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Starting A Writing Career On Elance (Part 3 of 4): Putting Up A Great Elance Profile

In my last article I wrote about the kinds of writing work to find on Elance — and there were lots. But don’t just LOOK for work — help clients find YOU! And the best way to do that is to have an attractive, complete Elance profile. Let’s talk about that today.

Signing Up

Signing up for an Elance account is easy enough — you’ll just have to specify that you’re a PROVIDER and you’re looking to work. (The other option is for Buyers, looking for freelancers.) Simply choose a username and enter the details requested.

Elance also offers a Tour of their services — I HIGHLY recommend you take it. Last I checked, Elance requires all new Providers to take a test to see how well they understand the rules and regulations of Elance.

As a Provider, you’ll also be asked if you’ll be taking a Basic, an Individual, or a Business account. A Basic account is free, and it lets you start working on Elance to get a feel of how things work. Later on, when you think you’re ready, you can upgrade and get the benefits of a paid Individual account.

Business accounts are for, well, businesses, or teams of more than one writer.

Your Profile

Your profile lets you display your name, your tagline, your photo, your educational and work backgrounds, your portfolio, and descriptions of your writing services. Here’s how to make the most of what you can put on your profile:

Tagline: Think of a short one-liner that best describes your services and strengths. Good examples include: “Article writing — on time, every time,” “Versatile photo-blogger at your service,” “The most reliable E-book publisher on Elance,” etc. Get creative!

Photo: It’s best to use a professional-looking photo of yourself. A head-and-shoulder shot is often enough, and it’s better if you’re smiling. If you have a photo of you in a business coat, even better. When choosing photos, ask yourself — will my clients want to talk to the person in this photo?

Educational and Work Backgrounds: Since most of us didn’t START OUT as writers, feel free to fill this up with your previous experiences even outside of writing. Though ultimately, it’s best to simply include information that pertains to your work and training as a writer.

Descriptions Of Your Writing Services: Here, you can tell the visitors of your profile exactly what you offer, how much you charge, how quickly you can submit the deliverables, and other special payment terms you may have. When Buyers have a clear idea of what they can expect from you, it becomes easier for them to contact you directly instead of bidding out their projects.

Portfolio: It’s best to upload samples of your writing expertise. If you’re an article writer, upload article samples. E-book writer? E-books. Blogger? Links to your blogs. Copywriter? Links to landing pages you wrote in the past. And so on.

Another great thing to put on your portfolio is your “buzz piece.”

What’s a buzz piece?

A buzz piece is a short promotional document that can serve as an extension of your “online business card.” Aside from your Elance profile, your visitors can also download your buzz piece, learn more about you and what you do, decide that they DO need your services, and hire you!

…of course, that depends on how good your buzz piece really is. And that’s what we’ll be talking about in the last article of this series.

For now, spruce up your Elance profile by offering information your prospective clients are looking for. The better and more attractive your Elance profile is, the more projects land on your lap.

And in freelance writing, there are few things better than getting projects with no searching, prospecting, and bidding involved.

May a few good ones come your way soon!