Upwork Profile Not Approved? Here’s What You Can Do

If you want to become a freelancer, we often recommend Upwork as a good starting point.

However, lately we’ve been getting some feedback and questions from our readers that they are having trouble with their registration.

So today, we want to address why your Upwork registration might get rejected.

Why was your Upwork profile not approved?

With more and more freelancers signing up, Upwork now seems to be looking for freelancers with expertise and those who offer the most sought after skills by clients worldwide.

So if your profile does not have a combination of skills and experience that clients are looking for, Upwork might just reject your registration.

What can you do to make sure your Upwork profile is accepted?

Besides your skills set, there other issues that could get your profile rejected. Let’s take a look at how you can make sure your profile doesn’t end up in the unapproved bin.

1. Use Authentic Personal Data

When using an online platform your first instinct is to hide your identity and personal details.

“What if I get hacked?”  

“I don’t want my boss to see my photo on a freelancing site.”

Such thoughts are common and understandable. We get it.

However, authenticity and transparency are very important to Upwork in order to filter spam and bots. The platform  obviously doesn’t want a reputation of having scammy freelancers. So, your profile will be automatically rejected should your personal data be deemed inappropriate or inauthentic.

  • Use your real name instead of pet names.
  • When uploading a profile picture, ensure it’s a picture of yourself and not celebrities, pets, abstract objects and the likes.
  • Use your real email address, phone number, and address.

In most cases, Upwork support will use a couple of ways to authenticate the information you provide. You may be asked to provide your government issued identification card, a utility bill or receive a phone call via the provided phone number.

If they are unable to verify your identity, your profile might not be approved.

2. Complete your profile to 100%

A common practice when joining freelancing jobs sites is to do a quick registration and then come back to complete your profile later.

While this is ok, chances are that it will take you weeks if not months to go back and complete your profile. With so many incomplete profiles, it definitely makes sense to reject them.

When registering on Upwork, increase your chances of getting accepted by completing your profile immediately

Complete your profile to 100% by adding a profile pic, a headline, overview, portfolio, certifications, employment history, education and any other experiences.

Don’t just mindlessly fill out the fields just to complete your profile – put some thought into it and create a profile that will get you hired.

See also: 12 Steps To Creating An Upwork Profile That Gets You Freelance Clients, FAST

Once you’ve completed your profile, you should see the 100% complete bar below ‘My Profile’

3. Take the Upwork readiness test

The Upwork readiness test tests whether you are ready for Upwork (duh!) and have a clear understanding of how the platform works.

Before you get started on the test, you will be provided with a freelance guide with everything you need to know about using Upwork as a freelancer. From getting started, types of freelance accounts, getting hired, getting paid to withdrawing your funds.

Demonstrating that you understand how the platform works by passing the Upwork readiness test will put you one step ahead of the other newbies.

4. Take tests relevant to your skill set

Having the right skills is a prerequisite on Upwork and the more you’re able to showcase that you’re highly skilled, the better your chances of getting accepted on Upwork.

To further demonstrate your skills, take free skill tests. There are hundreds of these tests and they cover a range of topics such as SEO, basics of copywriting, Bookkeeping, Virtual Assistant Skills, Internet Marketing, grammar and so on.

Take as many tests as you can but make sure you only concentrate on those that correspond with the skills you want to market yourself for. If you score below average, you have the choice to hide the score and only publish what you’ve scored favorably.

Skills tests can be found by clicking the Find Work tab and the clicking on Tests. You can search for the relevant test either in the category list or by searching using a keyword.

5. Delete multiple profiles

You may have created a profile in the past that either was rejected, you lost your login details or you completely forgot about it. Before you create another profile ensure that you delete any other profiles that you’re currently not using. Multiple profiles will make the system suspect you for a fraud.

6. Find a client to hire you

Upwork has a program called “Bring Your Own Freelancer” (BYOF) that allows clients to directly hire freelancers that are not currently on Upwork.

If you know someone who wants to hire you, you can request them to hire you via Upwork. If someone wants to hire you, it proves to Upwork that your skills are valuable.

When the client hires you, you will receive an email with the client’s contract terms. Your profile will automatically be activated once you accept the invitation to join the client’s team.

7. Join an agency

Alternatively, if you don’t know anyone who is hiring, you can join an agency. This is a team of freelancers already on Upwork. Your profile will be activated immediately you accept the invitation to join an agency.

An agency works differently from independent freelancers so make sure you understand all the ins and outs before you sign up as an agency freelancer.

8. Build your profile around an in-demand skill

This is probably the most important step in improving the chances of getting your profile accepted.

Take a look at your skills and what skill is in high demand. Use this skill to build your profile in a manner that expresses your expertise clearly. If you do this well, then you might just get your profile accepted without much struggle.

If you’re not highly skilled this might be a difficult step for you and it’s definitely ok to take some time to learn or practice one or two skills that are in high demand that might interest you. You can always come back to improve your profile and re-submit.

9. Contact Upwork support directly

If you believe that you’ve done everything right and your profile deserves a chance don’t give up, instead, contact Upwork Help and Support and plead your case. Even if they don’t approve your profile, they’ll at least give you the reason for your rejection and possibly some tips on how to improve it and then you can resubmit it.

10. Seek clients elsewhere

If everything fails and your Upwork profile not approved, don’t throw in the towel, you can still run a successful freelancing career. While Upwork is by far one of the best places to find clients, there are other avenues to find paid work.

You can use other platforms to build your skills and earn some experience that you can later on use to create the perfect Upwork profile.

We have a mega list of 52 Best Freelance Jobs Websites to Help You Find Online Work.

There’s no guarantee that doing any or all the above will get your profile accepted on Upwork. But with so much competition you want to make sure that you do everything right and increase your chances of getting accepted.

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

How to Be a Freelancer While Working Full Time

Let’s get real, no one is ever going to be ready to just quit their full time jobs and start freelancing without having a stable source of income in place first.

And that of course, makes complete sense.

What you need to do is, start freelancing while you still have the security of a full time job. You can rely on your income while you carve out a spot for yourself in the freelancing world. I call this the overlap period and it’s definitely something I recommend.

Why do You Need an Overlap Period?

Starting anything for the first time is always a daunting experience. Freelancing is no different.

The overlap period is your security blanket. You have the security of a stable income to fall back on while you give yourself the time to learn, make mistakes (you WILL make mistakes) and gain experience as a freelancer.

Some people will say having a security blanket can make you less motivated because you always have your income to fall back on. Yes, that’s kind of true. But, I will never recommend anyone to just quit their job on a whim, without first seeing if freelancing works for them. So you know, find that motivation in you to start freelancing and just do it.

But what I’ve learnt from my experience as a freelancer is that freelancing while working full time is a lot of hard work and it can be tricky.

How to Be a Freelancer (and Still Work Full Time)

I spent a lot of time in the overlap period. I failed at managing the two worlds a few times before I succeeded. Here are my tips on how to be a freelancer and juggle both your jobs without going insane.

1. Be A Good Employee

Sounds counterintuitive when you’re trying to break out into freelancing doesn’t it?

Truth is, you have a commitment to your full time job and that should definitely not suffer when you start to freelance. Also, you should never ever use company time or resources to get ahead with your freelance work. To me, that’s just Ethics 101.

Oh and make sure you check your workplace policies/ employee handbook for no-compete clauses or anything else that might be relevant to you working freelance for someone else.

My full time job was within within an in-house marketing team. My employment contract had a no-compete clause that obviously prevented me from working for anyone else in a similar industry. That’s cool. I wasn’t planning to anyway.

The freelance work I did while working full time was mostly internet-marketing related blog writing. I also worked for an agency in Melbourne creating social media strategies for their clients. Had I been working for a marketing agency as a full time employee, it definitely wouldn’t have been right for me to take on freelance work with another agency.

2. Don’t Over Commit

When the freelance work starts coming in, it’s very exciting and it might be tempting to say yes to everything that comes your way.

Don’t.

First, you don’t have the time. You’re still working a full time job so don’t promiseto do 5 articles in 24 hours when you know you’ll be at work for most of the day.

Second, start slow. Take the time to learn and gain experience before saying yes to everything.

And finally, when you overcommit and can’t live up to your promise, the quality of your work will suffer.

Take on smaller amounts of work but do it well.

3. Make Time For Work

Before you jump into freelancing, have a good hard think about when you will be doing the actual work.

Can you spare a few hours, a couple of evenings each week? May be you can commit your Saturday mornings to freelance work?

Whatever it is – make a realistic assessment of what works for you and stick to your schedule. Otherwise, you will get so caught up in your regular working week that time will pass and before you know it, you will have missed your freelancing deadline.

