Do you struggle to make your profile useful, attractive and search-friendly on line platforms?

You’re not alone.

But you can kick the cringe and write a profile that helps you sell yourself without losing what makes you special.

In this special session, you will learn:

– How to get over the cringe when talking about yourself

– Where your focus should be (hint: it’s not on a laundry list of skills)

– Uncover (and highlight) your point of difference

– What to do with seemingly irrelevant work experience

– Areas that create friction that you should eliminate

This FREE session will be geared towards lifting your game on the Freelance Jungle Directory.

However, the tips can be applied to LinkedIn, other social media platforms and also your ABOUT on the website.

How to do a good freelance profile

Rebekah: Which is an area that is massively important to the Dreamtime legend of how the whale was tricked by the koala and the starfish. And it was forming Lake Illawarra when it got angry and whacked its tail on the ground. So I feel the beauty in the presence today. And I’d like to extend a special welcome to anyone of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage or any Indigenous heritage that is joining us today.

Rebekah: Thank you. Today we’re going to learn how to ace our profiles. So I’m [00:01:00] going to focus on the directory for a tiny little minute and then I’m going to take you through some general tips.

Rebekah: Okay, so first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to crack open my share screen option and I’m going to go and throw you into the directory just quickly. So this is the Freelance Jungle directly, directory. You can register if you’ve never registered before or you can log in and log out. And you can also reset your password.

Rebekah: So first of all, I’m going to log in as myself and just get this quickly underway. Thank you. You’ll see that I come up here because I’ve already registered myself and then I go to view profile to update an existing profile. I know it’s a little bit convoluted but I’ll show you what happens. And there’s a little cog there if I want to edit.

Rebekah: Now I just want to show you how these, our profiles come down on the Freelance Jungle. So [00:02:00] username is generally just the geeky name you give yourself. I’m not that inventive people, not these days, too old. But then I have my name, my customer name. The specializations are actually in a click menu and I’ll explain that in a minute.

Rebekah: I have designated that I have a special owned and operated status. I’ll show you that. And then there’s my business bio, which is what we’re going to be talking about today and how to write them. And then the links to all my social media, my primary website, and then my secondary website, which is the blog here.

Rebekah: Easy enough stuff. But then you’ll see there’s a map feature. Now some of you might be wondering why you’re not showing up on the map. It’s because we need all of this information filled in. So suburb is Windang, city or town is Wollongong, state is New South Wales, postcode 2528 Australia. If you’re in New Zealand you put outside of Australia, there’s a specific option for you to choose.

Rebekah: So when you break down into the profile [00:03:00] in the Freelance Jungle, It’s just a simple click on that cog. And then you go through and you edit it. You can replace your photo. You can update your links. And you see what we’ve done with the specializations, which will be important to the content that I’m about to show you, is we’ve actually taken the time with every research assignment that we’ve done on the community that is the Freelance Jungle and identified that there’s over 120 vocations that people self identify in freelancing.

Rebekah: So what we’ve done is we’ve grouped them. And we’ve tested over the years these groupings, so that the majority, I’m talking like 98 percent of people can find something that is relative to their skills. And we don’t cap it, because as a multi potential art generalist myself, I understand that we can have lots of different skills with some of us, and some of us do the high achiever thing.

Rebekah: You’re both catered for, it’s fine. The reason why we’ve done that rather than have self designated stuff is because in the [00:04:00] past when we’ve done, allowed for people to put in whatever they feel like calling themselves, we end up with all these strange categories, and when it comes out for a human being to actually search for you, a client, They’re not using the same language that everyone else has used to self define.

Rebekah: So we give you a little bit of a breakdown so that people can actually find you in a grouping and then find out more information from your profile and how you identify. So the things that you put in your bio are the what makes Right, so I know this is the granular sort of how to do it on the Freelance Jungle thing.

Rebekah: But I wanted to show you through that and also show you through how the map point comes down with the information that’s supplied at Windang NSW Australia. Sarah Williams, otherwise known as Sarah Slack has done some fantastic work for us on the jungle to be able to have that map feature so that clients can search for you.

Rebekah: Please put where you live. It matters to the client sometimes where you leave. It doesn’t matter to them [00:05:00] sometimes, but give them the choice. Don’t do what people used to do on the old directory, which has put things like Western Brisbane, south of the mountain left of the leprechaun because no one can ever find you because that doesn’t exist.

Rebekah: Yeah, that’s our directory in a little nutshell. And I’m going to stop sharing this screen. Don’t worry if you have specific questions about that later I’ll, come back to it when we’re actually in the jungle. I’m going to stop sharing that screen for a moment, and then I’m going to swap over to the PowerPoint one, which is a little bit more exciting, quite frankly.

Rebekah: Here we go. Alrighty, so here we get into the Death by PowerPoint featuring the art of the wonderful Jessica Hawkins. Here we go. Done that Freelance Jungle directory stuff. So the common mistakes that I see with bios, I got to give you a little bit of context here. I used to teach people how to write dating [00:06:00] bios for major platforms, and I did it for seven and a half years in person, online, everywhere.

Rebekah: I’ve also worked on several different arts projects that are directory based, including the Freelance Jungle, but I’ve done stuff for major councils and all the rest of it that have wanted to bring their artists together. So I’ve probably read more bios than most of you have had cheese sandwiches. So the common mistakes that I see is that when people write a bio, there’s no space for the customer.

Rebekah: They’re so busy talking about themselves. They forget who they’re writing for. It’s boil in the bag. So they’ve gone through a blog or they’ve gone through a training course and they’ve broken it down in a very perfunctory manner and then people have just written to that perfunctory manner. That’s okay until you’re getting compared with 5, 10, 12 other people on the same directory or 5 people in a browser window when someone’s reading [00:07:00] an about on a website.

