Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Updates to Showing Active Earners in Search Results

Highlighted
Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
1 of 16

As we originally announced here, profiles of freelancers who don’t earn on Upwork for a period of time are set to private. Freelancers can keep their profile public regardless of their earnings by subscribing to Freelancer Plus Membership and also have access to free options to turn their profile status back to public.

 

A few things have changed since this program was introduced almost two years ago, more importantly we have expanded our ID verification programs. We have also collected a lot of valuable feedback here in the Community and from other channels. As a result, we’ve made some adjustments to the program by increasing the period of time freelancers can go without earning before their profiles are set to private. 

 

Profiles of freelancers with a history of earnings on the platform will remain public unless they have not earned in more than 2 years. This will benefit freelancers who are active but may work on contracts with milestones that take several months or longer to complete. Profiles of new freelancers who haven’t earned on Upwork will be set to private after 90 days.

 

Freelancers will still be able to subscribe to a Freelancer Plus Membership if they don’t want their profile to be set to private if they don’t earn. Freelancers will also be able to request Upwork Customer Support to reset their profile visibility for free, as they have in the past.

~ Valeria
Untitled
Highlighted
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
2 of 16

Valeria, doesn't 2 or 3 months without earnings seem like a rather grandiose leap to 2 years without earnings?

 

I more than understand an extension up to 6 months ... but beyond that seems counter-intuitive to any reasoning beyond stacking the number of users.  i.e, DEAD WEIGHT and less than honest head count of actual available talent - no matter the competency level.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 16

Whatever. If Upwork wants to include freelancers in search results even if they haven't earned anything in two years... that is up to Upwork. I don't think that is as helpful to clients. But it is what it is.

 

For freelancers, though: having milestones that take multiple months to complete is not a good idea.

 

My rule of thumb: Hourly contracts pay out once per week. Structure your fixed-price contracts so they pay out at least as often.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
4 of 16

Preston H wrote:

Whatever. If Upwork wants to include freelancers in search results even if they haven't earned anything in two years... that is up to Upwork. I don't think that is as helpful to clients. But it is what it is.

 

For freelancers, though: having milestones that take multiple months to complete is not a good idea.

 

My rule of thumb: Hourly contracts pay out once per week. Structure your fixed-price contracts so they pay out at least as often.


Preston, I don't understand your comfort with setting yourself up as arbitrator of what is and is not good practice for everybody. Some people work in professional areas where an individual project may have a timeline that lasts the better part of a year or even more than a year. It is up to each FL and their client to decide what contract structure and schedule works best for them.

 

Preston, how about you do you and let the rest of us do us?

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 16

Phyllis:

There is nothing wrong with projects that take a year or more to complete.

 

But milestones that "that take several months or longer to complete" (to quote the moderator's original post) are a bad idea for freelancers.

 

For example, a project involves writing a book with 10 chapters, and each chapter is expected to take 1 month, then structuring this as a single milestone is a bad idea.


It would be better for the freelancer to break this down into 10 separate milestones, one for each chapters. Or 10 separate fixed-price contracts.

 

And it would be even more advantageous to break each chapter down further, into separate milestones, such that a freelancer is getting paid for her work more regularly.

 

As a freelancer, if a client pays me this week for the work I did this week, and pays me next week for the work that I do next week, that is better for me than waiting for "several months or longer" to see if maybe the client releases payment to me. Who knows what will happen over the course of those several months?

 

In pointing out something like this, I'm not advocating that Upwork change its rules or user interface to prohibit freelancers from working on milestones that take many months. I'm simpy pointing out what works best for freelancers.

 

This works best for clients, as well. As I client, I would rather set up a relatively short-term task for a relatively small amount amount of money. What if I set up a really large milestone for 3 months of work, and in the end, I'm not happy with the work? Then do I need to fight with the freelancer over who gets the money? It would be better to know within a few days that a freelancer isn't a good fit for my job, and then the amount of money involved isn't as significant. Maybe I can simply let that freelancer keep the money and hire somebody else.

