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4 Steps to a High-Impact LinkedIn Profile

A simple approach to ensure you’re making a strong impression

Written by

Ian Christie

Published May 13, 2023

Updated July 7, 2023

Reviewed by

Kyle Peterdy

Elevating Your LinkedIn Profile

Your profile is, after all, a public web page about your professional identity. And if you are employed, you also represent your employer and team. 

Assuming you have an existing profile, I recommend the four-step approach outlined below.

Key Highlights

Start with your strategy — what do you want out of your LinkedIn profile?

Add new or update existing information.

Refine existing information and sections for polish and consistency.

Look for out-of-date or no longer relevant information and delete it.

1. Get Clear

A great LinkedIn profile begins with a strong strategy. Get clear on your goals, audience and message with these questions:

What are your professional goals?

What audience is essential to perform and achieve your goals?

What do you want them to know about you and your organization?

What action would you like them to take?

(i.e. “follow me,” etc.)

What “voice” will you use in your profile (first person, third person, or impersonal like a resume)? I recommend first person as it gives you more flexibility to insert personality and is more approachable.

2. Add New, Essential Information and Copy

It can be hard because we don’t always “know what we don’t know.” But sometimes we have to pause and ask ourselves: What’s missing from my profile? 

The About section is usually the most underdeveloped part of a profile. There are different approaches, but an a

bsolute must is to communicate your who, what, how and why.

Update or complete your experience and write a short blurb to represent your role, the organization, and anything else that aligns with your goals.

If you are missing relevant credentials, education, professional development, associations, significant volunteer experience, or boards, add them. 

3. Refine Existing, Relevant Parts of Your Profile

The focus here is polishing your copy, ensuring consistency of structure, and getting visual elements where possible.

Revisit your headline

— this is your profile’s most crucial text phrase. How can you elevate it to have more impact and align with your professional goals?

Get the logos for employers and education/association affiliations. Visual elements go a long way to polishing your profile. You do this by watching for the drop-down menu when you type in an organization’s name. Select from the drop-down r

ather than typing it manually to connect to the database. 

Clean and refine the wording and formatting of earlier professional experience sections. Ensure consistency of formatting across your experience blurbs. At the time of this writing, the only formatting available is bold text. You can also use symbols to create a bit of structure. 

A common mistake to watch out for: Ensure that you have a consistent voice/pronoun throughout your profile!

This one is easy — delete anything that is out of date or no longer relevant to your current goals and aspirations!

Critical Next Steps 

Beyond what’s been outlined above, I highly recommend the following: 

Get Recommendations to support the “know, like, trust” factor.

Decide

on Skills & Endorsements — whether to keep or delete and if keep, which to highlight as your top 3, which to add/purge, and how to get more endorsements.

Integrate keywords i

nto your copy for better SEO (search engine optimization). Your job title, professional area and industry, and any rare skills will be your best bets for keywords.

Customize your profile URL and optimize your settings.

You can add media to your experiences. Consider whether there’s something that would add to your story.

Consider adding the Feature section to your profile to “pin” your most important posts. 

Additional Resources

Leading High-Performing Teams Course

Is Your Current Job Worthy of Your Ambitions?

CFI Career Map

See all career resources

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How To Perform A Vulnerability Scan: 4 Steps

Network vulnerability scanning is the process of pinpointing weaknesses and vulnerabilities across a network, including evaluating network assets like computers and other devices — any potential target that could be exploited by threat actors should be included in these scans. 

The basic steps for performing a network vulnerability scan are:

Plan and define the scope of the scan

Identify vulnerabilities

Perform analysis

Mitigate identified vulnerabilities

Notably, vulnerability scans are also frequently used by attackers seeking vulnerabilities to exploit. Even when attackers are unable to access a network internally, vulnerability scans can be conducted from the outside. This is the key reason organizations often choose to perform scans while logged in as network users and without access to a network. 

