I bid on upwards of 100 jobs per week. You – the potential client – can make my end of the job so much easier by ensuring that your project proposal is as accurate as possible. Not only will it make my job easier, it will ensure that you won’t have to wade through hundreds of bids that don’t even come close to pertaining to your particular writing or editing job.
- What is the project? Use an appropriate title for your proposal. Telling the world the title of your work is not enough. Yelling HELP me finish my project is not enough. (You’d be surprised how often I see this!) Be specific in your title. “Edit 300 page fictional mss” works well. “Edit and layout of 200 page business manual” also tells me exactly what you are looking for.
- How much are you willing to pay? Tell me your budget. Putting a $500-$1000 budget on a job that in reality you are only willing to go as high as $250 is misleading and costs me ‘connects’ to bid on. (Connects are what I have to pay for on Elance and Guru. The higher your budget, the more connects – hence money – I have to put out to bid on the job.) If you are unsure of what to charge, click on “Unsure of budget”.
- Be succinct. While I do want to know what genre you are working with, I do not need to know specifics at this point (like who the characters are, plot line, etc.). The longer your proposal, the less likely I am to read it.
- Don’t be condescending. There really is no need to tell me that I am not allowed to plagiarize or that you will throw out my bid if I don’t do xyz. This tells me that you are unprofessional, and frankly, I have no more desire to work with an unprofessional client than you want to work with an unprofessional editor.
- Skip the form proposals. I run screaming from proposals that were obviously pulled from a form somewhere. 80% of the time, they don’t even have anything to do with the project. You will get bids, but it is unlikely you will get bids from professionals who know what they’re doing.
- Avoid the trite declarations. “This is an easy job for someone who knows what they are doing.” That is the worst one! There IS no ‘easy job’ in this business. Writing and editing is hard work, and you already know that or you wouldn’t be hunting for someone to do it for you!
- Be yourself. My best clients are the ones who let their personality show through their proposals. I am an easy going, hard working person. I tend to lean towards clients who ‘fit’ with me. Don’t be afraid to let your true self shine through. We want to be professionals, but we don’t have to be hard-nosed union bosses either. If you happen to be a hard-nosed union boss, then more power to you – just let potential editors see that in your proposal.