Write Job-Getting Upwork Proposals: 10 Best Practices for Writing Proposals That Get You Hired | John Morris | Skillshare

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Write Job-Getting Upwork Proposals: 10 Best Practices for Writing Proposals That Get You Hired

teacher avatar John Morris, I help freelancers get clients.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Do Your Homework


    • 3.

      Establish Credibility


    • 4.

      Focus on the Client


    • 5.

      Showcase Relevant Skills


    • 6.

      Prove It


    • 7.

      Demonstrate Your Professionalism


    • 8.

      Make a Great First Impression


    • 9.

      Set Yourself Apart


    • 10.

      Call to Action


    • 11.

      Follow Up


    • 12.

      Better Than Best Practices


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About This Class

Proposals are THEE key to success on Upwork.

If you can create quality proposals, your chances of getting clients and building a successful freelance business go up dramatically.

But, having taught tens of thousands of Upworkers through my online courses, I know that most make critical mistakes that cost them jobs and keep them from having success.

And, that's why I put together this class.

I've been on Upwork since 2013 (back when it was called Elance) and I've been teaching others how to have success on Upwork since 2016.

Since then, I've helped tens of thousand of Upworkers through my online courses and millions through my YouTube videos.

Now, I know you don't really care about me and what I've done...

The reason WHY you should care is that all of this illustrates my approach has demonstrated it can work beyond me and my limited experience... but instead with thousands of other Upworker, as well. People like YOU.

And, in this class, I'm going to teach you the most important best practices you need to pay attention to when creating your Upwork Proposal...

So, your proposal gets noticed, gets read... and gives you a much better chance of getting hired on Upwork.

I genuinely believe that if you can master this, you can have success on Upwork.

So, if you're ready to finally make Upwork... work FOR YOU...

Let's jump into the class.

Meet Your Teacher

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John Morris

I help freelancers get clients.