4. Stay Organised

Juggling your freelance work while still holding down your job will seem overwhelming at first. You will have a million things to do, at work and at home. Don’t give into the chaos.

Instead, take control and start organising your to-dos in a way that works for you. You have to become really good with managing your time. This is especially important so you never miss a project deadline.

I am borderline obsessive compulsive when it comes to being organised about my work. I have lists and lists of lists. Not even kidding.

Staying organised soothes me. It also makes me more productive and makes sure I stay on track with my tasks. I use tools like TrelloGoogle CalendarsWunderlistand good old pen and paper to keep my work organised and make sure I never miss a deadline.

5. Be Honest with Clients

Make sure your clients know that you have a full time job and are only available part time. Most clients are happy for you work on your own time, as long as the work is completed as per deadline. However, sometimes they will expect immediate responses to emails.

Make it clear from the start that you are unable to respond during the time you are at work. If you set expectations from the outset, clients are less likely to become upset when you don’t respond to their emails within the hour.

6. Don’t Take Your Pay For Granted

Like I said before, the great thing about the overlap period is having the security blanket of being paid your salary. But don’t become complacent about this unless you want to work a full time job and freelance part time only.

Train your brain to think of your current salary as fleeting. Work on growing your freelance career so you can eventually quit your job and your freelancing income is good enough to replace the income you had from your job.

7. Don’t Burn Out

And finally, give yourself a break. Yes you need to work doubly hard right now but it’s important to make sure you don’t burn out. Make time to relax, unwind and spend time doing things you enjoy.

If you don’t, I promise you will start to resent the idea of freelancing and it may make you want to give it up because it’ll feel like you’re working all the time. I know because I definitely burned myself out by working more, exercising less and sleeping very little at one point. Never again.

Anyone who has worked two jobs at the same time will tell you that it’s hard work. Freelancing + working full time is the same. But, if you’re really committed to starting your freelance career then this is definitely the best way to ease yourself into it without having to worry about not having an income.

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

How To Make (More) Money On Upwork By Finding Your Niche

You know the old saying – “Jack of all trades, master of none” ?

It’s something I’ve learnt is incredibly true for freelancers as well.

When I first started freelancing, I took a very general approach to it. I believed I was a good enough writer to write on any topic.

What I didn’t realise is just being a good writer isn’t enough to get paid the high rates. Especially on Upwork. I was spreading myself thin across a variety of niches and by doing every type of job, I wasn’t becoming an expert in anything.

So if you’re here wondering how to make money on Upwork — my advice to you is start niche-ing down

So how did I find my freelancing niche?

The reason I’m here telling you it’s important to niche yourself as a freelancer (especially on Upwork) is because I didn’t do it for so long! In fact, I found my niche by accident.

I applied for a job to blog for an online furniture store. This coming from someone whose furniture-buying experience at the time extended to buying one couch and one desk. Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

However, the guys who owned the company also had another business – an agency that provided social media marketing services. After checking out my experience and portfolio, they contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in writing about social media marketing. They said my experience in the industry made me a better fit for this role.

Of course I said yes.

Having those articles to prove my expertise in the niche further, I was able to apply and get even more jobs in the internet marketing space. Immediately, I was able to increase my rates and start making more money on Upwork.

Why should you niche yourself on Upwork?

Recently we had to get our GoPro camera repaired. We hunted down a GoPro camera specialist and got him to look into it for us. There are hundreds of camera stores in Ho Chi Minh City but we preferred to take it to the guy who was the expert in GoPros.

Um, what does this have to do with making money on Upwork? The fact that — we all love and trust experts.

So, as a freelancer when you pick a niche to specialise in, you start to establish yourself as an expert.

Expertise = better prospects

When you narrow your focus, you tend to attract better prospects. When you take a general “I can do everything” approach to your freelancing, your clients see you as just another freelancer. However, once you start to hone your niche and establish your expertise, you start to attract clients who are looking for niche expertise as well.

Get jobs without freelancing experience

The catch-22 of every job market, including freelancing, is that everyone wants someone with experience but how do you get experience when no one is willing to give you a go? How to make money on Upwork when no one will hire you? *sad face*

If you have expertise in something, or are particularly knowledgeable about a specific topic – you become a preferred candidate for a job even if you have never freelanced before. Clients are more interested in your knowledge than your freelancing experience.

Be paid better

Making money on Upwork is a lot easier when you’re an expert. When you establish yourself as an expert in an area, your clients will be more willing to pay you higher expert rates.

How to find your freelancing niche

Don’t wait for your niche to find you (like I did) but instead start to actively think about it.

1. Do you have any professional expertise?

Think about what expertise you can bring to the table as a freelancer and then think about how you can carve yourself a niche within your field of expertise.

Johnny’s chief area of professional expertise is in online advertising. Now there are thousands of other online advertising freelancers on Upwork, so we started thinking about how he could stand out.

He then decided to niche himself and market himself as an expert in Facebook Advertising alone. He immediately saw results with clients preferring to work with someone who was an expert in one particular type of advertising.

2. What are your passions?

While my professional expertise is in online marketing, I do have other interests and passions as well.

I used to write for a health and fitness blog. I got this job because healthy living is something I’m very passionate about. Although I’d never written about anything to do with health and fitness, I was able to convince the clients by writing an article about my personal experience of attending a Body Pump class (which at the time, I attended twice-weekly.)

When you have a passion or a hobby, you tend to become very knowledgeable about it. So start to think about your passions as a marketable skill.

3. How big is this niche market?

Before you niche yourself, it’s important to consider whether there is a demand for the niche. You might be an expert in knitting little mittens for kittens and have a wealth of knowledge in the area but how many clients are looking for kitten-mitten experience?  😉

Always consider the demand for your expertise because without demand, you won’t get paid.

4. Learn by practising

While niching yourself is important, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find your niche right from the beginning. You may have to try on several different hats first to see which one fits. Give yourself the time to experiment with your skills and passions.

Practice and pay attention to what you enjoy, which projects inspire you, which clients you enjoy working with and what type of work makes you feel passionate. Gradually, you will be able to hone in on your niche.

Should you only have one niche?

I don’t necessarily think we need to limit ourselves to one niche as freelancers. As I’ve mentioned above, as a freelancer writer, my niche is online marketing but also health and fitness and travel.

These are all topics I’m passionate about and know a lot about so I believe clients can see my expertise.

I definitely think you can be an expert in 2-3 different areas however I don’t recommend trying to sell yourself as an expert in 10 different areas. Your approach then becomes too general and clients are not going to see you as an expert in anything.

The employer’s perspective on niche freelancers

As someone who now employs freelancers as well (for our agency), I definitely know that clients would also rather work with someone who’s an expert in something.

When I advertise jobs and get responses from freelancers who want to be everything from an SEO expert to a web designer to a WordPress developer – they almost always go in my reject pile. The lack of focus is very often proof that they don’t really have the time to hone one particular skill.

This is an example of all the skills listed on the Upwork profile for a freelancer who applied for a job I had advertised.

Their profile had no specific focus and by trying to be a jack of all trades, they definitely didn’t stand out to me at all.

Understanding yourself as a freelancer takes a bit of time. You’re definitely not going to wake up tomorrow and have it all figured out. Have patience, experiment and you will soon figure out what your freelancing niche should be. 

I definitely believe having a niche is one of the key strategies for those of you looking to make (even more) money on Upwork.

Need some more advice on Upwork? Be sure to check out our articles on creating an Upwork profile and also our tips on getting more jobs on Upwork.

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

How To Get More Jobs On Upwork – 14 Tips

Breaking into Upwork, can seem tough at the start.

There are hundreds of established freelancers from around the world and you’re all competing for the same job.

So the question is: How to get more jobs on Upwork and beat the competition?

Today’s post is designed to help you stand out, attract clients and make it easier for you to get jobs (and make money).

1. Spruce up your Profile

When asked for advice on how to get more jobs on Upwork, the first thing we usually tell people is to put work into their profile.

Needless to say, a good quality profile is very important on Upwork. If you already have a profile, go back and make sure that it is 100% complete. Fill out as many sections as you can, in detail.

A 100% complete profile ranks higher on the Upwork search engine compared to incomplete profiles. A few things to pay attention to when sprucing up your Upwork profile:

  • Make sure you have a professional profile photo of yourself and not a pet or abstract objects.
  • Be specific in describing your skills.
  • Add work/experience history
  • Add a portfolio if possible.
  • Add a reasonable pay rate

See also: How To Create An Upwork Profile That Gets You Clients, FAST

2. Take Relevant Upwork Tests

I know I know, taking those Upwork tests can seem very annoying. Truth is, if you want to get work on Upwork, taking those tests is a necessary evil. One very important test that is a MUST is the Upwork Readiness test. Most clients will not give your profile a second thought if you haven’t done this test.