For more information, also see: Why Firewalls are Important for Network Security

Typically, vulnerability scans are conducted by an organization’s IT department, although some organizations outsource this process to a third-party security service provider. Organizations that operate within sectors like finance and banking often perform vulnerability scans through approved vendors to adhere to industry regulations.

In most instances, organizations will deploy a vulnerability scanning tool to automate much of the vulnerability scanning process. These scanners start from the endpoint of the person inspecting the attack surface being examined. The scanner compares details about the target attack surface to a known security hole database, attempting to exploit each vulnerability as it is discovered. 

Vulnerability scans fall into two overarching categories: authenticated and unauthenticated. During an unauthenticated scan, testers behave like an intruder who does not have trusted access to the network. This reveals vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit without needing to log into the network. 

Authenticated vulnerability scans are conducted while logged into the network as a trusted user (or an attacker who has gained access by pretending to be a trusted user). 

Within these two categories, a variety of different network vulnerability scans can be conducted, including:

Network based assessments scan wired and wireless networks.

Database scans look at databases in an effort to prevent attacks like distributed denial of service (DDoS), SQL injection, and brute force attacks.

Web application scans evaluate web applications and their source codes.

Host-based scans examine server workstations and other network hosts, including related ports and services.

For more information, also see: Data Security Trends

There are many viable options for performing a vulnerability scan. These four steps are likely to be a part of any properly run vulnerability scan, but you may need to adjust some aspects of these steps (or add additional steps) based on your unique organizational needs. 

Before you start to conduct a vulnerability assessment of your network, it’s a good idea to define the parameters of the scan. These steps can help narrow the scope of your scan:

Identify where your most sensitive data is stored across the network

Hunt down hidden sources of data

Identify the servers that run mission-critical applications

Determine which systems and networks you want to assess

Check for misconfigured ports

Check for misconfigured processes

Create a map of the entire network infrastructure, including digital assets and connected devices

Select an automated vulnerability scanning tool that offers the features you need — for example, reporting capabilities

Be sure to create a centralized place for information sharing information across your security team.

As you work through the process of scanning the network for vulnerabilities, take careful notes. Your list should include as much detail as possible about any underlying security threats.

The easiest and quickest way to identify specific vulnerabilities is through the use of an automated vulnerability scanning tool, though some organizations also opt to conduct a manual penetration test, a step that can help you validate findings (and reduce false positives). 

Utilize the reporting features built into your automated vulnerability scanning tool. Ideally, these reports should include risk ratings and vulnerability scoring that allows you to prioritize which vulnerabilities to address first. A common scoring system used by these tools is the common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS), which assigns a numerical value to each identified risk. 

Depending on the automated scanning tool you are using, you may need to run multiple scans across different network segments. This is especially true when the network is large or contains a mix of internal and external endpoints. 

Once you have identified and prioritized vulnerabilities, it’s time to determine how best to mitigate these risks. Mostly, you’ll want to address vulnerabilities through either remediation or mitigation. 

In cases where the solution for fixing or patching a vulnerability is not clear, mitigation tactics can be applied to at least reduce the likelihood of an attack. Later, as tools evolve or more information becomes available, these vulnerabilities can be completely remediated. 

For more information, also see: How to Secure a Network: 9 Steps

By following these four steps, you’ll have a much better sense of the vulnerabilities located throughout your network. Vulnerability scans can help you prioritize risks to ensure your team is tackling the most urgent exploit risks sooner, rather than later. 

Whether you perform quarterly or monthly scans, you can feel certain that the vulnerability scanning process is worthwhile. Without the insight provided by this process, security teams are less equipped to adequately assess an organization’s actual risk.

On a related topic, also see: Top Cybersecurity Softwar

How To Create A Youtube Channel In 4 Simple Steps

YouTube is one of the most famous social media platforms for connecting with a target audience. It is an excellent medium to uncover your creativity and showcase your talent globally. All you need is a well-built YouTube Channel to register your presence. Want to learn how to create YouTube channel and promote your brand?

