My Upwork proposal template is opportunity to introduce, highlight expertise & ask questions to show how I’m the best person for the job
In Upwork, the proposal is your first interaction with a potential client. It’s the first impression, and you want to make it a lasting impression. An Upwork proposal template can help you achieve the same in a short period.
I use 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?
What is an Upwork Proposal Template?
In straightforward words, the Upwork proposal template is a shell to fit in the client’s exact requirements and create a custom proposal for a client in brief.
A template can help you quicken the process of writing a proposal for a client on Upwork and still maintain it’s originality for the client.
Why use a Template for a Proposal on Upwork?
Every client’s requirement is different, and so one should never copy and paste the same proposal to multiple clients.
One can have a template that can be used over and over again with the details as per the client’s requirement. It can help you be consistent with your proposal, yet craft it in such a manner that it is different for each client. It helps to craft a proposal that isn’t lengthy, has every detail needed for clients to hire you, and asks relevant questions.
Still, you may have the question as to why should you write proposals like I do? The answer lies in the fact that it is using the same proposal template. I have managed my Upwork profile to be what it is now.
A Time-tested Upwork Proposal Template
I always prefer a template that I can reuse. Remember, there is a difference between a copy pasted proposal and a template-based proposal.
In a copy-paste proposal, you say the same thing for each job in a particular category. But in a template, you have common parts to reuse. You have areas to fill from what the client is looking for.
Let me share with you the exact template I use and have used for almost a decade to grab hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of development client’s work from Upwork.
If you are looking for SEO specific Upwork proposal template, check out this article here.
1. Start with a gratitude
My proposals always start with gratitude.
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 experience with overseas clients, I prefer a Hi over, Hello. 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. If they have not shared their name in job details, I keep it to only Hi.
The first paragraph of my proposal is always a thank note. If I get an invite from a client, I usually change the wording for the first para as
Thanks for inviting me to your XYZ requirement here at Upwork. I am more than happy to help you on your project. Let me share with you my expertise with XYZ and ABC.
But the basic structure remains the same.
It is always recommended to start a conversation with gratitude and a thank note.
2. Share the expertise
My first paragraph always begins with a thanks note. The aim is to drive the client to my next para. Then I keep my 2nd para as short as possible. With 10+ years of experience as a freelancer, one can be tempted to include a lot more samples, but I prefer to add a maximum of 3.
So my next para is
I am the owner of www.go4expert.com for more than a decade now. Have been doing a lot of XenForo 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.
3. Ask Questions, Offer Suggestions
The third paragraph is a completely custom part of the proposal. It depends on how the client has shared his requirements.
If a client has shared a list of things, I keep numbers matching the numbers of the client’s requirement for easy reference.
So if a client shares
- Do X.
- Then Do Y.
- Do Z.
I keep my proposal’s third para as a list
- I can do X.
- Have questions in Y.
- Question 1
- Question 2
- I can do Z, but moving Z to stage 2 can help you finish things within the timeline and very low on budget.
4. The concluding part
Proposals should never be more than three paragraphs, but if you have the 4th, it has to be only for the call to action and include essential information. I conclude my proposal with a short line about when I can start and any critical information that can impact the delivery of the project.
Normally it is
I can start your project immediately and let me know if you would like to discuss anything further with me.
I can start your project immediately and look 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 the 15th of this month.
5. Exclude Fluff
I have been tempted to write a lengthy proposal and have tried many templates. As an example, I experimented when I see others bid 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 on 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.
Write a Proposal So Client Knows Extra Work Costs More
The upwork proposal template has 3 parts
- Terms & conditions
Normally payment terms and any change in requirements will change the final payment is part of the terms and conditions.
It is a section that is avoided in the initial phase of the project discussion. However, when things become slightly complicated, it is the terms & conditions that are referred the most creating a bad business relationship going forward.
Every freelancer will face the scenario.
Often clients aren’t technically sound to be able to understand such changes can cause more time and eventually more money.
Typically pricing section of the proposal is most discussed in the initial stages of the project. So, I price the proposal such that it becomes imminent that change in requirements costs money. It helps me eliminate issues arising due to requirement changes.
The Price Structure
Many times clients aren’t aware that change in the requirement actually costs money.
So the trick that I use in pricing structure is that instead of placing a price for the complete requirement, I break down the price into components in my proposal template itself so the client understands that each requirement costs money.
Example: A quote for a design job, instead of quoting as $250, break up the pricing as
- $100 for 3 variations of design. Extra variation at $50 for each variation.
- $100 for converting the design into a template (PSD to HTML or PSD to WordPress).
As a general rule for my development project proposals, I like to keep each task cost under $500 and if anything is above $500, I break it down.
Using the pricing templates for proposal on Upwork has many advantages and the biggest of all advantages is for clients who are on a shoe-string budget to eliminate good to have features to fit things within budget.
Other advantages being
- Clarity on what costs how much.
- Reduces the risk of being not paid out completely as the client easily agrees on partial payments.
- Eliminate good to have requirements that otherwise may have been included.
- Clients become aware that more requirement means more price.
- Better estimation of the complete requirement of clients as you are estimating in small parts.
- Increase in client’s confidence to work with you due to price transparency.
I have tried many proposals templates over a decade of submitting proposals to sites like Elance and Upwork, but the above model has worked well for me.
Do you use a template for your proposals?
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