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New to freelancing because of COVID-19? Let us help you write your first proposal

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Let Us Help You Write Your First Proposal

At Freelancing Buzz, we are teachers at heart. Our mission is to provide support for the beginning freelancer as he or she learns to navigate in the gig economy.

We know that because of the recent pandemic, we have many new followers. You probably have looked through our past blogs about top freelancing sites, Upwork skills, and the best freelance jobs.

Today, we would like to show our support to beginning freelancers by offering advice on how to land your first client from your favorite freelance job site.

Here are tips for writing your first proposal as a freelancer.

1. Make sure you have the skills for the job.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but make sure you really can complete the job that is described before you apply for it. Some beginning freelancers, in their excitement to land their first client, apply for every position on their feed.

What might happen is that you encounter a client who can sense desperation from your proposal. He or she may try to take advantage of this anxious attitude and hire you to complete the job dirt cheap. You may be fine working for a reduced rate to gain experience, but if you don’t have the necessary skills, your client may leave you a poor review.

At the same time, don’t sell yourself short. As a freelancer, it is essential to be flexible and learn on the job.

2. Begin your proposal by describing why you are the perfect person for the job.

Even if you don’t have any freelance experience, you have skills and knowledge. Begin your proposal by discussing how your expertise would translate to a job well done for your client.

For example, you may write: “as a freelance CPA, I have completed tax returns for hundreds of small businesses over the years.” or “I have worked in the agricultural industry for eight years, specializing in website design.”

3. Discuss how COVID-19 lead you to apply for jobs on a freelancing site.

After you explain your experience, you may want to quickly mention why you have so few reviews on the freelancing website.

For example, you may write, “My company recently furloughed me because of COVID-19, but I am excited to begin a career as a freelancer.

4. Answer specific questions that are listed in the job description and ask for clarification.

Some of your clients have been working with freelancers for years. They have learned to be as specific as possible when writing job descriptions because they know they will attract a better quality freelancer by doing so. If the job description is straight forward, repeat some of the details to show that you understand the expectations.

“I understand you are looking for someone to complete eight blog posts of 850 words each about gardening.”

“I would be happy to design a 20-page website for you with WordPress. I understand that I will be working with a writer on this project who will provide the text.”

Other clients will purposefully be nebulous in their job descriptions. Sometimes these individuals want to pay meager rates, and they leave out crucial details that would enable you to give an accurate proposal.

As you write your letter to the client, ask for those specifics.

“I understand that you need eight blog posts completed by April 30. How long would each post be?”

Or

“How many product descriptions will I be writing? What is the average number of words in each description?”

Don’t promise anything until you have all the specifics in writing. Know the scope of the work, the deadline, and the amount you will receive before accepting any job. Doing so will enable your freelancing website to be able to back you up should the deal go sour.

5. Include samples of your work.

Including work samples are tricky for a beginning freelancer. While you may have completed similar projects in the course of working your regular job, you may or may not have access to that work to share with potential clients.

You may need to complete sample projects to show that you are knowledgable and skilled. Just make sure that the potential client cannot use work without paying for it.

6. Write an original proposal for each job.

You may be tempted to send out the same proposal for each of the jobs you are seeking. This would be a mistake. Make sure you address the concerns listed in each job description and answer the pertinent questions.

Good luck as you begin your career as a freelancer. You may not like being forced into this type of work, but you may soon discover the many benefits of working in the gig economy.

This article was originally posted at Freelancing Buzz.

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