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equals9
Member

Affiliate Program

Hey guys. Any updates on upwork getting an affilaite program? Im looking to advertise a outsourcing site on my new launch..  As a long time user of odesk I would hate to have to recommend a different company.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Hi David Donna,

 

Update 8/20/21: We are working on developing an Affiliate program. You can read more about becoming and Upwork affiliate here and stay tuned for more information.

 

We don't have an affiliate program at the moment. 

Additionally, if you are interested, check out our Bring Your Own Freelancer feature.

 

 

~ Valeria
Upwork

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65 REPLIES 65

Hey,

 

Just checking to see if there is a program yet? Even fivver has a referral program that pays a flat rate commission for every first time buyer you send them.

 

Thanks!

i have just referred a friend to one of the upwork freelancers i use and she has signed up to upwork and will use my freelancer.. you NEED to setup an affiliate program to make this more interesting for those of us that are bringing people to your site. 

I see many people have been asking the same question and they always get the same answer. Hardly an incentive for us to help your business grow.

Please take this request seriously and under consideration, it's not that difficult to get set up and is a multi faceted win all around.

 

I would be singing a lot more about upwork (to non friends) if there was an incentive. 

Thanks for understanding the importance of such a feature.

 

Phill 

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

 

Thanks for following up on this request, Phill. We'll make sure to send this suggestion again to the team for their consideration.


~ Avery
Upwork

Agreed. **Edited for Community Guidelines** has affiliates and a 12 month cookie period..

I have referred many people to upwork in past years, but have stopped specifically due to the lack of any benefit to me for doing so.

I recommend you look at Digital Access Pass.

It is an awesome and easy to setup affiliate and product management program that operates as a WordPress plugin.

So, you could setup affiliates.upwork.com using that and be up and running in days.

It's affiliate model is a flat business model, as well, so no complex compensation schemes.

They provide the absolute best customer service and support that I've experienced in my 20 year internet marketing career and will install and configure it for you.

Their $39/month platinum plan is the best, because it provides the most integrations and access to all of their additional addons. Way cheap for what you end up getting!

**Edited for community guidelines**

Does an affiliate program exist yet?  I am writing a blog and would like to mention Upwork.  It would promote Upwork's services to freelancers.  

djondinium
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Rachel,


Update 8/20/21: We are working on developing an Affiliate program. You can read more about becoming and Upwork affiliate here and stay tuned for more information.

Thanks for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, the affiliate program doesn't exist yet. However, I will share your feedback with the rest of our team for consideration.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork

I wrote my comments a year ago, and in that time I have come to learn that Upwork has no interest in an affiliate program. Why would they, when they are turning away tens of thousands of Freelancers a week? The platform is useful, but not ideal for those looking to provide high-value work, rather than cheap. I have actually made a good rate out of Upwork over the last 12 months but it has been a tough slog cutting through the swathes of arrogant and sometimes downright rude clients. Their sense of entitlement to slave labour is palpable. Most of them have no idea about the workings of the discipline they are trying to hire. 

 

I tried to engage Upwork in a discussion about improving conditions and even offered a model that would refine the expectations of clients, and improve the welfare and earnings of creatives, but so far I have not had a single response. I guess the money is rolling in regardless of the conditions and attitudes we face from hirers. 

 

I think the answer is to use Upwork for what it is, and don't worry about referring any new people as they clearly don't need more freelancers. 

 

All the best with your work, I would be interested in your blog. Please send links.  

 

 

I was astounded to find that there is no affiliate programme. I am merely echoing those that have spoken before, but Upwork... It is time to put this on your urgent to-do list. 

 

You have a community of happy freelancers, all making money and wanting to help you recruit more quality members. Why are you not taking advantage of this? 

 

Love the platform. Wish I could blog about it and see some return. 

 

Kindest


Sean H wrote:

I was astounded to find that there is no affiliate programme. I am merely echoing those that have spoken before, but Upwork... It is time to put this on your urgent to-do list. 

 

You have a community of happy freelancers, all making money and wanting to help you recruit more quality members. Why are you not taking advantage of this? 

 

Love the platform. Wish I could blog about it and see some return. 

 

Kindest


I've read the thread but don't seem to understand what exactly the intention of this program is. What we already  have: the agency system, where a number of freelancers can work under one firm, the "bring you own client program", where a freelancer can bring a client to upwork which benefits him because he never has to pay any fee for jobs for this client, and lastly the possibility that a client can bring his own client to upwork which I believe circumvents the approval process, but the freelancer can then only work for this client.

Is what you mean covered by one of the above or if not, in what way is it materially different?


Sean H wrote:

I was astounded to find that there is no affiliate programme. I am merely echoing those that have spoken before, but Upwork... It is time to put this on your urgent to-do list. 

