Hi again, I am Matt, the freelance WordPress developer who aspired to build my own agency. In the last installment, I described my ideas for an action plan for starting a freelance WordPress career. I strongly recommend that you start from there so that you could have a better idea of what I will discuss in this part.
Here is a brief overview of my journey so far:
- Experienced Developer’s Tips On Finding The Best Freelance WordPress Jobs
- WordPress Project Management And Agile Methodology For Freelance Developers
- Best WordPress Workflow Management Tools For Freelance Developers
- How To Hire WordPress Developers For Your Agency
- This Is How I Transformed My Freelance Career Into A WordPress Agency
As a WordPress freelancer, now that I knew where to find freelance WordPress projects, the step was to actually win some. This proved to be another major challenge for me because of the way freelance job websites operate. Let me explain:
At any freelancing job portal, there are a number of developers vying for jobs. Thus, there is a system of bidding where all interested developers offer their “bid” for a project. The client weights all the bids and then award the project to the developer they think offers the most value for their money.
As you could imagine, my prospects of winning the freelance WordPress jobs depended entirely upon creating the perfect bid for freelance WordPress projects.
However, before diving into the deep end, I set a personal standard that I will start with no more than two jobs a month. This way I could ease into the freelancing lifestyle and maintain a high standard of quality that would benefit me in the longer run.
Now let me give you my most secret tip for bidding on the freelance WordPress jobs.
There is no one-size-fits-all bid. A customized bid stands a better chance of winning a job.
Like many freelancers who start their careers with great enthusiasm, I started bidding for all WordPress jobs I would come across. To save time, I created a template wherein I would plug the job specific information and then paste the whole thing in my bid.
The results of this activity were not encouraging. Almost all clients rejected my bids and I was very depressed!
However, instead of losing heart, I decided to do some research on the process of creating the perfect bid. I soon discovered my number one mistake: template based bids that put off clients immediately. The important thing is to build the trust factor. This only happens when my bid shows that I have taken time and effort to understand the problem and could offer a cost effective solution well within the allocated budget.
Anatomy of a Successful WordPress Project Bid
I will not describe the process of creating and posting bids because it varies from platform to platform. Instead, I will describe the essential elements that combine together to form the perfect bid.
First, read the description of the job carefully. Clients often post a very detailed description of what they want and the problem they wish to be resolved. This way you could understand the scope of the problem and come up with a solution. Some clients often include a “trip” word or phrase at the end of the description. Any bids that do not begin or contain the trip word or phrase is automatically rejected. This way clients could be sure that the bidder has read the job description properly.
Next, understand the scope of the job. Not many clients are technically proficient and unsure of what they want. In worst cases, the client posts a very vague description and expect developers to understand the requirements. This means that you have to go through the description and create a job requirements list. This list will form the working document that would influence and determine the solution that you would develop.
When it comes to the time of the projects, the clients are often unsure. However, they want the job to be over in the minimum time frame. However, you as the developer who would have to create the solution should have a more realistic idea of the time required to complete the job. Make sure that you have valid arguments that support your proposed time frame.
Finally, comes the most important part, the remuneration for the job. This is often the area of discord between the client and the developer. I have discovered that when it comes to money matters, clients are very unpredictable. They could be very generous or stingy with the payment. Since I had already worked in the industry, I had a very good idea of the fair payment for WordPress-related tasks.
So the perfect bid comprises of:
- Your understanding of the problem/project scope
- A short description of proposed solution that impresses the client without giving away the essential elements
- Your estimation of time and money required to complete the job.
Remember that the client retains the right to accept or reject a bid. In several cases, you will find that your perfectly good bid is not accepted. Initially, I felt bad about it but soon I realize that I couldn’t win them all.
As my freelance career grew, I realized that even when my bids are rejected, the clients remember that I had taken efforts to create a customized bid that reflected my understanding of the issue and that I had a plan to solve the problem. This meant that my subsequent bids had more chances of success.
By using the above-mentioned bid-writing strategy, I gradually built my reputation on the freelancing platforms. Soon I had too many jobs on my hand. This lead to another challenge in my freelance WordPress careers. I had to decide which jobs to accept when to say “NO!”
Stay tuned for the next installment of this exciting story.
If you need further help in writing the perfect bid or know a great resource to help fellow freelancers, do leave a comment below.
The next part of this Freelance Developer to Agency series is Why Successful WordPress Freelancers Don’t Say YES To Every Project.
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