upwork top freelancing website
Freelancing….obviously is a way out to relish on the life you dream of. This paves an opportunity to live your own life, without having to be felt on the pins and needles due to that boring 9 to 5 routine or stringent company’s policies. 
And so Upwork is the place considered by the majority of the freelancers. (That is why an Upwork proposal stands at a higher position in all freelancers’ lives !)

This giant freelancing platform that offers lucrative jobs in around 3,000 different areas, lands you the chance to win higher-paying jobs.

Upwork Proposal

Figure 1Elance-Odesk’s 2014 Global Online Work Report demonstrating the upward tracjectory. This explicity states about the growing trend of freelance or online jobs.

But the question is:

How an Upwork proposal can get you potential clients, to enjoy the work you want to do and a large lucrative income while working from your comfort zone.?

A Common Grievance of Freelancers!

Most of the freelancers have an issue in common – they are not receiving any reply to a ton of Upwork proposals they have sent to various job applications.

What is going wrong?

There are many freelancers who spend ample time in putting together Upwork proposal or cover letters but get weeded out by the clients. On the other hand, their successful competitors are the freelancers who spend pretty least amount of time in writing cover letters.

Why is this so?

A few of the misconceptions among many freelancers regarding Upwork proposals result in this tiring effort that pays off nothing. Some common mistakes that prevent them from getting the response (yet response from potential clients) to their cover letters.

The given tested tips and advice will definitely lead you to an end where you are able to get more clients, higher-paying jobs, and long –term projects.

Here are my tested Upwork proposal tips…..

i- Generalist Approach Is A Suicide:

What is your preferred niche you want to get hired for? Yes, finding a right job according to your skill set is the foremost thing to do. If you are demonstrating yourself as the ‘Jack of All Trades’, you are opening up the doors to get ignored by clients.
Ryan Johnson Upwork

A client prefers someone who has expertise in that particular niche. For example, showing up yourself as the one with Website Development, Graphic Designing, and Internet Marketing skills will not land you the jobs at all. In fact, it is going to confuse your clients what is your area of expertise exactly?

how does upwork work

ii- Additional Questions Come First:

A high percentage of freelancers commit suicide while sending proposals. Suicide….?

Yes, it is because they are unaware what client sees first while receiving your proposals. And so they treat additional questions (included by the client) heedlessly.

additional questions and answers of upwork job application

This is where many of the freelancers get weeded out.


As you click on a job, you see the cover letter before the additional questions. So, a freelancer puts all his effort in crafting a cover letter only. But this is what happens on the client side:

upwork cover letter samples

Note: The above screenshot is a sharing from a renowned Upwork freelancer “Danny Margulies in his article ‘7 Surprisingly Upwork Proposal Mistakes I See Everyday’.

The client sees additional questions before your cover letter. That is the reason, if you get failed to put a lasting impression on the client, he will stop thereby and move on to the next application. So, be attentive and answer the questions meticulously with attention to each detail.

iii- Charge Higher Than Client’s Posted Budget:

While posting a job, the clients are unaware of the exact budget and cautiously they post the least (or you say a dummy) amount. Most of the freelancers think they cannot charge higher than this posted budget.

Bottom Line?

Be confident in including your proposed terms while sending out proposals.

Take a look at the example when clients have paid more than the estimated budget.

Upwork Clients Budget Mistakesiv- Be Concise in Cover Letter:

Keeping your applications short and succinct is the key to grabbing client’s attention. You might want to put your every achievement and experience in the cover letter, but that will make prospects bored. What is important is to show some creativity while crafting the applications.

A relatively short cover letter with a bit of your experience and more details to the project is the one that will definitely get you the job. As much you show concerns about the project, the client is encouraged to get you on board for further communication.

v- Mention About Your Interview Availability:

It is really a handy tactic to pave the ways for communication with the client. Just mention somewhere in your proposal about your availability for an interview. This will get the client into active mode to have a talk with you immediately and further assess your skills.

Adding something like this will increase your chances of being responded by the client:

I believe communication is the key to productive results. And so I am available for an interview from Monday through Saturday from 11am till 6 pm (UTC + 5:00). Looking forward to having an opportunity to discuss more about the job.

vi- Ask Questions About Job:

You can encourage a client to respond to the application by incorporating questions about the project. All you have to do is to read the job description carefully and pay attention to the requirements. The prospects are interested in knowing what you can do for them or how you can benefit them.

By asking questions to clarify the vague job details or other requirements, you attract the client to respond. And this is what you are targeting – ‘Client’s Response to Cover Letter’. Then, you can further grab the client through proper conversation.

how to be successful on upwork

vii- Give Suggestions for Projects:

The clients love suggestions about their projects. Giving a few suggestions related to the posted project will end up having the client responded to you. Most of the times, the clients post different small jobs to hire new freelancers for testing their skills before considering them for bigger ones.

Let say, a content writer is hired by the client for web content, the writer may suggest about newsletter writing as the goal for the company. This not only inspires him with your expertise and professionalism, it results in a long-term association with bigger projects.

viii- Adopt A Friendly Yet Professional Tone:

Come up with your personality and style while crafting a compelling Upwork proposal. And communication plays a significant role in this regard. Keep a professional communication with a pinch of friendliness.

The clients love to work with friendly and easy to go freelancers. So, the way you communicate immensely effects a client as well. Instead of starting cover letters with ‘Dear Sir’, add friendly gestures like ‘Hi’ or ‘A Warm Hello!’.

You might have seen client’s name at the end of job description sometimes. So, do greet him with his name like ‘Hello Daniel’ or ‘Hi Daniel!’

A Warm Hello!

Daniel, I just read through your job posting. And what really grabbed my attention is about ‘Crafting Traveling Articles’. I am obsessed with traveling and that is why I am excited while sending you this application. With all my passion of traveling, I have traveled to 20 countries and penned down my adventures on various blogs.

So, let’s have a look at my portfolio that will tell you more about my traveling (and of course writing) experience.

ix- Be A Serious Freelancer:

If you are freelancing just for fun……. you are not supposed to make any complaints about not acquiring six figure income. Freelancing clamours for a great time investment.

Freelancing is thriving with each day passing by. And a new study on freelancing has revealed that around 53 million Americans are involved in managing freelance work to live a life they want.

With such an expanding discipline, how you can consider acquiring any job without putting your brain into? Very recently, Contently conducted a study titled ‘The State of Freelancing in 2015’ and came up with surprising facts including:

Around 34% freelancers encounter the challenge of securing more work.

That is why, we emphasize on taking freelancing seriously – make efforts for building an online reputation, show creative skills while sending out Upwork proposal and earn income with consistently brilliant performance.

Read through the above easy to go tips to win more clients and start earning a pretty bigger income from this year.

Our next post will tell you more about Freelancing Productivity Tools that will definitely be another handy aid for you in becoming a Rocking Upwork Freelancer.

But do not forget to share with us about your experiences as a freelancer or client in the comments section. What have you gone through so far while crafting Upwork proposal? Have you found bigger clients? We would love to hear your suggestions and tactics (so that others may also win potential clients).