Goal: Build a personal brand and write a great freelance profile on Upwork and LinkedIn that brings clients to you.
Why write a great freelance profile on Upwork and LinkedIn?
Profiles are often the client's first impression of you on social media and freelancing platforms. When potential clients search for your industry, you want to be the result they find.
The key to a great freelancer profile is to address the client's problems during this initial impression and to make the path to starting projects as simple as possible. Compelling profiles explain what you provide, why this is important to your prospective client, and how they can begin working with you. In this Step, you will understand the critical components of a profile and how to design and write one that gets you hired.
Stop doing this...
Most freelancers build a list of "what" they do without considering "why" the client would purchase from them. The emotional reason is "why" the client will hire you. This is the "look and leave" format.
No views or low-quality views.
Your focus is on you, lacks relevancy, and disconnects from how a potential client is looking for you.
Try doing this instead...
Successful freelancers think from a marketing perspective first and optimize their writing based on their benefit and value to the customer. This is the "hook and hire" format.
Attract qualified clients.
Design a relevant profile to your audience that answers the client's why, the solution needed, and a fast path to onboarding the client.
Here is a 1 Hour Coaching Session session I recently did with Paul O., from Nigeria, Africa who is currently earning $150,000/year on Upwork and wants to grow his freelance business:
What makes a well written freelance profile?
As freelancers, we often take advantage of various platforms such as Upwork and LinkedIn to generate the lion's share of our business. Ensuring our profile is up-to-date and relevant is critical to hitting the holy grail of freelance when clients come to you.
As mentioned earlier in this course, being a good salesperson is a fundamental requirement for successful freelance. In the profile writing section of this course, you need to switch hats and become a marketer, thinking of principles for your client:
Write with these in mind:
- Value - Why would the customer feel that your service is valuable to their organization?
- Benefit - What does the customer gain from working with you?
- Safe - What makes you low risk and high reward?
- Transparent - What budget range do your services cover?
- Efficient - How do you make the process easy?
Writing a compelling profile assembles another piece of the puzzle that demonstrates your professionalism and removes you from the "race to the bottom" on pricing.
Covering the above concepts allows you to differentiate yourself in a meaningful way and inspires confidence in the client.
The main goals of your profile:
Found - Optimize how customers find you
Understood - Make it easy to understand why you are the best choice
- Hired - Give the clients confidence that you are a professional
The primary purpose of your profile is to turn clicks into conversions. You aim to convince your potential client that you are the person to hire to solve their problem. The second purpose of your profile is to qualify potential clients, which happens when the client understands your terms, and you don't waste each other's time with negotiations. You achieve this through transparency.
Every profile breaks down into three core components: the Headline, which captures the client's attention and stops them from scrolling to the next person. The second is the Body Copy, which explains your story and how it relates to solving the client's problems and why you solve them. The third is the Next Steps section which should be easy to read at a glance and set the expectations for your client.
Headline ~150 Characters
Body Copy ~2500 Characters
Steps ~5 bullets
To write compelling profiles with the primary and secondary goals in mind, you should follow a standard marketing funnel for writing. Although we often hear the term "funnel" and shudder, feeling a little dirty, it's an effective way to communicate your offer quickly.
Remember in the First Step; we discussed thinking about yourself as a salesperson first? Writing your profile in this manner falls in line with
this overall concept. Your potential client is trying to solve a problem. You understand that problem, have solved it in the past, have the tools to solve it, and are transparent on how you do it and how much it will cost the client.
What is a Funnel?
Upper - Basic content about your experience and your story
Middle - The specific problems you solve for your clients
Lower - How to hire you for your services
In marketing speak, this is called a funnel. Clients start at the top, and they should be ready to purchase your services by the bottom of this marketing funnel.
Important: Professionalism requires that you make no mistakes in spelling and grammar. It is easy to write without errors, given the number of tools available. Make sure clients see your attention to detail.
Clients receive thousands of marketing messages daily for a massive range of products and services, making your job of writing a compelling profile critical to your success.
Write with this in mind:
Stop - Your Headline has to stop the client from scrolling
Relate - Your Body Copy has to relate to the client's problem
Hire - You must clearly qualify the client and ask them to hire you
When I write profiles, I think, "How can I write the first 5-10 words of my headline to stop them from scrolling?" Research other profiles and find a common reason they stopped you.
Benefits outweigh features, so when writing your Body Copy, focus on what the client receives first, then why you are the one who can complete the project. Clients don't want a website (feature), they want to sell online (benefit), they don't want Copywriting (feature), they want to be understood (benefit). Focus on benefits.
When writing your profile in the next assignment, remember to follow the standard marketing funnel structure of Upper, Middle, and Lower. Structuring your writing into a funnel allows clients to understand who you are, what you do, and how to get started in the shortest possible time.
