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What Clients See on Upwork (My Tips to Stand Out)
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As freelancers navigating the competitive landscape of platforms like Upwork, it's crucial to understand what clients really see and want. Here's a breakdown from the client's perspective that can help you stand out and land those coveted gigs:

 

Make Those First 2 Lines Count: Clients only glimpse the first two lines of your proposal before deciding whether to click "more." Avoid generic sales talk; be genuine and engaging.

 

Emojis ≠ Attention-Grabbers: Recently, emojis in proposals have become a trend, but they often backfire. For many clients, they're a turn-off.

 

Be Insightful and Focused: Most proposals are copy-paste or AI-generated. Set yourself apart by demonstrating genuine insight into the job and how you'd tackle it.

 

Navigate Through the Spam: The competition is fierce, with 90% of proposals being spam. Boost your visibility, but be wary of falling into the spam trap.

 

Focus on Understanding the Job: Instead of boasting about yourself, demonstrate your understanding of the job and how you can add value.

 

Ask Insightful Questions: Standing out is about engaging the client in a meaningful conversation. Ask thoughtful questions to demonstrate your interest and understanding.

 

Ratings and Badges Matter: Clients may not see your overall rating, but they do notice your job success percentage and hours worked. Build trust through your track record.

 

Beware of "Rising Star" Labels: Don't rely solely on badges like "rising star." Clients value genuine experience over flashy titles.

 

Show, Don't Just Tell: A good portfolio speaks volumes. Describe not just what you did but how you did it, showcasing your authenticity.

 

Portfolio Matters: Your Upwork portfolio is your first impression. Make it count before expecting clients to click external links.

 

Authenticity Trumps All: Your experience and authenticity shine through in your communication. Genuine freelancers stand out from the crowd.

 

Avoid Off-Site Applications: Spammy emails and off-site applications feel outdated and spammy. Stick to the platform's communication channels.

 

Timely Responses Matter: Prompt responses signal reliability and professionalism. Dead accounts are a common frustration for clients.

 

Exceed Expectations: Deliver exceptional work, and clients will keep coming back. Build long-term relationships based on trust and quality.

 

Offer to Connect: Suggesting a call can be a game-changer, demonstrating your commitment and professionalism.

 

Highlight Relevant Experience: Showcase similar work in your proposals, providing tangible evidence of your capabilities.

 

Set Boundaries Early: Communicate your working preferences clearly and respectfully, instilling confidence in your professionalism.

 

Earn Trust Before Going Hourly: Hourly contracts require trust. Prove your reliability before expecting clients to commit.

 

Navigate Through Scams: Clients are wary of scams. Build trust through video interviews and genuine communication.

 

Earnings Build Trust: Earning over $10K on the platform can significantly boost your credibility and attract more opportunities.

 

Use Lists in Your Bio: Lists are easier to scan than paragraphs, making your skills and experience more accessible to clients.

 

Timing Is Key: Be among the first to apply to maximize your chances. Clients are more likely to notice early applicants.

 

Boosting Isn't Always Worth It: Boosting proposals may not yield significant results, especially with fewer applicants. Invest wisely in your proposals.

 

Profile Picture Matters: Choose a realistic photo to assure clients of your authenticity.

 

Balance Your Workload: Clients pay attention to your workload. Avoid taking on too many projects to maintain quality and availability.

 

Avoid AI-Sounding Proposals: Clients can detect AI-generated responses. Keep your proposals genuine and human to stand out.

 

By understanding these insights from the client's perspective, you can tailor your approach to stand out in a sea of competition and secure valuable opportunities.

 

Additional Resources

Captivating Clients with Storytelling

Client Onboarding Best Practices

Working with Clients

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