How to win bids – testimony from a successful PPH Provider

March 30, 2009

Every so often, a plaintive cry will be heard from a service Provider, wondering why their bids are not being accepted. The implicit  – and wrongful – assumption is often that competition from excessively low bids is making their services uncompetitive.

We dug in to find out the truth. Whilst low bids may be a frequent occurance, it seems that the quality  of the bid is in fact what determines a winner. And so that you don’t take our word for it we asked one of our most successful bidders Claire Shiels who’s won over 50% of the bids she’s placed on the site to become one of our highest earners to tell us how she does it:

“As a relative newcomer to, I have nevertheless managed to secure a number of clients.  Having a great deal of professional experience in a wide range of industries certainly helped to win my first project, but you can certainly improve your chances of success by following these tips:

1. Be realistic – many providers bid for inappropriate projects or create an extensive list of unrelated skills.  This gives the impression that they do not have any expertise in a certain area, so stick to one area of work you know you can do well.

2. Make the effort – in your bids, make sure you tell providers how your skills and experience match what they are looking for, what similar work you have done in the past and why you stand out from the crowd.  Make sure your punctuation, spelling and grammar are correct and check over your bid before you send it.  An extensive portfolio always adds excellent support to a bid.

3. Be sensible about price – the buyer who chooses someone offering a ridiculously low bid over someone more skilled and experienced is unlikely to send a stream of work your way.  Be careful or you could end up working flat out for little money.  Offering excessively low fees can devalue your reputation and turn many buyers off.

4. Create a full profile – a full, relevant profile is much more convincing to a buyer than simply saying “Choose me”.  Give a couple of paragraphs if you can.

5. Create a relationship – engage with the buyer from the beginning.  They will normally want to build up a good working relationship with someone who they can depend on for experienced, honest advice and can discuss ideas.  Research their firm if you can and explain not only how you can match their needs but also put your own ideas forward if appropriate.

6. Play by the rules – flouting the rules, perhaps by including contact details or encouraging buyers to contact you whilst bidding is still open will more than likely alienate you from other providers as well as buyers .  You also risk a ban from PPH.

If you are serious about sourcing work on, you have to approach the task as a job interview, each time you make a bid.  Project hunting takes time and effort, and a great deal of both needs to be invested by you to make a success of your freelancing career.

Since signing up with People Per Hour in December 2008, I have taken on fourteen clients in this way, many of whom now offer me repeat business on a regular basis.  My workload is now such that I have been able to successfully launch my consultancy, Claire Shiels Marketing, full-time – showing that with a mixture of professionalism and realism, PPH can indeed provide much more than mere pocket money.  It may well act as a springboard to a whole new career.”

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