Your About me section is the most flexible and customizable marketing tool available in your freelancer profile at ProZ.com. As such, you should be taking full advantage of it: it’s your chance to shine, to stand out, to separate yourself from every other run-of-the-mill profile out there offering the same services you do.
In this article I will give you some tips and tricks to help you make the most of it and market yourself and your unique traits.
Starting at the beginning: What to write
If you have not done so yet, I strongly recommend reading this article on the kind of content you should and should not be including in your About me. In a nutshell, steer clear of duplicating information already found in the standardized areas of your profile. Your About me section should be, well, about you.
Whenever we are writing anything of a profile type, be it a professional presentation for our resume or a Tinder bio, the same principles apply: (1) be truthful, (2) write about your strong suits and (3) highlight what makes you unique.
Who are you? Why did you become a language professional? What is your take on language? Why do you love your job and how do you do it? Talking about your passions and how they relate to your work, your trajectory, your professional ethics, whatever makes you stand out—that will set you apart. Were you in the Peace Corps? Are you a brewer? Have you been published? Have you lived abroad? Do you volunteer in a hospital? Are you an outdoors enthusiast? The list goes on and on, but you get the gist.
A good strategy to select your content is to imagine you are in a job interview: what would you like to get across to your potential employer? But unlike in a job interview, here you have all the time in the world to perfect your message: take advantage of it.
Target your ideal client...
This is marketing 101: choose your audience. What type of end clients and translation companies do you want to work for? Think about who you want your clients to be and introduce yourself to them. What are their priorities? What kind of professionals are they looking for?
The same principle applies here as it does to specialization: nobody likes a know-it-all, not only because—let’s be honest—they can be a tiny bit obnoxious, but mostly because they don’t exist. They are not dependable, because no one can really know everything and be good at everything.
Applied to your audience: don’t try to appeal to everyone out there. It can’t be done, for every type of client is different.
In short, focus on your strengths, and think about how these relate to the needs of the types of clients you are looking to attract.
...and not yourself
Whenever we are creating any kind of content (with the debated exception of literature), the first and foremost question on our minds should be ‘who and what is it aimed at?’ If we forget to ask ourselves this question, more often than not we’ll end up making the mistake of writing what we wished our audience wanted to read, instead of what they actually do. Sad but true, the two rarely align, and this is where self-editing becomes a must.
Since this is nobody’s favorite pastime, a mental workaround to this pickle is often the route of convincing ourselves that what matters is what our audience should be reading. But if we don’t get them to engage with our content in the first place, the battle is lost before it has a chance to begin.
So remember: As a rule of thumb, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and edit your About me from that perspective.
⟶ Your about me section should be about you. The rest is in your profile.
⟶ Be truthful, write about your strong suits and highlight what makes you unique.
⟶ Imagine you are in a job interview. What message would you want to get across?
⟶ Who is your ideal client? This is your audience, target them.
⟶ Don’t write for yourself. Now go back and edit yourself.
⟶ Imagine you are your ideal client and read it over. Do you like what you see?
I hope you found this post interesting and got some useful ideas to work on your About me. Watch out for my upcoming posts on writing tricks and designer tips! You can subscribe to this blog here.
Now get to work!
If you would like to get more in-depth advice on how to build a strong profile, look for the ‘Meeting clients at ProZ.com’ webinar in the Education section. If you are a Plus subscriber, go for the ‘Plus subscriber small group profile review’ sessions. They’ll rock your profile!