How-To: Make Your First Bid

Posted on - Last Modified on currently has over 13 million professionals. More often than not, tens of hundreds of freelancers find themselves competing for the same job for a number of reasons. How then can you, a beginner, stand out from the others? It would be easy if there was a magic spell that instantly gets you a project, but there is no such thing. However, there are things within your capabilities that you can do to help your bid stand out or increase your chances of winning a project.

The Project

Read the project description. More often than not, the employer will have information readily available on this page. It notes what is needed for the project, the timeframe, and other details. Some employers will even ask freelancers in this space to include in your bid how your skillset can and will help with the project.

Don’t be afraid to clarify things. Getting a project with details that are as vague as the plot of “Dude Where’s My Car” isn’t a good situation for you, the employer, nor the car. Never hesitate to find out exactly what the employer wants out of the project, the schedule for it, and the important facts you need to know. The employer will actually appreciate the fact that you took the time to make sure you are both on the same page.

The Bid

Get to the point. Keep in mind that, for a good project, the employer will have to sift through dozens or even hundreds of bids. Walls of texts will most likely be skipped, considering the amount of time anyone has for things that could have been said in a few words. Keeping your bid short and sharp will definitely catch the employer’s attention.

State your terms. Using the project description as your outline, be as concise and precise as possible in detailing the work and output you can provide, as well as how much it will cost, and the time it will take you to deliver the project.

Follow up. After placing your bid, the private message board makes a great avenue for those less important details you avoided earlier. In any case, if your bid got the attention of the employer in the first place, the smaller details will make the difference towards winning the project.

Your Profile

Update portfolio. It’s always a good idea to keep your profile page updated. Your profile page showcases what you can do and what you have done including a page for your portfolio as well as your resume. Here are our tips to get your profile page working for you.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to highlight the skills that are relevant to the project you are aiming for. Remember to keep details short and straight to the point.

Protect your work. When uploading samples of your previous work or links to an online portfolio, make sure to protect your work, unless you want to give it away. Samples you send out should have a watermark or other means of identification or, at the very least, samples should be accompanied by a statement of copyright and your name or all three if you want to be on the safe side.

Your Price

Competitive pricing. Being competitive does not equate to being the lowest bidder, so don’t sell yourself short. A worldwide marketplace means competition will be tough, but if your work reflects quality, employers may consider paying above average prices. On the other hand, if you’re relatively new in the industry, justify your rates based on your portfolio and past works (if any). If you’re really just starting out, you may need to establish your reputation first, but it doesn’t mean you should work for free. Here are some of our tips on negotiating your rate as a freelancer.

Don’t oversell. Self-confidence is a quality anyone can appreciate, but overconfidence as well as exaggerated claims will probably make employers look the other way. Simple, honest, and frank works best with employers and building relationships with both colleagues and clients.


It is always a good practice to proofread anything you send out first. Check to see if it is written clearly, and that anyone can and will be able to understand what you want to say. Google Word documents underline spelling mistakes in red and it’s all for free. No matter how great a project, contest, inquiry, or suggestion is, a poorly written proposal suggests lack of interest and poor work habits. Edit your document and put your best foot forward.
Lastly, after going through all these steps, you may want to check out our bid upgrades to make sure your bid doesn’t go unnoticed. Keep all these tips in mind while preparing your bids, and you’ll have better chances of getting the projects you want.

Posted 23 October, 2014

Drew Uy
Drew Uy Staff

Social Media & Communications Officer |

TW & IG: @Ginuhit

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