Elance Blog

Win More Jobs On Elance With These 7 Tips

Now that you’ve learned the ropes around the Elance Work System, it’s time for you to push the pedal to the metal, crank up the volume, and get awarded more jobs than ever before.

After personally spending quite a bit of time studying the Elance universe, I’ve learned that there are a few ways that you, as a provider, can stand out and shine from the rest. So before you jump the gun and send off your next proposal, familiarize yourself with the following tips.

1. Keep Your Profile Up To Date: Your Profile page is one of the most important assets for any provider on Elance to maintain. Having a well-written, fully-completed, typo-free page shows your potential client that you will take meticulous care of their work, similar to your profile page. Additionally, take the time to fill out the Summary and Keywords sections in detail as these are two key areas that attract the eyes of many employers. DongoDevTeam and Yourtravelgirl are examples of great profiles.

2. Write Awesome Proposals: Making a great first impression is key. Proposals are a lot of times the very first communication your potential client will see from you, so be sure to spend some time preparing your proposal. Aside from replying with just, “I can do this in one week,” ask thoughtful, poignant, and relevant questions, prepare a detailed timeline, establish a standard communication channel and frequency, and spec out your milestones. This will clearly state to your potential client that you mean business. You’ll show that you have put serious consideration and thought into the job as well as understand the requirements and have foresight into the project. For more on proposals, check out our this blog post: Make Every Proposal Count.

3. Take Skill Tests: If you’re debating on investing the time in Skill Tests, consider this: A recent Elance survey identifies that 77 percent of prospective clients found that Skill Tests and Verified Credentials to be important factors when making the hiring decisions on Elance. That’s nearly four out of every five employers on Elance! If you’re still debating on taking Skill Tests, remember, you aren’t playing the odds, my friend.

4. Join Groups:
By joining an Elance Group, you are showcasing your talent and professional skill that is officially recognized by a sponsoring company – for example, Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Excel. Talk about real street cred. Your Group affiliation is prominently displayed on your profile page as well, which helps employers quickly identify the cream of the crop of a specific skill and expertise in no time.

5. Act Fast: Once you see a job that fits your skills perfectly, be sure to prepare your proposal as quickly as possible without contradicting point 2. By responding quickly to a job posting, your proposal will be closer to the top of the list, thus being one of the first proposals that the client sees. Of course, you also have the option of submitting a “sponsored” proposal to ensure the top spot if you wish. Are you on Twitter? Follow our jobs feeds, located at @elance_jobs, @elance_web, @elance_design, and @elance_writing, and you’ll be notified via Twitter of the latest job postings in your discipline.

6. Take Care Of Your Rep:
Feedback is one of the most important elements when a client is perusing through a provider’s profile, according to our last survey. How can you build a shining reputation? First, obviously, by completing your jobs on time, treating your client respectfully, and by having stellar communication. Secondly, you can consider bringing your existing clients on to the Elance Work System to instantly build up your feedback while taking advantage of Elance features like Escrow and the Workroom.

7. Be Connected: One thing that all clients can appreciate is fast turnaround with everything, especially with any lingering questions, so staying connected as much as possible is critical to keeping your employer feeling good. Here’s a tip: If you have a mobile device with email capabilities, be sure to have it sync up with your email account associated with Elance. We’ve just recently added BlackBerry support, so answering questions directly into the Workroom or other areas in Elance is a cinch.

So, now, I must ask you, the real Elance experts: What strategies or tips do you have when winning jobs on Elance? Fill us in and leave us a note in the comments below.

Elance Blog - How To Review A Provider Profile
Elance Blog - How To Screen And Interview Providers
Elance Blog - Make Every Proposal Count


Actually I've found that tip #2 is a huge waste of time. I've bid on several projects and spent countless hours writing great proposals, and even writing prototypes to prove that I can do the work. I have bid on several open-bid projects, and on those projects I can see the competing proposals. To my surprise, the ones selected are always the ones that send canned proposals like "Dear sir/madam, we need more time to evaluate your project".... What is up with that???