Rebekah: You’ve got to look at that perfunctory way to cut things down as a way of learning the notes so that you can play your own version of blues, jazz, rock, whatever your thing is, right? Near enough is good enough is another common mistake. People hate their bio so much they give themselves a day to do it, they thrash it out and then it ends up being full of typos, it ends up being.

Rebekah: sounding exhausted. It’s repetitive. It’s lonely and it just sits there in ether. Slow it down. Really think about what you want to say. It’s like a first impression, right? Sitting across from the table and you want to build that mystery, this sort of thing. It’s thinner than a 1 coffee.

Rebekah: There’s not enough detail so that it doesn’t operate on search engines and it certainly doesn’t tell a client what you need to do. Or the other side of the coin is people can include the entire kitchen sink. [00:08:00] Look, keywords are great if you’re trying to woo a robot, a search bot, but they’re not great in high volumes with a laundry list of things.

Rebekah: I can always tell when someone’s getting annoyed with the people always asking, do you write this? Do you write that? Do you write this? Because they list absolutely everything that they do. Don’t do that. Look for the umbrella terms. Look for the ways that you can group things together. And then that can be a leveraging way to make conversation with someone or think about how you can springboard it into, if you want to know more about what it means to be a concept writer, here’s a blog I’ve written on that.

Rebekah: That kind of thing. There’s more brass than a big band. Everyone’s chest beating, trying to impress, trying to be invulnerable, bulletproof, and all the rest of it. It’s too it’s disingenuous, right? We all have weaknesses. We all have humanity. Keep them in your profile. And then there’s the jazz hands situation.

Rebekah: More exclamation marks. Everything’s [00:09:00] exciting. Oh my goodness. Look, if I’m reading your profile and it sounds like you’ve cannonballed. a whole bottle of red cordial without the water, it’s probably going to be a big turn off. So why writing for yourself sucks? We’re out of practice. We write for everybody else.

Rebekah: We build for everyone else. We create for everyone else, but we rarely do it for ourselves. And this is why we need to practice these skills because it doesn’t come naturally and easily to us. It also feels disingenuous. Somehow there are cultural things that teach us that maybe being a peacock is not a really good thing.

Rebekah: And there can be varying degrees of that, but in Australian culture, we’re very fond of taking cocky and confident people. And making fun of them and pulling them down. So when someone actually stands up for themselves and says, hi, I’m a skateboarder and I’m really good at it because I can grind and ollie and do all these wonderful things.

Rebekah: We think that they’re showing off when really they’re giving us information. We have to get over that cultural cringe and really start backing each other and ourselves a little bit more. [00:10:00] We’re crushed by everyone else’s amazing adventure iceberg, we can see everyone else out there acing it, and we wonder if we’re left behind.

Rebekah: This is intersection on social media, and it shouldn’t be taken so seriously that it should stop you from writing your own bio. It also feels like we’re setting ourselves up for weird expectations. So when we put stuff out into the world on our bios, we know that we want our clients to read it, but then we remember in the back of our head, the times where we had a rough trot with a client or the times that it attracted the wrong person or the times where the subjective nature of what we do.

Rebekah: was a problem for that client. So for example someone’s taste in writing or design or photography is a subjective thing. So we can remember all the negative voices and all of the negative feedback and it colors how we write about ourselves. Because again, we’re stuck between not wanting to be a peacock, but then also remembering, Oh gosh, I don’t want to attract that kind of person.

Rebekah: That’s going to give me a hard time. [00:11:00] And the other thing is too, many of us will go out there when we’re writing a bio and we think that it’s really good to read everyone else’s, then we see that everyone else is writing all this stuff that bores us to death. And we worry that we’re going to do the same thing.

Rebekah: So my advice to you is to not go and read a bunch of different profiles without qualification. Go and read ones that excite you and look for things that are different so that it inspires your creativity instead. The other thing to remember is it’s not about you. It’s actually about the customer. You are not writing your bio because of who you are.

Rebekah: You’re writing it because you want to talk to somebody. And the best way to talk to somebody is to let them know that you’re listening. Defeating the cringe is about telling your story. As Marie Curie said, Now is the time to understand more so that we fear less. If you’re feeling cringey about your profile, which I’m guessing most of you are, Then your best friend is actually research and production.

Rebekah: So treat it like a story instead [00:12:00] of a hackathon. Take the pressure off, give yourself some time, break it down do some research. Mine are the things that have been said about you for different words. And don’t worry, I’m going to explain all this in a minute. Play with it. draft it, and then write some more.

Rebekah: Take the pressure off, but give yourself space to be able to do what you need to do. And you’ll see that I’ve got these end of life cards here as one of the visuals. Card sorting, even just writing down your skills and your qualities and who you are, just nutting them out like they’re bullet points and sitting there with them and playing with them and seeing which ones come out and all that sort of stuff, can be a really helpful exercise to remind you to not be quite so attached to what you’re writing and to not try and do it in a big chunk.

Rebekah: So pre production cycle is always you first. So think about what you can do. Client second, what do they need? The values. The values are like the table that the two of you meet to talk to each other on. So the values that you share, you want to do great copy for people. You want [00:13:00] to raise up this wonderful startup scene that’s coming out of somewhere, whatever the situation may be.

Rebekah: Then you’ve got your skills and your attributes next. So these are your wibbly wobblies plus your hard skills and then the technical aspects. So that’s when you add in. writing a kickass entry line to the bio or start talking about SEO and all of those sorts of things. They come last because you can add them in after you’ve got what you’re happy with.

Rebekah: If you started in the reverse, you’ll always end up falling over. Get to know yourself. This is me and my rescue dog, George. So sit down for a little minute. I always talk to my patreons about this particular exercise from Neil Gaiman from his commencement speech. And I think it’s 2012 where he addresses a bunch of arts university students.

Rebekah: And he talks about how artists have three skills. They can have ability, Reliability, what I call easeability, which is getting along with [00:14:00] people easily. And also in this post COVID, bushfire, flying monkey sort of world, we also need adaptability. Now, when Neil Gaiman gives his speech, I highly recommend watching it.

