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Highlighting Top Talent to Quality Clients

Active Member
Dorian K Member Since: Jan 9, 2018
21 of 46
  • What type of work do you do?
    I am User Experience and User Interface Designer.

 

  • How could Upwork help clients identify top talent in this type of work?
    Regulary checking client reviews and portfolio pieces from freelances. If its possible, by team of designers of/from upwork. Behance does that well, once a user posts a project presentetion. They review it and give it a badge, which stands out from all other current projects from that day/week/month. So following that same for profiles, kinda of top rated but even more "narrow", with different perks.

 

  • What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional?
    To buy a house for my mum.

 

  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork? 
    30-35 hours working week, more response from cover letters and spending less time sending proposals. I mean to have more constant work, in other words, to spend less time looking for new projects.

 

 

  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?
    It is helping me already by a lot. Improving smaller things can produce a bigger picture in the end. resultiing in happines of both sites. Client and freelancer side.

 

*edit; formatting

Active Member
Pavel V Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
22 of 46

Hi everyone,

I am proud to get such a high estimation of my work on the platform.
Upwork has truly changed my life and the life of my family.
I look forward to providing my expertise and help business around the globe grow!

Cheers, Pavel.

Active Member
Amiee S Member Since: Oct 12, 2016
23 of 46

What type of work do you do?

I am a graphic designer and art director. I specialise in infographic work and long documents such as annual reports and proposals for financial companies and non-for-profits.

 

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

Well, the word brochure isn't the right term for what I do. Anyone can create a brochure. Make your search options more specific. 

 

What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional?

To make money without killing myself and enjoy being alive. Work isn't my life.

 

How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?

The fees on Upwork are too high. I have to raise my prices to make money, yet clients came to me wanting brochure work and then when I quote them, they get turned off, which is fine, I don't want to work for less than what I am worth. I too need to eat too. Most clients don't know what they want until they have spoken with the designer, so if you could somehow vet the job postings a bit more that would help.

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
24 of 46

Iliana M wrote:

In 2019, we heard from some of our top talent - experts in their fields and committed Upwork users - that they would like additional ways to stand out on Upwork. They especially want better access to quality opportunities from quality clients, mainly from businesses that have large, consistent projects. We’re excited to let you know that in 2020, Upwork is committed to moving forward this vision and will experiment with various ways to make this possible. Our team’s roadmap includes ideas like:

 

  • Leveraging experts to assess talent in specific categories (e.g., graphic design, UX/UI design, software development, etc) 
    I don't expect this will pertain to my category (marketing research), which is pretty small. But I'm curious: who will the experts be, and how will they be vetted? (Like others, I've had pretty appalling experience with the Talent Specialist program, so I hope this question doesn't surprise UW.)
  • Creating additionals tiers to identify talent that has received great feedback on large contracts (e.g., $10k contracts) or has achieved a certain category-specific threshold in earnings on Upwork (e.g., $30k)
    Will there be a chronological limit on this? Will contracts fall out of the consideration window, as they age out of the JSS calculation?
  • Allowing freelancers to post testimonials from past clients; and conducting checks to verify those testimonials
  • Automating profile creation so that new talent can easily add their past work history
    Totally don't understand the rationale for this. It seems to me it is already far too easy for unqualified and unprepared individuals to create profiles.
  • Automating portfolio uploads from Behance
  • And much more!

 

We will begin testing the first two ideas above soon. The initial tests will be short-term with limited participants to inform our future direction. When we have improvements that are ready to be rolled out to a broader audience, we’ll let you know.  
So far, I do not have confidence in how UW conducts these "tests" of new features. The test methodology is questionable AND the tests potentially create serious interference with our business.

 

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to improve the Upwork experience for skilled talent like you so you can get paid more and work with top clients. We would love to hear from you on this topic and would particularly like to hear from you on these questions:

 

  • What type of work do you do?
  • How could Upwork help clients identify top talent in this type of work?
  • What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional?
  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork? 
  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?

 

Thanks!


Iliana Montauk, Product Manager


I specialize in primary marketing research, i.e. querying customers and prospects via surveys, 1-on-1 interviews, focus groups, etc. I offer turnkey projects as well as ad hoc services such as questionnaire review, data tabulation, analysis, and reporting. I also do some business writing (blog posts, white papers, etc.).

 

I don't do secondary research, e.g. scoping market opportunity, building lists of prospects, etc. Most helpful to me would be clear sub-categories within Market & Customer Research that separate primary research from secondary.

 

My goals are to earn a living, and to spend most of my work time engaged in tasks that make the highest and best use of my skills and capabilities.

