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Working Freelance: Bidding Etiquette


Freelance bidding etiquette is crucial to landing freelance jobs. If you don't exercise proper etiquette, you'll lose bids to your competitors. Before you hit the "submit" button, check to see whether you've done the following:

Read the Proposal

It's hard to believe that there is computer software available that will submit bids randomly to bidding sites. That's no different from you submitting a bid without first reading, and then re-reading the job requirements. Don't fall into the trap of browsing jobs in your category and submitting bids at random. It's true that freelance bidding can take up a lot of your time, but if you don't read the details, you won't stand out in your bid. An employer might test that by including a specific instruction in the job post, that you'll miss if you don't review it carefully. For example, a bid might ask you to include the words "I read this" in your bid, just to confirm that you actually read the job description. If you fail to include those words, you won't be considered. You may even be blacklisted when it comes to submitting future bids to that company. Plan enough time in your day to respond to each job opportunity carefully.

Greet with a Name

If there's a name included in the job that's posted, address the person by name in the bid. Some freelancers are not awarded jobs based on that simple mistake. It says that you're not someone who pays attention to the little details, which is one of the qualities that employers look for most when hiring freelancers. It's fine to use a template that you created to speed up the freelance bidding process, but you need to modify it slightly for each bid. The first thing to modify is the greeting, by including any name you have. It wouldn't matter as much if freelance jobs weren't so competitive, but they are. Don't get put at the bottom of the list because you forgot to use a name.

Bid Early

The quicker you can respond to jobs, the better. Don't wait for days to submit a bid if possible. Schedule time for freelance bidding everyday, and turn around bids as fast as you can. The employer may get so overwhelmed with submissions that they close the bidding process early, or ignore proposals that come in late. You'll be a top candidate if you bid on jobs right away.

Working Links

Check the links to your online work to make sure they're working properly. If you published material on websites or blogs other than your own, those links may not work months after you've uploaded your profile or included them in your bids. Few employers will take the time to find the work that the link is supposed to direct them to, unless they are very interested in hiring you. Otherwise, they will blow this off and most likely not hire you.

It's all about the little things when it comes to freelance bidding. Being consistent about following the basics will increase your chances of winning bids.

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