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Career CloseUp: Top 1% Upwork EXPERT-VETTED Marketing Sales AI Strategist

My Secrets to Growing Your Freelancing Upwork Sales


I have been using Upwork for the last five years and have completed 400 Jobs and earned almost one million dollars, supported by 5-Star Reviews as a Marketing, Sales, Business, and AI strategy expert.


I wanted to pass on to the Community some of the top secrets that I have learned along the way. These are my experiences, and of course, other Freelancers may have different backgrounds.


Tips for Freelancers




Always complete your Upwork Profile before applying for Jobs.

Create a synergized Title, Summary, and Skills to apply for Jobs to match what Clients are searching for.

Focus on two Skill keywords in the Title to emphasize what you bring to the table for the Client.


Create 4 short paragraphs in the Summary.

If the Summary is too long, most Clients will not read the completed Summary; too short then there isn't enough information for a Client to hire. The first two sentences of the Summary are the most important because they are visible to the client as they search for a freelancer.


Use all 15 Skills IF they apply.

The Skills are used to assist a Client in locating your Profile via search. Add your Portfolio and always use a colorful image. Consider adding a Project Catalog if it applies. Use a short sentence description for each Employment entry.


By the way, it goes without saying make sure that your Profile Settings are on Public not Private so others can view the Profile.


Cover Letter


Create a flexible cover letter that is less than 100 words.

Long cover letters rarely get read, but instead are ignored.

Break the cover letter into four sections.

Section 1: Acknowledge the job that you are applying for such as "Looking forward to discussing your marketing strategy project".

Section 2: Highlight your validations stamps, IE skills that are brought to their project.

Section 3: Explain how you will solve their problem, and the final section, request an Upwork Zoom call to discuss the project.


Job Submissions


Pro Tip: Only apply to Jobs that you are highly qualified for, don't Bid for the top 4 spots unless you are an exact match and have a high probability of getting the job, and don't immediately apply for jobs, but instead wait at least a few hours so your bidding is more accurate, don't get into bidding wars because serious Clients will view most applicant's cover letters, and don't apply for Jobs that have 20 - 50 applicants in less than 24 hours. If a Client gets 50 cover letters, there is only a 2% chance of being hired: bad odds. 


Over Deliver


Always over-deliver based upon the Client's expectations. Do such outstanding work that the Client gives 5-Stars and a raving Review.

Excellent Reviews have most Clients sold on hiring a Freelancer before the interview. I can't mention the number of Clients that stated they couldn't wait to begin working together based upon my Reviews.

After 380 Upwork Jobs, I have maintained 99% 5-Star Reviews which continues to draw in more clients.


Social Media


Utilize social media to promote your Upwork Profile especially LinkedIn.

Create a Post on LinkedIn highlighting your Upwork experience containing a link back to your Upwork Profile.

Small and medium businesses are better served on Upwork due to it's consolidated dashboard and billing. I have 2.5 million very engaged LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter Followers. They are a great source for promoting my Upwork Profile.


Help Others


Always uplift and encourage other freelancers on Upwork. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere. People have assisted you along the way, so assist freelancers that have questions.


Tips for Clients

The Secrets to Finding the Best Freelancers on Upwork


If you are a business owner looking for a proven way to select the best freelancer for your project to ensure an optimal outcome, please review my recommendations below.


Job Post


Create a VERY exacting job post for the specific project you want to be completed. The more clearly and well-written the job post, the easier it is for freelancers to determine whether it's an appropriate job to submit to.

A well-written job post will attract more exacting applicants that are eager to help.

Keep the post to 100 words or less.


The best freelancers are busy, and English isn't the first language of everyone on this site. Create a positive, friendly, and professional atmosphere right from the start.


Locating Talent


There are two major ways to locate professional freelancing talent on Upwork.

Your first option is to submit the job post so that any appropriate freelancer can apply. Making the job available to all freelancers will - make the job available to all freelancers. Therefore, a wider range and typically more freelancers will apply.


The second option is to use the Invite Only feature. Use Upwork's Talent search feature and on the left of the screen type your keyword. Next, on the left side of the screen narrow down the exact qualities you are seeking such as category, location, consultations, job success, the amount earned, etc., and then use the Invite Only feature to invite specific freelancers that you have handpicked to apply to your job post.


Evaluating Freelancers


Now that you have eager freelancers that have applied to your job post, review their cover letters. If a freelancer has an acceptable cover letter, then take the time to view their Upwork Profile for the Title, Summary, Earnings, Education, Jobs completed, Reviews and Portfolio.


PLEASE ALWAYS review their profile before sending a rapid-fire set of additional questions to freelancers when the information is contained on their Upwork Profile. It's hard to believe, but many clients gloss over the cover letter and don't view the freelancer's Profile and begin asking questions such as “can you do what I asked” or “have you worked in my industry”. Professional freelancers know the fundamental information that clients need answered and will contain that within the combination of the cover letter and their Upwork Profile.


After reviewing a freelancer's profile, then it's the perfect time to ask specific questions.


Hiring and Managing


Once you have selected a few freelancers, it’s time to start the interview process. Select a few of the best candidates and interview them and also expect the professional freelancers to be interviewing you at the same time.

Stay on Upwork’s site during the interview process using either messaging or a short Upwork Zoom call.

Another option is to Book a Consultation for either 30 or 60 minutes with a freelancer.


Typically, but not always, the more experienced freelancers start their process this way. In my case, it’s the only way I will start a client relationship so both of us come prepared for solutions at the Consultation; these are not chat sessions, but instead consults that can be used to create marketing, sales, business, and AI strategies for my clients.


Fund, Approve, and Close


After a freelancer has been chosen, send either an hourly or fixed fee rate for the project. As a freelancer, I only accept fixed-fee projects because I have very exact deliverables and am confident in the delivery of them. However, some types of projects are better suited by the hour.


Pick wisely depending on the type of work that needs to be completed.

Always interact with the freelancer during the project and review their work along the way.

Don’t wait until the close of the project to determine if things are off course.

Be professional, polite, and encouraging, and of course, expect the same back.


If a freelancer has done an outstanding job, you have the option to give them a Review and a Bonus. There is nothing that motivates a freelancer more than a raving 5-Star Review and Bonus for their professional work.


Connect with William on Upwork

Originally published on LinkedIn and shared with permission from William.