Contently often staffs freelancers using an algorithm called Intelligent Talent Recommendations, which combs through the portfolios in our network to identify possible freelancers for a client. It takes your bio, topics, skills, project titles, and other elements on a portfolio into account. The Creative Marketplace team will also take these items into account when hand-selecting freelancers to staff to a client’s publication.

To maximize your chances of being selected for work with our clients, there are a few details you should focus on when managing your Contently portfolio.

What to do: Add a profile photo

Why it’s important: It always adds a nice touch when the client or the Creative Marketplace team can see a face. Just like a LinkedIn portfolio, it's an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and humanize your work. Additionally, we’ve noticed our software favors portfolios that have a profile photo uploaded. For privacy reasons, we understand not everyone may be comfortable uploading a photo of themselves. If this is the case, we’d still suggest getting creative and uploading a photo of anything–your dog, your favorite cartoon, your logo...you get the gist!

What to do: Add both your first and last name

Why it’s important: Your name is one of the first things clients and the Contently Creative Marketplace team sees when viewing your profile. There are some contributors who don't capitalize the first letter of their first and last name. Perhaps that's for aesthetics, to exude a minimalistic style. But Fortune 500 companies may consider that a mistake or simply not as professional as they're expecting. This also applies to those who capitalize their whole first and last name. Completely capitalized words (in this case, names) can come across as aggressive. We recommend using standard sentence case when filling out your portfolio.

Additionally, the name listed on your portfolio should match the name in your clips. This helps to validate that your work is actually your work to clients and the Creative Marketplace team.

What to do: Add a bio

Why it’s important: It's crucial that you fill out the bio section to summarize your expertise. This way, clients and the Creative Marketplace team can get a general understanding of who you are as a freelancer and see if your projects match your claims. Treat your bio like the core competencies section on a résumé. Include any verticals in which you write, and all areas of expertise, such as previous job titles. This is one of the first places clients and the Creative Marketplace team go to get a quick snapshot of what you specialize in to decide if you’d be a good match, so choose your words wisely!

Example:

Previously a journalist at NYT. I specialize in fintech, healthcare tech, and B2B SaaS. Also have experience in helping clients build content strategies.

What to do: Include links to your social network accounts

Why it’s important: We like to see at least two social network accounts. Twitter and LinkedIn are our favorites–they help to demonstrate your influence, show us who you’re currently working with, and what projects you’ve worked on in the past.

What to do: Add your location

Why it’s important: Our clients are all over the world, so it's very helpful to know where you are located for scheduling reasons.

What to do: Include a link to your personal website

Why it’s important: When we see that a freelancer has a strong personal web page, it demonstrates that they have an eye for marketing and are tech savvy–both are sought after qualities from our clients.

Special shoutout to our Multimedia freelancers: we especially would love to see your personal websites as we’re sure they show off your experience and prior projects in a way that is unique to you and your work.

What to do: Upload at least 7 projects from multiple publications

Why it’s important: This helps to prove your credibility and diversity.

What to do: Include photos and text previews for each project

Why it’s important: Adding photos to your projects makes your portfolio more visually appealing. If a photo from your project doesn't upload automatically, you should upload one manually. Photos go a long way in amplifying the professionalism and legitimacy of your portfolio page.

It's also important to keep text previews clean and concise. You can either show the first few sentences of your project or, our suggested option, write a one-or two-sentence summary of the clips. Whichever method you choose, stick to one or the other to keep your portfolio consistent.

The reason we suggest writing your own descriptions is to include keywords that might not live in the first few sentences of your project. For example, if your story is about RNA, and you don’t mention “RNA” in the first few sentences, our tool searching for someone who’s written about RNA before will not pick up your project. Think of inputting information into your portfolio like setting up the SEO of any other website.

What to do: Include your skills and topics

Why it’s important: When you add a new project to your portfolio, you'll be asked to select relevant skills and topics. This helps Contently better understand what you're able to do for our clients.

In fact, for a freelancer to be considered for an opportunity through Contently, you'll need to add skills and topics to any existing projects as well. Although you can list each skill or topic once, the more the skill or topic is listed, the higher you are ranked for that particular skill or topic.

If your skill or topic isn't listed in the drop-down menu, you can fill out this form to request that we add it to the list. In the meantime, please use your best judgment to pick a related skill or topics that is already listed.

A few more suggestions:

  • If you are the ghost writer for a project, mention that in the description. Once the Creative Marketplace sees that we’ll bypass verifying the name and jump into the content.

  • Broken or Incorrect Links: no one likes getting the 404 error message. To ensure all links are working correctly, we recommend you test at least one project for every publication you have on your portfolio (if you have time, double checking all links is best). This way, you will avoid any potential issues if clients want to look at your work.

Take some time to go through your portfolio while keeping these suggestions in mind. Your portfolio is your chance to make a strong first impression that could lead to client work!

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