Freelancer 101: Building A Successful Profile

freelancer building his profile

Learn about the secrets of the most popular bidding marketplace for freelancer developers — and build a star profile that brings you maximum profit!

Freelancing on Freelancer

Each road to success on the marketplace websites starts from the user profile. Earlier, we’ve written about the secrets of the successful Upwork profile that brings you more views, credibility, and, consequently, more earnings. Now, it’s high time to analyze one more trendy freelance website — that’s Freelancer I’m talking about.

No wonder we’ve chosen it for analysis: the name speaks for itself, and after punching “freelance” into the Google search, you inevitably come across this venue. 

Quite a lot of developers look for work there. Even more fresh IT specialists start their professional path on Freelancer. After gaining some initial experience in multiple fields, they either transfer to vetting marketplaces or find some other remote/in-house job.  

This article will analyze what makes your Freelancer profile successful and what you should add to it for getting maximum profit in a short time perspective.

So — what do you need to make a winning freelancer profile and get your first clients on Freelancer.com? Read on!

Starting with freelance

On the Internet, no one knows you are a dog. You’ve probably read this joke thousands of times, right? Well, it’s only partly a joke, to be sincere. I’d dare to state that on the Internet, no one knows who you are and has no clue if you are trustworthy enough — until you provide some confirmation of your pixeled virtual words.

What are the immediate consequences of all this for freelancers?

  • If you’re just starting with freelance, make yourself visible in the most beneficial way. Devote some time to profile completion — and soon, you’ll reap the fruits of your labor.
  • Make a winning portfolio (if you have something decent to show).
  • Collect the links to the things you’ve done. Ensure that your future client won’t fumble with passwords, captchas, and necessary registration to see them — every second of their attention counts.
  • Make your profile as complete as possible. Imagine yourself standing in front of an audience that doesn’t know about your talents. (Actually, you’re not only unknown but also shadowed by the innumerable crowds of competitors.)
  • Learn to write winning bids. If you’re working on bidding marketplaces, your bid is your pitch. Don’t use templates. Spend some time understanding your potential employer.

First things first

Before earning your first money on Freelancer, you need to perform a few obligatory steps.

  • Complete your profile. See some of our pieces of advice below.
  • Verify your identity through the Verification center checklist. You’ll have to upload some official documents with your photo. That’s how Freelancer.com protects its users from scammers. Without any verification, they could easily steal your account (all your benefits and reputation included) and use it to earn or find the next victim.
verification center checklist
Source: Freelancer.com
  • Browse jobs. Find the most suitable ones with the help of adequate filtering mechanisms.
  • Place best bids. Strive to make them impeccable and impressive.
  • Earn!

Building your profile

Contrary to vetting platforms, every competition on the bidding marketplaces is a profile competition. There’s no separate Sales or Matching department that does all the work for you — polishing the CV, highlighting the most valuable points, finding clients for your stack and experience, and preparing you for the job interviews

What are the crucial profile elements helping you win the desired bids?

Your photo is the cornerstone of essential trust-building. Don’t even try to earn with a blank picture place. Use your photo as an opportunity to demonstrate professionalism. Make a clear portrait from the shoulders up. Smile, but don’t laugh (save your laugh for the first earnings).

Bad examples:

Source: Freelancer.com
Source: Freelancer.com

A good example:

Source: Freelancer.com

The headline shows your primary area of expertise or specialization. Make it brief (10-50 words)  and professionally sounding.

Some examples of good headlines:

  • HTML/CSS Expert / Computer Science Degree
  • Web Dev Veteran | 15+ Years Experience
  • Full Stack Web Developer

The summary is the list of all the work types you’re capable of doing. Include all services, tools, and software you’ve mastered. Make a short statement on how you write and communicate. Don’t make it too long. Let it be 1000 characters max.

Here’s an example of a good summary:

I’m a passionate full-stack UI/UX designer constantly looking for ways to expand my skill set.
For the last 5 years, I’ve been conducting user research and exploring user personas and journey maps at The Company. I have already organized several ideation sessions and workshops (for example, this, this, and this). Currently, I’m excited about VR/AR implementation in online shopping. During the COVID outbreak, I’ve been analyzing UX patterns on several major shopping websites, and now I want to incorporate my insights into the new exciting startups.

Skills should contain only those you are genuinely proficient in. Mention here your working tools, programming languages, and frameworks.

A portfolio is the most visible part of your profile — hence, the easiest to catch your clients’ eye. Try to represent all your experience concisely, vividly, and engagingly. Unstrain your imagination, and corroborate it with your self-presenting talents. Include articles mentioning yourself, code fragments, and videos of tutorials you’ve possibly made on streaming platforms.

Experience. It’s the right place for your employment history. Filter it, and don’t include minor or irrelevant details (if you’re a Python specialist, the ecomanagement summer school gives zero useful information to your employees). Always keep in mind that the attention span of the people reading online sources is extremely short (much shorter than for paper documents). Speed is always the king on freelance websites: most of the time, your employees need the work to be done ASAP, and won’t waste time on long reads.

A verification badge gives you credibility. In addition to authenticity and trust boost, this badge allows you to take expensive projects priced above $3000.

Certifications are the local proof of your proficiency. Freelancer.com offers multiple skills tests — and your future clients can see your exam scores.

Rate. How much do you take per hour? Price yourself and don’t forget to mention your final decision. If you’ve never done anything for money before, analyze the current rates per your stack. We’ve already covered the topic of skill sets and pertaining rates at Lemon.io before — so, feel free to consult our piece on that.

Location. Where are you from? Employers often look for contractors from countries with low cost of living (justifying their possibly low rates). If you think your skills are worth more — don’t dump your wage and look for entrepreneurs ready to pay decent money (see our extensive article on that). 

Added skills. You can only bid for a project if you have at least one skill required for it. Owners of the free accounts can add up to 20 skills. If you own a paid account, you can add more.

Basically, that’s all our pieces of advice about your profile elements. Remember that honesty here is much more important than hype. Always proofread your bids and respond to your potential employees ASAP.

A few extra hints

  • Join contests to put your work in the spotlight.
contests on Freelancer
Source: Freelancer.com
  • Offer your services (become a service provider on Freelancer). Services have their predefined price (so you don’t have to contest with anyone). However, there’s still one caveat: all freelancers should pay a 20 % commission fee.
  • Propose milestones (payment schedule based on project progress)

Basic endnotes

  • For each project  bid, mention what you provide, how much does it cost, and how long will it take for you to deliver the results;
  • Tailor all your proposals;
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew: poor quality harms your reputation in the long-term perspective;
  • Keep to our terms and conditions;
  • Be accessible to clients (time is always of the essence).

If you’re an experienced and skillful IT specialist and, after reading this article, you realize that the bidding marketplaces are just not your pair of shoes — try vetting instead! At Lemon.io, we’ll gladly vet you and propose decent projects after you become our developer. What is more, we will help you tailor your CV to the concrete clients (so that they choose you and offer the best working conditions), prepare you for the job interviews, and incorporate you into the newly built developers’ community. 

Seems like a paradise? In the Lemonverse, it’s a reality!