During my research for this article, I was looking for the dumbest, most ridiculous, Upwork profile title examples to give you a quick laugh… But after looking through a bunch and only finding this:
I realized that Upwork freelancers take their Upwork profile title seriously. I noticed three different types of title that kept showing up again and again:
- One with keywords (e.g. video editor: Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro, After Effects)
- A generic one (e.g. photoshop expert)
- A market-y one with credentials (e.g. ex-Google, award-winning, etc.)
As I was brainstorming ways to see which type performs better to land clients, I realized that there is no clean way to separate the impact with certainty since each freelancer can see their number of profile views but there is no way of knowing if that is due to the profile title.
We can speculate but those profile views could be from other things like sending out proposals. That means that while we know that other things are guaranteed to bring us more clients, tweaking the profile title is more so based on how good we feel it might sound to clients.
Either way, if you are still interested in improving your Upwork profile title, let’s dive in.
There is a writing discipline called direct response copywriting and its purpose is to trigger a response from the reader to take a certain action.
If they don’t sell anything, they don’t make any money. So over the years, direct response marketers have run tests to see what performs the best.
Next, let’s dive into some real, proven, title examples, shall we?
24 proven Upwork profile title examples found in the wild
I have divided them into 12 different categories depending on the type of work, so you can find something that matches your skills:
- Digital marketing
- Graphic design
- Data science and analytics
- Video editor
- Admin/Virtual assistant/customer service
Next, we’ll also look at three points you can use to craft your own winning headline.
Digital marketing examples
Graphic design examples
Data science and analytics examples
Video editor examples
Admin/Virtual assistant/customer service examples
Bad Upwork profile title examples
The good, the bad and the ugly
What do you notice with these “bad” Upwork profile titles compared to the ones before?
I noticed that they are more generalized and some are even optimized for specific keywords. So how come it’s possible for those freelancers to earn great money even though their headline isn’t perfect?
If we scroll back up, we’ll notice that they’ve earned a lot of money!
Well, the Upwork profile title might not be as important as we first thought if other freelancers can be successful without the perfect title.
Instead, they focus on more important things like which type of client to service and which problems to solve for them.
Three points on writing titles that attract clients
Point #1: Think about the clients you want to attract
The Upwork profile title examples show us not to think about ourselves but rather focus on what our clients want. They only care about us in as much as it helps them.
A good place to start is by focusing on the industry or the problem we solve for our clients.
We are often told that the more niche-specific we can go, the better. With Upwork, it is tricky because we have to specifically cater to the clients that are on the platform.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been running out of the shower to share a great freelance idea with my girlfriend, only to discover that there were no clients looking for that service on Upwork.
For example, you might want to work with language schools but if you can only find one every few months, that isn’t going to work out long-term.
There is no specific number you should be looking for but let’s do some quick ‘back of the napkin’-math to calculate what we can earn, huh?
We can use the data I shared in this guide as a benchmark. I landed a client for about every five proposals I sent.
The average project size after Upwork’s fees was $528 but to keep it simple, let’s stick to $500 per project.
If we are able to find and apply for one relevant project per day, that would lead to six clients each month (30 days/5 proposals).
With $500 per project, that comes out to $3,000/month (6 clients*$500).
With digital marketing services, I’ve noticed that some clients show up over and over again like:
- Real estate
The best way to figure out how specific you need to go is by researching your target clients.
Look up projects you’d like to work on and note keywords, phrases, or patterns that keep coming up again and again. Those will be a good fit for your saved search filters in Upwork.
Going back to the example with language schools, we want to pick a slightly broader target market, so we know that there are enough clients to sustain our freelance business long-term.
If we can only find five relevant projects each month, we are more likely to earn $500.
That has its benefits, too. If you have a full-time job and want to earn a little extra on the side, you’ll have an easier time landing the work because you’ll come across as ultra-specialized to clients but you won’t be able to scale it up until you work with other clients as well.
That might be Facebook ads for ecommerce businesses or Facebook ads for French businesses rather than Facebook ads for language schools.
That was a bit of a detour, so let’s get back on track with the profile title.
As mentioned, a common mistake is making it too much about ourselves. For example, by saying, I’ve done X and my expertise is Y. Or my favorite: I’ve worked with marketing for 100 years.
It is fine to add it but it doesn’t hold much value compared to focusing on the client and their challenges. It tends to fit better as a bullet point somewhere on the page than as the headline.
Instead, mention the single most important challenge your client has or the goal they would like to achieve.
Consider collecting a list of the profile titles in your niche and write your own in a way that helps your client immediately understand how you are different.
Point #2: Be ultra-specific!
Everyone can write “detail-oriented”, in their profile title but that’s too easy and clients often can’t tell us freelancers apart. Instead, we can search for jobs first and see what kind of words our future clients use.
For example, instead of saying “I can help you write blog posts”, we might say “I write blog posts that drive traffic” if you know that your client wants more traffic.
We could also be even more specific and write “Get blog posts that drive traffic. My blog posts get avg. 340 shares”.
At the moment, we have 70 characters to work with on Upwork.
We can benefit from using proven persuasion techniques in our title as they are… Well, proven to work!
In the example above, I used a specific number. Other examples are social proof (e.g. featured on X site) or a result the client wants like increasing sales by 23%.
Point #3: Make it good enough rather than perfect
I wanted to end on a counter-intuitive note. The third point is different than the rest as it is not a tactic. The reality is if you are a new-ish freelancer on Upwork, it is not likely that you’ll get a lot of profile visits in the beginning. And it is not likely that the quality is great either.
I’m sorry for being the bearer of bad news — this blog is meant to help you get results, not get stuck wondering why things don’t work.
To land more clients this week, you’ll gain the most by spending time sending out good proposals. Make the Upwork profile good enough and move on. You can always improve it later.
- The Upwork profile title examples show us that the headline isn’t as important as we might think compared to reaching out on projects and speaking with potential clients in the beginning
- There is no one size fits all or perfect formula for your profile title. You have to compare it with your competitors to understand how specific or broad you’ll need to make it to get the best results
- Most importantly: experiment with it