I joined Upwork at a time when I needed to sort out many bills on my own. But I initially found it difficult to get clients to hire me for their writing projects because I couldn’t write a very good Upwork cover letter correctly.
It was such a struggle to get just one decent paying client.
A friend kept on advising me to take up very low paying jobs, but I decided not to.
All the proposals I wrote for the good writing jobs didn’t yield anything. I felt highly frustrated and disturb.
Luckily for me, it didn’t take me the whole time in the world to find out the reason why I was not getting any decent client to hire me for their projects. The reason boiled down to the fact that my Upwork profile and my first Upwork cover letter back then was mediocre!
But the narratives have changed now. Thanks to the intense research I embarked upon just to discover how to make clients begin to reply my proposals and hire me for their projects.
Over the past months, I have been approached by freelancers on Upwork – both offline and online many times. They often complain that clients do not respond to the heap of proposals they send to them.
This is the reason why I have created this blog post to help you win jobs on Upwork.
Did you know that the secret to getting clients to hire you on Upwork is not in writing ambiguous proposals?
Very plain and simple Upwork cover letter has done the magic for me many times.
All I have to do is make sure some keywords do not miss from whatever proposals I send to potential clients. These key elements are what I’m going to show you in this guide that you’ve paid for.
I’ll also be showing to you how to set up your Upwork profile in an enticing way. You practically need a catchy profile to finally convince a client to hire you for their projects.
I worked with more than 20 clients within a year that I joined Upwork. Some of these clients give me repeated jobs too.
I charge in hundreds of dollars till date. Even if my Job Success Score drops, nothing is going to be lost. Why? The reason is because the persuasive proposals I write still fetch me clients without much hassles.
I am ready to help you lessen the burden of getting your first of many well-paying clients on Upwork with this blogpost.
Please note that I am sharing the proposals that got me clients on Upwork. I believe this is the most practical way to also help you in such a way that clients will want to trust you with both their writing projects and also with their money.
Niching down on Upwork
Let me start with you on this note: Don’t be a jack of all trade on Upwork. Most importantly, don’t show you are one in your Upwork cover letter. The truth is that decent paying and well-paying clients prefer freelance writers who show they are experts in just one niche or at most two niches.
For example, once a client checks my Upwork profile, they would see from the profile title that I specialize in Health and Personal development.
You will also notice from the proposal samples I shared in this blogpost that almost of all my proposals revolve around these two niches.
My American mentor on Upwork, Robin Bull, majors in Legal writing and business writing. One of Upwork’s best freelancers of all time, Danny Marguiles majors in business copywriting. Danny has always detained the best practices that can help freelancers write amazing Upwork proposals.
Over the years, I have seen freelance writers try to claim that they can write articles, blogposts and E-books on literarily every niches they come across on Upwork.
For obvious reasons, Upwork clients look for freelancers who can show they are experts in specific niches, rather than in all niches.
Would you give the responsibility of repairing your TV to someone who only knows how to repair Air conditioner just because both TV and Air Conditioner are electronic appliances?
In the same way, being a freelance writer does not in any way mean you have to project yourself as someone who is a jack of all trade whi=’le writing proposals or while creating your Upwork profile.
In order to earn bigger and bigger as time goes on, you must niche down. To become an authority in what you do, you must niche down on Upwork. It’s only when you do this that clients will take you seriously and would want to consider you for their projects.
How can you niche down as a freelance writer on Upwork? It isn’t confusing or complex in any way. All you have got to do is decide which niche you are very much comfortable to thrive in. Then be sure you fill them in your profile title.
For me, I choose to major on Health and Personal Development because of the interest I’ve always had in both niches. I wanted to be a medical doctor while growing up, but as fate would have it, I studied Human Physiology; which is a very important part of the medical profession. Writing about health thus comes to me naturally. While writing my proposals for jobs and answering questions from clients during interviews, I do have the confidence that I can convince them that I’m the right fit for their writing projects.
The compendium of all I’m driving at is that you should sit down and decide the niches of writing you want to major in.
You must be able to clearly identify the kind of freelancer you want to be on Upwork. More importantly, it must be well stated in your profile title.
