Freelancers worldwide recognize Upwork as one of the leading platforms to consider if you’d like to build a career around your skills. I can also confidently tell you that Upwork has a system that works, as I have nearly a decade of experience with the platform. Throughout my years as a freelancer, I’ve learned tips and tricks from some of the high-flyers on Upwork.

An exciting area for new freelancers has always been proposal samples on Upwork: having the correct information on them makes the difference between slow sales and hitting it big every time. But newbie freelancers often wonder, “What is the best format for an Upwork proposal?”.

The secret most seasoned freelancers don’t like to share is that your Upwork proposal is like a sales pitch. In theory, you’re trying to make a sale on Upwork – of your skill. As such, your proposal has to convince the client why you’re the best fit for any job they would like complete.

How To Use Proposal Samples on Upwork To Convert Client

But how do you handle proposal samples on Upwork and make them as effective as possible? Figuring that out might be challenging for anyone just starting on Upwork for the first time. That’s why I’ll highlight some valuable tips on creating and using proposal samples on Upwork for the most yields. The information can set you on a course to acquiring and retaining Upwork clients more efficiently.

Your Sample has to be Brief

Let me tell you right away: when it comes to proposal samples on Upwork, “less is more,” and it’s best to impress the most with as few words as possible.

“Why?” you might ask. For one thing, clients have short attention spans when considering who to hire for a job. As such, you have little time to convince them of your abilities before they move on to the next applicant. So your proposal is what an Upwork client gets to read, so it’s best not to let it fail you.

You’d want to go straight to the point in the starting paragraphs: discuss the job description and requirements. Next, mention how you intend to come in to handle the tasks the right way. Finally, round out the proposal by suggesting the other benefits the clients can get when you work on the job.

You’ll want to keep everything as lean as possible in all of these methods: no fluff and unnecessary embellishments between sentences. Never use two words to say something where a single word would have been enough. Most high-yielding proposal samples on Upwork keep to this formula to get a positive result each time.

Throw in Some Informal Address

I understand that proposal samples on Upwork must be formal most times, but most successful freelancers on the platform don’t tell you that a little informal address can influence the client in your favor.

How do I mean? You could address the client by name instead of the generic “Sir/Ma.” This tells the person that you took the time to find that information and would probably do more when you eventually get the job. So you can include a nice social trick in your proposal samples for a much better result.

State your Interest in the Job

While every freelancer would like to get paid for expanding their skill set, you’d want to convince the client that you’re not just hanging around for the money. It could help if you explicitly state your interest in the job you’re applying for.

How can you do that? Beyond writing “I’m interested in this job” in one of your paragraphs, you could prove your interest in the task by researching it. Instead, try looking for the peculiarities, methods, and strategies to complete the job in record time. Most clients highly value proposal samples on Upwork that showcases the freelancer’s interest.

Mention Your Relevant Qualifications

You may be an expert copywriter or digital marketer on Upwork, but what can you offer each new job you apply for? It’s not enough to have the skills and experience; you have to mention which of them has the most relevance to the task in question. For instance, “XYZ Expert certification on email copywriting” sounds more assuring to the client than “4 years copywriting experience” when the job description is about email copies.

Relevant qualifications significantly improve proposal samples on Upwork, and you could get started with it as soon as possible to boost your chances of getting higher-paying jobs.

Consider Portfolio Links

The truth is that there’s only so much you can include in your proposal sample. Don’t forget that the shorter the document is, the likelier the client would read it through to the end. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with things.

A neat trick I’ve found is including portfolio links to your proposal samples on Upwork. This lets you reveal more helpful information about your skills to the client without typing too many words. For example, the links could redirect them to a site outside Upwork or your profile page on the platform.

Be Confident in Your Sentences

Do you think you can satisfactorily finish the job for which you apply? If so, you have to sound like it all over your proposal. Clients would choose confident freelancers for their work nine times out of ten, and you owe it to yourself to be confident in your skills.

How can you set a confident tone in your proposal? Use active sentences rather than passive ones. Phrases like “I can” and “I will” show that you have a better command of the task at hand than “I think” or “I may.”

Wrapping Up

Proposal samples on Upwork are the portal through which the client can see how well you’re fit for the job you’re applying for. But many new freelancers write their proposals with good intentions but with little to show. Why might that be?

That could be because they aren’t applying some practical principles. Most times, these helpful tips aren’t discussed since experienced Upwork freelancers like to think everyone else should know them by default.

Luckily, I’ve brought some helpful tricks to get the most out of proposal samples on Upwork. You can practice them today and begin to see positive results right away.


Rufus S. is an author and blogger who writes about freelancing and career development for the Busy Earner blog. He is an expert on platforms like Upwork, LinkedIn, and Fiverr and shares practical tips for building a successful freelance career. Rufus is also passionate about helping busy earners manage their time and avoid burnout.


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