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Local freelancers at the Upwork Huddle in Cape Town, South Africa.
(Photo credit: Martyna Klukowska-Chapman, shown top-right)


Martyna Klukowska-Chapman started hosting Upwork Huddles in Cape Town to meet other freelancers and get tips on how they have grown their freelancing businesses. She quickly learned that Upwork Huddles, independently organized meetups that are hosted by Top Rated freelancers for the local Upwork freelancer community, are a great way to do that.

“I wish such meetings would have taken place when I started as a freelancer,” Klukowska-Chapman shared. Her favorite part of hosting Upwork Huddles is the inspiration she gets from talking to like-minded freelancers. For the future, she hopes even more local freelancers will join in.

Keeping the balance between working and enjoying life

Klukowska-Chapman grew up in Europe and always had a passion for traveling. She’d decided to leave the traditional 9-to-5 lifestyle when she got a job offer from Africa and decided to pack her bags.

Once in Africa, able to explore more of the continent, she started to look for other ways to balance her personal and professional interests. She ultimately learned about Upwork and started freelancing, which helps her travel and work remotely at the same time.

On Upwork, Klukowska-Chapman specializes in market research, translation, editing, and customer service. “Freelancing offers a competitive income and I love being able to earn money working on Upwork regardless of where my travels take me,” she said.

Her favorite aspect of freelancing is the flexible work hours; she’s made it a habit of keeping her mornings free. “There’s no better start to the day than having a relaxing cup of coffee in my garden lounge,” she said. She often follows that with a swim or a hike in the forest.

That routine helps set the stage for a productive day. She spends the rest of the day delivering projects for her international clients. Then she takes a break to eat and rest before heading out to her evening activities.

“I believe it’s important to keep the balance between working and enjoying life,” she said. “This is what I’m trying to achieve.”

Projects on Upwork keep her excited and help to continue learning

While developing her freelance business on Upwork, Klukowska-Chapman is continuously expanding her skill set: “I’m planning to graduate from a university UX research program. My dream is to get a long-term UX research project through Upwork.”

Klukowska-Chapman said she continues to be impressed about the projects she’s able to get through Upwork: “I always think that I’ve done any kind of job on Upwork so far, but there is always something new to surprise me.” Apart from several research projects, she has worked on a variety of projects such as translating apps and their descriptions to upload to the App store, proofreading subtitles for medical videos, and optimizing a voice recognition program.

Her top tips for those considering their own freelance business?

  • Persistence, persistence, persistence! And to be patient, especially when you get started.
  • Invest in building your profile and start with small projects to build your reputation.
  • Find the special skills you are most passionate about and keep learning

Since starting her own business, Klukowska-Chapman says she’s transformed her lifestyle completely: “I definitely enjoy life more,” she said. Being able to share her enthusiasm with others while having a great time has made organizing Upwork Huddles a lot of fun!

Interested in meeting with fellow freelancers in your city, too?

Upwork has a network of dynamic Upwork Huddle hosts all around the world. Becoming a host like Klukowska-Chapman can be a great way to expand your network, connect with other freelancers in person, and have fun!

To learn more about Upwork Huddles and how you can become a host, check out this help article. Please note that becoming a Huddle host is a perk for freelancers who have obtained Top Rated status.

Thanks to all Upwork Huddle hosts and attendees for helping to develop local Upwork freelancer communities. Watch for an upcoming Huddle in your community and follow the buzz online: #upworkhuddle on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.