Rebekah: He talks about how the ability, reliability, and the being easy to deal with. You only need two out of the three. So many people think they have to have all of the laundry list, all of the things going for them. But if you can be reliable and easy to get along with, you’ll get just as many bookings as someone that fancies themselves as top as the pops and who is also really reliable, that kind of thing.

Rebekah: So think about really what your core focus is. Are you easy to get along with? Are you really good at what you do? Can you pivot on a dime? These sorts of things are really important to our clients, and they’re actually what they’re looking for, and that’s what you should have in your bio, is the demonstrations that that you can actually follow through with these things, and it’s also a really interesting exercise for yourself, right?

Rebekah: Write out your working life. Think about the [00:15:00] interesting adventures that you’ve had. Just spend some time throwing down all the jobs that you’ve had, and all of the jobs. If you started working when you were 14 and 9 months like I did. and had a, like a crappy little retail job, it actually helped you become really good at customer service.

Rebekah: Or if you had a job at university, working in a bakery, cleaning out things, maybe it taught you an attention to detail, but you don’t actually think about these things in those terms until you sit down and you write about them. And then also add in those things that are like that time. I, that time I helped a client do something unusual.

Rebekah: That time I got Four tracksuits, hand embroidered, and an opera house tile to the airport within three hours for people that were competing in the Boston Marathon. That’s a true story. These sorts of stories will infuriate you. inform what you’re doing and make you realize some of the softer skills that you have so that you can then put them in your thing later.

Rebekah: And you can actually use these [00:16:00] little bits of bio that you write if you’re a blog writer for stories later on your blog. So it’s not a wasted exercise by any stretch of the imagination. Think about your qualities over your qualifications. Look, qualifications are great. You’ve worn that floppy hat.

Rebekah: You’ve got that PhD. You front up every year to get your rubber stamp on whatever you’re doing. And this is fantastic stuff, and it is really important to some clients. But they also need to know the qualities that you possess that they’re looking for. So if you think about standard jobs, they’re looking for things like teamwork, how you get along with people, how you can solve problems and all that sort of stuff, right?

Rebekah: So think about how you relate. And for anyone that hasn’t got a formal qualification, the focus on qualities can really help you feel more confident. Then theme and dream and plan and play. Literally have fun with what you’ve got going here. I talk about theme because on my LinkedIn profile, if you’ve ever read it, I actually write it as if it’s a dating profile because that’s where seven and a half years of experience [00:17:00] for me came from.

Rebekah: Other times I’ve written it as other things, it’s really important to play with your bio and have fun with it at the same time. Simple prosiders. Think about the customers that you’ve already had and break them down. Who are you? Who were your customers? What problems do you solve for them?

Rebekah: What are the common positive feedbacks that you receive from them? What sorts of stories, tips and tricks do they care about? What sorts of things have you said to them previously that they’ve really attached to you? What have they sent you in an email? All of this sort of stuff. How can you make their lives easier?

Rebekah: Those stories that I was talking about before that you write down, You’ll be surprised how much you remember when you start writing those sorts of things down and what that means for your business. And think about also to how they can recommend you to their friends. So what would they say? This is why we need to stay away from jargon and stuff like that, because how they explain you to a friend of theirs may be entirely different.

Rebekah: But if you break down the simple personas and think about the ideal [00:18:00] client that you want, then it’s a little bit easier to mine all of the information that you’ve already got. at your disposal and put it in a bio. When you are talking to a client, you are actually declaring your intentions. It is your intention to solve problems.

Rebekah: It is your intention to overcome objections with that communication plan. It is your intention to educate newbies so their startup can actually get new members. Referencing experiences. So a lot of stuff in health and mental health and not for profit is all about that. Bringing people together through that sort of stuff.

Rebekah: Maybe you’re allaying fears for them. An FAQ is a classic example of a very positive way to allay client fears. Sparking imagination, and above all else, you’re offering hope. So when you are saying, I am a freelancer and I am available to book, you are saying to whatever person you’re going to work with next, I’m I am here to help [00:19:00] you and make whatever the heck you’re doing much easier to deal with.

Rebekah: I’m going to elevate your business. Even if it’s not the clicks and whistles that you expect, we’re going to get somewhere with this and that’s what should be incorporated in your bios. Start mining. If you don’t want to think about yourself so much, do your research, look for trends and keywords and how they’re applied to your industries.

Rebekah: Go through all of the old client comments and testimonials you’ve ever had. Circle the keywords they use, circle the values they talk about, get the sentiments out of them, write them down, remind yourself of these qualities old bios and love letters that you’ve written to yourself in your journal, all of this sort of stuff.

Rebekah: stuff comes through, things that other people have said about you in the positive collect them all up and build like a collage. Also, if you’re new to the scene and you don’t have this sort of stuff established, reverse engineer job descriptions and grant applications. Find out what their keywords are.

Rebekah: Find out how they’re referencing things. [00:20:00] Look at those sorts of stuff and pull them all together and just have them in front of you. And then, like I said, you can write them all out on flashcards and put them in a hierarchy to see which bits matter to you. What values matter to you the most? What qualities and skills will get you the work and that kind of stuff.

Rebekah: And also review questions in groups. We often speak in language that our clients don’t. The more we work in particular industries, the more the geek speak comes through. But you have to remember that sometimes people don’t know that language yet. They just know they’ve got a problem they want solved. So if you can go into groups and see how people reference what values matter.

Rebekah: asking for a marketer or talking about graphic design or whatever and use that language. You’re literally paraphrasing and reflecting their meanings back to them so that they can find you when they’re searching for you later. Kath and Kim had to include it. It’s nice. It’s different. Okay. So think about The sorts of values that you hold dear.

