How To Write Proposals on Upwork That Book Clients

Not getting responses to your proposals on Upwork?

This article will lay out some of the most important things to include in your proposal to increase the number of responses you get.

(And the number of clients you get from Upwork)

Important note: Even if you write a “perfect” proposal, you will not win every project. There is a “numbers game” aspect to Upwork. And you need to know your “numbers” to correctly set your expectations.

But, the key things this post will cover include your proposal:

  • Include their name at the start
  • Check the job post for code words
  • How are you helping the job poster
  • Tell the job poster what to do

Include their name at the start

We love to hear and read our names.

Our names jump out to us.

If possible, you should the job poster’s name at the start of your proposal…

“Hey David”

“Hey Sarah”


If you’re using…

“Hello sir”
“Goodday sir”

…your proposal is too formal.

There are 2 places you can usually find the job poster’s name.

  • “Job History”
  • In the job post

If you scroll to the “Job History” of the poster, other freelancers sometimes include the job poster’s name.


Sometimes the name is on the “Job History”.

If we are lucky, the job poster sometimes includes their name in the job post.

Check the job post for code words

Upwork has thousands of freelancers.

A job poster might receive 20, 50, or 100 responses to their job post.

Unfortunately, a lot of freelancers on Upwork send long copy-paste proposals.

And this annoys job posters.

Job posters sometimes include a “keyword request” in their job post.

For E.g. “Please include the word DOLPHIN at the top of the proposal”.

They do this so they can quickly filter out the bad proposals.

Even if you write a good proposal, but do not include the keyword, your proposal will be ignored.

You must read the whole job post and check if the job poster has requested a keyword.

How are you helping with the job poster?

Business owners post on Upwork for 1 reason.

They want to solve a problem.

When the problem is solved, they will get certain benefits.

Job posters do not want to hear about your story.

They want to hear about the benefits they will get working with you.

And the benefits/results you have brought to other companies like theirs.

For example:

If a job poster needs help with admin tasks.

You can say, “I will help you with your admin tasks”.

But you want to go one step further.

What is the benefit/result for the business owner?

It’s a good exercise to think, “…so that…”

“I will help you with your admin tasks so that you can spend an extra 2 hours a day working with clients”.

“I learn admin tasks quickly, that means you will not have to spend time teaching me and can focus on getting new clients”.

It shows the job poster that you understand the benefits you’re bringing to their life.

Sometimes, the job poster hadn’t thought about the benefit, and now you have made it obvious.

Also, you want to give examples of the benefits you’ve brought to other businesses.

“I managed the emails and calendar of the CEO of Acme, and every morning they had an exact schedule for the day of their most important tasks without any wasted time

The underlined part is the benefit.

Benefits can be expressed in different ways.

You want to speak about the benefits, as much as you can, of why someone should hire you instead of someone else.

Tell the job poster what to do

There is a marketing term named, “Call-to-action” (CTA).

You are telling the person what you would like them to do.

Making a decision is much easier when someone is told exactly what to do.

You might think that it’s obvious…

“Hire me!”

But it is not always obvious to the job poster.

They might be new to Upwork.

Or they might have a different process.

At the end of your proposal, you want to include a CTA.

On Upwork, your CTA can be…

“Message me with your timezone so we can schedule a time to talk together”
“Just send me a quick ‘Hey’ so I know you received my proposal fine, and then we can discuss the details”.

The job poster doesn’t even need to think.

You’ve told them exactly what to do.


Sending a good proposal is important to win projects on Upwork. There are 4 easy things to include in job posts:

  • Include their name at the start
  • Check the job post for code words
  • How are you helping the job poster
  • Tell the job poster what to do

You increase your chances of winning a project a lot by including these 4 things.

A good proposal is not the only reason you will win a job on Upwork.

You must also know your “numbers”

And being one of the first people to respond to a job posting is also important.

Being one of the first people to respond is exactly how Leapfrog Leads helps you on Upwork.

You receive notifications for new job posts minutes after they are posted on Upwork.

This means you can be one of the first people to send a proposal, and increase your chances even more of winning the project.

Click here to sign-up for 14-day free trial of Leapfrog Leads

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