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Re: Affiliate Program

Active Member
Pierre A Member Since: Jul 26, 2018
21 of 48

Upwork really needs to get an affiliate program.


I advertise to get clients directly Upwork is just one more source of business for me but I would rather have my clients join Upwork and hire me here to simplify my billing and management, I would do it if there was an affiliate program but I won't generate you clients for free, same way you don't give us clients for free. 


After all if I bring my clients over they could try one of my competitors that charges less or they could hire freelancers for other service types than what I do for them, that would make you money but for me it's nothing but a risk. An affiliate program would offset the risk, until then I will not ask my clients found directly to come over to upwork to hire me, I will keep sending them invoices instead.


I am sure there are other freelancers in the same situation.

Active Member
Hannah R Member Since: May 2, 2018
22 of 48

Agreed!  Would love to be able to promote my favorite freelancers through an affiliate marketing program.  Everyone wins. 

Active Member
Greg P Member Since: Jul 26, 2018
23 of 48

Here's what NOT having an affiliate program really says:

Please promote us to all of your friends and connections so we can make more money. We will be keeping all of the money, by the way, since we don't value the service you are providing be sending us more clients. Thank you for the free leads.
Like several others here, I have the desire to promote a service that I use, but when that service is a paid service, and I have expenses connected with providing my service (of driving traffic to other services), then I expect to be paid for my service. If not, then I will promote another service provider instead of Upwork. And if I am promoting someone else..... It would make sense that I am using them as well. It's a costly mistake not to have an affiliate program in today's Ecommerce economy.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
24 of 48

There is a certain purity to the way Upwork works currently.


That being:


Clients can find freelancers to work for them.


If the freelancers get hired and earn money, a percentage of their earnings are kept by Upwork as a fee.

Otherwise, freelancers pay nothing.


If clients hire freelancers to do work, then clients pay those freelancers. Otherwise, clients pay nothing.


That's REALLY elegant, and REALLY clean.


It means there are no "gimmicks."


I'm not saying that an affiliate program HAS to be gnarly and gimmicky.


But I am saying that right now, there are no tricks or gimmicks or hidden fees or questionable motives. It's not a pyramid scheme. Upwork and its freelancers aren't making money by getting clicks or simply by funnelling people here.


Work, get paid. Don't work, don't pay.


There's much to appreciate about this.

Active Member
Derek K Member Since: Aug 28, 2019
25 of 48

Preston, I think you're missing the point. An affiliate program is a win win. It incentivises freelancers to send potential new customers to Upwork via affiliate links. This is obviously beneficial for freelancers and UpWork because it creates a larger client pool on this website which in turn allows both UpWork and the freelancers to make more money from the increase in projects here on the site. There's a reason so many companies offer affiliate programs. It's because they work. Amazon is one of the most wealthy companies in the world and they continue offering their affiliate program, and a pretty fair one at that. Because they know it makes everyone more money.

Active Member
Rich P Member Since: Aug 15, 2017
26 of 48

Thanks Upwork for the ongoing updates about the status of the affiliate program. We've been asked about your program and will be providing updates on when/if the program launches on our Upwork page.

Active Member
Charmaine T Member Since: Oct 1, 2010
27 of 48

Upwork needs more clients not freelancers. As an employer on Upwork since oDesk days and running an agency I constantly promote Upwork.


Now I am looking to other platforms to promote because Upwork is slow to the market.


At least start one for client referrals which will generate more income for you.


We don't want to bring our own freelancers and you are already overloaded with freelancers.


Any chance you can put this forward to your Executive team for a definitive answer?


Many thanks



Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
28 of 48

We appreciate your feedback, Charmaine.

We've recently added a couple of programs that encourage freelancers to bring their clients on Upwork. If any new programs are added, we'll make sure to notify the users. Thank you.

~ Goran
Active Member
Cheryl M Member Since: Dec 23, 2015
29 of 48

This is in reply to your reply to Charmaine. Why in the world would we bring you our clients? Unless we are 'top rated' or 'rising star', that would cut into our pay for no reason. Right now, I get 100% of my pay, and my client has always been more than responsible to pay me on time or before. I wouldn't any more refer him to you than cut my own throat, which would what it would be financially. If you want to retain excellent freelancers and get referrals for clients, you'll have to do better than this.

Active Member
Jeff D Member Since: Oct 24, 2018
30 of 48

I am a client and looking to refer other clients.. is there not a reward program for that?