simonbour
Member

Some Job posts seem very intersting but are not clear enough to provide an actual proposal

As I mentioned on the subject, some Job posts seem very interesting but are not clear enough to provide an actual proposal. How I am expected to actually put forward a proposal in that case, it strikes me as unprofessional, on my side. I have seen other freelancing websites with a "Ask a Question" option. How do you deal with these situation here?

 

Thanks,

 

Simon.

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browersr
Member

This is quite common and I see it all the time when I am invited as well. If you have determined that it's worth it to engage them, I would highlight your qualifications and speak as best you can to the general concepts or areas it appears the client is looking. After indicate your sincere interest but let them know that the posting doesn't provide enough details for you to indicate how you can make their project successful. Follow that with a polite ask for additional details so that you can more fully speak to their needs.  

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tlsanders
Member

I'm not sure what field you're in, but if I want to bid on a job with insufficient information (I usually don't because of what that tells me about the client), I usually make up parameters.

 

For example, if I saw a post that said "need law firm website content created from scratch," I would base my bid on something fairly standard and then say in the proposal "Bid price assumes 20 pages of 600-800 words. If your needs differ, I will provide an updated quote after you have shared more details."

browersr
Member

This is quite common and I see it all the time when I am invited as well. If you have determined that it's worth it to engage them, I would highlight your qualifications and speak as best you can to the general concepts or areas it appears the client is looking. After indicate your sincere interest but let them know that the posting doesn't provide enough details for you to indicate how you can make their project successful. Follow that with a polite ask for additional details so that you can more fully speak to their needs.  

Fair enough, but you would be using the Proposal as a means to asking a question....my point is why the hell doesn't upwork bypass this by straight up adding the feature. I mean, people are still gonna ask questions by sending bull**bleep** proposals. It could even be a Premium feature, but it would be helpful for everyone, even for the employer.

Simon, FLer abilities to ask questions was abused to the max years ago. It will not be reinstated; paid membership and track record or not.  I certainly don't agree with some of  Upwork actions or 'refinements' - but in this case - kudos and more kudos to them for not allowing questions (harassment in most cases) of the potential clients.

But people still ave that capacity by using a proposal. Am I woring about it?


@Simon B wrote:

But people still ave that capacity by using a proposal. Am I woring about it?


Unless you were invited, it "costs" something to send a proposal (i.e. Connects). This alone will stop many non-serious players since there is a limited supply. Also this is filled in once and not via a consistent question thread. Everyone else is going to have the same problem if the job is non-specific. If the client can barely take the time to articulate what they are after in the description, I wouldn't waste the time. Otherwise if you and they are serious, you can craft a reply that gets you into a conversation where you can ask further questions. I have personally not found the lack of questions to be a real issue even though when I first joined I felt it was a feature the site should have. I haven't thought about it in a very long time.

In general, I agree with this, but I have had some successful "one-liners" in the past. It depends what you do. People I work with may be professionals at other things, but for a variety of reasons, communication might not be one of them. And it all depends whether clients are looking for you or you’re looking for clients. 

If you’re looking for them, one thing I've discovered is that you can apply some more sophisticated "data extraction" techniques to gain more insights about the client and what they do from the “one-liner” posting. There's sometimes a surprising amount of information about clients that you can use to figure out whether or not you want to apply and what they might consider a reasonable bid. You can see the history of the jobs they've posted in the past and the freelancer ratings people have left. You can see the average salary that they've paid and you can also look through their job histories to see what they've paid freelancers who do what you do. You can see the client's location (in my case that might be a clue to whether someone speaks English as a first language -- something that may be relevant to the difficulty level of the worke they're proposing). A few times I've even found a few details about what the client does that actually helped me highlight relevant past experience in my application. And it's helped me to ask relevant questions about what the client needs. Whether you want to spend time doing this depends on the amount of time you have. If things are slow and I'm not that busy, I'll look into these one-liner postings in a little more detail to see if there might be more to them than initially meets the eye.

Just as no one owes you a job, unfortunately no one is required to provide you with a coherent, detailed statement of the job they’re advertising either, although you might consider that a perfectly sensible way to conduct business. And you can’t always depend on people to behave in a manner that you consider “professional.” If you believe this, I hope you live close to a Zen center or something similar. While I could assume that the one-liner is something written by an "unprofessional client," that might not always be true. It can be a red flag in a lot of cases, and generally people who offer more details are more thoughtful and easier to work with. But busy people also post jobs from their phones. People who don't necessarily communicate well need to hire editors. Sometimes those are people I don’t want to work for. And sometimes they’re the people who value what I do most. 

Again, it depends what you do. Your application and bidding process might be much more complex than mine, so I can understand if it's a greater source of frustration. 

 

tj1972
Member

How do you deal with these situation here?
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Very simple - just sending kind of a generic cover letter what I can do based on that limited description. Sometimes ask questions within the cover letter. If client contacts back then we discuss rest of the details. And then client gets proposal from me with all schedule, pricing, etc. details.

(Of course, I'm not speaking about a single word/sentence job descriptions.)