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Level: Beginner

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1. Trailer: Being able to write great proposals is absolutely key to your success on upward, upward proposals were either make or break you as a freelancer, you have to be focused and care about your upper proposal. Your proposal is your elevator pitch, is your cover letter, is your first impression. It is the first thing a potential client will see. So you've got arousal does okay, I'm John Morris and as you can see, everyone agrees proposals are the key to success on Upwork. If you can create quality proposals, your chances of getting clients and building a successful freelance business go up dramatically. But having taught tens of thousands of workers through my online courses, I know that most make critical mistakes that cost them jobs and keep them from having success. And that's why I put together this class. I've been on Upwork since 2013 back when it was still called eLance. That's how old I am. And I've been teaching others how to have success on Upwork since 2016. Since then, I've helped tens of thousands of workers through my online courses and millions through my YouTube videos. But I know that you don't really care about me and what I've done. The reason why you should care about all this though, is that it illustrates my approach has demonstrated that it can work beyond me and my limited experience. But instead with thousands of other up workers as well, people like you. In this class, I'm going to teach you the most important best practices you need to pay attention to when creating your Upwork proposals. So your proposals get noticed, get read, and then give you a much better chance of getting hired on Upwork. And I genuinely believe that if you can master this, you can have success on Upwork and in freelancing. So if you're ready to finally make Upwork work for you, let's jump into the class. 2. Do Your Homework: If you want to write a winning Upwork proposal, the first step is to do your homework. That means researching the client, the project you're applying for. Now, why is this important? Well, for starters, it shows the client that you're not just spamming everyone with a generic proposal, but that you're genuinely interested in their project and have taken the time to understand their needs. Plus it can help you tailor your proposal to their specific requirements and stand out from the competition who likely won't be doing the same. So how do you conduct effective research for your Upwork proposal? Well, here are some tips to get you started. Number one, simply check out the client's profile, take a look at their profile and see if they have any specific requirements or preferences listed. This can help you to tailor your proposal accordingly and show them that you've paid attention to their needs, which will go a long way towards them trusting you and wanting to hire you. Next, read the project description carefully, make sure you fully understand in detail what the client is looking for and what the project entails. So many freelancers on Upwork and in general, simply don't do this. And this can help you to write a more targeted proposal that addresses their specific requirements. Next, look for clues on the client's portfolio or website or whatever they have available. If they have a portfolio or a website or something along those lines, take a look at it and get a sense of their style, their tone, their preferences, etc. This can help you tailor your proposal to their specific brand, their specific tone and style, and make a stronger impression and have a better understanding of what they're actually after if you do get hired for the project. Next, check out their reviews and feedback on Upwork. Take a look at the client reviews and the feedback that other freelancers have left for them and what they've said about working with them. Again, this can help give you a sense of their communication style, their work expectations, and any potential red flags that you might identify. And ultimately by doing your research and tailoring your proposal to the client specific needs, you're going to increase your chances of standing out from the competition and getting hired for your dream project. Again, all of these things are just little things you can stack in your favorite. Each one on its own is valuable. But it's when you stack all of them together that they are really more powerful and can give you a big advantage over other up workers on the site. So make sure you don't skip this step. 3. Establish Credibility: This might seem simple and obvious, but I see so many freelancers and up workers not doing this, but one of the most important things to keep in mind when writing an Upwork proposal is to use a professional tone and writing style. This not only shows the client that you're serious about the project and your work, but also helps you establish credibility and trust which are so important in the situations where two people don't know each other and there's money being exchanged and so forth. But what does it mean to use a professional tone and style? It doesn't necessarily mean using big words or formal language, but rather communicating in a clear, concise, and competent manner. Avoid using slang. Emojis are overly casual language and instead focus on presenting yourself as a knowledgeable and reliable professional. So here are some examples of how to achieve a professional tone and writing style in your Upwork proposals. First off, simply use proper grammar and punctuation. Spelling mistakes and typos can undermine your credibility immediately and make you look unprofessional. And those types of proposals will get thrown out almost instantly. So proofread your proposal carefully and use tools like Grammarly or others to catch those errors. Next, address the client by name. Using the client's name shows that you've taken the time to research and understand their needs and it helps to establish a personal connection. One of the places you can look if you don't find it immediately right away, is in the reviews for that particular client. Often the other freelancers will mention their first name at the very least and you can use that in your proposal. Next, focus on the client's needs and goals. So instead of talking only about yourself and your skills, make sure to address the client's specific needs and goals in your proposal. Show them how you can help them achieve their objectives. Why you're the best fit for the job, instead of just blindly listing off all of your achievements and accomplishments, that don't really mean anything to the client unless they're relevant to their specific needs. So make sure to tie those things together and focus mostly on their needs and goals, not necessarily your skills and experience. Next, keep it concise and to the point, avoid rambling are going off topic and focus on presenting the most important information, the most impactful information in a clear and concise manner. One easy way to do that is to simply use bullet points or subheadings to break up your text and make it easier to read. Because again, a lot of these clients, they're going to have a ton of these proposals to go through. So the easier Yours is to read, the more they can get the main information because you're using subheadings or bullets or bolding, you're using text formatting to help it be easier to consume. The more likely they are to get the important information and put you into the higher pile. Ultimately by following these tips and using a professional tone and style and your Upwork proposals, you'll be well on your way to impressing clients and winning more projects. And remember, your proposal is often the first impression you'll make. So make it count. 