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8 Tips to Succeed Working from Home on Upwork
Hey friends! Are you interested in earning more money online but don’t know where to start? There are many ways to side hustle or even make a living working online. One of my favorites is by making money on Upwork.
Getting Started on Upwork
Upwork is a freelance marketplace that brings together clients and freelancers to work together on projects. The projects are many and varied.
As a client, these are some jobs I posted:
- Writing 3 blog posts on parenting niche
- Logo design for website
- Tshirt design
As a Freelancer, here are some jobs I did:
- Article writing
- Social media management
- Influencer outreach
- Social network account creation
Upwork is great because as a client you can get expert work done quickly. For freelancers, it’s an endless supply of jobs with unlimited income opportunity.
Im going to show you how to work Upwork as a freelancer and start making extra money fast!
How to Make Money Fast On Upwork
First things first. You need to fill out your profile. Add your profile photo, description (filled with keywords), your education and background. For some inspiration as a guide, check out these top profiles:
This is an often overlooked component so make sure you don’t miss it!
Next, apply to jobs. Make sure you check out the filters.
Filters allow you to be picky, which is very important. Upwork gets a bad rap sometimes for their low paying jobs. Clients want full time work from a top rated expert at part time pay. It’s not that all the time. There are gems that you can find but you’ve gotta use the filters!
How are you using filters?
Some important ones I mark are: Payment Verified, Client History, and Number of Proposals.
Payment verified menas the client has deposited funds for the job in Escrow with Upwork. This is important because it increases the likelihood of getting paid and it weeds out the scam jobs and unsure clients from those who are serious about filling the project.
Client history shows the number of past jobs the client has done. This separates a newbie client from an experienced one. This is important because it weeds out the scam jobs. Clients with previous history most likely have a low chance of being a scammer.
Psstt..I mention being scammed often because it does happen and it happened to me! I’ll share my story further down.
Number of Proposals shows the number of bids the client has received for their project. I tend to target projects in the 0-5 bid range because I’ve had the most success with being awarded jobs in this range. As the bid targets increase, so does your competition when you apply. It’s hard to stand out amongst 50 other freelancers that have ALREADY submitted their pitch but if you can get in on a new project that has been posted and wow the client, you have a great chance of being selected.
Hint: Here’s a little hint, since I have client history as well. Clients don’t like going through 50-100 pitches. It’s a A LOT! And, after a while, it can all start blending together. As a client, I’d much rather be wowed and impressed with one of the first few bids I receive and pick that freelancer, rather than going through many, many bids. Make sense?
That might just be me but I think other clients probably share the same sentiment.
Lastly, sort and apply for relevant jobs. Once you turn on your filters of choice and search, you’ll get a list of jobs you can apply for. Some things to consider when picking jobs:
- Assess your skills against skills required for job to make sure you can actually do it!
- Look at the job posting carefully examining timeline and demands to make sure you are up for the task
- Consider pay
That’s pretty much it.
As with most platforms, Upwork has a rating scale, used for both clients and freelancers. For freelancers, this scale is your bread and butter. Clients that have not worked with you before will use it to determine if they want to start a project with you or not.
In the beginning, it can be particularly tough because you have no rating. I’m gonna show you how to get 5 start rating super fast.
How to get 5 star Feedback Super Quick
The key to getting feedback quick, and I mean lightning quick, is to do jobs for free. What, free? Yes, you read right. This might not be right for everyone but if you work a couple quick, targeted jobs for free in exchange for top feedback, you will have a shining feedback score from the beginning.
Now, full disclosure, I did not do this. Why? Because I didn’t know about this method when I started on Upwork. If I did, I would have done it, for sure.
For me, it took about 3 weeks to land my first job.
Even today, after almost 10 jobs, I still find it challenging to land a project from time to time. Here are some tips to keep those jobs coming in:
Tips for Landing Jobs on Upwork Consistently
Why do you want consistent work? Well, any freelance position is inconsistent. You work a job for a period of time which may or may not get renewed. Then you panic to find a replacement job so you’re not living on ramen like in your college days.
Keeping a constant flow of work prevents this and it helps you to make a lot of money. Check out this story that shares how this Upwork user went zero to $4K as a brand new freelancer!
Here are some tips to help you KEEP landing jobs on Upwork consistently:
- Fill out your profile completely
- Use filters appropriately and apply for the right jobs often
- Set your pay rate and stick to it (or go higher but NEVER lower)
- Be prepared to show examples of your work (i.e. on your professional website, portfolio, published work, etc.)
- Get 5 star feedback (use the tip described above and for paying jobs, do work well and communicate often)
- Consider upgrading to Professional membership to increase the number of jobs you can apply to
- Work ONLY on Upwork platform (despite clients asking you to work off the platform)
- Don’t sacrifice your worth (and pay) for a job
Now, here’s a little horror story that I promised I would share:
How I Was Scammed on Freelancer.com
Now, I had been a die hard Upwork user for a while but decided I could make even more money if I went to other freelancer platforms. I decided on Freelancer.com because it was the other big name freelance marketplace I had heard of.
So…I joined the network and started applying for jobs.
I was pleasantly surprised to see there were up to 300 times I could apply (compared to Upwork’s 60 for a free memebership) AND the jobs were much more high paying.
I was thrilled!
I started applying right away. I got through around 5 or 6 applications before I got my first offer.
The offer I got was unsolicited (which means I did not apply for the job, the employer targeted me and offered work). This can happen on Freelancer, I found but I thought it strange that they offered me a moderately paid job (they offered $600) to me, a new freelancer on the platform with zero feedback score and zero jobs worked.
Something smelled fishy.
I talked with the employer at length about the job and found that they wanted me to process payments and in the future put payment accounts in my name.
100 RED FLAGS!
Never, ever do this! I have a background in banking and finance so I’ve heard tons of scams and fraud stories and this job fit the scenario.
I declined the job, despite numerous (almost desperate) attempts from the employer to get me to work the job.
I put that experience behind me and continued to apply for jobs. Then, over the period of a few weeks I got 3 or 4 more offers (ALL UNSOLICITED) of similar nature, offering me $300-$600 for similar work. The jobs sounded almost exactly the same but they were from different Freelancer clients.
I want to mention as well, every single offer came from a Freelancer client with ZERO feedback score and ZERO prior job history. Red flags!
I declined them all.
Over the next few weeks I got some additional offers (again, unsolicited) that were different in nature but wanting me to work off the platform and not wanting to pay upfront. Declined again.
Then, the scam job came.
I was offered a writing job. It was actually a job I applied to. It was hourly and being tracked by Freelancer.com. The employer was new with zero feedback but since I was tracking time and it was being monitored by Freelancer, I felt much more confident that this was not a scam and I would be paid.
I WAS WRONG!
When it came to be paid (I was due over $500), I was not paid and fed excuses by the employer that they paid by credit card, they had already been charged, payment will clear the next day, etc. I waited a week, no payment. The entire time I had communication with the employer. In fact, they wanted to give me more work. I declined until I was paid.
Then, all communication stopped.
I contacted Freelancer support and the conclusion was that the client was sent several reminders to pay and was eventually banned and I did NOT get paid!
That’s my story.
I feel dumb for letting that happen to me but I remind myself that experiences make you stronger and I learned what not to do in the future. Sharing this story with you hopefully also spreads that knowledge so you don’t get scammed.
So, there you have it, my top Upwork tips. I’ve been on Upwork for about a year. I take jobs here and there and have made around $400 with another few hundred pending and some bigger contracts I just accepted which will be equivalent to full time monthly pay (that I’m super excited about).
Do you have freelance stories to share? Comment down below and share your experience.