Are you struggling to land your dream projects on Upwork?
This platform is a great way for many freelancers to connect with clients while working on their own terms. However, competition can be high and more than fifty proposals can be received for a single project.
Checking out Upwork Proposal samples is a good way to gain an understanding of what is required. It is also well worth taking the time to create your own samples, which can be adapted to different applications.
So let’s take a closer look at some Upwork proposals and how to create them so that you secure the projects you want.
- What Is An Upwork Proposal?
- Why Upwork Proposals Are Important?
- Landing Your First Upwork Client
- How To Write An Appealing Upwork Proposal?
- Choosing The Best Upwork Proposal Format
- Mistakes to Avoid
- Additional Info About Using Upwork?
- Final Thoughts
What Is An Upwork Proposal?
When a client posts a project on Upwork, it can be seen by a large number of people. Therefore, there is a good chance that many people are available and willing to work on the project. Sending the client a proposal is your chance to stand out from the crowd and present your credentials.
A proposal is similar to an elevator pitch or a cover letter and is a concise introduction of your skills. It gives you the chance to connect with the client and tell them why they should pick you for the project.
Your proposal needs to ‘pop’…
However, if the project is particularly interesting or pays very well, numerous people are likely to send the client proposals. Therefore, it is important to spend time crafting your proposal so that it is particularly appealing. It should present your main skills and services and highlight how you can use your skills to solve the client’s problem.
Why Upwork Proposals Are Important?
The marketplace on Upwork is a great place to find potential projects to work on. Thousands of new jobs are posted every day and these jobs cover a wide range of skill sets. While there are usually lots of suitable jobs to choose from, the competition for these jobs can be very high.
Your proposal is the best way of showing a client what you have to offer and establishing a rapport. Writers need to spend time creating an effective proposal. This is a showcase of your writing skills and proves that you can communicate well.
Establish a strong reputation…
Once you have established a strong reputation on Upwork, you may reach the point where you no longer need to bid for jobs. Instead, you will have an established client base that reaches out to you. Until you reach that point, proposals are the best way of gaining new clients and projects.
Landing Your First Upwork Client
If you are just embarking on your freelance journey, it can take time to win clients through Upwork. Many clients prefer to choose freelancers who have a lot of experience under their belt. However, with patience and persistence, you are sure to find that the important first client will be won eventually.
Trying to discover the perfect tone for your Upwork proposal can be tricky. You may find that you send out dozens of proposals before you receive a positive response. Testing out different formats and trying to receive feedback is important until you find the format that works for you.
Apply for multiple jobs…
Most clients take around two or three days to sort through the different proposals and hire a freelancer. Many clients want to find a freelancer they can work well with, as well as a person who has the right skills. Applying for multiple jobs while you are waiting for a response helps to keep your momentum going and maintain focus.
How To Write An Appealing Upwork Proposal?
Creating the perfect proposal is an art form that can take time and practice to perfect. It is important to make sure all of your key skills are reflected without making the proposal too long. While each proposal you send should be unique to the project, here are some tips on how to craft it…
Start with a short friendly sentence that mentions the client by name. This should be followed by a brief reaffirmation of the client’s main problem or need.
The Opening Statement
The opening statement makes it clear to the client that you can solve their problem. You should also mention that you are available to start on the project straight away.
Your initial pitch should be short and to the point. Ideally, it should consist of two or three sentences. You should use the pitch to explain to the client why you are the perfect fit for the project.
Describe your process
Make it clear to the client the processes and methods you will use when working on the project. While you should try to be as brief as possible, make sure that all the important details are included.
It is always a good idea to attach samples of your work, especially if they have been requested in the job post. If you have a lot of relevant work to show, it may be better to include a link to your portfolio. Check the job post carefully and make sure that you include any documents that are specifically requested.
Getting the length right
This is one of the most important elements of any proposal. The main aim is to be as brief as possible and concise while covering all the bases. Ideally, your proposal should consist of three short paragraphs.
Bear in mind that the client is likely to have many proposals that they need to read. If your proposal is too long and dense, trying to read it will feel like too much work. The client is likely to question your communication skills, which will immediately be a strike against you.
Choosing The Best Upwork Proposal Format
It is important to make sure that your Upwork proposal is tailored to the client and the job post. You need to check that you focus on the needs of the project and how you can fulfill those needs. Here are some ways to make sure that the format you choose is the right fit for the project.
Grab the client’s attention
It is essential to include something at the start of your proposal that makes the client want to keep reading. The client is likely to receive dozens of proposals and will only devote a few seconds to each one. Your first few sentences need to pack a punch that makes the client keep reading.
Show an understanding of the client’s goals
It is crucial to demonstrate that you understand exactly what the client needs. The worst-case scenario would be to get partway through a project to discover that you have been approaching it incorrectly. This would be a waste of both your own time and the client.
Briefly set out what the client needs followed by how you plan to fulfill that need. This could be demonstrating the skills you will use or the tools and software. If possible, refer to a similar project that you have worked on in the past.
