Welcome to CitizenShipper and congratulations on taking the first step toward creating your own business! On our shipping platform, you have the freedom and flexibility to earn money by completing transportation jobs when you want, where you want. Our drivers earn an average of between $6,000 to $10,000+ in revenue per month while enjoying the flexibility and excitement of being self-employed.
Before you start bidding it’s important that you understand what actions you should take to maximize your chances of placing winning bids on transportation jobs. Think of your CitizenShipper profile like a storefront. Leaving a good first impression matters and most shipping customers make a decision in mere seconds. Besides our messaging platform, your profile is a customer’s best insight into your operation.
CitizenShipper customers want to see a thoughtful, personable and professional profile. Those qualities instill confidence in your driving abilities and experience — and perhaps even more importantly, your humanity and empathy. There is a strong correlation between driver success on CitizenShipper and a fully-completed profile.
This how-to guide will walk you through the first step toward success on our platform: creating an exceptional profile.
Introduce Yourself and Highlight Your Experience
Other than your profile picture (which we’ll talk about later), the About section is the first thing a customer sees when reading your driver profile on CitizenShipper. This is where you tell your story and background while listing attributes about yourself.
- Dominant skills like experience completing transportation jobs, pet handling and caregiving.
- Specialties you offer.
- Vehicle(s) you drive.
- Any trailers or specialty equipment you use.
- If you’re registered with the US Department of Transportation (your USDOT number) or USDA as a pet transporter.
- Any insurance coverage that you offer.
Choose Your Name
You must choose a profile name, which can be your own name or a Doing Business As (DBA). There’s no right or wrong here; some customers prefer a personalized, independent touch while others appreciate drivers that are building a small business. One thing to note: Once your background check clears you can’t change your personal name.
In the experience section, it’s okay to brag about yourself! Tell the customers why you are the best choice and how you’ll provide superior service.
- Highlight your dominant skills such as pet transportation or motorcycle shipping.
- Describe what kinds of specialties and training you have. These attributes show the customer you’re more than the average driver.
- Make sure this section is written in a manner that’s friendly but professional. You want the reader to get a better understanding of what your business is all about.
The quality of your About section and how you interact on the messaging platform is just as important to customers, if not more so, as the price you quote.
If you’re new to the world of transportation jobs, don’t worry! You can still win bids by highlighting other relevant experiences like caregiving and pet handling. It shows you are a trustworthy and empathetic person. The kind of person someone would trust to ship their beloved pets and valuable items.
First, you need to know where to go to edit your profile.
- On the dashboard, click the gear symbol in the top right corner.
- From there navigate to the section titled Profile in the sidebar and click on About.
- Clicking that link will bring up an editing page where you can populate your profile.
Transportation Jobs Experience
Your transportation experience is the most relevant information for the customer. Use the first paragraph to talk about your dominant skill. Just because you’re new to CitizenShipper doesn’t mean you lack driving or shipping experience. The bottom line is you want to convince the customer you’re different from other drivers on the platform.
Your experience section should include:
- Years you’ve been transporting.
- The number of states in which you operate.
- Your insurance status.
- Your driving record.
- Other driving experiences like working for a rideshare service like Uber or a delivery service like Postmates.
You should be thorough when listing your experience, but be sure the information is presented in an organized and easy-to-read way. Customers scan driver profiles and if there are big blocks of text your most relevant experiences could be missed.
The Offerings section is your chance to show off all of the services and goods you can offer. This list allows you to quickly communicate to your potential customers the kind of experience they can expect if they book you for their transportation job.
Just a few of these offerings include:
- GPS tracking
- Solo rides (VIP)
- Specialty food
- Large crates
Remember, you should only check a box on this section if you can reasonably provide the offering to the majority of your customers. If you can no longer provide an offering for most transportation jobs, be transparent about changes in services.
Describe the Services You Provide
In this section, you’ll describe the services you provide.
If you’re planning to primarily ship pets this section will include:
- Whether you offer private or group transport.
- The type of equipment you use.
- Frequency and length of bathroom breaks.
- How often and what types of updates you give.
- Payment details.
- Information about GPS tracking, whether with a collar tracker or location sharing on your smartphone.
The customer wants to see that you’re prepared for the journey and have a detailed plan in place. Showing this through your Services Provided section will reduce the customer’s anxiety and increase your odds of winning the shipment. Drivers that offer other services like vehicle or motorcycle transportation jobs should include details like the type of trailer they use, whether they drive alone or with a partner, and how many items they can transport at once.