4. Focus on the Client: Now let's talk about maybe the most important aspect of writing a winning Upwork proposal. And that is addressing the client's needs and goals. After all, the client is the one who's hiring you. So it's essential to show them that you understand their needs and can help them achieve their goals. Now, why is addressing the client's needs and goals so crucial? Well, for starters, it helps you stand out from the competition. A lot of freelancers aren't gonna do this. A lot of freelancers are going to copy and paste or they're going to skim job description and they're not really going to dig into figuring out what the goals and the needs of the client are and then writing a proposal that addresses those directly and in an impactful way. So it helps you to stand out from the competition. Many freelancers make the mistake of focusing too much on their own skills and experience. And it's not out of arrogance or narcissism, It's more just they think that's what the client wants to hear. And so that's what they do when in reality it's really not what the client wants to hear. And so a lot of freelancers make this mistake without taking the time to understand what the client is actually looking for. So by addressing their needs and goals, you're showing them that you're not just another generic freelancer, but someone who truly cares about their project. And that phrase right there. Maybe one of the most important things to keep in mind when you're dealing with clients is they want someone who cares as much about their project as they do. And if you just think about it and anything in your life that's important to you when you meet someone who cares about it as much as you do. It's almost like an immediate kinship and that's really what thereafter, that's what they want ultimately from a freelancer. So again, by addressing their needs and goals specifically, instead of just listing off your skills and experience, you are showing them that you truly care about their project and can help them achieve the success that thereafter. So how do you identify and address the client's needs and goals? Well, it's really not that difficult. It just takes doing it and it takes a little bit of effort. So first thing, and we've sort of covered this a little bit, but it's worth going back over. Read the project description carefully in detail if they attach things to it, read through that, if they point to a website, look at the website and don't just glance through it. Don't take 2 min and go through it. Take ten to 15 to 20 to 30 min. If you're bidding on the right kind of jobs, then it's gonna be worth the time for you to do that and really try to understand what the client is looking for, what is it that they're really after the gun and leave you clues. So try to identify those things and pull those out of the project description that is crucial to all of this. Another thing you can do is you can look for keywords or phrases that give you those clues about their goals, their pain points, the things that are key hiring criteria that they're going to really base their decision off of. You want to look for those keywords or phrases in the project description and try to pull them out. And every project is gonna be different, every client is gonna be different. So you really have to look for those. But anything that gives you a sense of this really matters to the client, tried to pull those out and find those and latch onto those and make sure you cover those in your proposal. Which of course is the last step. Use all of this information that you find in the project description to show them in your proposal that you can help them achieve those goals and solve the problems that thereafter and ultimately help them to deliver on the project that they're hiring you for. So again, really dig into that project description, pull out everything you can, and then use that as ammo in your proposal to make it really resonate with them and show that you care about their project. So e.g. if the client is looking for a blog writer and to increase their website traffic, don't just talk about your writing skills. Instead, you want to highlight how your writing can help them achieve their goal by providing high-quality SEO optimized content that drives track traffic and engages their audience. So if their goal is website traffic, that's what you need to focus on. Not your writing skills are not talking about some fiction book that you wrote or whatever the case may be. You want to talk about how you can help them get more website traffic. That's what you need to focus on. And ultimately by addressing their needs and goals, you're showing them that you can provide value and help them achieve the goal that thereafter, but helping them achieve what it is that they ultimately want. So take the time to understand their needs and goals, draw that out of the project description. It's gonna be in there. And then use your proposal to demonstrate how you can help them get there because that's ultimately what they're after is they want to achieve their goal and you are a means to end help them do that. So focusing on that and your proposal, you're going to have a lot better chance of getting hired. 5. Showcase Relevant Skills: Now that you've caught the client's attention and shown them that you're genuinely interested in their project. Now it's time to showcase your skills and relevant experience. This is where you get to shine and show the client what you can bring to the table. When clients are browsing proposals on Upwork, They want to see that you have the skills and experience necessary to complete their projects successfully. If you can't demonstrate that, you can't demonstrate that you have the relevant experience. They're likely to move on to the next proposal. So that's why it's essential to showcase your skills and relevant experience upfront and your proposal. Doing so helps the client quickly understand why you're the right person for the job and gives them confidence in your ability to deliver high-quality work. So how do you showcase your skills and experience effectively in your Upwork proposal? Well, here's a few tips to help you out. Number one, again, you can use bullet points to highlight key skills and experience. This makes it easy for the client to scan and understand what you bring to the table. Always remember the position they're in. They might have 20 or 30 or more different proposals that they have to wade through. So the easier you can make it for them to read, the more likely they are to consume it. And you want to put the most important information right in their face. So it's easy to find and your relevant skills and experience tailored to their goals and their needs, is that kind of information. Next, provide examples of past work that is relevant to the project. This is maybe one of the most important things that you can do. If you can show a client that you've done the exact thing that they're after. You've done it multiple times and you've done it well, you have a high-quality portfolio to show them that has this kind of work. That's the easiest way to get hired because it helps the client to see that you have without a shadow of a doubt because they can see it right there in your portfolio. The necessary experience and skills to complete their project successfully. Now one caveat here, or one note here is that don't assume that they're going to look through your portfolio, point them to your portfolio in your proposal, and point them to specific items. Tell them, Look at this