Two years after being let go at her temporary position as a Network administrator, Trizah is now a Top-rated freelancer on Upwork. What was her secret of making it despite the tight market and challenges associated with running your own business? Everything starts with an outstanding proposal that wins jobs and gets a freelancer hired. Here are some tips to consider when writing a well-written cover letter on Upwork.
1. Beware of the template you use if you are focused on saving time
Many have warned against using models for the cover letter against the copy-pasting proposal, and they are right! It is a bad habit, and in most cases, it will not get you hired. At the moment, Upwork charges freelancers for the connects used when applying for jobs, and this means that, unlike in the past when freelancers could get 60 free connects every month to apply for at most, 30 projects, they have to pay to apply for jobs, and some projects need between four and six connects. As a result, an individual has to make sure that they use these connects wisely, especially when applying for job posts. Hence, a template that works, customized to the job description, has served well for some freelancers who charge up to $25/h. However, the main disadvantage is that if not well-crafted, it doesn’t provide results. A template also makes a freelancer skip the job description and requirements. The clients reading such job posts realize that such individuals are hardly aware of what is needed; hence, they won’t hire them.
2. Provide a well-crafted profile
Resist the I, me, myself profile description, the one that has zero empathy for the client. Such profile descriptions or cover letters can’t help ease the client’s pain, and they will not get you hired.
3. Keep it short and sweet
Long proposals don’t work! Clients run away from long blocks and hence, they won’t be convinced by the description provided. Therefore, keep it short and direct to the point.
4. Make a personal connection
Find the best way to catch the customer’s attention. If you can, use their name as this will draw their attention to your profile, quotes aspects of the job description to make them aware that you were keen on the job description and make their reading experience more enjoyable to make them collaborate with you.
For some proposals, the clients will go with a freelancer because they provide a connection; they talked to the customers like a person does. A $30 project could become a $4,000 project by giving this connection to the customer. Clients might be looking for your experience and qualifications while hiring you, but they also want to know that they will have personal contact and interact with a freelancer on a personal level. Talk to them like you would talk with a person on a one-on-one basis and connect, and this could make all the difference.
5. Add samples
The client has so many options to consider, why should they go with you if they can’t even see what you got to offer yet there is someone else who has posted great samples to go with their application for the same job post? Anyone can write a good cover letter, but the client will select that writer with the ideal samples that are relevant to the job description. This makes the client feel that the freelancer has the experience, they know precisely the kind of output that is needed, and they will complete the task successfully.
In 15 out of 20 proposals a freelancer have sent and received responses, clients have asked for samples and considered the work shared with them. Always make sure that this is made clear in the first paragraph and right after you get the client’s attention. Just make sure you won’t be sharing private information about your previous client.
6. Stand out as the best fit
All clients want to know why this and not that freelancer, why a more expensive freelancer and not a cheaper one, why a new freelancer, and not an experienced one. Provide the answer in your cover letter. Let the client know your qualities, do not brag, but don’t sell yourself short either. Be honest and provide facts. Explain the years you have had, excellent feedback, projects you have handled so far, on Upwork or not, provide education background if it matters with regards to the job description, and make them confident that you will successfully deliver. Make sure that you can prove anything you say to the client.
7. Be professional and friendly
Some freelancers are using the greetings “Hi,” “Dear buddy,” “Hello Dear” and other casual words in a conversation. You could get responses, but only in one out of 20 proposals send this way, provided positive results. It will sound very unprofessional!
Be professional when providing customer services on to your customers and mind your language. Using official language and calling the client by their name and simply avoiding the temptation to sound casual is always better. However, this does not mean that you are cold, warm, and friendly gestures don’t hurt as long as they are from a professional.
In summary, when providing the most outstanding cover letter, resist the urge to sell yourself. While it is the most natural thing for a freelancer, resist as no one wants a stranger to sell out to them, they want to know that their work will be expertly handled by the person they choose, and their goals will be accomplished. Talk to them and focus on their needs. Also, resist the urge to tell the client what you can do, how great you are. It is more comfortable but boring to read, and it hardly gets results. To stand out, offer them something they can’t resist, surprise piece of information or helpful knowledge or suggestion that perfects fits.
For beginners, the journey can be severe, painful, and even discouraging. It needs one to be patient, persistent, and consistent to win the very first gig that lets you stand out. Some freelancers succeed by suing the crystal ball technique that could make the client change their mind, especially when it comes to a new freelancer on the platform, however, this could be termed as free work, and it might not get you hired for the actual physical job.
Final words, while Upwork has been losing its steam due to excessive flooding with freelancers asking for way less for vast chunks of work, it is still a haven for those who work hard on squeezing the lemon juice to drink a glass of lemonade. Many clients are seeking to pay less and less as more agencies (of freelancers hired by the original clients) act as middle-men between freelancers and their clients. This has stiffened the competition for anyone joining Upwork and looking to make a career as a freelancer, however, using the tips above, a person can still make it in the industry and earn a living.