I am very disappointed with Upwork's recent pricing changes. Now that clients have to pay to invite freelancers to bid on jobs, the number of invitations I receive is next to nothing. I used to get around 5 invitations a day, now I am lucky if I get 5 invitations a month. I am a Top Rated freelancer and have given Upwork a lot of money through the projects I've completed. I don't understand what I am getting in return from them taking 20% each project. If you don't send clients my way, then what is the point of staying on the platform?
In my brief time here on the community it is amazing how different everyone's Upwork experience is. I have probably only received 4 invites (in just over a year) and only one of those I would consider real. I can see that it is a definite big deal for people who get them and I am surprised more people have not complained about that specifically.
I have to actively search for clients and the point, for me, is the ability to do that from a sitting position. Finding clients in the real world is way harder, in my experience, and congrats to you if it isn't. The only way to get them passively like you are doing is good marketing and advertising which I definitely need to do a better job of.
I've been on Upwork since Elance/Odesk merged and things are not what they used to be.
The reason I chose to use Upwork is because they do the work of pulling in clients so freelancers can spend more time working. That is how I can justify them charging 20% on my projects. If I have to spend the same amount of time finding clients as it is in the real world, then there isn't a benefit in this platform anymore. The quality of Upwork's public job postings has gone downhill. The prices clients are expecting now is half what it used to be, but asking for the same amount of experience. I feel like something has changed with the way Upwork is advertising to prospective clients because expectations are unrealistic. Invitations are where I get the bulk of high-quality well-paying clients and if invitations are cut then I'm having a hard time seeing the positives. They need to cancel charging clients for job invitations.