Writing Freelance Proposal and Get Hired
You may be the most skilled computer programmer or the best content writer on the planet. Maybe you are willing to work 18-hour days and are happy to complete any project. None of that matters if you can’t write a good freelance proposal.
If you have sent out a ton of requests for work, and all you have heard back is crickets, it’s time to up your game. Try some of these strategies and see if they increase your hire rate.
Experiment with wording. Keep track of the proposals that get responses.
Every customer is different, but some of your proposals may be more attractive to business owners than others.
Look back at the proposals you sent to your previous customers. Is there a pattern with the wording? Do you start with your work experience rather than your education?
If you do see a pattern, use those proposals as a starting place to create a template.
Keep it concise.
Those hiring freelancers are probably inundated with proposals. They don’t have the time or energy to wade through paragraphs with six or seven sentences describing every job you’ve ever had.
Get to the point quickly. Mimic a haiku rather than Moby Dick, unless the job posting is written like Moby Dick. More on that later.
Address the client by name.
If you work through Upwork or some other freelancing website, you may have access to the name of the client. Often this can be found in the client’ recent history. Other freelancers may refer to the person by name in their reviews.
Using your client’s name will tell him or her that you are willing to go that extra mile to make your work exciting for your audience. Plus, people like seeing their names in print. It makes them feel important.
Answer the client’s questions.
Many times, a client will hide something within a job post that says, start your cover letter with the name of your favorite color. Although this seems like a silly request, it’s actually quite a brilliant maneuver.
Your client wants to make sure you are able to follow all of the directions for a job. If you don’t submit articles correctly or on time, it wastes your client’s energy and time. They can weed out those who can’t follow a simple direction easily if their proposal is not formatted correctly.
Your client may ask you to address other specific qualifications. Make sure you answer those questions. Your client will wade through dozens of proposals. They may not want to take the time to ask you again whether or not you have written for a particular industry or not.
Start with a template, but mimic the tone of the job posting.
As a freelancer, you may be writing dozens of proposals per week. Once you have found a great opening line, you will want to use it for all your clients. That’s why having a template is essential. It will save you time and allow you to write proposals faster.
But this doesn’t mean you should simply copy and paste proposals. As mentioned in the previous tip, you need to make sure you answer the appropriate questions that are listed in the job listing.
You may also consider mimicking the tone of the writer of your job posting. If the job posting is quick and to the point, consider writing your proposal in that style as well.
If the job listing is full of flowery language and speaks to the more emotional side of writing, write your proposal in this style.
Look at the company’s website.
Sometimes clients will give their company’s name or website in the listing. If they did, use this as an opportunity to learn more about the company. Mention specifics from the website in your job proposal. Again, this will make you look as if you are willing to go above and beyond the ordinary freelancer.
Be careful not to offer too much criticism or feedback about the content you would be replacing on the website. You don’t know who wrote the previous material or designed the current site. It could be the person reading your proposal.
Always give examples of your work.
If you are a beginning freelancer, you may not have a lot of work samples. This makes landing those first jobs difficult. In fact, you may have to work for next to nothing until you have some experience under your belt.
Upwork allows you to attach up to 10 examples to a job proposal. Try to have ten cleaned-up, beautifully edited pieces to attach.
Freelancing can be a tough gig. Make sure your unprofessional proposals aren’t keeping you from getting hired.
This article was originally posted at Freelancing buzz!