How to Make a Winning Bid on Upwork

How to Make a Winning Bid on Upwork
Anoosh Kotak30 May 2024

Freelancing can be thrilling, allowing you to be your own boss. However, landing that perfect gig and getting paid fairly, can often feel like navigating a maze.

Upwork is one such platform that offers freelancers a range of opportunities to work and earn.  Choose hourly contracts for a steady paycheck, fixed-price projects for total control, or bid per milestone. With Upwork’s bidding system, you place your bid and get started, similar to an auction where the highest bidder wins.

However, many freelancers continue to find this process confusing and challenging. So, let’s explore the ins and outs of Upwork bidding to improve your next bid. 

Things to consider before making a bid on Upwork

Upwork bidding is a step-by-step process that involves many things. Therefore, let’s start with the fundamentals.

Things to consider before making a bid on Upwork

Have a strong profile in place

Your profile is essentially your first impression. It’s like a digital storefront to showcase your skills, experience, and professionalism in one place. A robust profile attracts clients, increases your visibility in search results, and increases your likelihood of receiving job invitations. 

Here are 3 simple things you can do to make your profile stand out. 

1. Enhance Your Profile Headline and Overview

Instead of being generic in your profile heading, use keywords that are more specific and relevant to your skills (e.g., B2B SaaS Copywriting) and phrase them to address client needs directly.  

2. Display Your Portfolio and Expertise

Having a portfolio on Upwork can increase your chance of getting hired by 9 times. Make sure to attach relevant work samples and a detailed description of how you completed the work.

3. Establish Trust with Client Testimonials and Ratings

Client testimonials and ratings build trust and show dependability and proficiency. So make sure to add them to your profile to boost credibility.  

Find the right job and the client 

Finding the right client and job matching your expertise and requirements is the first and foremost step. But how to find the one? First off, research your potential client and their recent history. 

Look at factors such as their hire rate, number of jobs posted or in progress, completed jobs, and total spend, and then make a bid. Before starting the project, discuss the project scope, payment details, deadlines, and expectations with the client to ensure they align with your goals

Make sure you’ve got enough connections

Connects is a virtual currency on Upwork that freelancers use to submit proposals for jobs. You'll use Connects to show clients that you're interested in their project. Every job posting on Upwork costs around 4-8 Connects per project. As soon as you create your Upwork profile, you’ll receive a free batch of 50 initial Connects within 48 hours.

Having said that, when you’re invited to a job by a client, you don’t require any Connects at all. But, don’t stress over that. Upwork offers a freelancer basic plan where you can buy Connects in the multiple of 10 at $0.15.

How to place a bid on Upwork

Here’s a step-by-step process on how to bid on Upwork.

1. Click on “Apply now”

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Firstly, if you come across a job that catches your interest, simply click on the "Apply Now" button located on the right side. 

Right below it, you'll find the precise number of Connects required for the application and the number of Connects you currently have.

2. Select “By Project”

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Out of the two options, select by project to start placing bids.

3. Select project duration

Estimate and mention how long the project will take from the drop-down in case the client hasn’t mentioned that.


4. Write your cover letter

Craft a genuine cover letter tailored to the job requirements and mention why you’re a perfect fit for the job. Make sure to proofread it before submitting to avoid any grammatical errors or typos. 


5. Upload your portfolio

Now, upload your updated portfolio in the portfolio section. Include details about your previous jobs to add credibility.


6. Profile highlight

Highlight your profile for the project bid by adding a relevant portfolio or specific certificates that showcase your capabilities.


7. Submit your bid

Voila! You’re one step away from submitting your bid. Review everything one last time and hit the send button.

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