item, look at that item, et cetera, so that they know exactly where to go and you're leading them down the path you want them to go. Don't make any assumptions about what they're going to look at. If there's something specific you want them to look at that you think is tied to their project. Make sure and mentioned that explicitly in your proposal to give you the best chance that they'll actually look at it. Next, you want to highlight any relevant certifications or training that you've completed. Anything that's relevant to their project. Again, this just demonstrates that you're a master of your craft. You're committed to your craft or someone who's looking to operate at the highest level. That's why you have these certifications or these trainings that you've taken. So it demonstrates that to your client and that you are an expert in the field because they want to hire someone who is an expert, someone who knows what their project is about inside and out and can handle all of the things that may come up. So anything that you can point out that is relevant, again, relevant, relevant, relevant, relevant to their needs and their goals. That's why those previous best practices are so important. But if it's relevant to their needs and goals, definitely point it out. Then ultimately customize your proposal to showcase your skills and experience that are most relevant to the client's needs. This again, shows the client that you've taken the time to read through and understand their needs and then figure out if you are a fit for their project. And if you are now you're submitting the proposal as opposed to you're just a freelancer who wants to make a bunch of money and you're submitting proposals to any and every project out there, That's what they're trying to avoid. They don't want a freelancer who's just in it for the money. They want someone who actually has taken the time to look at their project, cares about their project, has assessed it and feels like there really are a good fit. That's what they want to feel on their sites. So the more you can demonstrate that in your proposal, the more likely you are to get hired. And again, by following these tips, you're gonna be able to showcase your skills and your experience effectively and set yourself apart from the competition. Most freelancers, most up workers, simply aren't going to go this deep with it. Many will just blindly submit proposals to blanket proposals to a bunch of jobs. Some will take a little bit of time. Most are not going to take a ton of time to really invest and look at individual projects and break them down and write a proposal that is highly relevant. Most aren't going to do that. So it's an easy way for you to set yourself apart just by putting in a little bit extra time and effort has nothing to do with your skill set. And it has nothing to do with anything else, has to do with time and effort. And ultimately remember, with all of this, confidence is key. So don't be afraid to show the client what you're made of and let your expertise shine through in your proposal. That's what they're looking at. As long as it's relevant, That's the key to this whole thing. Could you do that research? You pull out those items, and now, now you can tie your skills and experience to their needs and their goals and what they're after. And it makes sense. It's not you just bragging about yourself or just listing a bunch of qualifications. You actually addressing what they wrote in their job description. That's the key to all of this. So again, do that and you're gonna have a much better chance of your proposal is getting accepted. 6. Prove It: Following on from best practice number four, then you want to showcase your skills and experience. But you don't want to come across as arrogant or pushy. What's the secret sauce to balancing that? Well, it's providing specific examples and results that are relevant again to the client's needs and goals. And just think about it. Clients want to know what you could do for them. They want to see tangible evidence of your expertise and how you've helped other clients in the past by providing specific examples and results in your proposal, you're showing them exactly that. So e.g. instead of saying, I'm a great writer, you could say, I helped the client increase their website traffic 50% through high-quality blog posts and social media content. Can you see the difference between those two things? Not only are you highlighting your skills as a writer, but you're also showing the client the impact that your work can have on their business. So how can you incorporate specific examples on results into your Upwork proposal? Well, here are some tips. First off, personalize your examples. Don't use the same examples for every proposal. Instead, take the time to choose examples that are directly relevant to the client's needs and project goals. This will show the client that you've done your research and are truly invested in their project. Next, use metrics whenever possible. Numbers and metrics are a great way to quantify your achievements and make your examples more tangible. So e.g. instead of saying, I helped a client increase their website traffic, you could say I helped decline, increase their website traffic by 50%. As I mentioned earlier, this not only shows the impact of your work, but also gives the client a clear idea of what they can expect if they hire you, just make sure that those numbers are real. Don't make them up or don't exaggerate them. If anything, downplay them a little bit because a lot of freelancers aren't going to be providing those specific numbers anyway. So you're going to stand out just for doing that. Next, highlight challenges and solutions. Clients want to know that you can handle challenges and solve problems. So in your examples, be sure to describe any challenges you faced and how you overcame them. This will demonstrate to the client that you have problem-solving skills and give them confidence in your ability to handle their project. This is a really big one that gets overlooked a lot because a lot of freelancers want to put on a glossy show and they don't want to talk about anything that might have went wrong or that was hard with a project that is a mistake. Clients know that there can be challenges, there can be issues that you run into and they want to know that you have the ability to overcome them. So be sure to highlight those things. Next. Be specific and concrete. So again, avoid vague or generic statements in your examples. Instead, use concrete language and specific details to make your examples more compelling. So e.g. instead of saying I wrote some great blog posts, you could say I wrote a series of blog posts that generated over 1,000 shares and 50 black back links to the client's website. There's only shows your writing skills, obviously otherwise you wouldn't have got those metrics, but also demonstrates the impact of your work and allows the client to start envisioning what they could get by working with you. That's the mindset you want them in. Next, use visual aids. So if appropriate, consider including visual aids like charts or graphs to illustrate your examples and results. This can make your proposal more engaging your portfolio, more engaging and help the client better understand the impact of your work. Just be sure to keep a professional and relevant to the project. Next, highlight the value that you can bring. Specific examples and results are great, but don't forget to tie them back to the client's needs and the project goals. Explain how your skills and experience can bring value to their project and help them achieve their objectives. Always keep