Upwork Profile Kit: Examples, Template & Guide

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Upwork Profile Kit
Upwork

I was fortunate enough to start freelancing on Upwork 'early'. Back when there wasn't much of a vetting process. Back when competition was slimmer, and getting a few early reviews for cheap gigs was still a relatively straightforward process.

Over the years, I built up a strong profile--100% Job Success, and Expert-Vetted--which honestly made all the difference. When applying to gigs with a strong profile behind you, response rates are incredibly high and you start receiving offers in your inbox simply from people discovering you in search.

If you're just starting out, it can be difficult to know how the Upwork game works and which factors are worth optimizing. So in this post I'm outlining some of the most important factors that made a difference in my own profile setup, and sharing a few examples to help you plan and manage your own.

So then, let's start at the beginning: with your job title.

What title should I put in Upwork?

If you're used to working in company roles, you'll be tempted to treat this section like your LinkedIn job history or resume. You might write: 'Senior Copywriter' or 'Junior Designer'.

But the world of Upwork is a little different. It's much more akin to the world of search engines and social media--and that means the headline needs to stand out and pull people in.

When an applicant (you) applies to a job, the very first thing a client will see is the Title headline in bold, with a short snippet of your proposal text.

The headline should tell them:

  • What outcomes your create for your ideal clients;
  • What deliverables you are skilled in producing; and
  • And who your ideal clients are.

I'll pick on my own title for the sake of this example. It reads:

"Positioning & Marketing Strategist for Early Stage Ventures"

This was specific enough in the job role description (positioning and marketing strategy) to attract the types of roles I was interested in, and very specific in the types of teams and companies that I wanted to work with (early stage ventures).

Note how this differs from what might have been a more traditional job title: e.g. 'Head of Marketing' or 'Strategy Consultant'.

What should I write in the Upwork description?

Then we move on to the Upwork description--and this is where we have a lot more flexibility. I tend to treat this as 'a letter to my ideal client'.

I want this section to deter the 'wrong types of clients', while attracting a very small percentage of prospects to my style of working. It should be an indication of:

  • How you think about your work;
  • How you got to working on the things you work on today;
  • What a typical project that you work on looks and feels like;
  • What you're hoping to achieve through your work.

Once again, let's pick on my own Upwork description:

"I came to marketing with a background in Psychology and Literature. That is, with an interest in understanding people, and structuring compelling stories.

Since then, I've learned that compelling business stories aren't architected in strategic meetings; not on whiteboards (virtual or physical) or in moments of deep, personal insight (eureka!); they are built in dialogue with users.

We arrive at the best version of our story and offering through doing. Through hypothesis, experimentation and learning. This is marketing. A game of efficient learning; no, efficiency as an art form. And there are plenty of ways for it to go wrong.

From brand consulting to serving as CMO of a fast-growing London-based tech startup (Tevent): of all the efficiency questions I've faced, there's one that is glossed over time and time again: "Which game are we really playing in?"

Call it product-market fit. Call it positioning strategy. Call it whatever you like: this is where I now focus my time and energies.

I work with teams interested in developing clarity on who they are, what they offer (truly), and how it fits with their competitors, customers, and allies. If that sounds like you and yours, I'd be very interested to learn more and see if there's a good fit."

Throughout, I try to give an impression of how I think about marketing strategy, some experiences along the way that got me there, and what I hope to achieve for my clients.

Note that this is quite different from a professional bio simply walking through one's career history. It is, rather, a story that should lead the right prospect to believe that you are the perfect person to work with for their specific project.

How do I write an Upwork cover letter?

The Upwork cover letter is an opportunity to further elaborate on the work you do, and how you might be able to help a specific client.

When responding to a job posting, I usually start by reading through the project description carefully. I then take some time to research the company (if it's not one that I'm already familiar with).

With that information in hand, I then write a cover letter that is specific to that company and that project. In other words, I don't have a 'boilerplate' Upwork cover letter that I simply copy and paste into each job application; though I do have a few template cover letters that have been refined over many applications, and I tailor this structure to meet specific jobs.

Here's a sample from a Cover letter template I would use to apply for marketing strategy jobs:

"Hello There,

Thanks for sharing. Some quick background on me. I've worked as a marketing consultant and executive for companies across industries; I primarily focus, however, on marketing and positioning strategy for startup and online ventures.