I think it is really frustrating and hard to find companies that will hire at wages even at minimum wage level for Americans. $1 for 500 words? I am trying hard to give Elance a chance but it may want to be called Outsourcing instead .....it is a great gig for other countries. Elance it would be wonderful if you can help with this situation.....what one country can live on for $5 takes us in the United States $75. As this form of work grows ....maybe there can be a section just for contractors who want to bid in US wages.

Thought not in the US myself, I thought of this point as well. To me, your point is very understandable and agreeable.
I noticed some clients putting indications such as "US contractors only/preferred", which seems a solution as well to your stated problem.
Elance should consider probably Elance-US as several clients require quality standards and understanding of US design trends etc. and not low costs.

I wonder why do you think that non-USA citizens do not meet quality standards? Do you think that only USA experts are experts? Really...!?

thank you!!! I completely agree! Clients need to remember that freelancers need to feel just as important and taken care of as the client wants to feel. I've had a few frusterating encounters with clients who expected me to work way below minimum wage, and who would spend countless hours typing messages back and forth to me using skype but would refuse to speak with me through the video option. I would ask a question and 5-10 minutes later she would respond. We went back and forth like that for 2.5 hours!

I joined Elance several years ago, but never found any work because of that reason. I came here again this week, hoping the situation might be different, but I'm disappointed once again. It seems that even those posting jobs have been trained to offer a very low fixed price or hourly wage. Elance just isn't a good option for most US-based workers.

We're a US-based web design firm and have found similar experiences as yourself. It is nearly impossible to compete with international firms with hourly wages; however, we have found success in showing the quality that the clients are going to receive with those international companies compared to ours - it just does not match up. Additionally, you have got to target the right proposals - look at what the person is purchasing. Do not waste your time writing a proposal for a client who has made little to no purchases or definitely out for the lowest bidder - they will get what they pay for and there is nothing you can do about it.

Work quality has NOTHING to do with location. I have worked for US based companies, who'd serve the same crap with the 'international workers provide crap jobs, this is why you pay us 10 times more', while having no problem with using me for 100% of the job. The client was happy he had an American company do the job (since you claim we do crap jobs just because we're not asking for huge fees), while the job was actually done ENTIRELY by me (in Eastern Europe).

So please, don't say my work doesn't match up to an US based freelancer's work, because that's not true. I have seen bad jobs done by Indians, Russians, Germans or Americans alike. We're talking prices here and the fact living here is actually less expensive than in the US. This is why my fees are smaller. Not because I'm doing a crap job

And, if you took time to read some of my reviews (mostly 5 star reviews) you'd notice the clients were actually pretty happy :D

exactly my sentiments as well.

I am also a freelancer at odesk and some of my clients there thought I AM DOING A BETTER JOB than the tried and tested pro guys from the US even though my rate is only 15% of theirs and I'm also comparatively just a neophyte.

hey ann

excellent point; i thought it was just me who noticed that. i will not bid for a gig that pays $1 for 500 words, it's a waste of my time and talent.

can u tell me what are important things that i write in proposal and how i start my proposal.....i would be very thankfull to you....my email aamir8803@gmail.com

When I'm asked to improve on website content, I often find that the job entails more than rewriting content. Sometimes navigation is so disorganized that any visitor would lose patience before getting to the answers they need. When I see that, I make reorganization of the site part of my proposal.

That is a helpful comment. I'll look out for that if I bid on a "website copy" project in the future. It's often the case that a project is more involved than the client lets on at first. I don't think they intend to leave us in the dark...They just don't think of all the pertinent info or don't realize some of the problems. That's why we have to ask good questions, pay attention and communicate honestly with them.

I have not been able to get a single work from Elance in last six months...
Let me see how much it can be of y help...
I have lost my patience, even though I have taken at most care on the above mentioned points but still I am waiting for my 1st Job...

Why haven't you done any testing? That will help a lot. Plus I guess you are not American because your comment has many errors, like you don't speak English very well. If so you might want to improve that skill.

