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Our Elance Review (now part of Upwork) – 8 Proposal Tips
If you want to start working from home as a freelancer, Elance is a great source to utilize to get leads on projects and writing assignments. The key to actually getting the projects that you want is writing a great proposal. There are some key elements that go into writing proposals that win projects. The following eight aspects will help you to win the majority of the projects that you bid on.
1. Use the client's name – It is a simple extra touch, but it can make a profound difference for many clients. It means that you pay attention to details, which is an important trait for freelancers. Read through the client's profile and the bid carefully to see if you can find a reference to the client's name. Use that information to personalize your proposal. It will definitely set your proposal apart from others.
2. Rates – This is not the sole deciding factor for most proposals, but it is a very important deciding factor. Be honest about the rates that you charge for your work. If you do high quality work, you deserve to be rewarded for it, so do not sell yourself short. At the same time, realize that the client will be looking at several other proposals depending on the bid. Do not try to be mysterious about your rates; it is one of the fastest ways to lose a project.
3. Outline how you will complete the project – This shows that you are organized and that you have a definite plan as to how you will get the project completed. It also reassures the client that you will be able to meet any time deadlines that may be in place for the project.
4. Deposit Information – It is unfortunate, but there are people who look for any opportunity to defraud people. You definitely do not want to be on the receiving end of a fraudulent project, so for some projects it is best to ask for a deposit in advance. As your experience grows you will usually be able to ask for a larger deposit as you start handling projects that have higher price rates.
5. Answers to any questions asked in the bid – If the client is not interested in the answers to questions posed in the proposal, then they would not have asked them, and this is where careful reading is key. Some clients even include a few odd questions just to ensure that bidder pays attention to detail. If you want to win bids, you need to be that kind of bidder.
6. Deadlines – While the bid will often include a deadline, sometimes it is up to you to outline when you will have the project finished. This is where knowing your actual skill set becomes key. Do not include an unrealistic delivery date in your proposal, and do not bid on proposals where you cannot reasonably meet the deadlines.
7. Language that shows your expertise – While you should never overstate your experience, you need to show the client that you are bidding on a project because you know what you are doing, and that you have the resources and the plans to deliver a topnotch finished project. For example, if you are bidding on a writing project about a specific topic, cite reasons why you are knowledgeable with the subject matter. By skillfully displaying your expertise you will win bids even when you are not the lowest bidder.
8. Honesty – It is something that everyone looks for in business transactions, but that is unfortunately lacking in many instances. If you promise the client something that you cannot deliver on, and you win the bid, you will lose that client for any future projects, and in most cases it also means a bad review which has a seriously negative impact on winning any future projects. On the other hand, honesty means that you will only take on projects that you can actually handle, and the result is that you will be happy and your client will be as well.
More Proposal Practice – More Jobs
Allow your creativity to express itself in the manner in which you combine these elements into the perfect Elance (Upwork) proposal. As you gain more experience writing proposals, you will be able to fine-tune your strategy to work best for the kind of projects that you typically bid on. Before you know it, you will likely find yourself at the top of the providers list.