If you want to get work on Upwork, you need to create a profile. If you want to get high-paying freelance writing work, you need to create an AMAZING Upwork profile — and that starts with writing a killer Upwork profile overview.
Most people write things like, “I’m awesome, and I wrote for these 15 awesome sites and companies, and I did awesome work and I have awesome talents.”
Actually, I recently saw an Upwork profile that made me laugh out loud. It started off, “Almost everyone gives me a 5-star review.” It included headings such as “Who am I?” and “A bit more about me,” and “The reason I’m here.”
By the way, the reason? So that his mind will expand. Because, it’s all about him. OF COURSE.
Here’s the thing: this is NOT how you write an awesome Upwork profile overview.
If you want your profile to attract the right clients and get you freelance writing jobs that pay well, you need to completely remove the word “I” from your vocabulary.
You’re just not that important.
I mean that in the nicest possible way, really.
Look, you know that I love you. I think you are AMAZING. If you came over right now, we would totally hang out and eat sushi and it would be AWESOME.
But when you write your Upwork profile, there is only one person who matters, and that person is your potential client.
An Amazing Upwork Profile Starts With What the Client Needs
You start your Upwork profile overview by articulating what your potential client needs.
If your ideal client is someone in the health field who is looking for solid health content based on facts, he needs everything to be grounded in research and science and heavy with facts, sources, and footnotes.
This client also needs to present this information in a way that anyone can understand — even without a background in science or medicine or another specialized field.
Open your profile overview with something like: You need science-based content that your readers can trust.
Yes. Exactly that like. Articulate your ideal client’s needs so that he reads this information and says, “YES! OH MY GOSH! IT’S LIKE SHE’S IN MY HEAD. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED.”
This is the reaction you are going for.
And you can give this client even more. For example:
You need to know that the articles you publish are properly researched, accurately sourced, and contain factual information that you can stand behind.
You also need content that your readers can understand, even if they haven’t put in the years of study that you have in your field.
Notice that these sentences are all about the client and NOT AT ALL about the writer. YOU NEED, not I can.
That’s by design. At this point, you want the potential client to be BLOWN AWAY by how in touch with his needs you are.
You want him thinking, “THIS IS AMAZING. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED AND I NEED IT RIGHT NOW.”
If you put in the time — and it does take time — to figure out what YOUR ideal client needs and you articulate that need, you will make it very easy for the client to find you and want to hire you.
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Present an Irresistible Solution
Once you’ve identified your ideal client’s needs, it’s time to step up and offer the solution.
For a flat fee of [your price], you can get fact-based articles with input from expert sources, such as [someone big in this industry] and [someone else in this industry], research from [recognized online source] and [another recognized online source], and additional interviews with the subject matter experts you provide.
See? You’re STILL not in there, because we’re still focused heavily on our favorite person in the world, THE CLIENT.
Here are a few more examples of how you can present a solution. These aren’t polished or perfect — I’m making them up on the spot. They’re here to spark your thinking and give you ideas.
You can get up to 8 400-word posts on [specific topic] each week, for a flat fee of [whatever], including Upwork fees. Imagine the relief of knowing that your blog content needs are completely handled, week after week.
In just three weeks, you can have a Kindle-ready ebook of up to 20,000 words that establishes you as an expert in your field and gives you the credibility you need with your clients.
By this time next week, you could have a complete outline for your new course, ready to go.
You can rest easy knowing that your user manual will keep your customers happy and eliminate countless service requests.
Give your potential client a solution to his problem, and he’ll race to hire you (and possibly do a happy dance).
Show, Don’t Tell
If you’ve ever written fiction, you’ve heard the mantra “show, don’t tell.” In fiction writing, people say this to mean that you should write, “She stomped down the stairs and hurled the plate at the mirror,” rather than, “She was angry.”
In this case, your job is to really show the client what you can do, not just tell him about it.
You’ll do this in part through your portfolio samples, but it’s a good idea to show your ability in your overview as well.
One way to do this is with client testimonials about your work, if you have them. For example:
“Jane’s articles are always flawless. Her meticulous research and fact checking have made my life much easier.” Joe Client, website or company name.
If you’re on LinkedIn, you might have “Recommendations” from people who have worked with you at various jobs over the years. You can pull out something they’ve said about you — you don’t have to use the whole recommendation if only part of it is relevant.
For example, from the recommendation above, I'd probably go with something like this:
“One of the most reliable writers whom I have ever worked with.” — Charles Freericks, Ethics & Compliance Executive, LRN
Once you start doing work for clients on Upwork, they’ll leave you reviews. Pull the best information from those reviews and add it directly into your overview so that it’s front and center.
For example, I once worked on a project that never went anywhere, because there were a lot of people involved and most of them failed to show up. The client recognized that I did show up, and he wrote this review:
If I wanted to highlight this review in my overview, I'd say:
“Abbi is a fantastic freelance copywriter.” — Joe Client
Another way to show your ability in your overview is to demonstrate your results with statistics and hard numbers. For example:
An article I wrote for Joe Client on [his site] (with his byline) generated 47 comments in the first two hours after it went live.
I wrote a new homepage for Janice Client’s website, and she says business has increased 20 percent thanks to the new copy.
A Facebook post I wrote for [this person] generated over 150 shares in three days.
Providing people with proof that you’re awesome makes it easier for them to hire you — so don’t hold back!
Add a Call to Action
You might think your profile is good to go now, and at this point it’s definitely better than the majority of Upwork profiles.. But if you stop now, you’re leaving money on the table, because your overview is missing a critical element: a call to action.
If you’ve taken my free 5-day email course on how to be a freelance writer, you’ve probably noticed that at the end of each message, I ask a question and invite you to “hit reply and tell me” something.
Do you have any idea how many people followed that instruction? A LOT of people. I get email EVERY DAY from people who are taking my free email course who hit reply to ask me or tell me or whatever. That’s a call to action.
Here's the thing: people need guidance. Your job is to give it to them. I can’t tell you how often I read an awesome pitch, but there’s no ASK at the end. The writer just expects people to make the leap all on their own.
People don’t leap on their own. You have to lead them alllllll the way there, and then give them a gentle shove.
Your overview NEEDS a call to action if you want it to be effective and work to get you leads while you sleep.
Upwork has rules in place, so you can’t invite potential clients to email you or call you or visit your web site. But you can encourage them to contact you through Upwork.
This can be a simple sentence at the end of your overview, such as:
Feel free to contact me using the buttons at the top of the page, and I'll get back to you ASAP.
But you can also make your ask a little better — for example:
Let’s talk about your project in more detail. Invite me to your job, and I’ll get in touch with you right away to hear more about what you need.
Far too often, freelancers put in the time to craft a great profile, but then don't bother asking clients to get in touch. Seriously, people really don't make those leaps on their own. Make it easy for them.
With a stellar Upwork profile, you can expect the jobs to come to you. In fact, one of the best ways to gauge how well your profile connects with potential clients is by how often you're invited to jobs. How many invitations have you had lately? Maybe it's time to tweak your profile.
And by the way, if you're looking for even more great information on perfecting your Upwork profile, be sure to check out my my 10-day course designed to get YOUR Upwork profile DONE so that you can start earning real money as a freelance writer!