In 2001, a thin child named Takeru Kobayashi devoured fifty scorching canines in 12 minutes — double the earlier world file.

The man weighed a whopping 131 kilos. But he took down rivals 3x his measurement, and modified the game eternally.

How did he do it?

He didn’t simply stuff scorching canines into his mouth quicker than everybody else. Not even shut. His huge success got here from pondering strategically, and going past the apparent.

  • He eliminated the new canines from their buns
  • He broke every canine in half, so he may match the entire thing into his mouth without delay
  • And he dunked the buns right into a cup of water to make them straightforward to chew and swallow

It is a traditional case of working smarter, as a substitute of more durable.

Yow will discover high performers behaving this fashion in each aggressive area. Even freelancing.

For instance, essentially the most profitable freelancers I do know don’t spend a whole lot of time writing cowl letters and answering screening questions. In truth, they often spend much less time placing Upwork proposals collectively than their much less profitable rivals!

However while you examine the QUALITY of their proposals, the distinction is like night time and day. You’ll be able to see the common group is simply targeted on sending out as many proposals as potential, as rapidly as potential.

The outcome? Errors.

Errors that stop them from having extra earnings, extra gratifying work, and extra freedom.

Errors that make them work arduous with none actual payoff.

And most significantly, errors that you may simply keep away from.

Mistake #1: Considering you possibly can’t cost greater than the shopper’s finances

When a shopper posts a job on Upwork, they’ve to decide on a finances.

Most shoppers don’t know what that finances must be. So that they err on the facet of warning, as a result of they’re afraid of overpaying.

Like this job, the place the shopper ended up fortunately paying double their posted finances:

Upwork client pays double freelancer's rateOr this one, the place they paid TRIPLE:

Upwork_client_pays_double_3It occurs daily.

Say you have been capable of reap the benefits of even one alternative like this every week. You’d make at the least $10,000 extra per yr than somebody who routinely bids in accordance with the shopper’s finances.

Mistake #2: Specializing in years of expertise

Lots of your rivals will begin their Upwork cowl letters by speaking about their earlier expertise. However that’s not what shoppers are taken with. If it have been, I by no means would have been capable of make six-figures in my second yr as a freelancer.

Take into consideration the way you make spending choices. Whenever you lookup a film on Rotten Tomatoes, you’re not searching for the director’s work historical past. You simply need to know if the film is nice!

The issue with filling up a cowl letter with “years of expertise” is that it tells shoppers nothing in regards to the high quality of your work, which is all they actually care about.

Try this excerpt from the guide Expertise Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin:

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin snippet
The science says: “Individuals with plenty of expertise have been no higher at their jobs than these with little or no expertise.”

Everyone knows folks like this. They’ve been doing one thing for years — even many years — but they’re nonetheless not any higher at it than a rank newbie.

Maintain this in thoughts when you’re new to Upwork. Don’t let the crusty Outdated Execs intimidate you. Purchasers love to rent freelancers who’re enthusiastic, devoted, and clever — even when you don’t have years of expertise.

Mistake #3: Being a sleazy salesperson

There’s this previous trick the place a gross sales supervisor palms a pen to a job candidate, and says “promote this to me.”

It’s fascinating. Virtually everybody reacts by itemizing out the reason why the supervisor should purchase the pen. A minute later they’re being proven the door, having no concept what went flawed — although a baby may let you know the reply. Nobody likes to have a product pushed on them!

Whenever you’re hungry to earn a living on Upwork, it’s pure to need to inform shoppers why they need to rent you. However, like “promoting the pen,” it doesn’t work.

I need to share one thing particular with you. It’s a 2-minute section of an audio interview I did with Chris Davis, a premium Upwork shopper.

My first Upwork job with Chris
The primary mission Chris employed me for

Take heed to Chris clarify the actual the reason why he employed me for $135/hr (trace: it’s not what most individuals assume):

Pay shut consideration to the varieties of phrases Chris makes use of:

  • “Belief”
  • “Being a human being”
  • “Attending to know you”
  • “You weren’t making an attempt to promote me”
  • “You revered me”
  • “You talked to me like an individual”
  • “Individuals crave connection”

It wouldn’t even happen to most freelancers to assume in these phrases. If you wish to write proposals that win over shoppers like Chris, it’s worthwhile to concentrate on the CLIENT’S targets, not simply yours.

Mistake #4: Writing your proposal the other way up

34% of Upwork proposals require you to reply a number of “Extra Questions” after you write your Cowl Letter. (Sure, I’m a weirdo who tracks stuff like this.) Upwork's additional screening questions Think about trying over the shoulder of a freelancer whereas he writes the proposal above. How do you assume he’ll deal with it?

Because the Cowl Letter comes first, he’ll put nearly all of his effort into making it stand out. Then he’ll deal with the Extra Questions as an afterthought.

What if I informed you that was a very backwards strategy? To know why, it’s worthwhile to have a look at it from the shopper’s perspective. Try what they see once they overview your proposal:

Client view of your Upwork proposal screening questions and cover letter
That is what shoppers see once they overview your proposal

As you possibly can see within the above screenshot, “Extra Questions” are the first factor shoppers see once they obtain your proposal. That makes them much more essential than your Cowl Letter. Treating them as an afterthought is Upwork proposal suicide.

