Mission: Win a Online Freelance Bid “2 tricks to winning my first freelance bid!”

Posted by on Jul 13, 2009 in Mission: Get Marketing | 4 comments

Previously I asked for help in trying to win my first freelancing gig using the popular sites elance.com and guru.com.  Though I have yet to receive feedback for those sites, I have been instructed to use rentacoder.com.

I really like this site so far.  It has many more opportunities than I thought they would have.

I have been placing bids, and at times feeling like I am selling myself short in an effort to just win a stinkin’ bid!  Not a good strategy!

whats a girl got to do?

So I researched what others have done to win and found a few tips and tricks that I will be using this week to win my first freelancing job!!!

1. I will ask questions and get the full scope of the project before I place a monetary bid.  If they do not respond then I will bid.  Seems simple enough eh?  (previously I have been shooting out low bids like some sort of weird ebay strategy…that’s obviously not working!!)

2.  Once they answer my questions, I will make sure my bid is human!  Not robotic!  Instead of a generic text I will use the questions they answered and the scope of the details for the project.  I want them to know I am a real person and I have read and considered the proposal thoroughly!

I will use these 2 tips this week and report how they work!

Do you have tips and tricks you use to win freelancing bids or are you someone who outsources projects on these sites?

Leave your suggestions below! :)

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  1. You are correct about placing a prebid. It works very well. It opens dialogue. I suggest you use the second response to also sell you. Show that you are a real person. A video can work very well. It helps build a relationship between you and the bidder. You could say, let me review your project tonight and I will bid in the morning, until then please watch this short video to learn a little more about me and the services you I deliver… This helps devalue other generic bids and the other providers. Of course you can automate this! If you use the clients name or username and repeat a few words that they mentioned in the project outline. I use a firefox addon called form saver. Hope this helps.. It posts my message. I then, edit it ever so slightly so it does not look generic.. Hope this helps get you a step closer!

  2. Dave, you are amazing! Thanks for sharing! I will totally try that! Thanks a ton! I am sure this information will help many others too!

  3. I actually don’t recommend Rent-a-Coder. Over the course of the last several years, the push has been for small businesses and individuals to go to rentacoder for fast/cheap programming. This has led a lot of people to associate the site with being dirt-cheap, very fast, and only being far-east freelancers. They frequently assume that everyone there can live on very little money (heard this many times from buyers). Which just plain bites.

    My personal experience with RAC has always backed this up, to the point where I no longer even go there. My fixed rates are already much less than average, so why make 10% of market value? (ie $50 for a $400+, week long e-commerce setup)

    Right now, most of my jobs come from oDesk. So far, my clients have been really nice and I’ve got some good feedback. In 6 weeks, I’ve made over $700, which isn’t a lot but it’s a good start (I also moved across the country in this time LOL). ^_^ It’s free to bid (they take 10%), but they limit the bids to 20 at most. Once you take their readiness test, you have 5 bids, then if you pass any others, it adds 5 up to 20 total. You also go up to 20 if you complete a job with a 5-star rating.

    I used to use elance, and made an okay amount (about $3500 over 5-6 months), but the cost to use compared to what I made was waaaay out of balance. Something to keep in mind, especially since clients can post a job in the wrong section.

    Right now I’m revamping how I approach different bidding sites. On the advice of Daniel Vivarelli, I’m coming up with a solid “pitch” that can be customized for each bid. Bidding takes a LOT of time currently, so that’s what I’m doing to save time. That time can then be used to increase the number/variety of bids, work on my portfolio etc.

    I recommend Bidding a little high, then letting interviewers know that you can decrease the bid based on the time/length/complexity of the project. They love that. If you can’t currently estimate how long a given project will take, wing it. Buyers with a lot of bids won’t respond to questions unless you’ve bid. Bidding, to them, makes you seem serious about the project.

  4. Also, I meant 20 per week, not 20 forever. =)