it focused on the client. Next, keep it concise. While it's important to provide specific examples, be careful not to make your proposal too long or detailed because again, clients receive a lot of proposals and they might not have the time, or frankly, the patients Read through a lengthy proposal. So make sure that your examples are relevant. They're impactful, but they're also concise. Finally, don't over-promise, while it's important to showcase your skills and your experience, be careful not to over promise or guarantee results that you can't deliver that's ultimately going to backfire you and it's a bad move long term for you on Upwork or just as a freelancer in general. So be honest about your abilities and only provide examples that accurately reflect your capabilities. And ultimately, by following these tips, you'll be able to provide specific examples and specific results that help you stand out from the crowd. That's ultimately what we're after. Get you noticed. Convince clients that you're the right person for the job. It's that tangible evidence that they need that they're probably not going to get from a lot of other proposals. So don't be shy and make sure that you show them what you've got and follow these tips and you'll be in good shape. 7. Demonstrate Your Professionalism: Let's face it, no one likes to read a long convoluted Upwork proposal that lacks structure and clarity. That's why it's important to use a clear and structured format that makes it easy for the client to understand your proposal and see the value you bring to their project. Why is this so important for Upwork proposals? Well, for one, it shows that you're a professional who takes the time to present your ideas in a logical and easy to fall away. It also makes it easier for the client to skim through your proposal and quickly get a sense of what you're offering. Especially important when they have so many proposals that they have to go through long convoluted proposals that are just a wall of text, almost immediately get thrown out. So this is incredibly important for you getting past that first filter. So how do you format your Upwork proposal effectively? Well, here are some tips. First off, keep your sentences and paragraphs. Short, long, dense paragraphs and run-on sentences can be overwhelming and difficult to follow. So keep things concise and use short, simple sentences and language to make your proposal easier for the client to read. Consider using headings and subheadings where appropriate to break up your proposal into sections. This not only makes it easier to read, but also allows the client to quickly navigate to the sections that are most relevant to them. Next, start with a clear and compelling introduction that hooks the client and makes them want to read more. This is absolutely critical that you start off with something compelling that catches their intention. You need to give them reasons to want to read your proposal. And so that introduction, that hook is critical to doing that. So don't be afraid to use a bit of humor or personality to grab their attention. And clients don't want to work with robots, they want to work with humans. And so don't be afraid to show some personality or use a little bit of humor again, just keep it professional and use your best judgment. Don't make inappropriate jokes or anything like that. But again, don't be afraid to show some personality in order to get their attention. Use bullet points where possible to highlight key information and make it stand out so relevant skills and experience, maybe examples. Anything you think is critical for the client to see in your proposal, consider using bullet points to highlight that information. And again, this is particularly effective for lists of skills, experience, or deliverables, and so on. Next, consider using bold or italicize texts where possible to emphasize important points. But again, use them sparingly so they don't use their impact. The more you can make your proposal skimmable by the client the better. Finally, end with a strong call to action that encourages the client to take the next step. Whether it's scheduling your call, hiring you right away, messaging you, and so forth. And never forget that strong call to action. And it's essentially you asking for the sale, which is so important when it comes to sales and marketing. Again, by using a clear and structured format in Europe or proposal, only make it easier for the client to understand your proposal and actually read what you're saying. But it also shows them that you're a professional, that you take time, that you're detail-oriented. So it's not just what you say with your proposal, it's what you're demonstrating in your proposal. Both of those things are at work here. And by doing this using a clear format, you're going to show both. So go ahead and give it a try. Let's see how it can help you win more projects on Upwork. 8. Make a Great First Impression: Obviously nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, especially when it comes to spelling and grammar. But if you're serious about getting hired on Upwork, paying attention to these details is crucial, as I previously said, it's not just about what you say in your proposal, it's what you demonstrate. And if you have a proposal that's riddled with errors, it demonstrates to the client that you don't pay attention to detail and they're going to immediately throw out your proposal. So we all know first impressions matter and nothing screams unprofessional louder, then a proposal riddled with errors and typos. And if you think about it, if a client receives two proposals that are equally impressive in terms of their skills and experience and portfolio and everything else is equal. But one is full of mistakes while the other is flawlessly written. Which one do you think that they're going to choose? Exactly? They're going to choose the one without all the mistakes because it demonstrates that that person that freelancer pays attention to detail. So what can you do? Some simple things that you can do? Avoid these mistakes to make sure your proposal is error free. Here's a few tips. First off, just simply use a spell checker. Now that might sound obvious, but using a spell checker can help you catch those simple mistakes that you might miss on your own. And most word processing software and browsers have built-in spell checkers. So it's something really simple, really easy that you can do. And just make sure you run your proposal through one before submitting it. It can take a matter of seconds for you to do. Or you can use a tool like Grammarly, which is what I use. I have the browser extension installed and so everything that I write, it's looking at and it's letting me know if I'm making mistakes. That's another simple thing that you can do to catch all of those and make sure your proposal isn't littered with these common obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. Next, read it out loud. Now, this might feel silly at first when you do it, but reading your proposal out loud, it can help you to catch errors and typos that you might not get when you're reading it silently in your head. And probably more importantly, it can help you to spot awkward phrasing or unclear sentences or ideas that aren't communicated. Clearly, those we come more obvious when you read it out loud. So just take a second before you submit your proposal and actually read it out loud, not just in your head, but out loud and see if there's anything that you can fix or you can make a little more clear and so forth that can make a huge difference toward making the ideas that you're communicating in your proposal in any of your writing. A lot more clear. You can also have someone else read it. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is what you need to catch those mistakes that you might have overlooked. So you can ask a friend, a colleague, or a family member, whoever it is, just have them read your proposal and provide any feedback, identify anything that doesn't make any sense or spot any typos and so forth. Sometimes just that one extra pair of eyes can help you to catch those things. Again, if you're bidding on the right kinds of projects than these steps will be worth it. That can take maybe 30 s to have a spouse or a family member, a child, a friend, whoever, look through it and read through it and spot anything, and then submit the proposal. And so that can help you to catch any of that stuff and make sure it doesn't actually get to the client. Next, you can take a break and simply come back to it. So when you're working on something for a long time, it can be easy to overlook mistakes because you're so familiar with it, you're so familiar with the text. So taking breaking, coming back later with fresh eyes can help you to catch any mistakes that you might have missed. So those are a few tips to help you pay attention to the grammar and really just add them to your checklist of things to go through, your mental checklist of things to grow through before you hit the Submit button on your proposal. And remember, your proposal is your chance to make a great first impression and convince the client. Demonstrate to the client that you're the right person for the job. And it's not just what you say, it's what you're showing is what you're demonstrating. And so knocking this out, making sure you don't have any of this is going to help you get through all of the filters. So you're down to that last one or two or three profiles and proposals that they're actually going to take a long look at. So again, by paying attention to spelling and grammar and making sure your proposals error-free, you'll increase your chances of getting hired and building a successful freelancing career on Upwork. 9. Set Yourself Apart: Maybe the simplest secret to winning upward proposals personalize your proposal for each client. Now, I know, I know it can be tempting to use a standard template in blasto to every job posting that looks remotely interesting. But let me tell you, a clients can smell a generic proposal from a mile away and they're not likely to give it a second glance. It's one of the first filters that they're going to use to get rid of certain proposals. So why is this so important to clients? Well, for starters, it shows them that you've taken the time to read and understand their job posting. Again, they want someone who really cares about their project and is invested in their project, not just someone who's in it for the money. So this shows them that you're genuinely interested in helping them achieve their goals. It also allows you to showcase your skills and experience in a way that's relevant to this specific project and client making it easier for them to imagine working with you. So how do you personalize your proposal? Well, here's a few tips. First off, addressed the client by name. Now this may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many proposals start with a generic Dear Sir, or Madam? Do some research and find out the client's name and use it in your greeting. You can often find it in the reviews of other freelancers have left for that particular client if it's not immediately obvious what it is. So that's one place you can look. Next, use their language. This is a subtle one, but an important one. Pay attention to the clients tone and language in their job posting against the best practice number one, for reading their job posting in detail, but pay attention to the language they use and try to mirror it in your proposal. They use the casual tone. Feel free to be a bit more informal in your writing. They use technical jargon, use it to as long as you actually understand it, but don't be afraid to mirror their language. It's a subtle thing that they won't necessarily immediately notice, but it will make your proposal just seem more relevant and there'll be able to relate to it and resonate with them a lot better than if you just use your own tone and so forth. So pay attention to the language they use and don't be afraid to merit and your proposal. Show them you've done your homework. So reference specific aspects of the client's project or their business or whatever their website in your proposal and demonstrate that you've researched their industry and their competitors. This is one of the things that I harp on and a lot of my other courses and books is you want to be explicit about letting the client know that you've read their job description. You don't want it to be subtle here. You don't need necessarily need to say, Hey, I read your job description. But you really want to overtly demonstrate that you've read it and point out certain things so that they know and you communicate clearly that you've read the whole thing and understand it that alone will go a long way towards a client really assessing your proposal and giving you a hard look for hiring. So again, show them that you've done your homework, reference specific aspects of their project and your proposal. And that's going to help button as well. Of course, offer relevant examples. We've mentioned this a few times, but it's worth repeating. If you have previous work experience that's relevant to the client's project, mention it and provide examples. Point to specific items in your portfolio, et cetera. This shows them that you're not just a generic freelancer, that you're someone who has the skills and expertise to help them succeed with their project. And them seeing that you've already done something very similar or exactly what they want, immediately eliminates all of the worry and doubt and can they do it and this, and that. It immediately lets them know that you can complete this project because you've done it before. If you have anything like that, be sure to point to it included whatever you need to do in order to get it in front of them. Next up is maybe a simple and counter-intuitive one. But that is to show enthusiasm. Let the client knows that you're excited about the project and why. Look for things that interests you in the project, tried to find them. If you can't, maybe consider not bidding on that project because you want to have enthusiasm and excitement for their project and then share why you're passionate about their industry or what you find interesting about the project and what motivates you to do your best work. Again, they want someone who really cares about their projects. So show that to them, show them that enthusiasm and look for those things so that when you do it, it's authentic. You are genuinely excited and interested in their project. Next, ask thoughtful questions. So you want to demonstrate your interests in the project by asking thoughtful questions about the client's goals, their expectations, their vision, et cetera. This shows that you're not just interested in getting the job, but in creating a successful outcome for the client. Now, of course, only do this if it's appropriate and legitimate. So don't make up questions that you're not genuinely interested in the answer to because that's going to come across as fake and inauthentic. And clients can smell that fake interests a mile away. They've probably heard it a lot with the hair project. Depending on what it is. They probably had a lot of naysayers and doubters in their life. And so they're really sensitive to that