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vispan
Community Member

2024 Tips for New Freelancers

  • READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE. It explains rules that can get you kicked off the platform, and also helps you to avoid scams.

  • Keep everything on platform until you are comfortable. Using email/google drive for documents and files is okay, but try and do this when you are more comfortable with the client.

  • You might have to take a low paying job when starting, everyone did it. Just be careful you don't Get a client who is gonna give you a hard time and a bad rating. Rating's are important in the beginning so if you have to do a ton of work for pennies, it's better than taking the L with a bad review. Once you get a 1 or 2 reviews, up your price for better clients.

  • If you have never freelanced before, I would suggest starting off with hourly work only, then make sure you log your time to get a better idea of how long it takes to do something, then you can start fixed pricing.

  • Read up about Job Success Score, and what goes into it.

  • Set up consultations. Consultations are considered contracts with reviews and a lot of clients will book a consultation with you as a way of interview you. This is the easiest way to inflate your JSS and reviews, as a lot of clients appreciate the advice or just meeting with them. I have a low price for consultations, I think about $10 for a half hour. This is better than no money pre contract, then not even landing the client.

  • Dont buy anything that the client tells you. If they ask you buy assets, ask them to either send them in email, or send payment via a bonus, but do not buy until you have a contract and have the money in your BANK account. Even this is grey area and I would try to avoid buying anything at all.

  • Read this thread pretty regularly. I like to look into people having issues with clients and learn from others mistakes instead of mine. 90% of what I know about Upwork is from this thread.

  • Do NOT throw connects at any job posting, they are expensive and build up and most job postings are ghosted. When I first started I applied for any position that I thought I could do, raked up $300+ of connects and took months to even make a profit. Look to see if the client has a hiring past, is verified and seems professional (has a detailed job description, basic grammar, etc) I would not suggest applying for jobs that say something like "Need designer for this. Please contact."

  • Getting your first job takes time, don't get discouraged if you don't get a job within the first month or 2, it took me 2 months to get my first job, then another month to get my second and third, definitely not enough to pay the bills, so keep this in mind and if you don't have another form of income, get one.

  • Research how to write a proposal, and a good one. Keep it short, 1-2 small paragraphs. Using Chatgpt can help, but make sure you change words/adjust it as needed as most people can tell who uses Chatgpt alone. I use it for every proposal, but I put it through multiple times and take out sentences or adjust them so it sounds like a person talking and not a robot. This is a skill that takes time to develop, so be patient with this.

  • going off the last post, a lot of clients prefer to meet via zoom before hiring, so make sure you are good with interviews/pitching yourself. Take 15 minutes before the call to gather information about the brand or portfolio items to discuss relating to the project. Also a skill that takes time to develop, but interviewing is necessary for any career and will put you ahead of competitors with the same experience.

  • Did I mention to read the TOS?

These are just somethings I would've liked to know when I first started. Hope this helps!

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