Let’s go! Here are the steps to create a YouTube account and maximize reach. But before going ahead let’s understand the fundamentals, elements, benefits, and more.

YouTube and Its Features

YouTube is a video-sharing platform owned and managed by Google. On February 14, 2005, Steve Chen, Javed Karim, and Chad Hurley officially launched it. The platform has since become the second most visited website after chúng tôi YouTube is used by over 2.6 billion people every month, according to Statista 2023.

Every minute users upload over 500 hours of videos on YouTube. As of 2023, YouTube has more than 51 million active channels.

Here are some primary features of YouTube are as follows:

Search and watch user-generated video content

Create your YouTube channel

Upload different kinds of videos on your channel

Subscribe/follow other channels on YouTube

Download and save your favorite videos 

Restrict access to your content using YouTube’s Privacy Policy

Access to the library and archives of your favorite clips

Create playlists to organize and group videos together

Elements of a YouTube Channel

Before you understand how to create YouTube Channel, know the essential elements that will help you generate traffic on your channel. These elements or features attract the audience to your channel. These elements are:

Name

Category 

Profile

Description

Tags

Banner Button

Watermark

Thumbnail

1. Name

Your channel name is the first point of interaction with your audiences. It must give a sense of what kind of content your channel contains. It is displayed on your page, and all your videos show up in YouTube’s search results. Ideally, your channel name should be something that describes the topic and must be unique yet simple. The name should be easy to remember and recall and preferably be reused to create accounts on other social media platforms. Finally, it would help if you avoided innovative capitalization (stick to the simple name), numerals, and special characters. 

2. Category

Channel category helps filter YouTube channels for relevance. It typically indicates the main objective of the channel. It helps target the right kind of audience with your content. YouTube has a plethora of categories to choose from and to bucket your channel. Some of them include, Autos & Vehicles, Music, Pets & Animals, Sports, Travel & Events, Gaming, People & Blogs, Comedy, Entertainment, News & Politics, How & Style, Education, Science & Technology, Nonprofits & Activism. 

3. Profile

The profile is where you can add your branding and bring your voice to your page. In the profile, you can add a banner, photo, background cover, etc., to make the channel reflect your own. You can edit the theme and icons and make the profile look more attractive and exciting. This change and profile updates make your YouTube channel look unique and stand-alone.   

4. Description

A description is where you introduce your channel to your audience to give them a gist of what you are looking to share. The better the description, the better it will target the audience. It falls under the ‘About’ tab of your channel. Though there are templates available online, there is no substitute for describing your channel in your own words. Some things you must remember about the description are:

Write for the audience, not for you. Talk about what is in it for your audience. Your channel may be great but think about how it benefits your viewer.

Be conscious about your branding. Ensure the description aligns with your brand and what it wants to communicate to the audience.

Make the content both informative and exciting to read. The first 120 characters are displayed on search engines, so make sure they are helpful and precise. 

Optimize the content. Use popular keywords, see what your audiences are typically looking for and build relevant description content.

Tags are the keywords mentioned in the description that are directly or indirectly related to the context of the uploaded videos. You add the keywords in the video to help the audience find your content. Whenever a viewer searches for the tags you used in your video, the search results will automatically put your video in the suggestion and ultimately increase your views. 

6. Banner Button

A banner is something that carries a full-fledged graphical introduction to your channel. It may include facts about your theme and channel. Some people also use it for announcements of upcoming events. YouTube here gives the option to redirect your audience directly to your other social media platforms. You can keep the links on the banner so your audience can find you on other platforms. 

7. Watermark

Plagiarism and illegal content reuse are big problems that need to be addressed as most content goes online. Apart from ensuring your content is authentic, it is also essential to make sure others do not showcase your content as their own. It is where watermarks become vital. YouTube provides the option to watermark all your videos. When you add watermarks, YouTube adds your logo to all your videos. It makes it harder for people to plagiarise your content without giving you credit. 

