Crafting an attention-grabbing Upwork proposal will definitely help you get that job. It will give the client a good impression of you, particularly if it’s your first interaction.
But a clear and concise proposal is not easy to write. And as I always share with my Freelancing students and trainees, submitting each Upwork proposal for every job post must be done diligently. Winning the job is good, but producing great results for the clients is even better. So before anything else, don’t forget to check the Key Elements on a job post before submitting an Upwork proposal.
KILLER Upwork PROPOSAL TIPS
Below are some personal tips to create a killer Upwork proposal that you can reflect on and gain inspiration from.
Alright, are you ready? Let’s get into each tip then.
Tip #1. HOURLY or FIXED-PRICE – Bid based on Value
If the project is HOURLY, bid according to your desired RATE. But you can lower your fee if the client asks for a preferential rate (ex. $35/hr. instead of $50/hr.). This is especially true if he/she is a repeat client, or a new one starting out to build a long-term working relationship with you.
If the project is FIXED PRICE, bid according to how you value your work (the WORTH) and NOT based on how much time or how many hours you’re likely to spend to complete the project.
Most of the time the skill outweighs the time spent on a job. A skilled freelancer obviously needs less time to finish a project while producing great results. You can either break it down by different Milestones and set the price for each; or bid price for the entire Project.
Tip #2. Follow a COVER LETTER Template, but DO NOT COPY-PASTE
Personally, I keep copies of my previous proposals to edit and reuse. To help you prioritize and summarize ideas quickly based on old proposals, you can do the same. This way you can find out what worked and what did not, based on the client’s responses.
Always customize every Proposal. Using a template saves time, but you need to customize it to indicate your interest and capability in a certain project. Also, some clients put specific directions and requirements in the job post. Keep your eyes peeled for these, and be sure to add them in your proposal to qualify as an applicant.
Do not rush. Diligently check the KEY ELEMENTS of an Upwork job post which I previously discussed on another blog. On average, I spend like 30 minutes to 1 hour to craft just one proposal. That is so I can make sure the proposal is likely to win the job.
Remember, NO job post is the same. So every proposal must be unique as well.
Tip #3. NO Need to be Too Formal on Greeting!
A simple “Hi, FirstName!” will do. It means you observe the client’s name written in the job description and use this to address the client. It makes the proposal more personal.
Otherwise “Hi there,” is totally FINE if the client’s name is not visible or verifiable. This particularly happens when the client posts “Private” job posts or projects.
If you’re Invited to Interview, you’ll likely get the client’s name from the invitation message. Otherwise, go and figure in the Client History section. Observe what other freelancers call them in the feedback.
Tip #4. Say THANK YOU if Invited to Interview
A simple “Thanks for this job invite.” is enough.
Most clients invite Freelancers to the job without really looking at each profile, but only as recommended by Upwork during the job creation process. Use this as an alibi to re-introduce yourself as discussed in Tip #5 below.
Tip #5. Introduce Yourself and What You Do very Quick
Remember that these details may already be in your main Profile. So just state your name, what you do, or your expertise. Highlight only what’s necessary. Clients are busy, so go straight to the point.
Tip #6. Capture Client’s ATTENTION
Ask relevant questions to determine what the client’s main concerns are. Use the job description to your advantage by reading it thoroughly and understanding the situations clearly. Be creative and think out-of-the-box. This is your MAIN OPPORTUNITY to get the client’s attention. Include a relevant accomplishment if there’s one. And tell the client why he/she should work with you.
TIP #7. Tell the Client HOW YOU CAN HELP SOLVE the PROBLEM
This part of your killer Upwork proposal must go with the flow of Tip #6. Here, you elaborate concisely how you can help solve problems; but make sure it’s not too detailed. Clients appreciate it if you can provide helpful ideas. It shows you want them to be successful with the project. But by making it not too detailed, you’re able to use this as an opportunity for the client to interview you.
Tip #8. Push for an ONLINE MEETING
Let the Client book in your Calendar. This way you let them feel that you’re a confident and serious service provider, and not a typical freelancer afraid of facing the client prospect even just on camera.
If you’re using a CRM, this is also one way of getting their contact details so you can further nurture them, or reach out to them for potential collaborations in the future. In my case, for example, I send a HubSpot Meeting Link that also captures the clients’ contact details.
Tip #9. Showcase PORTFOLIO
If the Client asks for it, include the portfolio details within the Proposal. Focus on the most relevant ones, and let the client know how you will accomplish the same success for his project. If the Client doesn’t ask for it, point them to your Portfolio Website or Online CV.
Tip #10. Ask for INTERVIEW and CLOSE PROPOSAL POLITELY
Thank the Client for spending his time on your Proposal. Again, just very short and nothing fancy. Be polite, it is important to give the impression that you will be pleasant to work with. Also at this point, use this last opportunity to really push for an interview.
Tip #11. Include Attachments and Review Proposal
If the Client asks for sample works, upload it. Take note to attach the appropriate sample/s, not your whole portfolio. Do a final review of your proposal and if it’s all good, Submit.
So there you have it. You may try applying these Killer Upwork Proposal Tips to fascinate the prospective clients and to help you stand out from the crowd.
WIN it in Upwork!
To further help you WIN it in Upwork, check this blog post “How to Win Client’s Attention as a Freelancer”. I’ve discussed that aspect quickly above, but this dedicated blog post is a more detailed one.
DISCLAIMER: While I’m a Top Rated Plus Freelancer in Upwork, this blog post is NOT endorsed by Upwork Global Inc. Likewise, TekWorx and TekWorx.Training are NOT affiliated with Upwork in any way.