This is the question, I heard from almost all new freelancer starters.

On sites lik rentacoder.com freelancer.com oDesk.com and others you will find too many registered coders and freelancers that have not won any single project, despite  that they are bidding on too many. Most of these don’t have low skills or low passion or low luck. Basically they all lack in understanding how to make a bid that can effect buyer decision.

When I started, I also face difficulty in winning my first project, off course you can’t beat experience and too many bidders with good ratings, but this is not the case all the time. With too many projects online high rated bidders not always bid on all projects, but on selected ones and when they have time.

I know this as I am among top rankers, but I made my way to this, its very easy to win a bid now but it was not always. And nowadays I am not a big competition for others as now I rarely got chance to bid on any freelance project, because I have built too many good relationships over the years that I don’t have to bid for work anymore.

freelancer starterLet me share some key points with you on how to win your first bid.

  • Select bid wisely: Do not try to go for the big shot first time. Remembe the people who is going to pay more like to have more guarantees from coders, including a past track record. So do not waste your time in start on  big projects, you will have your time to go for those too in future.
  • A bid with low cost does not always mean you have to do less work, normally low bids are those that have lower budgets from client and many times I see a low bid project later on turn into a big budget project in later phases or when buyer realize the efforst I am putting into it.
  • Do every bid with full heart, even if its paying you very low. My first bid that I won was of $5, but this is where it all started and later I won bids in multiple thousands too.
  • Be polite and natural in your bid message. No buyer like an automated style bid message. Then make them feel less important. As a personal and natural message looks more like it is written only for them.
  • Do not write lengthy paragraph, its hard to read. Break your bid message in multiple short line messages or better if in points wise fashion, as that is easy to read for most buyers.read carefully
  • Read the bid requirements and any attachment carefully. When you read it carefully it will give its results in your bid message without any effort.
  • Ask sensible questions about project in your bid message. Do not ask too many general questions, but more questions related to the requirements, this the best way to make buyer realize that you read his requirements carefully and serious about doing the project. Also proves your knowledge on the domain, so make sure to ask sensible questions.
  • In small budgeted projects, its recommended to place the bid amount with your bid message. [Not always true for big projects, but applicable for your first low budget project]
  • Know when NOT to bid, avoid reading all the project requirements, save your time and focus only on the projects relevant to you and low budgeted so that you have less competition there.
  • Learn from your failures: [This is my Key] When ever you lose a bid do not loose the lesson on why you lose it. Read the message of the winning bidder (some site hide this) also review the profile of the winning bidder and compare with yours. Adopt any style you like [but no fake or copy paste, be original].
  • Keep revising and updating your profile from time to time. I use to review it daily till I won my first bid.
  • If you are not winning any bid for long time, then revise your bid message style. Try some new words that you see in most winning bids. Learn your way up.
  • Do not ask any sympathy from client, I see this many times that new bidders post a message telling buyer how needy they are. Remember buyers are there to get there work done. So show them professionalism.
  • Also never get irritated with any message from buyer, be polite and sensible in your replies, if you don’t like a message from buyer then do not reply to him at once, take your time and give him a well thought reply in professional manner. With patience I have turn many angry clients to my regular happy buyers.
  • Do not lose heart, keep on trying and remember “slow but steady still wins the race”.

I believe this helps you improving more on your freelancer track. You are welcome to ask more freelancer questions here

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