Check out the client’s profile feedback
Before contacting a client, it is worth taking the time to review their Upwork profile. Pay close attention to the feedback section and see how other freelancers refer to the client. If freelancers tend to use the client’s first name, this is a good indication that you should do the same.
Using the client’s first name will also be a clear indication that you have done your research. This helps to establish the fact that your time is valuable and you choose who you work for carefully. Any client will prefer to hire someone who is in demand rather than someone who is simply available.
Include work samples
This is the time to refer to at least one previous project that you successfully completed. Ideally, the projects should be very similar to the client’s project. You can highlight examples from your portfolio that showcase your work as well as your style.
If you have not already done so, make sure your Upwork profile is up to date. After reading your proposal, an interested client is sure to check out your profile. Your profile should back up what you have said in your proposal and provide extra details.
Ask insightful questions and offer solutions
Asking a couple of insightful questions shows the client that you have thought about their project. You will be able to demonstrate that you are truly interested and have given it your time and attention.
However, limit yourself to two or three questions to avoid overwhelming the client and wasting their time. A good example of a question to ask is about the timeline of the project if it has not already been mentioned.
Matching work schedules…
You could follow this up with a brief outline of your usual working times and hours. This will quickly allow the client to see if your work schedules match.
Separate yourself from your competitors
It is important to show the client that you have something special to offer. This could be unique or extensive knowledge, experience, or special skills. Whatever it is that sets you apart from other freelancers, make sure it is clear to the client as quickly as possible.
Mistakes to Avoid
Knowing what not to do is often just as important as knowing what to do. Certain mistakes will stand out to a client like a sore thumb. Here are some proposal mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.
Using a proposal template
Creating proposal templates can save you a lot of time, especially when you are sending out multiple proposals. However, it is essential to make sure that your proposal is directly connected to the project and the client’s needs. Otherwise, they are likely to feel that you are not really interested in the project and do not have the skills.
Most clients are likely to be able to spot a pre-made profile rather easily, especially because they receive so many. While proposal templates can cover the bases, they will not be able to go deep enough to connect with the client. Ultimately, sending out numerous proposal templates that do not hit the mark will just waste everyone’s time.
Making it all about you
This is not the time to provide the client with a detailed resume that shows what you can do. Save this for a future message if the client specifically asks for it. Instead, your proposal should focus on the client’s need or problem and how you plan to help them.
Being too wordy
Including fluff and filler in your proposal will make you appear unprofessional. The client is likely to feel that you are wasting their time and set your proposal aside. Make sure that every word in your proposal counts and your message is clear and concise. Write personalized, concise, and impactful proposals to show clients that you’re someone who values their time.
Getting the tone wrong
It is important to remember that your proposal and all interactions with any client need to be professional. While being funny or entertaining can be a good way to establish a rapport, this can be difficult to do in writing. You run the risk of your joke being misinterpreted or misunderstood.
If your tone is too casual, the client is likely to feel that you do not take the work seriously. It is best to start off using a professional tone when initially contacting a client. Your style can become more casual and natural once you have established that rapport.
Find a middle ground tone…
However, being too formal can also harm your chances of securing the project. The client may feel that you are dull and boring. As a result, they may be reluctant to interact with you.
The best option is to find a middle ground that allows your personality to shine through a little. Your proposal should give the client a good impression of your skills, ability, and working style. They should look forward to interacting with you and feel that the process will be smooth and easy.
Additional Info About Using Upwork?
We’ve found awesome Upwork online guides to get you started. So, check out One Trick to Winning Upwork Proposals: No matter your job score, How to Win Jobs on Upwork in 2020, the 20 Winning proposal samples on Upwork: Stop wasting your Connects, as well as How to Write Job-Winning Proposals on Upwork: Learn the Simple Secrets that will make Upwork Clients Hire you for their Projects to perfect that proposal.
But wait there’s more with the Mastering Upwork: The Ultimate Guide To Attracting, Converting, And Keeping Excellent Clients On Upwork, or what about How to: Earn your first 10k on Upwork, and How To Become A $150/hr, Top-Rated Sales Copywriter On Upwork, How to freelance on Upwork all available in 2023.
For alternative online profiles, why not read up on how to create a superb LinkedIn profile with the LinkedIn For Dummies, Ignite Your LinkedIn Profile, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile… And 18 Mistakes to Avoid, and LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies to take a look at.
We also recommend you read up on the CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn: A Guide to Professional English, Marketing Yourself in the Age of Digital: CVs, Applications, Interviews, Social Media, LinkedIn or even LinkedIn Riches: How To Use LinkedIn For Business, Sales and Marketing! available online today.
The secret to gaining regular work through Upwork is being persistent. If your first few proposals are rejected, it may make you start to lose hope. However, once you have mastered the art of writing proposals, the work is likely to start flooding in.
Once you have sent a potential client a great proposal, it is time to work on your interview technique. Keep careful records of what you have sent so that you know when to follow up with clients.
Even when you have secured a project, it is worth sending out additional proposals for future work to keep it flowing in.
All the very best with your Upwork Proposal Writing!