Once you’re done with the Upwork Readiness test, take a couple of other ones that cover the skill sets you are hoping to work with. Generally a test will take about 20 minutes. Tests will help show just how good you are at something, so it’s worth taking them. Once you’re done done, ensure that you set the results to show up on your profile (especially if you did well on the test).

Completing tests on Upwork will raise your profile up the Upwork search engine much faster. To take a test, go to the ‘Tests’ section and search for tests that are relevant to your field under ‘categories’ or ‘keyword’.

3. Build Your Freelancer Reputation (Upwork Job Success Score)

Reputation is everything on Upwork. You can create your reputation in various ways on Upwork; such as quick responses to job invitations, communication with clients, job satisfaction and so on. The better your reputation on Upwork, the more jobs you’ll manage to get (and the more successful you’ll be).

Upwork uses the Job Success score to measure your reputation. Put simply, if a client is happy with your work, you will have a high job success percentage (score). Your Job Success score also affects how you rank in the Upwork search engine. The higher your score, the higher the chances of getting a Top Rated badge.

Learn how your Upwork job success score is calculated.

See also: Upwork Job Success Score: What It Means and How to Improve Yours

4. Work on your Proposals

A well-written proposal is a huge part of bagging a contract on Upwork. Many freelancers, especially those who are just starting out, tend to pay very little attention to their proposals. Don’t be one of them.

When sending a proposal:

  • Don’t use a stock response. Make sure you send a new and customised proposal for every job.
  • Be specific in why you are interested in the particular project and what experience or skills you have that will help you complete the project successfully.
  • Provide samples of your past work that are related to a project you are bidding for.
  • If there is anything that you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the project in your proposal.

5. Find a Niche

When starting out as a freelancer, it’s common practice to take up any job that has potential to earn you some money. However, as you progress and especially if you are interested in getting well-paying gigs that will earn you more, you will have to find a niche. Choosing a niche increases your chances of getting a job because clients will see you as an expert in a particular field.

As you set up your Upwork profile focus on 1 or 2 skills that you feel you are best at. Once you’ve chosen a niche, build your profile around it. Make sure your job title contains keywords relevant to your niche. Add the keywords to your description, add portfolios of projects related to this niche and also take tests related to this niche.

See also: How To Make (More) Money On Upwork By Finding Your Niche

6. Find the Right Project

When applying for a job, don’t just apply to any job, be selective. To begin with, make sure that you search for relevant projects by setting up a job feed. This will make it easy to find a project within your skill set.

There are hundreds of jobs advertised on Upwork every day and finding the right one can be quite difficult. The Upwork Job Feed, lets you narrow down the job results into jobs that are more likely to fit your skills and from your preferred niche. The Job Feed is also important because it ensures you never miss out on new opportunities that match your skills.

To set up a job feed on Upwork:

Pick a skill

Enter one or two skills into the search bar to find projects that match your skills.

Set filters

Use filters on the left-hand side of the Search Results Page to set a targeted job feed.

Add to Job Feed

After setting your search preferences, add it to your Job Feed found on the left side of your homepage.

7. Understand the Two Types of Upwork Jobs

To get more jobs on Upwork, it’s important that you first understand that Upwork has two job types:

 1. Fixed price

Fixed priced jobs are jobs with a set scope to be delivered at a fixed price. With fixed price jobs, you can work as many or as few hours as needed to get the job done. Most of these projects are short term and payment is made after the project is completed. Fixed price jobs are good if you are starting out on Upwork and you need projects that you can work on and get paid fast. However, be careful because the client can dispute work done and end the project early without submitting your payment. Even though Upwork has introduced Escrow for fixed price projects, there is a certain amount of risk involved.

2. Hourly Projects

Hourly projects on Upwork are projects that are payable for every hour spent working on the project. Upwork’s time tracking app takes random screenshots of your computer every 10 minutes and uploads them to your work diary while you’re working. Payment for hourly work is guaranteed as long as the hours are logged using the time tracker and not manually. Upwork guarantees that as longs as you using their time tracker to do the job, you will get paid for the time.

8. Know your Worth

Deciding how much to charge for a project can be confusing because you do not want to undercharge nor overcharge a client. Before you set your rate, do a bit of research to find out the average pay for the type of jobs you are interested in. Take a look at what other similar freelancers are charging and use that as a guide. Once you have figured out the right rate make sure you stick to jobs that will pay you something close to that rate.

9. Bid Often and Reasonably

As already noted, competition on Upwork is high so it is important that you bid for as many relevant jobs as possible to increase your chances of getting hired. However, you also need to be reasonable in the kind of jobs you bid for. Make sure that they will be worth your time, pay what you deserve and that you will be able to complete them within the set deadline. If you don’t have the time to work on a handful jobs, make sure you apply to only those that you will be able to handle.

10. Keep your Clients’ Needs in Mind

Before you start working on a project make sure that you fully understand what is expected of you and what the clients wants you to do. Always listen to your client’s concerns and respond positively and in a pleasant manner. Make sure that you deliver exactly what you promised. Ask the client to give you feedback on your work and should they request for changes, do so without complaining. Remember if you deliver what is expected of you, your clients will report good job satisfaction – which will increase your Upwork Job Success score.

11. Plan your Time Well

The beauty of freelancing is that you have the freedom to work whenever you want to. This can sometimes get out of hand if you don’t plan your time well. When taking up jobs be sure not to accept too much work that you have no time to complete. If you are working full time and freelancing on the side, make sure you have systems in place to balance your workload.

See also: How to Be a Freelancer While Working Full Time

Also, if your client is in a different time zone, be clear on exactly which time zone the deadlines are applicable to.

Remember as a freelancer you are your own boss and you will be expected to follow through on what you’ve agreed to do so plan your time well to ensure that you have enough time to complete your projects in good time as agreed.

12. Build Relationships with Clients

Communication is key on Upwork. It is important that keep communication with clients open. Respond to messages as soon you possibly can, do not let days pass before responding. This will greatly affect your reputation. Creating a working relationship with clients is important if you want them to consider you for future or long term projects. By creating great relationships, you’ll build up your reputation making you successful.

13. Stick to Set Deadlines

Agree with the client on appropriate and reasonable deadlines. If you feel that the time provided to complete a project is too little, make sure you let the client know before you begin the project. Agree with the client on due dates and make sure you make them. If for are unable to meet a deadline, let the client know immediately and tell them when you’ll be able to complete the work. Sometimes circumstances beyond your control may make it impossible to adhere to deadlines. Do the right thing and let the client know in advance or as soon as you are able to communicate. For fixed price projects you can find the deadline on the project contract as shown below:

14. Request Feedback

Once you complete a project successfully, clients can rate your work with 1 to 5 stars and add more feedback regarding their experience working with you. Feedback is very important as it contributes to your Job Success score. Should a client forget to rate you, make sure to politely request them to leave you feedback. To get good feedback:

  • deliver high quality work
  • communicate with clients early and often
  • be a pleasure to work with
  • keep deadlines

So to answer the question – how to get more jobs on Upwork? Experience is what you need.

To ensure you are among the best freelancers on Upwork, work towards perfecting your skills. This will require you to keep learning about the jobs you’re interested in and how to best complete them. Take the time to continue learning about your niche.

Freelancing is a great way to earn a living as it offers you the freedom to plan your work around your lifestyle and not your lifestyle around your work. If you do it right, Upwork can be a great source of continuous, dependable income.

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

Upwork Job Success Score – What It Means and How to Improve Yours

The Upwork Job Success Score – it’s Upwork’s unique feedback scoring system and, based on the number of questions we get about it – we are guessing it’s something that confuses many of you.

As a freelancer, your reputation is everything. The Upwork Job Success Score is a measure of your reputation on the platform.

And, we cannot emphasize enough, the value of a good reputation on any popular online jobs site, including Upwork.

Clients like to know they’re hiring freelancers who have a good reputation for quality work and delivery. The way they assess this on Upwork, is through the Job Success Score. So for you, a freelancer, it’s important to maintain a good score.

Top freelancers will normally have a score of 90% and higher. To clients, this is a reflection of a freelancer who meets or even exceeds work expectations – leading to happy clients. These are the freelancers every client wants to work with. That’s how important your JSS is.

Radhika’s Upwork profile is at 100% Job Success – a score she works very hard to maintain.

