Winning Freelancer.com Profile Setup
I did some quick research on the Freelancer site to look at a few different profiles under from the list of categories, concentrating on the ones with highest ratings and the most reviews to determine what a good profile looks like.
The first thing I notice is they all have complete profiles. They have other badges (you earn those by completing certain tasks in the system), a resume showing up to 5 years of work and portfolios.
They have taken and passed the some of the Freelancer.com exams, each of which costs $5.
While I know Amanda Thomas says this isn’t her only criteria when she’s hiring a freelancer. She did say, a complete profile helps her trust that the freelancer will complete her project, especially if they have no feedback.
Tiffany Dow talks about this very same thing starting on page 13 of her Ghostwriting Cash pdf. Nope, I’m not doing ghostwriting. I’m doing editing, proofreading, compilations and things related to publishing, but there is some really useful information in that guide about using freelance sites.
That’s what I do next.
Actual Profile Setup
First up, how do I access my profile to edit it?
Ah found it. It’s Profile ===>Edit Account Details.
I upload an image of me but nothing changes. Oh I see, I have to hit the save button before the image will display.
I’m taken to my view of the profile page.
Also, I wish I’d realized this from the start.
NOTE: The user name IS NOT the name you see at the top of peoples profile. That can be edited but your user name DOES show on your profile under the subheading.
I change the heading and add my subheading.
Next I add a new summary.
That’s when I notice on the top right hand side is a “completion tracker”. You can just click whatever is next up there to make sure you profile gets completed.
I click what’s next and add an image of an article edit, with the track changes displayed.
I don’t want to upload the entire article because that’s not fair to it’s owner but I can show the work I did on it this way.
It also means I don’t impinge on the owners copyright.
After hitting save, the screen shows me that I can add a feature image.
What is that and what does it do?
I’ll come back to it.
I’ve already added the summary, which shows on the main overview of the profile.
I add the resume details I have.
Now that’s weird. The dates I enter on the resume aren’t showing. It’s showing the previous month to the one I entered.
I skip the Certifications and Publications fields for now.
At any time you can click on the View External Profile link on the left of the screen under badges and see what others will see.
To the right is what mine looks like as of today.
Now I can’t use the completion tracker because it’s prompting me to add certificates still.
I go ahead and verify my payment method using PayPal.
This gives me pause for a moment.
It looks like you’re making a payment. It even responds like it you are but there is nothing listed on the fee side, except the Freelancer.com name, so no you’re not paying for anything.
What I have just done though is verify their ability to charge me any of those fees the user agreement talked about.
It has also set things up so that I can get direct payments through their payment system, which may not be a good thing. (I talk about this more later.)
Even though I’ve done all that, when I’m on my dashboard page, it still says my account is only 44% complete.
When I’m on my profile page it’s still telling me my account is on 60% complete.
It’s not clear how to skip some of these steps.
It’s Time To Bid On Something
Now I go in search of any information which will help me make bids using their platform.
Before I do that, I want to mention these little pop-ups I started seeing when I first logged in.
I ignored them until I was done with my profile, at least 60% done anyway.
They are in the bottom right corner of my screen. They are little bid excerpts. I clicked one and it took me directly the bid page. However, I didn’t see any while I was working on my profile.
So far I’ve noticed them when I’ve been at the Dashboard.
I wonder if there is a way to set up a notice for ones I’d actually like to see or that fit my skills.
Speaking of skills, for many of the bids, you’ll have to have that skill listed in order to place a bid.
I didn’t have my skills set. To set them go to Profile ===> Edit Skills.
there is a list of eleven skill categories to choose from.
Once you choose your skills, it opens up a lot more projects to bid on.
The number of skills you’re allowed to check off is based on your membership level.
In the Basic member level it’s 54 and you can make changes to it (it looks like changes means, unticking a box you currently have ticked) up to 10 times per month.
Preparing A Quality, Winning Bid
Quick discussion about payment, as it seems there are two ways you can obtain your payment.
Based on the article here at the time of this writing,
“You and the employer can determine a payment schedule and payments can be made directly to your online account, which is included with your Freelancer.com membership. Payment through our website is optional; you and the employer can use whatever method works best for you, however using our payment system also enables the rating system for the project. This allows you and the employer to rate each other and leave comments after a transaction. This information is attached to your profile and helps establish your reputation for future prospects.”
Basically in order to build your reputation and feedback in the system, so it shows to potential employers, is to have payments go through the Freelancer.com payment system. That is the only way to “turn on” the feedback loop.
I again return to the e-book that comes with Ghostwriting Cash, in which Tiffany Dow details her bid winning strategies starting on page 21.
It’s funny, the very first thing I see Tiffany say NOT TO DO EVER, is exactly what I’m seeing on most of the bids other freelancers are placing.
Even the instructions on bidding inside Freelancer say not to do it. Yet there it is on over half the bids of the project I’m looking at.
I also see that the people with the highest reputation and completion scores follow a similar strategy to what Tiffany outlines.
Find A Project To Bid On
To find a project to bid on, go to Browse Projects and use one of the 9 ways to search – Categories, Latest, Latest Featured, Lastest Fulltime, Contests, Ending Soon, Low Bids, Bookmarked Projects and My Skills.
I first choose Categories. When you’re looking through the list, any of the skills you’ve ticked will be in red.
With all the skills listed, there are over 500 skills from Accounting to XXX, you’ll find something you can do.
Almost all of them have a number beside them indicating the number of current bid requests.
I place my first bid and before the end of the day, it’s closed and I’m not the winner. 🙁
I place my second bid.
I’m reading the information and the “employer” states it will be December 19th or after, before a decision is made although the bid closes on the 14th of December.
I place my bid, share some links to the requested samples and we’ll see the outcome of that.
I don’t place a third bid, although that was my intention.
I got distracted by the Bid-o-meter.
The Basic account comes with the ability to post 50 bids per month. When you click on button that says, “Bid on This Project”, even if you don’t complete the bid, one is deducted from your bid count.
Next to it though is a Bid-o-meter. That’s not what they call it, it’s just what it looks like.
It shows you at what “rate” you get bids added back to your account.
The formula they use isn’t clear but it is a clear call to action to get you to upgrade so extra bids get added faster.
I’m seeing lots of little things around the site like that.
I’m sticking to just the basics and what I get during the 30 day trial.
NOTE: Remember you lose a bid, just by clicking on the “Bid on This Project” button, whether you complete the bid or not.
I made that mistake and don’t want you to make the same one.
My goal for the challenge is to use up all my bids. Originally I believed that would only be 50. Now I realize it will be many more.
That’s it for today. I’ll play around in the site and see how to get more rewards (without buying anything) and I’ll keep placing between 2 and 3 bids per day.
You’ll find all the updates in Freelancer.com review here.