Rebekah: [00:21:00] This is about attracting the clients that you want, not the ones that are going to muck you about. So what values do you hold dear? What motivates you to get up in the morning? What kind of things do you believe in? What kind of things do you care about for the freelance culture itself or for small business and all of the things that we have to deal with?

Rebekah: It’s hard yak. May as well put that sort of in there as well. What qualities do you lean in on most in yourself? How do you, How do they influence your work processes? And also what are the physical demonstrations of you at work? So what have you done and what have you won? What are the ways that you work with clients?

Rebekah: All of this sort of stuff can come through and make you sound like you have a point of difference that matters. Now on the Freelance Jungle, blog. I have a lot of these articles written out for people on the Patreon that allows them to break these things down. There’s one on LinkedIn, there’s one on Instagram, there’s one on bios, there’s one on point of difference.

Rebekah: So that sort of information is available [00:22:00] to you if you really want a deep dive. But just remember, done is better than perfect. So lower your adrenaline. If you’re not a person that does a lot of writing, or even if you are and you just hate writing about yourselves. Go exercise, go walk the dog, go and get some nature sing a song, play a violin, heck masturbate if it’ll help, I don’t care.

Rebekah: Just get the adrenaline down so that you can focus on the work at hand. Set the mood, make yourself feel comfortable, make yourself feel supported. Don’t do it when the kids and family are around to interrupt because your brain’s gonna try and interrupt you as much as possible anyway. And also, sit with the discomfort, don’t let the internet tempt you.

Rebekah: Vomit on the page, draft, edit, and draft again. I’ve never, ever met a writer that can write their bio from woe to go without a typo, without a spelling error, that they are 100 percent happy with in one sitting. [00:23:00] Everybody drafts, and it’s really important that you understand that. Nobody expects you to get it right the first time, but it should be right where you want it to be before it goes live.

Rebekah: Cry, eat some snacks and do it again. This is how writers get it done. So shaping the focus. I love this quote from the ideas writer author Teresa Iezzi, which is copy has the added burden of being beautiful or making you laugh whilst also telling you what to do. You are directing your client to feel something to connect with you and then take action.

Rebekah: So the client hunger that you’ve got there, right? All of those multi potentialites that are out there, all of those people looking to pivot, all of this sort of stuff, this is for you if you’re struggling with what you’ve got going down. You’ve got your bread and butter services that keep you alive.

Rebekah: You’ve got to put them in there somewhere. You’ve got the aspirational services that maybe you want to try, or the things that aren’t making as much money yet, or they’re going to be what [00:24:00] you do in favour of the bread and butter stuff that you want to leave behind, or it’s a pivot that you’re trying. That sells your point of difference, whereas the bread and butter solves your problem.

Rebekah: And then there’s the upsell. This is the stuff that demonstrates a deeper understanding of the client and a more comprehensive approach to service delivery. So an upsell is welcome to the feast. It affirms that you are a customer. customer centered delivery system. But what I want to affirm with the whole upsell thing is it’s not a laundry list of all of the things that you can do.

Rebekah: It is about saying, yes, I can write the concept content for your brand new website, but did you know that I can also continue the conversations with the people that intersect with the website by writing your monthly newsletter and providing content for your blog to help them on the journey of getting to know you over a three month retrainer.

Rebekah: that kind of stuff. So it’s about taking that core bread and butter service and the aspirational stuff and looking at the [00:25:00] linkage and upselling that, not trying to be all things to everyone. Triage your writing business writing needs to fall into a sort of like a folding category of, is it useful? Is it attractive?

Rebekah: And is it search friendly? So useful. I’m not going to read all of this out cause we’ve got a lot to get to, but. I want you to understand that a useful profile, primarily, it will solve a problem. It will reiterate how it solves that problem and it will keep talking about that problem and how you are the solution for the entire time.

Rebekah: Then, it will invite the reader to action. The attractive profile is something that stands out when there are those five other website abouts in the tabs or how many profiles they’ve got listed on the directory open in the different tabs. Okay, so this is how you make yourself stand out in the crowd.

Rebekah: Is there something about your personality that is endearing? There’s got to be some sweetness in there. There’s got to be something sticky and personal. [00:26:00] Is it persuasive? Are you saying to them, I’m here, you can trust me and we’re going to go and do something. Always assume that you’re going to work together and treat the conversation as such.

Rebekah: Does the window display accurately reflect the best of the store? Okay, so if you offer three key channels, accurately reflect those key, three key channels, even if your focus is on one of them. So for example, I do copy content coaching, community. Okay. But if I’m on a community directory for community manager websites, the community stuff comes first.

Rebekah: And then I look at how that everything else relates to support community rather than saying actually I wrote mostly copy. And that’s what I want to focus on today. It’s got to match the platform and match the hierarchy that you’re building. Where’s the proof you’re worth the punt. There’s got to be something in there that clicks with someone and says, yes, this is the right pony to bet on.

Rebekah: Okay. [00:27:00] This is the person. They understand that I have a fear of failure. They understand that I hate Excel, whatever the situation is. And is there a little hook and a little mystery? Okay. If you’re always giving your clients absolutely everything they want all of the time, what you’ll end up with is probably a client that has no respect for you.

Rebekah: They need to work for it a little bit and they need to be seduced a little bit. There needs to be something a little bit special about you. And is it searchable? So have you included keywords that they understand? Is it jargon free? Are you dropping your knowledge in there? Are you attracting them?

Rebekah: And also the most important part of being searchable after the keywords is letting them know where to go next, right? So you’ve got your now’s, your soon’s when it comes to your customers. Some of them will be right now. I need to buy this sandwich. Some will be like, I’m looking for platters of sandwich, but in the future, And laters are like, I don’t know whether I really want sandwiches, I still got to [00:28:00] compare them with the pancakes.

Rebekah: So you’ve got to write to those different groups, but also give them some way to go so that you can hold on to them. Because we always forget when we save things for later on. And the majority of your clients will be coming back to you rather than booking straight ahead. Be ruthless. Is it relevant? Does it demonstrate what’s going on and who you are?

