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Highlighting Top Talent to Quality Clients

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Upwork Staff
Iliana M Upwork Staff Member Since: Jan 30, 2018
11 of 70
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Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
12 of 70

Iliana M wrote:

Thanks so much for this honest feedback, Michael! This part was particularly useful and is something I'd love to work on:

 

  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork?
  • I'd get decent suggestions for prospects, rather than the random/misguided stuff I get now. 
  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?
  • Implement negative search terms. Integrate the various skill sets and descriptions scattered throughout the product into one informed dataset to rule them all.

Could you share a few examples of:

 

- jobs you like

The jobs I say I do in my profile and Popular [sic] Projects: I edit peer-reviewed journal submissions, books, and the occasional dissertation.

- random/misguided prospects you're receiving & where you're receiving them (email, invites from our Talent Specialists, etc)

video editor (can come from anywhere)

copywriter; resume writer; pitch deck writer (mostly from the Academic Writing category feed)

- negative search terms you'd like to use

-video; -copywriter; -resume; -writer

-entry level; -intermediate (these might actually work better as filters than negative search terms)

 

[update: Negative search already exists, using the standard convention of the minus sign. I'll report back if I find any issues with it.]

 

Also, would love to hear more what you mean by this: Is there any hope you will do proper beta testing, and not the arbitrary/a priori/seemingly random A/B testing you do now?

 

Beta tests are user tests, conducted after alpha or internal testing, that are invitational or volunteer. In B2B beta testing, testers are briefed on the intended and expected behavior of any changes, and there is a protocol for feedback. Beta testers know that new features may not be fully or smoothly implemented, or work as expected. They sign up for testing despite that risk because they want to give feedback on and influence the shape of evolving software.

Upwork's version of A/B testing is: If we live in California or New Jersey (earn x dollars a year, have green eyes) the system will work for us this way. If we live anywhere else (earn <>x dollars a year, have another eye color), the system will work another way. But we don't know that. We are assigned to a test category at Upwork's discretion. Upwork does not discuss the workings of the test, and may or may not announce that a feature or protocol is being tested. Upwork decides based on the data it generates whether to modify, implement, or abandon the tested feature.


Weirdly, Upwork has occasionally tried to do both type of testing at once on the same feature, which must have rendered the results absolute hash.

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
13 of 70

Iliana M wrote:
  • What type of work do you do?

I'm a Grants Professional, or as you call it here, a grant writer.

 

  • How could Upwork help clients identify top talent in this type of work?

The biggest problem I see is that you let anyone who calls themselves a "writer" select "grantwriting" as a skill when these people have never actually won a grant or have perhaps only written and won one, maybe two. Top grant writers or Grants Professionals, as our industry calls us, are not editors or content writers. We work in the field of philanthropy with foundations and government agencies to secure funding. It's much more than filling out a grant application. It's frustating that my profession is listed under "writing" making it seem like something an editor does. Is there cross over? Sure, but there's cross over in things with IT too, but it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be separate since a true grants professional isn't also editing fiction novels (typically). So if clients want truly top tier grants professionals or grant writers, if that's what we're being forced to be called, then allowing every joe schmoe who thinks they are a writer to select that as a skill, when they have no job history or earnings to that effect makes it difficult for clients to know who is actually a grant writer or not. I don't really know that there is a way to fix this, since what needs to really happen is verifying someone's experience and work history - which is something the client should be doing. 

 

  • What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional?

To make money without killing myself to do so.

 

  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork? 

Invitations from TS and clients that are actually relevant to my skills and to the size project I actually work on. A small project is approximately $1000 to me, and I don't consider projects at less than my rate. Sending me invites that are below my rate or desired project size are just wasting my time and the client's. 

 

  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?

Most of my projects are long-term, and occasionally a milestone can take months to complete. My JSS just took a huge hit, not because any client was unhappy or a bad rating, but because I had an open contract that I hadn't yet billed for, because, as I am wanting the client to be happy, the client and I took longer to complete the first milestone than Upwork deemed to be successful. So I don't make more money when you screw with my JSS because you don't like how long a contract has been open. You lump small freelancers who do 1-2 hour gigs with freelancers who do multi-month or year projects together and try to judge us by the same metric. You want to promote long-term, big contracts, but you penalize us when we are trying to give the best service possible to the client. Ridiculous. 

 

Even worse, you promote the JSS as solely client satisfaction when the client hovers over it on a freelancer profile. You could at least be honest that it's not entirely based on client ratings. 

 

 


 

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Upwork Staff
Iliana M Upwork Staff Member Since: Jan 30, 2018
14 of 70

Thanks so much for this very valuable feedback, Amanda! I heard every piece & they're clear to me: the frustration with JSS going down when a project of yours was open for a long time without billing, people positioning themselves as grant writers when they don't have the level of experience you have, etc. 

 

Could you share some examples of invites you're receiving from clients or TS that are wasting your time, as well as some jobs that you would like to be invited to?

 

Invitations from TS and clients that are actually relevant to my skills and to the size project I actually work on. A small project is approximately $1000 to me, and I don't consider projects at less than my rate. Sending me invites that are below my rate or desired project size are just wasting my time and the client's. 

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
15 of 70

Iliana M wrote:

Thanks so much for this very valuable feedback, Amanda! I heard every piece & they're clear to me: the frustration with JSS going down when a project of yours was open for a long time without billing, people positioning themselves as grant writers when they don't have the level of experience you have, etc. 

