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Re: 6 connects for Entry level job?

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Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
11 of 60

Thomas B wrote:

@Chistine A  --  I think that comes across as a flippant response. It makes an assumption that's not supported by what myself and others have observed.  Each and every proposal I've sought to submit has required 6 Tokens, never less. It's also not reasonable to assume that for many/most projects, with the competition for those projects, that it shouldn't require submitting more than 11 proposals, less if you didn't pay for the so called "Premium Membership" to be "successful" here. So frustrating.


If you use the quote function when replying to a specific comment, the conversation is a lot easier to follow.

 

If "each and every proposal" you've wanted to submit cost six tokens, then just budget for six tokens per proposal. Factor it into your business plan. If it doesn't fit, then maybe UW is not worth your while. 

 

I've been on UW for almost exactly three years. During that time, I've submitted 408 proposals. I've never purchased a connect (yet) but even if I had spent six tokens per proposal, purchased at 15 cents each, it would represent an investment of $367 against earnings of more than $70k (on which I've paid UW fees at an avg rate of 9%). I consider that a great ROI, especially since the cost of connects and the UW fees are deductible business expenses.

 

Some of us get flippant around this topic because the constant bellyaching seems to call for it. Everybody needs to put on their big girl/big boy pants and act like business people.

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Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
12 of 60

Phyllis G wrote:

Thomas B wrote:

@Chistine A  --  I think that comes across as a flippant response. It makes an assumption that's not supported by what myself and others have observed.  Each and every proposal I've sought to submit has required 6 Tokens, never less. It's also not reasonable to assume that for many/most projects, with the competition for those projects, that it shouldn't require submitting more than 11 proposals, less if you didn't pay for the so called "Premium Membership" to be "successful" here. So frustrating.


If you use the quote function when replying to a specific comment, the conversation is a lot easier to follow.

 

If "each and every proposal" you've wanted to submit cost six tokens, then just budget for six tokens per proposal. Factor it into your business plan. If it doesn't fit, then maybe UW is not worth your while. 

 

I've been on UW for almost exactly three years. During that time, I've submitted 408 proposals. I've never purchased a connect (yet) but even if I had spent six tokens per proposal, purchased at 15 cents each, it would represent an investment of $367 against earnings of more than $70k (on which I've paid UW fees at an avg rate of 9%). I consider that a great ROI, especially since the cost of connects and the UW fees are deductible business expenses.

 


I have been thinking about this, and your point is excellent, however I think part of the issue is the "psychology" of paying for connects vs. paying for a service. I've earned over 20k on the platform, even if I paid for connects for all of the jobs, it wouldn't be a lot. However when I do apply and watch the "ticker of connects available" go down, it heightens my awareness of the "cost." 

 

I believe Upwork would be better served with a subscription type model - no more ala carte connects.  There would be other changes necessary and I don't know how you support freelancers who offer low price services, and I don't have the data to recommend - I just think this whole connects frustration is more about the psychology and less about the money. 

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Active Member
Thomas B Member Since: Jul 17, 2018
13 of 60
"I just think this whole connects frustration is more about the
psychology and less about the money."

IMO it's not psychology, it has a real financial impact because those of us
who are trying hard to get established here, without the benefit lower
'fees' (10% vs 20%) which is where UW really makes their profit, without
the benefit of being able to submit at least 20 proposals, (now 1/2 that) -
It feels like this marketplace isn't at all friendly towards Sellers,
rather they favor Buyers. I have more evidence for that statement, but
that's off topic, so I won't go there.

I have to say if you submitted 408 proposals over 3 years and made about
20k ($6,666.66 annually,) I'm not sure it's worth it, do you? Perhaps if
it's a part time thing great, but some of newbies who Freelance full-time
at UW came to it with different expectations.
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Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
14 of 60

Thomas B wrote:
I have to say if you submitted 408 proposals over 3 years and made about
20k ($6,666.66 annually,) I'm not sure it's worth it, do you? Perhaps if
it's a part time thing great, but some of newbies who Freelance full-time
at UW came to it with different expectations.

Um, I didn't say that I submitted 408 proposals, that was another FL, nor did I say 3 years. 

 

My point was the amount of money I earned makes the amount spent on connects negilble (had I spent any on connects)

I never said I was happy with how much money I'm earning,  I was merely looking at revenue earned vs. theoritical cost to submit (as I earned these jobs under the free connects so far).