Rebekah: Have you covered it? Is it too much? So is it too much going on and not one singular focus? Is it too long? Is it too much for them to digest and too much for them to wade through? And will it lead to action? That’s just beyond the call to action. You’re really having a conversation to persuade someone to act.

Rebekah: And profile wrangling. This is really important too, right? Your profiles, anywhere that you put them out, are not permanent. So make your life easier. Just track them all in an Excel. Put your logins next to it. Put the link to the profile thing. And then put a little indicator of what profile you’ve got there.

Rebekah: This is my copy [00:29:00] one. This is my community one. Or this is my Wollongong one. As opposed to my Australia wide one. Whatever the breakdown is for you, so you know. Build a contingency plan that prompts you for updates. If you move house, you need to know that you’ve got to go through and change all of those bios.

Rebekah: If you decide to drop a service, maybe you need to know that four of those bios need updating. That sort of stuff. Refresh yearly and tweak quarterly. That way, even if you’ve done it and you’ve written it, you can go back and keep iterating on it and your bios will actually get stronger if you follow that process.

Rebekah: Thanks. You can do a really clever thing which is running an A B test. You can have two similar directories or two similar sorts of services that you’re selling on one, on two different sites. You can test which one gets the better cut through. One might be so business it hurts, the other one might be so you it hurts.

Rebekah: Then you can test whether being real and crazy and punk or whatever your deal is works for you or [00:30:00] whether you do have to keep the stiff upper lip, right? And then learn by doing. Repeat the phrases, reuse the content, and say it out loud. Talk your bios through. Rehearse them in front of the mirror. Do it naked if you’re really stressed out so that you feel vulnerable for another reason and can really connect with it.

Rebekah: Propagating your profiles. I’m not going to go through this bit because I think we’re going to run out of time. But this is the dealing with the job experience stuff, right? How did you how did your past education and all of your work experiences educate you in the future? So when you’ve got a LinkedIn, And you’ve got all of these jobs from the time that you stepped out the door from TAFE or uni right through to now where you’ve gotten older and wiser and more mature in what you want in your business life.

Rebekah: It doesn’t mean you have to throw the old experiences under the bus. Maybe, They taught you some soft skills, even if they’re not directly relative. And I’ve had these conversation with people that have [00:31:00] become school teachers, bounced into firefighters and then come out being educators. It’s a totally different thing.

Rebekah: But the skills remain the same. There’s still teamwork in amongst things. They’re still dealing with people and high pressure situations. There’s still crisis management, all of this sort of stuff. So instead of looking at your LinkedIn and getting frightened of irrelevant jobs. Look and see whether they’ve actually helped you with softer skills that you’ve learnt along the way.

Rebekah: Like all of the hospitality people I know are damn fine customer service people who can also wrangle their clients because they learnt at a very young age how to throw someone out of a bar and not put up with someone’s bad behaviour. So that sort of stuff can really help you. You’ve just got to find the businessy way to write it up.

Rebekah: And how does it create a standout results? So how do avoid common problems and understand certain things that people might need as customers and clients to you [00:32:00] now through applying those old skills that you picked up throwing people onto the street because they had too much to drink or whatever the deal may be.

Rebekah: If it seems irrelevant, just remember that customer service leads to client management. Everything that we do leads to somewhere else, right? Your shame is someone else’s proof of value. If you’ve worked in jobs that you hate, you can even do that thing where you say, I don’t, I can’t believe that I washed so many dishes in the entire of my university career, but you know what?

Rebekah: It really helped me to get organized, to stay on my feet and show that I have value. an enormous amount of stamina to just keep going and keep going and get through. Someone, is going to make it. Someone somewhere is going to have that appeal to them. And that’s the important thing to remember.

Rebekah: It’s all part of your story. Consider the links. and how you relate it to things. So always look at what you’re doing now and how you can link it back to other stuff. [00:33:00] So it’s not just a laundry list of skills in any section of your LinkedIn bio or any other bio that you write. It is actually showing that someone is progressing through their career, picking up skills, growing as a person and coming into being the badass warrior they are now.

Rebekah: through learning lots of different things, dealing with lots of different people and taking the good with the bad. Formal work experience should be treated as a support actor to what you do now. Unrelated work experiences and exercising capability building. So I commonly share that working in the dating industry taught me how to deal with people who had heightened emotions which makes me awesome at dealing with community and crisis.

Rebekah: You haven’t lived until you’ve had to explain to someone that you can’t give them a refund for the fact that someone told them the wrong dress size in a dating profile, right? It’s a very important skill and it makes for a great icebreaker when I’m meeting clients. [00:34:00] It makes sense when you explain it like that, but it doesn’t on face value.

Rebekah: And that’s where your storytelling skills come into play. Or maybe if you’re a designer, you can do it in a comic and panel it out or a web developer and you build some kind of weird ipsum thing that explains bad client behavior or whatever the situation may be. Have fun with it. And then there’s the friction that comes into these things.

Rebekah: With those dating profiles, let me tell you, if you’ve ever walked along the beach, nobody could move with all the people that say they do it when they’re in their dating profiles. I like long walks along the beach, cocktails in the sun, and I read Trotsky. No, it doesn’t happen. Please stop trying to sound like you’re somebody else, just be yourself.

Rebekah: He needs to be taller than 6 foot and under 62. 7 kilograms. Apart from the fact that you probably wouldn’t find that guy. It [00:35:00] also sets a tone, so whenever you’re talking about I don’t want and I don’t want and I don’t want and I don’t want You’re setting up a negative situation. What people really want when they’re stressed and they need help, which all of our clients are stressed and need help is someone to say, I can take the burden from you.

Rebekah: I understand where you’re coming from. I’m compassionate towards it. I have empathy. I’m here to help you. You can give me that problem and I’ll take it away and I’ll deal with it. So instead of looking at who you have to weed out, look at how you have to encourage people. And also, if you want to weed out the control freaks saying things like I don’t do this and I don’t do that isn’t going to weed them out.

