How To Write A Great Upwork Proposal That Wins Bids+ Real Proposal Examples

Last updated on August 13, 2020

upwork proposal

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A well-written Upwork proposal is a very important element in winning jobs. This is your chance to prove to the potential client that you are the ideal freelancer for the job. It is one of the key determinants on whether a client will hire you or not. 

Tips 1: Keep It Short

Given that the client will get so many proposals from different freelancers, you don’t want to burden the client with too much information. Get to the point. In fact, three or four short paragraphs are adequate.

I see some freelancers starting their proposal by mentioning their name. This is not necessary as most of the details are in your profile, including your name, your certifications, your education, et cetera.

You want to get your prospective client’s attention in the first paragraph. State immediately how you will add value to your client. Will you add value in terms of your price, skills or the time in which you will deliver the job?

Here is an example of a short proposal I sent a few weeks ago and got hired the following day.  

Upwork Proposal Sample One

Job Post: Video Transcription for Copy on a Website Opt-In Page


I’d love to transcribe your videos. It’ll take me 20-30 minutes to transcribe your short video.

I will transcribe the file in clean verbatim format, excluding all filler words and false starts. That way, it will be publish-ready.

You can view my portfolio on my blog’s hire me page here:


Read: Why you aren’t being hired on Upwork

Tip 2: Go The Extra Mile

Show the client that you read through the entire job post. One way to do this is by mentioning the title of the job post and other details included.

Here is another real proposal where I did just that and got the job.

Upwork Proposal Sample Two

Job Post: Transcriber Needed for audio files


I am looking for someone to transcribe up to 30 audio files of interviews which are taking place over the next several weeks. Each file is approximately 40 minutes in length.

My Proposal

Dear Client,

I would love to be a part of your project. I can comfortably deliver the transcripts, one at a time, in a span of three weeks. It takes me three hours to transcribe a 40-minute file. I am currently the go-to transcriber for IdeaArchitects, who are book publishers.

I understand the importance of great grammar, spelling and punctuation skills, as this leads to a higher accuracy of transcripts. I will transcribe your audio files in clean verbatim format, without the uhs, uhms, false starts and filler words, for better readability. This will save you much editing time.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 

Looking forward to working with you. 

I also like to check the client’s profile and see if I can find his/ her name. You can find this out by the reviews that other freelancers have left for the client. Then instead of just writing Dear Sir, mention the client by his name. 

This will show the client that you took the time to know more about them.  This is one of the quickest ways to the client’s heart 🙂 

Also, if the client is new, I always say ‘Welcome to Upwork’ after my salutation. Believe me, that has opened several doors.

Tip 3: Setting Your Price

Check the client’s budget and set your price. How much has he paid in the past? Checking what he has paid in the past can give you a hint of whether the client will be a good fit or not. 

Don’t underbid for fear of competition. Be confident of your skills. If you are a newbie, you want to slowly but surely increase your charges as you gain experience and get good feedback from clients.

But if you are an experienced freelancer, bid your worth. Clients do not know your worth. Only you do. 

Tip 4: Attach Relevant Samples

Attach relevant samples of your past work. What do I mean by relevant? Here’s an example.

If you are bidding for a job where the client is looking for people who can write articles in the dating and relationship niche, it’s recommended that you attach samples on the same topic, rather than an article you wrote on dairy farming.

Your work sample is a great way to show your skills in a work-related context. I like to attach samples very early on in the proposal, typically in the second paragraph. 

Tip 5: Re-read Your Proposal

Spelling mistakes and poor grammar put off many clients. Always proofread your proposal before clicking on the submit button. Make sure your profile is well written too, as clients often check these out before they award a job.

Tip 6: Use a Template

This is another strategy that I use for my Upwork proposal. I use a template as it saves time. I usually don’t write a custom proposal to a job each and every time.

I learned that one of the bidding strategies that work is sending a proposal within the first 10-20 minutes of a job being posted. 

I like to bid on jobs that have less than 15 applicants. A template, therefore, comes in handy. However, I strongly discourage copy and paste proposals.

In fact, sending copy and paste proposals to several jobs will get you chased out of Upwork.

Read: Upwork account suspension – why it happens

Upwork Proposal Tips For Transcribers

The same tips that I have shared above apply when you are bidding for transcription jobs. A few additions though:

  • Most clients do not state when they expect to receive the transcript. It’s a good idea to state your TAT (turnaround time)
  • Also, state how much you charge per audio minute or per audio hour. If you offer a small discount for bulk rates, mention that too. 
  • Will you transcribe the audio file in clean verbatim or full-verbatim? In my experience, a good number of clients are looking for transcribers who can deliver a clean verbatim transcript. Mention which style you will use. 
  • What accuracy rate should your prospective client expect?
  • In my experience, I’ve noted that it’s a huge bonus when you point out that you are a go-to transcriber for a well-known journalist, author or Pastor (if that is the case) It instills confidence in the client that you know your stuff and that they are getting value for their money. 


As a freelancer, you must learn to market yourself. It’s not enough to have awesome technical skills such as web development, design or writing skills. You also must know how to sell yourself. 

About the author

Virginia Nakitari is a work from home mom passionate about making money online. She's here to show you legitimate companies offering full-time, part-time and remote jobs from home! Stay tuned!

  • you are a can of knowledge sheeroh,thank you and keep on doing it…. how can i get notifications for your blog? thank you.

    • You are welcome Joy. You’ll be receiving the notifications since you are in my transcription training email list.

  • Thanks, Sheeroh for this. I have a question, let’s say you are not working for anyone at the moment what happens to the part.

    I am the go-to transcriber for so and so..

  • Hey Sheeroh Kiarie,
    Thanks for a great article. Definalty I follow your tips.

    Two or three points I like very much, for example, find name from past review and if the new client then writes a welcome message and check past project budget.

    Just one favour.
    Please add an email subscribe section in the blog so when you publicise new article we get a notification email.

    I Know have a “Notify me of new posts by email.” checkbox with comments.

    Thank You, Just keep posting informative articles.
    Yuvraj Khavad

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