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How to write a great proposal

I was recently asked to review a proposal letter written by a fairly new Upwork freelancer. 


The writer was bright, sophisticated and a fine writer. But she totally missed the point of how to write a successful proposal letter.


Do you want to know how it's done? Let's see if I can explain it to you:


First of all, it is very important that you remember what a proposal letter is for. It's NOT about getting a job. It's an invitation to a client to have a discussion about a job. Therefore, the outcome of a successful proposal letter is a discussion. You must keep that in mind at all times. 


Put another way, a proposal letter is NOT a sales letter. (Don't sell yourself.) It is a marketing letter. (Tell them about yourself and leave it at that.) 


If you ask for a job in your proposal letter, you will most likely be turned down because you have jumped the gun. It's like asking a man or a woman to go out with you on a date. If you ask them too quickly, you will scare them away. 


The purpose of a proposal letter is to just tell them you are an expert who found their job posting appealing. Discuss something they have said in their job posting to prove you actually read it. Then tell the client you are available for a discussion of their project.

That's all. No more. Don't discuss prices. Don't say "Please, hire me." Outline your skills in a manner that suggests you can do the work. Give them an indication that you understood their specific needs (because you have read the job posting). But don't tell them directly what a good job you can do for them.  If you do, like I said above, you will scare them away. It is too early to ask them to hire you. All you have to say is "I have a skill that matches your needs and I'm interested in your project."



It takes many proposal letters to land one job. But before you get a job offer you will have to have a discussion with the client about price and availability and deadlines and things of that nature. That means all you are asking for in a propsal letter is a discussion. As I said, a discussion, not a job, is the outcome of a successful proposal letter.


If a client responds and asks for a discussion with you ... then you can start talking about getting hired. But let the client take the lead on that.


Any questions? I'll check back later and see if there are any.

Community Member

Upwork has successfully driven me away from cold applying to new projects. Now I get by on work from my steady clients, invites and direct connections. I stuck it out as long as I could but eventually there was to little ROI for the effort. All my replies are now are straight forward and basic. Full disclosure, I try and keep my hours at less than 20 a week and more like 10.

Community Member

Hi Anthony,


We truly appreciate you sharing these suggestions and advice with our valued new members. I've shared this with the team and we'll continue sharing this with those members that are having difficulties composing great proposals. 


~ Arjay
Community Member

Please Give me Tips for writing proposals. I can't get any job these days please help me to get jobs. thanks

try to write customized proposals according to customer needs 

Community Member

It seems Upwork is all about money nowadays. My profile is set to private and whenever I sent proposals I am not getting any replies no matter how good it is.
Here's a Sample of my Proposal: 

"Hi there, I'm thrilled to come across this opportunity! With 6 years of experience in Google Ads, I have the expertise you're looking for. As a Google Certified Adwords Manager, I've successfully handled multiple Adword accounts, developing and maintaining effective campaigns. Building ads, implementing tags, and generating insightful reports are all part of my skill set.

I understand the importance of clear communication and collaboration, which is why I'm more than happy to commit 20-30 hours per week to this role. Weekly meetings to discuss progress and strategies are essential for maximizing results, and I'm ready to actively contribute during those sessions.

Rest assured, I meet all your requirements. I am certified, possess extensive knowledge of Google tags and analytics, and I'm well-versed in all aspects of Google search, display, and local marketing. Attached with this is my recent portfolio showcasing my competencies and successful campaigns as proof of my capabilities.

I'm excited about the opportunity to work with you and contribute to your Adwords accounts. Please let me know the next steps, and I'll gladly provide any additional information you may need. Looking forward to the possibility of working together!

Best regards,
Loraine Anne Libao Ytable (LALY)
Certified Google Ads Professional
Skype:**Edited for Community Guidelines**
WhatsApp: **Edited for Community Guidelines**
Email: **Edited for Community Guidelines**

Here is my profile: **Edited for Community Guidelines**

I am certified, and experienced, and everything is complete on my profile I even have a portfolio and I am even setting rates lower than the global average.

My question is do I really need to be on Freelancer Plus to use this platform?

Freelancer plus doesn't help you get jobs, but I can tell you that you're in violation of Upwork's terms of service by including contact information in your bids (and you shouldn't be posting it in a public forum like this either). All communication must stay on Upwork until you're hired.


Apart from that, your bid is rather long and completely generic. It's also all about you and not about the client. Try asking a few questions or mentioning something about their industry. You need to get into specifics about how you're uniquely well qualified to help that particular client and what you will do for them that other applicants can't do. 


Also, the part where you say that you're willing to commit 20-30 hours per week makes it sound like you're looking for a full-time job, not freelancing work. 

Community Member

Do you have any tips for crafting a compelling opening statement in a proposal that grabs the client's attention?

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