Rebekah: It’s probably going to attract them more because that’s their sort of personality, right? So if you can be optimistic and positive and reaffirm for realistic behaviors, then you can actually get further. I can’t give you a dress size. [00:36:00] What happens between people and clients and dating people and all the rest of it is if you appear to be something that you are not, they will get disappointed when they meet you.

Rebekah: You might be absolutely fabulous to deal with, but seem really extroverted on your website and turn up and be a card carrying introvert. The difference between what they’ve read on their website, what they’ve read on your website and how you’ve behaved at that coffee meeting or in that zoom call is profound to the client and it immediately takes the trust that they’re trying to build with you and puts it on rickety ground.

Rebekah: So you’ve really got to make sure that. The exuberance that you might have when you write copy if you’re a really good writer but not so great at peopling is tempered so that they can find the difference between the two when they meet you. Also, don’t be the one that says they can solve all the problems.

Rebekah: Turn up to the [00:37:00] meeting, they fire all the questions at you and you keep saying, I don’t know. You’ve set yourself up to be on a too high a standard. So allow people to be on a journey with you and write from that perspective. You don’t have all the answers. You can’t have all the answers for all of the clients.

Rebekah: So don’t pretend that you do in the copy that you write. Instead, allow them to understand that you know the subjects well enough that if they ask of something of you, you’ll learn it, you’ll build it, you can take them on a journey. It’s a totally different thing. Is that your ex’s tongue in your ear? I had to ask someone this question because they put up a photo for a dating profile and literally had someone around them and their ex was sticking their tongue in their ear as a joke, but still.

Rebekah: When you put your photos up, when you present and all the rest of it, try and make sure that it’s, about you in the present, who you are. not you when you were attached to your old work or not you when you’re attached to somebody. And that goes for your profile photo [00:38:00] as well as what you’re writing.

Rebekah: So even if you’re fresh into freelancing and you’re coming from a particular background and the background covers most of what you are and who you are, just try and have a little bit of a separation between the two so that it doesn’t look like you’re hanging on to old things. Everyone thinks they’re a nice guy.

Rebekah: Everyone thinks they’re organized. Everyone thinks they’re top of the pops. Everyone thinks they’re the favorite copyright or whatever the throwaway line is. What you really need to do is have proof, right? So if you’re going to say something, back it up with proof. If you can’t prove that you’re Australia’s favorite designer, then don’t put it on the website.

Rebekah: Okay. And also I’ve never seen the Harbor bridge without the bridge until I saw your profile photo. I don’t know what it is about freelancers, but we’re frightened of putting our faces on our website. We’re frightened of putting our bio photos out there and all the rest of it. Look, a nice clear photo of you as you look now makes you [00:39:00] easier to spot at that coffee meeting, but it also makes you easier to connect with when they see you on Zoom and all the rest of it.

Rebekah: Don’t be afraid to put up who you are. They’re not buying you for your face unless you’re a face model. It’s okay to just be you. Be confident. Stop making the client work. So if you’re going to have geographical information and it’s part of the process, make sure you put it in. A classic example of that is people that boost ads saying, I’m offering workshops in such and such on Instagram, and they’ve got no mention of where they live.

Rebekah: ever on anything and you don’t know and then you go I’d really like to go to that workshop so you ferret through 14 photos and you finally find them dining in Perth when you’re in Wollongong. It’s just really frustrating you don’t follow the person or anything. Make sure that if it’s important to have geographical location information in your profile that you include it and also like I said on the Freelance Jungle directory [00:40:00] it’s is what people search on.

Rebekah: So they’re looking for you. They can zoom out to the whole of Australia and New Zealand, include everyone that’s working in Spain and Korea and all the rest of it. But if you try and game the system, people won’t be able to search for you on their parameters and you won’t be put up on any of these directories, right?

Rebekah: You have to put it there for the client’s purposes, not your own. They need to find you. They’ll put that in, put it there for them. Say your name. All of these royal ways in bios, it’s not great for recall. Use whatever your business name is. So I’m Rebecca Lambert, but then I also have unashamedly creative and the Freelance Jungle.

Rebekah: When I’m talking to people, I don’t say we offer, I say the Freelance Jungle offers. I want them to remember the name. I want them to remember who I am. I don’t want them to remember we. And it’s also an SEO thing as well. So when someone’s searching for your name, if your whole [00:41:00] bio’s just got it once, and then it’s all we all the way down, then it’s not going to be as strong as if you’ve actually used it.

Rebekah: It also sounds a bit more professional, to be honest. Don’t make them frown. Keep your sentences short. Keep it succinct. Keep it on point. Don’t confuse them. Have a focus. Don’t put four or five things in. Choose the platform that you’re on. Look at what it is and make the focus very clear. If you’re on a legal platform and you’re a law talking dude, you talk about your law stuff.

Rebekah: You don’t talk about your side thing as a musician. It’s really simple. Be easy to contact. Make it really obvious. There’s a reason why we include calls to action on websites. It’s because people need to know and to be prompted for what action they should take. So if you want them to contact you, if you want them to read that next blog, include the contact information and include an actionable next step.

Rebekah: There are people on the Freelance Jungle, directory that haven’t included any way to contact them other than the directory, [00:42:00] which makes it really hard for those self researching clients out there that are trying to find out more about you to actually do that little bit of investigation work.

Rebekah: Because everyone wants to feel like they’ve discovered something, so if you don’t give them the opportunity to discover you by giving them more stuff to read and places for them to check you out a little bit more, then it makes it really hard for them to feel like they’re in and test your profile.

Rebekah: Whenever you put a new LinkedIn profile up, a new thing on the Freelance Jungle Directory, update your Facebook profile or whatever, geeky shit can happen, right? Sometimes when you copy from a Word document through to a bio or a thing, the profile links will drop off. Sometimes there’s a glitch in the matrix and the words all get jibble jammed together.

