Finding clients on Upwork and Fiverr does not have to be a stressful recurring nightmare.
As someone who has experience posting jobs and hiring people off these freelancing platforms, I can tell you there are six very important tips to help you stand out, land clients, and get paid.
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Well, if you’ve optimized your bio, gotten clear on your unique skills, applied for countless jobs and you still aren’t getting any bites, I am here to tell you it is not hopeless. There is nothing wrong with you and you aren’t doomed to be a struggling freelancer forever, I promise.
The truth is finding clients does not have to be a stressful recurring nightmare.
And today, I am here to help.
This is a topic that I had tons and tons of people requesting over the past couple of years, but the truth is I really don’t have that much experience in applying for jobs on these platforms because they weren’t really around when I started freelancing… And since then, I’ve gotten almost every single one of my clients through referrals.
However, I have posted jobs and hired many people on these freelancing sites. So I can offer you some advice from a unique perspective, the perspective of the client who might be hiring you.
And as someone who has experience in posting jobs and hiring people off these platforms, I can tell you that there are some things that you can do to stand out, land clients, and get paid, including the single most important thing to keep in mind when searching for clients on these platforms. Now here they are, let’s dive into my six tips.
#1 – Be Personal(ized)
And number one is to make sure your application is personal and personalized.
I can tell you, I have seen so many trigger applications on Upwork where I can tell that that person is sending the exact same application to everyone. So you wanna use language that really humanizes you. Be real, be personal, and most importantly, talk to the business owner who is looking for support.
Write in a conversational tone just like with any copy. Forget long lists, and of course, you don’t wanna share your entire life story. We don’t wanna get too personal.
Stick with your values, what you believe in as a copywriter, and how you can help the business owner solve problems. And trust me, you are going to stand out.
#2 – Read Carefully
This one is really simple, but I’m telling you is an absolute game-changer: Read carefully.
I cannot tell you how many times I have posted a job on Upwork and included little instructions or steps to follow in your application process. And I do that for a reason. I don’t do that to be difficult, I do that to see which of you is actually reading the applications and following instructions.
Nobody wants to work with someone who doesn’t know how to follow instructions or pays attention to detail. So I always recommend my entrepreneur friends, include these types of steps in their applications on Upwork, because then it immediately cuts out about 90% of your applications, because you simply do not read the ones who follow directions.
So as an example, I will say, “Apply to this job using this title” and give a very specific formula to follow.
Anybody who doesn’t follow that, I don’t even click to open their application. It goes straight into the junk. I only look at those who follow directions from the get-go.
#3 – Build Authority
Now, if you’re a brand new freelancer, you might not have that much experience under your belt and that’s okay.
Of course, if you do, make sure to share a little bit about your experience and the highest authority information you can share. So the biggest clients, the best results you’ve ever gotten, or what you’ve done to help businesses in the past.
If you don’t have any past experience, there are other ways you can build trust. And one of the coolest ways that I’ve seen people do this is to actually share their personality type. You guys have heard about all the different types of personality types, right? There’s Myers Briggs, Kolbe, DiSC, Enneagram, Human Design, the list goes on and on.
However, I know so many business owners who very intentionally design their teams based on personality types. So if they’re looking for someone with a specific personality type (say methodical or intuitive or creative, or is a “manifesting generator”), they might wanna know what your personality type is.
It also shows that you understand different personality types and that you’ve done the work, and possibly even paid the expense to get your personality type result back. I highly recommend you include this in your application.
Again, you don’t have to do all of them, maybe pick two or three, and then share why you are right for the job. Share your qualifications, share your experience, do all you can to build trust and rapport early on.
#4 – Make it About Them
Alright, tip number four, and this is possibly the most important tip of them all: Make it about them.
This is like rule number one in copywriting, right? You’re not gonna me, me, me, all over the place, you really wanna go in, leading with “how can I help you solve a problem?”
And I’ll give you a hint. Most clients wanna save time, money, and effort. So make it really, really clear how you can help them do that. Focus on your unique solution, but only in terms of how it can help them solve that problem.
Now, the other thing is to make it really clear that you took the time to investigate them, research them, follow them, comment on their content, things that they’ve done, things that you love about their brand and mission.
So many applications on Upwork are 1000% cold, templated, templatized, cut and paste that it is so clear that you probably didn’t even look at the company you’re applying for, right? So even just a sentence or two to showcase that you really took the time to understand the brand and what it is they’re looking for can really help you go far on Upwork and Fiverr.
#5 – Lead with Value
Alright, the fifth tip is really important as well, and this is something you guys hear me talk about a lot, is to lead with value. What this means is go in by already offering some sort of tip or advice or feedback in your application, or better yet, showcase your copywriting skills and rewrite their main website’s headline right there in your application.
By doing that, you’re not only showing that you’ve taken the time to research the brand, but you’ve actually gone and done some free work, even if it is just rewriting a headline to showcase your skills.
I can tell you, I am able to pick out a great copywriter in one sentence or less.
So why not use that real estate and those eyeballs to get attention by doing something like that?
Now you’re not able to hire people for free copy work on Upwork, so tests are a little bit hard to do on Fiverr and Upwork and other freelancing sites.
However, you can state in your application that you’re open to doing some sort of copy test down the road to show them your willingness to just show up and help them achieve their goals.
#6 – Be Patient & DON’T Give Up!
Alright, now, the sixth and the final tip that I wanna share with you, and of course, this is really important, in any type of business: Be patient. Listen, you will have way more applications and conversations than clients who end up hiring you, that is just how it works, it is a numbers game.
But treat every single one of those applications as an opportunity to build awareness with a potential client.
I can tell you time and time again, where I haven’t hired someone on Upwork for a particular job, but then when something comes up down the road, if they made a good first impression, they’re absolutely the first people I reach out to.
So even if you’re not closing all of these applications that you’re sending, treat that as a connection and a way that you’re building your awareness and your network.
When you’re building your network, absolutely no contact with any business or fellow freelancer is a waste of time. So go in with that mindset that you are simply having conversations to slowly build your network and trust that those connections will come back later.
Alright, now I’m curious to hear from you as freelancers who have posted jobs on Fiverr, Upwork, and other freelancing sites.
What tips do you have to stand out, get hired, and get paid?
Comment below and let me know!
I hope you enjoyed this little mini training. I will see you next week with a brand new video on my four time-tested methods for finding clients, along with real-life stories and advice from my Copy Posse students.
Until then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!
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