I've made more than $150,000 on Upwork alone (and a lot more from other freelance job boards).
While success on Upwork happens thanks to a bewildering mix of skills, talents, and habits, writing proposals that get you clients is one of the most important ones.
There's a thing or two I've learnt about how to write Upwork proposals that help you get clients every time. The average conversion rate (the total number of proposals submitted divided by the actual number of contracts you win) is usually around 12-15%.
It could be better for you (since I choose not to work with several clients for various reasons).
It's no secret that Upwork proposals are the key to winning clients on the freelance job board. Heck, there are freelancers who've made more than $500,000+ and they swear by this too.
The problem is this: how do you get these bids noticed? You need a professional proposal in order to win jobs! In this blog post, I will give you tips on how to write Upwork proposals that convert into clients every time.
Choose the right projects to bid on
Just because you have a flowing list of projects on Upwork doesn't mean that you should bid on every single one of them.
By the time you are reading this, you'd already be clear about the specific skillsets you have as a freelancer, the type of jobs you want to work on, and the kind of clients you want to work with.
Choose the specific type of freelance projects you want to work on, only look for those before you go pitching.
While looking for jobs on Upwork, know how to identify potential bad clients or clients from hell (while you are browsing on Upwork). This could slow you down at the beginning but eventually, you'll get good at it (and you'll do it fast enough).
While we are at it, please do read the darned project brief: you'll be surprised just how many freelancers don't even bother reading what the prospective client wrote in their project brief.
Personalize the proposal
While you can keep a large part of your proposal standard (such as links to your previous work, links to your portfolio, and attachments (if any), you should personalize your Upwork proposals in the first few lines or paragraphs.
Use the clients' name (if you can find it), talk directly about the clients' business, congratulate them (like say if they just started their business), and paraphrase a few sentences found in their project briefs.
This is how you establish a connection with the client and get them to feel comfortable working with you (as well as how they'll remember what your proposal was about).
In fact, this one thing alone will make all the difference in how much work falls into your lap. It's just that easy.
Provide solutions right away (but not everything)
In your Upwork proposals, try to provide solutions right away and be specific. Don't just throw out ideas, but instead offer concrete examples of how you would go about solving the problem at hand.
This doesn't mean you send out an entire plan on "how to do...." or throw the baby out with the towel. Just give away enough (much like a teaser) to let the client know that you "know" what you are writing about.
Upwork Proposal length (Long or Short?)
There's a lot of debate out there on how lengthy (or how short) your Upwork proposals should be.
Go to forums, communities, and Reddit threads and you'll often see people advocated "Short proposals on Upwork".
If you want to use Short Proposals on Upwork, there's only one problem with it: It's really hard for you to make an impact, to stand out, and to pique your potential clients' interest. It's hard to let the client take you seriously with just a proposal that's just about the size of a paragraph.
Unless your client is looking for a music artist and your name is Rihanna, Ariana Grande, or Adele, your one paragraph proposals won't do you any good.
Instead of getting stuck with "proposal length", just focus on a length that does justice to the proposal.
Not too long; not too short. Just enough to make an impact.
Quality or Quantity: Numbers still matter
Your success on Upwork really depends on just one thing: How many active contracts are working on, every single month?
Numbers are everything. So, how many proposals do you bid on a daily basis? How many prospective clients are you talking to at any given time? How many active contracts do you manage to get?
Now, whether you choose to apply just for 4 jobs in an entire month or put in 5 bids per day, the only thing that matters at the end are the questions above.
Just placing a single bid in 6 months and expecting to make it big on Upwork is foolishness (and both you and I know it's not going to work).
How do you write proposals on Upwork?