How To Make Your Profile Shine

Tips, Strategies & Best Practices.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

If you’re like me, the idea of filling out another online profile sounds tedious. If it’s work related, you just want to register, post your portfolio and wait for the offers to come rolling in. That’s why we’ve taken a minimalist approach to our site. Everything is simple and intuitive so users can focus on details that matter.

At its core, Haiku is an online marketplace that connects freelancers with potential clients. If you make a great first impression, you’re more likely to attract the right kind of business opportunities.

Below, we’ve compiled some tips and strategies to make your Haiku profile stand out.

Complete Your Profile
Fill out every section of your profile. Don’t be lazy. Don’t cut corners. We’ve avoided the bells and whistles of other platforms to focus on details that carry weight. Be comprehensive. Be thorough. Be precise. When you’re done, read your Profile Summary and Work Terms out loud to yourself. If anything sounds awkward or wordy, condense.

Tip: The Primary Skills field is really important. It helps employers discover talent fast. It also helps us match freelancers with more relevant projects. Be strategic about what skills you enter, and only add ones that you can support with work samples. If you say you’re a product designer, feature examples of product design in your portfolio.

Choose A Quality Profile Image
They say never judge a book by its cover but the truth is, first impressions matter. A profile photo is your introduction to a world of potential clients. Respect that, and give folks a sense of who you truly are. Find a simple background, use natural light and smile. You want to come across as both professional and friendly, someone others want to work with.

Tip: Take advantage of friends who are professional photographers. Trade services if necessary. Whatever you do, don’t go with a drunk selfie.

Write A Punchy Headline
Be memorable. Even if you’re not a writer, it’s important to convey who you are and what you do in a succinct way. Clients scan through hundreds of profiles. What will make them stop at yours? What is your specialty? What sets you apart ?

Tip: Be anything but basic.

Include Links to Your Website and LinkedIn Profile
Clients might not study your portfolio or LinkedIn profile for hours but they will check to see if you’re who you claim to be, especially if you’re new to Haiku. A link to an active LinkedIn profile with connections and testimonials is a key record of your professional life. It also adds context to how others value your expertise.

Tip: Haiku doesn’t replace LinkedIn; it supplements it. The two, in a perfect world, work in tandem together.

Choose Portfolio Pieces Carefully
Highlight your best work first. Feature samples that showcase your specific expertise. Strong visuals help. So does written descriptions of each project you’ve worked on. Highlight key business goals, concepts, challenges and successes.

Tip: Don’t forget to convey the impact of your work.

Remove the Ego
Your Haiku profile isn’t a vanity project. It’s a living, breathing testament to who you are as a professional. Nothing should be too precious. If a portfolio piece has personal value but doesn’t convey what’s important to employers, remove it. It matters less how you want to be perceived, and more how potential clients perceive you. Help them help you.

Tip: Study the competition. See how others in your industry present themselves and incorporate the successful elements. More than anything, be strategic and purposeful about improving your profile. It’s a process, and it never stops.

by Rob Simons