 

So, what exactly is the Job Success Score (JSS) and how can you make sure that you get a higher score? What impacts your JSS? Let’s get into the nitty gritty.

The Upwork Job Success Score Explained

The Upwork Job Success Score is a measure of the quality of your work and reputation on Upwork. Your score is based on how clients rank your performance over a period of 24 months.

In simple terms, JSS is the comparison between your happy clients and unhappy clients, against the total number of clients you have had over the last 24 months.

Upwork’s Job Success Score is always displayed on your profile. If you’re a new freelancer, your JSS will be displayed after you’ve completed four or more projects.

While obviously we don’t know the exact algorithm behind the score, we do know that the system takes several factors into consideration when determining your performance.

These include:

  • Client feedback
  • Successful completion of work
  • Client complaints
  • Missed deadlines
  • Responsiveness levels (to interview invitations and client messages)
  • Disputes
  • Repeat clients

The JSS is updated every two weeks. Your goal should be to keep your score above 90%. If your score falls below 70%, you risk having your account suspended. You certainly don’t want this to happen especially after all the effort you put into landing clients in the first place.

You can find your current Job Success Score on your My Stats page.

What Causes Your Upwork Job Success Score to Dip?

There are several issues that can result in a drop in your score.

1. Negative client feedback

This is one of the biggest causes of a poor JSS. Both public and private feedback will affect your reputation on Upwork. Most clients are reasonable and will give credit where it’s due but if you do not deliver as agreed then you definitely won’t have a happy client.

Constant negative reviews will lead to a poor score and ultimately a suspended account. Focus on providing your clients with a great experience and you’ll receive great ratings and feedback.

2. Lack of Feedback

This is closely related to negative feedback. Also it is probably one of the factors that most of us don’t take into account.

So you’ve completed your job successfully and ended a contract, the client doesn’t give you any feedback.You ignore it because at least it wasn’t negative feedback!.

While a few jobs without feedback will not affect your JSS; if you have a pattern of contracts ending without feedback, it’s very likely to affect your score.

Whenever you complete a job successfully, politely remind the client to leave you feedback.

3. Inactive Contracts

There will be instances where you start a contract but for whatever reason, the contract doesn’t kick off. So no work/time is logged and no payment is made.

In other cases, you may work for a while and then the client doesn’t assign you any more work for a long period.

These two cases can affect your Job Success Score. Request a client to end such contracts as soon as you can, to prevent having a history of inactive contracts.

4. Missing Deadlines

Sticking to set deadlines is one of the best ways to build your reputation on Upwork. Clients want someone they can rely on. In fact, many clients will give you a bonus and a good review for work done under tight deadlines.

Missing deadlines will have an effect on your job success score. So unless it’s the client’s fault, always ensure you hand in work in good time. If you need more time, ask the client to change the due date in advance.

How Can You Improve Your Job Success Score?

Think of the Upwork Job Success Score as a trust signal for clients. Clients trust freelancers with good scores because it means they’re knowledgeable in their field and also reliable freelancers.

They want to hire freelancers with a track record of delivering projects on time and do the work as promised. A high JSS will therefore make your profile stand out and land you more projects.

To improve your Upwork Job Success Score, focus on delivering great work and maintaining a good reputation by doing the following:

  • Complete your projects successfully

Every time you accept a job, make sure that you give it your best and complete it successfully and under the agreed terms. Great communication is key in the success of your project. Work closely with your clients and communicate effectively and frequently during the contract.

Communicate promptly in case of instances where you may not be able to deliver work at the time agreed or if you are having any difficulties with the job.

Remember that a happy client equals good feedback and good feedback will improve your JSS.

  • Avoid poorly rated clients

Thankfully, freelancers are allowed to rate clients too and some clients are just not worth the time.

Before applying for a job or accepting an offer, check the client’s current review score. Are they rated highly or poorly?

Avoid poorly rated clients as they might be difficult to work with or may even leave unjust negative feedback to their freelancers.

No matter how enticing the job might be, you’re better off looking for another client as a poorly rated client might just end up giving you a poor score that affects your hard earned JSS.

A client’s rating can be viewed under ‘About Client’ in the job details page. You can also check out the actual feedback from other freelancers at the bottom of the job post so you know the reason for the poor feedback as well.

This client’s feedback is based only of 1 review but it’s already not a good impression.

 

  • End inactive contracts

If you have a client who has not assigned you any work for more than 4 weeks, contact them and ask to end the contract if they don’t have any more work for you at the moment. Remember to request them to leave you feedback.

A good reputation on Upwork is important if you want to keep a steady flow of income as a freelancer. Some of these mistakes can be easily avoided so do your due diligence to ensure that you get a high Upwork Job Success Score and keep it above 90%.

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

How to Get Your First Job on Upwork

So you’ve signed up to Upwork but how do you get your first job on Upwork?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone in asking us this question.

Every day, we get a bunch of emails from Upwork newbies, telling us they’ve signed up to the site but aren’t being able to get their first job.

We get it. It’s a tricky place to be.

Clients want to see your Upwork experience but when you’re new, how do you get some feedback if no one is willing to give you a chance. It can feel like a bit of Catch-22 but don’t worry you won’t be chasing your tail for long.

Getting your first job requires a bit of perseverance as a newbie. You have to work hard to apply for jobs and stand out from the crowd. But perseverance alone won’t get you the job.

Here are a few things we believe will help you navigate Upwork and improve your chances of landing that crucial first job on Upwork:

1. Start with a Powerful Profile

Your success on Upwork will largely depend on how good your profile is.

Your goal is to wow clients the moment they land on your profile. Tailor your profile to showcase your skills in a glimpse and let clients get to know you even before they invite you for jobs.

Begin by picking a niche. This should be an area that you have experience in. Then ensure that your entire profile talks about your experience in this niche.

See also: How To Make (More) Money On Upwork By Finding Your Niche

Keywords related to your niche are very important because this is what clients use to find suitable freelancers. Ensure that you include relevant keywords in your entire profile, from the headline, to overview to skills.

So for instance, if you’re a writer; instead of selling yourself as a general writer pick a niche within the writing profession and build your profile around this niche. This could be copywriting, web content writing, blogging, business writing, creative writing and so on.

Since writing is a pretty saturated field, our recommendation would be to niche down even further if possible by picking an industry or area to focus your efforts on. For example, you could be a health and fitness blogger or a landing page copywriter.

This is an example of a freelancer who has no clear niche and seems to be a jack of all trades:

When reviewing your profile include the following sections:

  • Headline: This is the first thing that a client sees on your profile. This part will either make the client read the rest of your profile or move on to the next freelancer. The headline tells the client what you have to offer in a just a few words. Be clear and concise when creating a headline. If you’re a copywriter, that should be clearly stated in your headline. Don’t make the client have to fish for more information to understand what service you really are offering.
  • Overview: This is one of the most important parts of your profile. Make sure your overview introduces you unambiguously to the client by letting them know what you have to offer. The main goal is to show how you – even if you’re a newbie – are different from the other freelancers. Your overview should answer the question “Why should I hire you over the others?”.

An example of a good overview:

  • Profile Photo: Clients want to know who they will be working with. Besides getting to know what you have to offer, they want someone they can trust. So, it helps if they can put a face to the profile. A good photo of you smiling will do wonders for you.
  • Experience: As a newbie, you will not have past Upwork jobs to back up your skills (obvs). But this doesn’t mean that you don’t have any professional experience.
    To navigate this big hurdle, take advantage of the experience section to showcase your expertise. Make sure that you add all relevant work that you’ve done in the past to show clients that you have the skills and the experience to back up your claims. offline.
  • Build a Portfolio: Again, using your past experience to describe your expertise is a great way to prove that you have something of value to offer. Build a portfolio that displays your work.
    For instance, if you’re a web designer and in your past full time jobs you built a couple of websites – add links in your portfolio to the sites you built (be sure to ask for permission to do this from previous clients/ employers)
  • Hourly Rate: The importance of thinking through the hourly rate is that many clients will look at your rate and use it to judge your expertise. The rate you settle on should reflect the level and quality of work that you can provide.
    Do some quick research on Upwork to see what other freelancers in your location, in your area of specialisation are charging to help you decide the best rate for you. Your rate is not set in stone so you can always change it later.
  • Take Upwork Tests:  Add to the weight of your experience by taking tests within your area of specialisation to show that you’re indeed good at what you say you are.
    Go beyond the basic English skills test and take industry related tests. Once you’ve done the tests make sure you show them on your profile for clients to see. If you score poorly on a test, remember you can always retake it. So don’t let failing scare you from showing off your knowledge.

