How to Win Bids at Freelancing Sites

11 July 2011
You're smart. You're capable. You're eager to  freelance, but you've got one problem. Despite the number of bids you have machine-gunned everyday, you're not winning any clients and you're not beating the competition.

Luck accounts for about 10 percent of your success. The rest depends on your effort. Are you choosing your battles wisely and bidding competitively? Here are 9 practical tips for the win.

  1. Polish your profile page and portfolio. Marketing yourself as a grammar-savvy professional and writing like a kindergarten kid will fool no one.

  2. Write like you mean it. A bid with a sincere cover letter will build better rapport and draw more attention than a generic message or a numbers-only proposal.  

  3. Customize your proposal. Show the potential client that you have reviewed the job specs carefully and that you are the right match. Avoid template bids. You will never stand out.

  4. Follow special instructions. Some projects require that you mention a key phrase or keyword in your bid. Failing to follow the instruction might just kill your chances of winning the job.

  5. Keep the praise release to a minimum. You have your portfolio for that. Talk less of what you previously accomplished and more of how you will complete the project.

  6. Study the potential client's payment history. There's little chance of winning a high-ball bid if it's obvious that the client prefers low ballers.

  7. Review the potential client's award history. Some individuals are fond of posting projects that never get awarded. You don't want to waste your time and effort on such postings. 

  8. Give a competitive and realistic quote. Competitive is not necessarily dirt-cheap. Low balling and overcharging have the same detrimental effect on your chances.

  9. Maintain an online presence. Log into the site everyday, so clients will see that you are available to take in work or answer queries.
Are there any more tips that you know? Add them here, or read 30 more ways that you can succeed at freelancing.*
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