8. Thumbnails

Users will not always play your video when appearing on their feed. Your video should look impressive from the outside and be capable of attracting the audience’s focus. You can use the alluring thumbnails to captivate the viewer’s attention. An ideal thumbnail should be good in picture quality and of the perfect size. It should carry the title or some texts that explain your content in a better way. It helps in increasing the taps and watch hours. 

Tutorial to Create YouTube Channel in 4 Simple Steps

You can use your Google account to create a YouTube channel, which will be a solo account accessible only to you. However, if you want an account that lets many users access it, start a brand account. With a brand account, you can begin several channels on YouTube. Here are the steps to create YouTube Channel using your Google account.

Step 1: Sign in/Sign up for your Google Account

The first and foremost step to creating a YouTube account is creating a Google account or logging in if you already have one. Here are the steps;

If you do not have a Google account, you must create one first. 

To create your Google account;

Go to Google Chrome

Choose the Create Account option at the bottom of the page. 

Fill in the required details step-wise. These details may be Name, Age, Gender, and Phone Number, and then generate a password

Once the account is successfully created, you will get a confirmation mail.

If you already have an account, log in with the following steps: 

Go to Google Chrome

Select Sign In

Type your email or phone number registered with your account. 

Once your email/phone is typed, then type your password.

Keep the account logged in and move to the next step, creating your YouTube Channel.

Step 2: Create YouTube Channel 

After logging in to your Google account, create YouTube Channel. 

Go to Google Apps from your account, and find the YouTube icon. Alternatively, go to chúng tôi and sign in with your Google credentials.  

Select Settings – The Settings page will redirect you to the following list of options

Under the Your Channel heading of the menu, select Create a new account. The option will send you directly to the Channel name page.

On the Channel name page, type the name that you think suits you the best to your channel. 

Note: The name should be unique and relevant to the theme of your account. 

Note: You may need to verify the channel. 

If verification is required, a verification code through text message will be sent to your number, or a phone call verification will be conducted for the channel. 

Step 3: Customization of the New Channel 

After creating your Youtube channel, start customizing it to suit your needs. 

To customize your channel, complete the following: 

It displays the Customization tab. 

The Customization tab lets you customize your channel using the following three tabs – Layout, Branding, and Basic Info. 

Layout

This tab has all the setting options related to the appearance of your channel. It has sections such as:

Video Spotlight, where you can find the options for publishing 

Channel Trailer for non-subscriber 

Featured videos for returning subscribers

Features Section is where you can choose any ten videos from your recent to feature on the home page.

You can upload or select the video of your choice when you start uploading the videos. 

Branding

The next tab you have to customize is the Branding tab. This tab gives you the option to choose the colors, styles, and overall design for your channel. Here you have the feature of customizing your Profile, Banner, and Video Watermark. 

Setting up Profile: Add the profile to your channel. Create or select a picture that you think goes the best with your channel.

Size

: The minimum size of the image should be 98 x 98px, and the size of the file should not exceed 4MB. 

Format

: The acceptable format of the file is JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, and GIF. However, animated GIFs are not as supportable as the profile picture.  

To set up your profile, complete the following: 

Setting up Banner: The following detail to add to the Channel is the Banner. Create a Banner that carries some selected and significant information about your channel.

Size

: The minimum size of the banner should be 2048 x 1152 px with an aspect ratio of precisely 16:9. The dimension 1235 x 338 px safe area should be kept for details. 

Format

: The support formats for the banners are JPG, PNG, and BMP. 

To set your profile, complete the following: 

After creating the banner, complete the following: 

Select your image from your device. 

Adjust and crop the image to fit in well. 

Note: You can add more details to your banner, like links. Use the Edit Banner option under the Banner section to add the details.