kind of thing. So again, make sure they're genuine questions, but if you have them, don't be afraid to ask them. Sometimes just asking a question and you're getting them to respond to, you can get the conversation going and lead to you getting hired. Next, offer a unique approach. So if you have a specific idea or approach that you think would be a great fit for the client's project if you already have a vision in your mind of how the project might go or how you might complete their project. Don't be afraid to share that with them. Again, this can set you apart from other freelancers who are just kind of blindly putting in their skills, experience, and talking about themselves and so forth. This can separate you from those freelancers and demonstrate your creativity, your problem-solving skills, your initiative and so forth. Again, not just what you say in the proposal, but also what you demonstrate. And this helps to demonstrate a lot of good quality. So if you have something like that, if you have a fish and don't be afraid to share that with them in the proposal. Next and other subtle one, but you can highlight your shared values. So if the client's business or project aligns with your personal values or interests in some way. Don't be afraid to mention that. So maybe it's a religious project and that's something that's really important to you. Or maybe it's sports or whatever the case may be. If there's some sort of shared values there don't be afraid to mention those in this can help you to connect with the client on a deeper, more personal level. And that's something that can instantly set you apart from other freelancers have actually had a lot of clients hire me because of that, because we had some sort of shared value. So it's a very powerful thing. It seems subtle, but it's a powerful thing that you can do. And again, it just shows them you're not, you're not in it just for the money, but you actually genuinely care about them and their success. The more you can show that and everything you do, the better off you're gonna be. So those are a few tips for personalizing your proposal. Remember, personalize your proposal doesn't have to be a long time consuming process. It's a few small tweaks here and there and what you're saying and what you're doing that can make a big difference and catching the client's attention and ultimately winning their trust and winning the job. So really take the time to tailor your proposals to each client and watch your success on Upwork, grow. 10. Call to Action: All right, We've made it to best practice, number nine, and this one's a big one, including a clear call to action in your Upwork proposal. Now why is this so important? Well, it's a well-known fact in the sales and marketing realm. If you don't ask for the sale 80 to 90% of the time, the client or the customer is ultimately not going to buy. So simply, by asking for the sale, you dramatically increase your chance of getting someone to buy or in this case, of an Upwork proposal, getting them to hire you. So including a clear call to action is very important in your proposal. So you don't leave the client unsure of what to do or not sure how to move forward and so forth. So you wanna make sure and include that call to action. So how do you do that? Well, here's some tips on how to write a good call to action. First and foremost, be specific. Instead of a generic contact me if you're interested. Statement tried to be more specific about what you want the client to do next Exactly. E.g. I love to schedule a call to discuss your project further. Or if you're ready to move forward, Let's set up a milestone payment and get started something very specific and tell them exactly what you want them to do. Next, use action-oriented language. Your call to action should be active, not passive. So use strong verbs like schedule, book higher, or start to encourage the client to take action. You always want to be in that action oriented mindset and that way of speaking, so it moves them into taking action on your proposal. Next, highlight the benefits. So instead of focusing solely on what you want the client to do, try to frame your call to action in terms of the benefits though received by working with you. So e.g. you could say something like let's schedule a call to see how my experience and x can help you achieve why. Or another example, by hiring me, you'll get a dedicated professional freelancer who will deliver high-quality work on time. So you're attaching the benefits to the action, reminding them of why they should hire you, why they should take action. Now. Next, keep it short and sweet. So your call to action should be concise and to the point, you want to avoid rambling or adding unnecessary information that could distract from the main message you want to ask for the sale competently and clearly and concisely, and that's gonna give you the best chance of them saying yes and ultimately hiring you next, make it easy to follow. So provide clear instructions on how the client can take the next step, whether it's scheduling and call something a message, setting up a milestone payment, payment, etc. Now on Upwork, this is pretty straightforward. They can either message you, they can hire you, et cetera. But you want to again tell them exactly what to do because you never know the client might be brand new to Upwork, not sure exactly how things are supposed to go next and so forth. So just tell them exactly what you want. Next. Use urgency. So if it's appropriate and it makes sense in the situation at a sense of urgency to your call to action. So e.g. you could say, I'm available to start working on your project immediately, or my schedule is filling up fast, so let's schedule call today to secure your spot. You can mention how your calendar is filling up or you have a number of other job invites that you're writing proposals for. Whatever makes sense. Again, just make sure it's authentic. Don't make up urgency, don't make up things that aren't real because ultimately clients are going to find that kind of thing out. That's not only immoral, but it's impractical and will eventually get you caught. So use urgency if it's appropriate, if it makes sense, if it's legitimate. And that can really help to take your proposal over the top. So there you have it. That's best practice. Number nine, including a clear call to action, add this to your proposal writing on Upwork and your shore to see the results that you're getting, grow. 11. Follow Up: Congrats, You've just submitted your Upwork proposal and now you're eagerly waiting for the client to respond. But what do you do if you don't hear back from them? Do you just give up and move on to the next project? Absolutely not. Following up after submitting your proposal can be a powerful way to remind the client of your interests, showcase your professionalism, and stand out from other freelancers. The importance of following up after submitting an Upwork proposal cannot be overstated. Clients often receive dozens, if not more proposals for a single project. So it's not uncommon for them to miss her overlook some of them. By following up, you're not only increasing the chances of your proposal being seen, but you're also demonstrating your commitment and interest in the project, which goes along way with clients. Of course, following up effectively is key. So here's some tips to help you do it right? First off, before you follow up, wait a few days, void following up immediately after submitting your proposal because that can come across as pushy or desperate. Instead, wait a few days and give the client time to review all of the different proposals and then get back to