See also: How to Create an Upwork Profile That Gets You Clients, FAST

2. Send Winning Proposals

Now that your profile is up-to-date and stands out, it’s time to send out proposals.

A sloppy proposal will not get you the job no matter how great your profile is. A proposal is what introduces you to the client so it should showcase your skills, and also tell the client why you are the right fit.

Go beyond what is in your profile and give important details such as what skills you will employ in the job, similar jobs that you’ve done in the past, how much time it will take you to get the job done and most importantly, the value you will add to their business.

In short, your proposal should let the client know that you are a valuable asset. Your proposal should be clear, address the job and concise.

See also: Upwork Proposal Tips To Win You More Jobs

3. Keep Your Applications Short

Don’t kill the client with boredom by making them read your uber long proposal. Most will actually skip over it. Instead, try and work with two to three paragraphs.

The key to writing a good proposal is to keep it relatively short. Don’t beat around the bush, stick to content that is related to the job. Don’t get too excited and put your entire resume on the proposal.

The goal is to make the client interested enough to check out your awesome profile.

4. Read the Job Description Fully

One of the best ways to get hired for any job, offline jobs included, is to showcase your knowledge of the hiring company and the position being applied for.

While as an Upwork freelancer it may be difficult to find out all the deets about the company/client, the job description alone can be a good starting point.

Get hired by showing the client that you read and understood the job requirements. To do so, you must read the job description fully and understand the needs of the client before sending your proposal. Use the job description to show the client how you are going to use your skills to fulfil their needs.

If the job description has questions, make sure you answer them in your job application. Some clients will want to know if your read the full job description and will even have extra instructions for this so keep an eye out!

See example below:

5. Complete the Job Application

When sending your proposal, ensure that you work on all the other job application requirements such as the proposed bid amount, estimated time it will take you to complete the job as well as any other special questions the client has added in the application process.

6. Be Selective of the Jobs you Bid on

When you start off, you might think it makes sense to apply to as many jobs as possible – some even unrelated to your niche of choice. However, this will only slow you down in finding your first job on Upwork.

Instead, bid on jobs within your niche. By bidding on a job that you have a genuine interest in, you will easily be able to write a good proposal that will land you the job because you fully understand what is required.

Clients also appreciate a freelancer with expertise in one particular area and are more likely to hire you if they see you have relevant experience.

7. Apply to Recently Posted Jobs

Create your job feed and add categories related to jobs within your niche. Use this feed to find newly posted jobs and apply to them before more freelancers do. This means that the client gets to receive and review your job application before the competition gets too high.

Applying to recently posted jobs also gives you an advantage especially when a client wants to hire immediately. This means that they are not interested in reviewing tons of applications, but looking to find a suitable freelancer as soon as possible. Clients are most likely to notice the first few applicants even if they are a newbie.

Subscribe to Upwork’s RSS feed to receive email notifications whenever related jobs are posted. This will help you stay abreast of all new jobs and apply to them immediately.

8. Ask Friends and Family to Hire you on Upwork

The more jobs and reviews you have on Upwork, the more likely you will get hired. But what happens if you just can’t seem to find that elusive first Upwork job? Look outside Upwork.

You might have family and friends who want to work with you already. Ask them to hire you on Upwork. This way, you can build your experience and improve your chances of getting more jobs.

Remember to ask them to leave you feedback once you complete a task. Feedback helps to rank your profile higher making it possible for more clients to find and invite you to apply to jobs.

9. Be Flexible

As a new freelancer, you may have to accept rates that are less than what you’re used to getting paid. This is ok especially if you have little experience and close to no items in your portfolio. As you start off, think beyond the pay and go for more than just the money.

Remember having a list of clients and good feedback is more valuable in the long run than one job that got you paid a couple of bucks. You can increase your rate once you build a record of successful jobs and set it to what you are comfortable with.

10. Nail Your Interview

A good proposal will not necessarily get you hired immediately but will land you an invitation to interview for the job. Now, this is your last chance to get the job so you better put your best foot forward.

Here are 4 quick tips on how to nail an interview on Upwork:

1. Do your homework. Know your client and their business well before you get down to the interview. Some clients will add their company names or links in the job description so use this to do a bit of research on them. This will go a long way toward showing your clients that you’re well-prepared to handle their project.

2. Showcase your expertise. Identify your core skills that are a good fit for the job and express them during the interview. Prepare samples around these skills and offer them to the client during the interview to show them how the skills will align with their needs.

3. Focus on client’s needs. Use the interview to show the client you understand their needs and you know how to fulfil them. Give a few suggestions on opportunities that would benefit the client or a solution to a problem that they may have. You want to come off as proactive in taking initiative. This will definitely impress them.

4. Ask the right questions. Interviews are also a great time to gain deeper understanding of what the client hopes to achieve. This will help you determine whether you’re indeed a good fit. Remember, the goal is not to just land a client but to do a good job and get a good review. If you don’t fully understand the role, you’ll end up doing a not so impressive job. So take this chance to ask questions about the job.

11. Be Professional

Good communication skills are not expected of writers alone. Good grammar and communication is proof of professionalism and gives you more authority as an expert regardless of your area of practice.

Most clients will not compromise on the way you communicate. So be professional in all ways, from your profile, photo to the proposal, to the interview and even in job delivery. Remain respectful at all times and when you land the job deliver what you promised and in a professional manner.

12. Keep Learning

As you apply for jobs on Upwork, take note of the skills that clients in your area of expertise are looking for. If you need to learn a new skill to make you more valuable to clients, go ahead and do it.

Take a look at top rated freelancers and find out what makes them great. Read their profiles and learn from them. Check out the jobs they apply to as well as the feedback they receive. What is it that they did that impressed clients? Try and offer such value.

Getting that first job can seem like a tough hurdle but our number one tip? Don’t give up.

It can be a bit of trial and error and you may face a few rejections but keep trying and refining your process until you nail that first job.

Following the above tips will help you kick start your freelance career on Upwork and eventually make it a major source of income for you.

Your success on Upwork relies on your determination and focus. So keep your profile captivating, learn to write great proposals, stay professional always and most importantly don’t give up!

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

Upwork Profile Mistakes That Are Costing You The Job

We are huge fans of Upwork and believe that a good quality profile can go a long way towards helping you find and attract the right clients for your freelancing business.

If you haven’t already read it, we highly recommend that you read our article on How to Create an Upwork Profile That Gets You Clients, FAST. This will help you get all the basics right.

Followed all the guidelines and still not seeing results? Make sure you’re not making one of these rookie Upwork mistakes.

Make sure you’re not making one of these rookie Upwork mistakes.

Mistake #1: Creating a Profile as an Afterthought

This is one of the Upwork profile mistakes most newbies probably make, without even realising they’re doing it.

It’s exciting to finally start freelancing and it’s understandable that you’ll want to start applying for jobs as soon as you can. However, don’t start building your business from the top up. A good foundation is very important. Similarly, a good profile is the FIRST step to landing you good jobs.

  • Once you join Upwork, create a winning profile from the get go.
  • Put in some thought at every step of the profile creation process.
  • Don’t just add meaningless stuff to your profile just to be able to complete the process and start applying for jobs.

A good profile will always be your first impression because clients don’t just look at your application but will pay more attention to your profile.

Mistake #2: Being a Jack of all Trades Freelancer

At the beginning, you will be tempted to want to show clients that you can do everything possible. You probably think you stand a higher chance of getting jobs if you can do a variety of tasks.

The truth is quality trumps quantity, big time.

If you want to start landing high-quality and well-paying jobs immediately, then you have to sell yourself as an expert. There’s no way you can be an expert in 20 different fields. It’s important that you choose a niche. Something you’re really good at and offer that as your main service.

By choosing a niche, your profile stands a chance of ranking higher as you will be offering something specific that clients are looking for. Clients want to hire freelancers who are experts.

Once you choose a niche, build your profile around it. Show your experience in this niche through a well thought-out description, relevant work history and a portfolio that demonstrates your experience in your chosen niche.

See also: How To Make (More) Money On Upwork By Finding Your Niche

This here is a great example of a freelancer who has narrowed down their focus on one niche (email marketing). Both the headline and the skills they have listed address this:

Mistake #3: Using Keywords All Wrong

Keywords are the words that clients use when looking for the right freelancers. For instance, if someone is looking for a freelancer to create a business website for them, they will probably search for  ‘web designer’. The Upwork system will then pull all the profiles that contain the ‘web designer’ keyword and show them first to the client.

Most freelancers either don’t use keywords at all or use too many, across too many different areas.

Not using keywords at all means that your profile will never appear first in the search results. Too many keywords, on the other hand, will make your profile appear spammy, inexperienced and sometimes even considered irrelevant by interested clients.

