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proposal help

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
11 of 15

I'm a client in a related but different field (translation). First, some general advice:

 

1) Unless the client had scrreening questions on the job, the first couple of sentences of your proposal are what they see in their applicants list. You need to grab them with the first couple of sentences. Wasting that extremely valuable real estate with a flowery greeting is not going to be doing you any favours.

 

2) A client frankly doesn't care about your hopes and dreams and what you strive for and what you enjoy. They have a problem they want solved. Your proposal shouldn't be all "I I I". You need to tell them how you can solve their problem.

 

3) The client may have received 30 or more proposals. Just because when you applied there was "less than 5" that doesn't mean they're going to read your proposal before more come in. I personally have a (bad) habit of posting a job on Friday afternoon, leaving it to stew for the weekend, and reviewing all the applicants on Monday morning while I drink my first cup of tea. You need to give the client a reason NOT to chuck you in the "archive" pile.

 

4) Like Rene said, writers have a tendency to write long proposals. You need to cull, cull, cull.

 

5) A client can spot a template proposal a mile away. They even have a decline reason for it. Make sure your proposal is clearly tailored to the job.

 

Now. I know this is already a long post but I wanted to also offer some comments on your two examples.

 

Example 1:

1) My eyes immediately started glazing over. I would have dumped this one in the archive pile immediately. The first 4 paragraphs (greeting, "I really feel like...", two testimonials) are completely wasted. I'd be wondering when you were going to get to the point.

 

2) If you really *must* include testimonials, stick them at the end, and make sure they're relevant to the actual job you're applying for.

 

3) So much I. I I I. I don't care about you. I care about me.

 

4) That push for a skype call at the end is soooo salesman-y, if I'd read that far and not rejected you already I would definitely have rejected you then. I rejected a freelancer for this exact reason just last week. Plenty of clients will never want or need a call. Changing it to "I'm available on skype if needed" or something would be fine.

 

Okay. I'm still reading and still typing. On to the next one...

 

Example 2:

 

1) An honor? Really? I've gotta be honest with you, if I read this I would assume you are NOT a US native. I think someone else mentioned this is may be a cultural thing, and I feel the same way. I would feel like you are from a country where there is less egalitarianism and more power/subordination between a client and a freelancer. I'd also find it vaguely creepy.

 

2) Talking about your level of excitement also seems creepy and also desperate. There's a fine line between showing enthusiasm and seeming desperate and unfortunately you crossed it.

 

3) Also several of the above points (e.g. the Skype sales push) still apply.

 

(I know there's irony in criticising you for being too wordy and then writing this huge reply. Sorry.)

 

Basically, right now both your profile and your proposals are coming off as very salesman-y to me. If you're targeting marketers or something they might not mind. But it feels like you're trying very hard and are a bit desperate. Honestly, it would put me off.

 

I also agree with the other Jennifer. You're basically offering unlimited revisions. One day this is going to bite you.

Ace Contributor
Jake R Member Since: Jul 28, 2016
12 of 15
Thanks very much Jennifer. I'll try to change my profile and proposals up.
Ace Contributor
Jake R Member Since: Jul 28, 2016
13 of 15
I actually didn't realize I was coming off like that so I am very thankful that you told me. Is my profile really that bad? I thought it was pretty decent. And about the proposal advice thank you so much. It seems like you get so many people telling you different things. I think I have to just start writing them from strach every time. Do you have an example of a catchy line. Like is it too cheesy to make a comment about their location or the name of their business?
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
14 of 15

@Jake R wrote:
I actually didn't realize I was coming off like that so I am very thankful that you told me. Is my profile really that bad? I thought it was pretty decent. And about the proposal advice thank you so much. It seems like you get so many people telling you different things. I think I have to just start writing them from strach every time. Do you have an example of a catchy line. Like is it too cheesy to make a comment about their location or the name of their business?

 Jake, I'm glad you took my advice in the manner it was intended and didn't get offended, that really shows you're trying to improve Smiley Happy

 

Look, I'm not exactly your target market, so maybe what you are doing is fine in that market. I can only give you my perspective as a client in a related field, which is this: When you've skimmed 30+ cover letters that are start with "(Greeting), (I have the following skills)", *anything* that is different is going to at least stand out, and talking about the client's problem FIRST is going to stand out the most. Maybe try summarising their problem and why you are the best person to solve it (I've given a similar example in another thread recently I think): "This job writing blog posts about the health benefits of cuddling puppies is a great fit for my skills. You need a writer with hands-on experience who really understands the benefits you're selling, and I cuddly my puppy daily". 

 

It's hard. I'm a client not a freelancer so I don't have experience Smiley Happy All I can tell you is that finding a way to stand out from the crowd is a good idea, but you need to do it without sounding like a car salesman Smiley Happy Good luck!

Ace Contributor
Jake R Member Since: Jul 28, 2016
15 of 15
I just changed it just letting you know!
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