you. So wait a few days. If you haven't heard back then you can follow up. Next. Keep it short and sweet. Your follow-up message should be brief and to the point, remind the client of your interests and your availability. Ask them if they have any questions or they need need any further information from you. But don't go on and on and on and on. Keep it short, keep it sweet so that it actually gets read and can have the impact that you're after in following up. Third, be polite and professional. That may seem obvious, but you want to remember to keep that polite and professional tone and your follow-up message, even if you're feeling frustrated or anxious because of the moment that you're not polite or professional, that's when the client is going to immediately throw your proposal into the not hire pile. So the second you do that, you're essentially giving up on the job. So be polite, be professional, but also be assertive and follow up properly with the client. Of course, don't be too aggressive. Again, while it's important to follow up, It's also important to not be too aggressive or pushy, so you don't want to bombard the client with multiple followup messages every day or every half-day or whatever the case may be. And ultimately, if they do decide to hire someone else, respect their decision, thank them for their time because you never know you might see them again on another project. And you don't want them to immediately dismiss you because you were too aggressive or too pushy with them on a previous proposal. Next, offer additional value. So in your follow-up message considering offering additional value or insight related to the project. This might be the thing that can push you over the edge and get them to hire you. Maybe they're looking at your proposal at that moment and deciding between it and maybe one or two others. And you offer that additional value, that sort of pushes them over the edge so it can demonstrate your expertise and may make the client more likely to choose you for the job. So don't be afraid to do that in your follow-up if that makes sense. Next, provide a deadline. Now this isn't for the faint of heart and this obviously isn't gonna be every case. But if you're following up to ask about the status of your proposal, consider providing a deadline or time-frame for when you need a response. This works well. If you're if you've mentioned that you had in your proposals that you have other job invites that you're bidding on or other jobs that you're bidding on and you're going, your availability is going to be filling up fast. If that's legitimate, if that's real for you, then just let the client know that, hey, my availability is gonna be filling up fast. So if this is something you would like for me to work on, I'm going to need to know by XYZ. Date can also demonstrate to the client that you're organized, that you take deadlines seriously. So when you are working on their project, you're going to take their deadlines seriously as well. So again, not for every case, not for the faint of heart. Some people may even say don't do that, but if the client is not going to hire you, you'd rather find that out sooner than later so that you can move on to other projects and other proposals. And ultimately by following these tips, you can increase the chances of getting a response from the client and ultimately getting hired for the project. So don't be afraid to follow up after submitting your Upwork proposal. It just might be the extra push that you need to land your next gig. Now what I wanna do is I want to talk about the class project. So I've made the class project pretty simple. In the projects and resources section of the course, you will find two PDFs. One is a proposal worksheet, and so go ahead and download that proposal worksheet inside you're going to see a series of practice job descriptions for you to write proposals to. So this will give you some practice writing proposals. Then on the next page of each of those, I've provided the answers. Maybe a way that I might write the proposal. Some of the key hiring criteria that we're looking for in the job description and so forth. So it just gives you some practice looking for these things and pulling them out of a job description and then putting them into your proposal. So go ahead and download that worksheet, complete the practice proposals, and then upload it as a project. So other students and I can provide you with feedback on the example proposals that you've written also in that projects and resources section, as I mentioned, there's another PDF and it is a checklist of everything that we've covered in this course that you can print off or just have available on your computer. And every time you write a proposal, you can just literally go right down the checklist and it has everything that we've covered and make sure anything that's relevant, obviously not everything is going to be relevant on every proposal, but any of the items that we've covered that irrelevant to that proposal, you can make sure that you're covering all of your basis and just use that checklist over and over and over again whenever you're writing proposals. And that will essentially allow you to take everything you've learned in this class and actually apply it when you're writing your proposal. So download both, both those PDFs and you'll be all set for writing your Upwork proposals. And the way that we've outlined inside the course. 12. Better Than Best Practices: Individual best practices for writing your Upwork proposals can certainly help you improve your chances of getting hired. Having a well-thought-out strategy can take your success to an even higher level. Strategy is essentially a plan or roadmap for achieving a specific goal. And in the case of Upwork, it means having a clear plan for how you will position yourself and market your services and stand out from the competition. Strategy involves looking at the big picture of your Upwork profile and proposal writing process, and creating a cohesive plan that ties everything together. Involve setting specific goals, identifying your unique selling points, targeting the right clients, tailoring your proposals to their specific needs and preferences. By following a strategy. You're not just applying individual best practices randomly, but rather using them in a deliberate and targeted way that is aligned with your overall objectives. Ultimately, having a strategy can help you stand out from the competition, build a strong reputation on Upwork and attract the clients and projects that you truly want. So if you're serious about succeeding on Upwork, it's essential to develop a strategy that works for you and your unique skills and goals. And that's what I teach you in my book, Upwork essentials. Upwork essentials is a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know to build a winning Upwork profile and write proposals that get noticed by clients. Even if you have no job history, no reviews, no job success score, or any other credentials with step-by-step instructions, practical tips and real-life examples. Upwork essentials will teach you how to optimize your profile, showcase your skills and experience and craft proposals oriented around a proven strategy for new and or struggling up workers. So whether you're just starting out on Upwork or you're looking to take your freelance career to the next level up work essentials is the ultimate resource for mastering the platform and getting hired for the projects you deserve. Right now you can get over $50 in bonuses when you buy the book on Amazon. All the details on how to get your bonuses or John Morris online.com slash essentials.