Many of the newbies, even the experienced ones, undermine the professionalism which runs in the freelance community. The tendency to take its flexibility and independent work ability for granted causes many people to miss out on lucrative opportunities. One of the areas where freelancers do not pay attention and then blame the world for not being fair to them is profile description.
Profile description is as important as the proposal you sent along with your application for a job. It provides, in brief, biographical information about you, especially about your freelance-related skills and achievements to the world.
If you go wrong in describing yourself or do not pay attention to certain details, then you are not going to give a good impression—in fact, you might lose a job you are otherwise perfect for.
In this article, we will talk about this issue which needs attention from freelancers. We have shortlisted 9 mistakes which people make in their profile descriptions and end up losing projects. So, without further ado, let us take a look at where you are going wrong, and whether you can fix the problem.
1. Thinking Of Profile As A Secondary Consideration
We know that writing profile description could be really boring; however, it is this boring task which will land you a job in the freelance industry. So, do not dilly-dally, and start working on it.
If your profile lacks in relevant information, then employers will not have any way of assessing who you are and what you are made of.As you need to help clients identify your potential, you need to focus on what you write in your profile.
Pay attention to the grammar and do not be verbose about yourself. While writing about yourself, do not project yourself as a boastful person with no real sense of what is going on in the world. Mention your services and highlight your achievements related to them.
One really important tip for everyone: upload a high-quality profile picture which is not a Selfie, but taken with a view to being put on a CV or professional profile account. It is preferable that the picture is clicked with you wearing formal clothes.
You might not think of this as important, but a profile picture can actually show how much serious you are about your career. So, take note and do not forget!
2. Writing Commonly Used Titles And Descriptions
Many times people copy and paste contents or simply rephrase whatever they find. But, they do not realize that there will be others like them doing exactly the same thing.
Thus, whatever you are writing in your description is totally generic which will be easily noticed by experienced clients who have spent years in gauging freelancers for their projects.
To write an authentic and informative profile description, you should think from the point of view of the employer. Think what you would have expected from a freelancer if you were hiring for a particular project.
After having invested sufficient time in brainstorming, start writing and avoid using grandiloquent language which will project you as a desperate character.
You should look up for the jobs which interest you and find out what keywords employers usually use in the descriptions. Study those keywords and incorporate the same in your service description. The wise use of keywords will make you sound like a professional and help you gain a good reputation.
Not just clients, you should also look up the profiles of other freelancers and read their descriptions to do a comparative evaluation. There is nothing wrong with learning from your competitors, folks!
3. Lack Of Balance In The Description
You cannot go overboard with your profile and must maintain a balance in what you offer to the readers. Language is the tool you use to develop your brand, and if its pitch goes wrong, then the harm could be really disrupting. Thus, mind the language and the pitch you use.
While writing the description, you cannot be too informal, as it will project an unprofessional personality, or too formal, as it will rid your profile of the much-need personal touch. Therefore, we stress the need for balance.
A profile description should be audience-directed and even in tone. It should speak for you and what you do. For example, if you are a freelance content writer, the use of writing style and tone could have an impact on your job prospects.
4. Empty Portfolio
We do not understand why people do not invest their time and resources in building up their portfolios. Every freelance website offers its subscribers the option to create a portfolio, but when you go around looking up the profiles, many freelancers just leave their portfolio section empty.
A portfolio is a collection of your work which can be used as a reference tool for assessment by clients. You might have had an attractive clientele, but how would people know if you do not tell them. Now, you cannot verbally tell every person out there about your beautiful achievements. Thus, update portfolios for your own good.
In case you are new to freelancing and have no collection to show, then you can spend some time in creating samples. Yes, they will take your time, but they will help you fight competition. You are a newbie and reputation is an important asset—and sample creation will contribute to acquiring it.
5. Messy Portfolio
Portfolio sounds easy, but it is an organized activity. Simply uploading all the work you have is not the end of the story. You need to organize the portfolio for the much-appreciated management which every client loves.
Messy portfolio sare almost everywhere. All kinds of work samples are uploaded together and there is no easy way to distinguish amongst them. A messy portfolio sends out a wrong message to the client who might end up searching through the portfolio and wasting a lot of time.
Select the work you wish to display and then split it up according to its category. For example, a content writer can make separate folders for articles relating to product description, creative writing, legal writing and story writing.
This way, the client who is looking for a freelance story writer will conveniently access the particular folder and assess your skills without much hassle.
Throughout your self-presentation, you should not give an impression that indicates disrespect for the time and resources of the clients. A messy portfolio is clearly an indication of such disrespect, and therefore, one who is serious about making big in the industry should necessarily avoid it.
6. Grammatical Mistakes
The easiest way to disappoint an employer is by using poor grammar in your profile. A poorly written description will portray you as a careless person and may make clients reluctant in hiring you for the project.
Moreover, poorly written description will cause problems in understanding you. So, even if you are a talented programmer, but your description is not grammatically correct, then nobody will be able to know that you are. Therefore, proofread your profile before publishing it.
If you are not sure where you are wrong, then look up for tips on how to write grammatically correct profile description. Follow the guidelines and avoid such blunders.
7. Working As “We”
Many standalone freelancers project themselves as “we” in their profile descriptions, causing confusion among clients as to whether you are working with a team. If you want to avoid such confusion, always write your description in the first person.
In case you operate as a team, then you better be clear about the same. Indicate your corporate name in the description and explain your policies about taking up projects.
The point is simple: you should be whoever you are. Do not try to mislead the clients into believing that you are running a business when you are just an independent freelancer.
8. Forgetting To Update Your Profile
You thought that your job is over once you are done writing your profile description. Well, no, because you need to keep it updated on a periodic basis. Your profile should run contemporarily and indicate who and what you are presently, not what you were five years ago.
The taste of audience changes with time and therefore, you cannot let your profile go stale. Ensure that your description highlights your latest achievements. Remember to ask your clients to give you feedback every time you finish a project, as this will show continuity in your services and keep your profile updated with the latest.
9. Lacking Confidence In What You Do
You cannot excel in the freelance community if you do not have the confidence to handle it.
Your confidence will reflect easily in your description and therefore, try avoiding a style which puts a question mark on your capabilities. For example, while writing the description, do not use phrases such as “I will try finishing the projects on time” or “ I think I will be able to give you quality work”.