How to get projects on Upwork?

I’ve been traveling the US talking to freelancers who are getting projects on Upwork in different parts of the country: Austin TX, San Francisco CA, New York NY. The biggest question was – how can I get projects and compete on price on Upwork?

Sure, being a quality professional is the foundation. But writing a good proposal is another thing that can bring you success, get clients at a desirable rate, and land more projects.

Now imagine that a typical client gets up to 100 proposals on his/her project. 80 of those proposals are very long and many of them are irrelevant.

Does the client have time to read so many proposals? No.

So always keep this context in mind. Lengthy text in a proposal usually causes it to get ignored by a client.

Research the client

Check the job’s description and feedback to find the client’s name and the name of their companies to obtain background information.

Finding their website may tell you more about their business and sometimes can even help you start advising on how your services can improve their website and how it is going to affect their business.

Then always talk about the client – how your skills, experience, and solution will help him/her.

Don’t use a template

The client will get lots of template letters. Instead, use custom text that makes you stand out from the crowd. Don’t tell about your university studies if you weren’t asked. The same applies to mentioning your previous places of employment.

Instead of having a template that mentions the names of 4 companies where you worked and describing your responsibilities at each one, you can just write your overall experience in years and mention the most relevant experience that you have.

Differentiate by being short

A short proposal looks different from others and grabs attention. Don’t show desperation by writing too much. Just think about what aspects of your experience, knowledge, and skills make you the best candidate. Make the client want to talk to you and inquire for further details.

Give a tip on the solution

Just mention how you will deliver the project or what can be done to solve the client’s problem. But also keep it short, because how you are going to deliver the project is a topic for the interview. Just let the client know that you are able to get the job done.

Start the discussion

Continue gently pushing the client toward a chat. Ask a couple of questions and involve the client in a discussion of the project with you. Also, good questions about the project create an image of you as a specialist.


Try to make your proposal short, 5–7 sentences. In this case, a client will read your proposal and will definitely appreciate your succinctness.

Remember, your goal is not to get hired as soon as client reads your cover letter – it just doesn’t work that way.

So don’t try to sell your services from the proposal. Set a proposal’s goal to get the interview with a client. Avoid telling everything at the first point of contact. Leave some things unsaid to make the client ask you questions and create a dialogue. And then – nail it!

By the way, Periodix is a service that helps you win more freelance jobs.

Getting More Projects on Upwork: Cover Letter

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