Upwork Proposals Samples- Hack to Earning Your First $1,000 [Free Templates Inside]

how to generate your first 1k USD on Upwork with free upwork proposal templates

In the rapidly evolving landscape of remote work, 

Upwork has emerged as a prominent platform for freelancers, especially Nigerian freelancers, as it allows you to connect with clients seeking diverse services. 

However, standing out in a sea of talented individuals and securing your first $1,000 can be a daunting task. 

Fear not! 

This article and guide will provide you with a step-by-step approach to crafting effective Upwork proposals that not only capture attention but also lead to your initial earnings milestone-as it has done for me. 

To facilitate your journey, I’ve included downloadable proposal templates tailored to various job categories. 

Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Understanding Upwork Interface and Proposal Dynamics

Picture Upwork as a dynamic meeting ground where clients and freelancers come together to make projects happen. 

Unlike Fiverr’s setup, where freelancers display their pre-packaged services for clients to choose from, Upwork flips the script. 

On Upwork, clients take the spotlight by laying out their project needs and ideas. 

This becomes the spark that ignites a bidding frenzy among skilled freelancers. 

They craft compelling proposals, essentially pitching their talents, to secure these projects and bring the clients’ visions to life. 

It’s a creative marketplace where projects are born from clients’ requests, and freelancers passionately compete to turn those ideas into reality.

Step 2: Laying the Groundwork for Your Success On Upwork

To lay the path to quick success on Upwork, it is advisable to find your own unique speciality 

and offer services that match your expert skills

I. Perfect Your Profile: 

The shortcut to creating a stand-out profile on Upwork is having a focused niche. 

You can peek at how other freelancers in your niche present themselves, set their rates, and then create irresistible offers that clients in that niche can’t resist. 

It’s like having a secret recipe for grabbing attention.

II. Creating an Unforgettable Portfolio: 

Think of building your portfolio as showcasing your superpowers. It’s easier to shine when you’re clear about what makes you extraordinary.

Imagine creating a portfolio for a web designer. 

Now imagine a portfolio for a no-code web designer,

More defined right?

Even more powerful, imagine creating a portfolio for a Bubble.io or WordPress (that’s a no-code tool) web developer. 

To champion it, imagine a profile created as a Bubble.io expert for eCommerce & SaaS apps. 

The narrower your focus, the more magnetizing your portfolio becomes. 

And guess what? This means you attract the exact clients you want, and you do it quicker. 

It’s not just skill you’re selling; it’s a proven track record backed up by real examples.

So, while choosing a niche might sound like picking a path, it’s actually choosing the fast lane. 

It’s relatively easier to build your portfolio, stand out, dazzle potential clients, and show that you’re not just another freelancer. 

You’re the one with the precision skills they’re hunting for.”

III. Does This Help You If You Have No Projects In Your Portfolio?


If what you’re using to find clients is a mock-up portfolio, which is essentially a portfolio showcasing mock jobs

Then it would be easier for you to build a portfolio for Bubble.io expert for eCommerce & SaaS apps than it would be for you to build a portfolio for a general web designer

It would take relatively longer for a freelancer with the latter profile to create projects that include on-Demand apps, Social Media apps, CRM and ERP apps etc 

whereas the former freelancer can simply have two eCommerce and two SaaS app template and that’s all they need to establish themselves as a pro

Remember, finding your niche isn’t about limiting yourself – it’s about setting yourself up for success in the most exciting way possible.

Step 3: Crafting Your Upwork Proposal: Vital Elements To Ensure Excellence

I. Lead With A Captivating Introduction:

To captivate clients with your Upwork proposal, you can start your proposal with a personalized greeting that addresses the client by name. 

Or share a brief and engaging opening that captures their attention, or

Start with a compliment or a genuine appreciation for their project. 

For instance, if the client is building an e-commerce platform, you might say, 

“Hello [Client’s Name], I’m truly excited about your vision to create an innovative e-commerce platform.”

II. Showcase Your Relevant Experience To The Client’s Project

Immediately establish your credibility by mentioning your relevant experience to the job post or listing

Highlight your projects, skills, or accomplishments that align with the client’s needs. 

If they’re looking for a mobile app developer, you could say, 

“With over 5 years of mobile app development experience, I’ve successfully delivered solutions for both iOS and Android platforms.”

III. Outline A Customized Approach To Solve Their Problem

In this step, you are to detail how you plan to approach the client’s project. 

Address the specific challenges the client’s project presents and explain your strategy for overcoming them. 

This shows that you’ve considered their needs and are prepared to provide tailored solutions. 

