How to Write a Winning Upwork Proposal [+Samples]

How to Write a Winning Upwork Proposal [+Samples]

The secret of getting jobs consistently.

Upwork remains one of the most lucrative freelancing platforms at present. Thus, anyone who wants to enter the gig economy is always after creating an outstanding Upwork profile.

But let’s face the fact, Upwork can become so depressing when you keep submitting tons of proposals without getting hired. You can get tired of everything. You might even be so frustrated to ask if clients are checking your proposals at all.

I was at this stage. To be honest with you, I submitted tons of proposals without getting hired, I almost gave up.

But I have found the hacks through research and experience. So in this post, I will demystify how you can craft an irresistible Upwork cover letter.

But I have found the hacks through research and experience. So in this post, I will demystify how you can craft an irresistible Upwork cover letter.

For your own sake, I’ll advise that you don’t skip any part of this article - which is even short by the way. Every part is essential.

Are you ready to be earning up to $500k on Upwork? Let’s dive in.

Know This Before You Even Submit An Upwork CV

Upwork now sells connects, unlike before when you just apply for jobs. Therefore, there are some things you need to know so you won’t waste your connects, time, and energy.

This is as important as anything else. There are two important things you must know before submitting a killer Upwork proposal:

1. Is the Job In Your Niche?

One of the mistakes I made was applying to any writing job that pops up. And trust me, I learned this in a hard way. This is the place you should answer the question of whether or not the client will hire you.

Does your profile and portfolio tally with what you’re applying for? For instance, let’s say you write Romance, and Contemporary Romance to be specific. Don’t put in for podcast transcription. That would be a sheer waste of connects.

Should I explain better?

Imagine that you are a client hiring a mobile banking content writer, then you receive an application from a FinTech writer and a Lifestyle writer. Who are you going to hire? That’s it. That’s the clients' psychology.

Therefore, make sure that the job you’re applying for is in your niche, and you have portfolios and experience to back it up.

2. Was The Job Posted More Than 5 Minutes Ago?

Timing is key, and this is the Upwork hack that nobody will tell you. There are tons of freelancers on Upwork who are as good as you are - or perhaps far better than you. It’s sometimes the game of fastest finger.

Clients always hire among the first three applicants. Hence, I’ll advise that you don’t bother to send an Upwork proposal when the client had posted it more than 5 minutes ago.

Clients always hire among the first three applicants. Hence, I’ll advise that you don’t bother to send an Upwork proposal when the client had posted it more than 5 minutes ago.

Am I saying you won’t get hired when you submit an Upwork proposal even 30 minutes after the client posted the job, or you should scrap the gut?

No, there are some times that clients don’t get satisfied with the proposals and they have to go over everything one by one till they meet the best candidate. In other words, clients may hire you when you apply for jobs after a long period.

However, the chances are slim like the tiny strings of an acoustic guitar.

Step-by-step Killer Upwork Proposal Tips

Now let’s get to the business. The client has posted a job in your niche, and it’s less than 5 minutes, so how do you send a killer Upwork proposal that will guarantee you a 100% hire rate?

There are steps to do this, and I’m going to share them subsequently. If you come across anything below which you think you should jot or highlight, please do. Let’s get to work!

1. Client research

This your prospective hirer, and it’s nice if you can have a general overview of who [s]he is. Client research is helpful to know if such a client gives terrible reviews, has poor communication, or any other thing you might need to know.

Most importantly, client research helps you craft a personalized Upwork killer cover letter. This is what I’m saying.

You can see from his earlier reviews that the client’s name is "Sacha." Great. So the best way to show that you have carried out due diligence is to submit the Upwork proposal with something like "Hey Sacha," and using that name wherever you’re addressing him in the proposal.

Remember, people tend to have a preference or more connection with you when you call them by their first name.

What’s the next thing after the client research?

2. You Understood The Job Description and You Can Help

Make sure that you have read and understood the job description. Pinpoint the client’s need, and know what the client wants exactly.

You should also check if they want something to feature in your proposal so they’ll be sure you’re not spamming around. This is an example:

When you see jobs like this, put the keywords before anything else in the cover letter. In fact, let it replace the “hey, hi, hello.”

After that, your first paragraph is essential to captivate the client. You can start the first paragraph of a killer Upwork proposal like this:

"Hi <insert name>, I am a top-rated creative product review writer, and I’ll love to help enrich your website with thorough SEO product reviews and buyers' guides."

First paragraphs like the one above show that you know your onions and the clients can trust you with their content.

3. Your Experience

Would you allow a first-day learner to cut your hair at the Barbers? No, right? That means you want someone with credible experience or someone who has the track-record to do your job for you.

