Rebrand Yourself: A quick guide to 99designs’ new designer profile

Exciting changes have arrived at 99designs. With our new site now live, the designer profile has also got some exciting new updates.

We’ve been hard at work with the designer profile so that it is not only going to be a place to display your work, but also your main online presence to market your brand better to potential clients.

Ready to get in on the action? Read on for our handy tips on updating your profile or jump straight to the bottom of the post for a quick video tutorial as prepared by Platinum designer thislooksgreat.

Cover updated resized

Your profile

With the designer profile going through an exciting overhaul, it now offers several features that can take your designer profile to a new level and make it more attractive for potential clients.

But more importantly, why is your designer profile so important?

This is the perfect opportunity to make a great impression. You want to make your profile attractive and then use it to get more clients. This means you can link to it from your blog, or from your social media profiles. This is aimed towards converting your visitors into clients so it makes sense to use it instead of other platforms that aren’t really suited to advertising your services.

Mike Barnes profile

This is why when updating your profile, it is more feasible to take a professional approach like you would update your Linkedin profile. Think of your designer profile as a tool that can help you land a serious job, and less like your Facebook, which can also be used in a professional context but would be more likely to document that part of your life that is less sober and maybe a little silly.

Avatar

The avatar is one of the defining parts of your profile. Not only is it an identifying feature that helps your client establish an impression of you, but it puts a face to all those great designs you do!

We recommend uploading a square picture to the size of 500 x 500 pixels. It will then be displayed in a circular frame to go with the new look of the profile.

Photograph avatar

While we allow you to upload a picture that best represents who you are, we highly recommend that it should be a portrait shot of yourself. Jump to minute 1:41 in the video to hear why.

Here are some good tips on having a great avatar:

  • DO consider having a skilled photographer to take your photo. It will make you look more professional and connect you with clients faster.
  • DO remember the minimum display is 32px, so take care when uploading an avatar with too many details.
  • DO show off your personality. If you’re a parent, choosing a photo of you and your children is a nice touch. If you love the outdoors, your hiking photo will say a lot.
  • DON’T try to look sexy. This isn’t a dating site and it will make you look unprofessional.
  • DON’T go overboard with filters. Think closer to your LinkedIn profile than one of your Instagram snaps.
  • DON’T use someone else’s photograph. Not only is it misleading to your clients, but you’re also not establishing your personal brand.

Follow along from 1:50 of the video to see how thislooksgreat uploads his avatar, and hear his advice on optimizing the picture for everyone to see.

Your brand name

Your username is another important aspect worth considering. Set aside some time and actually sit down to think about who you want to be; your screen name should be appropriate and represent who you are as a designer.

thislooksgreat constantly works on growing his name as a brand, using it on social media and other online profiles. The name comes from the reaction he wants his clients to have when they see his designs – this is something straight-forward and simple, yet says a lot about his work ethics and the fact he puts his clients first.

Once you are happy with your brand name, don’t forget to update your customised profile URL to reflect it. This will keep it consistent as a professional designer and you won’t hesitate to share the link with potential clients.

You can also change your profile title which is the small bit of text that appears in your browser’s tab. Keep it short and simple as not a lot of people will notice it.

Jump to 4:04 for advice on changing your username on the designer profile.

About tab

The About section of the designer profile is another place where you can make a nice impression.

About tab tweaks resized

Your bio should be short and interesting as not a lot of people want to read a novel about your life’s work! Also, refrain from writing something that sounds too much like a sales pitch – don’t push too hard to sell your work or your expertise.

Jump to the video at 5:17 for a breakdown of the About tab, and to see how thislooksgreat customises the About tab of his profile.

Cover photo

Without a doubt, the cover photo is the first part anyone will notice when visiting your profile.

Giulio Rossi cover

Here are some quick do’s and don’ts for a great cover photo:

  • DO take the chance to showcase your individual design style, since it’s one of the first things clients will see.
  • DO keep it clean and simple so it doesn’t distract clients from your folio.
  • DO ensure your cover photo doesn’t clash with your avatar.
  • DO take advantage of the wide canvas to show off your style and creativity.
  • DO use the correct dimensions (2480 x 400px) to ensure no important element in your cover design is cut off.
  • DON’T use images or designs that don’t belong to you. It’s misleading and will only damage your credibility.
  • DON’T include your email or personal contact information. This increases your chances of being subjected to a phishing scam, violates 99designs site policy and conflicts with the “Invite to work” button.

Jump to 8:12 for tips on good cover photo and how to upload it to your profile.

Portfolio

The meatiest part of the designer profile is your portfolio. Read on to see best practices to achieve an your best folio yet:

  • DO upload at least 12 designs to fill up your portfolio and round out your profile nicely.
  • DO upload your range of work to show your versatility to clients, if you specialize in more than one design category.
  • DO pay attention to the details. Always fill in the title, tag and description of your designs, because it’s your opportunity to really sell your work and make it more discoverable.
  • DO organize your designs. It depends on how you like it to look; some designers like to organize by color, and others by size. Whatever you do, keep it consistent so it looks more visually appealing for clients.
  • DO show off your thought process in your folio. Don’t be afraid to upload your mockups and the sketches it takes to get you to the final design. This can show your clients how you think and work.
  • DO keep your folio updated. Not only it shows clients you are constantly working, but you also constantly get inspired by the different looks.
  • DO give special attention to the first page of your portfolio. Reality check: clients rarely browse past page 1 to see the extent of your work, so make sure you make an impression immediately.
  • DON’T leave your portfolio blank. Empty folios look bad. The key here is to be patient. Eventually your folio will look better than when you first started because you will evolve as a designer.
cmyk13 portfolio

To see how to update a portfolio, jump straight to minute 10:22 in the video.

Services tab

For an in-depth look on how to complete the Services tab of your profile, go to minute 14:00 of the video.

Conclusion

The redesigned profile is a great way to start up your personal brand, get more clients and subsequently, projects. Once you’ve taken the time to customise it, you’ll see your profile will help you tremendously in establishing your brand as a full-fledged designer.

Once again, a huge thanks to thislooksgreat for helping us put this video together!

Once you’ve customized your profile, share your profile URL in the comments below!

The author

Sasha Manusama
Sasha Manusama

Sasha is part of the Designer Marketing team, based in Melbourne, Australia. Aside from developing content that helps 99designers to upskill and have fun designing, she also provides support for the Indonesian community. She was born in Indonesia, before moving to Melbourne at the age of 13. When not procrastinating, she likes swimming, writing and cooking.

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