today (or “yesterday”, given the hour this post will go live!) I got a nice email from the UW team announcing it’s been a year since I earned my first project in the platform. I thought it was a very nice touch from them, and felt like reflecting on this year freelancing on UpWork.
My experience Freelancing on UpWork
Applying to UpWork is no easy feat; unlike other platforms, you can’t just open a profile and start offering your services. You have to bring something extra to the table to stand out and be accepted. If your profile is not complete enough, you’ll keep applying over and over again with no success. (I’ll make sure to write a post with some tips to start freelancing on UpWork sometime in the future). This alone shows the level of professionalism expected in the platform.
As you may notice, the email I received celebrates my 1st year since I “earned” my first project, not since I joined the site. And I think that’s the perfect achievement to celebrate. When you’re new you may feel discouraged by applying to many jobs and not getting a reply, an interview, and even less an offer. Even today I feel like I’m not landing as many jobs as I’d like. Thank God for the stats page though.
When looking at it, I can tell I’ve been interviewed/hired more often compared to my peers. While that still doesn’t take away the fact that tons of proposals are gone to waste, it does give me a little boost for my motivation to keep on trying.
Things got better
Little by little I started acquiring experience on the site, got some nice reviews and with it some authority in the area, for sure customers did have more confidence in me. And before I even knew it, I did reach “Rising Talent”, and “Top Rated Seller” status quickly afterwards, which both opened its perks as well. With time, customers started reaching me instead which was a nice change of pace.
Despite its shortcomings, I have to say this has been quite a ride overall though. I’ve known great customers in there, some with I am still working today -again, according to my stats, 20% of my customers are long term. I’ve had to work harder than ever before to gain jobs, but I can tell you it’s worth the shot. Customers tend to be very professional, and the jobs are a bit more serious here and overall better paid compared to Fiverr. (I’ll make sure to include a Freelancing on UpWork vs Freelancing on Fiverr when I do write the aforementioned post!).
And then, freelancing on UpWork took a turn for the worse
One thing I couldn’t help bringing up though is that somewhere along the way, UpWork starts charging for connects. With some very poor excuse on top of it. I was very vocal about it at that time, unfortunately, it didn’t matter much.
Applying for jobs may seem worthless at times, seeing how many of them go unnoticed by customers (I can’t begin to tell you the amount of posts I’ve seen with 50+ applicants and 0 interviews/hires for months until the jobs are closed). You could spend a whole day crafting the most detailed and perfect cover letter, with samples, portfolios, questions asked and answered, and many more, over and over again for many job posts, for naught.
So as if it wasn’t bad enough to feel you were wasting time, now you’d feel you’ll be wasting money as well. This certainly took a swing on my business on UW for a while. Luckily for me, I’ve been bringing my own customers to the platform to keep my account active, and I’ve received a few offers to interview and work which have helped as well! We’ll see what happens once I run out of connects.
What my customers have to say?
I’ve been blessed to work with many great customers, in a wide variety of projects, from small fixes to very big sites, and even landing a small but fixed position with a company. I’d like to take this moment to
shamelessly promote myself share some of my favorite reviews with you.
Feel like joining this list? Don’t hesitate to hire me! 🙂 I’ll be more than happy to work with you. Rest assured I’ll bring my A-game to help you with your IT project or related task, or fixing that error that has been giving you a hard time for hours (or days!). I’m at your service!