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Re: purple cow

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Active Member
Claudine L Member Since: Jul 25, 2016
1 of 24

hi, i am new here at Upwork. what does "please drop a purple cow" on your proposal mean? 

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
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2 of 24

In the real business world, "purple cow" is shorthand for being remarkable in a way that makes you stand out in your industry.

 

Sadly, here on Upwork it usually means that the client wants you to use that phrase (or some other stupid phrase they've specified) in your proposal so that they can tell whether or not you've actually read their job posting--a surprising number of bidders do not.

View solution in original post

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Active Member
Claudine L Member Since: Jul 25, 2016
3 of 24

thank you for your reply! Smiley Happy

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Community Leader
Rekha S Member Since: Jul 13, 2015
4 of 24

*Edited* as Tiffany beat me to it.

 

Wish there was an option to delete forum comments.

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Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
5 of 24

I suggest you don't apply to / accept a job offer from that purple cow client. He/she often posts similar jobs under multiple accounts (often unverified). Someone here was hired by them and didn't have a good experience.

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Pet-Peeves/m-p/164692/highlight/true#M91821

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Active Member
Adam D Member Since: Dec 14, 2015
6 of 24

A "purple cow" is a reference to Seth Godin and his book "Purple Cow".... 

If you were driving down a country road, with cattle ranches on either side, surrounded by Holsteins, Black and Red Angus, etc, and suddenly you saw a PURPLE COW, well, that would be pretty exemplary, wouldn't it?

 

The buyer wants to know what YOU can/have done that is EXEMPLARY and would STAND OUT from the crowd of boring old regular cows. 

 

- Adam

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 24

@Adam D wrote:

A "purple cow" is a reference to Seth Godin and his book "Purple Cow".... 

If you were driving down a country road, with cattle ranches on either side, surrounded by Holsteins, Black and Red Angus, etc, and suddenly you saw a PURPLE COW, well, that would be pretty exemplary, wouldn't it?

 

The buyer wants to know what YOU can/have done that is EXEMPLARY and would STAND OUT from the crowd of boring old regular cows. 

 

- Adam


Yes, that's what I was referring to when I said "in the real business world."

 

Unfortunately, on Upwork, it's a stupid device frequently used by low-end clients who probably don't know where it derives from to ensure that freelancers have read their posts. Honestly, if you can't tell from reading a proposal whether it's been customized to the specifics of your job or not, you probably have no business hiring freelancers.  

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Ravindra B Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
8 of 24

Most of the “purple cow” RFPs have a common wording:

 

“As far as the editing goes, I’m on a pretty short deadline so I need someone who can work quickly and focus attention on this project over the next 2 weeks. I need the content and copy edits completed by the [xxxxxx]. The book is [xxxx] words. I'm looking for someone with editing experience and with interest in this type of book. I'm working on this book with proven best sellers so this will be great exposure for you and your work. If you're interested in the project, submit a proposal with why you're interested & your price. Also, please include the phrase ‘purple monkey [or cow or pig]’ at the top of your bid.”

 

"Certa bonum certamen"
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Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
9 of 24

@Ravindra B wrote:

Most of the “purple cow” RFPs have a common wording:

 

“As far as the editing goes, I’m on a pretty short deadline so I need someone who can work quickly and focus attention on this project over the next 2 weeks. I need the content and copy edits completed by the [xxxxxx]. The book is [xxxx] words. I'm looking for someone with editing experience and with interest in this type of book. I'm working on this book with proven best sellers so this will be great exposure for you and your work. If you're interested in the project, submit a proposal with why you're interested & your price. Also, please include the phrase ‘purple monkey [or cow or pig]’ at the top of your bid.”

 


 ...and make sure you make the author's work pass copyscape.

Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
10 of 24

None of them truly know what they're talking about, anyway.

 

Unless you are looking at a herd of dairy cattle (Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, etc.), close to half of the 
"cows" you see on those scenic drives are actually steers. (A few are heifers; some of the younger ones and a rare older one is/are bulls.)

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