 

Moreover, if I'm working with a freelancer who I know absolutely is doing tremendous, wonderful work for me, I would rather have that freelancer getting paid on a regular basis while working on my project, as opposed to working for months at a time before seeing any reward. I think that will lead to a better outcome.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
6 of 16

Preston H wrote:

Phyllis:

There is nothing wrong with projects that take a year or more to complete.

 

But milestones that "that take several months or longer to complete" (to quote the moderator's original post) are a bad idea for freelancers.

 

For example, a project involves writing a book with 10 chapters, and each chapter is expected to take 1 month, then structuring this as a single milestone is a bad idea.


It would be better for the freelancer to break this down into 10 separate milestones, one for each chapters. Or 10 separate fixed-price contracts.

 

And it would be even more advantageous to break each chapter down further, into separate milestones, such that a freelancer is getting paid for her work more regularly.

 

As a freelancer, if a client pays me this week for the work I did this week, and pays me next week for the work that I do next week, that is better for me than waiting for "several months or longer" to see if maybe the client releases payment to me. Who knows what will happen over the course of those several months?

 

In pointing out something like this, I'm not advocating that Upwork change its rules or user interface to prohibit freelancers from working on milestones that take many months. I'm simpy pointing out what works best for freelancers.

 

This works best for clients, as well. As I client, I would rather set up a relatively short-term task for a relatively small amount amount of money. What if I set up a really large milestone for 3 months of work, and in the end, I'm not happy with the work? Then do I need to fight with the freelancer over who gets the money? It would be better to know within a few days that a freelancer isn't a good fit for my job, and then the amount of money involved isn't as significant. Maybe I can simply let that freelancer keep the money and hire somebody else.

 

Moreover, if I'm working with a freelancer who I know absolutely is doing tremendous, wonderful work for me, I would rather have that freelancer getting paid on a regular basis while working on my project, as opposed to working for months at a time before seeing any reward. I think that will lead to a better outcome.


There are infinite hypothetical cases. IMO there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It's a moot point, anyway. Professionals should and will run their businesses as they see fit, regardless of what pontificating goes on here. 

Highlighted
Ace Contributor
Lucio Ricardo M Member Since: May 16, 2018
7 of 16

Milestones that take some months... if they are for a little money, or one has underestimated the amount of work and its monetary value, or one has problems in speed of delivery or in delivering the things well and instead of getting paid the job keeps getting returned. several-month milestones are not generally a good ides; in fact if you have a contract that lasts about 2 months without any earning, your JSS will lower (it has happened to me). About good recomandable several-months milestones, i don't know, it can be a USD 10,000 8-months milestone for a complete software project, or a USD 500 8-months milestone for occasional Python consulting, anlthough in this case it could be an hourly contract with several 20-minutes segments accross the 8 months.

Best regards.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
8 of 16

I agree with what others have said.

 

While 30 days was too short a period, 2 years is way over the top.

3-6 months seem sufficient.

 

Highlighted
Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 16

Hi Wendy and others,

 

I'm sorry we didn't address your questions and concerns earlier. We do appreciate feedback you all have shared about this change here. We understand this is a significant change. However, we’ve learned that many high-quality freelancers work in niche fields where they might not be active on Upwork yet still in demand by clients seeking those rarer skills.

We also were concerned that new freelancers were being removed from search results before they had a chance to establish themselves on Upwork. By re-adding these groups of freelancers in search results regardless of recent earnings, we hope to improve invite acceptance rates and help clients find the right freelancer for their project.

~ Valeria
Untitled
Highlighted
Ace Contributor
Elyannie W Member Since: Nov 21, 2017
10 of 16
From the title of this post I was hoping this update would be going in the opposite direction. Wouldn’t Upwork benefit from showcasing their top earners who are actively earning on the platform? Not the freelancers who have abandoned their accounts? There are many accounts that get abandoned because some freelancers have a hard time figuring out how to close their accounts. This just creates more work for potential clients to sift through candidates. Showcasing and putting top earning candidates would make more sense.
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS