Friday, April 24, 2009

Bidding for Freelance Jobs

You've done it. You've signed up at the freelance site, cobbled together a bio and found a job you'd like to bid on.

How do you convince the buyer that you are the best person for the job?

First you need to ascertain what the buyer really needs, so look at their request and run it by a few colleagues to compare notes and get an idea of how long it will take you and what skills you will need to complete the job.

Frame your proposal in a professional manner that still lets the buyer know you will give your personal attention to the project. I start my bids on Elance like this:


Grace here.

Next, list why you think you would be a good fit for the job:

I provide strong SEO content that is keyword rich without feeling stuffed. Your project is a good fit for my talents as I notice you have also requested experience in the home improvement industry; I and my husband run a small flooring/remodeling business so I have hands on knowledge of the field and can write articulately on the topic.

Point to work you have done, if possible - many freelance sites forbid providing a brand new sample to cut down on buyers cheating providers and stealing work, so I either show a sample doc which I have rights to (or permission to show), or I write a sample, publish it on an article site such as Helium and point to it via URL:

Here is a sample of my work that showcases my skill and my expertise. I am happy to show more samples if desired. I provide only 100% original content; all my work will pass copyscape or any other plagiarism checking program you may wish to use.

Last, give your references:

Please view my profile to see my solid repeat customer base and 100% positive feedback - personal references also available upon request.

Quote your price and timeframe for completion, along with any other terms:

I charge $15 per article for SEO articles up to 300 words, and can deliver ten within ten days time. I provide one article within 48 hours of escrow being funded, to ascertain the direction is correct, and the rest by the end of the project. Copyright is released as soon as escrow is released in full.

I am bidding $150 for ten articles, full amount to be escrowed and 25% to be released upon acceptance of first article. I am setting a project timeframe of two weeks to allow for communication.

Close politely:

Thank you for taking the time to consider my proposal. Please feel free to contact me with any changes to the scope of the project or questions about my bid. I look forward to working with you!


You really can't go wrong wth a proposal like this. You come off as professional, accustomed to doing business, and not to be pushed around - yet not arrogant ro assuming.

If you are brand new, be frank.

I am new to the Elance system, but have samples of my work at (list portfolios) and am willing to give a 10% discount to my first five clients at Elance to establish myself as a premier provider.

I hope these tips help. I have a fairly high award rate of between 20% and 40%, and a repeat customer ratio of 45% (60% of my earnings so far have been from repeat customers).

Thanks for reading! (Oh - and I was awarded the job.)



  1. Awesome tips! I always put my pricing per article in the first paragraph (scares off all the cheapskates). I may rethink that since I really like the flow of your type of bid.

    Just one note for newbies specifically using Elance: You can't link out to any website such as Helium that contains your personal contact information. This applies both to your Elance profile and any bids you place. The buyer is only allowed to access your phone # and email address after they have awarded a project to you.

    I do link out to blogs and Ezine articles I write for other clients since several of them have me write under my own name.

  2. Yay, Grace!

    I thought the outside link ban was only for profiles, not proposals. I usually write my bids in a Word document to insert links to my writing and then attach it to the bid template.

  3. Me too, Kristina- I thought the ban was only in your profile. I mean, seriously, like they can't Google me and find me? It didn't occur to me that you can't even point to a Helium article in a proposal.

    I'll double check on that and adjust my post if necessary.


  4. Wow Grace, thanks. The whole post was great. This information is very helpful.

  5. I've been very busy printing all these informative posts. Thanks so much!