Tips in making a Great & Effective Freelancer Project Proposal

After creating your profile and applying for jobs in a freelance job board – it’s now time to make project proposals. A project proposal is your sales pitch – brief, to the point and focusing on the benefits targeting towards your clients. Sending a project proposal is different when you have your own freelance business and getting online work from freelance jobsites. For this post, it will focus on my experience from jobsites like elance and odesk.

 Client Requirements

  • When creating a client project proposal always read their job posting. No matter how long it is, take time to read it! Don’t be lazy; it would help you in the end.
  • Understand what they need from you. Don’t apply for jobs if it’s beyond your skill set.
  • Outline their questions and be sure to address all of it in your proposal.

Generic Cover Letter

Most freelance bloggers and clients do not recommend a generic proposal. A generic proposal is a prewritten cover letter where you just copy and paste every time you apply for a job. It lacks a connection between the freelancer’s intention and the job posting requirements. Though this is quite true I would still suggest for you to have a document containing your skills, experience and references ready. Be sure to include links if available.

What to include in your Generic Project Proposal

Skills and references

Outline the projects you made in the past and the current ones. Be sure to include links. If you are just starting out and have works only from school or personal ones – follow these tips in making a free profile on the web.

The process of how you do your work

Describe how you connect with clients. Do you use basecamp, podio or other project management tool to track project developments? For newbies, elance and odesk have a project management tool, so you don’t have to worry about it.

What time do you usually work? Can you work on weekends? Are you flexible in working with US time? Know how to convert your timezone with your clients.

Here’s a great tool:

Contact Information

Be sure to have an email. I suggest having a gmail account. Most clients share documents via google drive. In addition, have a skype account, it’s the most widely use form of communication between clients and freelancers.

Why Need a Generic Project Proposals

Whatever job a client is posting it will always have the same structure. They will ask if you can do the job, what jobs you have done relating to the job they posted and references. Take this as a guide in making your proposal.

What I experience in oDesk, posting your proposal in the first 20 freelancers is necessary. I’m not sure of this number but if I’m a client, I would create a range to how many applicants I would consider in hiring. I’d probably don’t go beyond 30 or 40.

Because of the overwhelming number of freelancers, 10-15 minutes after a job is posted, you can see 40-50 freelancers already submitted their proposals. This is pretty fast and a clear representation of how intense the competition is. This is where your generic proposal comes handy. Always start your proposal answering the questions and requirements from the client. When they want references, you can easily copy that in your generic proposal. If they want specific instances on jobs relating to their task, you can easily copy that from your prewritten document. This will significantly decrease your time in creating your project proposal. When time is a critical element in proposal submission – having a generic proposal is a must-have.

The secret to effectively using your generic proposal is tailoring it to make it look like a unique piece. Create a proposal giving important information specific to the client’s requirement. Don’t just copy everything. Sometimes, less is more. Be focus and straight to the point.

Sample Project Proposal for Freelancers:

Harnessing The Power of Proposals
Elements of a Successful Project Proposal

About Agnes Galinato

Agnes has been a self-proclaimed Rockstar VA for 5 years. When she's not focused on a computer screen, she's a certified couch potato.

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