Setting up Watermark: The last branding section is Watermark. A watermark will automatically be added to all the videos on your channel when you publish them. The aspect ratio of the Watermark is already standardized to fit in properly.

Size – The suggested length of the Watermark is 150 x 150 px. The maximum acceptable size of the file is 1MB. 

Format – YouTube has recommended uploading the file in PNG or GIF format only. The dual-colored image with no background is preferred as the best here. 

When you are ready to upload the Watermark, complete the following: 

Select the Watermark from your device. 

Basic Info

The third and last tab in Customization is the Basic Info tab. As the name suggests, this is the tab where you publish basic information about your channel. It includes the editing and publishing descriptions about the channel, the channel’s name, and outside links. 

Step 4: Uploading the First Video

Uploading content is not only about uploading a video. It would be best to keep in mind things like the Title of the video, Thumbnail, Description of the video, Tags, Subtitles, Playlist, and Privacy Settings. It will help grow your channel. 

To begin uploading the first video, complete the following: 

Select the video you want to upload. It will display a new page, and the process will start. 

Add all the necessary details to the video. 

Top YouTube Videos Format 

After you create YouTube Channel, you can get started with creating and publishing some of the best videos for your audiences. Here are some types of YouTube videos that get the best views online.

How-To Videos: This format is one of the most popular ways to teach your audiences about specific things. You can create How-To YouTube videos in explainer, demo, or instructional form.

Vlogs Video: It is more of an original video format, where users share their experiences about using a specific product, eating at a restaurant, or visiting a tourist place. The options are endless with Vlogs.

Gaming Videos: Millions of users love to watch YouTubers play games on their channels. So if you are a gamer, record your gaming video and post to get good web traffic and subscribers. 

Educational Videos: Another popular format of YouTube videos is educational videos. Beauty, fashion, travel, history, and other enthusiasts create educational videos to help users learn about a specific topic.   

Unboxing Videos: These are prevalent video formats wherein YouTubers post videos about opening a new item (phone, laptop, kitchen appliance, etc.) for the first time. It is an excellent way for brands to spread the word about their new and existing products.

Benefits of Having a YouTube Channel

Having a YouTube Channel comes with various benefits. There are several opportunities a YouTuber enjoys on YouTube, such as: 

Showcase your talent easily

Your talent can spread like wildfire when done right using YouTube, making it easier to showcase your talent to a larger audience quickly.  

Interact conveniently with audiences

YouTube videos have little to no borders meaning it is a stage to interact with audiences worldwide. It is, therefore, more convenient than traditional methods of promoting an idea. 

Expand business and network

YouTube is a great avenue to expand your business and network. Product and service videos, how-to videos, and problem-solving videos are great opportunities to get followers and share information about your business and brand.  

Revenue earnings

By creating a YouTube channel and gaining popularity, you can make money online. There are many methods, such as the YouTube partner program, influencer marketing, fan funding, and so on, that can help you monetize your video content. 

Be your best

YouTube channel pushes you to be creative and get outside your comfort zone to impress your audiences. It motivates you to do better with every video and be your best. 

Connect and engage with audiences

It is a great platform to connect with your audiences and interact. Many users make personal connections with other YouTubers and build communities for like-minded people. It helps YouTubers share knowledge and help others in different scenarios.  

Ways to Make Money on YouTube Channel YouTube Partner Program

In digital marketing, sponsorship plays a huge role. In this model, otherwise known as influencer marketing, a company pays a content creator to promote their brand on their YouTube channel. So, when you create a YouTube channel, you can make money by contacting brands and promoting their products or services. 

Memberships

it is a relatively new model of making money on YouTube. If you have a great fan following on your channel, you can ask followers to join a membership plan by paying a yearly or monthly amount. In exchange, you can give them access to special content, live chats, badges, etc. 

Other ways of making money on YouTube include making merchandise sales, subscription businesses, YouTube Premium revenues, etc. So, it does make sense to create a YouTube channel and begin your journey as a content creator.  