It is the same thing with clients. Clients are giving out their money. Therefore, they need someone who can provide quality service in return.

You might want to ask yourself that, "I started writing this year, what is my experience?"

In that regard, let’s say you’re applying for an academic writing job, brag about how you helped your colleagues to write their project , and they scored "A"s. Refer them to how you have been writing consistently on Medium, and publications that have featured you.

The main things you should talk about are similar works you have done in the past. How successful they were, and how you can help the present client. You should address that with something between 3-5 paragraphs.

4. Add Portfolio Links

You know they say that actions speak louder than voice, right? Yes, you have bragged about your experience concerning the gig. But there’s no surer way to convince the client than showing samples - portfolio.

Here are my two cents: Don’t bother to submit Upwork proposals to any job that you don’t have portfolios for.

Here are my two cents: Don’t bother to submit Upwork proposals to any job that you don’t have portfolios for.

Let’s assume that you are applying for a Report Writing job, make sure you attach links to the previous jobs that you have done.

The links shouldn’t be more than two. Or better still, you can put your samples in one Google Drive folder, then send the link.

5. Call To Action

This is necessary to generate results. When you have submitted the killer cover letter for the Upwork proposal, and let’s assume you’ve impressed the client. It’s apt to tell him or her what to do next.

"Call to action" is an effective copywriting skill that every creative should add as an Upwork proposal tip. You can say something like:

"I am sure that my background impressed you. I further have a couple of suggestions that will make you generate more sales from this project. Could you please schedule a time so we can talk better about this project?"

Use call to action to make clients twerk to your beat.

What Happens After You’ve Submitted An Upwork Cover Letter?

Now you’ve submitted that outstanding Upwork proposal, you’re so pumped and proud of yourself. So what next?

You know, someone might start something on a good note and later end it abruptly. There are two things you need to do after you have submitted your killer Upwork proposals. They are expectations and online presence.

There are two things you need to do after you have submitted your killer Upwork proposals. They are expectations and online presence.

The first thing is to eagerly expect the client to interview or hire you. Settle that in your mind. Don’t just send and forget. It means you don’t rate yourself.

(If you’re a Christian like me, the Bible says that the Lord is able to do far more than you can think or imagine. Hence, I’ll advise you to imagine the client accepting your proposal. Don’t be too woke to stay ignorant of the supernatural. Remember that more qualified freelancers applied for that same gig.)

What’s the second thing? It flows from what we’ve said above. After you have expected a good turnout, stay online. An average time for clients to hire on Upwork is 4 days most times. So make sure you stay online for the next 4 days.

An average time for clients to hire on Upwork is 4 days most times. So make sure you stay online for the next 4 days.

To make this easier, you can download the Upwork app on your phone, then do other things that you want. The app will be running in the background and notify you anytime you have a message.

Are you there? Beautiful.

Upwork Proposal Sample For Writers

We have been discussing how to submit a killer Upwork proposal that guarantees a 100% hire rate, and would you appreciate some CVs that have converted?

Don’t copy and paste these CVs, remember that you are not the only one reading this blog post. But the most important thing is to draw inspiration from them.

FAQs

How many paragraphs should an ideal Upwork proposal cover letter be?

All things being equal, an ideal Upwork proposal should be between 6-11 paragraphs at most.

How long does it take an Upwork client to hire me?

It takes an average of 4 days for clients to hire freelancers on Upwork.

Is Upwork overcrowded?

No, Upwork is not overcrowded. There are as many clients as freelancers. There is a fair space for everyone.

How do I become an Upwork Rising Talent?

The Rising Talent program is for outstanding Upwork newbies who have passed the Upwork Readiness test, always send detailed proposals, and keeps getting 5-star reviews.

How do I get high-paying recurring clients on Upwork?

Make sure you communicate well with your clients. Do their projects with passion as if it’s yours.

Conclusion

Can you still remember the vital things that we’ve discussed? I’ll help you:

  • Make sure the job is in your niche
  • Carry out client research
  • The first paragraph should show your expertise and that you understood the nature of the gig
  • Convince the client with your relevant experience
  • Share captivating portfolio links to back up your excellence
  • End with a compelling call to action
  • Stay online, and wait for the client to message you

Having said all this, it behooves to note that slow and steady wins the race. Those who have made it on Upwork today are consistent freelancers.

There are days when you might get tired of the whole thing even though you did everything right. But don’t be discouraged. Consistently apply for jobs, and sharpen your skills.

There are days when you might get tired of the whole thing even though you did everything right. But don’t be discouraged. Consistently apply for jobs, and sharpen your skills.

Make sure that you implement everything you read in this post, and $500k is your starting point.

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