5 Upwork Proposal Tips for Winning Clients

Are you a freelancer or agency owner who’s sending proposals and not quite getting enough responses from clients? Are you worried your proposals are being buried in mountains of other proposals from your competitors? 

To start, you need to start understanding what the “persistent trusted advisor process” is. 

It’s your job to guide the client and help build a mutually beneficial relationship with you, if they are the right fit. You’re the expert and their valued advisor, but you’re not an employee begging for a job. 

Here are 5 Upwork proposal tips that will help you not only stand out but completely dominate your competition on Upwork. 

1. Clients Care About Results, Not You

The buyer doesn’t really care about you, your accomplishments, degrees, or a list of things you know how to do, at least before you have a relationship with them.

Overall, it’s more about the results and the fact that you can prove to clients you can deliver on what they need to be done. Don’t talk about yourself, focus on the client. Use more “yous” than “Is”.

You’re looking to hook the client’s attention and keep them focused so that they read your proposal and book a call. That’s why it’s important to focus on results. 

2. Ask About Clients’ Needs, Desires, Dreams, Ambitions

Open up the proposal asking about the client’s needs, but also mistakes they want to avoid. Once you’re done talking about clients in the proposal and what they want, you can mention that you’d be happy to help them out in a more thorough conversation on a call.

You can offer this call for free by linking to a booking tool like Calendly or ScheduleOnce.

3. Provide Proof

Now it’s time to provide proof. On your Upwork proposal, you should provide proof whether that be screen records, pictures, links to projects and/or images, that clearly showcase what you do and what your team has done for other clients. 

You can create a Google drive folder with all of the proof that you can re-use. 

Don’t use copy and pasted templated ‘proof’ proposals. The moment a client sees this, you’re done. 

Focus on creating custom proposals and examples of proof that are specific and relevant to the project at hand. Laser target your messaging and proof based on the type of client and results that you’re dealing with. Just focus on what they would actually want. 

4. Show Empathy

Show empathy. What are they doing on Upwork? What is their experience so far?

You may know based on other clients complaining to you, or by being a client yourself from time to time on Upwork. You can basically call out these experiences, relate to them, and showcase that you can make the process easier for the client. 

You can do so by offering time for a call and being a trusted consultant on the call. Help them make the best decision for you and for them. 

5. The Real Money Is the Follow-Up

Follow up on clients who don’t respond. 

  • Set up follow-ups in your booking software for clients to help increase the chance they show up
  • Make sure you’re following up with clients who haven’t followed up from your proposal

Most of your sales will result from a friendly empathetic follow up.

The Bottom Line

To submit great Upwork proposals and get jobs on Upwork you have to show proof that you’ve provided the service you’re selling to previous clients. Focus entirely on the clients’ needs and desires, not your own. Don’t be afraid to follow-up, as most sales are made in follow-ups.

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Aleksander Vitkin

Aleksander Vitkin has helped over 700 people with a sincere interest in entrepreneurship and contribution, to start profitable businesses and quit their jobs.