“I transport multiple pets at one time but can provide private transport. When shipping multiple pets they’re kept separated at all times. I stop for 15-30 minute breaks every 3-4 hours. My price includes door-to-door pickup and delivery, direct ground transportation, live GPS tracking and signature capture at pickup and delivery. I accept most forms of payment including Venmo, PayPal, credit cards, cash or check.”
Call-to-Action and Conclusion
The call-to-action is where you direct potential customers on what steps they’ll need to take next if they choose to book their shipment with you. This is your chance to entice the shipper to book with your business.
After the call-to-action finish up with a humanizing conclusion. Mention a few more details to relieve your potential customers of any anxiety about transportation jobs. Suggest they reach out before booking your services to discuss all the details and avoid any confusion. Address the fact that most people find it scary to ship valuable items or beloved pets with a stranger and that you’re there to help them in any way. The more you come across as human and trustworthy, the more likely you are to win bids.
Photos Improve Your Profile, Reduce Customers’ Anxiety and Win Transportation Jobs
While you’ll use the About section to describe yourself, you can use photos to show the customer what your transportation business is all about. You need to have at least a profile photo. Profiles with lots of great photos win more bids than those with no photos or poorly-selected photos.
Uploading photos to your CitizenShipper profile is easy!
- Navigate to Settings by clicking on the gearbox in the upper right corner.
- From there, you can click on the button for Photos on the menu.
- Once inside you can click on the Add new button and upload photos from your device.
Six Profile Photo Tips
Including the right kind of photos is crucial to reducing your potential customer’s anxiety. Make sure the first impression you leave creates a feeling of trust.
- Do use a profile picture of your smiling, positive and professional face — the customer cares way more about seeing a person they trust than the model of the car you drive.
- Do include a photo of your clean vehicle. This gives the customer an idea of how his or her shipment will fit in the car and the condition of the vehicle.
- Do use photos of yourself with animals you’ve transported or your own pets. Show potential customers how much you love animals.
- Do include sights from the road so the customer gets an idea of what you’re like to work with, what you’ve done in the past and where you’ve been on past shipments.
- Do show any special equipment items you have, especially if you’re primarily shipping pets.
- Don’t use a webcam screenshot or a photo taken in poor lighting as your profile picture.
Optimize Photos for Mobile Phone Users
Most customers access our website and your profile using their mobile phones. That’s why it is important that your profile is optimized for mobile display. When editing your photo gallery, bear in mind that customers will only be able to see the last two you uploaded, therefore make sure that these stand out and look inviting so they click to see more!
Respond to Reviews — Both Positive and Negative
Getting good reviews is imperative, but it’s even more important to respond to them. Customer service and future customer expectations are often based on how you reply to reviews. Make sure to take advantage of the ability to do so every time you receive a review.
- Express gratitude for the review and respond to the customer by name.
- Whether they’re professional and formal or friendly and casual, you should match their tone.
- Keep it brief and stay on point. Avoid writing a multi-paragraph response.
Responding to Negative Reviews
This is even more important than responding to positive reviews. It’s your chance to show potential customers that you’re sincere about improving your service and you listen to feedback.
Some other suggestions for responding to negative feedback include:
- Respond as soon as possible! The longer you wait to respond to a negative review, the worse effect it will have on your future booking prospects.
- Don’t be defensive in your response. Readers appreciate your professionalism by showing a measure of contrition and taking on the responsibility for what went wrong in the reviewer’s eyes.
- Offer sincere regrets for what led to the customer’s bad review — even if it was completely out of your control.
- Talk about what you’re going to do to improve. This may not help out the person leaving a negative review, but future customers will see your accountability and desire to improve.
- No matter what, don’t take it personally. Don’t get angry or try to win an argument in the reviews section. Doing so is not a good look or reflection of you or your business. It will certainly cause you to lose bids in the future. Keep your cool and stay professional when responding to negative reviews.
The driver profile is your first chance to make a great impression on potential customers. The more detailed, professional and relatable your profile, the more likely you are to win bids.
Spend the time to make sure your profile stands out from the pack and reflects the service and professionalism your business provides. With a finely-tuned profile and excellent communication, you’ll be winning bids in no time.
Build a standout profile, submit bids and start winning shipments on CitizenShipper today!
Content Writer at CitizenShipper. I’ve also been published on The Penny Hoarder, Mommy Poppins and mxdwn.