  • Keywords are especially great when creating your profile headline.
  • Pick 1 or 2 of the most important keywords in your niche and use them to write your title.
  • You should also use these keywords plus a few others, on your overview thoughtfully. Be careful not to overuse them.

Here’s an example of Upwork’s search results:

Mistake #4: Writing a Boring Profile Title

Your job title (also sometimes referred to as the headline or tagline), is among the three things on your profile that a client will see first when it comes up in search results.

The other two are your names and a few sentences of your overview.

Your job title is your first shot at grabbing the client’s attention enough to make them read the rest of your profile. So it has to stand out.

Most people’s headlines are generic, boring and lack creativity. They simply don’t arouse any curiosity. So how can YOU write a job title that is descriptive, attention-grabbing, clickworthy and concise?

  • Focus on offering value. Don’t make your headline all about you, instead use it to show clients the value you will add to their businesses.
  • Go straight to the point. Don’t be ambiguous, let the clients know what you have to offer from the word go. Remember that Upwork has a character limit of 70 for the headline so keep it short by going straight to the point.
  • Stick to your niche. Pick a few skills that clearly show your expertise in your chosen niche.
  • Don’t forget the keywords. Remember to include 2-3 relevant keywords in your headline.

This headline clearly states value to be offered:

Mistake #5: Wasting Valuable Real Estate in Your Overview

The profile overview is the most important part of your profile. This will be the deciding factor for a client whether to hire you or not.

When writing your overview, don’t lose the client by wasting time on pleasantries or describing yourself. Go straight to showing the value you will add.

Simply answer the question “Why are you the best candidate?”. Put yourself in client’s shoes and ask yourself what would convince you to hire you?

Put yourself in client’s shoes and ask yourself what would convince you to hire you?

6 MUST-DO Tips for Writing an Impressive Upwork Profile Overview:

  • Start with the most important info:

Only the first two or three sentences of your overview will be seen in the search results. So you want to ensure these first sentences have the most important information that will convince a client to hire you.

  • Focus on your niche:

In order to show your expertise, focus on showing your knowledge in your chosen niche only. Don’t waste space in your overview talking about other work experience if it’s not relevant to your niche.

  • Include keywords:

Do a quick search of the kind of jobs you’re trying to land in your niche and see the phrases clients use in the job descriptions. Then pick a few and include them in your overview.

  • Use good grammar:

Good grammar is not just for bloggers and copywriters. Using correct grammar is the first step in selling yourself as an expert regardless of your area of expertise.

  • Use short paragraphs:

Break down your description in small, easy-to-digest paragraphs instead of one huge one. This will keep the client interested and prevent them from having a brain freeze.

  • End with a call to action:

Why are you interested in getting the client to read your overview? To be hired, obviously, right? So make sure you end your description by reminding the client, politely and masterfully, that you’re the perfect candidate and not to hesitate to hire you. Example of a well written overview:

Mistake #6: Lacking a Strong Portfolio

The portfolio is the part in your profile that you use to show your previous works. Most freelancers, especially those starting out, normally leave this part blank.

This is wrong because almost all clients will ask for samples. Save them some time by uploading a portfolio.

If you don’t have any previous freelance work to showcase, try and be creative. For instance, if you’re a freelance writer or web designer and you have your own personal website, then you could add this as one of your previous works. You could also use video to describe relevant work that you did probably in one of your full time jobs.

When creating your portfolio, use a catchy image that will attract clients even if it’s not related to the sample you’re adding.

Also remember to give each sample a catchy title that will get people to read it and also an accompanying a solid description of what the sample is about.

Portfolios are especially great for supporting your freelance rate. So don’t ignore this part of your Upwork profile. An example of a good Upwork portfolio from an email marketing freelancer:

Mistake #7: Not Having a 100% Complete Profile

Creating a good Upwork profile takes work and time. Most people don’t want to do this. So what’s the result? Zero clients or low paying jobs that will leave you frustrated.

  • Over and above a good headline, overview and portfolio, ensure that you have a 100% complete profile. Upload a clear and professional photo of YOURSELF. Not your cat or your friend or some abstract object, you. Add all your relevant skills.
  • Include your work experience. This means all previous job positions you’ve held that are relevant to your niche. Also, include any certifications that you have and your education background.
  • There are lots of tests on Upwork that you can take to showcase your knowledge in your niche. Don’t ignore these.
  • Take as many as you can and don’t just do them for the sake of it. Take them seriously, pass and publish the results so that clients can see them

To sum it all up

Success as a freelancer is all about how well you market yourself. A high-quality profile is your first step into attracting good quality clients on Upwork. Take your time to create a quality profile and update it whenever necessary.

Remember that Upwork might seem like a crowded place but if you make the effort to stand out from the crowd, there is plenty of work for you. So stay relevant, be unique and put the work in, right from the beginning.

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

Sites like Upwork & Freelancer – 16 Similar Alternatives

Freelancing platforms are a major source of clients for most freelancers and online business owners. Popular sites like Upwork have continued to be a source of steady income for many people in the freelance workforce.

Upwork and Freelancer are currently the biggest and most popular freelancing sites online. Upwork has 12 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients while Freelancer has 23 million+ employers and freelancers globally.

Both sites offer an array of freelance work opportunities ranging from graphic & web design, copywriting, software development, accounting, project management, virtual assistance, IT, translation, data entry, admin work, engineering, internet marketing, social media marketing, mobile development, product design, among so many others. You can practically find any job on these two sites.

While the success these two sites is undeniable, competition for clients is equally high. The good thing is that there are now lots of other opportunities to find work on some of the lesser known sites similar to Freelancer and Upwork.

Let’s take a look at 16 great sites like Upwork and Freelancer that you should consider using to find good clients.

Related Posts:

1. FlexJobs

FlexJobs is an online jobs platform that lists verified job postings. Jobs posted on this site are diverse and similar to those on Upwork or Freelancer.

What makes this site stand out is that the jobs are hand picked and verified reducing the number of scams on the site. This, however, comes at a small fee of $14.95 per month,  $29.95 for 3 months and $49.95 annually.

2. Guru

Guru is another online freelancing site connecting freelancers with clients from all over the world. Jobs on Guru are fit for any type of freelancer and are spread out to all industries.

To get started on the site you need to have a profile and portfolios of your past work. Take advantage of the daily job-matching feature to find new clients signing up on the site daily.

3. Craigslist

Your favoruite buying and selling platform, Craigslist, is also a great source of freelance work. The site has a job site that lists various job postings. The good thing about Craigslist is that you can such jobs within your locality using the geolocation filter.

4. Project4Hire

Project4Hire is popular with all types of freelancers and is similar to Upwork and Freelancer in terms of jobs available. One difference, though, is that you will be charged 5% of your earnings immediately you get awarded a project before you even start working on the job. Don’t worry though if the client doesn’t hire you, this fee termed as the Acceptance Fee will be refunded to your account. The site is a great place for freelancers with a bit of freelance experience to get high paying clients.

5. iFreelance

iFreelance is the place to be for coders, marketers, writers, and editors. What makes this site popular is that unlike so many sites like Upwork and Freelancer, iFreelance does not charge you a single cent for using the site, you keep 100% of your earnings.

6. Skillbridge

Skillbridge has set itself apart as the go-to freelance site for highly skilled freelancers and industry experts who are looking for short-term jobs. If you get accepted on the site, you either work remotely or take on a specific project only. If you are a seasoned freelancer with sought-after skills, this is the site of choice. The site was recently acquired by freelancing giant Toptal.

7. Ozlance

OzLance is dedicated to the freelancers interested in working with Australian and New Zealand professionals and business owners. The site features all types of freelancing jobs. The site limits applications to freelancers in Australian and New Zealand.

8. YunoJuno

YunoJuno attracts elite freelancers looking for high-end clients. To join the site, create a profile and apply to join. If accepted, you can apply for jobs listed in clients’ briefs. You’ll find jobs ranging from customer service to web development fields.

9. Toptal

Toptal is where highly qualified software developers and designers can find jobs with top tech companies and startups. The site also offers members the chance to network through the Toptal Community that holds meetups and tech events.

10. 99Designs

99Designs is a freelance jobs board that features jobs for freelance designers. To get hired, display samples of your work such as logos, websites, banners, business cards etc. on the site and attract clients. You can also compete in design contests and if you win the contest, you get the project money. This is a great way for new freelance designers to get started.