Most of your rivals don’t understand any of this. They’ve by no means seen it from the shopper’s viewpoint. That’s how embarrassing conditions like this come up:

This freelancer has an upside-down proposal
The very first thing the shopper sees is: “As said above in my cowl letter…”


Mistake #5: Utilizing a canned cowl letter in your proposal

Each week I get an electronic mail from somebody who can’t appear to land a job on Upwork.

It’s at all times the identical story: They’re making an attempt to “save time” by sending out the identical cowl letter in every proposal over and over. Each time it occurs I throw my laptop computer off the balcony. Are you aware how arduous it was to jot down this put up with a dented keyboard?

Good shoppers can spot canned proposals a mile away. Even when you’re the most effective freelancer on earth, a canned proposal says:

  • You’re not that within the job
  • You’re not an excellent communicator
  • You in all probability gained’t give your greatest work

The reverse can be true. In certainly one of my earliest jobs, I used to be the least skilled, costliest bidder. However the shopper employed me as a result of she was uninterested in rolling her eyes via one-size-fits-all proposals. She even went out of her solution to point out it within the suggestions she left me:

Great Upwork feedback for a non-generic proposal
“Nice proposal that really addressed the job and wasn’t a generic utility.”

Mistake #6: Not trying the half

There’s extra to your proposal than what your write.

I’ll show it to you.

A number of weeks in the past, I uploaded 2 footage of myself to, and had neutral strangers vote on how competent I look.

One among them is the profile image I’ve used to earn lots of of hundreds of {dollars} on Upwork. The opposite one is a similar-looking outtake.

First, have a look at the outcomes from the outtake:

Rejected Upwork profile picture on PhotofeelerIf I’d used this as my Upwork profile photograph, my outcomes in all probability wouldn’t have been superb.

However watch what occurs after we shift only a few parts of the image:

Improved Upwork profile picture on PhotofeelerThese small modifications had a big impact on my earnings. It’s value taking the additional effort and time to verify shoppers understand you as somebody who can get the job carried out.

Btw, listed below are a few of the feedback from the group of people that voted me (principally) incompetent within the first take a look at:

Feedback for my rejected Upwork profile picture

Mistake #7: Bidding too low-cost

As an Upwork shopper myself, I get tons of freelancers providing me “cut price offers” of their proposals.

What’s wonderful is that my shopper profile clearly reveals I’m comfortable to pay a median of $27+ per hour…

The average hourly rate I've paid on Upwork
My Upwork shopper profile

But the vary of bids I get after I put up a job nonetheless seems to be like this:

Upwork bid range for one of my posted jobs
The typical bid was lower than half of my common Upwork spend!

Take into consideration that for a second. I’m providing somebody $27+ per hour…they usually’re negotiating me DOWN to $11!

This alerts all types of issues to an excellent shopper.

They know that low-cost work is among the costliest issues they will purchase. Freelancers who cost too little aren’t motivated to do good work. They lower corners. They’re at all times speeding to maneuver on to the following job. Then the shopper is pressured to sink extra money and time into cleansing up the catastrophe.

Beginner freelancers assume all shoppers are interested in low costs. Professionals know that top high quality shoppers need top quality work, they usually’re keen to pay you properly to do it.

Mistake #8: Coming throughout like a weirdo

You’ll be able to comply with all of my greatest directions for writing nice Upwork proposals — but nonetheless come off as a complete weirdo when you aren’t cautious. Watch the video beneath to learn the way to play it cool so shoppers are just about assured to like your proposal.

Check out these actual profitable proposal examples

Irrespective of what number of errors I present you, there’s nothing fairly like seeing what actual profitable Upwork proposals really seem like.

That’s why I need to present you some, freed from cost — my present to you. These 3 proposals have gained over $3,000 on Upwork and are full of peculiar insights you possibly can apply to your personal proposals at the moment. You’ll be able to seize them right here.

I’ve shared these proposal examples with hundreds of my readers, and the responses have been unimaginable. Like this:

“LOVE THIS! Thanks for creating this useful resource Danny! It was so eye opening! I’ve learn so many articles on writing nice Upwork proposals and most of them advise boring, cookie cutter proposals like some boring cowl letter you’d staple to the entrance of your CV for doing the job looking rounds across the city.

However this strategy is so informal and private that it actually captures the reader. I imply I don’t know why I must be shocked that is the profitable system as a result of it’s the precise tone I’m making an attempt to inform folks on a regular basis to make use of of their advertising copy! I really want to comply with my very own recommendation!

It’s so humorous to assume although we might inform our shoppers one factor, with regards to advertising ourselves as freelancers we default to a boring, company clone…the very factor so many people grew to become freelancers to flee from!”

Get the actual profitable proposal examples (at no cost) right here.

What are you going to do?

Do you need to write Upwork proposals that stand out and get you employed? I would like you to share one factor you’ll do in another way from “everybody else” within the feedback beneath.

It’s okay to select one of many proposal ideas off the listing I simply gave you. However let’s have a dialog about it. Why do you assume others don’t do it?

Possibly you’re gearing as much as write your first proposal. Or perhaps you’ve already written 100 or extra. Doesn’t matter. Share a technique you’ll stand out going ahead within the feedback.

This isn’t only for freelancers, both. Should you’ve been a shopper, flip it. Which mistake is a deal breaker for you? What Upwork proposal ideas do you’ve for freelancers?

I’m excited to listen to from you.

The put up 8 stunning Upwork proposal errors I see daily (and how one can keep away from them) appeared first on Freelance To Win.


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