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Re: CONFESSIONS FROM A CLIENT- 3 Tips to Win Proposals.

Active Member
Michael H Member Since: Jan 21, 2017
1 of 22

Hello-  I am probably an average buyer of services on this site although when it was still Elance I hired a little more than 200 times with an award ration of about 70%.  It has dropped dramatically on Upwork mostly due to the challenges in design and support that plagues Upwork.  But that is a post for another day. 

 

I wanted to offer, as humbly as possible, a few suggestions to help some of you get more contracts.

 

1.  READ THE JOB POST COMPLETELY

It takes about 5 seconds for a client like me to discern someone who simply is providing the exact same job resume and cover letter to me as other similar posts.  But if you want my attention you need to indicate that you have in fact read my post.  Mention something specific related to my gig description and then tell me if you have any similar experience.  Here is a good example,  "So you want a killer website aimed at generating leads within the dental industry....I am your guy.  You field is highly competitive and as we tackle this project together I will work exceptionally hard to ensure your site is unique but also accomplishes your stated objective of "winning more patients".  Here is how we will do this together."  Then you can add your boilerplate lingo as well as examples of your recent and relevant work (relevant is the key).  I absolutely guarantee that your offer will be read and considered. 

 

Here is what doesn't get considered..."I have read your post completely and believe I can help you with this project" and then you go on to tell me how wonderful you are.  That sound you here is me deleting or hiding your proposal.  If you can't demonstrate that you understand my project needs than why would I consider your proposal.

 

2.  PRICE IS NOT THE FIRST CONCERN OF MOST POTENTIAL CLIENTS

I don't know if I speak for every client but I believe a well thought out cover letter that addresses my project specifically is worth a minumum of a 10-20% premium.   Let me put it another way, if you demonstrate that you fully grasp my needs and you provide one or two ideas on how you will specifically help my achieve my project goals then, everything else being equal, I am going to consider your 20% higher price as equal value to a cheaper freelancer who simply provided good examples of recent work.  So, want a raise?  Spend 3-5 minutes longer on your cover letter.  You don't need to tell me how great you are...tell me you understand me.  As a client, I believe my project is unique.  I don't expect anyone to have done a project exactly like mine.  To tell me you have is kind of insulting to my creative project.  Just tell me you understand.  I will pay more because my perceived risk of you understanding the project has dropped significantly and my confidence your ability has risen above the noise of the other proposals.

 

3.  ITS US...NOT YOU AND ME.  

Presume you got the job.  Use language like "as we work on this together" and "we need to make sure we get good leads", or "the articles we post need to ensure they acheive our goal of driving leads".  Rather than, " I will help you get more leads...you can count on me", "I will be available whenever you need me", "my articles will really make your company look good".  I want to know you want to be on my team.  That means, you need to demonstrate your complete "buy-in".  WE need to win.  WE need to dominate this space.  WE want to....blah blah blah.  

 

It take a lot of time to read all the proposals we get sometimes and it is beyond disappointing to see a spamming of sorts.  Freelancers thinking this is a numbers game.  Submit as many as possible in the hopes that one or two turn into gigs.  Based on the proposals I read, I wouldn't be surprised if there are freelancers hiring other freelancers to post proposals for them.  You are all better than that.

 

Just some thoughts.

Community Leader
Claudia B Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
2 of 22

Wow, thank you for this awesome insight into a clients mind Robot Happy

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 22

re: "Price is not the first concern of most clients"

 

I completely agree.

 

And I think this is something of a "well kept secret" for some reason. I think most freelancers have no appreciation at all of how insignficant price is compared to getting the job done and getting it done right.

 

I have hired over 50 freelancers on Upwork. Yes, a lot of times I'm looking for a certain price range. But I'll go outside that range if somebody impresses me and I want to work with them.

 

And there are many times when I just really want some work done, and I post hourly contracts and I hardly even look at the freelancer's hourly rate.

