Upwork was born after two major freelance marketplace sites (Odesk and Elance) merged. It is believed to be the highest earning community of all other freelance sites with estimated gross earnings of over $920M.
Using modern day tech, The Upwork App is required so that all working hours are tracked and monitored.
This App periodically captures the screen to enable Upwork clients the ability to review hours billed and ensure they, in fact, are hours worked.
How to get Started With Upwork
Upwork is ideal for anyone looking to work online, as a freelancer, in just about any industry; but, the first step is setting up a profile.
Creating a Profile
A profile is simply a resume.
It is imperative to build a comprehensive profile and complete every aspect available. This is one of the areas that you need to commit a few hours of your time. Especially if you want to be successful in procuring work on Upwork.
A “100% complete” profile will help you move up the Upwork search engine in a much shorter time. Thus ensuring you are found in the sea of freelancers.
Positioning your profile
This is one area where most people fail. It is imperative that you choose one focus or one skill and include precise details, instead of generalizing. For example, indicate that you offer ‘WordPress Development’ instead of ‘Web Development’ or ‘Copywriting’ instead of ‘Marketing’.
Do you have a unique skill? Say, are you a HotDoc Developer? Be sure to expand on this and indicate such within your available skills profile.
The more specific and detailed, the more you will be found through freelancer searches.
Setting your payment rate on Upwork
If you are new on Upwork, it is important to set up a lower rate (than your average rate) until you have a few jobs under your belt. Just because your are an expert outside of Upwork doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be added into the top dogs.
You need to build up reviews and repeat clients. Build a trust within the community. Once you have that, you can bump up your rates to your desired or usual amount.
Example: If you are a Virtual Assistant that usually charges $15 per hour, list yourself at $10 or $12 per hour until you have a few reviews.
Take as many Upwork tests as possible
Most people skip this part because of how boring it can be but its such a vital piece to your Freelancer Profile.
Take every test you possibly can and score as high as you can. By “every test” I am meaning every test within your Niche or offered skill set.
The more tests you take the more job applications you get and the higher your profile ranks on Upwork.
Applying for work
A quick way of checking on job availability is by using the search box and looking at jobs similar to the skill set you’re offering on Upwork.
Aim for ‘Fixed priced jobs’ that are lowly paying instead of hourly ones since you only need a few jobs to jumpstart your freelance career.
Once you have a few completed jobs on your record, then focus on the hourly paying positions. There is where you’ll find more steady work and higher pay.
You may find getting the first job quite tasking because a lot of people are hesitant to hire someone without any reviews.
However, this should not discourage you because the moment you land the first one, it will be a lot easier to get more.
How to apply for Upwork Jobs and Actually Win Them.
Remember you are competing with other freelancers around the world. Therefore, it is important to pay great attention to the job details and avoid copy-pasting a cover letter like 80% of other applicants do.
Write a unique introduction of yourself, why you fit their specific job, and what you can offer. This will make you stand out and should help solidify an interview.
Personally, when I hire Upwork Freelancers, I only interview those that give me unique cover letters. I won’t even review someone’s profile without it.
Example Cover letter:
Just ran across your job posting for [title or skill] and this looks like a perfect fit for me. Over the past several years, I have [beiefe details on something that you’ve done that relates to the job post].
[More Specific Samples that relate to the potential client’s needs]
I am fully aware that there are a number of other freelancers who will underbid me on this project, but I can assure you that my work is precise, quick and of the highest quality.
Below you can take a look at a portfolio of my latest projects.
[Links to portfolio]
I have a few questions about the project:
[List a for focused questions]
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to working with you.
Be available to Communicate with Clients
Once you send out applications, you should get some responses from clients seeking clarifications or requesting an interview. Make sure you reply to them in a timely manner.
If they ask any questions, answer them with as much details as possible.
Last but not Least, Niche your Upwork Profile
Although I mentioned earlier about scaling your skills set, you may want to find a niche on Upwork and become the “go-to” freelancer for that.
By niche, I mean to dig a bit deeper than just an “industry”. Sure, you could be a WordPress Developer but do you specialize in Real Estate Sites or Attorney Sites, etc?
Perhaps you are logo designer. But, do you specialize in unique, hand drawn sketched logos or abstract shaped logos, etc.
Find your focus and specialty. Then, present yourself as if you are the only one that offer such a skill. (Not in an “entitled” kind of way, though!)
However, this can come later. Especially, if you’re wanting build up a few reviews, first.
Okay, there you have it! A good solid foundation on how to use Upwork to further your work from home career through Upwork!
I don’t care what you decide to do next, please make sure you don’t quit working online. The online world is where it’s at my friend, so stick with it!