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Community Manager

Increasing Transparency in Boosted Proposals

Our team recently launched a test to increase transparency around bidding in Boosted Proposals to help you make a more informed decision around spending Connects.

Check out the product update about this test here and let us know your thoughts about this update in the comments below.

~ Valeria
810 REPLIES 810

Yeah, I refuse to use It. I'm from Brazil and pay 5-6 real for each dólar.

There is no way to level the playing field. Just because someone lives in a "Third World country" doesn't necessarily mean the freelancer is poor. Then there would be the problem of all the different countries, regions, sections, areas, village, towns... every area and everyone would have to be vetted and approved for each job to ensure accurate equal financial exchange. And the rates change. There are areas of the United States that would likely qualify.


This is a nightmare that would swell costs to the point Upwork would go down. Upwork is in the United States, with most clients from the U.S., if I read the Upwork info correctly. This means the U.S. currency is the rule.


One thing new freelancers should do is evaluate their skills honestly and the job requirements. I understand need and desperation, but throwing connects at a client, especially if you do not have the real skills to back it up, will never get the job. It also makes the freelancer look desperate. I have even seen proposals saying, "Please hire me. I will do good job!" and, " I need to work. I need my first job." Clients do not care about someone's hardships, and they run away from any hint of desperation.

Philip B wrote:

This feature also eliminates equal opportunity, what about people from the 3rd or 2nd world who do not have the purchasing power of 1st worlders? 

The reverse is true for talent in developed countries such as the U.S. when their bids are totally undercut by freelancers in developing countries.  If the client is driven by cost, then the number of connects from a boosted proposal is irrelevant.

For example, U.S based projects with client HQs in the U.S. stipulate a strong preference for talent in a partiular U.S. time zone.  However, they open the project to anyone in the world to apply rather than limiting the applicant pool to U.S. only.  Naturally, people can work at "off hours" to their local time zone but accomodate the client's work hours and offer basement baragin hourly rates. The range of hourly rates is non-competable to those in the U.S. and not worth using any connects to submit a proposal muchless boosting.



Hello! Thank you for welcoming me to the community. I'm very excited to be a part of this group and I appreciate the support of the more experienced members. I would love any advice or tips on how to increase my chances of getting hired for my first project. I'm eager to learn and grow in my career, and I believe that this community can be a valuable resource in helping me achieve my goals.


Thank you again for the warm welcome.


Well said ! Thank you !

No, that is no win to experienced freelancers with boosted proposals. At all. It would be a win for new freelancers, or desperate ones, willing tho break the piggy bank on them.

I don't "think" about it because I don't PARTICIPATE.  I don't "boost" anything because the only thing it does is make you look DESPERATE to the client.  When you submit a "boosted" proposal, the client SEES a note that you paid more connects just to be 'noticed'.  That looks desperate and some clients actually auto-decline proposals that come in boosted.  Hanging a sign around your neck that screams "I need a job. Please HIRE me!" is the fastest way NOT to get hired.  Stop wasting your connects/money.

They have their own data they base their decisions on.


And, I read somewhere there seems to be a trick with the Boost thing, that could allow you to Boost as you like, with a high chance that you will not lose connects or could even get addtional connects.


Basically from the Support page:


  • Connects might be returned if we don't make it to the top 3. So if we boost 10 connects, we could get that 10 connects back if there are 3 people boosted 11 connects, right?
  • If we're in position #1 or #2, we only charged as much as the third.
  • If we win interview (high chance if we're on top), we get 10 connects although there're some changes with secretive details about this.


Based from the 3 points above there's a high chance that we can at least make our proposals to get noticed, connects returned, and could also have added connects by winning an interview.


We can say clients don't like Boosted proposal but we don't have the data.  Not all clients think the same way. Same with clients who ask Freelancers to write blue elephant. No matter how silly that is, I actually/usually got proposal response after doing that. And when we think about it, it's a reasonable way for most clients to filter out 50+ proposals. Simply skip anything without blue elephant. If still no interesting proposal after that, post a new job. It's free (yes it's not allowed, work around it, or who cares?)


I too don't like the concept of boosting and currently have no intention to try. Let alone to work around it to get profits! as explained above. But as I mentioned, Upwork has their data and their decision maker which might not be inline with something like "right or wrong". What' annoys me is now I might have to compete with people with "tons of connects".

Community Member

first place bid spent 400% than second one


  • You are charged the smallest bid among the top three spots. This means you pay the same amount of Connects that the third place bidder paid.


So feel free to Boost with everything you got, you'll only charged as much as the third place bidder.

Ok. So, how's that been working out for you?  Have you had a flood of job offers as a result of boosting?  If you want to waste your connects, go right ahead. 


