When I started as a full-time freelancer, I signed up on three of the biggest platforms: Upwork, Freelancer.com, and Fiverr. I created profiles, looked at the competitors, got used to the interface, and tried to get as much work as possible. Upwork is almost the only platform I use because I am persuaded that the best and most reliable output of customers and projects is on this platform. If I could, there are some things I’d change, but nothing is flawless.
More individuals work as freelancers these days than ever before, and several different websites can help people communicate with customers and find vacancies. However, which freelance website is right for you? It may depend on what type of industry you belong to, the length of the assignment you are looking for, the experience you have, etc. Upwork is a popular choice with many freelancers across a wide range of industries.
Get started on Upwork
Signing up is easy. It certainly takes time and energy to complete your profile, but it is worth it.
You will need to do the following:
Write a quality profile and CV:
Your biography allows you to introduce yourself in a few words and say what sets you apart from your competitors. To communicate your personality or your expertise, you can post a short video.
Add examples to your portfolio:
When you start, you don’t have client reviews or recommendations that attest to your experience. You should show off your style and skills to your clients by posting a few short, eye-catching samples or mentioning all of your relevant certifications (to be selected from a list compiled by Upwork).
Define your rates and your availability:
many assignments occur with a fixed “project amount” that you can agree on with the client. See what other freelancers with similar backgrounds charge. You can let customers know what kind of engagement you are looking for by setting your availability (as a choice, you have more or less than 30 hours per week or “open for offers”).
Take Tests to Demonstrate Your Skills:
Currently, there are over three hundred “skill tests” on Upwork. You can skip them and display the results on your profile (don’t worry, you can always “hide” results you don’t want to show). The tests are divided into a few dozen categories, such as mobile technologies, translation skills, etc.
Find assignments and apply
We apply for missions using “connects”. Free accounts have 60 connections per month, and sending an application for a mission usually “costs” two connections. So, unless you are “invited” to apply for a mission (in which case you are not taken any connect), you can send about 30 applications per month. If you choose a paid subscription, you get 70 connects per month, which rolls over to a maximum of 140. In my experience, 30 applications are enough to find a lot of work as long as you intelligently choose the assignments you are applying for. And as long as you take the time to write good application messages.
Search for missions
Your home page will automatically display open missions as they are posted, so the more you scroll the page, the older the missions will be. These assignments will be based on the categories you indicated you have expertise/interest in during the registration process.
Here are the three important criteria that I look at to be sure that I am applying for a high-quality assignment that will give me the best chance for success:
There are plenty of cases where individuals post a mission that no one will ever do. I think if a customer wants their job done, they’ll check their payment. For me, applying for assignments that do not carry the mention “Payment Verified” is a waste of time and connections.
See comment above. I always check if a client has ever hired freelancers. It looks like some people like to post missions on Upwork! If they’ve hired people before, read all of the reviews to get an idea of what the freelancers they hired thought about their assignment with them.
Even if the assignment looks perfect, I will be less likely to apply if there are already many applicants. Remember, you want to stand out from the crowd! Applying early for assignments that have not yet received massive amounts of applications can help you find golden opportunities.
Now is the time all the effort you put in before will pay off and hopefully get you the mission! When applying for assignments, you should pay particular attention to detail and customization.
Here are a few things I always do to help my application stand out:
I personalize my message:
When possible, use the name of the client or his company in the message; it’s a great way to get a customer’s attention
I show that I have read the assignment description:
if you do not answer the questions or provide the required examples in the assignment offer, your application will most likely be rejected
Ask smart questions:
While avoiding sounding infuriating or arrogant, still say or ask one thing that shows your skills in your field as it can make a lot more sense than a line in a CV.
Extend the conversation:
Check if the customer has indicated when they will make their decision. If not, wait three or four days and ask if they have any further questions or if there are any examples/references you can provide
Working with clients
Fixed-price projects versus projects paid by the hour
Before the work can begin, the client and the freelancer must agree on an amount and a structure. Two options allow the freelancer to be sure that he is being paid regularly for his work while giving the client the ability to approve the work before releasing the payment.
The client can define “Milestones” (steps), which can divide the project into sections from the start, which can be added later to add other relevant work to the project. The freelancer asks for payment for the steps when the work is finished.
On the other hand, on-time projects may be more appropriate if the work to be done is less clearly defined. This includes projects whose scope may change over time or situations where the amount of time required is less certain. Freelancers can control how long they work using the Upwork App, which keeps track of different workflows and takes screenshots from time to time. Work is billed weekly.
Ongoing working relationships
Not only does Upwork facilitate the pursuit of ongoing relationships on its platform, but those relationships are also rewarded with lower service fees when a freelance has earned a certain amount of money from a particular client. The platform also does this to discourage clients and freelancers from continuing their professional relationship “offline”. Since the “fees” charged by Upwork are something many freelancers complain about, the good news is that they keep going down over time.
As with everything, there are times when clients and freelancers disagree on the working conditions or the quality of the result. Formal measures allow both clients and freelancers to complain about what they may consider being dishonest behavior.
I was fortunate not to ask Upwork to resolve a conflict with a client, although I have heard many appalling stories told. If, for example, you’re working on a project by the hour, you’ll need to make sure you always count the hours you spend there with the Upwork App. If a customer questions your work, you will only be protected for the hours you have counted with this App. The self-employed can also file complaints about fixed-price contracts. The two parties will enter a mediation phase and will have recourse to a paid voluntary arbitration if they do not find any mutual solution.
End missions and get paid
Send work to get paid
When you have finished a specific job, you submit it in the rules and ask for your payment as a freelancer. The client has 14 days to accept the work and release payment or request revisions. If he does nothing during these 14 days, the payment will automatically be made to the freelance.