Setting up stellar Upwork profiles is an important aspect of ensuring a successful freelancing career with the site.
Without a decent profile, you can't be found and you're restricted to the number of jobs you can apply for on a daily basis.
Really, it's pretty easy to set up, it just requires a bit of effort on your part to ensure that your profile stands out from the crowd.
That's what we're going to cover here.
On Upwork, you need to make your profile different — it should be similar to your about page or a sales page (from your website) that sells your skills and shows how you can meet the needs of potential clients that land on it.
[Tweet “Without a decent profile, you can't be found and you're restricted to applying for jobs.”]
There are a few components that you need in place to achieve this.
Follow the steps below and you'll ensure your profile stands out among the generic and boring ones that seem to be prolific on sites like Upwork!
Table of Contents
How to ‘Pimp Out' Your Upwork Profile
There are no two ways about it. You need a photo. A good head and shoulders shot is preferable, one that shows who you are. People need to see that you're a real person. And if you're not comfortable with that, include a clear logo instead, one that clearly shows what it is you're offering.
Don't post shots of yourself partying up on the weekend, no photos with a beer or wine glass in hand. Aim for a semi-professional shot that clearly shows your face.
The aim is to make a personal connection. People need to know that you are a real person, not some agency or computer program trying to scam them.
This is your ‘about me' section — or rather, your sales page. This is where you want to tell anyone that lands on your profile what you'll do for them. Make sure you include your main keywords in here too. You should be hitting all the points that matter most to your client.
The focus should be on what you can do for the client, not a run down on what you've been doing. Sell yourself but don't bore your clients with details they don't need to know.
Include a couple of testimonials as well… don't have any? Do a couple of free gigs for friends and family in exchange for a couple of testimonials.
To make your overview work, you want to highlight the problem, show you understand their problem by telling a story, agitating the problem and then providing the solution. It's copywriting 101.
In the skills part of this section, make sure your top five skills are your keywords as well. You want to be found for the skills you want to be most recognised for.
Still not sure what I'm on about? Here's a link to my own profile so you can check it out!
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Pro Tip: Add a short 90-second video to your profile as well. This will allow potential clients to immediately connect with you and see you as a real, live person.
If you are looking to work locally, make sure your profile is optimised for your locality.
For instance, I live in Australia (normally!) and as a result, I get a lot of Australian companies contacting me on Upwork directly.
I stand out because I have listed my specific location and country and when a client is looking to work with someone locally, I always come up in the recommended profiles that Upwork displays after they list their gig. Free marketing, my fav!
Make sure your resume highlights only the skills and relevant experience that your Upwork profile is about. Your resume should not be pages and pages long. If you can, keep it to 2-3 pages tops.
Use bullet points. This makes it easier for people to scan and find the information they are looking for faster.
Want a look at the resume template I use? Click here to grab yours.
This is probably one of the more important aspects of your profile. You'll want to showcase any previous work you've done, particularly if you're a writer or designer.
If you don't have any previous work, simply create some and add it to your portfolio. Better yet, publish it on your own portfolio site or link to any previous work you've done outside of Upwork.
Another option is to offer your services to friends and family for free to build up your portfolio, then you have some very legitimate work to showcase — make sure you get testimonials from these people as well.
#6: Upwork Tests
After chatting with Damian Thompson from Salesability (formerly Linchpin), we both agreed that Upwork tests are a vastly underrated aspect of their Upwork profiles as freelancers.
[Tweet “Most people just do the general required tests and that's it.”]
What you want to do to stand out is to ensure that you do as many tests as you can and get in the top 10% for each one (which is pretty easy to do if you know your stuff!).
I've been contacted by clients before simply because of the tests I've taken, with one client even asking me about a specific portion of the test.
Clients are looking for people with specific skills and if you can show you know what you're talking about, both through your portfolio and then backed up by Upwork tests, then you are a shoo-in for getting ongoing work!
For example, as a freelance writer, the Upwork tests that you should complete and include in your profiles are:
- English Spelling test -US
- US English Basic Skills test
- UK English Basic Skills test
- Online Writing and Blogging Test (US and UK versions)
- Email Etiquette Certification
- MS Word 2003 (or equivalent)
- US Word Usage test
- Technical Writing Skills
- US English Chicago Style Editing Skills test
- Business Writing Skills certification
The aim is to take at least 10 tests that mean something in your niche — do the ones that make the most sense for your business.
You will need to spend a good day taking these tests, but it's worth it in the long run. If you don't get the score you want, just hide it from your profile and take it again next week.
Setting up fantastic profiles in Upwork is key to your success as a freelancer — make it count.
Approach it a little differently, use your skills and highlight how easy you can make your potential client's life, just by working with you!
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