Five Simple Ways to Master the Upwork Profile

Let’s face it, creating your Upwork profile can be daunting. It’s hard to convey who you are, what your skills are, and all of your past experiences in one single little profile. Even scarier, it’s hard knowing that this profile is the way you will convince potential clients that you’re worth $30 an hour or $40 an hour or … even $75 an hour.

But it’s possible! We’ve done it!

#1 Master the Upwork Headline

Your headline is key! We’ve hired hundreds of people on Upwork and to that we’ve received thousands of proposals. Do we open them all? Of course not. We couldn’t! How do we decide which proposals to open? 

Your headline!

Here’s where it gets tricky. Some people try to cast a wide net. And I get that, I started that way myself. I think my first headline was “Education Consultant.” 

If I saw that as a client, I would move right past it. What does it even mean? What type of education? In-person? Online? Course writing? Assessment writing? Strictly consulting? LMS managements? Social media for education?

You get the picture. 

Now, I have two specialized profiles. Each has a headline that is very specific. 

  1. ELA Curriculum Writer
  2. Teachable and Thinkific Expert

Done. I’ve also completely niched down with these two headlines because I have more than enough work. So, that means anyone who is contacting me is only looking for work in these two fields that I’ve identified. 

#2 Write a Concise, Clean Intro

Another HUGE mistake we see is a rambling intro with tons of grammatical mistakes. Your bio or description should be very specific. 

It should list specific skills and experience that relate to ….

… the specific headline you wrote!

#3 Price Smart Not High (at least to start)

One of the best pieces of advice I received early on was to start low to get your foot in the door. This is contrary to a LOT of advice I read telling freelancers not to settle and to know your worth. And that is absolutely true. 

However …

You are on Upwork. And Upwork has its own ecosystem. Learning this system will open the door to more and better opportunities in the long run.

And that brings me to the other half of this point. Once you’re established, price high. When you are invited to jobs, clients see your rate. Those who aren’t willing to pay your rate will move right along.

#4 Fill in the Education and Experience Sections

This goes two ways…

I’ve seen so many profiles with neither of these fields filled in. To be honest, I’ve never hired someone with these fields blank.

If you’re concerned you don’t have enough education or experience, dig a little deeper. Even if you take online courses, list those! Especially if they relate to your niche. 

On the other hand, sometimes I’ve been on an invitation spree and I’ll see someone with a degree or experience for a job I know I will be posting in the future. I’m very likely to save that profile. I’m also very likely to hire outright if I know a person has specific experience in a field.

#5 Use a Professional Profile Picture

If you don’t have one, get a friend to take one. Something from the Myspace era shouldn’t make it on to your Upwork profile. 

And finally … this is not an official tip but just general advice … 

Be honest.

There’s no point in telling a lie about your experience or skills. It will always come out in the end. And I have hired and been hired beginners. It’s all about the approach! And we’ll talk about getting those initial proposals in in another blog post!

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