How to master bidding on Upwork in 2024: top 5 strategies

Baraka Mafole


Although freelancing is the most competitive it has ever been, Upwork has remained a dominant platform for professionals across various fields to connect with clients.

Upwork offers several ways for freelancers to earn income, including hourly jobs and fixed-price projects. This guide will provide strategies and tips for bidding on Upwork in 2024.

Also read: Upwork vs. Fiverr: which freelancing platform is the best?

First, let’s talk about bidding

Bidding on Upwork means submitting proposals for job postings and hoping to be hired by clients. This process is competitive and needs a strategic approach to stand out.

Upwork offers several options for freelancers to bid, including the following

  • You can bid hourly; the client will pay you according to your work hours.
  • You can bid a fee for the entire project; the client will pay per project.
  • You can also be paid on completing milestones, and the client will release funds each time you reach a milestone.

Five strategies for making a successful bid on Upwork in 2024

Optimise your profile

As a freelancer, you should make sure your profile is strong enough to impress potential clients. Your profile should show professionalism, accurately express your values and communicate your skillset. Things to consider on customising your Upwork profile

  • Headline: Create a compelling headline that will highlight your expertise, for example, digital marketing expert
  • Overview: The overview acts as a summary of your skills, experience and what makes you unique. Relevant keywords from your industry will improve searchability.
  • Portfolio: The portfolio should include samples of your works to show and demonstrate your skill set.
  • Skills: List all relevant skills and ensure they align with the jobs you’re looking for.
  • Professional photo: Use a high-quality professional photo.

Understand the job posting

Think about bidding on Upwork like you’re applying for a job.

Before submitting a proposal to any job post on Upwork, thoroughly read the job posting.  As a freelancer, you should look for important and specific details in the job listing Some critical information is the project’s scope, the client’s clients, and the specific qualifications they are looking for. Things to consider here are

  • Client’s preferences: Check if the client has any preferred qualifications or experiences. Upwork clients usually look for entry-level, intermediate, and expert-level candidates.
  • Project Description: Check if a client has highlighted critical tasks or deliverables. Understanding these will assist you in crafting a solid proposal.
  • Budget and deadlines: The client’s budget should align with your rates, and you can meet the proposed deadline.

Craft a tailored proposal

Customise your proposals according to the job posting; sending customised proposals will help you land a job more efficiently than sending general proposals. Below are things to consider in your proposal

  • Introduction: The introduction to the Upwork proposal should tell who you are. Ideally, start your introduction with polite greetings and a brief introduction about yourself.
  • Address client’s needs: Understand your client’s pain points from the job post and explain how your skillset can solve them.
  • Showcase your experience: Clients love to see the previous project you have worked on and include results and outcomes; therefore, as a freelancer, it is crucial to display them in your proposal.
  • Outline your approach: Show clients how you will approach their projects. This will show the client that you are capable of performing their task.
  • Set your price: Offer a fair service rate, and if the client has a tight budget, suggest a milestone payment or other alternative solutions.

Highlight your unique selling points

This is where you showcase your capabilities, which sets you apart from other freelancers. Your capabilities might include your unique skillsets, experience or personal traits.

  • Specialised skills: Highlight any relative skills relevant to the job posted by the client. Relevant skills will help you gain the attention of the clients.
  • Testimonials: Is there any positive feedback from your clients? If so, include it in your proposal. Testimonials will add credibility to your proposal.
  • Certification and education: Upwork has collaborated with Credly to verify certificates. Therefore, if you’re a freelancer and you’ve upskilled yourself with different certifications, please mention them in your proposal.

Maintain professional communication

Communication will act as a bridge between you and your client; therefore, for a freelancer, it is crucial to have outstanding communication skills. Below are the essential things to take into consideration to maintain professional communication with the clients

  • Prompt response: make sure you reply to clients quickly and professionally.
  • Follow-ups: If you haven’t heard back from your clients within a reasonable timeframe, send a polite follow-up message.

Wrapping up

Making a successful bid on upwork in 2024  can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. As long as you plan and execute your strategic approach, from crafting a solid profile to delivering outstanding work. For more tips to help you navigate your freelance journey, subscribe to our newsletter here.

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