11. Fiverr

Fiverr offers similar job opportunities as most general freelance job sites. However, it works differently from all of them. Here, clients don’t post jobs. Instead, as the freelancer, you’re expected to create “gigs” based on the skills you’re offering. In short, you tell the client what you will do for them, the budget and the time it will take to complete the job. The client then decides whether they’re interested in buying your service. The site works best for freelancers offering “micro jobs” that don’t take too much time to complete. This could be for instance voice overs, reviews, logos, blog comments, etc. Fiverr projects used to be priced at $5 (hence the name) but this is no longer the case.

12. Text Broker

Text Broker is an online job listing with various freelance writing jobs for US citizens. The site is great for freelance writers with any writing skills. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert writer, there’ll be a suitable job for you on Text Broker.

13. We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely, just like the name suggests, lists remote jobs only. These jobs can be copywriting, customer service, design, programming, and many other fields. The site was inspired by the book “Remote – Office Not Required” written by the founders of 37signals. It helps freelancers to find jobs that help them live a digital nomad life.

14. Remote.co

Remote.co features a job board listing remote work positions available globally. Here you can find diverse job positions in tech, marketing, design and even admin roles. A lot of the jobs will be limited to US citizens only. Most companies using the site to find freelancers will also be looking to offer full-time remote positions.

15. Outsourcely

Outsourcely connects its well-selected freelancers with long-term and short-term freelance projects. A lot of the clients on the site, however, are more interested in offering long-term remote work. The site also allows you to work and get paid directly by the client. This can save you lots service fees that other platforms charge.

16. Twago

Twago is a freelance marketplace that caters exclusively to Europe. The site is similar to most freelancing sites. To work get clients on the site, create a free profile and then apply to jobs that interest you.

The internet of full of opportunities to make your freelance career a success. Don’t struggle to find clients by limiting yourself to the two freelance jobs board giants. Expand your reach by exploring these other sites similar to Upwork and Freelancer!

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

What is Upwork and How to Make Money With It?

If you have been reading this blog for some time, you will know that we are huge fans of Upwork. We have written tons of articles about how to get started, get jobs and build a successful freelancing career on Upwork.

You can get high paying, good quality clients on Upwork. You just have to know how to approach it right. With the right strategy, you can definitely build up a well oiled freelancing machine that brings you clients without you even having to try too hard.

So if you are a newbie freelancer and wondering what Upwork is and how to make it all work out for you – this is the post for you.

What is Upwork?

Upwork is a freelancing platform – one of the biggest around. Freelancers (like you) sign up and create a profile that highlights the skills you have to offer. Clients (business owners, startup people, entrepreneurs etc) post jobs on Upwork when they need help getting a job done. Clients will normally posts jobs that they want done. You then bid on the jobs you want to work on by sending a proposal to the client.

 

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There are hundreds of jobs to choose from on Upwork. Upwork lists jobs in different categories including Web, Mobile & Software Dev, Design & Creative, Admin Support, IT & Networking, Writing, Customer Service, Sales & Marketing, Translation and many more.

Is Upwork Worth it?

As a freelancer, working on Upwork is your first step to freedom. It’s a great place to start as a freelancer as you try to figure out the world of freelancing.

So is Upwork worth it for a freelancer? In short, yes. For the long version… keep reading.

– You get to work on projects that excite and interest you. You pick the kind of projects that you want to work on. While as a beginner you may be tempted to take on any job that comes your way, with time you will realise that it’s much easier and better to work on projects that you enjoy.

– Upwork clients are diverse and spread out worldwide. You can therefore seek work outside your geographical area expanding your chances of getting hired. Working with clients remotely gives you the perfect opportunity to travel the world as you work if travel is something you fancy.

– There are so many clients looking to hire freelancers but most fear doing so because they don’t have the right infrastructure to manage freelancers. Freelancing sites like Upwork take care of this by doing all the work of managing freelancers. This gives more clients the confidence to hire and work with freelancers. In return, as a freelancer on Upwork you get a higher chance of finding reliable clients.

– The ultimate goal for every successful freelancer is to have a constant stream of income from long term clients. Finding clients on your own when you are starting out can be a struggle. But if you start out on Upwork and impress your clients you can easily get long term contracts as well as referrals.

– Getting paid on Upwork is straightforward and secure. One of the reasons why most freelancers avoid using freelance platforms is the fear of losing their money after working hard. However, Upwork tracks any hours you work and bill the client automatically. For jobs that are charged per project and not hourly, the client is required to deposit funds into escrow. This assures you of payment once you deliver the project.

How much does it cost to use Upwork?

Joining Upwork is free for freelancers but you can also choose to upgrade to a Plus plan for $10 per month.

While joining Upwork is free, working on the site is not. Upwork charges every freelancer a service fee.

This is a percentage of your earnings charged when a client pays you. The service fee is a sliding fee based on your lifetime billings with each client. This means that the service fee reduces as you keep earning more from each client.

The charges are as follows:

  • 20% for every job as long as the amount paid by the client is below $500.
  • 10% once the total amount paid to you by the client is above $500 but below $10,000
  • 5% once the total amount paid by the client exceeds $10,000

What this means is that for instance when you get the first job from a particular client and the amount paid is between $1-$500, Upwork will take away 20% of the amount paid.

But if you get a second job and the total amount paid from the first job and the second job amounts to more than $500 but is less than $10,000 you the platform will take 10% from the amount paid for the second job.

The idea behind the sliding fees is to encourage freelancers to perform their best in order to get recurring jobs from the same clients. This helps to improve the quality of work offered on the site and improving clients’ trust on the site.

How do you get paid on Upwork?

There are two types of contracts on Upwork – hourly and fixed price.

Hourly projects are tracked on a weekly basis from Monday to Sunday. It’s your responsibility to ensure that every time you work on the hourly project the time worked is recorded on your work diary.

Once the work week is over, the client has 5 days to dispute any time recorded. If there are no disputes the money will then be moved to your Upwork account. The funds will be ready for withdrawal after a few days.

You can choose to withdraw your money from Upwork via different payment gateways including bank transfer, wire transfer, Paypal. The methods of withdrawal will depend on your country. More details here.

Is Upwork Safe & Legit?

Every freelancer’s biggest worry is not getting paid. Despite having contracts in place, we have all heard of freelancers who have been ripped off by their clients. And, when your clients are overseas sometimes there’s so little you can actually do!

Upwork helps to take care of this with its Payment Protection guarantee. What does this mean? For every hourly job you do, time will be tracked on a weekly basis and the client is billed automatically. Make sure that you use the Upwork Work Diary every week to track your work.

If you have fixed-price jobs, clients are supposed to pre-fund each project before you start working. This way, there’s money at the end of the project. Always remind the client to fund a project before you start working on it.

How to Get Started on Upwork?

Your success on Upwork relies on creating a compelling profile that will make clients see you as a highly skilled professional.

When creating your profile make sure that you focus on showing the client why hiring you is the best decision they will ever make.

Complete your profile all the way to the end. Add a professional looking photo, create a catchy title and write a powerful description that shows the value you will bring to your client.

Add a portfolio showcasing your past work. Mention your educational background and list your previous experience. Do not forget to take various tests in your skills set. All this information will act as proof of your expertise and convince clients that you are the best candidate for the job.

Think of your Upwork profile as a resume or marketing brochure. So highlight your professional skills, experience, portfolio, education and accomplishments.

Do not forget grammar. Make sure your profile is grammatically correct and error free regardless of the area of expertise you are interested in. Good grammar is not expected from writers and bloggers but from anyone who considers themselves a professional.

We have an exhaustive article on How to Create an Upwork Profile That Gets You Clients, FAST. Make sure you check it out.

See also: Upwork Profile Mistakes That Are Costing You The Job

How do you find clients on Upwork?

Finding your first job on Upwork will be the hardest part when you are getting started. Not going to pretend it is an easy task. But it’s not impossible.

Clients will typically hesitate to hire a newbie without past work or reviews on Upwork. But, don’t get discouraged because everyone has to start somewhere.

To find clients on Upwork, type a keyword in the search box. There will be lots of jobs available so take a good look at each job and read the requirements carefully.

Remember that you will be competing with other highly skilled freelancers both newbies and veterans. So you have to put your best foot forward.  Focus your efforts on the jobs you’re highly qualified for.

Once you find the right job, the next step is to send a winning proposal. When writing your proposal:

  • Avoid using a template. Optimise your proposal for every job that you apply for. This will show the client that you actually read the job description.
  • Remember that a proposal introduces you to the client before they even read your profile. So make it a powerful teaser that will get the client curious to read the rest of your profile.
  • Keep it short and informative. Avoid being ambiguous and instead go straight to telling the client how your skills will help to make the project a success.

Here are Upwork Proposal Tips To Win You More Jobs.