Each component of your writing should follow a funnel. Following this format helps your reader because clients all read and skim content differently, finding uniquely important information to their current situation. Here's who I am, the benefit I offer, and how to get started.
Here are ideas of what you can add to your profile:
Here is who I am
- A catchy one-liner that stops the client from scrolling
- Up to 5 core services for quick qualification
- Contact info so the client knows where to go
Here are your benefits
- Benefits the customer receives
- Features that provide the Benefits
- Social proof such as testimonials and reviews
Here is how to hire me
- When you can start the project
- What are your hourly and flat-rate prices
- How the client can pay and get started
What you can include in your Upper Funnel:
- Your name
- Your years of experience
- Your focus
- Your service range
- Mix in at least five keywords related to your services
What you can include in the Middle Funnel:
- Specifics about the services your provide
- The benefit to the client's business your services provide
- The price ranges you work within
What you can include in the Lower Funnel:
- How to engage you for this solution
- Your contact information (email address, Calendly link)
- When you can begin and how long an engagement lasts
- Average costs and an easy method for accepting payment
Important: Platforms, such as Upwork, don't allow sharing personal information before starting a contract, so ALWAYS check the terms of service of all platforms.
Find the keywords you need by going to Job boards and looking at the Job Description and Required Experience sections of 10 different job posts. This will give you a great baseline of what keywords to add as these are the words the hiring managers are using to hire you.
Example of an effective Headline section:
"Rockstar freelance graphic designer with a backup singer price • Graphic Design • Website Development • Digital Marketing • Copywriting • Illustration ••• email@example.com"
- A scroll-stopping headline describes the service as high quality (rockstar designer), and the cost is reasonable (backup singer price).
- A list of services to allow the client to quickly identify me as having the services they want and to help the search engine find me.
- Contact information for easy communication for clients in a rush.
Example of an effective Body Copy section:
- Founders and Executives to brand their businesses, design communications, and manage technology
- Marketers and Brand Managers to generate marketing communications in all digital, social, and print media
- Inventors to bring their ideas to life with end-to-end product design, manufacturing, printing, distribution, retail and wholesale
- Freelance Designers, Developers, Writers, and Marketers to build their careers from any stage in their process
Canadian Creative Director & ECommerce Development Expert with over 20 years of Experience
- 15 years of U.S. Agency Experience with Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Nickelodeon
- Top Rated Plus Freelancer on Upwork for over 2 years
- Specialist in Consumer Packaged Goods, E-Commerce, and Marketing
- Dragons' Den TV Show Alumni with #1 product on Amazon and Groupon
"Meet Scott Luscombe, award-winning brand and product designer. Scott has 20 years of experience working with some of the biggest brands in the business and has loved every minute of it."
- Upwork Interview
- Clearly defines who I help and what I services I use
- Experience list to give the client confidence in my abilities
- Social proof demonstrates that I am capable in my field.
Example of an effective Next Steps section:
Hourly Rate: $55
Flate Rate: $75-19500
Average project size: $3840
Payment: Credit Card, PayPal, Direct Transfer
- Transparent pricing for pre-qualifying clients
- Timezone, so there is no question about availability
- Contact information to get started
Freelancers ask me about the concern of showing pricing, "what if my clients go with a lower-priced competitor?" and my answer is always the same "then they are not the client you want."
What does this mean? It's simple. You NEVER want to race to the bottom on pricing. There is no way of winning that game. On Upwork's project catalog and Fiverr, you will see the same thing, massive quantities of freelancers selling "meh" services at bottom-of-the-barrel prices.
Clients in this price range are terrible. They always want massive delivery for zero cost and complain about every Step. Avoid these clients like the pandemic, sure, you may not make $5 today, but you are much better at spending that time building all of the pieces I outlined in this book so you will find quality clients.
You will never become a successful freelancer with a stable career by following the race-to-the-bottom pricing strategy. If you sell a service for $5-50, you will need to onboard hundreds of clients to make ends meet. My goal for you is to have 20-30 steady clients who always come back for more, NOT clients looking for the lowest price. Let other freelancers fail with this strategy as they beg for the next project.
When it comes to transparency, another essential consideration is to make sure that you are pre-qualifying clients before you start talking to them. The same concerns mentioned above apply here, and the answer is the same. As a salesperson, first, you are much better to speak to a potential client who already understands your offering than a potential client that has no idea.
It is not the client's fault, they are simply trying to solve their problem, but often their expectations are out of line with the services you provide and the prices you expect. By being transparent and educational, you reduce wasting your time and the client's time and increase your conversion rate at the same time.
Want to learn more?
Buy my book the Freelance Shortcut for 10 assignments and a step by step guide to a successful freelance career.
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How do I write my freelance profile on Upwork and LinkedIn?