Hi Beth,
I understand that testing the skills is important, although I have seen that many contractors have got a lot of jobs without going through your tests. But your comment about being American is a bit upset. I'm not American, and many English native speakers might not be American as well. Many customers that post a job here are not Americans and they have a terrible English. I hope you don't suggest them to improve their English as you do with the contractors! (LOL). I honestly don't see that having a perfect English is a key for succeeding in this platform. It is definitely important, though. My personal opinion is that MONEY is the key. I mean, if you can bid the highest quality at the cheapest price and have the qualifications required by the client, there should be no problem. By the way, I haven't got my first job here yet....
Have a great day.

Hi Carla,
I agree with your comments. Anyway, I'm just a new applicant here on Elance and finished filled up my resume. I have a regular job in my place but need
to earn more Money, you're right here to use for good and share my design experience though out other places. My design creativity princinple is,
is to "Design according to a right price". and this is my line as a product designer.
Have a new great starting days for 2013 .

Hi all,

I actually sucessfully got a message from the client that i bid for the job and asking that can i start immediately. If i could start immediately then he will offer me the job.
Well i was off the line and it was 1hour later when i read his message but the job is already awarded to someone else. Sad!
Just to let you know, i did not spend much time in writing a very details and good proposal. What i wrote in the proposal is: 'This is a simple and easy job so let me help you to do it.' and the client replied me in his first message: 'Happy for you to do it Kevin."
So probably you need some luck I guess...

Hi, Carla--

I know, I know, this is an old posting, but I feel compelled to reply. I think that Beth has a point. Regardless of the type of job, first impressions are incredibly important. A certain amount of incompetence is inadvertently implied through poorly written proposals with broken grammar. Since a job description is in English, stands to reason that first impression should be made in English, and so the mechanics of the language are important, too, in the winning of jobs.

Fair? No. Fact of life? I think so.


thank you for saying this, I just cannot understand people who thinks AMERICAN and US is synonymous with QUALITY.

With due respect surprised to see such a comment where American english is one of the most disorganized way of speaking english - Wake up LOL - where does english speaking come into the picture.= - It is the skills that are required on this platform or are we here to see who has the best spoken and written english.

Last but not the least being an American doesn't give you an edge on ELANCE as here we mean business and not being American....

I can count 20 countries that speak and write better English - GOOGLE IT for a little wake up call

Comments like these should be posted at all

What Beth said^^
I mean,I'm not native or anything.
I never been in the UNITED STATES EVER.
But Elance just have to indicate my COUNTRY o.o which I really hate.
I mean clients don't even read my application because of that COUNTRY ICON.
This is not fair,most clients judge by country.. not by skills.
They should at-least read the application... :(

Hopefully I got pretty far with my ODESK Career.
And now it's time I hit ELACE :D
Wish me luck everyone.

Obviously an older post but I am compelled to reply nonetheless...
They say the customer doesn't look at the flag... most important is your portfolio/profile/bid response/ratings/etc. BUT I AM American and YES award percentage has dramatically decreased after I left US and came to Pakistan (temporarily) THE FLAG CAN AND DOES AFFECT YOUR AWARD CHANCES! Buyers need to focus on skills and not on location! I do not stand a chance on projects for "US contractors only" anymore- yet, being American I am treated as if I am a 3rd world, non-native,illiterate provider...Only good thing is that my current location is much lower cost of living than the West, so I CAN "survive" on lower rates of pay- not comfortably, of course lol Makes me feel sad for those here who genuinely can not afford a more formal education or who can not possibly work in freelance and earn even $100 monthly! :-( it's a sad sad world we live in!
Having given my two cents... Best of Luck to you Ray! :-)

I understand your frustration. My initial attempts have failed. I quit Elance for awhile. Recently, I spent a little more time in Elance University, and I noticed the trends section. All this time, my rate has been too high. I have verified a credential, taken tests, lowered my rate, built my portfolio, and written great proposals. I've attached samples to my proposals. We'll see. If this "big push" doesn't work, I will conclude I cannot compete against international prices. As an American, I have a higher cost of living than most.

i totally agree I've been trying to gain work from here, and have bid on several with excellent proposals and still seem to get no response.

Can you briefly explain the day-to-day work....how many hours we need to spend for daily..

Can you briefly explain the day-to-day work....how many hours we need to spend for daily..

