michaelajornlin
Community Manager
Community Manager

Create your own network right here on Upwork (beta): Feedback and Questions

Building a network of fellow professionals you can count on is one of the best ways to grow your business. Today we announced a beta test as the first step in a greater initiative. With this feature, talent included in the test can save and message other talent on the platform. 

 

Check out the announcement and let us know your thoughts about these updates in the comments below.


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
99 REPLIES 99
benaleh
Member

If you are collaborating with other Upworkers on larger projects- how do you create a contract that includes everyone? And at different pay rates in some cases?

Hi Ben! Thanks for this great question - it's very much on our mind as we continue the development process!

We'd love to hear your perspective...what aspects of a shared contract would be important to you? Based on your expert experience, what should we keep in mind in designing this type of contract? Others, feel free to share your thoughts as well. 


Maggie C wrote:

Hi Ben! Thanks for this great question - it's very much on our mind as we continue the development process!

We'd love to hear your perspective...what aspects of a shared contract would be important to you? Based on your expert experience, what should we keep in mind in designing this type of contract? Others, feel free to share your thoughts as well. 


I had an extensive phone call with one of your interns a few months ago exactly about shared contracts. Did y'all lose those notes entirely? 

Hi Amanda,

 

We collect feedback in multiple ways, from multiple users and at different stages of development when working on new features like this one. Feedback you shared with Grace both on the thread she started and via the call has been noted. We will continue collecting input from different people who use Upwork both as talent and clients as we continue to roll this option out and improve it.

~ Valeria
Upwork

signed up for a waitlist to access the feature.  Good intiative by Upwork. I am looking to connect with audit / accounting professional 

podcaststudio
Member

and attended the live webinar on this topic a few momens ago.
Looking under the "Find Work", menu, I see no link called  "My Network".

How and where can I start setting up my network???

Hi Michael, feel free to sign up for a waitlist to access the feature here. We hope to release this to all freelancers soon and will be sharing more information. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

When are you planning to release the beta version

Hi Ashwini, 

The beta test is already available to those who are eligible to participate. You can sign up for a waitlist to access the feature here.

Once we have more information about the feature or become available to all freelancers, we'll update the Community. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Hi, is the rolled out to people who had enrolled in waiting list

sudip23b
Member

Say if I'm to form a talent network, does it:

a) have to be in the same domain as I am?

b) mean that I can forward any excess work that I couldn't look into to my 'partner'? How would the payment work?

c) not violate Upwork's TOS if I pass my work to others? 

 

Thanks for these questions, Umesh! I'd love to hear more from you on the first question.

a) Would it be beneficial to you to connect with others outside your domain? Why or why not?

It will be great if we can network with freelancers outside our domains. That will help agencies network with freelancers with different skill sets and offer them to join the agency, and then deliver bigger projects. 

Hi Umesh,

 

To add to Maggie's reply.

 


Umesh B wrote:

b) mean that I can forward any excess work that I couldn't look into to my 'partner'? How would the payment work?

c) not violate Upwork's TOS if I pass my work to others? 


Currently, we do have a Job Referrals feature that allows you to refer other freelancers to a job you were invited to. Check out this announcement for more information about that feature.
That said, Maggie and her team are exploring ways to make it easy to collaborate on projects with others within your network on Upwork. We'd like to hear your ideas on how you would like to collaborate with other professionals on Upwork!

~ Valeria
Upwork
oasis_it
Member

Hi,
I just perticipate the live webinar and learned about your new feature. Would like to have your invitation for the “Your Network” beta testing! 

Thanks for your interest, Mobarak! Go ahead and sign up for a waitlist to access the feature here!

~ Valeria
Upwork
syawedis
Member

I was in the call but wasn't sure where to ask my questions (speaker mentioned slides.io)


I am wondering 2 things
1) Can a freelancer add a client to their network, and visa versa, or is it purely freelancer to freelancer network?

also
2) How does this compare to upwork's feature that exists already where people can create an "Agency" on upwork and add freelancers to it? Is this new network feature basically a private version similar to that? 

Thanks for these questions, Nathan!

Your first question made me wonder...what might be some of the benefits of networking with Clients in your view? Would love to hear your perspective, and others, feel free to join in as well!

So I am a Freelancer, but also a Cleint. Sometimes I hire some good freelancers and we end up doing our own networking amongst each other. For example a previous hire discussed sending me work in the past, on a couple of occassions.


I guess technically I could just add him to my network when it becomes available and speak as a freelancer to freelancer? 


I'm still trying to find the main reason I'd use the networking feature itself, though. In the simplest form is it basically just a way for freelancers to chat amongst themselves? Like essentially the freedom that a client and freelancer have to private chat, this networking feature enables that for freelancer to freelancer?

Thanks Nathan! That makes a lot of sense and is helpful for us to hear - thanks for making the time to share that context. 

Currently the feature allows freelancers to connect and message each other, for whatever reason they see fit. In the future, we'd like to provide more features that allow freelancers like you to collaborate on jobs. Are there any tools or aspects of the network you can think of that might make the feature more valuable to you in the long run?

I think it would be nice to be able to assign labels, or tags, as to organize/filter your contacts in some way. So for example you could easily filter your "Designers" contacts

Ultimately this is a chat feature between freelancers, so I think about what features are important in a chat feature. A group chat comes to mind. Also, and more importantly, something I find frustrating from the current upwork chat is you cant copy/paste images into a chat - you have to upload it as a file. This is reallyy frustrating, so I think its necessary to implement.