Preferably, such niche should be one that you have keen knowledge of or even years of experience. Majoring in niches that you do not have a good knowledge of could spell frustration for you, if clients – after reading your Upwork cover letter – interview and discover that you do not have the needed expertise to be trusted with their jobs.
Keeping your proposals concise and simple
Clients get bored when your proposal takes forever to read.
Keep your choice of words simple. No one is ever going to seat down to read an ambiguous and humongous proposal.
Research has also shown that when clients read proposals, they peruse through for only the key elements because, most of the times, they have heap of proposals to attend to. This is also true with clients on Upwork.
One of the mistakes freelance writers make in their proposals is to construct huge block of texts just to impress clients. In most cases, it doesn’t come into fruition. It rather scares the hell out of them, especially if the texts are vague.
Realize that each time Upwork clients send out notice for their available jobs, many other freelancers like yourself also seat down to write their proposals and send to them.
Guess what happens when a client gets to your proposal that has mammoth block of texts, they leave them behind and move on to the next easy to read proposals.
From the samples of my proposals that I shared later in this blog post, very glaring thing you will notice is that my proposals are not so wordy.
While I was frustrated of not getting clients in my first few days on Upwork, I began searching for reasons why they were not getting any responses from clients.
I later got to know that one dangerous mistake I made was to send long ‘essays’ to clients. That’s on a lighter note.
I actually realized that even though I wanted to impress clients, I ended up turning them away from my proposals because of the wordy and ambiguous proposals I kept sending to them.
Gladly, in chapter five of this blogpost, I have highlighted the key elements that well-paying clients on Upwork want to see before they get prompted to interview or hire you for their projects.
Tailoring your proposal towards the Specific job you are applying for
With the experience I have garnered on Upwork as a freelance writer, one of the important aspect of writing proposals is tailoring your content towards the job you are applying for.
There is this common act by many freelancers: they develop one cover letter and send it out for each and every jobs they have interest in.
They often feel it is a waste of time to seat down to write cover letters for each jobs they are applying for.
Now, that’s a poor way to go on Upwork. No client ever takes such freelancers seriously.
What this kind of freelancers don’t know is that in the process of sending the same cover letters to clients, they send irrelevant information as well. They end up in the category of freelancers whose proposals are ambiguous and only good for the trash bin.
Moreover, clients also know that lazy freelance writers don’t care to painstakingly write a well-tailored cover letter for their jobs.
In my time so far on Upwork, I have seen many job description where clients add a keyword just somewhere within their job descriptions and, at the tail end of the job descriptions they request that in order to be sure you have truly read through the job descriptions, you should start your proposal with the keyword that has been quoted somewhere in the job descriptions.
Freelancers who fail to include such keywords in their proposals do not typically get any response from such clients.
Read also: Money making ideas for beginner Writers
It could be that you have been doing this all along. Hey, it’s time to stop. It doesn’t really matter how catchy your proposals have been, without starting your cover letter with the keyword requested by many clients within their job descriptions, your proposal gets ignored at first sight and gets throw in the digital trash bin.
This is the reason why you must be hard working enough to always write separate cover letters for every jobs you are applying for.
For example, if you are writing a proposal for a job with a description that has to do with proofreading an eBook, even though you are a blogger and copywriter, all you need to do is to let the client know you are a proofreader, E-book writer and editor.
And then you go ahead to write your proposal keeping in mind the kind of job it is that you are applying for. You do not need to add that you are an internet researcher or a blogger, copywriter or a translator.
Why? The reason is simply because
such client is only interested in hiring someone who can proofread their eBook
and make it more presentable and fit for sales.
Being online to always respond when a client sends an interview message
If after you have crafted a catchy proposal and the client has dimmed it fit to interview you by sending you a message, it will be bad if they do not get to receive your responses on time.
What happens most of the time in such situation is that such client moves on to other freelancers who are more responsive.
So, whenever you send proposals to clients on Upwork, try to be online to check whether you have a message from them.
Many clients need to hire a freelancer as fast as possible. Once they receive a handful of proposals after sending their job descriptions out on Upwork, they often go ahead to check proposals from freelancers who are marked as ‘online’ on the platform at that time.
It’s pretty much possible that the major reason why you haven’t been hired on Upwork is because whenever you send proposals for the jobs that interests you, the next minute you log out of the platform.
