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Are you applying for the jobs and not getting the proper response or low response and want to know how to write an effective proposal that grabs the attention of the client or you want to improve your marketing effectiveness on the Upwork?

Nowadays Freelancing is tough and getting hired is harder than ever because of the competition on any platform, therefore, this is a common question that my LinkedIn Circle asks all the time.

3 “P” are most important in the freelancing career, which are Profile, Proposal, and Portfolio. These are going to make or break your freelance career, you need to optimize these to get the perfect results. We will discuss the Profile and Portfolio some other time.

First, let’s see how your submitted proposal looks like to a client.

Key things that clients see on their screen and consider (in my opinion)

  • Headline: Your profile title is the headline of your proposal, and this is the first interaction that you have with the client.
  • Specialization: If you’re applying from your specialized profile, then your specialization will be mentioned with the star sign.
  • Cover Letter: First 2 lines of your proposal are visible to the client for quick review as well.
  • Image and Career highlights: The only picture client is going to see at first glance is your profile picture, your JSS, the earning, and your purposed hourly rate will be under the headline. Any other significant achievement that you have made will be also mentioned at the end in bold letters to establish your credibility for the job.

Tips to Improve your position and getting response!

So, this is not only the cover letter, that is going to help you, you need to optimize everything to make yourself stand out in the ocean of freelancers. I know you guys are getting mad at me, let dive in, and here are some tips to improve your position and get a better response.

Profile Title

The first thing that Your profile title MUST BE RELEVANT to the jobs you’re targeting on, irrelevant title not going to help you here is why!

“Right Person for the Right Job”

Client mostly looking for and specialized candidates for the job. So, if you are applying for the VA of FBA job then your title must have an association with FBA. Like Amazon FBA Manager or Virtual Assistance for Your FBA Business (even better). Having just VA will lower your probability of success, but if you have mentioned the WordPress Developer and you’re applying for the Amazon FBA related job then you don’t have a chance to get hired as this is not related to the Amazon VA.

Another thing that I have observed the most of the Freelancer doesn’t understand the niche and the importance of the niche (will discuss niche selection any other time), they mostly mentioned their conventional job title or the general skill title, like Graphics Designer or Senior Graphic designer, Software Engineer, Senior Web Developer, etc. that is not going to help you at all, make yourself a niche-specific, so you are more relevant to the job and have better chances of getting hired.

Specialized Profile

You also can use the specialized profile as well to attract the clients even more, as we have seen in the screenshot that proposal from the specialized profile get a star sign with the skill you’re specialized in, so you’re showing the client that you’re specialized in the graphic design and your niche is a logo design that is going to help you even more as your proposal are going to stand out due to the specialized profile. Even Upwork recommends using the specialized profile as the Freelancer with a specialized profile usually gets hired more.

Profile Picture

Clients are also human and as normal human beings, we perceive a lot from the images, so a Profile picture is also an important thing to consider. As people usually attract to the friendly person, the client also wants to work with the friendly and professionals. Having a smiling face can grab the client’s attention even more. I am not an expert in this department but I’ll suggest you have a nice, professional-looking HD headshot that will be better for your profile.

Client Selection

 “Pick Your Boss, Not the Job”

Before moving the cover letter, I want to say that client selection is the most important thing to have a successful freelancing career, having a good client is a blessing but if you met with a difficult client you might be going to find yourself in the difficult position. Here is the article where I have explained everything in detail on How to validate your client before submitting the proposal.

The Art of client Selection – Freelancing Guide

Cover Letter

You finally are ready to write an attractive cover letter that should help you to move the client to the next step which is hiring you! Here are my tips that I use to write my proposals.

  • General Instruction:
    1. If you’re a new freelancer, try not to apply for jobs, where they have not clearly mentioned the requirements like they mentioned we need VA or web developer, etc, most time these kind of client are looking for experienced freelancers that have proven record, so Applying to these kinds of job might not be very helpful, check for the jobs where clients have mentioned the requirements upfront, so you can write an effective proposal.
    2. Try to apply for kind of the jobs where proposals are less than 5 or 10 even after 1 or 2 hours, also try not to apply for the jobs that are posted a few days ago it would be better if you apply on the same day jobs.
    3. You may look at the client rating and hire rate and average hourly rate as well, so you have a better idea about the client and you know what you can expect from the client.
  • Start with the client name: This is a proven study that using the first name can get you 60% better response, and using the first name not only attract the client, it also gives the client confidence and comfort that you already know him/her and they can easily discuss things with you. So, as I guided you in my above-mentioned article find the name of the client and then call them with that to get the attention.
  • Do not waste your first 2 lines: The only part of the cover letter of the proposal client see are the first 2 lines of your proposal, therefore, after calling them by their name and grabbing their attention keep them engaged by explaining the things they want to get done. This works very well for me and hopefully, this will help you as well.
  • Give the client solution: Giving the client solution to his/her problem at the start is I think the best weapon you can use against your competitors, show your client how it can be done or You may ask questions if you want clarity from the client’s end. No need to say thanks at the start as this wastes your small window of opportunity.
  •  Adding Call to Action: Call to action is a must for any of the copies you write for the sale, and your proposal is actually a copy of your services which must have the call to action, you have to guide your client on what they should do next it. They have any interest in what you’re saying. I prefer to add a call to the action at the end or after each paragraph but I do not repeat the same words as this feels like you’re forcing someone to do something. So, write if you have any questions Message Me, or Call me to discuss the project further or I am a call away from helping you, etc.
  • Add some kind of offer that cannot be refused: I always try to add something that client cannot refuse like in my line of work Demo or the Mock-up of any of the App is a good option, so I always offer my clients proof of concept or demo before awarding the project, the purpose of this exercise if to keep the client in the comfortable position so they can test your skills that you’re worthy for this job. To see what kind of offer you can give to the client that they should comfortable to move forward.
  • Introduce yourself: After sharing your ideas and the solutions and offer, you can briefly introduce yourself with your experience or the qualification or any things else you think is significant for you, I do not recommend adding that I am from this country as sometimes this might go against you as we all are judgment about different things and if the client has some kind of the bad experience related to your location that can be a deal-breaker.
  • Addressing any special requirement: Always carefully read the requirements, as these are necessary to understand the client’s position and showing them what you can do for them as a good proposal is all about the client’s requirements and problems. If the client has asked questions honestly answer them, if he added some kind of criteria, first share your plan to manage the tasks then mention that you don’t have the required qualification or the experience and just ask them if they give you a chance you’ll work hard to achieve the goal, and then you must be live up to your words.
  • Be Honest: We all probably heard or read the story that honesty is the best policy, so use that! Your profile should be honest and always tell the client your client if you don’t know anything. If you don’t know ask for the time to give them the solution and trust me this will your life easy. The client will appreciate your honest answer and you will be a better opportunity in the future.


If you want to stand-out from the crowed you have to be smart and the unique to get hired for the jobs, there is not a single thing that can help you to achieve that you have to optimize each and everything in order to get hired.

Please Note:

I am not a native English speaker or a professional Writer, I just want to help others by sharing my knowledge, I personally used these strategies to start and grow my freelancing career, even in the middle of the hardest time to survive in freelancing.

Comment and Share your tips in order to help others, if you think I deserve it, show your Love and Appreciation by sharing the post with others. Also seeking your valuable feedback to improve my position as well.