If you have never freelanced on Upwork, elance, freelancer, etc then you ought to know that after submitting your job application and it captures the attention of a potential client, they will most definitely feel the urge to look at your profile.
Your Upwork profile acts as your link to prospective clients.
In this blog post (it will be a long one but totally worth it) I will walk you through some of the tips and tricks that I used and continue to use to this date to make my Upwork profile appealing and most of all, a profile that helps me land jobs either by job invitation or when I apply.
i) Upwork Profile Picture
This is based on a true job invite.
In early 2013, I received a job invite because of my profile picture. Yes! That’s me, holding my pet (Fluffy). To this date I work with that client and I always receive 5 star feedback all the time.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and your Upwork profile picture ranks even higher. It acts as a direct communication tool establishing a connection between you and a potential client even before official communication.
Yes! You may not know this, but if you have checked out a profile of any freelancer with an avatar, logo or no picture at all, then you will note that they haven’t worked as many jobs as they would like or they have no jobs at all.
A good Upwork profile picture is a picture of your face, and as a note, a smiling face is friendlier, hence attracts clients easily.
ii) Your Real Names
You need a job, right? We all need jobs, and for you to get a job, it is always important that you create an Upwork account using your real names. Upwork is not another social site where you can use the funkiest or crazy name that you think of. It is a global job marketplace.
Your names are important in case you need to verify your account and also in case of a name conflict.
I have been in a position where i needed to provide my Identification Cards and Mobile number because my name was similar to 28 other names on Upwork.
iii) Professional Title
Your professional title comes just underneath your Name. It accurately portrays the type of jobs you’re looking for. Check out the picture below to see how a professional title differs from a not so professional title.
TIP: A professional is likely to give you higher search ranking on Upwork when clients search for that specific requirement.
My main reason for joining Upwork was (and still is) because I had a skill to offer to the rapidly growing online market. Always ensure that you add relevant skills to your profile. They help boost your chances of getting hired.
Tip: Most skills added to your profile come with a test. Ensure that you take the test for that skill for you to rank higher on Upwork search results.
v) Hourly Charge
How much to charge per hour is always a major question, and there are lots of factors that come into play.
My take: Add an hourly rate that you believe is worth your skills, you are comfortable with (you will not end up being over-exploited), and you are not chasing away clients i.e. never set a rate of $1/hr or $100/hr.
The average rates that you will always see on Upwork range from $3.33/hr – $30/hr but the extremes are also available.
You can also compare different profiles of freelancers in your field and set competitive rates.
Tip: If you are a newbie on Upwork always begin with an average hourly rate and in the future as you get more contracts and feedback increase your hourly rate.
vi) Profile Overview
Your profile overview should include detailed information about your skills, experience and above all what can you do or what you have to offer to potential clients to make their job a success.
Tip 1: Avoid indicating personality traits such as kind or hardworking. The client wants to know how hiring you will make a difference and ensure the delivery of their work just as they would want it PERIOD.
Tip 2: It is no crime to compare different Freelancer profile in your field and see what they have included in their profiles. Remember, just do not copy paste their profile overview.
I do not like taking tests, and I bet no one on this earth loves to. They freak me out. That said, tests are important on Upwork, and to some extent, mandatory for certain jobs.
I have landed jobs on Upwork, because I rank top 10 in a test.
To be honest, most of the times I do not need to apply for a job, I receive job invites because I have a good score on the tests that I have taken that apply to what a client needs.
Note 1: Take as many relevant tests as you can and ensure that you pass in all of them.
This portrays that you understand the job field you are in and are capable of producing excellent work.
Pass the tests and indicate them on your profile. A check mark appears on all tests that you have taken and passed. This works wonders on your profile and future earnings
Most of the clients outsourcing for freelancers on Upwork are from English speaking countries, and almost all jobs that you will see on Upwork are in English, period.
Note 2: Take and Pass at least 2 English tests. The reason to take English tests is simple and straight forward.
It gives your client confidence that the freelancer they have hired can read, write, speak and understand English.
viii) Portfolio Items / Samples
Who wants to hire a freelancer that has now sample or portfolios to show? No one. A sad fact, but it is the truth.
Lacking portfolio items on your Upwork profile is like having no experience or referees to back you up on your job application.
Always include portfolio items that you have personally worked on and if the work belonged to client ensure that you have the clients permission to use their work as sample items.
Portfolio items include Images, Attachments, and Links.
In addition to these, please avail certifications if you have any and indicate your employment history.
These are plus points because everyone likes employees who have experience.
Final take: Keep updating your Upwork profile with relevant information as often as possible, take more relevant tests and if you feel you are worth more than your current hourly rate, by all means, increase your hourly rate.
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