I am really new in here and literallly have no idea on how to begin. I would like to seek some advice on how you began and how long did it take for you to be hired and find a job? What is the best way to deal with a client so that s/he will be willing to hire you again? I hope that you will be able to help me. Thank you very much.
Welcome to Upwork!
I find the forums a good source of information on how to get a good start and I think you're in the right place. When I began here, it's one of the first things I've visited. You can try the following links in this forum in case you haven't seen it.
There's more somewhere in here and you can use the forums search engine specially under Community discussions > Freelancers. Try to search for the most recent since a lot have changed since I first registered several years back. You can also search the web for external sources who caters for Filipino online freelancers. thefreelancepinoy.com is a good source back then but I guess that site is no longer updated but you can still get some valuable tips.
As to how I began, probably just like you, I initially read through all the important documentations provided by Upwork (oDesk back then) to give me a clear understanding how the platform works, how to complete my profile and how to set up my account (linking with local banks and that stuff).
Completing my profile took me a long time to accomplish specially the portfolio. In my field (graphics designing), I find the portfolio an important part where I can market myself. I have to review all of my past works and choose the ones which I feel will give me an edge. That means including only the best and filtering out the mundane experiences. I even read profiles of established contractors of the same field and compared notes. It took me I think 2 weeks or more to complete this before I actually started applying.
How long it took me to get that first job? This might not be a good basis for comparison since we don't share the same field. Demand for services between different fields of expertise may differ which can influence how soon you'll get that first interview. Since I've been with Upwork for more than 4 years, the ratio between contactors and clients may differ too thus an influence with the demand.
For starters, focus on having a good profile page. Compare it with other contractors of your peers and see how you stand out. Try to come up with something, in your own unique way of highlighting what you can do and what makes you different from the other contractors. I think if you can do it in a clear and concise way, that would be best.
Take lots of tests relevant to your skills and show them publicly only if you gained an above average or better score. If you failed in one, make sure to re take the tests. I've done this several times and here's where patience counts a lot.
When dealing with your clients or prospective one, communication is all important. A clear understanding of the assigned task will help you accomplish the job so don't hesitate to ask questions that will help clarify the details. Try as much to communicate clearly so they will know, and give them the confidence, that you have a good grasp of the assigned job.
There's a lot more to consider if you wanted a client to have you on a long term basis. But I think you should focus first on getting that first job. Creating a good proposal is a frequent topic here in the forums and you should take a look at those.
I hope this helps and best of luck to you Ariane!