 

Many times I have posted jobs and hired freelancers to work for me and the main reason I look at freelancer's hourly rates is so that I can avoid hiring freelancers whose hourly rates are too LOW. Maybe I get 15 freelancers apply to a job. And I just go through and delete those whose rates are below $X/hour, without looking at their profiles or proposals. Then I actually spend time looking at the rest.

Active Member
Julie H Member Since: Jan 21, 2017
4 of 22

Thank you so much for your advice. Coming from a client and seeing that it is so close to some of the power members advise was refreshing. This is my first post and my first time on Upwork so I was a little apprehensive. After reading you message I feel a little more at ease. Again, thank you for your time.

Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
5 of 22

@Michael H wrote:

2.  PRICE IS NOT THE FIRST CONCERN OF MOST POTENTIAL CLIENTS

I don't know if I speak for every client but I believe a well thought out cover letter that addresses my project specifically is worth a minumum of a 10-20% premium.   Let me put it another way, if you demonstrate that you fully grasp my needs and you provide one or two ideas on how you will specifically help my achieve my project goals then, everything else being equal, I am going to consider your 20% higher price as equal value to a cheaper freelancer who simply provided good examples of recent work.  So, want a raise?  Spend 3-5 minutes longer on your cover letter.  You don't need to tell me how great you are...tell me you understand me.  As a client, I believe my project is unique.  I don't expect anyone to have done a project exactly like mine.  To tell me you have is kind of insulting to my creative project.  Just tell me you understand.  I will pay more because my perceived risk of you understanding the project has dropped significantly and my confidence your ability has risen above the noise of the other proposals.

 


Price may not be a concern if you're willing to go 20% above your budget but unfortunately, I see a lot of jobs that would need to be increased a lot more than that to make it worth my while. I'm talking about increasing the budget 5 or 6 times. I think that much of an increase would knock me out of a number of jobs so I typically don't bother applying if I need to increase the budget by that much.

 

Unless I'm bored or want to make a point that is.


 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 22

David G wrote

Price may not be a concern if you're willing to go 20% above your budget but unfortunately, I see a lot of jobs that would need to be increased a lot more than that to make it worth my while.

 


 Then BID a lot more.

 

I often bid 4, 5 or more times the stated budget

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Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
7 of 22

@Michael H wrote:

Hello-  I am probably an average buyer of services on this site although when it was still Elance I hired a little more than 200 times with an award ration of about 70%.  It has dropped dramatically on Upwork mostly due to the challenges in design and support that plagues Upwork.  But that is a post for another day. (...)


Thank you for your message Michael, I hope many will read it for it has plenty of excellent advice. The above mentioned part is very interesting too, I can't wait to read about it... :-)

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Active Member
Michael H Member Since: Jan 21, 2017
8 of 22
Its a true statement that many clients, myself included, often dont know what a project will cost when we post. I think there is some reluctantcy to put up a budget for two reassons: first, clients dont want to over pay. If we dont know the market cost of certain services we could very easily create an artificial price that is significantly more than what we might have paid if we just let the market tell us the fair cost. For Example, if I put a buget for a basic wordpress site for 750 USD i might get 25 jobs at 750 and then a handful above and below. I will probably ignore the cheap bids and the most expensive and simply try to find a good one in or at the 750. Conversely, if I just put a budget of $5 (upworks minimum) The average cost might be around 500. The high bids will still be high and there will always be low ballers but at least the market has dictated the fair price. The second reason we may not put a budget up is because we dont want to limit bids. Since a high quality freelancer like you doesnt bid if the budget is too low you may understand my point. When i post a $5 budget everyone pretty much knows I dont have a clue. You might be more likely to bid on that gig which provides a possibility that you and i may at least have a brief conversation about the job.
Community Leader
Gajendra D Member Since: Dec 29, 2015
9 of 22
I have noted some points from your post, to keep in mind for next bid! Thanks Smiley Happy
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
10 of 22

Mike, you have no idea of how often we share the same advice. Smiley Wink  Perhaps reading it from a buyer / client will carry greater impact.  Thanks for taking the time.

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