Most freelancers have terrible profiles. It’s very easy to stand out in your Upwork profile when you know what you’re doing…
And that’s great news for you, because I’ll tell you what to do.
When you stand out, potential clients will notice you. They will be interested in hiring you. They will pay you more than some generic freelancer who wrote the same crap everyone else writes.
And that equals money in the bank for you.
What not to do on your Upwork profile
You’ll discover how to write a great Upwork profile in a little while. It’s easier to first find out what not to do, so you can then understand what you should do.
Don’t be a jack of all trades
It looks desperate and people assume you’re not very good at anything. Confidence is saying I do this one thing, and I do it really well. If you want something else, go elsewhere.
Don’t be unassertive or weak
If you’re begging to be hired, you never will be. Don’t write about how you’re always available, can do extra work, can do multiple things, etc.
Don’t be humble or shy about talking yourself up
If you don’t sell yourself, nobody else is going to. Realise that a person’s business is their baby – they don’t want to outsource tasks to people who are uncertain. They want to feel confident letting you loose with their baby (and their money).
Don’t be too available
If you’re too available, nobody wants you. The man in demand is the best – at least as far as the subconscious is concerned – it’s self-evident.
This is true in any area of life, if you want to stand out, get hired, and be paid better, you need to be hard to pin down. Be busy.
Don’t be boring
That means don’t write the same shit everyone else writes. Don’t list all of the technical things you can do, which nobody else understands or cares about.
Don’t let on any negative information that might stop someone hiring you
Frame everything as a positive. Don’t mention things that don’t need to be mentioned. Play up your strengths.
Don’t talk about yourself all the time
The majority of your focus should be on the client. Showing that you understand their needs, that you offer them benefit and help them grow their business.
That won’t stop you getting hired, unless people find out. It’s just morality. Don’t be a scumbag.
How clients looking to hire freelancers view Upwork profiles
Does this person offer what I want?
The most important part of your Upwork profile is this line. It says what you will do for the person hiring you.
It should be specific and meaningful.
Both of these profiles say exactly what they will do for you. The first is more general, while the second is better. It is more specific by being only Facebook, and it has a benefit for the person doing the hiring.
Yes, I would like to outsource my AdWords, Bing, Facebook, and Amazon PPC… but really that is just a means to an end.
What I actually want is to BLOW UP my sales.
Sell the benefit or the outcome that comes as a result of your service – THAT is why people will hire you.
Is this the right price range? Will I be able to work with this person?
People will make judgements by price and location. Some people are searching for cheap – and that is fine – but the better clients will look for someone who charges what they’re worth.
On this page, the highlighted profile is the one that stands out because his price is highest. He’s also a native English speaker, which both justifies the higher price, and makes me think he will be easier to communicate with.
Maybe he will get less inquiries because he charges more, but he will get better clients. They will be easier to work with, more appreciative of his expertise, and more likely to generate long term business.
A preview line to sell yourself that most people misuse
This line is pulled from the first line of your description.
Most people don’t write anything useful there, but you can utilise this space to add an extra benefit, to sell the client on clicking through to your profile.
If you have a solid benefit in the headline, simply add a secondary benefit at the top of your description. It doesn’t need to be clever – just state the benefit they will get from hiring you, in as few a words as possible.
Do they clearly state what they do, who for, and what to do next?
This is a great profile because it says exactly what he does.
He builds WordPress websites for beginners. If you’re a beginner, just getting started, or building your first website, and you want a WordPress site, you’re going to feel like this guy is the perfect fit.
Everyone else saying they ‘build websites’ in a non-specific way is not coming across as strongly.
Everyone using technical language that impresses other people in their industry, but alienates potential clients who know nothing about web design, is leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
How to write a great Upwork profile that will get you hired
You want to approach your profile like a sales letter. You are selling your services to a potential client. Sales is about them and what they want – not about you. You’re just the vehicle or mechanism to deliver what they want.
You have to start by grabbing their attention based on what they want. Once you’ve got them, then you introduce the means of getting there (your service). Finally, you offer trust, proof, and answer likely objections.
Read what clients write in the job posts. I looked at the Facebook marketing job posts and they all talk about clear analytics, interpreting the data and laying out cost per acquisition, plus other key metrics, in a simple to digest format. I made sure to include that in my profile.
Your Upwork profile headline, hourly rate & opening line
I’ve gone for a professional headline that isn’t too hypey. I did this because most of the competing profiles have hypey headlines. I want to stand out.
Consider that I am in a marketing market here – in most markets the headlines will be boring and a benefit driven headline with a little hype would probably work well.
High hourly rate says “I value myself and know what I’m doing”. I would push this upwards as I started getting more jobs, reviews, etc. on the platform.
Finally, the opening line of the overview is completely benefit driven and says exactly who it is for. In this line I am speaking to a lot of the pains I know the market face regarding Facebook advertising.
Everyone says “it’s complicated as hell”, the platform is hard to make sense of when you first look at it, and is intimidating for most business owners.
“Stress-free” and “done-for-you” takes away that huge headache from their concern, and then sells the thing they really want, “highly profitable”.
“for small and mid-sized businesses” is a qualifier that makes the person reading think “oh, that’s me”.
In reality, everyone reading is a small or mid-sized business. Ford do not hire employees on Upwork. That doesn’t matter, it’s about building the bond with the potential client.
First download the profile template & checklist so you have a real-time reference as you fill your profile in.
Your Upwork overview
Remember to download the checklist; there’s a lot more detail for writing the overview section in there.
Sell the benefits or outcomes they will receive
Start with what they want to hear. What they are going to benefit from hiring you.
Understand that nobody hires you for fun, or to do you a favour. They hire you because they have a need to be fulfilled. You have to start by meeting them here.
Tell them HOW it will happen
Now you talk about why your service/solution is the right one to deliver the benefit they desire. The first part is a claim, the second part is logically backing up that claim.
In the case of my example, the great power is in Facebook’s platform.
Overcome their objections, re-assure their fears
Finally show that you understand where they’re coming from and are ready to serve them in the way they need.
I understand Facebook marketing, but much more importantly; I understand them, the situation they’re in and what they want.
The portfolio section is where you highlight examples of your work and offer proof that you can deliver what you say you will deliver.
If you’re in a direct revenue generating role like sales or marketing you want to highlight cost per acquisition, return on investment and the most important metrics.
If you’re further away from direct revenue like content writing or web design, just highlight your portfolio of work and show that you can do what you say.
Experience and Education
Experience and education are the least important parts of the profile. I would never even bother looking at these when I hired freelancers, but would probably notice if they were missing. You should fill them in, but don’t agonise over it.
Experience is more important if it is relevant. If you’ve got experience in the job or field you’re freelancing then put that at the top of the experience section. Work downward towards the least relevant things – don’t bother putting everything you have ever done, a couple of preferably relevant things is fine.
Education is least important, but start with anything relevant like industry qualifications or certifications. Failing that, work backwards from level, so post grad and so on downwards. Again, a couple of your better qualifications are fine, nobody cares what grades you got in high school.
In the first post in this series you should have decided which business you want to be in, while the second post helped identify the skills you already have that people will pay you for – download Your First $100 Online to give you further ideas.
Now it is time to go ahead and create your Upwork profile. This should take around 1 hour – anything longer than that and you are agonising over details that don’t matter too much. You can always change it later.
Download the checklist and re-watch the videos to help you write your profile.
Leave a comment if you get stuck and have questions.