freelancing profile designers are something to be considered when you are starting out, but as your business grows, their service can provide a real competitive advantage. Marketing managers can also help you tweak your profile for maximum impact.

Final thoughts

The goal of a freelancer profile is to showcase your talents to a wide audience and to help you close sales, ultimately supporting you in growing your career as an amazing freelancer. Given that your freelancer profile is your main tool and the one that potential clients or hiring managers will see most often, you must ensure it is well-laid-out and includes all the right information.

Carefully build your freelancer profile, and keep it up to date and tailored to your target audience and SEO for maximum impact. Doing this ensures that your profile will do a lot of heavy lifting in the background while you focus on your work and producing great orders for clients.

Got a question? Let us know in the comments section below.

Originally published on July 12, 2018.