By Shahid Rafique
Winning a project on any freelancing site out there is a challenge these days for the freelancers. With increasing competition, it has become harder with a race to the bottom and diminishing returns.
Some think that to survive in an environment like this, you need to bid the lowest and get projects. But here’s the thing: when we talk about the winning projects as a top bidder, we need to think of it as an art.
When I first started bidding on Freelancer.com, it was quite hard for me to win the project in the beginning. At that time, I kept on repeating the same mistakes which normally every freelancer makes: to offer a very low price to win projects at every cost.
But after few months I realized that winning projects is not all about offering low pricing. Its not even about you going for broke by completing three-days worth of work in just one day.
Getting a bid for a project that is worth your while is an art. It involves you writing and sending a customized proposal as per the requirement of client(s).
During the bidding process, I always keep in mind the following points:
- I always select the project where i think me and my team is fully equipped with skills and are confident of completing the task in all aspects within given time period as per the requirements of client.
- I do not ever try to sell what we have in our portfolio; I always focus on the client requirement and customize my proposal according to the project brief.
- I always read the project brief twice before writing my proposal. It is very necessary to understand the project before committing to anything. I have seen many examples personally and professionally where people fail to grasp the project requirements and end up wasting everybody’s time (and money).
- I don’t ever compromise on our pricing model. This is very important to understand, especially for Pakistani freelancers who think cheaper is always better.If client does not expect a compromise on quality and time period, then why should we, as freelancers, compromise on our value?
- I always write a customized proposal “to the point” that addresses the client’s needs directly and clearly. No need to beat around the bush.
- I do not focus on quantity, but on the quality of bids. This also matters when you want to win projects as a top bidder.
- After drafting my proposal, I never ever forget to read it once (even twice) before posting.
- During posting of proposal, I always try to give at least one hint through my top two lines of proposal to client that I fully read the project brief and we are confident to deliver what they are looking for. That puts both me and the client at ease from the beginning.
- The length of your proposal is very important. Don’t write an essay but that doesn’t mean it should look like a preview either.
The above points will ensure that your client realizes that you understood the requirements, and what time and cost is required of you to complete the job. This leaves a lasting (and positive) impression on clients about selecting and hiring you.
Shahid Rafique is a business development manager at Descom Group