In Upwork, proposal is your first interaction with a potential client. It’s the first impression and you want to make it a lasting impression.
I take proposals as an opportunity to introduce myself, highlight my expertise, and ask relevant questions to show I’m the best suited person to get the job done.
So what I write in my proposals?
A time tested template
Never copy paste proposals but that does not mean you cannot have a template for your proposal.
I always prefer a template that I can use but remember there is a difference between a copy pasted proposal and a template based proposal.
In copy paste proposal you say the same thing for each job in a particular category but in a template, you have common parts that you reuse and you have areas that you fill in from what client is looking for.
Let me share with you my exact template that I have used to grab hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work from clients.
If you are my client through Elance / Upwork, chances are you may have read my proposal using the same template.
1. Start with a gratitude
My proposals always start with.
Thanks for sharing your XYZ requirement here at Upwork and I will be more than happy to help you. Let me share with you my expertise with XYZ and ABC.
From my personal experience with overseas clients prefer a Hi over Hello and so all my proposals will start with Hi.
If I can get the name of the client from the job details, I will add it like Hi John, but if they have not shared their name in job details, I keep it to only Hi.
The first para of my proposal is always a thank note. If I get an invite from a client I normally change the wording for the first para as
Thanks for inviting me to your XYZ requirement here at Upwork and I will be more than happy to help you. Let me share with you my expertise with XYZ and ABC.
But template remains the same.
2. Share the expertise
My first para of the proposal drives clients to my second para but then I keep my 2nd para as short as possible. With 10+ years of experience freelancing, you can be tempted to include lot more samples but I prefer to include a maximum of 3.
So my next para is
I am owner of www.go4expert.com for more than a decade now and have been doing a lot of XYZ development. Apart from my own forum I have clients like ABC, DEF and GHI where I have been a developer recently. Needless to say but you can also see my Upwork profile for the feedback about XYZ jobs.
XYZ Could be vBulletin, Xenforo, PHP, CakePHP, CodeIgnitor, WordPress or any web technology.
If I am applying for a WordPress development work, I may also change go4expert.com to imtips.co and will change the word forum to blog aka … Apart from my own blog I have clients …
3. Ask Questions, Offer Suggestions
The third para is completely custom part of the proposal and it depends on how the client has shared his requirements.
If client has shared a list of things I keep a list with numbers matching the numbers of client’s requirement for easy reference.
So if client shares
- Do X.
- Do Y.
- Do Z.
I keep my proposal’s third para as a list
- I can do X.
- I have questions in Y.
- Question 1
- Question 2
- I can do Z but moving Z to stage 2 can help you finish things within timeline and very low on budget.
4. The concluding part
Proposal should never be more than 3 para but if you have the 4th, it has to be only for the call to action and include very important information. I conclude my proposal with a very short line about when I can start and any important information that can impact the delivery of the project.
Normally it is
I can start on your project immediately and let me know if you would like to discuss anything further with me.
I can start on your project immediately and looking forward to working with you.
If I cannot start immediately, I will share a tentative time like next week or even provide a date from 15th of this month.
5. Exclude Fluff
I have been tempted to write long proposal and have tried many templates like if I see other proposals with low price, I tried including
You may find my quote a little higher than what most people here would charge. The reason is simple: I am not desperate to generate quick bucks here at Upwork but provide a complete technical expertise for my clients.
Or if I see too many companies apply
I am an individual who personally works for you and not a company where you discuss things with a person who actually is not working on your tasks.
Or if I am not the best
Should you find my proposal inappropriate for your current needs and budget, feel free to move forward and find the best provider for this project. But keep me in your list; you may need me in the future. Please contact me anytime if you need help.
And can have a lot of such templatized content but then it does not make sense to add more content to the proposal which is not relevant.
I have tried many proposals templates over a decade of submitting proposals in sites like Elance and Upwork but the above template has really worked well for me.
Do you use a template for your proposals? Share them in comments below.