Last Updated on November 10, 2020 by Camilla Gill
I’ve given you guys a real Upwork cover letter sample to use when you’re writing your own proposals on Upwork.
The Upwork proposal is the first impression a potential client gets from you, so it is well worth your time to learn how to write the best Upwork cover letters!
This guide is a culmination of all my secret tips and hacks that I’ve learnt over the years, so that you too can start winning jobs on Upwork and make money online!
As well as writing this free guide, I’ve also created the Best FREE Upwork Cover Letter template for you to download and use for your own Upwork proposals.
This is the same killer template that I used to write Upwork cover letters for Virtual Assistant jobs that I WON charging $25/hour!
This sample template will help you WOW potential clients and become a successful virtual assistant on Upwork.
How To Write The Best Upwork Cover Letter
First Impressions Count
When you are applying for Upwork jobs as a freelancer, make sure you check and see how many other proposals the client has already received for the job you want to apply for.
Often, clients receive 20-50 different proposals from freelancers all eager to win the job.
YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR UPWORK COVER LETTER STAND OUT!
If you want to be successful on Upwork, then you NEED to learn how to write a good proposal. It is vital.
Your Upwork proposal is the first impression clients get of you, it is worth your time to write personalised cover letters for each job you apply for.
Tip 1 – Do Your Research
Read the job posting two or three times, looking for any clues into the client’s background.
If they sign off with their name, make sure you directly address them by their name in your greeting.
They might not have left their name at the end, but have a look and see if the company name is mentioned and see if you can Google their name that way.
If the company name has been mentioned, then do your research and see what you can find out about the company.
Treat the research before writing a proposal just like how you would before a real life job interview, before going to a job interview you would want to find out as much as you can about your potential employee.
Upwork is no different.
Tip 2 – Open With A Compliment
My proposals start with a friendly ‘Hi…name’ because ‘Dear…’ seems slightly too formal for Upwork.
Take a look at the two sample cover letters I’ve included in this post and notice how after greeting the potential by their name, what’s the second thing I do.
I complimented them, either on their business if I was able to find that out from my research OR on the job posting.
You can compliment them on how interesting the job description is, and why it caught your eye.
Everyone likes to be flattered and a potential Upwork client is no different!
Be careful not to go over the top though, people can tell when your Upwork proposal has a fake feel to it. Be yourself and be genuine, that will shine through in your cover letter.
Tip 3 – Your Upwork Experience
A good Upwork proposal should highlight the benefits of working with you, but you be sure not to brag!
After opening with a compliment and a friendly greeting, you want to state why you would be a good fit for the project.
Talk about your experience in the industry, for example, how many years have you worked in it.
If you don’t have any direct experience, then don’t worry, try and use examples that relate to the job. Be inventive!
You may have worked for a well-known company in the past, mention them, a well-known company gives you credibility. I worked as a Virtual Assistant for a VP of VICE Media and I am always sure to mention this in my Upwork proposals.
Perhaps your education is relevant to the job description, go ahead and talk about it, but only if it is relevant.
Tip 4 – Problem Solving
The next paragraph you will want to emphasize why you’re the freelancer they NEED to hire.
What can you do for them that is different from the other freelancers applying for the job?
Taking a look at my example Upwork proposals, you can see that I asked further questions about the client’s company and I showed a genuine interest in her particular field of women entrepreneurs.
My experience was my best selling point here, so I focused on that in my Upwork proposal and made sure to highlight my assets of being excellent at organization and time management.
When you are writing your cover letter have a think about what can you do for the client?
How will you make their life easier?
Tip 5 – Call To Action
Once you’ve written about your relevant experience and skills, explain why you would be able to make your client’s life easier and solve their problem, the cover letter is finished.
The only step left is to close with a call to action, suggest a Skype call. Keep it casual, just a simple ‘If you have time, it would be great to jump on a quick five-minute call to chat further.’
This isn’t as scary as it sounds and chatting with a client on Skype is a great way to find out if you would be a good fit working together which is vital if you want to receive good testimonials.
The final step in writing the best Upwork cover letters is to finish with a simple ‘Looking forward to hearing from you.’
Nothing fancy but always friendly and professional.
Tip 6 – Knowing What To Charge
Once you’ve learned how to write the best Upwork cover letter, it’s time to think about what to charge a client.
Don’t go by the proposed budget the client has set, do some research and see what you can find out.
Have a look at their previous job history, what kind of hourly rate do they charge?
Know your worth! Remember you need to make money too and Upwork takes a hefty 24% commission for the first $500 earned with a client, so be sure to factor this into your rate.
When I apply for jobs, if I can see that a client has a strong job history and pays fair rates, then I am not afraid to double their proposed budget.
For example, recently a client proposed $200 for a SEO project, I calculated that the work was worth $455 so that’s what I submitted in my proposal. . . and I won it!
That was more than two times the original proposed budget, but it wouldn’t be worth my time doing it for less.
If a client doesn’t want to pay a fair wage then pass, there are fair clients out there on Upwork, it is worth the wait to find them.
Know your worth and add tax!
Tip 7 – Double Check
After writing the best Upwork cover letter ever, the final thing to do is double-check it all.
Look for small spelling mistakes.
Does it read well?
Are all your facts able to be backed up if asked for proof?
Then click submit and let’s win jobs!
The Best Upwork Cover Letter Template PDF
We were all beginners once, so I want to make your life a bit easier and have created this FREE Upwork Proposal Template that I used to use when writing my Upwork cover letters.
Use the template as a basic structure but be sure to customize it appropriately for each job proposal you submit for.
If you have any further questions about how to write the best Upwork cover letter or how to be successful on Upwork, feel free to write below in the comments or shoot me a quick email!
Further Upwork Resources