Companies don’t engage you for you. They engage you for what you can do for them. Successful freelancing only works when individuals and companies can connect easily and quickly. Learn why your online profile isn't simply a resume, it's a key marketing tool.
You’ve decided to join the gig-economy because you enjoy having the flexibility of choosing the type of work you want and where you want to work. Or you perhaps you want the freedom to improve your work-life balance by being more in control of your work schedule. But the world of successful freelancing only works when individuals and companies can connect easily and quickly. Welcome to the world of gig-economy apps and online freelance platforms, where hundreds (or even thousands) of potential work opportunities are available to you – but they are also available to thousands of other freelance contractors too. So how do you succeed in this new world where prospective clients or customers have access to a wide pool of workers that are just waiting to fulfill a need for them?
You want to be as easy to engage as possible. Before a potential client even begins their search for a freelance contractor, you need to create a persuasive online profile filled with pertinent information that will convince them that you are the right Portfolio Professional™ for them to engage for both their current and future projects.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your online profile is just an electronic resume. Your online profile is part of your own personal brand. It is a critical marketing tool, and there are some things you should know about marketing tools before you even begin to build out your profile.
Marketing is About the Client
Companies don’t engage you for you. They engage you for what you can do for them. Make no mistake, your clients are only interested in whether or not you can expertly complete the required work. So what does that mean to crafting a compelling professional profile?
It means you should translate everything in your profile into the value it represents to your potential client, rather than just a simple list of your skills. The outcome you want is not “this person is fantastic” because most people believe that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. Instead, you want the prospect to come away from reading your profile thinking, “this person has a great track record of accomplishing the things we want accomplished, on time, and within budget.”
What Makes You Different?
Another goal for your profile is to set you apart from your competition. This isn’t suggesting that you simply brag about how great you are. You need to highlight and emphasize how your past engagements provided value to your clients.
As you approach this, think carefully about the messaging of your profile. Proclaiming you’re “totally devoted to complete customer satisfaction,” is a great thing to say, but most candidates profess to have this same focus and so it doesn’t really differentiate you from other contenders. You need to talk about the professional qualities and business approaches that are unique to you that result in superior customer satisfaction. Your sustainable competitive advantage is the most valuable thing to put in front of prospects. Rest assured, there is absolutely nothing simple about this, so take your time. Ask past clients. Seek input from others. It takes some work and some time to come up with a showcase of your personal value proposition.
Remember That People Hate to Read
The last thing you want to do is fatigue readers of your profile. It should be quick and to the point. You don’t need to share every detail of every story. Leave the client wanting more, and don’t bore them. Once you’ve written your profile go back through it and see where you can simply cut out extraneous words. You’ll be amazed how “fat” your writing can get, especially when you’re writing about yourself.
Work to give your reader a quick-hit introduction that motivates them to read more. Start with some terrific bullets about why clients have told you they like you, or the reactions you’ve received to work you’ve previously performed. Your goal is to excite as much as inform. Once you’ve headlined with bullets, follow up to provide just enough backup to really enthuse the reader about engaging you.
There’s always a temptation to simply list the platforms and products you know and are certified for, and those elements are an indispensable component of your profile, but only after you’ve really lit the fire under your reader with your headline information. Get them excited first, then fill in the details afterward.
This is Every Bit as Important as Your Technical Skills
Now that you’ve chosen to enter “the gig life” you need to be able to promote yourself to potential clients, even after an agency or staffing professional or online platform has introduced you. Clients like to know they’re dealing with someone who is confident and communicative. Make no mistake, you are involved in the process of selling yourself and your capabilities for every possible work opportunity. Your ability to do this effectively is every bit as important as your technical abilities.
Your personal value proposition is the foundation for everything - attracting potential clients, showcasing your skills and explaining why you’re the one to pick. It’s why to choose you, not someone else.
Ask any other professional. Doctors, lawyers, accountants. The ones who are really successful are the ones who are best at selling themselves to clients. They could be the best in their field, but if they can’t convince clients to engage them, they’ll seldom have the chance to demonstrate their superior ability at their craft.
Don’t Go It Alone
Just as you would have your clients respect you for your ability to solve their challenges, respect the tradecraft of marketing and content development. Engage professional assistance to help you build your profile. It is an investment that will pay handsome returns to you many times over.
For more information on how to create a compelling online professional profile that provides more offers for work through our online work marketplace, talk to a Techadox expert today.
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