 

My 'magic wand' week on UW would include 10-20 hours working on one or more good-fit projects; and at least one invitation from a good-fit client with a viable project; zero invitations from Talent Specialists trying to connect me with irrelevant projects (or worse, ones that are fairly obvious cases of academic fraud).

 

UW could help me by:

- cleaning up its act re. onscreen messaging and pop-ups (get rid of awkward, misleading language);

- stopping the implementation of, frankly, stupid policies (forcing the creation of specialized profiles by FLs who do not need them and are hampered by them, not allowing a FL to choose which specialized profile is displayed to a client opening a proposal, attaching foolish and interfering icons to profiles (e.g., rocket ships, fires)

- effectively vetting new FLs to stop the flood of unqualified, ill-equipped, unprepared. Doing this one thing would have a ripple effect, as UW would not then have to spend resources trying to contain the damage. You could stop designing and implementing policies geared to the lowest common denominator. Cultivate the platform for true professionals and those who can quickly learn to conduct their businesses as true professionals -- keep standards high and let anyone who wants to join, sink or swim.

 

Thanks for asking!

Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
25 of 46

Thank you for inviting the community to provide feedback! 
Iliana M wrote:
  • Leveraging experts to assess talent in specific categories (e.g., graphic design, UX/UI design, software development, etc) As others have said, what exactly is an expert and how do you assess talent. I appreciate what Upwork wants to do here, but this would seem to veer into "agency" or "recruiter" territority - which I'm not sure is a sweet spot for Upwork.
  • Creating additionals tiers to identify talent that has received great feedback on large contracts (e.g., $10k contracts) or has achieved a certain category-specific threshold in earnings on Upwork (e.g., $30k)I'd like to see Top Rated be revised. Maybe the criteria varies by area of speciality?  I don't think the current implementation is effective.
  • Allowing freelancers to post testimonials from past clients; and conducting checks to verify those testimonialsAs others have said, waste of money. The feedback system (the yelpization of the world) is broken everywhere. I don't think Upwork is any better or worse. I find reviews that include actual specifics, both client and freelancer, are more meaningful than the stars. 
  • What type of work do you do?I am business writer/business strategist - it's a bit of general category that doesn't always align with Upwork job listings.
  • How could Upwork help clients identify top talent in this type of work?GET RID OF THE TALENT SPECIALISTS - THEY DO NOTHING.  LET CLIENTS INVITE MORE THAN 3 PEOPLE. THE MAJORITY OF MY EXCELLENT JOBS HAVE COME FROM CLIENT INVITES. THE GOOD CLIENTS KNOW WHAT THEY NEED.


Iliana Montauk, Product Manager


 

Active Member
Richard S Member Since: Apr 23, 2019
26 of 46

What type of work do you do?

2D Animation and Motion Design

 

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

Some sort of badge on their profile could be cool. I like that you mentioned in your email that there was a rigorous review of my portfolio by a panel of expert designers. That is enough to qualify some sort of badge on a portfolio. It would also be great for us to appear on the first page when clients search.

 

What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional?

To obtain longterm clients with interesting work.

 

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

Multiple invitations to jobs on a daily basis.

 

How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?

By helping me stand out as a "Top Talent" 2D Animator and Motion Designer. Also by havaing my profile come up within the 1st page or two. Maybe some suggestions on my hourly rate also? Like, some insights to some backend stats would be cool... something like "Freelancers in your field with and hourly rate between $30-$45 get more job invitations".

 

Thanks! I'm excited to see the future of Upwork!

 

-Rick

Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
27 of 46

Richard S wrote:

Also by having my profile come up within the 1st page or two.


I can assure you Richard, that all "Top Freelancers" want this too.

But there's only so much space in the first two pages.

Active Member
Nitin Kumar S Member Since: Jun 9, 2014
28 of 46
  • What type of work do you do?

Youtube Video Marketing (Social Video Marketing)

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

Upwork has redundant categories that are not helpful when it comes to niche jobs with changing times. I'm listed with marketing and SEO professionals. However, YouTube video marketing is very different from that so Upwork should allow creating custom specialized profiles and custom categories

  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?

