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Nov 01, 2023
A Client's Take: Why Our Passion & Experience Mean Less Than We Think

The creator’s economy has shifted – the entire paradigm has. The lens we look through has to change as well, or we risk being left behind.


How are we evaluating our services? How are Clients evaluating them? If you feel our experience and passion for our crafts determine what we'll get paid and who will pay, I suggest thinking differently. 


After retiring as a Creative Director with 25 years of experience, I can state the following with conviction:


The value of our services is determined by how well they align with the Client's needs. That’s it!


We talk about how long we’ve been honing our skills in the particular field.

We talk about our related education.

We talk about how proficient we are at using specific tools for our craft.

We mention how passionate we are about the skill.

Does it all matter? Yes, of course, it does. Just not as much as it did 10 years ago.



But Upwork Says I Should Mention All These

Well, yes. It makes sense too, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. It helps us with credibility and exposure. Does it guarantee we’ll get the job? Absolutely not!


Here’s how I used to look for Talent. By the way, this is how many, if not most, Clients do.


  1. Read the first line of your profile.
  2. Quickly skim any words that jump out from the rest of the profile.
  3. Look at the pricing, unless I’d filtered it already.
  4. Check your location because it matters for several reasons, including the stigma associated with particular locations. Hey, someone has to state it! It’s true.
  5. Check fluency in English.
  6. Look at the portfolio and see if the end products are good.
  7. Check availability and turnaround time.
  8. Check the rating.
  9. Skim the first 2 or 3 testimonials.


Oh yeah, they’ll see your profile photo first!


Now, it’s not necessarily in this order, but more often than not, it is. It also matters what services you provide, but again, almost the same.




Clients & Us


Put yourself in the Client’s place for a minute. Let’s say you’re looking for someone to create your website, including all the branding, the newest design trends, a great logo, excellent UI/UX and everything else needed.

Now, as a freelancer, you can start by providing incredible iterations of the logo and wireframing based on your decades of experience as a designer, coder, etc. You follow design principles and take hierarchy, repetition, white space and the rest into account.

You know how to design something responsive, safe, and spot on in line with the client’s branding, which you help with by choosing the typeface, the colours, the ways it can be utilized, etc. Then, you provide a nice mockup and go above and beyond. You spend only 2 days doing all this.

Meanwhile, a fresh graduate with basic design knowledge gets it all done with AI in less than a day and makes any changes requested in a few hours.

And charges less.


Over 99% of the clients I served couldn’t have cared less if the team spent 10 days, 10 hours, or 10 seconds.


The creative solutions we provide to their creative problems, excellent customer service, communication, and going above and beyond provide the client with a better Return on Investment (ROI).


Image Generated by AI




Image Created With AI in Less Than 3 Minutes





It bears stating the following about AI – Embrace. Reskill. Upskill.


We want to stand out from the crowd? We need to be part of it first.



Conclusion & Takeaways

Measure your worth from the Client’s perspective. You might be worth a lot more than you think! Or less.


Your passion will show through in your work a lot more than it does in your words. Polish that portfolio.


Improve your diction. Seriously, you have no idea how much poorly written content in your profile can turn clients away.


Embrace AI ethically and use it as a tool to enhance your expertise.




Why should I listen to you? You're new on Upwork.


Because I was hiring Talent on Upwork long before I’d been waiting to get hired on Upwork.


A wise man knows a fool's worth.

Consider yourself wise and me a fool!

Now, let’s kick some behind!