Talking from experience, I have also missed some couple of jobs before on Upwork because I didn’t log in on time to reply new clients who would have hired me.
In order to get message notifications, download the Upwork’s app from Google Play store and login with your details.
Thus, whenever a potential client sends you a message after sending a Upwork cover letter, you will get a notification on your mobile device.
After you might have gotten the first message from a potential client, have an open mind. Ask them intelligent questions that are focused on solving the client’s problem.
This is a powerful strategy that often gets potential clients to trust and waste no more time in hiring you.
Summary of how to write Job winning Upwork cover letter
- Start your Upwork proposals with a salutation.‘Hello’ is very appropriate. But recently I leant that if you can check through the job history of the client and figure out the name he has been called by previous freelancers, it is much cooler. For example, you can salute the client in your proposal by writing, ‘Hello John’ or ‘Hello Adams’ etcetera.
- Introduce yourself: Here you have to mention your name; your expertise on Upwork (for example, I’m a sales copy writer, fitness writer, etcetera); and add the educational qualification that you have especially when it fits the job you are applying for.
- Show the client you are interested in their project. Ask intelligent questions about the job. Let the client know from your questions that you are focused on helping them solve their problems. If you already have experience with a similar job, let the client know. It increases their confidence in you.
- Attach relevant job samples and include in your proposal that you have samples of your previous works attached to the proposal. Most of the time, I prefer adding relevant samples to the proposals I send. Freelancers who attach samples of previous related works to their proposals get interviewed and hired much more than freelancers who don’t send proposals. Perhaps you have a website or blog, add the links to your proposals. Once again, you have more chances of getting hired when clients see that you have an online presence and that your content are very much relevant with what they are looking for.
- If you have a professional social media presence, you can request that the client should check you work out. Share your social media handles with them. I have gotten hired a number of times by simply referring a German client to check out my Facebook page. He needed me to write a motivational eBook. And all I did was to suggest that he checked out the relevant motivational posts I had written and posted on Facebook. He came back hiring me immediately because he was already convinced that I could handle a similar project. If you haven’t been showing what you can offer via social media, begin to do that right away.
- End your proposal with a call to action. This is quite important. Don’t make the client read your proposal and end it there. Give them a reason to send you a message. How you do this is by ending your proposals with a call to action. Even though there are better call to actions that you can utilize in your proposals, I often use, “Could you send me a message so that we can discuss much better about this exciting project?” Plenty of times, this has worked for me. You can develop your call to action as well. Just ensure you are making the client triggered to shoot you a message after reading your captivating proposals.
- Above all, avoid using the word ‘I’ too often in your proposals. What Upwork clients are most interested in is how you can solve their problems; not how you have been a wonderful freelancers in the past.
Some of my Upwork Proposal Samples
After helping more than 20 people to earn their first job on Upwork recently by sharing a sample of my job winning Upwork cover letter, I felt there was a strong need to help even more people.
Below, I have shared at least seven of my Upwork proposal samples. Under each proposals are breakdown of how the content contributed to me getting hired by the clients.
All you also have to do is learn how to incorporate the ideas I share from the breakdown into your own proposals as well and watch as clients begin to rush you.
The above is one of my first upwork proposals. It is not the prettiest of proposals, I know. But it was persuasive enough to get the client to hire me.
SUMMARY OF THE UPWORK PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
- I showed that I have a degree related to what the client wanted.
- I showed that I have experience in writing, by “Currently work with John People’s magazine.”
- I showed that I was interested in the job.
- You could see that I made the client know that I was CONFIDENT in my ability to deliver a quality job.
- I shared a link to my blog. This is usually a great strategy that gets clients to hire you. So, get yourself a blog; it’s part of your portfolio.
SUMMARY OF THE UPWORK PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
- I showed the client that I have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the nature of the project they want to get done.
- I showed that I have the passion and interest in such projects overtime.
- I once again showed how confident I was to “deliver top quality” content.
shared a link to my health blog where I had many of my health related
SUMMARY OF THE UPWORK PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
- I showed the client that I write, blog and create eBooks, in this Upwork bid proposal sample.
- I made the client know that I “have experience” in writing reviews.
- I highlighted two catchy qualities that every clients love to see: prompt communication, top quality service and meeting up with deadline.
