If your Upwork proposal has these 7 elements in the right order, there are higher chances that client will take a note of your proposals more often.
My Upwork proposals have a hidden objective to share my expertise in a way such that client see me as the best-suited person to get the job done on time. The emphasize is “on time”. Once the client sees you as an expert, the preference will always shift towards hiring you.
Here is a recent proposal where I was almost at the end of business on Friday and it wasn’t possible for me to deliver changes within clients timeline and I was specific about it.
The client was happy I provided the details about the timeline and wanted to work with me for more complex things than those that can be done in a day or two.
So if your proposals 7 elements, there are higher chances client will take a note of your proposals.
I have seen freelancers never address clients with their names but I always take the effort to find out the name of the client. It makes the proposal more personal to the client and looks more professional.
It isn’t very tough to find client’s name and often they may have written their name either in the requirements or in the invite. If you don’t see the name in the project description or in an invite, check out client’s profile. If the profile isn’t available, you can find the name from the feedback history of clients where some freelancers provide feedback with a name.
If I take the name from the feedback of other freelancers I mention it to the client.
Hi <ClientName>(From other freelancers feedback)
2. Thanks Note
The opening line of my proposal is always thanks note that reads like:
Thank you for posting your XYZ requirement here at Upwork and I will be more than happy to help you. Let me share my expertise in XYZ along with ABC as well.
And if the client has invited me the line changes slightly.
Thank you for a personal invitation to your XYZ requirement here at Upwork and I will be more than happy to help you. Let me share with my expertise in XYZ along with ABC as well.
The underlying template is quite the same for the thanks note and it sets the expectation of the next paragraph in the proposal.
3. Expertise and Reference
The flow from the thanks paragraph is towards the expertise and here I share all my expertise and provide a reference to my work.
Developer and owner of http://www.go4expert.com/ with more than 10 years of web development experience in Xenforo and vBulletin. Have developed many custom Xenforo add-ons for my clients and for go4expert and have them as an add-on on Xenforo.com (https://xenforo.com/community/resources/mass-prune-spammers-users.5250/). Few Xenforo customization that you can instantly check on go4expert are a custom-made home page, forums as articles, vBulletin style URLs for threads, forums and article etc. I am also a very active member of the Xenforo Community and needless to say but you can check my Upwork profile for feedback on vBulletin and Xenforo jobs.
When I apply for a WordPress job,
Developer and owner of http://www.go4expert.com/ with more than 10 years of experience in PHP, WordPress Xenforo and vBulletin and have been doing a lot of WordPress development some of which are part of WordPress.org as plugins like https://wordpress.org/plugins/aweber-footer-slideup/. Apart from that, you can also see my Upwork profile for the feedback about WordPress and other web development jobs.
The template for proposal remains the same but for XenForo, I have more sample and reference to show than for WordPress.
Similarly, when I am writing a proposal for vBulletin, the links and the reference changes accordingly. In fact, I also change the links and the reference for different versions of vBulletin (3.x, 4.x, and 5.x) because they are lot different.
Developing samples isn’t tough for developers and you here is a how new developer freelancer can build samples.
4. Requirement Analysis
This is when things are unique for each and every client. If clients have shared bullet points of requirements, I offer them the same bullets point to point match to understand their requirements and offer them suggestions or ask them specific questions. Or if the client has taken a general approach and hasn’t explained much detailed about his requirements, I tend to let them know what all things can be done based on what I understand from the requirements.
This is totally custom part of the proposal where everything is in the same tone as the requirements of the clients.
Don’t hesitate to offer suggestions to clients because you are an expert on the matter. Things that can’t be done within the clients budget or if there is an alternate way of getting what client is looking for or if there is a major upgrade coming, the client can delay those requirements that after the new version is out etc.
Project your expertise but don’t make this too detailed such that it looks boring. Take the hint from the client’s project details. If he has explained things in precise details, client prefers more details and so you can provide more details as well but if the client has kept things short, follow the same tone of providing all the details in brief.
You can’t miss this on Upwork. You need to put a price as it is mandatory for all proposals on Upwork. Upwork actually prefills the price. For hourly job your hourly rate and for fixed price job clients budget as the price. For fixed price job, it is better if you split the price into milestones.
It helps clients in knowing that you know what you are doing and helps you get paid on a more frequent basis.
Clients do not sort the proposals based on price and hire the one right at the top and so you don’t need to be quoting the lowest price. Here is how you can avoid pricing mistakes in proposals
6. Closing Note
Normally I prefer to end the proposal with a note on when I can start and it is:
I can start on your project immediately and let me know if you would like to discuss anything further with me.
But if the client is looking for more committed hours per week than what I can offer, then I share how many hours I can dedicate immediately and how I may increase in the coming weeks:
I can start on your project immediately but for next couple of weeks I can allocate only X hours and increase as I complete my other client’s commitments. Let me know if you would like to discuss anything further with me.
7. Your Name
Last but by no means least is your name. It is one of the most important aspects of a proposal. I always end my note with my full name so they can Google about me to know more.
Often I have seen clients visit my blog and read my about page before making that decision to hire me. Often client also land on my Investment blog and check out my views about investing in India.
Further Reading …