🐈 Community
» Forums » Freelancers » Proposals
Page options


Hi there, 


Really hoping I can draw from someone's experience here. 
How exactly does anyone present a proposal for jobs that are so vague?


for example:


"Design label for product

I'm looking to somebody to create label for my product. I need somebody with good experience and knowledge. Somebody really creative. I want to be able to see your previous work."
When you click on submit proposal you have to enter how long you think the project will take... How would you know until you have actually chatted to the client to see what is required? And how do you propose a fee when there is so little information?! 
Seems like there are SO many of these types of briefs - very brief briefs!
What does everyone else here do?

any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂



Don't worry about it.


If these job postings don't appeal to you, there are other people who will apply to them and work on these jobs.


Here are a few key things to understand:


Clients trying to hire an expert in your particular field likely lack the specialized knowledge that you have. They may flounder and disappoint with regards to how they describe what they need. Not because they're bad clients, but because they don't know how to do better.


When you send a proposal, it commits you to absolutely nothing. It is the beginning of a conversation. You will have an opportunity to ask any questions you want before actually committing to doing anything.


It is better for Upwork to allow imperfect, uninformed clients to post flawed job proposals, than to block those clients from posting.


Many genuinely uninformed clients with truly bad job proposals have paid me thousands of dollars to help them. So I like the freedom Upwork currently provides to these clients to post, even though their postings aren't very good.

Michelle, for a fixed price job, you could use the client's budget as a starting point, unless it seems unreasonably large or small. What you need to be aware of is, making a proposal does not obligate you to working for the client with the terms of your proposal. There's room for discussion and negotiation during the 'interview'. Before work can commence, the client sends you an offer, and if you think it's too low, you can always decline it, if the client won't budge from it.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

All day, every day! Sometimes it means they know what they need but don't know how to ask for it. Sometimes it means they are clueless about what they need. In either case, they may or may not be educable.


If I can find something in their post to use as a stake in the ground, then I build from that and take care to be very specific about the assumptions I am making. For instance, for $2,000 I assume they are providing x and y, and I will use that to produce z. If they also need me to produce q and r, then it will involve this much more money and time. Or, if they can only provide x, then I can handle y but the schedule and budget adjustments will be thus. 


I find there's a fine line between offering specs, suggestions, possibilities, questions sufficient to demonstrate my knowledge and expertise, without scaring them off by making it all seem so much more complicated thna they thought it was going to be.


I try to frame the whole thing as opening a conversation that they'll feel comfortable continuing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.