Read this if you are a freelancer
Back in student days together with my friend I worked as a freelancer. At that time I just wanted to earn some money which would be enough for student pocket, but soon I realized that we can earn more money. Key of the success was in the offers we were submitting.
Our first offers were badly written without clear concept. I remember that we spent almost one month sending offers without any success. After one month of sending different kind of offers, we've spent a lot of time analyzing good freelance offers and yes, we got our first job. We have followed that pattern in subsequent offers, and almost every time we got contacted by the clients. At that moment I realized that if we spend more time writing our offer with carefully selected wordings we can get in touch with a client, and at the end take the job.
When you start as freelancer you will start sending offers on every door in order to get a a first job. This is exactly what we have done, but this will not guarantee that you will get the job. My suggestion is to define technologies you are the best in, and then try to find jobs related with those technologies. This is especially important for the first job, because if your first review is bad, then you will find your second job much harder. Try to do your first job as much as professional so your first review is positive.
Generally, submitting offers without clear picture what to do and how to do, is not good idea. If you get this kind of job you will probably spend much more time and efforts in order to finish it, and your customer will not be satisfied because you exceeded time frames. If you think you are competitive to the job, but the client didn't write concise requirements, write something like this to your offer.
We are really interested in this job. We would like to suggest a small informative talk via skype or chat so we ensure that we have understood all requirements. We would like to discuss about the following points:
- Integration with PayPal
- Design of front-end
This way, you are explicitly saying that you have review the requirements, but you have more questions regarding integration of the website with PayPal and design of the front-end. Using this approach, you can easily start conversation with your client and at the end take the job.
You don't have a time or competence to finish the job
Sometimes you will experience situations when the client accepted your offer, but you don't have a time or you are not competitive enough to finish the job. I experienced this situation and the best way is to send to the customer message similar to the following one:
after detailed review of your requirements we realized that, at this moment, we can't implement all requirements in desired time-frame. During this project our service would not be on the highest level and that is why we want to postpone this project for 1 month. If this is not feasible, then we are forced to cancel our offer.
We are really appreciating your confidence in us, Your Company.
One thing your customers are expecting is communication. If you are not communicating with your clients at least once per day, then your approach is not professional. Try to send report about your progress at the end of the day. This will leave good impression and your will earn few good points. This way, you can inform your client that you are having problems with specific part of the system, or that you have done some 'hard' taks. When you are writing your reports, first write good things (meaning tasks that you have successfully done), and at the end, write about issues.
Be careful with your price. I remember one job offer where customer wanted us to make some changes in the backend of his website. We were really competent to do it, and we wrote our offer. Because we were chasing our first job, we put the lowest price in compare with other freelancers, and client obviously misunderstood our intentions and thought that we don't understand the requirements. Our offer was rejected just because our price was way too low in comparing with other freelancers. I know this because few months after from this offer, we worked with this client and I asked him why he rejected our first offer and he said that our price was way too low and that was suspicious.
In freelance world, high prices are not so popular. Clients are posting on the freelance in order to get "better" price for the project. A lot of freelance websites are giving ability to see the average offer amount, and you can take that price and add between 25% or 50% to it. This is not the general rule, but this will help you to get noticed. After that, you can talk with a client about the final price.
Finalizing the job
Before you finish your work, and your customer makes a review, send final message to your customer stating that you had a pleasure to work with him, and you hope you will get the best review. If you think that client will not give you the best marks, try to provide additional small task for free in order to get the best review. This approach is really good and a lot of clients will accept it and you will get your best review.
Examples of good offers
Last month I collected few really good examples of how to write your freelance offers. These letters I received when I offered a job.
I have read the complete project details thoroughly. As you mentioned that you want to make xxxxx xxxxx. I see your attached file. I am confident about this job and I need a detail discussion regarding this job for more clear understanding. I assure to assist you with the best expertise as per the project requirements.
My Portfolio link:-
My expertise platforms are:-
Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw, HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, Bootstrap,
My Key features are:-
1. Good communication skills, well versed with the English language; spoken and written both.
2. I am Available on other communicating platforms, including Skype, Gmail.
3. The project will be delivered within the deadline set.
4. Will provide 45 days free assistance after the project is done.
5. Will update you daily regarding the project progress.
6. The work submitted will be original and you will hold the copyrights for the work.
7. As for the graphic task, will provide AI, EPS, Photoshop, Jpeg, PDF(print ready/web purpose).
What I love about this offer is that he specified technologies related for one web designer. A lot of them are just writing technologies like: Angular, MySQL, Hadoop, NoSQL etc.. and they are webdesigners!
Hi! My name is Rxxxxx. After reading your job description carefully, I am confident that my combination of skills and particularly my experience in logo designing make me the ideal candidate for this post. As a proof of my abilities, I will attach some samples of my past works for your viewing and if you are interested in my candidacy, please contact me immediately.
This offer is short, concise but what is the most important, attached file was full of good examples that are related to this job.
My name is Axxxx Mxxxx, and I understand that you are looking for someone to create a xxxx?
I would be very happy to do this for you, and I feel confident that I could have the first iteration of it within 2 – 3 days.
I have been a graphic designer for the past 4 years now and would be very happy to work with you and your company.
As proof of my graphic and logo design skills I will link my portfolio below which showcases some of my past work:
I will also mention a few benefits of hiring me:
High Quality Vector Design
Design Files Included
JPEG, PNG, AI Available (I am happy to provide the logo in 160×40 pixels)
Please take your time to consider my proposal and if you would be interested in working together then please don't hesitate to contact me.
Good offer, this freelancer is trying to provide first iteration in 2 days (in my case, two days were reasonable time to make "something"). Also this client is sharing few benefits of hiring him.
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