On my freelancing career, it has been never difficult for me to get my first job. For me, all relies on "writing awesome proposals".

Understanding requirement, refine, confirm it with client and asking meaningful questions (that are really needed to get the thing done) is the key.


These tips are good and very important. I have noticed another important factor and that is making the client feel like you value the posting and the job. Some have gone to the extend of putting keywords into the posting for you to include in your bid, to make sure you have read the entire thing. They are dishing out the money and they want to make sure you value the work they are giving. Some can't even afford to hire you, but they are taking the chance in hopes of furthering their career. If you do a good job and help make money for your client, you will find a loyal client that comes back to you over and over! And to me, a loyal client is worth more a million one-timers!

I couldn't agree more, geena04. First and foremost in any business is making the client know you value them and respect their project. I usually read the post and my proposal several times back and forth to be sure I've understood and covered all their needs. It's important to be very clear regarding what your bid covers. I've found that most jobs require a bit more work than anticipated and have realized that the posters are hiring me because they can't do it and I can. So I always expect to do a bit more work. Appreciating your customer is something that comes from the heart not the intellect and I think clients sense this in the wording of the proposal. Whether I get the job or not, I make sure to let the client know I'm here to answer any questions they may have in the future.

I really appreciate your valuable opinion. I'm non-native English speakers and I'm looking for writing and translating jobs in Elance and your ideas are really helpful.
However, if I'm a newcommer in Elance, how to make my porfolio shining? Or can you see the Test in Elance is helpful?

From the very first month on elance, I didn't win any project until early next month when I got my very first photoshop project elance. After that I have been geting more projects from different clients.


I am a new contractor. I just want to say thank you for your comments. It is very encouraging. Every new person will eventually land their first job. It takes time and patience.

First of all i say thanks fro this nice article, after that i feel that on ELance the work is very much different as we do in our organisations. Actually on Elance peoples needs to complete work both on quality as well as fast speed.

So above factor are very impotent for success on Elance.

Thanks again.

Let me first appreciate the high value content this post has from the service provider's viewpoint and most importantly the helping motive and attitude of the writer. I have been providing services since last 8 years at Elance and have realized that each word and sentence of the post is very genuine and filled with truth. I would like to add one more point which I personally use while writing the proposals. The point is that if the buyer will make money or derive true benefit from whatever support you offer, you too will make money. I put myself into the buyer's shoes and decide how much I will pay for the project. This gives me guideline and improves my project award vs bid ratio. I have noticed that if I place 5 bids, I will win all the 5 bids. Cheers.....:-)

I really love the tips which you have provided. For past 2 months I have been bidding on project but only few have come back. But again they have not awarded the project. So am going to follow these tips listed and see. Thanks again for posting these tips to us.

A tip for non-native English writers: If you are required to write the piece in English, it's a good idea to write your proposal in a word document first so you can check it for grammar. Then copy it to the bid box.

As in ampletouch's case, he left out the determiner word 'the' which is an article that precedes nouns. "For 'the' past 2 months"; and the determiner 'a' - "only 'a' few have come back". Also, the word 'project' should be plural 'projects' and the sentence beginning with 'But' is grammatically incorrect.

Much love to ampletouch.

A tip for non-native English writers: If you are required to write the piece in English, it's a good idea to write your proposal in a word document first so you can check it for grammar. Then copy it to the bid box.

As in ampletouch's case, he left out the determiner word 'the' which is an article that precedes nouns. "For 'the' past 2 months"; and the determiner 'a' - "only 'a' few have come back". Also, the word 'project' should be plural 'projects' and the sentence beginning with 'But' is grammatically incorrect.

Much love to ampletouch.

Greetings eLance Community,

Since signing up a few days ago, I've received 6-invites and growing proposals featuring my complete team WordPress web design services available in ANY web application known on the planet.

I aim to focus on each individual need described in the job description and fulfill it to the high standards and stand "head-above-shoulders" in the eLance community of contractors.

There is only one other eLance contractor that is on an even playing field with me. My eLance profile is as comprehensive as it gets with a small sample of my team portfolio of stunning websites with links to site owners website and a list of web design and web development applications that will blow-your-mind!

