My Upwork Proposal format

My Upwork Proposal format

I’m sharing the Upwork proposal writing technique that has helped me a lot. Although I’m not by any means an expert at Upwork, I’ve just been at Upwork for 6 months. But with an experience of over 11 years in the design industry, I was successfully able to get some long-term clients quickly, who also tend to pay well.
Currently, I’m only working part-time at Upwork (the majority day still spent at the day job). From Setmber 2020 till today, I’ve earned $8k+ doing 6 completed jobs (5 in progress). I’m yet to get a JSS score.

My strategy has always been to travel after future clients who pay well and value my work. The advantage of long-term clients is that when you develop the understanding, the work becomes easier and you'll easily pace it up.

I’ve been using the following techniques to successfully pitch for clients:

  • Format of my Proposal

Although I follow the following format for most of my proposals, I sometimes do play around with it, considering the client’s requirements in mind. In short, there’s no fixed one format to follow, you can play around with the format as long as you answer all the requirements that the client has mentioned in the job description.

1. Introduction - I introduce myself in a single line.

  • TIP: Never use Sir or Madam. Use Hello with client name (More often than not, you'll get the client’s name from the work history.)

2. Assurance -  I confidently address the requirement of the client, with a tall claim that I’d achieve this job in the best possible manner.
  • TIP: Sound confident. Don’t use: I’ll try, I may, I think, instead use I would, I’m confident.

3. Capabilities - I then talk about my experience and the clients I’ve worked with. This section builds up my credibility and helps to convince the client what I claimed in the Assurance part above.

  • TIP: Include any relevant projects that you’ve done, or mention the clients you’ve worked for in the client’s relevant industry.

4. Questions - this is the most important part, as it shows you’ve gone through the brief, and have found some things missing which would help you deliver a better product. If the client doesn’t give enough details, trust me, he isn’t the right client to go ahead with.

  • TIP: Always put your questions in bullets, so that it is easy to read.

5. Call-to-Action - This section is where you compel the client to take some action. I usually include my portfolio link here, and include a message saying ‘I’d be happy to share more of my work, in case you want to see more relevant projects.

  • TIP: Always include something that forces the client to require action. Whether is it having a glance at your portfolio, or writing a reply to you, or answering your questions.

6. Conclusion - Round it off nicely, with a line that says looking forward to hearing back from you. I usually also include a line where I inform the client that I’d like to get on the decision to debate further details if they’d like. this is often really important for long-term clients. Because building a human-to-human interaction is extremely important if you’re willing to possess an extended work relationship.

  • Some general tips

Never sound desperate or use a lot of ‘Please’, or ‘Kindly’ etc.
Most importantly, always under commit and over-deliver. Never make tall promises that you won’t be able to deliver, this will result in both bad relationships and bad ratings.
Use proper grammar and ask someone to repair any errors if you’re not very fluent in English. Remember, how you communicate matters tons when the clients choose who to figure with.

I' will also be sharing a proposal sample based on the above format soon on bloggerzune. The reason I want to post this first is to help you understand the ‘WHY’ behind writing a good proposal.

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