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6 Ways for Freelance Developers to Stand out on Upwork

Payoneer CommunityPayoneer Community
June 29, 2015

Upwork (formerly oDesk) offers web developers an opportunity to brandish their profiles in front of thousands of potential clients. Your portfolio, core competencies, and other data receives far more visibility on Upwork than on your personal website or social media profile, but only if you create an Upwork presence that forces potential clients to notice you.

freelancers stand on upwork

1. Take More Tests

Clients want to feel confident in hiring polished, proven professionals. They don’t want to risk their projects on a web developer who claims to know six scripting languages inside and out, but actually just took an HTML class in high school 15 years ago. Upwork makes available tests in various competencies so freelancer developers can prove their experience and expertise. Take as many of these tests as possible, from HTML5 and CSS to Internet Marketing and Computer Aptitude. Make sure your tests illustrate the widest possible range of your skills.

2. Advertise Your USP

Your USP (unique selling proposition) is just as important as that of an international corporation. It communicates, in as few words as possible, why your web development skills and talents surpass those of the competition. List your most impressive skills and identify the results you’ve attained for previous clients. For example, instead of just stating that you have 10 years of experience in WordPress development, mention the fact that 80 percent of your clients have achieved at least four times greater web traffic as a result of your efforts on their behalf. Place your USP at the start of your profile so it receives maximum visibility. It’s the first thing potential clients will see.

3. Add a Photo

Adding a professional photo increases your chances of securing jobs through Upwork and other networks. In fact, LinkedIn reports that profiles with photos are “11 times more likely to be viewed.” This same concept translates to Upwork. Avoid photographs of you holding your children, cuddling with your dogs, or running down the beach in your swimwear. You want prospects to picture you working for them, not indulging in your private life.  For more tips on uploading a professional photo, read 8 Things to Consider When Selecting your Freelance Profile Photo.

4. Create a Specific Job Title

With thousands of professionals competing for web development projects, you’ll need a specific and attractive title if you want to stand out. While it might be accurate to type “Web Developer” into that field in your profile, something more descriptive will garner more attention. For example, you might call yourself a “Web Development Strategist” if you focus on creating new and innovative code for the websites you develop. It tells clients that you take more creative control over your projects.

5. Establish Your Rates with Growth in Mind

If you’re just starting out on Upwork, you might want to advertise lower rates until you build a reputation. Once clients see a pattern of demonstrated success, you’ll find it easier to charge more for your services. Rates constitute a personal decision, so don’t feel obligated to lower your normal rate by a hefty margin. Instead, take into consideration as many factors as possible, including the average rates in the industry.  To better understand what freelancers in your industry are making, check out Payoneer’s Freelancer Income Survey.

6. Choose Skills Carefully

Upwork allows freelancers to select 10 skills to advertise on their profiles. Avoid redundant skills or skills that lack significant interest, but consider adding skills that label you as unique. For example, if you’ve received training in a new web development software program, you might want to include it. Other web developers can’t compete if they haven’t received the same training.

Starting your career on Upwork as a web developer starts with your profile. You’ll stand out if you give it as much attention as you would devote to your resume or to a meeting with a client.  Do you have additional tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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