Fortunately for freelancers the days of hunting for jobs across a small pool of prospects and making cold calls to potential clients are gone. Today a new world of opportunity exists for freelancers via the process of bidding for work online, with literally hundreds of thousands of jobs on the market for tender. However with thousands of people from all across the world taking advantage of the benefits of finding employment online, it’s extremely important to realize just how to make your bid stand apart from the competition, and how to win more freelance jobs.
Please find below our guide to “Bidding for Work Online“. These helpful tips should assist you in securing more freelance work, and hopefully attract the type of freelance clients you are looking for more often as you compete in the global freelance marketplace for jobs.
Tips for Bidding for Work Online
- Narrow your scope. Because there is a multitude of work available online, you’ll need to know exactly what type of client, and what type of job you are seeking before you begin placing your online bids. For example, do you only wish to bid on short-term jobs, or do you want to work with clients who are seeking longer-term commitment? Do you want to work with clients abroad, or only with clients within the United States? Do you want to be paid per project, or per hour, and what is your minimum rate? Decide all of these things before you begin to place your bids, and make sure, to only bid on jobs that you can deliver on.
- Have a plan and stick to it. As a beginning freelancer, do not expect to win the first job you place a bid on. In fact, you may have to place ten bids before you win a job. So make a plan and stick to it. For example, to start with, you may wish to place three bids every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. Set aside a designated time and stick to it as part of your schedule. This will help you not only to earn more bids in the long run, but to be an early bidder on new job postings. Some jobs will receive many bids, and being one of the first freelancers to place a bid will help you to stand out and become memorable.
- Create an attractive, detailed profile. Prospective clients won’t just be reading your bid when they determine whom to hire. They will also be looking for samples of your capabilities in your online profile. Make sure to include recent examples of your best work; including videos, links, and/or pictures. Ask previous or current clients to write you a brief recommendation or testimonial. Outline your experience, and write a summary of your work ethic and goals. If you are new to the freelance world and do not have a lot of experience, find effective ways to display your work. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, publish some of your writing on free sites such as Helium, and include links to these articles. If you are a photographer link to your personal photo blog. Oftentimes, clients are willing to hire someone who is new and relatively inexperienced, as long as you display your capabilities along with an honest work ethic.
- Personalize your bid. Writing bids takes time, so it will be tempting to use the same “cookie cutter” template for each bid your place. Resist this temptation. Tailor each bid you place to suit the client’s needs. Make sure to read the job posting carefully, and address all of the client’s needs and concerns.
- Ask a question. Don’t be afraid to ask the client a relevant question in your bid. This shows, right off the bat, that you are attentive to his or her needs. It also gives you the opportunity to begin a dialogue with the client, therefore establishing a relationship.
- Don’t sell yourself short. At times it may be tempting to place the lowest bid just to try to win the job. Never sell yourself short like this, lest you devalue yourself, your skills, and your industry. Determine your minimum price point and stick to it.
- Display professionalism from the very start. At all stages of a project, you should always display honesty, authenticity, and professionalism. Be honest about your experience and your goals. Don’t promise tasks or time lines that you can’t deliver. All clients appreciate honest, hardworking freelancers who deliver what they promise. Even though you’re not meeting with the client face-to-face generally, you should treat the freelance job as you would any other professional endeavor – with respect and the utmost importance.
- Don’t get discouraged. If you’re not winning bids, don’t get discouraged. Stick to your schedule and keep placing them. Even if you don’t win a bid that you place, a client may keep you in mind for a future job, so each bid matters. Occasionally following up on an unsuccessful bid may the foot in the door you need for your next freelance job.