Whether you’re a web developer, a writer, or an accountant, your freelancer profile is an important tool that’s often underestimated. Your profile is an opportunity to convey your confidence and competence to potential clients — and for many of them, that critical first impression will start with two highly visible sections: Your profile title and overview. Why? Because these two pieces of information show up in search results.
Examples: How a freelancer’s title and overview show up in search results.
Just like Google search results, the titles and “snippets” of information that appear in Upwork’s freelancer search results can be key factors when potential clients are looking for experts to reach out to. Consider these best practices for your profile copy to help grab prospective clients’ attention and get set to open the door to better opportunities!
Your title has just a few seconds to score a win
Your title is one of the first things potential clients will see on your profile — a few words that can have a big impact on whether they read more or continue considering you for their project. In interviews with businesses who engage freelancers through the Upwork site, we’ve learned that clients see a well-written title as an indication of a freelancer’s expertise and quality.
There are many different ways to write a catchy title, here are a couple of ideas to help you figure out the best approach for your business:
- Be simple and succinct. Create a focused title that describes your expertise and indicates the type of projects you’re looking for to help readers understand what you do. But keep it short! The ideal length for a title is 10 words or less.
- Be specific. The more precise you can be in your title about the services you offer, the more likely it is to catch the attention of businesses that need your particular expertise. For example, if you’re a customer service expert, think about the specific services you want to highlight, such as live chat support, email support, or ticket support.
- Be unique. Craft an original and meaningful title that captures your occupations, specializations, and expertise. But avoid generic descriptions, such as “hard-working” or “reliable”—use your overview section to get that message across!
Your overview is your first (very short) pitch
In search results or other previews of your profile that may appear on the Upwork site, only the first few sentences of your overview are visible. Give those first few words some punch! Leverage the beginning of your profile to help give a clear impression that you’re the person they want to talk to. And keep the expertise you call out in your overview in sync with the rest of your profile, such as your work history, experience, and skills.
If you need a little inspiration, start drafting your overview with the following tips in mind:
Focus on how you can help prospective clients achieve their goals. Include words and phrases that potential clients might use when looking for freelancers who have your skills. This can help a feeling of familiarity and can help Upwork’s algorithms to match you with more relevant projects. Consider describing the type of clients you usually work with or perhaps even your ideal client and the types of challenges you can help them overcome.
Be original and creative
Let your personality shine through and include some of your excitement for the work you do instead of just talking facts. Describe your strengths and qualities, be clear about your expertise, explain what you’re passionate about, and talk about the work you do. Consider including past accomplishments and projects, elaborating on your preferred working style and your business values. But remember: Your profile isn’t just about you! Its main objective is to show potential clients the value of what you can do for them.
A good way to show clients that you’re experienced and reliable can be to include testimonials that vouch for your background and professionalism. This can include testimonials from a former boss, coworker, or client — but you can also use former professors, teachers, or classmates as references. However, any testimonials should be relevant to the type of projects you’re looking for. Especially if you’re new to Upwork and don’t have work history on the site yet, illustrating your expertise through quotes from previous experiences can be a powerful tool.
Example: Title and overview of a freelancer in Web & Software Dev (Fred T., Seattle/WA)
It’s all about the content—and organizing it!
Once you’ve written title and overview copy for your profile, figure out the optimal way to organize the information. It may be helpful to structure your profile so that it’s:
- In a logical order
- Quick to scan through
- Easy to see what your primary skills and experiences are
Bullet points can help to emphasize certain areas, but too many points may look like a laundry list of skills with few or no examples. Remember to keep Upwork’s Terms of Service in mind: For example, you shouldn’t provide any contact information—such as your email address, phone number, or Skype ID—in your overview.
One final tip! Before publishing your new and shiny profile title and overview, proofread your profile for spelling errors, typos, or grammatical errors, and remove any slang words, symbols, or abbreviations that may not be understood.
Check out these other resources to help improve your freelancer profile:
- Crafting Your Profile Title & Overview (the Upwork Academy course)
- Creating Your Profile (the Upwork Academy course)
- 9 Tips to Help You Create a Freelancer Profile That Stands Out
- A How-To Guide for Your Perfect Profile Picture
- Get Your Profile to the Next Level with an Intro Video
- 4 Ways to Create a More Successful Portfolio Regardless of Your Skill Set
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