I know that I was wrong, but in my excitement that someone actually reviewed my profile and thought that I could help them, I was too (way too) eager to communicate with these people. They all claim to represent different companies but the messages were far too similar. One of them clearly stated to me that they didn't want a freelancer, but an employee. Why post on a Freelancer's site?
Anyway, my rant part of this message is over. I have learned my lesson and will never communicate other than on Upwork.
That being said, does anyone think that I might be able to find work from a reputable person on here?
Yes! You can definitely find legitimate projects.
Those approaches sound scam-ish to me.
I have been approached by the same "person"/group two or three times asking to chat in Google Hangouts. I have politely told them I'd be glad to speak to them but here, per Upwork's TOS. Never heard from them again.
Thank you, Melanie!
I'm certainly going to give it the old "gung-ho"! But boy is it frustrating!
What's the best way to tell? I mean you read the job description, you submit the proposal and then you just cross your fingers and hope for the best? It's a little frustrating because I only have a limited number of connects to utilize and when they get wasted because these clients wish to do business off Upwork and I choose to not play along...
I don't really know how to avoid every scam or how to always get proposals accepted, but...
Scams: I'd say anything that asks to go off-site is suspect. Also, I avoid Unverified payment projects. It's best to find Clients who already have a reputation here; then again, just like anyone on here, we too had to start somewhere. So just read with a critical, logical eye. If anything seems really "off" - this "talk off-site" thing, or a huge, phenomenal rate for a small job, anything like that - pass on the project.
Using Up Your Connects: My first few days I went crazy applying to everything. Even if you're amazing you won't get accepted to all or most of your proposed jobs as the Client has specifics, a personality, something s/he is looking for, and probably a huge pool of freelancers to choose from. Try to hoard your Connects a little and apply for jobs you know you can NAIL. If you can really, really shine on a job, answer THAT job and be enthuisastic in your cover letter. Be personal in your cover letter to the project at hand ("Your proposal interests me as I have quite a bit of experience in natural health care, including several writing projects, attached" or whatever).
Don't jump to answer every job that you might even very loosely be able to do. Apply to the ones you truly think you can deliver great, top-notch work to.
I'm new at Upwork but certainly not to freelancing, so I hope some of this helps.
Read everything in the New to Upwork top post, but start with this:
When you are new, it is likely that invitations you receive are from scammers who target the inexperienced. You can communicate with a client off of the Upwork platform but often scammers use Facebook or Google Hangouts to avoid detection.
Finding gigs in highly competitive fields may be difficult. There are simply a lot of other people applying.