Conclusion

There is a tremendous increase in demand for videos, and hence more and more businesses and brands are including video content in their digital marketing strategy. It is no more home to funny cat and dog videos, and it is a serious marketing platform. Apart from engaging your audience in a visually appealing format, you can provide valuable information to them and promote yourself.

It may sound overwhelming to create YouTube Channel, but things become attractive and easy with experience. If you are looking to master the art of YouTube, you must join the YouTube Mastery Course by Sorav Jain. With YouTube Mastery Course, you will be able to successfully launch your YouTube channel, optimize the videos, avoid mistakes, and monetize the video content. Go ahead and start your YouTube journey now!

Happy Vlogging!

FAQs

1. How much does YouTube pay for Shorts in India?

2. How do YouTube beginners get paid?

YouTube as a platform does pay beginners unless they have 4000 watch hours in the last 12 months. Yet beginners can earn through brand collaborations and channel memberships.

3. How do I pick a YouTube channel name?

Picking your YouTube channel’s name can be overwhelming. Pick something that goes with the content you are uploading and keep the name short and unique.

4. How many videos can I upload to YouTube per day? 

How To Fix Corrupted Excel Cells In 4 Quick Steps

How to fix corrupted Excel cells in 4 quick steps

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4 solutions to fix corrupted Excel cells

Microsoft Excel is one of the best and commonly used tools to analyse data. This office program is crucial for the day to day work of millions of people around the world. Nevertheless, several errors can sometimes slow down processes and decrease the efficiency of users.

One of the possible annoying situations, while working in Microsoft Excel, is when one or more cells of the workbook are corrupted. If you face this trouble, do not worry: — this article provides you with a solution for this problem.

QUICK FIX: Move the File

Before starting any procedure to recover your workbook, it can be better carrying out two attempts to check if the file is really corrupted.

Move the file: to do so, you can move the file to another folder, server or drive and check if you can open the Excel file.

Open the file with another software: the cause of the file problem could be the software. You can try Calc, the Excel twin software in the OpenOffice Suite. If you do not have the OpenOffice Suite, you can download it online for free.

How can I fix corrupted Excel cells? Solution 1 – Automatic procedure

If the file or workbook is really corrupted, you can start trusting first Microsoft Excel’s automatic procedure. Sometimes Microsoft Excel can detect a corrupted cell or workbook, when the file is open.

In this case, the software activates automatically a File Recovery Mode. The latter will make an attempt to solve a potential problem, without any user intervention.

Solution 2 – Manual procedure

STEP 2 – Select the location and folder that contains the workbook that is corrupted

STEP 3 – In the Open box, pick the corrupted workbook

Expert tip:

— RELATED: Excel Online won’t calculate/ open [Best Solutions]

Solution 3 – Recover your data

You may need to recover your data while the corrupted workbook is open. Besides extracting the data, you could go with another procedure in order to recover as much data as you can. Doing that, the corrupted cells will not damage the entire work.

STEP 3 – Select Yes to open again the workbook.

The workbook should open without any changes that could have caused the corruption of your cells or of the entire workbook.

Solution 4 – Copy the file in WordPad

If none of the previous solutions worked, there is another option to try to save the data: open the workbook in WordPad. The latter will transform the Excel into text, so no formulas will be recovered.

Nevertheless, WordPad will keep the macros. Wordpad is preferable to Microsoft Word. In fact, if you convert the file in Word, you could find limitation to your data recovering process.

Conclusion

RELATED GUIDES YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT:

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7 Steps To Becoming A Freelancer

Across the world, small and large companies are hiring more freelancers than ever before. If you’ve decided to become a freelancer, the numbers say you’re on to something good. Whether your goal is to earn some money on the side or make freelancing a full-time career, you’ll need to arm yourself with knowledge, a determination to learn and improve and lots of patience. Here’s how to start freelancing.

How do you become a freelancer?

The freelance market is growing by the day and, if you want to be competitive, you have to prepare accordingly. Follow these seven steps to get started.

Step 1: Consider whether freelancing is for you.

Freelancing has its pros and cons but, in general, you must possess a specific mindset to be a freelancer. Being your own boss is a great thing if you’re disciplined and reliable. Freelancing enables you to set your schedule, so you can take a day off whenever you want, but you won’t be paid for that time because there is no such thing as paid leave.

If you want to be a freelancer, you should maintain a daily work routine, be ready to juggle several assignments at once and continually look for new projects to maintain a steady flow of work.

If you’re still working full time, don’t immediately quit your job. Instead, combine freelancing and full-time work until you accumulate enough clients and connections to support yourself as a freelancer. Working from a comfortable place of steady work and safe income is a much better environment for developing your freelance business.

Step 2: Find a platform.

Most freelancers use freelancing platforms to find work. While recommendations and social media channels like LinkedIn can also be a great source of gigs, freelancing websites are popular because they allow you to connect effortlessly with clients looking for freelancers. There are always jobs available there.

Also, most of these platforms have policies and offer protection both for freelance workers and those doing the hiring. On freelance platforms, every project you take on is a mini contract, and both you and the client are required to adhere to its terms.

Choosing the platform with the model that fits your needs and salary expectations is incredibly important for your success. For example, there are numerous highly rated freelance websites for finding developers. Plenty of freelancing websites encourage the so-called “race to the bottom,” where freelancers provide poor quality work in exchange for poor compensation.

Ultimately, it doesn’t help anyone — buyers cannot find good quality of work and freelancers cannot earn enough money.

Some freelancing platforms, like Hiremotely, base their business model on admitting only top freelance software developers and connecting them with clients based on very specific requirements. Being a member of such an exclusive platform allows you to connect with serious clients and get paid for high-quality work. The admission process on these types of platforms can take several weeks and include several rounds of relevant tests.

Tip

Check out all of the top sites for freelancers, such as Upwork and FlexJobs.

FYI

Maintain a good connection with your clients and provide consistent, quality work by meeting deadlines, listening to instructions and communicating effectively. Build a work portfolio to help attract new clients.

What is a freelancer?

A freelancer is a self-employed individual who offers services to a company (or multiple) without being a W-2 employee. Freelancers can take on as much work from as many businesses as they please. Ultimately, their career and workload are in their own hands.

Since they are technically contractors and not employees, freelancers must pay self-employment taxes every quarter. They also do not have access to benefits like company-sponsored retirement plans or health insurance coverage unless they are a W-2 employer at another company.

Freelancers are most common in creative industries like graphic design, copywriting and photography. However, service-based industries offer a ton of opportunities for freelancers as well. Jobs like consulting, translation, marketing and social media management are often outsourced to contract workers.

How does freelancing work?

Freelancers typically work on a per-project basis. For instance, they might take on a certain number of projects every month and charge either by the project or the amount of time it takes them to complete it, such as an hourly or even daily rate.

Freelancers set their own hours and work on deadlines. For example, they might get four assignments from a client at the beginning of the month, with deadlines scattered throughout the month. Freelancers can work from any location at any hour, and they might even freelance for extra income on the side of a full-time job. 

The freelance process typically goes as follows:

The freelancer reaches out to clients/vice versa for possible contract work.

The freelancer tackles projects at a set price, such as per project or per hour.

The client pays the freelancer for work; taxes are not taken out of paycheck and freelancers must pay quarterly taxes.

A career in freelancing offers flexibility and a chance to hone your skills for a price that you set. If a client refuses to compensate you for your worth, you can simply reject their offer and move on to another client.

Did You Know?

Freelancers need to report self-employment income to the IRS, so make sure you stay on top of your taxes.

What are the benefits of being a freelancer?

