I totally agree with you. English writingdo i have to work with. I never translator from Norwegian to English, but I translate from English to Norwegian. I speak fluent English, and reads fluent English but to write English is im not any good at.
I'm still new to UpWork/Freelancing myself, so I don't know how useful my response will be for you.
I don't know how your previous profile picture looked like so I will not comment on that.
What I believe is that any client you would want to work for, values skills and expertise over anything else.
Clients usually have a deadline for their project and they need to carefully evaluate if the freelancer is capable of successfully finishing the project on time or not.
Since you didn't get a job on Upwork yet, you can't prove that you are worth hiring.
Don't expect any client to gamble here.
That said you have to start from scratch with your profile and focus on the client's needs.
Take the first line of your Overview. "Fast Turnaround!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". This just sounds unprofessional. it's not even a sentence and no need for any exclamation marks. Better never use them at all.
Then after that you start promoting SAE instead of promoting yourself. The text sounds like you want to convince your clients to join SAE.
And then you start promoting the software that you are using. Why is it important that the software you use has high reviews, isn't it more important to tell the client about yourself? Also "pros in the industry" never use slang or abbreviations. Write the words out.
Lastly you talk about your experience. "25+ years of music and arts from church, and all-state choirs, to writing, and audio engineering." 25+ years worth of experience yet you only have 3 portfolio items, Are those really the best pieces of your work?
Then you have only taken 1 skill test yet and that was an english skill test. Try taking some that are within your skillset.
And your employment history is pretty empty. All it shows is a misspelled "Management" and a company that probably doesn't exist or failed to promote itself. You didn't even write about the work that you have done there. You just talk about your years of experience again but you can't back any of it up.
I don't even want to start talking about your Education/Other Experiences sections.
My advice is to spend more time reworking your profile.
Besides that, note that there are many clients that only look for the cheapest bid or never come back after posting their job offer. Out of my 11 proposals, I got 5 jobs, while 5 of my proposals are still active (the clients just never hired anyone) and one of them ended in an interview, but the client never replied back. Things like that happen. You just need to keep working on your profile and keep applying to legit jobs until you get your first few jobs and things shall be easier.
This is rather long. But if you want some real no BS talk about making money here, then read to the end.
Starting with a disclaimer: I realize my profile sucks and my picture is a crop of another image that could not be used and is horrible for a professional presence. So even though I lend my advise, please do not think 'How can You say that, when your profile isn't even _____'
As mentioned, your profile image is not great. Personally I find your face too small. Straight posture shows confidence. Slouching shows weakness and submissiveness. The vast majority of workers here are not white. This is an international platform with huge numbers of freelancers from India, Philippines, Bangladesh etc... The color issue is in your head and you need to realize part of your problem may be an attitude issue. You're living as a presumed victim, where there is no need. This platform will judge you more on your ability to speak truely fluent English before anything else. The higher paying jobs demand it and bonus points if you understand the local culture of the client and their market.
Also as mentioned, your profile is a sales pitch for a school. It says nothing about what you can do for your client and what you have to offer. It basically says, 'I went to school and own software'. That is not a reason to hire anyone. It's flat and doesnt address my concerns as a client. Clients come here to solve a problem. If you can address that problem in your profile they will be more likely to interview you.
As I said, my profile sucks a bit, but it works. Have a look at my overview. Everything about it talks about what I can do to help solve a client's problem.
In my field, they have business problems or want to grow their business and seek a second opinion. I do not highlight that I have _____ education, _____ experience, ______ tools to do the jobs etc. I say "I can save you money", "I can reduce your stress", "I can save you time". THESE are the reasons why clients want help. The rest of the info is kinda mixed in without taking away from the selling point.
The second half of my overview addresses a different type of client, but with related issues. The type who want to reduce the amount of time they spend working and want to spend more time with family or travel etc. It is secondary to the top half, because that pool of clients is smaller in the Upwork market.
I know exactly who MY 'ideal client' is. I have a very clear picture of that person. My overview addresses that exact type of person, while the first half is generalized enough to catch the attention of clients who are not quite 'ideal', but could still benefit from my services.
Do not blame external issues and presume your profile , service offerings or presentation are the problem.
It has nothing to do with 'beeing black'. Assuming so speaks of the chip on your shoulder you have about other things in life. That has no place here.
You not getting work is 95% because you haven't learned to sell youself yet. That will come with time. You need to apply, fail, and figure out how to deliver yourself beter. When people lend their advice, do not counter against it.. listen and learn a small point here or there. If you don't agree, keep it to yourself and be thankful for their time. They are not you and therefore no one's advice will be 100% your solution. You seem bitter inside and that atiitude will reflect in the way you present yourself.
The other 5% (and growing quickly I feel) is that Upwork's clients (in my view) seem to be hiring less. In the past few months, I have experienced an increasing number of clients who flake out before they get started. It seems mainy because they've become inspired by an external source one day, post a job, and then quickly forget about it unless you can get them to pull the trigger within the first few days. These types of clients aren't much different than people like you and I who have a crazy business idea one day and blow their money trying to chase it. They aren't stable or finanacially preparred to do business by any means.
That being said, there are always more established, mature and professional clients here as well. I don't know if they are taking their business elsewhere due to the unprofessional level of software service oDesk/Upwork has consistantly provided or if the number of newbie 'clients' is increasing so much that the ratio is changing. Either way, it can be very difficult to earn a good living here if you live in an area of the world with higher expenses.
For example, one of the services I offer earns an everage of $75-150/hr outside of Upwork. I see people getting hired here for the same skills for 1/3 that and even saw someone get hired to do the job at $4/hr last week.