 

You have a community of happy freelancers, all making money and wanting to help you recruit more quality members. Why are you not taking advantage of this? 


You got it wrong.

The **LAST** thing Upwork wants or needs is more freelancers.

Every single day 10.000 (!!!) hopefuls try to join and 98% are rejected.

The majority who are accepted never earn a single Dollar.

 

So bearing that in mind, you expect to be paid to send even more of what there is already way, WAY too much?

 

Not gonna happen until Upwork runs out of freelancers, which isn't likely any time soon.

re: "You have a community of happy freelancers, all making money and wanting to help you recruit more quality members. Why are you not taking advantage of this? Love the platform. Wish I could blog about it and see some return."

 

I understand that YOU imagine seeing some return, by having Upwork pay you money for new freelancers you refer to the site.

 

But how would Upwork benefit from this?

 

Upwork has no trouble attracting freelancers. But Upwork essentially does NOT make money by adding freelancers. Upwork makes money off of paying clients.

 

And Upwork ALREADY HAS a reward program for referring clients to the site.

 

So unless you can answer this key question: How would benefit from an affiliate program to refer freelancers to the site... Unless you can answer that, the idea is a non-starter.

I guess my answer to Petra covers most of this - but:

 

I never suggested the affiliate programme should be a payment for referring new freelancers to the platform. I understand that wouldnt work. 

 

What could work then?

(1) Giving a referring partner 10 new contact credits on a new referred freelancers first paying job? This would generate more income for everyone

 

(2) Giving a referring partner a cash reward for when a new referred partner hits $1000  turnover?

 

(3) Giving a referring partner some reason to want to invite their network of professionals to this site and increase the value to the end user client? 

 

EVERY successful platform has an affiliate scheme.  Not everyone can be an affiliate. You can set the criteria to benefit you.  Over 50% of my work so far has come from putting right work that less experienced freelancers have messed up. Great for me, but not so cool for the client. Maybe an affiliate scheme would help raise the bar on the platform?

 

I love Upwork - but it could be improved. These improvements would help everyone, not just freelancers. 

 

Thanks for your reply 

 


Sean H wrote:

 

What could work then?

(1) Giving a referring partner 10 new contact credits on a new referred freelancers first paying job? This would generate more income for everyone

 


More freelancers do not create more income. Only more clients creates more income.

More freelancers simply dilutes the available income, it does not make Upwork or individual freelancers more money. That is a fallacy.

Giving freelancers more Connects does not generate more income for everyone either. Again it just dilutes income. More Connects do not bring more clients, just more proposals.

 


Sean H wrote:

 

(2) Giving a referring partner a cash reward for when a new referred partner hits $1000  turnover?


Again, not logical. That $ 1000 would likely have been spent anyway, on a freelancer already on the site.

 


Sean H wrote:

 

(3) Giving a referring partner some reason to want to invite their network of professionals to this site and increase the value to the end user client? 


If you want to refer friends, do it because it may (or may not) benefit them, not because you want it to benefit you. Be a friend, that's what friends do.

That's what I do, anyway.

 

Upwork could (and arguably SHOULD) lose 50+% of the current freelancer base in most categories, and be better off for it. Spending money on bringing more would be insane.

Arguing that only great freelancers should refer only other great freelancers is a cute idea, but in practice you'd have to then police who gets to refer and vet even more newbies.

 

The reality would just be an increase in wannabes.

 

The way to make money on the platform is to successfully win contracts, not to arge that you should be rewarded for bring your competitors on board.

 

There are limited rewards for bringing clients, because more real (the type who spends money) is what "generates more income for everyone."#

 

Bringing more freelancers does not generate a thing apart from more noise and more proposals when clients are already drowning in them.

 

 

OK - I sense the tone here - 

 

FYI I am making money on the platform. I love it. I have also brought in one client and two really talented freelancers, for nothing, because I am a friend to my friends. 

 

Affiliates are about people working for the greater good of a community as a cooperative. Not people grabbing money for nothing. I personally don't see an issue with incentivising good people to use their network and channels to grow your product. 

 

Pardon me for making suggestions. I will get back in my box. 

 

 


Sean H wrote:

 

Pardon me for making suggestions. I will get back in my box. 

 

 


Don't do that, we are having a discussion ๐Ÿ˜‰ It's a "discussion" forum.

It is an old and much repeated fallacy that more proposals and more freelancers equal more money spent... That isn't the case and I just wanted to explain why and how that isn't the case: Because it does not increase client spending, and that is the only thing that makes more money. More clients who spend more money ๐Ÿ˜‰

I don't agree with the comment, "The last thing Upwork needs is more Freelancers" - It is, after all, a freelancing platform.  I do agree that the last thing Upwork needs is more freelancers who price wrong, provide substandard work and are using the platform incorrectly - This aversion to having more freelancers implies that the platform is not working the way it was originally intended to work. 

