5 Lessons from 300+ Upwork Proposals

My theories for increasing the likelihood that your Upwork pitches will actually get a response.

an orange-red neon sign that says Love Me in cursive. The M looks like a heart.
an orange-red neon sign that says Love Me in cursive. The M looks like a heart.
Every pitch you send is basically a plea to be noticed, validated professionally, and — hopefully — compensated. (Credit: Photo by Cristi Tohatan on Unsplash)

Rule #1: Look for Recent Job Posts

This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but the longer it’s been since a job was originally posted, the more likely it is that the client is overwhelmed with proposals. If it’s a job with a reasonable budget (and especially if it’s SEO), there will be a fair amount of competition from other freelancers on the site.

Rule #2: Don’t Copy and Paste

Nobody wants to read low-effort sales messages from random strangers. I’ve heard from a number of clients that they received a lot of proposals that were obviously a template or straight up copy-paste.

Rule #3: Don’t Get Discouraged

It’s best to have a thick skin and not put too much time or effort into crafting the perfect proposal, because there’s like a 90% chance the client won’t even reply to you. Or, perhaps it’ll be a scam. (Those do exist. Watch out.)

Rule #4: Include a Call to Action

The first step of any sales negotiation, or job interview, is to start a conversation. Your primary goal is to get the client to reply to your proposal, so it’s helpful to ask a question or request more information in order to get them to respond.

Rule #5: Keep Your Pitch Messages Short

I have a tendency to write way more than is necessary. I’m convinced that grad school permanently destroyed my ability to write in bullet points. My preferred mode is the email version of a 20-page midterm paper.

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There's no such thing as too good to be true. Superconnector :: Writer :: SEO Strategist

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