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Win More Freelance Jobs On Elance (or wherever) With This Simple Tip!

If you are a freelancer on websites like Elance and Odesk, you probably know how difficult it can be to win a project. It’s really competitive on Elance, especially on really big and high paying jobs.

How can you separate yourself from the rest of the pack?

I found a majority of my winning bids were really unique. Often, the person hiring the freelancer would tell me “we chose you because you said X” or “we found X about you really interesting!”

It actually doesn’t come down to your portfolio or skill most of the time. There are a lot of skilled and experienced freelancers that simply choosing “the best” isn’t that easy. Sometimes the person running the project will simply hire the cheapest person but at that point, not winning the project wasn’t your fault.

However, if you weren’t selected because you didn’t communicate well enough how you’re different or better, I’m going to provide you one rock solid tip that will make you win A LOT more projects on sites like Elance.

Create a video and attach that to your bid.

When you bid on projects on Elance, you are able to upload files to the client. Usually, freelancers use this space to upload files to show of their experience and portfolio like a screenshot of a website, or a voice over sample.


What you should be doing instead, is record a video of yourself, talking into the camera describing why you are the best freelancer for this job and what your approach to the job will be.

So, you still write out your bid, but also include “please view the video attached to watch my proposal and learn more how I am a great fit for your project!”

You need to get really comfortable with this. You might be thinking you’re not confident enough to do this or you’re too shy. That’s the same reason nearly nobody else is doing this.

This is how you will differentiate your proposal from everyone else’s, especially on projects with over 40 bids. Put yourself in the client’s shoes. They have to sift through all these different proposals of strangers on the internet. If you see a bid with a face and personality attached to it, it’s a lot easier to trust that person.

That’s what the video bid does for you. It also allows for you to verbalize what you want to do instead of just writing it out.

So what should you say in the video? Here’s a breakdown:

  • “Hi! My name is X”
  • Your background, your experience and how long you’ve been doing what you’re doing.
  • Why you decided to bid on this project. Why you think you’re a good fit.
  • Your approach to the project.
  • Your solution to solve their problem.
  • Recommend them to see a similar project you’ve done in the past.
  • “Feel free to ask me any questions or let me know if you need me to clarify anything about my bid.”
  • “Thank you for taking the time out to watch my bid! I’m looking forward to working with you.”

Another small tip, is to simply follow up. If you place a bid and after a few days, the person hiring hasn’t selected a freelancer, follow up with them. Ask them what’s preventing them from picking a freelancer. Ask them how you could improve your bid. You’d be surprised how a simple thing like following up (which nobody else does) can get you noticed. Don’t make it sound desperate, simply come across as concerned. There’s a difference!

I hope this helps some of you struggling freelancers out there. I want you to let me know what you think below. Tell me where you’re struggling in your freelancing career and I’ll try to help out!

Published in Entrepreneurship

  • Jeffrey Cabierte

    Dear Corey,

    How can I make a follow up in Upwork knowing I don’t know his or her contact yet? Hope you can help me on this. Really like your inputs.