- I ended the proposal by writing a Call to Action: “could you send me a message so that we can discuss better about this exciting project.” The charming benefit of including a call to action at the end of your proposal is that it prompts clients to send you a message after reading your proposals. Sometimes, no matter how great your proposals are, clients may not consider them because there is another freelancer who has prompted them already to get them interviewed with a simple call to action at the end of their Upwork cover letter.
- You could see that I was hired by this particular client immediately without further questions. Such is the potency of a simple but yet persuasive proposal.
A new client sent me an invitation to apply for their project. Even though the job description in the invitation wasn’t so clear, I still had to send a Upwork cover letter that could be persuasive enough to get the client to interview and get me hired for their project. I had to fuse every bit of words that would get the client to hire me instead of any of the other number of freelancers they also sent the same invitations to.
SUMMARY OF THE UPWORK PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
- When a client sends you an invitation to their job on Upwork, be sure to first thank them for sending you that invitation. That’s exactly what I first did in the above proposal. Why do you need to do so? On a human level, it makes clients like you. They would want to possibly associate with you by sending that first message.
- I tailored my introduction to ‘writing,’ ‘online researching’ and ‘blogging.’ I knew that whoever the client wanted for the project would possess one or more of these qualities.
- Even though it is unlike me to boast about what I have earned on the platform, I didn’t have a choice: I had to let the client notice my profile by saying I have been earning on Upwork. I knew that by saying so, they would possibly want to check my profile for real to affirm if truly I have been earning on the platform. Hence, on checking my profile – after seeing truly that I have earned considerably well on the platform as a freelance writer – they might end up seeing the awesome feedback I have and these would get them convinced that I could do whatever it is they wanted to get done.
- I didn’t forget to let the client know that I write content that are void of plagiarism. Hint: Clients love when you highlight this in your Upwork cover letter. No one ever likes to receive plagiarized content from a freelance writer.
- Although lately I no more use “Kindly get back to me……” kinda phrase because it looks unprofessional (looks like you’re begging a client to consider you for their project), but I believe it was still part of why I got interviewed and hired for this project. Possibly it could work for you too. Upwork freelance writing expert, Danny Marguiles, advised that freelancers should use better phrases other than “Kindly get back to me” or “Please get back to me” kinda phrases.
The client needed a freelancer to write few chapters of their health eBook. I just needed to write a catchy proposal that would make the client to interview and hire me for the job instead of any other freelance writers who also sent their proposals.
SUMMARY OF THE UPWORK PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
- I was quick to show the client that blog about Health. I knew very well that this would attract them because clients want a freelancer who has some sort of knowledge about their projects.
- I showed that I possess a bachelor’s degree in Human Physiology. This has always been strong point for me. It’s irresistible, because many jobs I apply to are related to my educational background. As I have advised earlier, if you have an educational background related to your services on Upwork, show them vividly on your Upwork cover letter .
- I shared a link of my health blog with the client. Once again, this is like a sharp trap because the clients would most definitely be tempted to check. In the process,
they get hypnotized by your originality and would have no other choice but to hire you.
- I also asked the client to check through my Upwork’s profile in order to view the awesome feedbacks I have gotten rom clients overtime. I do believe that this makes them to believe you can do their job too. I understand that this may not yet work for you in case you haven’t yet earned on Upwork at all.
In this Upwork bid proposal sample, what this client needed was a freelancer who could edit and restructure their eBook into a more quality one. I needed to send a persuasive proposal that got me hired at the end.
SUMMARY OF THE UPWORK PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
- I showed the client that I was delighted to know about their needs concerning the project.
- I made them know I have experience in developing ideas into eBooks.
- I let them know I review books and restructure content for clients too.
- I stated that I have a great command of English. It has been a norm for me to do this in my Upwork cover letter.
- I made them know that I deliver within the stipulate deadline and my works are usually top quality.
This client needed a freelancer to write a medical related eBook. I needed to send a persuasive proposal that would prefer for the project instead of other freelancers that also applied to the same job.
How to set up Upwork Profile that makes Upwork cover letters persuasive
Even though the profile you created while registering was good enough to make Upwork accept your application to work on the platform, you still need to how to set up Upwork profile in order to make you become more enticing to clients.
The last stage most clients reach before deciding to hire you or not is the moment they check your Upwork profile.