Might be nice to have a way to add a specific "Note" and/or "Rating" (completely private for personal use) for each freelancer, as another way of filtering or finding your top freelancers. 

 

I'd probably look more closely at services like Slack and Skype to see whats truly important, though.

You rock, Nathan - these are great ideas! Really appreciate your time and feedback.

lizablau
Member

How are we supposed to add Upwork freelancers to our network via email when we have no way of knowing what that is?  And emailing without a contract is also forbidden in the TOS.   And we don't know most freelancers' last names.

 

So it seems this won't work very well unless we can add freelancers directly to our network based on their skills.  And we'd be able to find them through a search.  

 

Otherwise, adding them via their private email seems like an impossibility.

Thanks, Lisa - this feedback is so helpful to us!

Currently, we're providing talent with two ways to add others to their Network - by searching their name or using their email if they happen to know it. Some freelancers may already have another freelancer's email because they collaborated on projects before, met before they joined Upwork, etc. If they don't know their email address, they can always just search by their name and add them.

If you or others have additional ideas, we'd love to hear them!

Before Upwork starts handing out my email to anyone, I would like to be advised first - otherwise, I would consider it a gross breach of privacy. 

Hi Nichola,

 

Your email is not being shared with others. The option Lisa and Maggie are referring to allows professionals to add each other to their networks on Upwork either by their name or their email if they already know it. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

That seems highly unlikely that most freelancers know each other's private email.   We don't. And we sure don't know their last name.  So I don't see how Upwork expects us to find and add freelancers to our network. 

Totally agree with Lisa here. I've even had a scenario as a client before where I knew the name of the freelancer I wanted to hire (I think only the first name) and it was still impossible to find and invite the freelancer (when we already had chats together from previous projects too!) 


So I imagine the process being the same, you will have to know the first and last name and it will show you search results that match. I think for this to work you really need a Search and Filter tool like clients have. BUT, a search function will open up a new can of worms if a bunch of random people start inundating me with Network requests. There would have to be a much better "Summary statistics" at the surface of every request to make that even worth while looking through / responding to (like their star rating, or earnings, all visible on the top tier of the request)

If you are trying to replace the way friends/colleagues talk (typically Slack, Telegram or Skype) then I think this is actually an uphill battle. 

Thanks, Maggie.

 

But you write "If they don't know their email addresses, they can always just search by their name and add them."

 

This is also impossible -- you know that freelancers aren't typically listed by their last names.  It's first name and initial.  

 

So since we don't have their email addresses (your example is exceedingly rare) OR their last names, I'm not sure how you expect us to find and add them to our network.

 

That's why the ONLY way this can really work well is to enable us to find freelancers in a search by their expertise.  For example, if I'd like to include designers in my network, I could do a search for them, click on their profile and somehow be able to invite them into my network.  

 

During this morning's meeting, they said that feature is coming in the future.  Without this feature, I still don't see how it'll be easy to find and add freelancers. 

Hi Lisa, 


Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this feature. When you search for freelancers in this feature, you can use the freelancer's first name and last initial, as shown in the images added in the announcement post. For example, you want to add Valeria to your network; you can search "Valeria K" and choose her from the search results. 

I agree that your suggestion of searching for freelancers based on their skills would be a beneficial feature. I took note of your post as feedback to share it with the team. 

Thanks, Lisa!


~ Avery
Upwork
syawedis
Member

What are the rules once you've added someone to your network?

Like, can you ask them for their email? Often times, you will need an email to share a google doc if you wanted to discuss potential jobs.

 

Can you talk to them outside of upwork? 

Thank you Nathan!

 

Here is a link to the FAQ page that explains the Upwork’s contact information sharing policy as well as the exceptions to the policy. In summary, you can share contact info with the purposes of providing access to systems ( such as Google docs ) and for various legal reasons. When you connect with a freelancer via Upwork, communications must still take place via Upwork.

okay, that's what I thought. I just wasn't sure if there were going to be different rules for the Freelancer to Freelancer chatting, especially network building (for the reasons already explained by others)

wescowley
Member

I'm skeptical, mainly because I see this as quickly resulting in LinkedIn-style spam.

 

I see from the help that there are ways to block people and remove them from your network, which is good. I also see that after 4 declined invites from the same person, they won't be able to invite you again. To me, 4 is at least 2 too many. Is there a "decline and block" option? 

 

Is there a way to view the profile of the person inviting you before accepting? From the screenshot, it looks like there might be.

Hi Wes! Thank you for the great question. Yes, you can view the profile of the person inviting you before you accept. You also have the option to decline the invite. We will absolutely monitor the invite limit and adjust if necessary as we receive more feedback. Thank you again, we really want to hear from the community about this feature and how we can grow it to be a powerful tool.


Michelle M wrote:

Yes, you can view the profile of the person inviting you before you accept.


Hi Michelle

If my profile is in Private Mode and I will send an invitiation to another freelancer, will he be able to see my profile?

Thanks

Hi Ioannis,


If your profile is set to private, the freelancer you invited to join your network will be able to follow the link to your profile, but they'll see a notification that your profile is set to private.
Additionally, if a profile is set to private, other talent will not be able to find it when searching by the name or email address.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria

 

Thank you for the reply. Could you please mark this feature for review by the dev team? It would be nice if the profile would be open to the invited/netwrok freelancers I think, at least in the case that Private Mode was set by freelancer himself and not by Upwork (due to inactivity, etc)

 

Regards

 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ioannis,

Thanks for the suggestion, we'll share it with the team for further consideration.

Untitled