As freelancers our main method of winning clients is writing proposals usually in the form of an email. We’ve sent so many that we’ve gotten into the bad habit of just sending a resume over without doing any research on the client.
I’m going to share with you how with just a few minutes of extra research and modifying your email copy you can dramatically increase your chances of winning a client.
1) Immediately show how you can provide value
When a client posts a job online they’re inevitably going to get a lot of replies. It’s overwhelming for them fto go through all of those emails. That’s why you have to stand out and show how you can provide them value immediately. There are two places you can do that right from the beginning.
- The title of your email
- The first two sentences of your body copy in the email.
The title is the first thing the client will read when looking at your proposal. You’re competing with other developers for the job, so you have to stand out and show how you’re ready to work and solve their problem right in the title. Here’s one that’s worked wonders for me.
First two sentences
The reason the client posted a job on a freelance board in the first place is because they want a problem solved. When they open your email they’re asking themselves this: Can this person help me solve my problem?
The way you can help them answer YES to that question is by immediately acknowledging their problem and you’re the one that can solve it.
2) Provide all of your information up front
After the client has opened the email and read through the first few sentences they’re thinking questions like, Does this person have the experience? or how can I trust this person? This is an opportunity to present your portfolio in a way that your experience can help solve their problem.
Don’t just provide a link to your portfolio and hope they’ll go through your website. They won’t. They’re busy going through all of those emails from other developers. Select a few of your projects that are relevant to their project and describe how you can apply your experience to solve their problem.
Here’s an example of how I tend to write my portfolio copy in an email.
It all comes back to providing immediate value fast. The most important thing to remember is that the client doesn’t really care about your portfolio. They care about how your experience can help solve their problem. Most of the time, clients will really appreciate that you’re decreasing the workload for them and putting all relevant information in the email for them.
3) Ask actionable questions about their project at the end
Clients hate getting proposals that are obviously being sent to multiple people. They can tell when you’re spamming multiple people when they only get a portfolio link or a resume pdf.
In order to get around that you have to show real interest in their project and do some extra research. You’re not going to know everything about their project just by looking at the job post so asking one or two questions to further clarify things is very proactive.
This copy is very dependent on the project, but here’s one example:
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Conclusion: Tying everything together.
The biggest takeaway is to immediately show how you can provide value.
- Show how you can immediately bring value with an enticing title and the first couple of sentences in your body copy.
- Present your portfolio in a way that’s relevant to their work experience.
- Ask them one or two questions to clarify a few things and create more interest.
I’ve put a lot of these points together into an editable text-based template that you can use for yourself when reaching out to clients.