10 Tips for Writing an Effective Bid

With thousands of freelancers competing for jobs and perhaps a hundred or more bidding on the same job, how do you make your bid stand out from the rest?

The fact is that each employer is as different as each freelancer is, so there really isn’t a “magic formula” that works for every bid. There are, however, some important steps you can take to increase the chances that a prospective employer will consider your bid seriously. Here are ten simple tips for writing an effective bid:

1. Read the project description carefully.

If the employer doesn’t feel that you understand the project, you’re not likely to win the bidding. Besides, many employers will ask for specific details that you need to be aware of. In fact, employers often include a phrase that must be included in your bid in order to have it considered. The bottom line is, you should always take the time to go through the description thoroughly.

2. Keep your bid clear and concise.

Remember that the employer may have dozens or even hundreds of bids to consider. It’s very likely that every word of every bid isn’t going to be read. Bids with an unnecessarily long description may be skipped over completely. Don’t invite the employer to ignore your bid by making it too wordy.

3. Specify your terms clearly.

Using the project description as a guide, be as precise as possible in stating exactly what you’ll provide, how much it will cost, and how long it will take to deliver. Being vague about your terms implies a lack of confidence. If you’re not confident in yourself, the employer won’t be either.

4. If the employer contacts you through a private message, be sure to respond promptly.

Most employers award projects within the first 24 hours of posting, so make sure to keep yourself available for contact.

5. Stay in contact using our mobile apps.

Install the mobile app and stay in touch with employers on the go. Also, discover new projects and get your bids in more quickly on the best new projects. 

6. Upload work samples on your portfolio.

Quality, not quantity, is usually the rule of thumb when uploading samples on your portfolio. Therefore, make sure that your samples are appropriate for the job and that they represent your best work. 

7. Protect your work.

A word of caution: Unless you’re prepared to give your work away, any samples you provide should bear a watermark or other means of identification or at the very least your name and a statement of copyright. 

8. Be competitive with your pricing.

Being competitive does not necessarily mean that you need to be the lowest bidder. Bidding in a worldwide marketplace makes for tough competition, but if your work is truly above average, you may find that employers are willing to pay above average prices. On the other hand, if you’re relatively new to freelancing, you may need to establish a reputation first.  

9. Don’t oversell yourself.

A little self-confidence is a good thing, but over-the-top claims probably won’t impress anyone. Being honest about your skills will get you much farther than a lot of hype.

10. Last, but certainly not the least, proofread your bid before you submit it.

Is it written clearly? Are there misspellings? No matter what kind of project you’re bidding on, a poorly written proposal suggests a lack of attention to details and poor work habits. Neither of those is going to work in your favor.

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