8 December 2023

4 Handy Tips for Newbies on Upwork

By Ronald Smith

So, you’ve decided to dive into the world of freelancing with Upwork. Congratulations! As someone who’s been there and done that, I’m here to offer you some invaluable advice that will help you make the most of your experience. Whether you’re a creative genius, a coding wizard, or a marketing maven, these four tips will set you on the right track. Trust me, I’ve got your back!

1. Shine Bright with a Standout Profile

Hey there, future superstar! Your Upwork profile is your virtual calling card, so make sure it shines brighter than a supernova. Start by uploading a professional photo of yourself – no duck faces or beach selfies, please. Next, craft a captivating biography that not only highlights your skills but also showcases your unique personality. Clients want to work with real people, not robots!

When it comes to your portfolio, quality trumps quantity. Handpick your best work samples and organize them in a visually appealing way. Oh, and don’t forget to sprinkle some client testimonials throughout your profile to seal the deal. With a profile that screams hire me, you’ll be on your way to freelancing success!

2. Nailing Job Proposals Like a Pro

Picture this: you stumble upon a dream project, but so have dozens of other freelancers. How do you stand out from the crowd? It’s all in the art of crafting a killer job proposal.

First things first, read the job description carefully. Understand the client’s needs and let them know you’re the solution they’ve been looking for. Tailor your proposal to address their specific requirements and demonstrate your expertise. Oh, and forget about generic templates – clients are onto those! Personalize each proposal to show that you’ve done your homework and truly care about their project.

Still feeling intimidated? Don’t worry, I’ve got a secret weapon for you: showcase your previous relevant work. Link to specific samples in your proposal to give clients a sneak peek into your creative genius. Get ready to blow their minds!

3. Communication is Key

Imagine this – you’ve secured a gig, but now what? Well, my friend, it’s time to put your communication skills to work. Regularly check your Upwork messages and respond promptly. Clients appreciate freelancers who are communicative and reliable, so keep those lines of communication open.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Clarifying any doubts or uncertainties from the get-go will help you deliver exactly what the client wants. Remember, you’re a team, and teamwork makes the dream work!

Oh, and here’s a pro tip: be professional but inject a bit of your wonderful personality in your conversations. Building a rapport with your client will make the work experience so much more enjoyable for both of you.

4. Mastering Time Management

Time – it’s the freelancer’s most precious resource. Stick to deadlines like your career depends on it, because, well, it does! Create a schedule, set realistic goals, and manage your time wisely.

Trust me, I know the temptation of binge-watching your favorite show or getting lost in social media notifications. But resist, my friend! Prioritize your work and stay focused. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve when you give time management the attention it deserves.

Remember, we all have a starting point. Embrace the exciting challenges that come your way and never stop learning. So go ahead, dive in, and conquer the freelancing world with these four tips in your arsenal. Good luck, you superstar!

4 Handy Tips for Newbies on Upwork

Let me tell you about Upwork, a really cool website where freelancers can find awesome projects and kickstart their careers. Writing, graphic design, and web development are just a few of the fields you can explore on Upwork.

One of the best things about Upwork is that it helps professionals like you find projects and easily communicate with employers. Plus, getting paid for your hard work is a breeze!

If you’re just starting out in your field, Upwork is perfect for gaining valuable experience without constantly searching for clients. You might not make as much money as you hope because there are lots of new workers willing to accept lower pay, but don’t worry. I’ll show you how to make this marketplace work for you.

Getting Started with Upwork

Create a Strong and Honest Profile

Your profile is like a superpower. It’s like a résumé that showcases your skills and experience to potential employers. Without a profile, it’s unlikely you’ll get any work, so make sure you create one!

Let’s get started by filling out the type of job you want to do and the areas you’re skilled in. It’s important to be honest about your expertise. If you take on jobs you can’t handle, your account might be suspended or closed.

Next, upload a headshot and provide a detailed description of your background. You can even include links to your portfolio or specific samples of your work. Don’t forget to mention your education, how many hours you can work each week, your location, and the rate you prefer. If you’re unsure about what to charge, take a look at the rates of other freelancers on Upwork who have similar experience.