I don't need the 'data' because I've spoken with MANY client that say they throw boosted proposals in the trash.  I don't need the 'data' becauseI tried the 'boost' feature during the pilot phase last year before Upwork (re)-released the feature to everybody else and I got FEWER responses.  The same with that silly 'Available Now' badge that burns up connects.  It screams DESPERATION.   Again, a client is making their decision based on which freelancer meets their NEEDS most, not which freelancer wants to be 'seen' the most or is the most desperate for a job.  Clients do not exist for the sole purpose of 'creating jobs' and 'giving people a chance': Clients exist on this platform to buy services and labor that meets their needs.


Often the freelancer that wants to be 'seen' the most is not the most qualified or does not meet the client's needs.  I've seen too many complaints from clients that the 'boosting' is actually frustrating their search for the most-QUALIFIED freelancer.    It looks desperate and creates the appearance of the freelancer lacking confidence in the ability of their SKILL set alone to win them the job, which is an immediate turn-off to many clients. It a conflict of interest: The client is looking for the best-qualified but is instead presented in with a list of unqualified people at the 'top' that paid a bribe to be at the 'top'.  No wonder many freelancers are reporting fewer clients posting jobs and hiring on this platform in recent months, because they are getting their inboxes flooded and spammed with 'bosted' junk proposals from unqualified freelancers.


The person that's truly the best qualified for a job doesn't need to pay a bribe to cut in from of the line or submit their proposal with a bunch "balloons and confetti" to attract the client's attention.  I don't use any 'boost' feature and have no problem landing work on here.  I don't want to submit any proposals that are shown to the client with a 'note' attached that basically tells them I had so little confidence in my own skills that I paid a bribe in the desperate hopes that my proposal might be at the top of the list and might be looked at by the client. 


The better question to ask is why the people that are not boosting are still getting the interviews and jobs with no problem?   The best 'boost' for a proposal is skills and a track-record that stands out. When you skills and track record stand on their own merit, you don't need to resort to 'trickery'  to get clients to notice you.

I too don't like the concept of boosting and currently have no intention to try

I'm only pointing out another and possibly a more realistic view.


The "brains" in Upwork must've think about it thoroughly, backed-up with data. They must have a strong reason to ignore the rants in this forum.


The Boost thing is used by unqualified freelancers to "shout", are you sure there's no qualified and good freelancers use it? Not all "qualified freelancers" go to this forum and express their feelings about the Boost thing. Even if they don't like it, maybe they have no problem in joining it.


Same with the client, are we sure all of them don't like and will ignore the boosted 1, 2, 3 positions? (think about the blue elephant case I mentioned above)


So, Upwork changed the job board  into a "bidding spree". Freelancers must have tons of connects to play. The ones who only have monthly free connects like me can still bid, but maybe with even less possibility to get noticed.


We'll see how this will turn out. It's normal for a business to innovate, in fact it's a necessity.


If lots of qualified freelancers actually joins the game, they will succeed. But if lots of the qualified freelancers think like me who prefer to only use the monthly connects (and find works somewhere else in between), they will eventually remove the Boost thing.

"The "brains" in Upwork must've think about it thoroughly, backed-up with data. They must have a strong reason to ignore the rants in this forum."


Wow, really? In all sincerity, why do you think that? There is no evidence that Upwork looks at logic when making these decisions. If it looks as though it will bring in some cash - to heck with whatever long-term damage is being done.

Upwork doesn't listen to the freelancers because they don't care - if 90% were gone, there would be plenty in every category.

Community Member

Radia L wrote:


Basically from the Support page:


  • Connects might be returned if we don't make it to the top 3. So if we boost 10 connects, we could get that 10 connects back if there are 3 people boosted 11 connects, right?
  • If we're in position #1 or #2, we only charged as much as the third.
  • If we win interview (high chance if we're on top), we get 10 connects although there're some changes with secretive details about this.


Based from the 3 points above there's a high chance that we can at least make our proposals to get noticed, connects returned, and could also have added connects by winning an interview.


Good point! Could this be another way of farming connects? That explain why some don´t care about spending 40+ connects to boosting.


Community Member

Could this be another way of farming connects?


It is, actually discussed as a way to "farm connects legally". I don't know how good the odds are compared to the previous one, because I don't really look into it, and also I feel there's a "gambling" part in it. Too risky 😐 I'm afraid I'll lose more than expected if I start to spend $$$ to "join the game".


It is however, annoys me when I only have monthly free connects while others have tons of it from the game.


Community Member

Upwork has some companies trying to get clients as freelancers does. Maybe those that spends a lot of conects are agencies.

I supose a lot of agencie´s staffs spends a lot of connects in boosting. Companies has a lot of money, and staffs isn´t spending their own money, so they will boost as much as they can. For a company, boosting 40+ connects is a very cheap price. I´m not sure if the high numbers of boosting comes from agencies but it is what I´m suposing.

I have gotten some good jobs after boosting. 


Just saying. 

