7 Tips from a $100k Freelancer

Are you ready to take your freelancing game to the next level on Upwork? With over 750,000 active clients and a whopping 5.5 million jobs posted annually, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

However, the key to landing these jobs lies in your proposal-writing skills. This involves skillfully portraying yourself as a well-informed freelancer who comprehends your clients’ pain points and effectively proffers solutions concisely through the proposal.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through five powerful strategies to craft proposals that stand out and secure those projects. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be armed with a winning proposal template and the confidence to excel on Upwork

Understanding What Clients See

Before diving into the details, Let’s begin by understanding what clients see when you submit a proposal. The first things visible to clients are your name, specialty, hourly rate, total earnings, job success rate, and the initial lines of your cover letter. Additionally, clients can view your verified skills, as seen on this screen. To capture your client’s attention, focus on the first 1-3 lines of your proposal, ensuring they’re impactful and engaging. By hitting the main points immediately, you can pique their interest and increase your response rate to 15-60%.

Watch the video below for a deeper understanding of the client’s perspective.

Now that you know what clients see, let’s delve into the 7 key aspects to consider when crafting your proposal.

7 Tips for Writing Proposals

1. Personalization: Addressing the Client by Name

It’s time to set yourself apart by adding a personal touch to your proposal. Quit the generic greetings like “hello” or “hi” and use the client’s name instead. Quickly research to find their name and incorporate it into your proposal. This simple gesture creates an immediate connection and makes you memorable among the sea of proposals.

While the client’s name might not be readily visible in the job post, here’s a trick: take a moment to navigate through the client’s history and feedback from other freelancers, you may be lucky.

2. Crafting a Captivating Hook

Your proposal should have an engaging hook and focus on the value you bring to the project. 8-seconds is all you have to grab the client’s attention.

The first 1-2 lines determine whether clients scroll past or stop in their tracks. Clients seek solutions, so tailor your proposal to showcase how you can address their needs. Ensure your proposal is customer-centric, emphasizing the benefits you can provide. Remember, your proposal should revolve around creating value for the client rather than solely promoting yourself.

3. Showcasing Your Past Success

Showcase examples of your previous work. Clients are more likely to hire freelancers with relevant job samples. Even if you’re just starting out, you can create a portfolio by completing specific tasks and using them as samples. As a writer starting on Upwork, you can also add links to your previous articles.

Building a portfolio while waiting for jobs can significantly improve your hiring chances.

4. Grammar Matters: Paying Attention to Detail

Pay attention to your grammar. Effective communication is crucial, and grammatical errors can convey a lack of professionalism. Utilize tools like Grammarly and Quillbot AI to enhance the quality of your proposal’s language. Clear and well-structured grammar demonstrates your communication skills and attention to detail.

5. Include a Call to Action

A call to action is a clear prompt that tells clients what to do next and it is just one attribute of a successful proposal. A clear call to action demonstrates your proactive approach and eagerness to move the conversation forward, which can make a positive impression on the client.

When crafting your call to action, it’s important to be strategic about it. Instead of the standard “Shoot me a message on Upwork” or “Contact me for more info,” consider using something like “I’m ready to chat and dive deeper into your project. How about we connect between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. WAT on Mondays and Wednesdays? Let me know what works best for you. This way, we can discuss your project in detail.

This approach invites them to reach out and showcases your professionalism by confirming your availability.

Therefore, while a well-crafted call to action can certainly boost your chances, it’s important to ensure that your entire proposal aligns with other factors such as your skills, relevant experience, proposal content, portfolio, and overall professionalism.

6. End Proposals with Question

Incorporating questions at the end of a proposal is a game changer. A thoughtful and relevant question demonstrates your analytical skills to the client, engages the client, and encourages them to reply.

However, ensure that the question is directly related to the project or the client’s needs. It should demonstrate your genuine interest in gaining more insight into the project.

According to Chatgpt, always ensure the questions you ask are:


Ensure your question is directly related to the project or the client’s requirements. Irrelevant or generic questions can be damaging


Frame your question in an open-ended manner. This encourages the client to provide more information and opens the door for a meaningful conversation.


Maintain a respectful and professional tone. Your question should come across as genuinely curious and helpful, not intrusive.

7. Keep it Short

Finally, an ideal Upwork proposal demonstrates a freelancer’s ability to solve problems while being concise and brief. In 1-2 lines, show your understanding of the project, highlight relevant skills and experience, and clearly outline your methodology to approach the task.

Remember to close with a call to action and relevant questions.

PS: When writing a proposal, do not include sensitive information about your past client without their permission or mention productivity tools and how to use them.

That would be giving out information freely and not getting credit for it.

Conclusion: The Michael Jordan Mindset

As Michael Jordan wisely said, “I can accept failure; everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Embrace this mindset as you navigate the freelancing landscape on Upwork.

Keep trying, fine-tune your proposal templates, and experiment with different approaches. Incorporate these five tips into your strategy, and watch as your freelancing career soars to new heights Apply only for jobs that align with your skills and expertise, and focus on crafting targeted, well-structured proposals. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to securing your first job on Upwork.

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Author: Tope Tester