Create a top talent group in every specific niche. So a client searching for Youtube expert can quickly access specific talents instead of going through 100's of profiles.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
29 of 46
  • What type of work do you do? I am a paralegal/ legal assistant.
  • How could Upwork help clients identify top talent in this type of work? In the legal field, the clients pretty much understand what top talent is. Lots of people are called "paralegals" without any formal legal education (which is okay but those with a degree or a certificate generally much more qualified.)
  • What are your goals as a freelancer or independent professional? I am basically retired and I freelance to keep my mind from rusting and to supplement my income.  I would like to be able to attract more work from excellent firms and definitely more ongoing assignments, as most of what I do now is one-off jobs.
  • If you could wave a magic wand, what would a typical week look like for you on Upwork?  12 hours a week at my full rate would be excellent as I have a good client off the platform.
  • How could Upwork better help you achieve that success? Well, they could vet the job postings a whole lot better.  A paralegal in the US MUST work under the direct supervision of an attorney (otherwise it's the unlicensed practice of law and illegal).  I get loads of invitations that are just looking for cheap legal advice from individuals.  I always try to explain when I turn down the invitations but still... I withdrew from the Talent Specialist program ages ago because they clearly had no comprehension of what a paralegal does.  I also wish that there was marketing toward the top-tier, multi-state law firms as of my clients are solo-practitioners/ small lawfirms.
Ace Contributor
Sergey S Member Since: May 6, 2015
30 of 46

Iliana M wrote:

We would love to hear from you on this topic and would particularly like to hear from you on these questions:


- - - - 
 

​​What type of work do you do?

I do graphic design.

 

- - - -

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

Looking from the experience of 10+years at odesk/upwork I can say it's difficult to do something here — in most cases low bidding people are chosen by the clients who do not look at JSS score, portfolio etc.
 
In rare cases client has someone who can tell if this or that graphic designer can do certain task.
I was such a person at one of my contracts and I found suitable people quickly because I can see what this or that designer is capable of based on portfolio and feedbacks.
 
We see fake and copy pasted and stock portfolios, 
JSS is not an indicator - I see people with low JSS hired
Star rating is not indicator -  before the JSS - this also was not big deal for the client - they were hiring profiles with 3.5 and below rating
Top rated badge is not indicator - see above
What is matter is Rate
 
Thus, in addition to what is stated at this topcis start, I hardly ever think upwork can do something for graphic design field. All recent novations regarding the profile does not help. I see topics in this community where top rated freelancers say it's extremely difficult to be hired DESPITE all of the *good* things upwork did in last years.
​​
​Besides graphic design is so multi-disciplinary category - 90% of ​job posts in this field are about a specific skill - which means client have no ability to understand if this or that designer can do their job. A rough example here - a job post of the following content: I need a graphic designer who is doing t-shirts (you can replace t-shirts with much anything else) for billion years, if you do not have profile filled with t-shirts only, please do not apply.


- - - -    

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

My dream is to move to the place with milder, much much better climate and I need a lot of money to accomplish this goal​ ​— means full-time work, preferably using upwork​.​ And of course to become better at what I do.

​​

​​- - - -    

​​

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

 
​40+ hrs a week of hourly job.
And I think a few invitations from clients, not from upwork talent specialists​, won't hurt.
 
- - - -       
 

​​How could Upwork better help you achieve that success?

​​
1. Reduce your fees on both sides
 
2. Stop allowing low bidding and proposing low price jobs - let quality determine, not ridiculously low rates.
 
3. Become more transparent:
 
  • show applicants list
  • show who was invited by the client. I think it's quite easy to understand why do I need this thing - I won't apply for an expert job which has 5 people invited, 5 people with $5 hourly rate.
  • show full work history -  I see you have contracted most of the clients work history (to something like recent 50 jobs, or recent year or some other algorithm) and It's difficult to judge. My history is fully visible.
  • bring in JSS-like thing for the client - if history is hidden I can, at least, judge by some sort of a score because stars is not working here — one inadequate feedback could ruin client's rating. Each time I see low rated client posted good looking job I try to figure out if it's something that happens with the client all the time or one-time incident
  • remove hidden/private feedback feature for both sides - I would like to know who spoiled (and why) my JSS as well as I have to know who spoiled client's rating and why it's happened.
  • show client's spends on each and every contract - I would like to see what rate client can afford for what quality.
4. Remove Fixed Price entirely - the place where client can manipulate and fraud. I see hourly job posts where such clients want us to show them best fixed price, sometimes they state a certain fixed price inside of the hourly job post. This wastes my time.
Odesk was about Hour Worked — Hour Paid which I find best thing happened with remote and freelance work ever. So much pain is happening around fixes - just have a look through the freelancer community.
 
5. Do not let post jobs by those who have not verified payment method.
 
6. Bring back last time active indicator on the profile (perhaps combined with applying for the job activity somehow), reason - see next point. I do not want to be thought as not ready to work just because I do not earn in last weeks.
 
7. Do not make my profile invisible if I was not earning for a certain time - all money I earn in past years is mostly (80-90%%) from clients who have invited me. It's so easy to understand if you are active at upwork or not by only telling when you was last time logged in. Because activity and readiness for the job is not indicated by how much you earned in last 2 weeks. If I apply to jobs I'm ready to work. Period.
 
I would expose more points, but I missed 1.5 hours of searching for work work. 
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