If all the information you’ve provided is accurate and can be verified, Upwork will approve your profile within 24 hours. Once approved, you can start finding work.

Explore the Online Job Market

When it comes to finding jobs that you’re qualified for on this platform, Upwork provides a special tool called Connects. These are like internal tokens that you can use to submit proposals. But here’s the catch: there’s only a limited supply of Connects available, so you need to choose wisely and go for the gigs that really interest you. With a free account, you get 60 Connects per month.

So, what goes into these proposals? Well, it’s not just a simple Hey, hire me! message. You need to put together an introductory letter that tells the client a bit about yourself and your skills. You should also include your desired fee for the job and provide thoughtful answers to any questions the client has included in their posting. And here’s a tip: if you have any relevant work examples, be sure to include those too!

Now, let’s say someone reaches out to you instead of you doing the reaching out. In that case, you don’t need to use any Connects. But here’s the thing: the more impressive your profile looks, the more likely you are to receive job offers from clients. So, take the time to showcase your best work and highlight any specific experience that sets you apart. And don’t worry if you’re new to your field – volunteer experience counts too!

Before you apply for a job, it’s important to find out about the company’s reputation. You can start your research by checking out the Better Business Bureau, Glassdoor, and doing a Google search to see if there has been any news coverage about the company.

Similar to how Uber or Lyft works, both the employer and the freelancer rate each other after the job is done. Employers are given a rating on a five-star scale, and you can see these ratings on their profiles. Your Job Success Score is determined by the ratings you receive from your clients. This score is shown as a percentage on your profile and it reflects how many jobs you have completed to your clients’ satisfaction. These ratings help you decide which employers you want to work with, and they also help others decide if they want to hire you.

Even if everything looks good, it’s important to keep all your communication and payments within the website. This is because keeping a record of everything protects us from scams. If someone tries to make shady payment requests or ask for work that’s not allowed, or if they make claims about your work without any proof on the website, they can be held accountable.

Decide on the Price and Start Working

Upwork charges a fee based on how much money you make from each client over time. For the first $500 you earn from a client, there is a 20% service charge. Once you reach the range of $500.01 to $10,000, Upwork takes a 10% cut. After that, the fee decreases to 5%.

There are two ways you can get paid: hourly or fixed price. Upwork’s fees are the same for both options.

If someone offers you a job that pays less than it should for harder work, don’t just accept it without question. Talk to the person and try to agree on a fair price.

When you work by the hour, all your tasks are tracked in the Work Diary. This is a feature in Upwork’s desktop app. When you use this feature, the app keeps a detailed record of all the work you do on a project. It keeps track of your time in 10-minute intervals and records everything you do, like typing, scrolling, clicking, and the windows you have open. It also takes pictures of your screen every now and then. You have the option to delete these pictures before submitting your time record, but if you do that, you won’t get paid for the time spent during that 10-minute period.

Did you know that you have the power to control your Work Diary? Yup, you can turn it on and off whenever you want. And if you prefer, you can also manually log your work. But here’s the cool part: using the Work Diary helps you qualify for a fantastic Upwork service called Hourly Protection. This service ensures that you get paid for every hour of work you do, even if a client decides to be difficult.

Now, let’s talk about payment for fixed-price projects. It’s pretty straightforward, actually. When you agree to work on a fixed-price project, the client has to set aside a specific amount of money. And on top of that, the client also needs to establish milestones. These are basically checkpoints that mark the progress of the job. So, when you hit these checkpoints, you get paid a portion or all of the deposit. And once everything is complete, you’ll receive the remaining payment.

It’s time to get paid!

When you work on hourly projects, you’ll be paid every week. You’ll receive your payment after both you and the client review the work, which happens 10 days after the billing period ends. There are different ways for you to get paid, including direct transfer to your bank account or through PayPal.

If a project is dropped before it’s finished, you can rely on Hourly Protection and milestones to help you out. If you feel like you haven’t been fairly compensated, Upwork has a process in place to handle disputes.

For fixed-price projects, you can start a dispute if the client doesn’t pay for a milestone or refuses to pay for work that you believe is complete. Hourly Protection also comes in handy for resolving payment disputes on other projects. The records in your Work Diary can serve as evidence of when and what you were working on.