 

As others have said, there are costs to running a business and generating leads.  If Upwork has decided it will cost money to submit for jobs, I am recommending they rethink how they charge for it - that's all. I'm done arguing whether they should charge to submit for jobs, that ship has sailed....

 

 

 

 

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Active Member
Thomas B Member Since: Jul 17, 2018
15 of 60

Dear - I don't recall addressing my comments to you directly. Agreed that ship has sailed. If UW had exercised nearly half the brains they think they have, than they would have offered a free market where anyone can bid on projects, and buyers are held to account for their actions (or lack thereof) no less then sellers. 

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Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
16 of 60

Thomas B wrote:
"I just think this whole connects frustration is more about the
psychology and less about the money."

IMO it's not psychology, it has a real financial impact because those of us
who are trying hard to get established here, without the benefit lower
'fees' (10% vs 20%) which is where UW really makes their profit, without
the benefit of being able to submit at least 20 proposals, (now 1/2 that) -
It feels like this marketplace isn't at all friendly towards Sellers,
rather they favor Buyers. I have more evidence for that statement, but
that's off topic, so I won't go there.

I have to say if you submitted 408 proposals over 3 years and made about
20k ($6,666.66 annually,) I'm not sure it's worth it, do you? Perhaps if
it's a part time thing great, but some of newbies who Freelance full-time
at UW came to it with different expectations.

I've earned over $70k (not sure where you got 20k). I'm a full-time freelancer but UW accounts for only part of my business. It's absolutely worthwhile for me to be here. (And would be, even if my overall earnings did come to $20k. I'm not in a position to sneeze at $6k/year.)

 

UW is not a great fit for everybody. For instance, a FL whose business consists exclusively (or even primarily) of one-off projects under $500 will rarely climb past the 20% fee level. Unless you are really great at landing projects and knocking them out fast, it might be hard to subsist here. If what you do lends itself to working with some at least some of your clients on a long-term basis, and you have the business and client management skills to build a base here, then it's a great platform. You can save vast amounts of time on administrative stuff (marketing, invoicing). 

 

I would be very interested in seeing profitability data across different segments of FLs defined by project size, number of projects, skill category, etc. I don't buy the argument that UW makes most of their profit on the 20% fee tier (setting aside the fact that the company has yet to actually turn a profit). UW takes $100 on a $1,000 contract. It takes five $100 contracts to generate $100 in fees. Who thinks it's cheaper to service five small contracts than a single $1,000 contract? And that's before you factor in consumption of customer support resources. I would bet half my current balance of connects that the FLs earning the least money in the smallest increments require more CS attention. 

 

Granted, it's more challenging to get established here now than it used to be. But IMO there's a case to be made that it should never have been as easy as it was. The platform is completely awash in FLs who are not equipped to work as independent contractors. Some will learn how to do it, others won't and those are the ones who need to figure out sooner, rather than later, that they're better off doing something else someplace else. 

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Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
17 of 60

Miriam H wrote:

Phyllis G wrote:

Thomas B wrote:

@Chistine A  --  I think that comes across as a flippant response. It makes an assumption that's not supported by what myself and others have observed.  Each and every proposal I've sought to submit has required 6 Tokens, never less. It's also not reasonable to assume that for many/most projects, with the competition for those projects, that it shouldn't require submitting more than 11 proposals, less if you didn't pay for the so called "Premium Membership" to be "successful" here. So frustrating.


If you use the quote function when replying to a specific comment, the conversation is a lot easier to follow.

 

If "each and every proposal" you've wanted to submit cost six tokens, then just budget for six tokens per proposal. Factor it into your business plan. If it doesn't fit, then maybe UW is not worth your while. 

 

I've been on UW for almost exactly three years. During that time, I've submitted 408 proposals. I've never purchased a connect (yet) but even if I had spent six tokens per proposal, purchased at 15 cents each, it would represent an investment of $367 against earnings of more than $70k (on which I've paid UW fees at an avg rate of 9%). I consider that a great ROI, especially since the cost of connects and the UW fees are deductible business expenses.

 


I have been thinking about this, and your point is excellent, however I think part of the issue is the "psychology" of paying for connects vs. paying for a service. I've earned over 20k on the platform, even if I paid for connects for all of the jobs, it wouldn't be a lot. However when I do apply and watch the "ticker of connects available" go down, it heightens my awareness of the "cost." 

