1 - How does it all work on the platform?
In order to being able to apply to projects, you firstly need a UTR (i.e. Unique Taxpayer Reference) number. It will be written on the client invoice and it is thus important that it is free of errors. In order to get one, it is obligatory that you acquire the sole trader status in order to take on projects.
Is the project still available?
On the platform, the tab "Projects" (and then "Feed") contains all available projects. Every single project that is visible to you is still vacant. As soon as 5 freelancers contact the client though, the project will become unavailable and you won't be able to see it anymore.
In short, if you see a project which interests you, don't hesitate to apply ;-)
Where should you click in order to contact the client?
When clicking on a given project, a text box will appear under the project description. Simply type in your message and hit "send message".
2 - Contacting clients: what should I include when writing my first message?
First things first: never copy/paste a message. All your messages must be tailored to your client's needs. This shows that you're interested in the project, that you have thought it through and that you're not randomly applying to multiple ones. You need to show your client he's not wasting his time with you.
In addition, before sending your message, we advise you to write a draft.
The latter should contain multiple elements and answer the following points:
- Short presentation (name/last name/background)
- How does my (academic) background help me fill my client's needs?
- Do I possess examples of previous works that I can display to him?
- What relevant questions could I ask him/her in order to get a better grasp of his/her needs? (3 max)
- Don't forget to suggest scheduling a quick call in order to get a better understanding of the project
- Introduction to academic background
- Relate to major/specialisation
- Showcase skills and know-how through previous works
- Ask relevant questions regarding the project
Then, you can conclude by letting the client know that he may contact you by phone/email for additional information. Do not forget to mention your availabilities; will help both parties gain time when exchanging by mail. Lastly, a simple "have a good day", "best", "kind regards" etc is always nice.
3 - And then what?
Can I simultaneously send a quote?
NOPE ! Do not send a quote before having talked with a client. You first really need to know what his/her exact needs are !
The client is then directly contacted with a notification of you message.
When sending him a message, this is what he will see:
Once you've applied, the project will appear in the tab "my clients".
- Pending projects are those you're waiting to get an answer from a client
- If in progress, it means the client has accepted your quote. You can thus start working on the project.
- Archived projects are those projects a client has either cancelled or selected someone else.
Do not delete a project if in the tabs "pending" or "in progress". You can, however, delete projects under the tab "archived".