1. You’re not addressing client needs
Although it’s tempting to make your proposal all about you, it’s about the client. Put yourself in this person’s shoes when submitting a proposal.
What are the emotions the client is currently experiencing? What led him or her to hire? What concerns do they likely have about working with someone online?
Address these concerns quickly in your proposal to have a better chance of standing out.
2. You’re not personalizing the proposal for you or the client
Add in some personality to your proposal. Use your sense of humor where possible.
I used to submit bids with the opening line “Congratulations on weeding through the dozens of ill-fitting applications to this job and landing on mine- you won’t be sorry!” and then jumping into my pitch.
Make sure you speak specifically to the client.
Never start a proposal with a female hiring manager by writing “Dear sir”. As a client, I immediately decline anyone who copies and pastes like this.
3. You’re not backing up your claims about yourself
If you say you’re amazing- back it up. This does not mean you have to have amazing Upwork feedback if you’re new, but perhaps you include testimonials from another client, outstanding work samples, or a link to your resume.
It sounds silly that you need to back up the claims you make, but you can dramatically increase your conversions by doing this!
4. You had spelling or grammar mistakes in the proposal itself
This should go without saying, but every single job I post as a client receives at least five responses with mistakes inside. Read over your materials once before submitting.
Do not let the excitement of submitting a proposal outweigh quality. Remember, clients have a choice and if you have a mistake they’re not going to overlook it in most cases.
This is especially true when you’re a new freelancer. Have someone else look over your proposal before you submit it.
5. You have poor work feedback and your proposal is hidden or quickly denied
Getting your first job on Upwork is an exciting time, but you need to deliver a platinum experience for your client or they may leave you poor feedback.
The first thing I do when hiring is to dismiss all proposals with a job success rate less than 80%. Just landing five jobs and doing a handful poorly can put you in this boat and it’s really hard to overcome bad feedback.
Make sure the first few jobs you land are done with great results. This can be the pathway to getting hired over and over again.