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Freelancer is one of the most used freelance platforms in the United States and has 37 million users all around the world. Since this is a very practical and uncomplicated platform for many freelancers, this is one of the preferred websites to start a freelance career.
Among the recommendations to get your first job on Freelancer, you should make sure to optimize your profile and be constant and persevering when trying to connect with clients. Finding a job on this platform is completely possible and something that can happen quickly if you follow the right steps.
1. Specialize in a Skill and Become an Expert
Before you start looking for a job on a freelance platform, you should know where you are going to aim. The first thing you should do is choose a niche in which you are going to work.
At first, many freelancers believe that if they specialize in several things they will get more work and generate more profits, but actually, the best thing you can do is choose a skill, focus all your effort on learning and specialize in it and over time become an expert.
For example, if you are skilled in photography and also doing translations, you should choose only one of those niches to start growing your freelance career. After you have chosen, you can specialize even more in that area.
If you chose to dedicate yourself to translations, choose only two languages such as English-French, French-English. Apart from that, you can specialize in a type of translation, for example, academic texts or official documents.
By having that level of specialization, people will see you as an expert and you really can be.
Knowing where to invest your time and effort, you will grow professionally in a more efficient way instead of dividing your time between trying to grow between two freelance careers that do not have much relationship with each other.
A good example is careers like web development and social media marketing, specializing increases your chances of receiving higher payouts.
When you apply for jobs within Freelancer, employers will be able to see in your profile all the work and academic experience you have regarding the job you applied for.
If an employer sees that you are a specialist in that area, they will surely give you priority over other freelancers who, apart from being translators, are photographers, copywriters, and designers.
Clients are looking for someone who can do the job to the best of their ability, and even if you do not have the experience, specializing in a skill will give them more confidence.
2. Apply for Most Recent Job Posts
When you sign up on the platform and start evaluating the sheer number of jobs available, you can surely feel a bit overwhelmed. You will not know where to start or what offers to apply to.
On this platform, you can see the publication date of the vacancy and this is essential to consider applying for a job or not. Try to give priority to those proposals that are more recent, this means that the selection process for that offer has just begun and that you can be considered for that job.
If an offer appears available on the platform but was published days or weeks ago, it is possible that many freelancers have already applied for it or that this offer is no longer available. Applying for recent offers will give you a better chance of being selected.
Other Aspects to Take Into Account Before Applying
- Do not apply to offers that ask you to make a payment to start working. It may be a scam.
- Apply only if you meet the requirements.
- Take into account if you can meet the demands of the job and the deadlines.
- Evaluate if the payment they offer is according to the complexity of the work. If it is a very low payment it can be exploitative and if it is very high it can be a scam.
3. Optimize Your Profile
You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Have you heard that before?
When you apply for a project in the freelancer world, you only get one chance. The client receives your offer, and depending on what they find by clicking on your freelancer profile, they either interview you or dismiss you. That simple.
The first thing you have to know is that you must fill in each field of information that appears available in your profile. Each area of the profile has the purpose that the client knows who you are and that you reveal the potential and the preparation that you have.
Remember that just as you want to work with a trustworthy client, clients are also looking for freelancers they can trust and it will be through your profile that they will get to know you.
If you leave spaces blank or unanswered, it might seem to clients that you do not give much importance to your freelance profile or even that you are not a real person.
By filling in your profile, clients will realize that you meet the necessary requirements to work with them. That will give them an idea of who you are and what you do.
Professional Profile Picture
Maybe you did not know this, but the profile picture you choose is very important to impress potential customers. In some freelance platforms, it is proven that having a profile photo gives you more chances of being contacted for a job proposal, but for that, you must know how to choose your profile photo very well.
Make sure your face is clearly visible, so you need to use good lighting. It is not necessary to use professional lights for this but it will be enough to photograph yourself in a part of your house where sunlight enters.
Through your image, you can reflect your activity or niche, if you are a photographer you can appear with a camera or if you are a copywriter you can appear next to your computer, that will also reflect your specialization.
You can use a white or solid background. Some freelancers even photograph themselves with brightly colored backgrounds, but this is in keeping with their personality and niche.
If you operate in an area where creativity is essential, try to add that touch to your profile photo.
However, apart from using a background, you can also photograph yourself in your office or workplace, or you could even ask someone to take a photo of you while you work.
Although you must make sure that the image does not appear distracting elements, such as other people or disorder. Above all, use good quality images.
You do not need to spend money on a studio photo, just create the conditions and take a photo accordingly.
A single line to tell the client all the value you can add to their project: who you are and what you do.