Most recently, I served as ____________ with ____________________; I left that role so that I could return to consulting, working in shorter sprints where I feel I can have the most direct impact. Based on what you've described, I offer a 12-month marketing strategy & roadmap (see decks attached) that would be a good place to start. Typically, this means starting with a review of the market, key competitors, user personas and considering relevant positioning factors--then using this information to decide which marketing channels actually make sense to invest in, and what successful messaging across those platforms might look like.

I offer this at a fixed price of $X,XXXUSD, and the target turnaround is within X weeks from kick-off. As I mentioned, I prefer to work in focused sprints, so if this style is suitable to your team's current needs, then I recommend the X-week strategy sprint outlined above. I've attached summary decks from two recent marketing strategy projects (client-sensitive info removed) for your reference, both were outcomes of a X-week sprint.

Let me know of any questions, and I look forward to learning more.

Kind regards,"

Upwork Profile examples

We've already walked through the main elements of my Upwork profile. Let's take a quick look at a few other examples.

First, (imaginary) Upwork freelancer Jannet Walsh:

"I'm a multi-faceted writer, editor and content strategist with more than 10 years of experience crafting compelling content for both B2B and B2C brands.

Whether it's a website refresh, creating or editing blog posts, developing email campaigns or anything in between, I have a knack for helping brands find their voice and tell their story in a way that resonates with their audience.

Most recently, I served as the Content Manager for a B2B SaaS company where I was responsible for all aspects of content creation and strategy. In this role, I led a team of writers, managed our editorial calendar and worked closely with our sales and marketing teams to ensure our content was aligned with our business goals.

Prior to that, I spent several years working in the agency world where I had the opportunity to collaborate with some big-name clients like Dell, IBM and Oracle on a variety of content projects."

In her Upwork profile, Jannet does an excellent job of highlighting her content strategy experience, as well as her ability to lead a team of writers - both of which are relevant to the type of work she is hoping to attract.

Next, Upwork freelancer copywriter and editor Leah Knobler:

"I'm a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience crafting compelling content for both B2B and B2C brands. I have a knack for taking complex topics and making them easy to understand for the average reader.

Most recently, I served as the managing editor for a B2C website where I was responsible for all aspects of content creation and strategy. In this role, I managed a team of writers, oversaw our editorial calendar and worked closely with our sales and marketing teams to ensure our content was aligned with our business goals.

Prior to that, I spent several years working in the agency world where I had the opportunity to collaborate with some big-name clients like Dell, IBM and Oracle on a variety of content projects."

Leah's Upwork profile is very similar to Jannet's, but there are a few key differences. Leah focuses more on her editing experience than her content strategy experience. She also highlights her ability to work with big-name brands - which could be appealing to companies looking for a freelancer with that type of experience.

Finally, Upwork freelancer resume writer and career coach Laura DeCarlo:

"I'm a certified professional resume writer (CPRW) and career coach with more than 15 years of experience helping job seekers at all levels land the jobs they want.

I am passionate about helping people tell their story in a way that highlights their unique strengths and accomplishments. I believe that everyone has a unique story to tell, and I'm dedicated to helping my clients communicate theirs in the most effective way possible.

Most recently, I served as the Director of Career Services for a national resume writing company where I was responsible for all aspects of client satisfaction and quality control. In this role, I oversaw a team of resume writers and career coaches, managed our quality assurance process and worked closely with our sales and marketing teams to ensure our clients were getting the best possible service.

Prior to that, I spent several years working in the staffing industry where I had the opportunity to place candidates at all levels with some of the biggest names in the business."

Laura's Upwork profile is very different from Jannet's and Leah's. Laura focuses on her experience as a resume writer and career coach, rather than on her content writing or editing experience. She also highlights her experience working in the staffing industry, which could be appealing to companies looking for a freelancer with that type of experience.

While all three of these Upwork profiles are well-written and provide relevant information about the freelancers' skills and experience, they each have a slightly different focus. Jannet focuses on her content strategy and management experience, Leah focuses on her editing experience and ability to work with big-name brands, and Laura focuses on her experience as a resume writer and career coach.

When you're creating your Upwork profile, think about the type of work you want to attract and make sure your profile is focused accordingly. Highlighting the right skills and experiences will help you attract the types of clients you're looking for.


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