If your job involves learning software, you can bet that someone, somewhere will eventually learn it and ask for a hell of a lot less money. This is why your ability to speak clear English and most importantly understand your client market and be able to help them intelligently will be your saving grace.
The freelancers here who act with the minimal level of professionalism that you would expect from a mid-level manager in your local office are the 1%. It is not hard at all to be a top level freelancer and earn the highest wages. Wages you would not as easily earn at home.
Moral of the story? If you want to land jobs the easiest way is to change your attitue. Work 10-12 hours a day researching your prospective clients and writing proposals if that's what it takes. It gets easier once you're established, but keep in mind this market is very limited and honestly I do not see it getting any better in the future for people who need to earn higher wages to live.
oDesk/Upwork have implimented many control systems. These system have consistantly been released with problem after problem. As a platform it is and always has been very amateur. They simply aren't capable of creating a high level professional service that would both attract and retain high level corporations and professional workers. That is a sore fact that you are going to have to accept.
Because of this, this platform will never become a good place for those who need to earn a higher level of yearly income. Never. Keep that in mind when considering why clients don't hire. It's because the clients themselves aren't much more than mom & pop shops. I see the actual business numbers behind many of the best clients on Upwork. They give me full access to their numbers. Most are dreamers who do not follow through or can only afford micro jobs. That is why they come here. Because they can't afford to try their new business in any other way.
I'm not discouraging them or putting them down in any way. They are people just like us who want to try our own thing. I encourage and support them to continue. But that does not create an atmosphere for 1st world workers to thrive.
As always.. there is an exception, but let's look at the majority of posts. Having a FULL green bar to show a client as a top level employer, requires them to only spend $10,000... which is one month salary of a single professional in the US. Let's keep it real and out heads out of the clouds.
Top level freelancers here are still only high middle class earners comparing with US wages. They are the 1% of Upwork.
As a freelancer, you are a business. If a business fails, it is always 100% the fault of the owners.
If you think you are faaling because the color of your skin, I would suggest you seek *employment* at a local business because you do not have the mindset to be successful with your own at this time.
re: "Yours and anyone else's look is irrelevant."
Who said anything about anybody's looks?
We are talking about the message a contractor sends with their profile photo.
It is not about looks.
Clients will make a determination about whether or not to look further at a job proposal based on the quality of a profile photo and based on the message the photo sends by the facial expression.
Do all clients do that?
Do many clients do that?
The real question is this: Does the client you're applying to work for delete surly-looking photos, or does he read all job proposals? How do you know for sure? Is it worth taking the time to have a new photo taken and post a profile photo that doesn't make you look like you're mad at the client?
Personally, I am a busy person. So if I post a job and have 10 applicants, I can save time by deleting five applications purely because their profile photos are low quality or they look like they're angry in their photo.
Look on the photo Preston, look on the photo. Not the look itself.
Maybe I should make a visual representation of this sentence.
He looks mad to you-he doesn't look mad to me-because people project their own thoughts ideas,current mood etc, into anything-even the triangle-not to speak about face.
What is important to you Preston, may not be important to other people. I was responding to the OP, not to you, btw.
Julian, I 'd go for Sebastian's advice in this thread-it was most helpful, step-by -step and totally on spot-and he really invested a lot of time. I completely second everything Sebastian said about your overview (also Sebastian to you -you don't need that first sentence in your overview.) And I agree with Paula as well-it is never just one thing.
Natasa, the original poster has presented different photos during the course of this thread discussion. You may not have seen the original photo, which was problematic and which he replaced fairly early in the discussion.
Also, my most recent comment about clients deleting proposals from candidates who post low-quality photos or photos in which they look angry, was a general observation, and wasn't connected to the original poster or any particular profile photo.
I 've seen the original photo and it was not problematic to me.
It may have been problematic to you. People differ, thanks heavens for that!
I am quoting your post here where you quoted me :
re: "Yours and anyone else's look is irrelevant." Who said anything about anybody's looks?We are talking about the message a contractor sends with their profile photo."
So I am explaining that I did not respond to you but to the original poster. If you are quoting me directly, you are not making a general observation-this is a direct remark based on my post. Gee, I really think the visual presentation would be useful here.
Anyway, no use in furthering this personal discussion-that's not the topic. People have different views , I shared mine.Nothing less, nothing more.
I often hire people and this is my impression.
The photo doesn't bother me.
No history, no job success and basically no info bothers me.
So then I must look at your overview to see if there is anything in there that would justify me hiring you.
I'm hit with SAE...I have no idea what this is and now I'm annoyed that I'm supposed to go and look up who they are and what they do.
Then I get GMA thrown at me. What the heck is a GMA. Must I go and look this up as well.
At this point I read no further as I've just rejected you.
You gave me no reason to consider you compared to others in your field who do have experience and I'm annoyed that you've wasted my time so far.
If you old picture was a bad one I would not have even bothered looking at your profile. Anyone who can't take the time to present themselves in a pleasing picture doesn't really want my work and it's an indication of laziness.
Just my thoughts.
He's just your typical college kid who thinks that college will now bank him the millions he deserves. Unforutnately, most college kids have to go through that phase in life that transfers them from "kid with great grades and mom says they're a genius" to "noob in the job market and nobody thinks you're special." I guess his reaction to this phase is to bring skin color into it, which is pretty silly. Playing victim is gonna make things tough in the real world.
It's a tough phase in life.
The overview is awful. I thought it was a spammer for some school at first.