As with anything, there are both pros and cons to freelancing. Some of the benefits include the ability to decide the work you want to take on and the control over how you spend your time. It can also provide an opportunity to gain experience in your field:

There are always work opportunities: Every hour, there are dozens of new job postings added to freelance platforms. Of course, you won’t be hired for each of those, but there are plenty of offers to go around.

You control your schedule: You work when you want, how you want and as much as you want. You don’t have to beg for days off. You don’t have to get up in the morning if you’re a person whose focus is sharpest late at night. With freelancing, you make the best of your peak productivity, without being tied to the office for specific hours.

You have an amazing opportunity to gather experience: You can work with different clients on various projects and amass experience that would be impossible to come by in a traditional office setting.

You choose whom you work with: If things aren’t working out with a client, you can always find another one. You don’t have to stick around in a toxic environment because you’re afraid to quit your job.

What are the drawbacks of freelancing?

Even though there’s a lot to love about being a freelancer, there are some downsides, including:

You need discipline and routine: If you want to be a good freelancer, you have to be self-motivated. There is no boss checking what you’re doing. You’re that boss. You have to be strict with yourself.

Sometimes, there won’t be work: There will be times when you’ll be offered more projects than you can accept, and there will be periods when it seems that no one is hiring. To combat this, establish a stable of clients before quitting your day job.

Sometimes, you’ll work longer hours: There will be times when maintaining a steady flow of work and income means working outside of your normal working hours — you may find yourself working longer hours than when you had a regular full-time job.

It can take a while to get your first gig: Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t land a freelance gig immediately. In general, it takes anywhere from three months to a year to build connections and acquire a steady roster of clients. But once you reach that point, you’ll see your career as a freelancer take off.

Mike Berner and Sammi Caramela contributed to this article.

A Portrait Of High Performing Campaigns

Finding #1: High-performing campaigns are built on top of well-established websites delivering unique value through a strong user experience. Ad copy sets appropriate expectations for visitors, with the right offers – together they effectively convert visitors to customers. Additionally, favorable user experiences tend to transform each customer into a life-long customer.

Do you already own an elite campaign? There are a couple of ways to find out:

1) Check the bounce rate and exit rate on your website using Bing Webmaster Tools or your site’s analytics software.

In general, a lower bounce and exit rate imply your website engages well with visitors. Even if there is no universal benchmark to compare those rates because different natures of search queries (commercial, navigational, informational) have different user engagement paradigms, you can still use them to compare the performance of individual pages within your site to identify the weakest links. For reference, according to RKG’s Digital Marketing Report, Q3 2012 , the average organic search results’ bounce rate on PC traffic is about 40%, and 45% for mobile traffic.

2) Check out your campaign’s Landing Page Relevance Score.

Landing Page Relevance measures whether your landing pages could properly engage with visitors’ intents. Here are tips to improve your landing page relevance.

Exhibit 4: Bing Ads provides Quality Score at the campaign, ad group and keyword level.

Finding #2: Those high-performing campaigns were well organized, enabling the account manager to:

Effectively conduct experiments and identify improvement opportunities.

Create ad copy that presents a specific value proposition to the target audience and drives a higher CTR.

Tightly manage traffic quality with targeting and negative keyword function without generating negative conflicts.

Have more opportunities to create exact match keywords to control ROI. A recent Bing Ads internal study conducted in March 2013 shows that elite campaigns are very efficient at using broad match keywords to explore a wider range of search terms to identify exact matching opportunities, and have a higher percentage of exact match keywords to compete in the marketplace.

Exhibit 5: Comparing match type distribution of performing keywords (i.e. keywords generated impressions) and average Quality Score.

Takeaways:

Your profit margin is greatly influenced by your website. Work on landing page relevance before driving traffic to it.

Remember, a solid foundation with a good campaign structure is key. I hope these insights help improve your campaign’s performance from the ground up and secure long-term success.

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