For instance, if the project involves redesigning a website, you might explain, 

“I’ll begin by conducting a thorough analysis of the current website’s user experience, identifying pain points and opportunities for improvement.”

IV. Highlight & Showcase Your Value Proposition:

Clearly communicate the value you bring to the project. 

What sets you apart from other freelancers? 

How will your expertise benefit the client’s goals? 

You may further win the clients heart by explaining the advantages of working with you. 

If you have a unique approach or a specific skill that’s relevant, emphasize it. 

For instance, “My deep understanding of user psychology ensures that every design decision I make enhances user engagement and conversion rates.”


V. Demonstrate Effective Communication:

Highlight your communication skills by providing a glimpse of how you’ll keep the client informed and involved throughout the project. 

Mention your availability for regular updates, calls, or meetings. 

This reassures the client that collaboration with you will be seamless. 

You might say, “I believe in transparent communication and will provide weekly progress reports, as well as be available for calls to discuss any concerns or ideas.”


Let’s Study Some Winning Upwork Proposal Templates: Case Studies and Analysis

I. Upwork Proposal For Freelancers- By Wise

Hi [Client name or company],

I’m Nalini and I’d like to help complete your project.

I understand how important timely deliverables and clear communication are to working together remotely. 

I have been a freelancer for 3 years now and have received strong feedback on the ability to deliver high-quality work by the deadline.

Here is a sample of my work:

[Insert link}

Additionally per your post, I understand the importance of the 3-day turnaround time and having the deliverables in the preferred format. 

I will definitely be able to meet your expectations for this particular project.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can provide more samples of my work.

Best regards,

Nalini Bhatia

Free Resource: Download 8 Proven Upwork Proposal Templates To Get Your First $1,000 on Upwork

Source: Upwork Proposal Samples By Wise.

What Was The Pattern and Strategy Used?

  1. Clear and captivating introduction
  2. Showcases understanding the client’s requirements, and proceeds to showcase skill level and experience
  3. Goes back to understanding the client’s requirement and offered a timely completion of the project.

II. Upwork Proposal 2 For Freelancers- By “High Paid Freelancer’s Academy”

Hi (client name), I am interested in your ___ job. 

As a ____  I’ve had the chance to work with clients/companies in the cash and food crops including ______ industry. 

I have done D2C copy , edited B2B copy which resulted in xyz results _____ for the company/client.

I have gone through your proposal and believe I have what it takes to complete your job perfectly. 

If you are looking to do XYZ then you need to do XYZ. 

I will start from scratch to finish to ensure that your project comes out top-notch. 

Below are a few more samples of work I’ve done for my previous client that yielded massive results for them. 

Sample 1 

Sample 2 

Sample 3 

I am willing to go above and beyond to ensure that this job turns out successful and earns that 5star review from you.

After working with me on this project you’ll always want to work with me on more projects as you also don’t have to pay me until the job is done and you are satisfied. 

If this sounds like something you want then let’s schedule an interview so we can discuss how best my skills will serve you. 

Talk soon 

Theo Cacao.

What Was The Pattern and Strategy Used?

  1. Clear and captivating introduction
  2. Establishes expertise and showcases knowledge of the project and what it takes and 
  3. Makes a promise and also gives an offer- indicating a willingness to do the job without pay if the client is unsatisfied.

III. Upwork Proposal 3 For Freelancers- By “Upwork Blog”

Hello Nicki,

I’m a detail-driven writer who turns ideas into valuable website content for clients just like you. 

I enjoy writing for various topics and niches (business, lifestyle, travel, personal blogs, etc.). 

You can find examples of my past writing work on my Upwork profile, plus (insert link here) and (insert link here).

My experience has given me a deep understanding of SEO writing and strong digital marketing strategies to help drive traffic to your site. 

I excel in writing all types of content such as blogs, press releases, product descriptions, and more.

My rate is $50 for projects like this one, and I can have a finished piece of writing delivered to you this week if you’re interested. 

Let’s talk!

– Anna G.

What Was The Pattern and Strategy Used?

  1. Clear and captivating introduction
  2. Establishes expertise and 
  3. Showcases knowledge of the project, what it takes, expected rate and project timeline in a professional yet friendly tone.

Source: Upwork Proposal Samples By Upwork.

Common Mistakes to Steer Clear of While Crafting Your Upwork Proposal

Crafting a compelling proposal that stands out is dependent on your grasp of the job’s requirements before you compose your proposal. 

Alongside this, there are several pitfalls to sidestep when it comes to submitting proposals for jobs on Upwork.