The major reason why some freelancers do not get hired for projects is largely because their Upwork profile is not in any way professional and attractive.
Below are the salient aspects of your Upwork profile that you must revisit and work on, if you want clients to become convinced that you are the best guy for their projects.
- Your Profile Photo: Personally, I believe one of the factors considered by Upwork before they eventually accepted your application to work on their platform is the kind of photo you uploaded on your profile. Upwork prefers that you upload a photo in which your face is boldly showing. You can also do well to smile in it. As trivial as you may think this is, clients develop an impression about you through the photo displayed on your Upwork profile.The impression a client gets when they see a freelancer frowning in their profile photo is different from the impression they get when a freelancer is all smiling. The first impression is negative, the other is crystal clearly positive.
- Profile Title: Meet an experienced Upwork freelancer and they will tell you about the importance of putting out the appropriate profile title. Whenever a client receives your Upwork cover letter and decides to check your profile, one of the first things they notice is your profile title. While writing your title, ensure that you are concise and specific about your niche. Don’t forget that you can’t be a jack of all trade. You can’t expect clients to take your proposals seriously when your profile title reads something like, ‘Writer and graphics designer.’ Instead, let your Upwork title be more specific. An example is, ‘Professional Legal and business writer’ or ‘Expert Fitness and diet Expert.’
- Your Overview: Here you have the opportunity to tell potential clients about you. In order words, it’s another golden opportunity for you to sell yourself, as a freelance writer. Hence, you must be able to share your qualification, skills, experience, and previous works done and how willing you’re to help clients solve their problems.
Similar to the proposals you have been advised to write, try not to write a long overview. Let your overview be as simple and concise as possible. Don’t ever forget to end your overview with a call to action. A call to action is a very important strategy that must not be excluded from your overview.
- Add a Video: I recently removed the video on my Upwork profile because I wanted to make a better one. Uploading an introductory video on your Upwork profile is another underestimated strategy. Sadly, many freelancers do not know its importance. When clients check out your Upwork video and they see you talk about your freelance services, they become more attracted to you. Naturally, they feel comfortable with working with you because they’ve seen your face and body language. As underestimating as it seems, adding a video where you talk briefly about the services you offer is powerful enough to convince clients to hire you. To add a video to your Upwork profile, check your profile. Right at the top center of the page, you will see an option “place video.” Click on it and share a link of your video.
- Take Upwork tests: So far, I think I have taken about 10 Upwork tests and I still desire to take more. Upwork tests are designed to help freelancers show potential clients that they are indeed capable of delivering quality services to them. As a writer, there are plenty of tests that you can take on Upwork. Well, ensure that you prepare very well for these tests because they are indeed ‘tests.’ Many clients deliberately hire only freelancers who have taken relevant tests on Upwork. In case, you are yet to take any tests yet, go ahead and take tests that are very much relevant to your set skills.
- Portfolio: How would you feel if someone comes to you and brags that they can take your pictures perfectly, but when you got to their photography shop, there was no sample of pictures or anything suggesting that such person had taken great pictures of people in the past? You get unimpressed, right? It’s is exactly the same way, when you have an Upwork profile without any samples of your previous works in your portfolio. In order to get hired faster on Upwork, add some samples of your previous writing jobs. As time goes on, you can build your Upwork portfolio into a really impressive store of your sample works. This goes a long way in convincing potential clients who read your Upwork cover letter that you truly have experience working in your niche.
I really want to help you get your first jobs on Upwork.
For reading this blogpost, you are entitled to a free consultation with me if you cannot still create a magical Upwork cover letter all by yourself after studying the Upwork bid proposal samples I shared! Use the contact page link to connect with me.
I want to know the challenges you are facing as a freelance writer on Upwork. I’m strongly willing to help you overcome them.
Perhaps you have read this post again and again, you have applied the ideas I shared on how to get hired on Upwork, but clients are still not entrusting you with their writing projects on the platform, you are 100% free to talk to me about it.
The experience I have gotten from the past one year in freelance writing on Upwork will be of great help to you. It doesn’t matter the niche you are into, I’ll be glad to support you through the process of getting your first clients on Upwork.
Have you been getting clients using some points not mentioned in this post as regards writing a Upwork cover letter? Kindly share in the comments.