I experimented with this on two proposals because I work in an oversaturated field. But I tried this with jobs where I had very specific experience that fit with the project, and I felt nervous about the prospect of not boosting because of the number of applicants (I knew I was a good fit for the project, but I didn't have total confidence that the client would be able to find my profile).  In a way, I'm lucky because my clients tend to be people who don't mind reading, so I don't think that this is going to be something I need to use.

A few years ago, the freelancer lists clients received would be sorted according to the experience levels of the freelancers who applied. So if you had done a lot of similar jobs on Upwork, your profile would be ranked higher in the list.  Being higher in the list wasn't necessarily a guarantee of being hired because the client might want someone with a lower rate, but at least it seemed like it might be beneficial to clients in terms of helping them distinguish who might be a good fit for their project.

In the end, there are going to be pros and cons to any "listing" of freelancers. Sure, there are "lazier" clients that will not go through the entire list of applicants, there will be some that are super diligent. There will be some that only look at profile pictures. There will be some that like specific sounding names. It's a crazy, unjust world and we need to focus on the things we have control over, like writing attention grabbing, show stopping proposals. 


I have boosted a lot, and saw a lot of good results, I am relatively new to Upwork so maybe it works for me now, but if I become Super Top Rated Platinum Plus Woop Woop status then maybe I will stop because it won't be worth it. 


I know this has already been said in every possible fashion, but this whole system is terrible.


If I were a client, I would immediately steer away from freelancers appearing at the top of the list. The first thing I would think is that, since they are not fully qualified for the job, they try to compensate for that using a trick. Just like in kindergarten, the kid shouting the most loudly is not necessarily the smartest one - only the most annoying.

It's becoming impossible to secure any job on upwork nowadays.all this booster are just taking away our money for nothing .everyday there is a feature that comes up on upwork and if you check well that feature takes away something from a freelancer .

It has been almost Impossible for me to secure a job since all these features started appearing .so sad indeed

I think it is time to raise our voices against this why are we still waiting I think we should play a role in taking this matter to the upwork higher authorities. I mean it is useless there is no point in bringing unnecessary to boost connects system.




You don't need a higher authority. refuse to use the boosts and encourage all other freelancers to do the same. However, those most unqualified will continue to use it because they think it will land them jobs.



I'm sure the Upwork "higher authorities" have approved of the direction that they're taking, and they already know (or could have easily guessed) that the majority of freelancers don't want to have to spend more money. But people are using it anyway, and there's no indication that the amount of freelancers on Upwork nor the amount of bids on each project have decreased; quite the opposite. There's no reason for them to listen to your complaints unless it impacts their bottom line.

True. I am already buildinging my profile on several other Freelance websites. 

True. I am already buildinging my profile on several other Freelance websites. 

Worried about 28 connects needed to boost the proposal? Check this out! boosted_.pngboosted_Screenshot 2022-11-02 at 13.41.47.png

This is hilarious. Recently I complain about this feature. I would recommend we should directly submit our feedback to Upwork. Stop this feature. 

Yes, you are right. I was also thinking about this. Everyone wants to see their proposal in the first 3 places. For this, a connects war start. I think we should submit our feedback to Upwork. This is not the correct way. Totally a waste of money. 😞   

Agree! It's another nonsense! I've personally never boosted anything, and I dont' want to participate in any "connects war" just to be seen by a prospective client. Our skills and portfolio are definetely enough for "real" clients who care about quality.

Totally Agreed.

I agree

Totally agreed

I just made a thread about this


It unfairly favors freelancers with more money and resources to just outbid everyone else and that is not sustainable for me to try and keep up. I saw a $65 job whose top bids were 16, 17 and 21 connects. This is not a good system - I feel discouraged from even applying to these jobs now and even if I do at a normal connect number I doubt I'll even get seen!

Don't let the boosting discourage you. I don't boost, and I still land jobs. The problem is the enormous number of unskilled freelancers clogging the system for the clients. Not boosting is not the reason people aren't getting jobs.

We should all agree not to use it, and boosting would disappear when no money was forthcoming.

So, your response was posted on September 22nd. Are you still getting jobs without taking part in the bidding war? Just wondering. Thanks.

Yes, I am.

Lucky you. Not my case. I am aTop Rated Plus architects, first time in 13 years that I spend two months without an interview. Appling to 6-11 jobs per day. Not a single response. 
Many jobs are open for months, with no interviews, and if so without hiring. Upwork keep those connects and I am left with nothing.

Hi Susan.

Like Jean, I have done some testing.

For 14 days, I used the available now badge and boosted proposals.
The result was that profile views didn't change (they were down 43% anyway), and I did not receive a response to any proposals. However, my profile views went slightly up once I stopped using the badge! And I've gained a few new clients without boosting.

Having said that, I've always seen submitting proposals as a numbers game, as in, you stand more chance the more you send.

Yes, I am.

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