 

Could you share some examples of invites you're receiving from clients or TS that are wasting your time, as well as some jobs that you would like to be invited to?

 

Invitations from TS and clients that are actually relevant to my skills and to the size project I actually work on. A small project is approximately $1000 to me, and I don't consider projects at less than my rate. Sending me invites that are below my rate or desired project size are just wasting my time and the client's. 

 

 

 


So my level of experience is set at Expert and my hourly rate is visible. I often get invites that are below my hourly rate or below my expertise level.  It's pointless to send a proposal to someone who can't afford me. So  I'd like TS to stop sending those invites. If a client did it, I'd presume that they had seen it didn't match and that they would consider my hire rate.  

 

Also, before I basically removed every skill but my main one, even though I have those skills, I'd get invites for other kinds of writing that weren't related to what I do.  I modified my skillset, even though it's less now, to avoid those unwanted invites. 

 

I'd like to get invites from clients interested in projects  that will typically last more than 3 months and also that are actually eligible to win a grant.  Out of all the clients who come seeking grant writing services, only 1/3 of them are actually eligible to receive a grant.  Similar to Mary's distinction about being a paralegal, for-profit companies do not typically receive grants (yes, SBIR is an exception as are some others) and  people don't typically get grants to buy a building to open a laundromat or deli or whatever. Late night TV has filled their heads with garbage about free money...I'll end my rant on that here.  What would help is doing something to get clients to put a little more information in their job description. I'm not even interested in saying what they are required to put, just somehow getting them to write  more about their project.   What industry? What region (this is actually important because some regions have more funding than others)?  How long have you been in operation?  Honestly it's not even that it has to be super long. I've had plenty detailed descriptions come in 2 sentences, because they hit the right specifics concisely. 

 

I don't know how to solve that problem, Iliana, but it' s the reason I often skip postings that possibly could lead to a lot of money and likely clients never hire anyhow. I had one client who had a vague description and I was just curious. She said no one had responded and hired me. She turned out to be my biggest client on Upwork, around $5k to $6k, and she won  $1.2 million grant.  Smiley Happy 

 

Which leads me to another suggestion: some of us do long-term projects, finish them, but then the client doesn't see their ROI for months. I'd love some of my clients who won money 9 months after we submitted the grant be able to leave that feedback. 

 

Hope this clarifies. 

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
16 of 70

Iliana M wrote:

 

 

  • What type of work do you do?
  • I am a translator
  • How could Upwork help clients identify top talent in this type of work?
  • Since everybody can claim to be a translator, it would make sense to me to somehow mark the translators that can prove their qualification (university degree, certification from another reknown organisatition etc.) Having access to google does not turn one into a translator and I could name 5 English to German translators that are top rated by the clients, but provide translation that are far from industry standard. Unfortunately most clients believe that top rated means that the translator is also qualified.
  • What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional?
  • Provide quality
  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork? 
  • Only relevant invites from TS and clients that are willing to pay for quality and not just some cheep work they could have gotten for free as well.
  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?
  • Vent freelancers for their qualification, not only relying on the clients feedback. Clients hire translators because they do not speak the target language.

 

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Upwork Staff
Iliana M Upwork Staff Member Since: Jan 30, 2018
17 of 70

Thanks so much for this feedback, Jennifer - totally get it! Could you provide some examples of jobs that you'd be excited to get invited to, and some invites that you received (from TS and clients) that you didn't want to receive?

 

  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork? 
  • Only relevant invites from TS and clients that are willing to pay for quality and not just some cheep work they could have gotten for free as well.

 

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Upwork Staff
Iliana M Upwork Staff Member Since: Jan 30, 2018
18 of 70

If you need to share these with me privately, you can use this form to do that: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScDZ8Hd5GkeAnpadPUnTHC0zor_-RiFBcHgdOabt0VBk3-MuA/viewform?...

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
19 of 70

Iliana M wrote:

Thanks so much for this feedback, Jennifer - totally get it! Could you provide some examples of jobs that you'd be excited to get invited to, and some invites that you received (from TS and clients) that you didn't want to receive?

 

  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork? 
  • Only relevant invites from TS and clients that are willing to pay for quality and not just some cheep work they could have gotten for free as well.

 


Most of the invites I turned down last year where translations into a language other than my target language. Along with some transcription or low budget spam invites.
The invite for this job is a typical example of the invite I receive from TS.

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Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
20 of 70

Jennifer R wrote:

Iliana M wrote:

 

 

  • What type of work do you do?
  • I am a translator
  • How could Upwork help clients identify top talent in this type of work?
  • Since everybody can claim to be a translator, it would make sense to me to somehow mark the translators that can prove their qualification (university degree, certification from another reknown organisatition etc.) Having access to google does not turn one into a translator and I could name 5 English to German translators that are top rated by the clients, but provide translation that are far from industry standard. Unfortunately most clients believe that top rated means that the translator is also qualified.
  • What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional?
  • Provide quality
  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork? 
  • Only relevant invites from TS and clients that are willing to pay for quality and not just some cheep work they could have gotten for free as well.
  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?
  • Vent freelancers for their qualification, not only relying on the clients feedback. Clients hire translators because they do not speak the target language.

 


What could Upwork do to help?

 

As long as clients can select "native/bilingual" (after all these years still referring to the English language only) as a preference, in an attempt to level the playing field, prevent/stop people from marking & marketing themselves as such when they so clearly are not (as evidenced by their posts & profile content).

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