Knowing how to apply for freelance jobs on Upwork is very important to your success as a freelancer. Even beginner freelancers can beat out experts at getting jobs, not by lowering their price, but by sending a thoughtful and unique proposal, and in this blog post, I’ll show you how. Below are my top 7 tips on how to apply for freelance jobs on Upwork.
- Actually read the job description.
Too often freelancers don’t read the actual job description, they only read the title. Not only am I a freelancer on Upwork, but I hire a lot on Upwork as well. I can’t tell you how many times I get proposals where the freelancer clearly didn’t read the job description. If you want to make sure the client is a great fit, you need to read the job description, just reading the title isn’t enough. It only takes a few seconds!
- Put something unique in the proposal: NBAT
I won’t go into the details of NBAT since we do that in-depth at Freelancer Masterclass (if you’re not a student, feel free to register), but the basics is address the prospects need, budget, authority, timing. Doing these 4 things will ensure you both are aligned on what the scope of the project is. It is helpful to make a unique Loom.com video. Doing a video puts a face behind the proposal and also tells the prospect that you took time out of your day to address their proposal, rather than just a copy and paste job which is what almost all the freelancers will give them.
- Log all responses on a spreadsheet
I am shocked by how many freelancers don’t log proposal responses. I am always testing different versions of proposals and logging which ones get the best responses. Doing this will allow you to know which proposals are most effective. If you aren’t in love with stats, get in love with them. If you’re serious about scaling your company, then stats will be your best friend.
- Once you get their contact info, send them a connection request on LinkedIn
Normally on Upwork you don’t see the prospects information until after they respond, but when they respond you can connect with them on LinkedIn. This will allow the prospect to see you outside of Upwork and see more of your skillsets. It will also separate you from the other freelancers who didn’t do it. This only take a few seconds to do and will show the prospect that you have taken the time to research them a bit.
- Give them something of value first for free
You don’t have to spend long on this, but give the prospect something for free that shows your interest in the work and your expertise. Do something that will only take you a few minutes, customize it a bit and make sure this represents you, and your work, well.
- Do a risk reversal.
A risk reversal means minimizing the risk they take in hiring you. Give them a couple of options. Say something like “you can take this free spreadsheet and hire someone else or you can have me complete the job.” When you give people an option, they are likely to pick one or the other, rather than giving them an open-ended option where they may not choose anything at all.
- Provide a lower barrier to entry
Make it as easy as possible for them to hire you, especially for larger jobs. They have to take a leap of faith when hiring you, so perhaps offer that they hire you for only a few hours, instead of 100. This will allow you to show your expertise and good communication. Once a relationship is established it’s much easier to continue.