 

I believe Upwork would be better served with a subscription type model - no more ala carte connects.  There would be other changes necessary and I don't know how you support freelancers who offer low price services, and I don't have the data to recommend - I just think this whole connects frustration is more about the psychology and less about the money. 


Re. the psychological reflex vs actual cost: agree completely. Re. a subscription model: no cottonpickin' way, thanks just the same. Opportunities ebb and flow, it's not unusual for me to go weeks at a time without seeing a single viable project here, followed by a flurry, followed by more doldrums. Why should I pay a subscription for periods of dead air, to accommodate people who can't recognize and budget for a business expense? Plus, once a FL has gained enough traction to live mainly off invitations, why should that person have to subsidize others who need to flog proposals constantly?

 

I hate seeing the connects ticker wind down, too, and sometimes have to remind myself each one costs 15 cents and a proposal requiring six costs 90 cents. My monthly broadband bill is about $90. It's not going to be connects that put me in the poorhouse.

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Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
18 of 60

Phyllis G wrote:


Re. the psychological reflex vs actual cost: agree completely. Re. a subscription model: no cottonpickin' way, thanks just the same. Opportunities ebb and flow, it's not unusual for me to go weeks at a time without seeing a single viable project here, followed by a flurry, followed by more doldrums. Why should I pay a subscription for periods of dead air, to accommodate people who can't recognize and budget for a business expense? Plus, once a FL has gained enough traction to live mainly off invitations, why should that person have to subsidize others who need to flog proposals constantly?

 

I hate seeing the connects ticker wind down, too, and sometimes have to remind myself each one costs 15 cents and a proposal requiring six costs 90 cents. My monthly broadband bill is about $90. It's not going to be connects that put me in the poorhouse.


Good point about monthly ebb and flow. Maybe something else is packaged with it? 

Otherwise I would rather see each job be two connects and each connect be .50 cents or whatever.  It was just simpler when it was all two connects, I can't explain it - it's not even the money, it's the arbitary nature of the algorithim (which is already established as wonky - being nice here).

Community Guru
Alexandra H Member Since: Jul 30, 2015
19 of 60

Late to the discussion here, but I just wanted to say that you have a point when you say it's about the 'psychology'. Although, I find it's about both, the actual cost and the impression you get from the mismatch of projects and connects in some cases. 

 

Being a 'freerider' because I don't have a subscription, I accept the need to pay for the leads I get, yes, absolutely. And I can price in any costs for the connects when I charge my client (or write it off as marketing expenses). No problem with that. I also understand that jobs are assigned connects prices (2 to 6 etc.) according to a simple algorithm ensuring the smooth running of the platform. Fine by me. 

 

But has anyone considered the effect a price of whopping 6 connects has on my actions as a 'consumer'? (And you don't need game theory to discover those.) Assuming it's a small job worth no more than a few bucks (e.g. 'translate 1,000 words') and given the fact that I am 'competing' against numerous agencies or freelancers and may not even get a chance to chat with the client, why should I invest? 

 

While previously I would have added my humble profile to the list on offer to the client (for 2 connects), I will now refrain from trying to make contact if the relationship between the amount of connects required and the type of project is something I have to think twice about. The client won't get to see my profile ('recommended' or otherwise, which wasn't always helpful either, by the way) and will have a smaller range to choose from. Not what I call providing consumer choice (neither for me nor the client).

So now you know. (*sulk*)

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Active Member
Avi V Member Since: Aug 6, 2019
20 of 60
freelancing is basically having your own little business. Just think about the connects as a business expense. it's cheaper than gas for sure.

I have joined UpWork around two months ago after selling my business and getting bored out of my mind. I have made over $9K in less than 2 months. I send proposals and buy as many connects needed to keep going and put myself out there. I currently apply for U.S jobs only and it has been going great.

Before I sold my creative agency I used to hire dozens of freelancers on UpWork, the paid connects system has really helped reducing the amount of amateur freelancers, it used to be ridiculous.

So in my opinion the connects system is not perfect but it's ok, I see lots of people complaining about it and about upwork in general and they forget no one forced them to be here, if one's not happy, he shouldn't be doing this.

At the end of the day, UpWork is a business, it is a great platform, definitely not perfect but if it takes me $12 to land a $200-$400 quick job, I'm good with that.

Just my personal opinion based on my own experience here.
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