“So, tell us about yourself.”
Many freelancers dread getting this request during job interviews.
Sure, there are plenty of things you could tell a potential employer about your education, skills, and work history. But what do freelance clients really want to know about you?
One great way to work this out is to write your freelancer biography before approaching clients. Not only will this narrow down the important aspects of your professional life, it’ll also make writing your “About Me” page, your article byline, and your cold emails much easier.
In fact, an excellent freelancer bio can easily become your most powerful marketing tool. With just a few well-chosen words, you’ll be able to communicate your personal brand to anyone who visits your website or social media page and let them know how to hire you.
Let’s spend some time examining the elements of a great freelancer bio and see how you can use them to write the type of profiles that attract excellent clients.
Whether you’re writing a biography for your website, a guest post, or your social media page, all effective freelancer biographies need to provide the same information about you and your business. Keep the following in mind:
Sounds strange, but a lot of poorly-written biographies don’t mention a freelancer’s services or even if the freelancer is available for hire. This makes it hard for potential clients to know you’re who they need.
Good bios need to provide three pieces of information up front:
All of this information should appear in your first paragraph or even your first sentence if you don’t have a lot of space. For example, if I needed to write a short byline about myself, I might start with:
“Michael Jung is a freelance writer-for-hire with over 20 years of experience writing blog posts, web copy, and marketing emails for digital marketing, SaaS, and B2B companies.”
All good ad copy includes incentives that encourage potential clients to use the products or services being offered. With a freelancer bio, you should show how your skillset benefits your client.
For instance, if you write blog posts, mention how producing regular blog content raises a website’s online visibility, drives new customers to a site, and converts them into regular clients. Add that you can supply clients with original, quality posts every week, saving them the trouble of writing the content themselves.
Some freelancers even include links in their bios to free eBooks or online courses that take readers to their websites and get them to sign up for their email lists. While this isn’t required, offering benefits that also showcase your expertise definitely incentivizes clients to use your services.
One of the best ways to attract new clients is to share your current client list. Showcase the websites your content has appeared in. Offer links to articles you’ve published or videos you helped produce. This lets people know you create professional-level work.
Sharing your educational background can also make you more desirable. However, make sure you also show how your education benefits a client. In other words, don’t just mention your journalism degree — emphasize how studying journalism has helped you develop research and interviewing skills for producing articles that can be repurposed for magazines and other online content.
Reminding potential clients they’re hiring a real person and not a faceless freelancer helps readers connect with you. Freelancer biographies do this in multiple ways.
All bios should include a good headshot of yourself. A professional headshot is usually more desirable, but even a clear, basic image of your face can effectively communicate your brand.
Offering some personal information can also help attract clients. Mentioning you’re a parent, travel buff, or regular comic con attendee helps differentiate you from other freelancers in the minds of your readers.
You can also provide some insight into your personal work philosophy. Letting potential clients know you’re a stickler for deadlines and pride yourself on answering client questions quickly is something any employer would want to know!
After spending time crafting a concise, enticing biography of yourself, it’s time to get your potential client to connect with you. Include a Call to Action at the end of your bio encouraging readers to contact you if they have any work-related needs that you can help them with.
Be sure to offer direct links to your freelance website and social media channels, and include your email address. Remember: you could have the best-written biography in the world and it wouldn’t matter if people didn’t know how to contact you with job offers.
Depending on where you publish your biography, you may need to alter it to fit the needs of a platform. Some bylines and social media sites require you to keep your biography under a certain number of characters. Certain websites might attract readers that value different credentials over others.
To make sure you make the best possible impression with your bios, here are some tips for adapting your biography for different audiences.
If you’re writing a biography for your website or LinkedIn page, you’ll get more room to write. That’s great — but make sure you present your bio in an online-friendly format.
That means keeping your sentences and paragraphs short so readers don’t get overwhelmed by blocks of text. Use bullet points when listing key topics — like the type of freelance assignments you accept or your niche specialties. This makes your bio easy to scan and also draws attention to your services.
In addition to providing links to your website and social media channels, you can offer links to your work samples. Guiding potential clients to a video you edited, a blog post you wrote, or an online course you created helps establish you as an expert in your field, increasing your desirability.
On the other end of the spectrum, there will be times when you’re required to provide a biography that’s only a single paragraph (or even a single sentence) long.
At times like these, make good use of this limited space by establishing your niche services and availability right off the bat. Include a brief call-to-action with a link to your website, giving potential clients a way to gain more detailed information about you.
Get comfortable writing a brief synopsis of your freelance career in a way that’s appealing to employers. Difficult as it might seem, it is possible to entice clients with a single sentence about your job services, especially if you show them how your skills can solve their problems.
On that note, you’ll also want to customize your biography so that it appeals to different audiences. Someone who sees your byline at the end of an article on email marketing will have different needs than someone who sees a post you wrote for a parenting blog. This will affect the type of credentials you want to share.
That person reading your email marketing article will be very interested in learning that you were also published on Hubspot and The Moz Blog. On the other hand, someone interested in hiring you to contribute to their parenting blog will be pleased they’re getting someone who’s a frequent contributor to “Raising Arizona Kids Magazine.”
Knowing where your bio will appear should also influence your biography’s tone. Some websites insist you just list the facts of your career, while others want to see a bit more personality, allowing you to mention you’re a single father or that you enjoy hiking the Swiss Alps.
Understanding your audience’s needs is particularly relevant when you’re sending out cold emails. Here, you know the person reading your email is the hiring manager of a company you want to freelance for, so it makes sense to mention some of their projects and show how your past experience relates to their current and future needs.
Ultimately, the more you make it sound as if you’re talking to a specific reader and not just providing some boilerplate copy, the more your bio will attract the right type of clients.
While they might look like short blurbs of text, a lot of thought goes into writing an effective freelancer biography.
Successful freelancers know their bios are how a lot of good clients first learn about their services, so they’re very intent on presenting themselves in the best possible light.
When writing your bio, be sure to spotlight your freelancer services and specialties. Consider the type of clients who will see your bio and share the credentials that will encourage them to approach you. Offer multiple ways for potential clients to connect with you and include links to your work.
Above all, be sure to share your bio everywhere you want to build an online (or offline) presence! As you learn to customize and adapt your biography for multiple audiences, you’ll be amazed by where your next client first discovered you.
Having said all that, getting discovered by clients is one thing. Developing mutually beneficial relationships with your clients is another. Learn how Hectic helps keep your clients satisfied with a client management system that makes you the professional every business wants to work with.