It can be really frustrating when you place a load of bids on various projects only to find they get ignored. Worse still, glancing over the profile of the person who won the job, makes it even harder to fathom. Don’t despair, every writer goes through it and the one thing you should never do is take it personally!
There’s no “proper way” of putting across a proposal for a project advertised on a freelance job website and if anyone tells you there is, chances are they are newbies to the game. Every client is different, they are looking for different things and most are hoping or planning to spend as little money as possible whenever they can.
I say “most” because there are some clients out there who know the value of great copy and content. They set themselves realistic budgets that copywriters can easily work to.
Things to Consider Before You Place a Bid
The most important part of putting a bid together starts way before you press the send button and includes the following:
- Read the brief and then read it again
- Check out where the client is based
- Check clarification boards to see what questions other people are asking
Making Sure You Understand the Brief
Reading a brief at least twice is essential because you are more likely to fully understand project requirements. If you don’t you could end up sending in a bid that really isn’t relevant to the project. Result? Your proposal gets ignored.
Check Where the Client is Based
Checking where a client is actually based is also an essential pre-bidding strategy. If English is not their native tongue, be prepared for a longer haul in the “getting to grips” with project requirements department.
Not fully understanding project requirements due to a language barrier can be disastrous. Result? Your bid gets put to the bottom of the pile and ignored which is probably the best thing that could happen!
Check Clarification Boards
It’s really important to check clarification boards because these can tell you a lot about the project and the client too! If they can’t be bothered to answer questions other people have asked, will they bother to look at your proposal? Answer – probably not. Result? Your proposal doesn’t make it past the starting post, might be worth saving the bid for another more worthwhile project.
Questions you need to ask yourself – not the client!
- Is the subject matter something you feel comfortable writing about?
- Has the client set a realistic deadline?
- Is the budget one you can work to (not forgetting to deduct any fees)?
- Is the client asking for way too much for the money they’re offering?
- Does the client come across as far too demanding maybe even curt?
- Is their English good, fair, bad, diabolical?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself because at the end of the day, do you really want to work for someone who ticks all the boxes listed above? Times may be hard and money tight, but you need to respect your own values as a copywriter.
It’s important to work through a third party website until you’ve built up a loyal and reliable client-base of your own. Don’t be tempted to give out private contact details even when you’ve been awarded a project. Keep things professional.
Giving out a private email or Skype address makes it too personal. There are a lot of rather unscrupulous people out there who will think nothing of taking advantage of a situation if given the chance. Working through a third party keeps things simple and way more professional on all levels.
Lastly Don’t Take it Personally
If you find the majority of your bids just simply vanish into thin virtual air and you don’t even get a “sorry, we chose another writer” message – don’t take it personally. There are a lot of rude clients out there in the virtual world. The good news is there are a lot of polite ones too which means perseverance is definitely the order of the day.
Author: Honey Wood
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