 

My comment was that there should be an affiliate programme for successful Up workers to refer more QUALITY freelancers. Ones that will make themselves and the platform money. 

 

If 98% are rejected and even the 2% are failing to all make money then maybe the joining criteria would benefit from professionals referring OTHER professionals. Let your community be a filter. 

 

Just a thought 

If and when UW implements meaningful vetting of new FLs, ensuring each one truly is ready to operate a professional small business on this platform before enabling them to submit proposals...maybe then it would make sense to let the top tier recommend new members.

Having so many FL members who are not prepared to succeed here is an enormous drag on the hull because they require more service and attention without generating commensurate income. Until UW corrects that imbalance by meaningfully vetting newbies, there will be little audience for the idea of bringing in even more who need to be vetted (but won't be).

Yeah - I think you have identified the real issue here. The open door policy. It is a six of one situation I guess. I honestly wouldn't have tried it if it wasn't completely free. However, now I see it works I would be happy to pay - Maybe permanent free access is the issue. 

 

๐Ÿ˜‰

I own over 400 domains, have several social media accounts (each with hundreds to thousands of followers), and own opt-in lists totaling over 225k. I can promote upwork, but why should I if there's no benefit financially for me in doing so. At least with Fiverr, I can promote their site and get paid on my affiliate account there. As to  the question in this thread from some upwork staff member that said (paraphrasing) ..."what would the benefit to upwork be?" ... I say without folks like me promoting your site, the only new members you'd get are those from your own advertising, but if you compensate me some justifiable manner for referring new members, then your member list will increase faster. Seems to me that's something you (upwork) would want!


Sean H wrote:

Yeah - I think you have identified the real issue here. The open door policy. It is a six of one situation I guess. I honestly wouldn't have tried it if it wasn't completely free. However, now I see it works I would be happy to pay - Maybe permanent free access is the issue. 

 

๐Ÿ˜‰


I would never have tried it if it weren't free, and I would not be able to bail out fast enough if I had to pay anything beyond a small percentage of earnings. Especially knowing how rickety some parts of the platform are and how strategically bass-ackward the whole thing is run these days.

 

I don't think a paywall would help, anyway. FLs who are able and willing to pay extra can be just as clueless and oblivious as those who can't or won't. I'm convinced it's a vetting issue.

 

Sean and Jesse,

 

Thanks for sharing your suggestions. Just to clarify, we have a few programs running at the moment that allow clients to bring new freelancers on Upwork, freelancers to bring their clients on Upwork and Top Rated freelancer to refer other freelancers who work in customer support field to Upwork. 

Update 8/20/21: We are working on developing an Affiliate program. You can read more about becoming and Upwork affiliate here and stay tuned for more information.

 

Note that a few comments have been removed from this thread as they were in violation of the Community Guidelines.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi 

 

OK - Thanks for the info. I cant refer on your scheme as I am in the UK. However, it is nice to see that Upwork have these schemes in place at some level. 

 

Thank you for the information

Why wouldn't you provide a client to client referral program?  Seems crazy not to.  Otherwise, clients are motivated to refer potential new business for Upwork to some of the many alternatives.

Upwork will not have an affiliate program.

f8149907
Member

Wendy, I think most people are simply suggesting that an affiliate program would be beneficial because it would allow both the freelancers and UpWork to make more money. What's wrong with that? More customers on the site is a win win for everyone, is it not?

 

Sites like Youtube are littered with affiliate marketers pretending (lying) about their love for every product they review, just so they can make a quick buck. So I can certainly understand this downside to offering an affiliate program. However this doesn't put the referred company in bad light, it only makes the person doing the phony affiliate reviews look foolish and untrustworthy.

 

Personally I don't really see any legitimate reason to not offer an affiliate program, but am all ears if you can provide some examples. There's a reason Amazon continues with it's successful affiliate program.

 

I agree with you 100% that no one should be suggesting or recommending any service to their clients that they haven't used themselves and are a fan of. Though at the same time, a lot of time and money goes into the marketing efforts required to acquire the lead.

 

So yes, it is helpful being compensated a small amount for sending those potential clients somewhere else. Especially for freelancers like myself on a modest income and with many bills to pay. It's the same reason I pay a % to folks who send clients my way. Sometimes I get leads for projects out of my wheelhouse, but can recommend they use a freelancer on UpWork. A small referral commission would be nice, though affiliate program or not; I'm sending them to the service provider I feel best fits their needs. 

 

I appreciate your viewpoint, I just think you're missing the point. Anyway, just my two cents. 

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