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The Truth About Upwork Proposal Submission - Business - Nairaland

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The Truth About Upwork Proposal Submission by Terib: 10:33pm On Mar 09, 2019
Hey there, let’s kiss; not that, I mean “keep it simple stupid”. In my time helping people get their Upwork accounts approved, some have stuck around asking me questions as they go further with their Upwork careers. Questions; that I am more than happy to answer as time permits me. One of the more persistent ones has to do with proposal writing. How do I write a job winning proposal? Do you have proposal samples I could follow? And so on like that. So I’m going to address the proposal submission on Upwork and give you the cold and hard facts that everyone shy’s away from telling you.

First, let me say I have worked as a freelancer on Upwork for quite a while now and I consider that enough time to be able to say one or two things on such a topic. If you disagree, now will be a good time to exit this thread because some of the things I’ll discuss have to do with things I have experienced in that time frame. Here are some points to note:

1. Proposal samples won’t do you any good: Many keep asking for samples when in reality what they need is a template, such as what I am giving right now via bullet points. You see, samples keep you stuck and inflexible when it comes to proposal writing, but a template will merely guide you enough to be creative with your proposals.

2. Your Salutation matters: If you’ve been on Upwork for a while now you ought to know this. Regardless, it could be funny finding out the number of people that are clueless about it. The first way to capture your prospective client’s attention is to greet them using their name. For example, “Hello Tracy” or “Dear John”. How do you find the name you may ask? If you’re patient enough to scroll down on your client’s job post to check your client’s recent history, you’ll find feedbacks left by freelancers with whom your prospective client had worked with; some of which may have included your client’s name. To be sure, you’ll see the name repetitively.

3. Creativity: I’ll give you an example. I have a friend who won a $500 job about writing poems (you know what the exchange rate is; figure out the amount made in naira). While others were possibly giving their portfolio and pitching, He submitted his proposal as a poem. Just in case you’re still confused, I mean his proposal was actually a poem. That exactly met the requirements the client was looking for. Obviously, it was a mad poem which enabled the client to assess his creativity and made him stand out so much, the client closed the job so others could no longer submit proposals for it, and sent him a direct offer for the job. What’s the moral lesson? Be unhinged and creative with your proposals.

4. Your client is more interested in knowing what you can do for them than who you are: Many people start proposals the same generic way, detailing their name, their experience, and blah blah blah. If I were a client who just read the twentieth boring proposal out of a pile, you best believe I am tossing your proposal aside. It’s best by my own appreciation to take out the first two paragraphs to talk about the clients job and what you perceive about the client. No one says it but you also best believe that clients are interested in knowing what you think, or what your take is about the job. That way they can tell if you know enough about it to even discuss further with you, let alone award you the job. Of course, a quick google search is recommended to help give you the juicy facts “sharp sharp”.

5. Relevant samples and conclusion: To further improve your chances, you’ll need to show the client some relevant well-written samples that enable them to assess you a worthy candidate for their job. As the saying goes, “put your best foot forward and it’ll come back with a good shoe on it”. Also include in your proposal a call to action, a line, or a sentence that entices the client to send you a message. For instance, when you can perceive that you’ve got a client hooked by your proposal after writing it, you can say you’ll discuss rates during a chat. Trust me you have more prospect negotiating the price for article writing during a chat, than when you just put the rate out there in your proposal. Odds are, if the client feels its too high after seeing your rates in your proposal, they’ll not even contact you. But if this discovery is during a chat, they might be willing to let you know how much they can afford. Bottom line is you at least get a chance to negotiate. Also, always add a complimentary closing.

Beyond the scope of proposal writing, you’ll need to develop good communication skills which help you close the client during your chats. With these key guidelines, you can be sure you are well on your way to getting your first job, or alternatively, more proposal responses. More importantly is that, with these guidelines, you can be flexible. You can write a hundred proposals and no two will be the same. Mark these words, “Originality counts for much” So as much as you can, don’t just copy and paste. Put effort into those proposals and you’ll get good results.

I am the new guy on the block looking to get you on Upwork. So, if you’re looking to get a new foreign/Nigerian account, or get your repeatedly rejected account submissions approved visit these links for my contact:

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