Like many others, you joined Upwork.com with the promise of high quality clients, and loads of work, only to discover that people who’ve been on the site for much longer are getting all of the quality work.
This is nothing new. In fact, when I decided to start on UpWork and take it seriously, back in mid 2017, things were exactly the same. Upon joining, I began to explore the forums, in an attempt to collect as much information as possible.
What I saw was an endless string of posts made by very frustrated freelancers, saying that they’ve applied to loads of jobs, but they just can’t seem to get the work. Now, here’s the thing. Almost every time, the reason why they weren’t getting work was their proposals.
In this article, I’m going to expand on how to write better proposals, and some points which are holding you back from achieving success as a Freelancer in the Upwork market.
1. They Don’t Care
Time for some brutal honesty. No matter how much passion you have for your craft, or your work, no client is going to care. They don’t want to know that you went to this school, or that school, that you have over 5 years experience, or that music is your life!
You see, the biggest mistake beginners make is how they frame their application. The reason why most of them fail, is because they frame it as ‘Why I Want This Job’.
Now, whilst that might seem fair to you, as the applicant, that doesn’t tell the client why they should hire you. After all, the client is there to exchange money for value. They want to pay you, and they want to get value in return. Telling them WHAT you can do for their project instead, now that will get you hired!
2. Provide Value
I suggest you pay attention, as this one is one of the most important points. When reviewing applications, the client has to read through an endless string of proposals in which the freelancers are basically asking the client to hire them, without showing them why.
When you write your proposal, consider adding some value. By that, I don’t mean give your services away for free, but give them a bit of information. For example, say that the job involves you solving a problem which the client has had for a while.
Pointing out that you can use a specialized piece of software to solve X, which would then simplify Y, is adding value. You’re telling them something which they didn’t know before, and that gives them more of a reason to hire you.
3. Ask Questions
Always ask questions pertinent to the job description. Don’t ask too many, and as a rule of thumb, stick to one or two. This will show the client that you are engaged, you have read the job description, you’re focused on details, and you are interested in finding a way to solve their problem.
4. Keep It Brief
Now that we have established that you need to tell them what value you can bring to the table, it’s time to go through your application again, and remove a lot of the unnecessary information. There will always be more freelancers than clients, which means that they always get multiple applications. In some cases, fifty, or more, per job.
Would you want to read fifty essays written by people who just talk about themselves, and waffle on, at that?
The answer is no.
After reading through a few applications, you’re going to start looking for patterns, and you’ll begin dismissing applications based on the first few lines. That’s why it’s important to be concise.
Quickly introduce yourself, tell them what you can bring to the table, provide a bit of value, ask a question or two, and then, it’s time for a call to action.
5. Add a Call to Action
At the end of it, make it clear that if they have any further questions, they can get in touch with you. This might not seem like much, but calls to action have been shown to increase the desired outcome, which in this case is them getting in touch with you.
It’s the same reason why YouTubers always ask you to like the video, hit the bell, and subscribe. Ir’s because it works.
That’s it for today’s article. Now go out there and get hired!