How To Win Bids on Freelancer.com
Freelancer.com, formerly getafreelancer.com, is a site that connects employers with freelancers. There are many different types of freelancing categories on freelancer.com, from programming to web design to writing and editing. To learn more about freelancer.com and getting started, read this article.
Ratings and Completion
Winning bids on freelancer.com can be tricky, especially when you're just getting started. The reason for this is because freelancer.com has its own internal rating system that displays a number of stars next to your pen name depending on how good your ratings from previous employers have been, as well as a project completion percentage. How can you win bids on freelancer.com when you have no stars and no completion rating yet? Every employer can see that you have yet to do a single project yet, so what reason do they have to trust you?
The Bidding Process
When you bid on freelancer.com, there is a place to bid a price, a place to bid a time to project completion, and a place to put the percentage of payment you would like to request upfront (if any.) Obviously employers will be looking to save money, but bidding lower than all the previous bids is not necessary to win the project. Quality counts, and quality is worth more. When it comes to the time to project completion, many employers are in a hurry and want someone who will finish quickly, but many are willing to wait longer for quality. Most employers give you an estimation of the time frame they have in mind in the job posting itself. Some employers are open to upfront payments, and some are not. Be careful, in case you end up slaving away for a week, emailing the finished product, and not getting paid! Along with the other fields, there is also a text field for writing something that will catch the employer's attention, and this field can be crucial to winning bids on freelancer.com.
Craft a Clever Bid
Bidding a rock bottom price or an impossible turn around time may win you a bid or two in the short term, but you will burn yourself out and turn in low quality work if you are trying to make a living charging less than a dollar per hundred words. And if you can't deliver quality work on time, your ratings and completion percentage will suffer, making it more and more difficult for you to get quality work. Bid a reasonable price within a reasonable time frame, taking into consideration all other comittments you may have.
When it comes to the text part of your bid, you need to appear professional, make your case, and catch attention, without being too wordy. Going on and on about every little experience that makes you perfect to write about horses will create a novel your potential employer is not interested in reading. Keep it short and snappy, and be confident without being too full of yourself. Remember that you also have the option of sending a private message to the employer with more information and links to your previous work. You may also attach a file as a sample.
Winning the Bid: Do's
DO read the entire job post carefully, and make sure you understand what is wanted of you if you are chosen. Refer to details of the project in your bid so the employer knows you have taken the time to understand.
DO triple-check for spelling or grammatical errors. Why would an employer believe you would pay attention to detail during the project, if you can't even pay attention to it during your bid?
DO provide a sample of your work
DO place a bid that is competitive, without making promises you can't keep
Winning the Bid: Don'ts
DON'T place a bid for a writing task that asks for a native English speaker if you are not a native English speaker! You might be able to impress your friends, but native speakers can tell you're lying. Freelancer.com is full of bids that read like this "I am native speaker, will give you quality works of the best quality. Beautiful is looking forward to work with you and ready to start." You may be a great writer in your first language, but if you can't use your tools (English words) properly, your finished project will be sloppy and inferior.
DON'T copy-paste the same text for every bid. This is lazy, and no employer wants a lazy employee. It also makes it look like you haven't bothered to read the job post before bidding. For example "I am excited to start this job. I will be able to provide quality writing on your topic of choice. You will be thoroughly satisfied with my quick work." This sort of bid is not likely to be sucessful.
DON'T forget to attach a sample of your work to the private message you should be sending the employer.
Whatever you do, don't give up if you lose your first few bids! If you have a talent, you can make money selling your skills with some persistence.