Since I've just started... watch my stats rev-up as I receive jobs that are awarded to me and completed to the highest standard one could ever expect, or ask for.

Now for the final pitch... batter-up... bases-loaded...

Thank you eLance for a fine platform dedicated to "Freelancers" - worldwide. You've made success possible for many highly competitive niche Freelancers to get that visibility that would otherwise be hidden away deep in the the search engines database.

However, high-profile Freelancers readily found on page one of Google include featuring their presence on eLance to spread the net wider all while helping people receive the much needed top-level support and services found here on eLance among a myriad of Contractors.

Fact is, eLance has offered everything we need to perform as professionals and optimize our experience as well as optimize the experience of the entire community that is thriving in a global economic head-spin - a dog chasing its tail... rough-ruff-around.. not so here my friends.

eLance is here to stay and impact the lives of scores of shrewd and smart consumers/contractors in the worldwide web-sandbox... "play hard - live well!"

I'll see you all on the other side of planet - eLance....


Mark Smith/eLance user - WordPressWebDesign

Firstly Thank You very much for this valuable tips after a lot of searching i got this tips. I book marked it in my browser. I am newbie for elance, but i am working with leval 10 contractor from last 7year in this industry. I just want to start my own. please help me if you have any idea about bid proposal letter. I am just little bit confusion about following points.
1) How to start bid letter?
2) What Points include in bid letter
3) How to conveyance the client i a have experience and i can complete the project ?
4) Is it ok that i write my email & web address, phone no, on bid letter for communication.
5) How much long the bid letter and How to end up letter?
on elance my profile is http://webngraphics.elance.com
please please .... suggest me i will be very grateful to this help.

Yours Faithully

how will i start writing.... I badly need your help guys....

I havn't won a single job on elance the entire time I've been part of this website. Honestly I don't know what the problem is. Not to toot my own horn but when I look at my competition I find that I draw circles around most of them. Yet even if that's the case I still don't win any bids. I even started writing out well craft proposals using the tips that alot of the areas of this website suggest. I'm beginning to think that the primary concern for clients that go to elance is the price tag only and not really the quality of what there getting.

I have been awarded projects wherein my bid rate was leaning towards the high end of the bid range. I usually tell the client that the quality of my work will far outweigh the difference between my bid amount and the lower bids. Clients also know that cheap will not always assure them of great quality. Don't give up. The successful elancer is the one who is consistent and persistent. Your efforts will pay off eventually. When you land your first project, walk the talk and deliver what you promised. A good review from a client will certainly increase your market value.

Thanks for the advice Elance team!

I've 20 years of Designing Experience, got just 1 project with the cost i can't mentioned here. That was the minimum charges I asked some one in my life. There are just 5% chance for new and 95% chances for old providers which taking LION's Share in most of the projects. In my experience the most important is the AMOUNT of the proposal no matter how the provider got 100's of job on bidding 30-40$ for brochure to gain more number of jobs on Elance. I am waiting and waiting with the hope to be count on 95% soon. It is my dream and makes me steady to win the race. The above article is good but just 1 word is important and that is LUCK.

Yes You are quite right, but i can give you few tips on how to win elance projects if you are interested, i have tried and tested all those things and i can safely say those are successful.

I would appreciate any tip which concern the matter of winning the elance projects. Can you guide me through?

Great points..I will say I have been earning a living ( not a great one yet, but it will get there) on ELance for a while now..I was on Odesk, but I find the jobs there are too low paying and it takes forever to get your money. I love the escrow system, Thank You. Just a great site, overall!

Now I will say its not so much luck as perseverance. In the beginning, I sat here and clicked refresh and bid on each and every single job I could, bought more connects and kept bidding. I bid lower than I wanted to, I wanted to ensure a job then great feedback, its like a big ole snowball.
I dont underbid anymore, but I treat each client as if they are the most important thing I have to do, I communicate quickly and clearly, and I offer very fast turn around. Those are the things I think will keep you winning jobs. I have written awesome proposals and vague ones, both seem to get work, but its the follow through that gets you repeat business


I think it's interesting that both vague proposals and awesome ones work! Good advice, always nice to hear someone making it.