Are you a new Freelancer with a new freelance profile, no work history, and zero reviews? You have stopped by the right place because in this guide I will share some amazing tips to make your perfect freelance profile which will help you attract clients at the earliest.
Everything has a starting point. An insane but true fact is that the planet that we live on took millions of years to become a livable habitat.
It’s no secret that the likelihood of you getting employer’s attention among other applying for the same job and the chances of winning the project are high when you have a profile with work history and great reviews. But it’s obvious that when you signup on a freelancing platform like Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour.me, Fiverr.me or any of the other dozen popular freelancing platforms – you would have a fresh profile with zero work history and zero reviews. That’s what would make you find the first project the hardest job.
When you bid on a project and the client starts reviewing the bids received on his project, the platform arranges the profiles in a way that the best profiles are placed above the low ranking profiles. Since you would have absolutely no reviews (zero precisely), your freelancer profile would be pushed down the many profiles that have been built over months and years by other experienced freelancers. Sounds fair to everyone except you because the fairness is taking your life away – you have spent days and weeks bidding on projects and haven’t got your first project.
This is what you can do, I did the same and was able to win my first project on Freelancer, paid me just $75 though but I’ll always be grateful and thankful to my first client.
1) Read the platform guidelines (Very Important!)
We, in India, hardly care to read the guidelines.I’m assuming same for our dear neighbors Bangladesh and Pakistan – if that’s not the case please let me know and I will correct my assumption.
Okay, honestly tell me have you ever,
1) Read the small paper chit that you find mostly in the medicine bottles packaging ?
2) Read the 40-50 pages manual when you buy a new TV or a Washing Machine ?
3) Ever read the license agreement while installing a software on your genuine windows laptop?
4) Ever read the guidelines while signing up on a freelancing platform like Freelancer.com or Upwork.com ?
If your answer is Yes , you have my respect but for most of us that’s not case. We are just not used to the process of reading the guidelines or manuals – because we are always excited to jump into what’s inside 🙂
Take a deep breath and pledge with me that you are going to give up on this habit please for your own good. It’s okay if you still don’t read the manuals shipped with TV and Washing machines but PLEASE ALWAYS read the platform guidelines while signing up on a freelancing platform , because ignorance can cost you much and the only emotion you would be left with is – Regret!
Isn’t that the primary reason WHY UPWORK SUSPENDED ACCOUNTS for hundreds and thousands of Indian/Asian freelancers ? Most of us failed to read and understand the community guidelines and played on the platform with our own rules and were then later penalized for it.
Please spend a few minutes reading the guidelines and ALWAYS PLAY FAIR – Remember, your profile is among million other profiles and platforms like Upwork or Freelancer wouldn’t really care much about your profile been suspended for a valid reason or a clerical or technical mistake from their side. The platforms do have good support teams to assist you but it’s always better to play fair and be safe from the first day of your sign up.
2) Optimize Your Freelance Profile
When you sign up on the freelancing platform you tend to answer or input only the minimum mandatory fields and then you jump by all means into finding projects and bidding on it. I remember doing the same when I started and I won’t ever advise this to anyone because we wouldn’t know of the opportunities we missed and the employers that visited our profile and went back because our profile information was incomplete or disappointing.
Follow these tips to Optimize Your Freelance profile:
a) A Professional & Real Profile Picture(With Smile) of you ( if your are an individual freelancer) or your company logo ( if you are a company and if uploading logo as profile picture is allowed by the platform)
b) A Nice Profile Title and Description – clearly highlighting your skills , your achievements and why the employer should consider you for his project.
c) Portfolio – Upload nice screenshots of your work samples and try to write a few lines about it explaining the challenges or complexity about the task and how you were able to deliver it with excellence.
d) Your Hourly Rate – Hourly rate is first think every user look in your profile. In the beginning, I recommend you to have a decent hourly rate(Not too low not too high). Because in the initial stage as you don’t have good portfolio to show your hourly rate plays an vital role in hiring process. Read my article if you are not sure what your hourly rate on freelancing platforms should be.
e) Add Relevant Skills – Adding relevant skills to your profile would make your profile available in the search results on the platform and the platform would start curating project suggestions for you using the skills
3) Prepare for the Showtime – Bidding on Projects
Excitement and Frustration wrapped in one – Prepare to live this for a few weeks while you build up your new profile.
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT strategy and your first few projects would totally depend on this.
!! HAND TYPE EVERY BID – NO COPY PASTE PLEASE !!
!! PERSONALIZE YOUR BID – NO ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ PLEASE !!
!! THE FIRST TWO LINES SHOULD BE 100% RELEVANT TO THE PROJECT – NO ‘I have read your project carefully’ spam PLEASE!!
4) It’s OKAY to Work on Lower Rates and Fees for your First Few Projects
Winning your first project is going to be really really tough unless you are one of those lucky guys we see on viral videos that escape death by an inch. We know that cost is one of the deciding factors in any marketplaces where buyers and sellers meet – in our case it’s freelancing platforms like Freelancer.com and Upwork.com where Employers and Freelancers meet and services are bought in return of a fees. Since cost is important and employers ( most of them) are willing to hire low cost freelancers , you can get some attention by asking a hourly rate or fixed cost less than what an experience freelancer would is asking to work on the same project.
For instance , you propose to build a website for $200 ( template based and a few pages) if the others are asking say $300 – $500 for the same job.
Remember – Your first project is YOUR FIRST STEP TOWARDS SUCCESS so do everything in your capacity ( but always ethical and professional) to win that first project!
5) Do Not Give Up
Freelancing is a tough journey, not everyone will have the same struggle but it’s good to be prepared with a strong mindset. Train your mind not to surrender to many rejections or low earnings during the initial stages of your freelancing career. Keep yourself motivated, work hard and never give up and you’ll see things falling in place for you.
I wish you the best of luck and hard work for your new journey and may you bypass the struggle phase soon.
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Wishing you Success With Freelancing.