How to go from zero to hero in the Preferred Freelancer program

The best freelancers and recruiters share how you can make it big in the Preferred Freelancer program
Jan 8, 2020 • 4 minute read
Szymon Preferred F @SzymonPreferred
Technical Co-pilot
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Becoming a Preferred Freelancer is a big step, but how do you translate it into more work?

So you've finally made it into the Preferred Freelancer program and you're wondering, when are the giant paychecks going to start rolling in? I’ve got the best portfolio, I bid on every project, I message every Recruiter, and still nothing. What gives?!

Well, let me tell you, the top Preferred Freelancers have to work really hard to get a strong foundation, but once that foundation is built, the sky's the limit. 

So how do you lay down a strong foundation, and how do you break through the ceiling?

Here's some advice from me, some advice from our top freelancers and some advice some our Recruiter team.

My top piece of advice

Have a seriously 10/10 portfolio, and write real bids.

Yes, there are tons of bids that are not written by hand, but they're done by people who play an unfortunate numbers game. I know freelancers who win a project every 6 bids, and some that win a project every 60 bids. The top freelancers (based on earnings) bid on less than 100 projects a month. Sure, maybe they lose out on some, but overall they make a lot more than their high volume counterparts.

Tips for Preferred Freelancers, by some of the top Preferred Freelancers

Here are some tips from some of the actual most succesful freelancers in the program.

Zoran 

I’m CEO and founder of my company, and I’m the only person who communicates on Freelancer.com with the clients at all stages.

I believe this is the difference maker because:

  1. My communication is consistent. It’s difficult to have 3–5 people involved in the bidding and chatting and still retain the same communication style. If someone is reading from the script, it will become too obvious someone else is chatting.
  2. Clients feel super important. Having the owner of a company chat to the client directly helps the client feel extra special.
  3. Local slang depending on the client’s location. I lived in the US and worked at executive roles with Aussie and Kiwi companies, so I can easily adjust my written English to any of these countries, which makes clients feel safer. 

Mateo 

1. I've taken the membership so that I have enough bids.

2. I've used a lot of various copy and experimented to see what will get me traffic.

3. I've often used words like free or super cheap, combined with great quality, so that people would start speaking with me.

4. I've cared more about reviews (I still do! haha) than about my earnings, as I knew that eventually it has to end in both going up.

5. Sometimes you need to kiss a thousand frogs to find your prince. There will be numerous employers who are time wasters, but it's still very much worth it finding the one who isn't. Always be polite, but keep selling at every single opportunity.

6. I think that building relationships is a must. Show them your people face, ask them how they are and more about them, show genuine interest in what they do and tell them about yourself.

7. Always push 100% to deliver on your word. If you get a job developing an app and say you'll get it done for $1,000 USD, you need to do it for $1,000 USD.

8. Deliver the best product/service that you can and give each and every client 110% at the start, and 100% later on.

9. At the end of the process, always thank them, be polite and ask for a 5-star review with the explanation of what it means to you.

10. After some time has passed, try to upsell via the platform, as the reviews will go up.

11. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE: As soon as you meet the criteria, apply for the Preferred Freelancer program. I owe 98% of my success to this, without exaggeration. 

What do Recruiters look for when they have to recommend a freelancer? 

Tips from some of the top Recruiters:

Barbara

1. Relevant comments about the specific project they are bidding on: comments about their experience with the technology or language mentioned on the brief, similar apps they have worked on or questions to clarify the full scope of work.

2. Good use of English if the employer has mentioned that a good level of English is important to them. 

3. Links to samples of relevant work

4. Anything that the employer requested to be included and that I have added to the invite. 

Bettina

1. A good quality profile pic. This will probably be the first thing an employer looks at when they visit your profile! It should be professional and look real.

2. Honest reviews are key, even more key than stats! Let the employers be sincere about their experience working with you. Do not put pressure on them to provide a 5-star feedback. If a review is not genuine it will show.

3.  Some employers require native speakers, or an advanced level of English. Make sure you show all your potential when you communicate with them!

4. Your proposal should show you have read the project description. Make it clear and related to the requirements. Ask questions and explain how you would carry out their project in particular

So, you can see there are some common threads from both the top freelancers and some of the top Recruiters. By taking some of this advice and applying it to your methodologies, you can be sure to grow your earnings in the Preferred Freelancer program.

Cheers! 

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