The success of eBay has changed more than just how we buy cat toys online. Freelancing websites have adopted the auction/bid model the retail giant uses. What this means is that a client will now post the work they need to be done and you have to bid to get the job. However, you do not use money in this case. Instead, you have to create a convincing pitch that shows why you are the perfect person for the job.
Let’s be honest: a lot of newbies do not know how to craft the perfect pitch. It is not about waxing on and on about your qualifications, but proving you have what it takes to get the job done well. A typical job posting receives hundreds of replies, so you have to make sure your bid stands out.
Start off by reading through the job description thoroughly. Take note of all the instructions provided by the client because every posting has different requirements. Therefore, a generic response just won’t do. Make sure to answer angle questions and attach any documents requested by the client.
A great rule of thumb is to research the potential client before preparing any bid. This will help you know their business goals, their typical style and presentation, and their preferences. All this information will be vital in helping you personalize your pitch. A great way websites can help you do this is by helping you find out the name of the person who will receive your bid. Do you think your bid will be more successful with these personal touches, or less? Enough said.
Rules to help you create a winning proposal
- Show how your skills can benefit the prospective client. Instead of saying, “I have more than five years’ experience in writing,” you can say, “Research-driven SEO writer with over five years’ experience.” The latter is more specific, problem-centric, and interesting.
- Include your samples, even when this is not specifically requested. Select samples that are as close as possible to the job that has been posted. If you have time, create a custom sample for each bid.
- Alternatively, you can offer to do an assignment on a trial basis. This will both show the client your willingness to work and give you a chance to see if you can have a great working relationship.
- Keep your pitch short. No one has the time or desire to read through a long-winded speech! Instead, run through a summary of your credentials and qualifications. You could also link to your blog, website, or LinkedIn profile where possible. If the freelancer site you are on allows it, makes sure to leave your email address too.
- Proofread! Before sending anything out to a client, make sure to proofread it thoroughly. Nothing puts off prospective clients like a poorly written pitch. It shows you are sloppy, do not pay attention to detail, nor do you care about your work.
What will you charge?
There really are no set rules for this. Some freelancers charge the lowest possible rates but still get no jobs. However, set your prices too high and you still get the same results! It is a catch-22 that still confuses many freelancers.
Your best bet is to set a rate that will help you make a comfortable living. While you may still be forced to charge low amounts as a newbie, this amount will go up with time and experience.