How to Write a Successful Upwork, Fiverr Freelancing Proposal

Black Freelancer paying attention to screen

In your earliest days, months or even years as a freelance service provider, you'll experience first hand, the burden that comes with having to figure out that killer proposal that will secure the job for you on which ever platform you operate.

You'll re-evaluate each of the sentence you've penned down and keep thinking about whether or not it should be edited and changes made on it.

You may even need to show it to a couple of friends for their opinions, approvals, or rejection. Crazy!. Isn't it? Well I think otherwise. I would rather say, exciting.

Well, that is something worth being thankful for, as it's necessary to do the right things while you're getting started on your new career as a freelancer.

Your proposal goes a long way to determine whether you're accepted or rejected, and in this simple guide, I'll tell you the best way to write your proposal for success.

Begin Strong

The regular client will take out just some moment of their time, perusing your proposal. Depending largely on how fast and attentive they are to details, the time spent on your proposal could be lavished anywhere between a well structured and catchy sentence and a paragraph that might interest or piss them the hell off.

Regardless, you really want to seductively grab their attention early and long enough, to keep them interested in whatever you've written down. If you're successful with this, they might go through the entirety of your proposal. First things first. Grab their attention.

The most obviously terrible thing that you can do while shooting your shot is to start off with a long, exhausting, and unnecessary self intro. For example, I have seen countless proposals that start like this.

"Hi. I am Alex. I have just gone through your job description completely and I am interested and want to put myself forward for the gig."

In some other cases, it would appear this way:

Hello there. I am Alexa. I have just finished learning about your astounding gig that should be carried out on this platform, and I feel that I am the ideal individual for getting done with this task today, so kindly put me into consideration.

In both cases, it's not necessary, and where the last option is concerned, it's a wreck of an elevator pitch that frantically should be fixed. Or should I say, in simpler terms, edited.

They already know you have interest in the gig.

That is obviously the reason you're applying. Assuming you're using a freelance site like Upwork, they most probably could address you by your full name even before you say it. Yes! They know buddy! Skip that part for Sunday's sake. Lol

Instead of doing all of those unnecessary time wasting task of writing what is not needed, it's best to begin your proposal with their name.

They'll most likely include it in the job description and if you add it to your proposal, they'll realize that you read it and this has the capability to score you an extra point in your potential clients mind.

After the casual introduction (which ought to in a real sense be "Hi [First Name]"), explain to them in clear terms, why you're the best option out of 7.9 billion people in the entire Corona ravaged fragile world, for this job. Ok, not all 7.9 billion are on Upwork or Fiverr, I get it, but then you got the point. Didn't you?

You can include other important details later, but your first lines should carry the interest grabbing information. See it as an elevator pitch. Make sense before they lose interest and step into their floor. Just seduce dear.

Assuming it's a creative writing gig and you're already a published writer, include that in your proposal. It will definitely score you some points too.

Assuming also it's a marketing gig and you have some field experience working with a notable brand, then that is your lead. In the event that you have no insight, experience or qualifications already, dazzle them with well grounded knowledge of the subject matter.

Give some highlight about recent events in that marketing gig topic. If it's football, tell about the recent transfers and change of management done, and link it to the job. Just be creative. Find a way to connect the dots.


Keep it Brief

Don't have it anywhere in your mind that clients are willing to spend their entire day on you. Try not to assume that they will read all that you have written down. In majority of the cases, you'll get a paragraph or two from them, and that is valid regardless of whether they like you and finally pick you for the job.


Just keep your proposal as brief as necessary; think more of quality and not amount. It doesn't make any difference how qualified you are and how much experience you have gathered, you should water everything down. Single out the best pieces, be brief, and don't burn through their time. 


Time is a precious but scarce currency, spend theirs wisely. The practice most time is this, like I'll always tell people.

If you have to take out each paragraph or sentence of your writing for $100 and still make sense that could win you $10,000, which ones would you remove? Now do it.

Assuming they need extra information or clarity, they will definitely get in touch with you, and when they make that move, your chances of getting selected for the job increases.

Make it Personal

An outsourcing or freelance service proposal ought to be custom made for you, or personalized. It has to appear as if it was specially prepared for the gig being referred to. Not some random proposal template.

If your potential clients suspect that you have duplicated and stuck to a similar and particular pattern of proposal for each work, they'll totally ignore you, as it portrays that you're not paying adequate attention to the jobs you apply for and really might be wasting their precious time.

No body wants that. Do you? I guess not.

The need for personalising your proposal can not be overemphasized.

Imagine a scenario in which you're not qualified for the gig, or a scenario where you are not comfortable with their budget.

Personalising your proposal gives you the luxury to respond to these inquiries and demonstrating you have read through the job description.

However, there is some helpful trick to doing this.

Trust me, you really don't want to send out a proposal that is similar to one of those spam messages that sites send out with the aim of looking for backlinks.


For instance, 90% of the proposals sent on freelancing websites are arranged like this:

I'm a specialist in "I NEED A COPYWRITER WHO CAN WRITE E-COMMERCE SALES COPY FOR A GROCERY SHOP" and might want to apply.

It's ridiculous and doesn't make a single sense. They're attempting to demonstrate that they have gone through the job description, despite the fact that they obviously copied the title into an already existing template.


Let's make a quick comparison between that, up there and this, under here;

"I have composed some sales copies for e-commerce websites for both grocery shops and kitchen equipments, and convinced I would be a great choice for this job".

This kind of proposal immediately tickles the fancy of your prospective client, and demonstrates that you read the job description thoroughly, and cuts to the chase, in other words, going straight to the point.

Obviously, you won't have the energy, luxury of time or willpower to compose a new write up or paragraphs for each proposal you intend to submit, however you don't have to.

Just create a standard proposal and afterward, add a brief section that talks about the gig you're applying for. Each time you apply for a freelance job, you can just edit and modify this segment.

By so doing, you're still duplicating your content to ensure speed, but at the same time you're making it obvious that you actually did read the job description and that you have the required skills to do the job perfectly. No body wants to hire someone who will pay no mind to their needs as a business or employer.


Make it as Visual as Possible.

A proposal for a freelance service should be intriguing and tempting. It shouldn't just be a block of texts that keep loosing your readers interest with every new paragraph they scan.

Add a touch of color and imagery to your freelance proposal and make use of briefer paragraphs and attractive leads. You don't want to bore your reader with uninteresting block paragraphs.


Don’t exceed your limit with this, though. Always bear in mind It’s a professional gig proposal that you're sending out to some experienced employers and companies. Don't make it look like a teens magazine.

In the case that you’re using freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr instead of emails, it can be a little bit dicey to include the necessary visual touches to your work.

However, that is exactly where your portfolio comes in to play. Add some life and colour to your portfolio, and then point their attention to it, still being sure to keep your proposal brief. That part is necessary.

You mustn't be a designer in order to create a visually appealing portfolio. If you're a developer, you can simply add screenshots of apps and sites that you've worked on. 

As a writer, you can as well showcase some book covers, blog posts, business writings, Newspaper or magazine articles screenshots.

There will definitely be a way to visualise your past work.

Figure it out and get it done.

Good Luck!

Written by Mr Awesome
(Victor Kelechi Kingsley)

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