This part should be concise and go straight to the point, with 2 or 3 elements you should tell the client what is your specialization without digressing. A “Web Developer” is not the same as a “Web Developer, Full-Stack Specialist”.
Write 2 or 3 paragraphs, the idea is to clearly express who you are, what you offer, and how much value you are going to bring to the client. In every first paragraph you write online, you must generate a hook. Something that motivates you to continue reading. What is your promise of value? Why is your freelance work valuable? Express what is the benefit of the project passing through your hands.
You can also identify yourself, say who you are, where you are from, how many languages you speak, your degrees or certifications. You can also talk about your experience even if it is very brief, or in case you do not have it, you can talk about why you like that niche you chose.
4. Fill Your Portfolio
You may have heard that portfolios are essential to finding work as a freelancer and in case you didn’t know, that is a fact.
A portfolio is a summary of your work and the services you can offer. In it, a representative sample of the projects you have worked on is usually placed.
Many freelancers choose to create their portfolios on platforms such as WordPress, Wix, or Behance, but in Freelancer, you have the option to upload your files and present them as a portfolio that employers can see directly on your profile, without leaving the platform.
In this portfolio, you can upload documents, images, videos, or audios of projects that you have done for previous clients. Remember that if you have never worked for someone, you can still make work samples to show in your portfolio.
The idea behind this is to show employers that you are a freelancer capable of carrying out quality work. You may have worked at home doing something for the heck of it. It is also possible that you have helped someone close to you with a particular task:
- A school project for your nephews
- Help with a friend’s thesis
- Some college or university work (if you worked in a group, remember to give credit to those involved)
- Improvements in your own home
- A design for your friend’s scented candle business
- A website for a music band
In short, anything in which you have used your creativity and professional skills to create or improve work. You can collect photos or digital files of the best work you have ever done and then put them in your portfolio.
5. Apply for a Job in Your Capabilities
When you start to review all the available job offers, you will surely be dazzled by all the projects and the payments they offer for some.
However, when you go to read the proposal, you will probably see that you do not fit all the requirements they ask for. While you should not feel discouraged by this, it is not recommended that you apply to offers where you do not meet all that is required.
The reasons are that in the first place, it is most likely that you will not be able to carry out those jobs, and second, the employers establish those requirements for specific reasons.
If you apply without considering that, they will simply not take you into account and you will waste your time.
It is better that you invest your time and effort applying to job offers that fit your profile. It does not matter that you are just starting your freelance career, rest assured that there will be vacancies available for you.
Take into account what are those skills or requirements that are most requested in the vacancies to which you want to apply and start learning or developing them.
With time and more preparation, you can begin to apply to those vacancies that are so attractive to you. Your freelance career is a series of steps that you must progressively climb and experience each stage.
Do not try to rush and jump to a step that still does not correspond to you or you may fall.
6. Keep Learning So you Can Stand Out
On a platform where there are millions of freelancers, you must find a way to stand out. You will achieve this by following the aforementioned recommendations, but especially if you continue learning about your niche, taking courses, and studying.
Employers pay special attention to those freelancers with certifications and although in many niches it is not necessary to have a university degree, you can take courses to verify that you really know the skills you offer.
This will make you stand out and even help you generate more profits since it will make you a more valuable freelancer than those who do not have courses, studies, or certifications.
Reasons to Use Freelancer to Get Your First Freelance Job
- You will have access to many companies of different profiles, from small or medium-sized companies or employers
- It is very easy to use
- Notifications regarding newly published projects that match your skills will reach you via email or through web alerts
- If you are interested in a specific project, you can apply by making a personalized offer
- You will be able to communicate directly with companies through the chats and video calls of the platform itself
- From your profile, you can access offers from almost 250 countries
- The platform works in 34 different languages and with 28 types of currencies
- They also have an app for mobile devices compatible with iPhone and Android
- Creating your basic profile as a freelancer is free
- This website is specialized in the online job market, that is, it is mainly about jobs that you can do in a digital environment
Perseverance is Key
Completing your profile, having the right photo, applying to the correct proposals, are things that will undoubtedly bring you closer to getting your first job on the platform.
However, along with all these steps, you should also add patience, persistence, and perseverance. Following all these steps is not a magic mix to get a job immediately, so you have to be consistent and work hard every day to make yourself noticed.
Do not be discouraged when you are rejected since that is part of the process, just keep in mind that the more you apply to different offers, the more likely you will be selected in one.
Work every day to become a better freelancer and apply for the most appropriate offers for your profile and you will see that you will soon achieve your goal of finding your first job.