Barbara W wrote:
Yes, I would appreciate feedback on my overview too. I have similar overviews posted on both platforms I use, and if they can be improved, I would love to do so! I am eagerly seeking higher-paying clients that would allow me to maintain my low-paying (but valuable to my personal growth and experience) clients.
OK Barbara, at the moment your profile acts as magnet for lowballers and scammers because it literally screams "naive newbie!"
Remove the "Assistant" from the title. You're either a writer or you are not. Clients don't hire "Writing Assistants" (whatever those may be) they hire writers.
Scratch the "Hello there." Your profile is your billboard, your advertising space, your brochure, your shop window., your catalogue. It is not an email or a letter.
Remember that the first few lines are all a client sees of your overview in the preview window. What they see there will decide if they even bother reading your proposal and look at your profile. Do not waste that space!
Scrap "My name is and I am from" - they can see what your name is and where you're from, it's right there. Scrap your age - irrelevant. Remove the empty space. It's like paying for a TV advert and broadcasting a white screen for the duration of the advert.
Saying "I am very new to this" chases off the decent clients and attracts the scammers. Scratch that.
Scrap "I am searching for opportunities to develop my skills!" - Same as above. For starters clients don't care what you are searching for. They want to know what you can do for them. They pay you (hopefully) and not the other way round so whether you are searching for mushrooms, opportunities or the holy grail is of no interest to them.
It also makes you sound amateur. Clients don't want to pay for you to develop your skills, they expect you to have them. You're a freelancer, not a working student.
Remove the bit about your portfolio pieces. It's irrelevant, and again makes you sound amateur. It tells the client nothing they need to know.
Remove your office hours and the whole "25% surcharge" thing from your profile. If you want a 9-5 (or a 10-6) job go work in an office. If you have normal operating hours that is great, and if you want to charge extra for stuff that's fine also, it's something to discuss at an interview.
The last thing a client wants to see on a profile is your office hours and the word "surcharge."
OK. So we've now wiped out your profile. Let's start over:
Raise your rate by 20% or so
Think of creating a fabulous overview as a writing assignment.
Write a super catchy advert for an amazing product called "Barbara Ward"
What are your unique selling points? What makes you stand out? What will make you particularly attractive to prospective clients? What can you do FOR THEM? What is your experience?
Remember that all important, make-or-break first paragraph?
Make that count. If THAT does not catch their attention they will not read your proposal,and not look at your profile. I bet 90% or more of your proposals are not even opened at the moment.
Take a few hours to research what other successful writers have in their overview, how they structure it. Identify your USPs (Unique Selling Points) and make sure they're right up there.
"Native English Speaker" is one. "US based" is another. Add what your strengths are, what are you particularly good at writing? Content? Business plans? Product descriptions? How-to-guides?
What are your areas of expertise?
Have a go, invest time in yourself and your profile, completely redo it, come back and ask again!
This was a bit harsher than I expected, but that's good. Thinking of it as a product description with the product being myself helps. I have rewritten it, and eagerly await your further feedback. Thank you so much!
@Barbara W wrote:
This was a bit harsher than I expected,
Sorry darling, I invested an hour of my life in giving you an honest opinion, which you may take or discard or pick bits you think apply, and ignore the rest.
Fluffy Bunnies, Magical Unicorns and complicated ways of saying what I wanted to put across in a sugar-coated way costs extra!
Ha, I didn't mean to sound ungrateful or over-sensitive. I grew up in a pretty harsh family -- sugar coating may as well be lying. I do greatly appreciate the input you have given me, and I have tried to make some changes. I'm sure it could use more work still, but I think this revised version is better than the previous, at least.
Edit: Posting the revised version below to save you extra work now that I feel guilty for the time you've invested in helping me so far. (lol.)
MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH !!!!! better
I'd change it to "I" not "She" (You're not Julius Caesar) and would take the "she is involved in multiple projects," out, again that's something to discuss at the interview stage.
If you apply for a contract the client will (with some justification) assume that you have the capacity to do it and can juggle your workload (something I am really bad at, partly because I waste so much time playing on the forum)
But WELL DONE!
Now I see a writer, not a Wannabe!!!
I used the third-person because I saw a few other freelancers profile's done that way... Although admittedly it doesn't feel right to me anyway. Reminds me of being in middle school and forging sick notes.
I do still feel a bit like a wannabe, but I know my writing is there. It still feels weird requesting that high -- my highest paying "regular" job was $12 an hour, so basically requesting a raise from that seems weird. (That is part of the appeal of being my own boss, but I feel like I still have such a long way to go.)
Thank you again for all your help, I will let you know how these changes work out!
Barbara W wrote: It still feels weird requesting that high -- my highest paying "regular" job was $12 an hour, so basically requesting a raise from that seems weird.
You need to factor in costs.
$ 12 in a regular job and $ 12 in freelancing is not the same. You get no paid holiday, no benefits, no office, no work tools, no nothing.
Everything you need to work must be factored into your price.
Also don't forget all the time spent applying and negotiating. That is part of your operating costs too.
Unless you have ongoing hourly contracts that fill up all your billable hours you have to calculate all the time you spend on your business, be it aquisition, credit control, advertising, working on your profile etc into your rate.
If it costs you an hour to win and administer 2 hours worth of work at $ 12.00 your effective hourly earning, without factoring in internet, electricity, computer, coffee etc becomes $ 8.00....
Also, the perverse thing is that the higher quality clients are happy to pay more, AND treat their freelancers better.
For some reason the more they pay the greater they perceive your value to be. There is also LESS competition for the high paying gigs, not more, plus you get to write more interesting stuff. Leave the churning out of search-engine-fodder and filler-content and go hunting for real writing gigs for real money with real clients,n ot bottom-feeding farmer types.
LOTS AND LOTS of golden advice can be found here in this thread, thanks to Petra.... Newbie contractors who read this can find a lot here that they can apply to their own profiles, even if their name isn't "Barbara."