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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  Planning and Managing Your Online Freelancing Business
      >  Building and Tuning Your Profile and Portfolio

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Selecting an Appropriate User Name
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Introductory and Summary Information
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The Pros and Cons of the Profile Picture (Avatar)
(Page 2 of 3)

Quality Matters

As with the rest of your profile, the quality of your portrait or logo is important. If the picture is poor, it will undo all of the benefits that I described above. In fact, a bad picture will not only fail to help you in obtaining freelancing projects, it may cost you ones you’d have gotten if you hadn’t bothered with a picture at all.

A good quality portrait or logo shows that you are a professional who cares about his or her image. A bad one shows that you either don’t care, or that you don’t understand the impor­tance of image in the business world—either way, it hurts you.

The most important advice I can give you when it comes to profile picture quality is to do it right. Unless you are a photographer, I recommend hiring a professional; a portrait artist can be found easily in most places, and a “head shot” is generally not expensive. If you insist on doing a photograph yourself, here are a few brief suggestions:

  • Take a Dedicated Picture: This image should be one you take specifically for profes­sional use. Recycling a snapshot from your summer vacation will make you look unprofessional.

  • Keep It Simple: You want a simple head or head-and-shoulders image, with nice, neutral lighting. Avoid full body shots (except in rare cases where this is relevant), because it is your face that people connect with, and they won’t be able to see it. Watch out for distracting backgrounds. Try not to use on-camera flash if possible; it tends to make images look like jailhouse mug shots.

  • Look Your Best: Even if you’re a generally casual person who likes to hang around in T-shirts and sweatpants, this is not the time for it. Women should put on make-up if they feel this makes them look better; men should shave or groom as appropriate. Both genders should wear appropriate, professional attire (at least from the waist up!).

  • Smile: Some people think that a professional portrait must mean you have a stern, serious face. I disagree strongly. An honest, warm smile exudes confidence and friendliness; that gives people a good feeling about you, which in turn makes them more likely to want to work with you. Exception: if you are one of those folks who can’t smile naturally, then skip it.

If you’re going with a logo, contract with a designer to make one that will represent your company well. This will cost you more than a portrait in most cases, but a logo is important for your business in many ways, not just for this particular use. It is a one-time cost that can be easily justified as part of the cost of setting up your freelancing business. If you can’t afford to get a logo made, you’re better off not using one than using something that looks cheap and amateurish—such a graphic sends the exact opposite message from what you’re after.

One more tip: regardless of what type of image you use, find out what maximum image size is allowed for the site, and resize the image yourself using editing software (or have the person you hire do it for you). Otherwise, the site itself will resize the image, which often degrades image quality significantly.


Previous Topic/Section
Selecting an Appropriate User Name
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Pages in Current Topic/Section
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2
3
Next Page
Introductory and Summary Information
Next Topic/Section

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Last Site Update: December 13, 2011

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