Rebekah: Make sure you reread the bio, make sure you click on all the links and that you test that it’s functioning and it works before you let it go, right? So that you know that you haven’t just gone and wasted a bunch of work [00:43:00] making a really cool profile that doesn’t get anything because it can’t function properly.

Rebekah: And async specific platforms. Okay, so match your profile to their core offerings. Martina Donkers is an amazing grant writer and teacher. She’s done coaching with me. She’s taught me how to win grants and it’s been amazing. And one of the simplest things that she said is always read the information that’s available to you from whoever’s offering the grant or the organization.

Rebekah: so much Jen. Look at their keywords, look at how they phrase things, and then mirror their language and give it back to them. Really use their terms, let them know that you, they’re heard. It’s called reflective practice, or reflecting the meaning, in psych circles, where you paraphrase questions, and you give them back to people in a way that they understand using the words that they are thinking.

Rebekah: They’ve used with you to describe their situation. But it’s really important that you do that with [00:44:00] your profiles when you’re looking at different sites. So that you’re actually matching their theme and how they work. All of the people that write their bios and then go and copy them a hundred times in all of the different places are really missing out on an opportunity.

Rebekah: to focus on core skills, match it with the audience of that that website or that directory or that social media platform, and also making it really hard for themselves later on to tell stronger stories, because you want to highlight the aspects that matter to you. You want to speak the keywords that they care about, and you want to sound like you fit in with the bigger picture.

Rebekah: the platform that you’re on, but then also sound a little bit different too, so you stand out. And you can’t do that if you’re just copying and pasting the same bio across 1200 platforms, because you’ll never get the same result and you’ll never get the bump that you need on each platform in terms of how people search [00:45:00] it and all the rest of it.

Rebekah: Take it to the next level, read the examples of the profiles that are on there, don’t mention your exciting service that’s coming soon in 2019, because often people don’t get back to that exciting service to take it off and it leaves people like me in a weird situation of having to clean it off for you because it looks really old and out of date, or find out what to happen with it next kind of thing and leave it there and let you miss out on business.

Rebekah: So make sure that you look at these platforms, you look under the hood of their rankings and what people go to them for. Use this sort of intelligence to create a profile that’s going to excuse me, sit really well in amongst all of the other profiles that are there. And also don’t fight with the administrator.

Rebekah: I’ve legit legitimately had people yell at me over their profiles not working and it’s 80 percent of the time it’s user error. They don’t know how to use the platform and I’m talking them through it and then [00:46:00] they go, Oh, I didn’t do that. I did this. And then I assumed that by that stage they’ve yelled at me.

Rebekah: So I’m not really a fan. It’s also true of the platforms that you’re in. Don’t try to fight them. Follow their structures, right? Allow them to work for you instead of thinking that you know better because They’ve set it up a specific way to help people be able to search on their system And you don’t know how their search is run.

Rebekah: You don’t know how their algorithm is run So even if they’re asking you questions that are repetitive play the game So for example with our directory on the Freelance Jungle, yes, you have to put in your suburb You have to put in your city you have to put in your postcode all of this stuff will help run the search But that’s because Google Maps needs that information to drop that pin.

Rebekah: It won’t do it without it. I can’t fight with Google, so please don’t fight with me. These are the sorts of things that you’ve got to remember when you’re using platforms. Follow the long and play the [00:47:00] game, but just make it a bit spicy in the content that you use rather than trying to break the platform or fight with it.

Rebekah: You’re not the Phantom of the Opera. So Ted is feeling really relaxed. He’s in his chair. He’s got his glasses on. He’s wearing his headphones. He’s having a great day. He’s McDaddy by Fly Freelancing. And he’s doing what’s called the post pandemic relax photo. So there was a movement in the United States that spread to other places to get rid of the business style headshot in 2020 and replace it with something that was a little bit more reflective of the fact that the world was working from home.

Rebekah: Ted is an example of that kind of photo. You can get away with that kind of thing. But if you look at Ted also, Ted’s the only one that’s featured. 60 percent of the space is taken up with Ted’s face. Ted’s smiling. He’s looking at the camera. It’s a very clear image of him. It’s black and white. So it stands out in a crowd.

Rebekah: If he had his hair, he’d probably have something funky about his business and [00:48:00] he’s playing that post pandemic relax with your photos. Don’t hide yourself away. Don’t black them out. Don’t take the photo that looks like you’re in the bottom of some dingy nightclub somewhere and put it up.

Rebekah: You’re not looking really cool. You’re hiding your face, right? Unfortunately, online people don’t want you to hide your face away. They want your face to be up there because it’s proof that you actually exist. You’re not going to be some scammer that’s going to steal all of their money. They can relate to you and they can get to know you.

Rebekah: So please, when you’re choosing your photo, have fun with it for sure. Make it the way that you want it to be, right? Mine’s very casual at the moment. I took my headshots down as soon as I heard that this post pandemic relax thing was happening. And it’s made me feel really more confident with sharing my photo and putting it on my website.

Rebekah: Maybe follow that route until you feel a little bit more confident and then can go and do what you need to do. And also, if your [00:49:00] headshot doesn’t feel right to you up against a wall in a business suit somewhere, do something that is more reflective of you. I’ve done some beautiful photos with Ryan Lineker, who’s a professional photographer, of me down at the lake with pelicans.

Rebekah: Because Windang is a really big part of what I do and being very proud of the Yalawarra, I like that, right? It makes me feel confident, but it also makes me stand out from the crowd. So think about what your version of that might be as well. Tips to help you. Inspiration is a rescue dog building trust.

Rebekah: Okay. So your clients want to build trust with you. They want to be inspired, treat them like a rescue dog, encourage them to come along. Lots of traits, lots of pats, lots of encouragement, lots of praise. That’s what you need to give them in your profile. You are not Eminem. You don’t get one shot to get it right.