  1. Refrain from Copying and Pasting Proposal Templates

If your proposal lacks finesse, it’s unlikely to land you the job. 

In time-crunch situations, many Nigerian freelancers, especially newbies, resort to simply copy-and-paste proposal templates. 

Despite this saving you writing time, this approach might lead you to skim over the job description and apply mechanically. 

This practice isn’t advisable because each client and each job is distinct.

Pre-made proposals are often very obvious to clients as they fail to truly resonate with their specific requirements. 

Relying solely on templates can significantly diminish your odds of securing jobs, as they offer fewer personalized insights and recommendations. 

Moreover, template use might foster a habit of not fully comprehending the client’s needs and project scope.

  1. Strike a Balance: Client-Centric vs. Self-Centric

Another critical pitfall to avoid is focusing too heavily on yourself and not enough on the client or the project. 

Remember, clients on Upwork are seeking solutions for their challenges—that’s the reason behind posting projects on Upwork. 

Your proposal should revolve around your clients, their concerns, their job requirements and your potential to address these issues effectively.

When you focus on what they want, you’re more likely to strike the emotional chord that gets them to hire you to execute the project.

  1. Omit Unnecessary Fluff

Including irrelevant details that don’t contribute to the job at hand can risk your sounding unprofessional. 

Most clients lack time for extraneous content and are often overwhelmed with proposals from other freelancers, their day-to-day business operations and tasks at hand.

It is advisable to opt for personalized, succinct, and impactful proposals, reflecting your respect for their time.

  1. Find the Right Tone and Balance Between Professionalism and Approachability

Striking the right tone in your proposals is crucial for success. 

While professionalism leaves a positive initial impression on potential clients, avoid attempting humour or entertainment that might backfire. 

Such efforts can have unintended effects. 

Although online work communication has become less formal, maintaining an appropriate professional demeanour is vital.

Simultaneously, excessive formality can be detrimental. 

Some freelancers assume they must sound overly professional to convey competence. 

However, this might hinder their chances of securing an interview. 

Being excessively formal can convey stiffness and an inability to engage on a more personal and genuine level.

To steer clear of these extremes, aim for a balanced approach. 

Keep in mind that every written word leaves an impression, and your goal is to make it a favourable one.

Strategies To Help You Make Your First $1,000 On Upwork 

By integrating these three strategies I used into your Upwork approach, you can expedite your earnings and work towards achieving your goal of making $1000 quickly. 

  1. Bundle Services for Value Packages:

Craft enticing packages that combine related services to provide clients with a comprehensive solution at a competitive price. 

For instance, if you specialize in social media management, create bundles that encompass content creation, scheduling, engagement, and analytics. 

Offering these packages encourages clients to invest in a holistic solution, effectively boosting your income per project.

  1. Upsell Your Services for Added Value:

Capitalize on the trust you’ve established with clients and offer them complementary services that enhance their project’s impact. 

If you’ve just completed a website design, propose additional services such as SEO optimization, content creation, or ongoing site maintenance. 

Most freelancers make the mistake of simply seeking out new gigs once they finish with a client.

Upselling not only increases your earnings per project but also demonstrates your commitment to comprehensive solutions, making you a more attractive option for clients seeking a one-stop solution.

  1. Participate in Specialized Skill Tests:

Elevate your profile’s credibility by taking skill tests from Upwork or uploading certifications relevant to your niche. 

High test scores showcase your expertise and attract clients seeking specialized skills. 

These clients are often willing to pay higher rates for top-tier expertise, helping you reach your $1,000 goal more quickly. 

Demonstrating your skills through verified tests positions you as a reliable and capable freelancer.

Remember, consistently delivering quality work, maintaining clear communication, and building lasting client relationships are fundamental to your enduring success on the platform.


Free Resource

A. Download 8 Proven Upwork Proposal Templates To Get Your First $1,000 on Upwork

B. Pay $0 To Learn How To Become A High Paid Seller on Fiverr


Earning your first $1,000 on Upwork is an achievable goal with the right strategies in place. 

By understanding the platform, tailoring your proposals, and leveraging the included downloadable templates, you’re well-equipped to stand out and secure valuable projects. 

Remember, the journey doesn’t stop at your initial milestone; 

It’s a stepping stone towards building a successful freelancing career. 

So, download the templates, put these insights into action, and watch your Upwork journey unfold!

Happy freelancing!

Temitayo Michael

Clients and customers acquisition expert. Digital Marketing Freelancer and copywriter. Lover of Christ and a fan of Lhasa Apsos

You may also like...

Discover more from Temitayo Is Marketing.

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading