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How to handle vague job invites from clients

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
11 of 20

@Setu M wrote:
Nice write-up Pandora. Useful information for the unusual encounters.

So much effort is put into getting to the point of being offered a contract.? But then again, the most valuable contracts require the most due diligence and effort.

My main competitors are contractors who are at a similiar pay scale, so going above and beyond is one way of getting "my foot in the door" so to speak. 

 

Also, I hate wasting time. And that includes not getting to the interview phase with clients who say "We are an Agency" on their job post, only to find out it's an Upwork freelancer who is trying to get cheap work out of a PM with system development skills. (yes, that has happend more then once).

 

And yes, I do firmly belive that the best jobs do require a little extra effort. No pain, no gain, after all.

Community Guru
Nia G Member Since: May 3, 2016
12 of 20

May I ask what you've used to develop this library of templates? I've started to do some variation of this with some simple Google Docs and Excel sheets. But, if there is a better way or some software that I can use, I'd love to hear it. 

 

Thanks in advance. This post is awesome, BTW. 

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
13 of 20


 @Nia


I use Office 365.

Cover Letter: My template file and working document are both MS Word. My template file is organized into the sections I need most, and to remind me what I need.

Client Questions: I just use a .txt doc for this, so that when I have it open, I can adjust and add to another .txt that eventually goes into the Client folder if I am hired.

Post Interview Proposal: MS Word again, with an template, and then also a working doc. Template has organized sections. Unlike the Cover letter, it's branded and has contact info. Also ends up inclient folder if hired.

Scope of Work: same deal as the proposal, also branded. Also goes into client folder if hired.

Note: Proposals and Scope of work always get ported to PDF and merged into one .PDF file that is sent to the client.

Post-Hire Client Onboarding: A Word Doc that I can directly copy/paste from that become Welcome emails, along with list of my Apps, and also an email for my Scheduled, hours, and contact info.

Complete Computer Folder System Template - I have a special folder on my computer just for clients. At the top I have a folder called Client Setup. This contains all the usual folders I need for clients, a library folder of files I can use with my clients. I simply copy the main folder, and rename it for each client. Takes 3 minutes to get totally set up.

Browser Bookmarks - have a special bookmark section for clients in my main browser, and use a nifty add-on for bookmark management. Inside the client bookmark area is another folder with sub-folders, a bit like the above computer folders, but for their websites, account sites, tool sites, social media, etc.

Community Guru
Nia G Member Since: May 3, 2016
14 of 20

Thanks a bunch! I think I'll try this setup. It sounds pretty efficient once you get it all set up.

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
15 of 20

@Nia G wrote:

Thanks a bunch! I think I'll try this setup. It sounds pretty efficient once you get it all set up.


Your welcome, Nia

 

I know that's a big list of things. It's what I need for usually for MY client base, but you might need more or less.

 

My initial goal was to stop producing the same content over and over again to get a job and manage the onboarding of new clients. I looked at all the templates I had at that point, and ID'd areas that needed more backup, so to speak.

 

Plus, a couple of years back, came across some articles regarding what graphic designers and web dev freelancers were doing to get clients and onboard their clients. This inspired me to take a deep look at items I was missing, and led to the system I have today.

Community Guru
Steven E. L Member Since: May 5, 2015
16 of 20

@Pandora H wrote:

My latest hourly client and I got set up to do business in 30 hours. That's a record, and I could not have done it without this system. 


This is a valuable reminder. At some point throughout the years, I read a professional employment advice column which indicated in the conventional marketplace one could expect to spend 30 days per $10,000 of salary looking for employment from scratch.

 

I regularly spend two to three weeks of intermittent communication to land an UpWork contract. Which is not to be interpreted as 40 - 80 hours of work, rather as a back and forth exchange of questions, an introductory conference call, and subsequent follow-up every few days or so.

 

The internet is different. Each individual's professional field is different. However, it's worth mentioning as a reminder to all the forum posters stating, "I didn't get hired for the contract I applied to yesterday!" Or even worse, "... an hour ago."

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
17 of 20

@Steven E. L wrote:

@Pandora H wrote:

My latest hourly client and I got set up to do business in 30 hours. That's a record, and I could not have done it without this system. 


This is a valuable reminder. At some point throughout the years, I read a professional employment advice column which indicated in the conventional marketplace one could expect to spend 30 days per $10,000 of salary looking for employment from scratch.

 

I regularly spend two to three weeks of intermittent communication to land an UpWork contract. Which is not to be interpreted as 40 - 80 hours of work, rather as a back and forth exchange of questions, an introductory conference call, and subsequent follow-up every few days or so.

 

The internet is different. Each individual's professional field is different. However, it's worth mentioning as a reminder to all the forum posters stating, "I didn't get hired for the contract I applied to yesterday!" Or even worse, "... an hour ago."


Thanks, Steven, for posting that.

 

I would like to clarify the statement you quoted, however. I was referring specifically to the onboarding processes I use with new clients. Negotiating with my prospective clients before the interivew often takes a few days. I like to give clients a day or two to process my questions, and as we all know, clients are busy people!

 

(In my early days here on Upwork, I did not have any real processes to speak of, and would often spend days after being hired, cementing out the job.)

 

Your comment however, about the time it time it takes to GET a job, is a great one. My client base is quite prone to taking AGES to hire. I'm sure this something a lot of other members also experience in certain niches.

 

If your not bidding on other jobs will waiting for a prospective client response, your doing it wrong.

Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
18 of 20

I think it was Olga who suggested this in another thread: if a client sends you an offer without a link to a job post, and you can't access the client's profile on Upwork, you can ask CS to give you the client's profile details. Hopefully this still applies if the client only sends you an invite and not an offer...

Community Manager
Garnor M Community Manager Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
19 of 20

This is really good info, thanks for sharing the tips Pandora. I'm going to move this over to our Content Corner area, where we look to highlight tips/best practices that all freelancers or clients can benefit from.

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
20 of 20

@Garnor M wrote:

This is really good info, thanks for sharing the tips Pandora. I'm going to move this over to our Content Corner area, where we look to highlight tips/best practices that all freelancers or clients can benefit from.


Glad to hear it! That is to say, lots of good content has been posted by others, and I'm happy to contribute. Smiley Happy

 

It is however, just impossible to NOT note the irony: When I first posted this, it went into the Content Corner by mistake, then moved to the Freelancer forum (my fault, me bad). Now it's back here, which is just plain funny.

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