Rebekah: It’s not set in stone. Write it, throw it out, write it again. It’s okay. And if you’re revising it every month or every three months or [00:50:00] whatever to get it right, then that’s okay too. Politicians repeat stuff for a reason. You want to aid in somebody’s recall, so you continually put out the key phrases that you want them to, know about you and what you want them to say to their friends and what you want them to say to the person they have to justify the budget with.

Rebekah: You are painting the harbour bridge, so at the beginning of the year, start off, freshen up all your profiles, make sure all your services are in line, travel on that bridge, turn around, come back, do the same thing the next year. pot it overnight and come back to it. Think about it. Did I say the right thing?

Rebekah: Can I spot that typo now? Am I feeling confident? Take as long as you need. If you’re using humor, please play the joke on yourself, not on other people. So Steve Martin has a little quote that he’s basically the best jokes are the ones played upon one’s self. In this, It’s day and age where you’ve got to be careful that you don’t accidentally punch down on people.

Rebekah: It’s really [00:51:00] important to use humor in such a way, excuse me, that it minimizes damage to other people. So look for positive ways that you can inject humor, but also make sure that it’s focused on you being a dorkable or being a bit silly or whatever, not trying to make fun of other people. Scan like a human instead of a terminator.

Rebekah: Everybody scans on the web, so write it so that it’s easy to read and it’s not overwhelming, but also make sure that there’s a core focus in there. Limit it to about two or three key points so that people can recall it. Don’t be a terminator and have a whole host of information that you’re going to expect them to record because they just won’t.

Rebekah: Oh, and by the way, clients hate the sales crap too, right? It’s estimated that about. 40 to 50 percent of us are introverts, so we naturally stay away from the crappy sales sort of stuff and it seems disingenuous and all the rest of it. Your clients probably work in industries that expose them to marketing and [00:52:00] advertising, all of this kind of stuff.

Rebekah: All of the advertising impressions we have every day, it all leads to a big bully base where we don’t want to drown in any more sales crap. So if you can be the purple smurf of authentic love in the land of the glittering fairy purple smurf, you’re going to get all the work because you’re appealing and you stand out from the crowd and you don’t just look like some preening little fairy at the back there.

Rebekah: Review your profile. Does my profile make me sound credible, trustworthy, and sought after? Does my content tell my prospects what they need to know? Am I building something here? So can they go somewhere else and find out more about you? Does what I’m building have two prongs? Is there my attitude and my creativity?

Rebekah: Is there my reliability and my ability? Is there my love of the local and then also my ability to service people? Australia. Whatever your two prongs are, whatever those two little flip flops are that you want to put on your dazzling little feet, [00:53:00] work them out and put them on. Is it so easy to get in touch with me?

Rebekah: A kitten with mittens reciting Uncle Dick Whitten could do it. I miss the Whittington bit. So that is your education for today children. There is a replay, Shannon. That’s correct. Okay that is the presentation. It is available in a, for goodness sake, I’m having such a bad day with words today.

Rebekah: You can watch the action replay via the same link, so if, like Shannon, you’ve had to jump off and go and get the kids, you can. If you have a question for me, now is the time to ask it, if you have any questions or comments, so there’s one in the question thing. Yep, there is a replay. It’s via the same link, so there’s always a replay on the Crowdcast stuff, which is why we choose what we, this platform, so that you can always [00:54:00] come back to it when you need to.

Rebekah: Anyone else got any questions, any comments, anything they want to share? You’re all running off to go and get family members. I’ve timed it really well. Surely there’s some Perth people out there that still want to play. Okay. Bring your questions through. But also the other thing is too, with your bio, is to shake it off.

Rebekah: Practice makes perfect. Be comfortable with yourself. The whole write drunk, edit sober, people misinterpret that message. It’s about getting messy and playful, and then coming back and putting all the serious stuff into it later, right? So you can always add in your keywords later, you can always add in your top lines, you can always add in all of the special stuff that you think you’ve got to put in, but as long as you get the basics happening, you can decorate the cake any way you want to, okay?

Rebekah: Make sure that you update your directory. Listing, [00:55:00] because there’s some changes coming with that soon and I’d like to be able to put you out there for work and all the rest of it. Oh, Heather, what is that? Some people put loads of photos of themselves and it all looks a bit furth, forced, but it seems to book the work and you don’t understand that.

Rebekah: That’s cause there’s people that kind of, okay. There’s a reason why that works, Heather, is because some people like reality TV shows and some people would prefer story. So the people that watch reality TV shows often look at those sorts of things and think, I could do this better. Don’t I feel great about my life?

Rebekah: Cause that person’s a rolling cow, all of those sorts of things. So some of that stuff will come through in it. We look at things to see how we can compare ourselves and how we can better things and all that sort of stuff. So there’s part of that plays into it. There are others of us that would prefer that there was story to it and a tells its own title.

Rebekah: So if you’re a storyteller, you’re going to let your work speak for [00:56:00] you over the profile photos and the picture of you in the bikini. And that’s okay too, right? We’re talking about finding the clients that aren’t going to be disappointed when they meet you. So you’re talking about the person that’s going to appeal to.

Rebekah: Okay. Hopefully that helps.

Rebekah: All right, folks. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you very much for joining me today. And if you have any suggestions for the free sessions that you want to see, let me know. Cause I do love doing a bit of death by PowerPoint. And if you want to join us for any of the Patreon ones, all you need to do is commit to 3 or more a month, which is great.

Rebekah: It’s really bloody cheap for the amount of work that I put into them, to get your stuff happening. We’ve got courses, we’ve got special little sessions you can attend, we’ve got events, there’s content, there’s a special podcast that I produce, all kinds of stuff that you can get as a Patreon. Alright folks, but yeah [00:57:00] thanks so much for joining me and I’ll see you next time.



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