How do you become successful on Upwork?

To help you get started and stay successful on Upwork, we’ve compiled some of our most popular Upwork-related articles from the blog. Go on, have a read and start implementing our tried and tested tips!

A kickass profile will set you on the road to success on Upwork. Get the work done, your freelancing future depends on how good your profile is.

Newbies make lots of rookie errors that can be avoided. Check out the 7 most common mistakes new freelancers make on Upwork and make sure you don’t repeat them.

Ok so you’re sold on why Upwork is the platform to be in. You’ve signed up to the platform but you’ve been rejected. What next? We give you some tips here to help your profile get approved.

Now that your Upwork profile is up and ready to go, it’s time to start applying for jobs. In this blog post, we share tips on how to write powerful proposals that make clients pay attention to you.

Getting that first job is usually the hardest part. So don’t give up if you keep get rejected. To end the rejection streak, we bring you all our “first Upwork job” advice together into a nutshell.

Have you heard about the Upwork Job Success Score (JSS)? Did you know that if your score falls below 70%, you risk having your account suspended? This blog post is all about helping you understand the JSS and how to make sure yours is always high.

Breaking into Upwork, can seem tough at the start. This post will help you stand out, attract clients and make it easier for you to get jobs (and make money).

The most successful freelancers on Upwork are those who have established themselves as an expert in a certain niche. In this post we talk about why choosing a niche is important and how it can help you make more money on Upwork.

Upwork is a great place to get your freelance business started. But with more people starting to freelance, it’s definitely becoming a competitive platform. To remain relevant and to make the best out of Upwork, it’s important you understand fully how it works. Take your time to create a profile sells and put in some thought when sending out proposals.

 

Ref: Fulltime Nomad

Upwork Proposal Tips To Win More Jobs

Upwork is one of the best platform when looking for freelancing clients. In this article we are sharing some solid upwork proposal tips to win you more jobs.

We believe there are two major contributors to success on Upwork.

  1. Having a winning Upwork profile
  2. Writing and sending out awesome proposals

In most of cases, before the client even sees your profile, they will receive your proposal. Which means your proposal needs to make a great first impression. You must highlight why you are the perfect person for the job and do it effectively.

So how do you write a good Upwork proposal?

Here are some tested tips that we hope will help you write a winning proposal too. We have also included an Upwork proposal sample that you can download and use.

Upwork Proposal Tips

1. Find the right job

Before you start writing your proposal, you’ll need a job to apply to. Obviously.

Stating the obvious here but it’s important that you find the right job — one that you are likely to get hired for.

The best job is one that matches your preferred niche and skill set. This is a job that you are more likely to complete successfully and satisfy your clients with, thus improving your profile reputation.

For example, if your niche is graphic design and you have great design skills and experience in desktop publishing, then the job below would be perfect for you.

However, if you’re experienced in marketing with only a surface-level experience of graphic design — you are much less likely to get hired for this job.

 

2. Review the job requirements

Before you send your proposal, make sure you read the details of the Job Description thoroughly. Obvious advice but trust us, it’s not always followed.

Understand what the client wants and honestly assess if you’re able to fullfil the requirements.

As you can see in this job description, the client is very clear on what they want from the freelancer. (Not all jobs on Upwork are this detailed but most of them do describe what they need to some extent).

If you fit the requirements and decide to apply, make sure you address the client’s requests in your proposals. Many, many freelancers don’t full read the job ad, send out a generic proposal and then wonder why they don’t hear back from the client.  😕

Pay attention, put a bit of effort in to show the client you read the job post and you’re much more likely to get responses.

3. Don’t use a generic response

Once you’ve found a job that is the right fit, it’s time to start writing your proposal. Our number one tip? Don’t send out a  generic response.

Note: It’s okay to have a template that outlines your basic skills and highlights why you are an awesome freelancer. In fact, it’s a good idea to have a basic template ready to go as it saves you having to write from scratch each time. But, it’s not okay to just copy-paste your template and send it to all potential clients without even addressing their specific job requirements. 

Unique proposals tend to be more convincing and thus better at getting you jobs because clients appreciate the effort you put into addressing what they are looking for. More often than not, the client can tell when you have copy-pasted your proposal.

See also: 7 Rookie Upwork Profile Mistakes That Are Costing You The Job

4. Explain why you’re the right fit

Your main goal when writing a proposal is to show the client that you are the best fit for the job.

So, your proposal shouldn’t just be a list of your skills and experience (that’s what your profile is for). Instead, explain why your skills and experience make you the ideal person for the job. Address how you plan to complete the job by sharing your unique approach to the project. If you have worked on similar jobs or projects, mention them and show how that experience will be relevant to the client’s job. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask (clever) questions.

All of this will show the client that you actually read the entire job description. (Yes, we keep coming back to this point — but it really is *that* crucial!). Also, if there are any questions the client has asked in the job description, make sure you answer them in your proposal.

5. Give them your interview availability

Avoid the back and forth and tell the client about your availability for an interview right from the get-go. Interviews are a great way for you to open up communication with the client.

As you finish writing up your proposal, simply add in a line that goes something like this:

I am available for an interview Monday to Friday 10 am to 12pm (UTC + 10:00 timezone). I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss the job further.

6. Be attentive to additional questions

Many Upwork clients will ask you to answer one or more Additional Questions during the proposal stage. When reviewing a job, you will be able to see a list of additional questions at the bottom of the job description. This will help you prepare your answers before you start the proposal submission process.

Most freelancers tend to pay more attention to the cover letter and fill in the additional questions just for the sake of it, some don’t even answer these questions.

When you click on ‘ Submit a Proposal’ you can usually see the the section for Additional Questions after the Cover Letter.

However, after you submit your proposal: the additional questions are the first thing the client sees when they receive your proposal, not the cover letter!

So… put the effort into writing relevant, interesting responses to the questions. Most clients usually put in the additional questions because that is specifically the information they are interested in. Receiving generic cover letters is annoying so the additional questions help them weed out the freelancers that didn’t even bother putting in the effort. Don’t get weeded out — answer the questions!

7. Send samples of past work

Some clients will ask for work samples while others will not. Even if the client doesn’t ask, always provide your work samples. There’s no harm in showing them how awesome you are.  😉

You can do this by directing their attention to the portfolio section of your Upwork profile, sending them a link to your portfolio elsewhere or even by attaching a few samples of previous work.

If your samples are good, the client will be suitably impress and it gives you a higher chance of landing the job.

8. Be professional and friendly

Clients want someone they can work with easily. Good communication is a huge part of this.

The way you communicate in your proposal can give them a good indication of your communication skills. Keep your language professional — you want to make a good impression. But, you’re not in a stiff upper lip corporate setting here so relax a little and don’t be afraid to be friendly.

No “Dear Sir” or worse, “Dear Sir or Madam”

Sometimes you might be able to see the client’s name in the job description. Don’t be afraid to use it and say  “Hi John”, Hello John” or “Dear John”.  Some people will say using “Hi” or “Hello” is too casual but we disagree. It’s much more real.

If you can work in a bit of humour into your cover letter — go for it. Just, you know… remember to keep it professional still.

For example:

“Hello John. 

I’m an experienced fashion writer and I think I’d be a great fit for your new brand. I’m good at blogging (I’ll share my experience in a second) but what gets me really excited about this job is that you sell hats! I LOVE hats. I have 57 different hats and some may say I’m obsessed, but I just like to look it as fashion forward. I think you’ll agree?

So anyway, here’s my fashion blogging portfolio and my hat fashion-filled Instagram adventures…..”

A bit of humour and friendliness shows the client you’re not just another drone but actually a real person with personality.

9. Keep it short and concise

You will be tempted to include everything you can in your job proposal. We get it. You want them to see all the awesome things you’ve ever done. Truth is — this will not get you the job.

Long proposals are boring and will often go unread or simply ignored.  Keep your proposals short and to the point. What’s more important is your creativity in proving yourself and not the number of words used in your proposal.

So there you go, those are top nine tips for writing killer Upwork proposals that get a client’s attention.

Also, check out this video by Upwork for some extra guidance on how to submit an effective proposal.

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A quality profile and thoughtful proposals are a winning formula for Upwork.

Have you sent out any Upwork proposals? Any tips you’d like to share with us? Or maybe you have some more questions. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: If your Upwork profile was rejected, it may be because Upwork is now reviewing new freelancer registrations. Unfortunately we are not able to advise on issues with individual Upwork profiles as we do not have access to members’ private info. More info on the Upwork Support website {click on link to read}. If you continue to have issues, please contact Upwork directly regarding this. Good luck 🙂

Ref : Fulltime Nomad