It’s through Elance that I started working as a freelance writer. It’s an easy way to connect to potential clients and eventually develop long-term relationships with people and organizations. They’re not the best-paying jobs, but they can quickly become so.
One of the features of Elance is that you have to bid for the jobs you want to get. The bid proposal is key to getting the writing jobs you want. Here are some tips on writing great Elance proposals that will get you the job.
Keep it short
Especially in writing jobs where the topics tend to be chosen by the client, you don’t have much explanations to give outside of your own skills. My bids are never more than 3 or 4 paragraphs. Here’s my personal breakdown:
- 1st paragraph: Name the job, your time frame and your price. It shows you’ve read the job description. Mine goes this way: “I will (write x articles) in (x days, weeks) for (price).
- 2nd paragraph: Describe, in short, your experience and your skills. Focus on what the client is looking for and show how your experience and skills relate to the job.
- 3rd paragraph: Invite a visit to your profile for more information and thank your client for considering your bid.
Don’t be humble
There’s nothing wrong with having written hundreds of articles. Mention it if it’s relevant. Don’t boast or exaggerate, but use anything that can give you an edge over your competitors.
Choose a fair price
If your client has a low budget, try and bid a little higher, close to your usual fees. Once, a client contacted me saying my bid was a bit too high but that they were still interested in my services. It’s up to you if you want to lower your price to get the client, or move on to another job. Never be afraid to overbid a little, but never, never underbid. It hurts your Elance rank and it helps keep the prices low (2$ for a 1000-word article? I don’t think so!). I usually don’t worry about all the very cheap bids coming from providers in India and the Middle East; their English is often poor and the jobs usually go to Western providers.
Always attach a sample
If you have a sample in the area your potential client is requesting, go ahead and attach it. Use a PDF with a watermark or “read-only” if you want to make sure that the client won’t use it without your permission. A sample is a great way to show your skills in a work-related context.
Reread, revise, proof-read
I always find a few mistakes after the fact–but don’t worry, you can go and edit your proposal. Take the time to reread and edit your proposal. Mistakes in your proposal won’t help you find writing jobs. Do the same for your profile; clients often check these out before they award a job.
Elance has its own proposal guide, but writing jobs are particular in that they don’t use technical skills like web development or programming. Learn a formula that works for you and use it.
Do you have any Elance tips to share?