When starting with Upwork or any freelancing site for that matter, the major concern is to find the perfect cover letter template that freelancers can use to copy-paste for every other job, this is where they go wrong. On every job offered on these sites, if there are 30 proposals, 28 of them are copy pasted cover letter templates and guess what? The two people who didn't copy paste actually end up getting hired.
You have to realize that you're competing with thousands of people when a new job gets posted on these sites and your competition includes $3/hour Chinese freelancer, Silicon Valley experts and even Forbes experts. The competition is intense, you need to set yourself apart, and to do that, writing a unique cover letter which catches the attention of your client is crucial.
Grabbing attention of your potential client’s requirement, and writing a personalized cover letter will always increase your probability of getting hired.
This article will not give you a cover letter template which you can use, I will be sharing general tips, and what strategies helped me land jobs and will be guidelines for you to write a good cover letter.
1. Call them by their name
This is such a clever and underrated trick, however some sites like Upwork doesn’t reveal you the name of the clients until you get hired by them. So here’s my suggestion for you, before submitting your cover letter, go through the comments, and see if anyone has called them by their names, and usually a seller must have. Here’s your first leverage over others, instead of starting your cover letter with “Hi Sir”, write “Dear Daniel”. It works, it catches the buyers attention because no one does it.
Quoting from Quora:-
It provides validation. "You are an individual, you matter and you have value" are often conveyed by others simply addressing us by name. As one person noted, "a person's name is the sweetest sound in any language" simply because it affirms our worth.
2.Share your qualifications
You have the buyer’s attention, and it only lasts for the next two lines, share your qualifications here. The aim here is to let the buyer know why you’re more fir for the job than others.
Keep it short and professional. Mention the degrees you have and your previous experience with the relevant industry.
Here’s how I would write for a graphic designing project:-
“Hi, my name is Yash Guwalani, and I am a certified Graphic Designer from the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematic, and have worked with 45 highly satisfied clients in the past year.”
Short and crisp, just enough to make the client read further on.
3. Ask them a question
After reading the job description, you might have a question in mind. Now’s the perfect time to ask that, and don’t worry, I have a logic to back that up. Asking a question will always make your proposal more personal and make the client feel that you’re genuinely interested in getting to know more.
4. Share your previous work
No brainier. Sharing links to your previous and/or attaching them in the attachment box will increase your credibility as a freelancer.
Though many people do this as it is really important, there are still many who don’t and you get ahead of half of the potential buyers already.
5. Explain your rate
Why are you worth every penny? Are you open to negotiation? Address these questions in the next part of your proposal. Although you might agree to work at, say,15/hour, but you should quote a 20 and be open to negotiation. You get what you want and the clients feel that you discounted your rate for them. It’s a win-win situation. However, don’t go overboard with this.
6. Work for them, for free
This is for the newbies, you’re competing with millions, have zero feedback, no ratings, and you need client’s attention, what better way other than to provide what they need for free? Do a sample design or a sample article and attach it, it shows what your work will be like.
Try these tips and write a compelling cover letter, and let me know if it works for you.
As always, I’m all ears to questions and doubts.