A year ago, winning jobs on Upwork was a mystery to me. When I did see a job posting I thought looked like ‘an easy first gig,’ my chances of winning the job felt unlikely.
By the end of this blog post I hope to convince you that you can succeed as a web developer on Upwork one job at a time. You’ll need some technical skill, of course, but your people skills are more important. Like with many businesses, all it takes is one good review from a happy client to start the snowball effect of building a client list and finding regulars.
All that starts with your proposals. Proposals are THE MOST IMPORTANT thing when you are applying for jobs on Upwork. Proposals on Upwork are more important than your profile, you portfolio and even your past experience. It’s important to make a good first impression on potential clients.
At the end of this post, there will be some templates you can use to write your own proposals for Upwork gigs. Before we get to the proposals, however, there are some things we should take a moment to think about. Trust me, taking a moment to think about your approach will pay off.
The point I’m trying to make here is this: look the part. Play the part.
You’re going to be in good shape If you can answer the following question, and keep in mind that many clients on Upwork have already had a bad experience with freelance developers in the past.
- What is the client looking for in a freelancer?
Most clients, especially the good ones, really only want to know three things.
- You can do the job well
- You’re going to be a good person to work with
- You meet their deadline if there is one
The key to all of this is good, professional communication. Your communication with a client before, during and after projects will make a tremendous impact on your business.
Now to actually writing the proposals.
You should use prewritten templates, but tailor each proposal to the job description.
Here’s how I structure every proposal:
- Answer their questions and tell them why you’re the one for the job.
- Closing and inviting them to write back to you
Your proposal should be written for your audience, the client, and they should be clear and easy to read. There are a few things I strive to show in every proposal I submit.
- I can do the job.
- I read the job description thoroughly.
- I am a good person to work with, and I am reliable.
Personally, I strive to make my proposals professional, but I also want them to be friendly and inspire confidence.
Proposals don’t need to be long, unless the posting asks for lots of information. You don’t want your proposal to be overwhelming, because the client may never read it if it looks way too long.
So, write your own templates, or edit the templates below for your own proposals. Don’t spend too much time on your proposals, but make sure to customize each one based on the job description.
Hello, my name is __________ and I am a web developer with experience building custom WordPress sites and themes.
I assure you that I take every job seriously. I would love the opportunity to build your WordPress website and theme for you. I do my absolute best to be a good person to work with and to meet deadlines. I also pay close attention to the details.
I have experience with ______, ______ and ______. (more details about why you’re the right person for the job)
I am committed to my clients and their projects from the moment the contract begins. I always make sure my clients are satisfied with the work I do.
Lastly, I take great pride in my prompt and professional communication. I would love to discuss the job with you further and hope to hear from you soon. Thank you!
Hi there, my name is __________ and I am a WordPress developer with experience using PHP, as well as building custom sites and themes.
I assure you that I take every job seriously, and I take great pride in my prompt and professional communication. I would love the opportunity to learn more about your your vision for the website. I specialize in __________ and __________ and have completed several similar projects. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you would like to see some examples of my work.
(Address something from the job description and expand upon why you are interested in the job here)
I do my absolute best to be a good person to work with and to meet deadlines. I also pay close attention to the details. It’s important to me that my clients are satisfied with the work I do.
I’d love to discuss the job with you further and hope to hear from you soon. Thank you!
Happy (gig) hunting! Building a client list takes time, so start sooner rather than later. You can do it!