How To Create An Impressive Freelancer Profile
We live in the age of social networking where ‘connecting’ with people around and being ‘visible’ in your known circle makes up for one of the most important tasks of the day. This holds equally true for the professional persona too. Gradually this is becoming the rule of the book, especially for freelancers.
We crack the why, what and where matrix of creating the perfect freelancer profile.
Why should a freelancer have a profile made?
When organisations or individuals scout for freelancers they first check their old resources, then references and lastly do a generic search on net or approach recruiters and talent hunters for this job. In any case, when a freelancer is considered, the first thing a client does is check for the freelancer’s work samples and professional profile.
Gone are the days when people read resumes and glanced through samples submitted. Now, is the age of personal websites, profiles on most popular work-related websites. Work examples are made available in online repositories mostly, sent across as personalised CDs and pen drives are the latest tool!
A Bollywood-oriented magazine editor recently wanted an article writer for a humour column. She immediately checked profiles online and personal websites of some references and contacted them. She says, “if a freelancer is not visible on the internet and through relevant channels, then we may just miss him altogether - no matter how talented he is.”
Another thing she pointed is, that being present is not enough. “A freelancer should have the relevant things mentioned and should be available via mail, call or even video interaction if need be randomly,” she says.
Lesson - Be present in you known circles and online. People are looking for you 24x7.
Where should freelancer profile be present
Generic ones - Check the most popular professional sites like SHEROES.in, Freelancer.com and other websites that are important for your work type and crate a profile. Your profile should have a decent picture with work done and contact details mentioned in it. This is where most people search for work providers.
Also join relevant groups like freelancer forums, jobs forums etc. Try and participate in good discussions, if possible to initiate some discussions too. More than client base, it will increase your knowledge base for sure.
Dedicated websites - Then check for websites dedicated to your work type. An interior designer for example should create profile on a relevant website. A music teacher should be on a subject-specific website. A mommy blogger must be present on a "mother’s-only" website. Recruiting managers and marketing people are also on such forums. It may give you the opportunity to know about new things happening in your dedicated circle.
Social websites - More than creating a personal website, create a page for yourself. If possible try to create it with a proper name with all elements about your work and contact details listed clearly. Ask your friends and family to like it. Keep posting your work and other related info regularly and keep in going well.
Social websites have groups on various topics. Freelancers should actively join these groups.
Blogging websites - Blogger and Wordpress let people create websites for free in their domain. You can use that space to create your personal webpage too. It will just take your profiles notches above others.
Network websites - Network websites can be based on subject, region or topic. Make sure that you are listed on websites that have good presence and present good opportunities. A lot of these websites have offline legs too. If something interesting comes up, then you may want to join such events in search of more work and new clients. Also, meeting up with people of you own interest - both online and offline - helps you create a circle of your own where you can discuss new things, share information or join someone looking for help on some assignments.
Lesson - online or offline, be in a good company.
What should a freelancer profile have -
Name - Use formal names. Avoid using pet names, unless you are popular as Javed ‘jadu’ Akhtar.
Place - Mention your present city of work.
Work details - Chronologically put forward the assignments done so far. Even if you want to be discreet, then mention their names and leave details. If you want an impact you can give elaborate details with proper description.
Availability - Tell people if you are open to traveling or not. Also tell them if you can work full day, half day or hourly basis.
Contact details and preferences - Let people know the time and method by which you prefer to be contacted.
References - For a great profile, do mention the work reference or organisations who can put a good word for you.
Work samples - If your work is available online you may want to flaunt it for the right impact. Share those links.
Videos, pictures and social mentions - It is ideal to add any videos, pictures or social mention that you may have for your work or praises heaved for your work.
Must Do -
Use popular, commonly used search words in your profile. Online or offline, such words should have an impact. For example, if you are a feature writer, then don’t just call yourself a writer. Mention if you are a business, leisure, travel or lifestyle features writer.
Use hashtags with words describing work, clients, interest, location etc. Most platforms use hashtags to enable better search.
Must Not Do -
Do not over use words and achievements
Do not fake references
Do not fake clients
Do not put client names where your work relations are turbulent
Do not comment unnecessarily on any topic or group where you have no knowledge
Do not look desperate for work, if you work is good chances are people will recommend you themselves