3 Proposal Examples From a Freelancer Who’s Made $500,000 on Upwork


  • Morgan Overholt is a freelance graphic designer and proprietor of Morgan Media LLC in Miami, FL.
  • Over the previous 4 years, she’s earned greater than $500,000 on Upwork with a 27% common rent charge.
  • Here are three job postings she utilized for and the proposals she used to win over the shoppers.
  • See extra tales on Insider’s enterprise web page.

When I first joined Upwork as a freelance graphic designer in 2017, I knew studying the best way to ship an efficient proposal to win well-paying jobs could be essential to my success on the platform.

Over the previous 4 years, I’ve earned greater than $500,000 on Upwork alone, utilized for 819 jobs, and received 223 with a 27% common rent charge. 

27% could seem low, however based on Upwork, I am within the high one percentile in comparison with my friends. 

And it is bettering on daily basis — my rent charge is 50% in 2021.

I’ve a couple phrases of recommendation:

It takes time to win high quality work on freelance marketplaces

It took me two weeks of persistence earlier than touchdown my first $10 contract in 2017. 

The popularity I’ve constructed on Upwork through the years permits me to earn the belief of potential shoppers. Persistence is essential.

I focus on long-term, ongoing contracts as usually as I can

This helps me scale back the variety of proposals I’ve to ship. I’ve earned greater than $147,000 on my largest long-term contract so far over the course of three years.

Creating a successful proposal template like mine was an iterative course of. I spent years attempting out totally different methods and tweaking the components till I got here up with one thing that labored.

Over time, I have been in a position to house in on the precise components that make my proposals so efficient. Those embody:

  1. The shopper’s title or a informal greeting
  2. A portrayal of confidence in my capacity to do the job
  3. Details about my stage of experience and expertise
  4. An indication that I learn the job description
  5. Multiple portfolio choices
  6. A little bit of humor (when relevant)
  7. A real praise (when relevant)
  8. A call-to-action

Here are three real-life examples of proposals which have landed me jobs: 

I made $6,900 from a cat-litter firm in search of a ‘Digital marketer with graphic design abilities’

screenshot of an Upwork job posting

The Upwork job posting.

Morgan Overholt


I deal with my proposal template like a sandwich — I hold the intro paragraph and call-to-action principally the identical each time however swap out the “meat” within the center.

While I usually wish to hold my core proposals transient (round 150 phrases), I do go into better element when a shopper opts so as to add one (or many) of Upwork’s prefab detailed inquiries to their job put up.

Also, I am by no means afraid to inject a little humor into my proposals when applicable. I might inform by the shopper’s offered packaging samples that they’d a nice humorousness — their model was intelligent and stuffed with puns. 

Finally, all the time embody a shopper’s title when potential. While it is not all the time straightforward to establish on Upwork, for those who do a little digging you may have the ability to discover it. The finest place to look is of their evaluations part situated below the job put up.

Here’s what I wrote to this firm:

Hi [client’s name],

As you could have already learn on my profile — I’m a graphic design guru with 15 years expertise. I work with nationally acknowledged clientele on a every day foundation, together with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), QuickBooks Intuit, and Kimberly-Clark (Kleenex). 

I’ve a hybrid background in graphic design and gross sales and am in a position to work with a number of mediums, together with digital and print – and naturally banner advertisements, electronic mail advertisements, and even packaging.

I really like your branding by the way in which! Very cute! The tagline made me smile. 

I’m additionally quick and pleasure myself on my capacity to supply fast turnarounds. I’ll connect a few design examples to this proposal. You can view further work samples on both my Upwork portfolio or on my web site: www.morganoverholt.com. 

Reach out to me right here on Upwork and we are able to speak particulars! I’m trying ahead to talking with you quickly!

I made $37,800 from this posting asking for ‘Graphic design for books (and extra?)’

screenshot of an Upwork job posting

The Upwork job posting.

Morgan Overholt


I’ve made a behavior of portraying confidence and writing in a matter-of-fact method when sending proposals. I shrink back from phrases equivalent to “I think” and “I feel” and go for phrases equivalent to “I am” and “I will” as an alternative.

While pre-contract, off-site communication was lately banned on the Upwork platform, hyperlinks to portfolio web sites could be shared privately. 

And if a shopper signifies a aspect of the job is vital to them, I take note of it. For occasion, I might see that this explicit shopper needed somebody quick and environment friendly. He requested for a designer that might full the primary task in below a week. 

I promised a one- to three-day turnaround in my proposal, and to make a nice first impression after successful the job, I accomplished the preliminary job in lower than 24 hours. Under-promising and over-delivering is all the time a extremely efficient technique.

Here’s what I wrote in my preliminary outreach:

Hi there! 

I’m a graphic design guru with 15 years expertise. I work with nationally acknowledged clientele on a every day foundation, together with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), QuickBooks Intuit, and Kimberly-Clark (Kleenex).

I’ve a hybrid background in graphic design and gross sales and am in a position to work with a number of mediums together with digital, print — and naturally print work and booklets!

I’m additionally quick and pleasure myself on my capacity to supply fast turnarounds — with most tasks being accomplished inside 1-3 enterprise days.

I’ll connect a few design examples to this proposal. You can view further work samples on both my Upwork portfolio or on my web site: www.morganoverholt.com. If you will have any questions in any respect — be at liberty to succeed in out! Looking ahead to listening to from you quickly!

I made $147,000 from this posting in search of a ‘Graphic designer wanted for long-term undertaking’

screenshot of an Upwork job posting

The Upwork job posting.

Morgan Overholt


While a transient job description may be a purple flag to some freelancers, I do not enable a lack of particulars to get in the way in which after I apply. I discover these jobs to be much less aggressive than others. 

It’s additionally proof that reusing and recycling a pre-packaged proposal template could be simply as efficient as writing one thing customized every time.

I knew this contract was a potential winner from the topic line. After finishing the primary task, the job grew to a multiyear contract.

Here’s what I despatched:

Hi [client name]!

I’m a graphic design guru with 15 years expertise. I work with nationally acknowledged clientele on a every day foundation, together with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), QuickBooks Intuit, and Kimberly-Clark (Kleenex).

I’ve a hybrid background in graphic design and gross sales and am in a position to work with a number of mediums together with digital, print — and naturally graphics, banners, and packaging.

I’m additionally quick and pleasure myself on my capacity to supply fast turnarounds.

I’ll connect a few design examples to this proposal. You can view further work samples on both my Upwork portfolio or on my web site: www.morganoverholt.com. If you will have any questions in any respect – be at liberty to succeed in out! Looking ahead to listening to from you quickly!



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