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28425c32
Community Member

99% of proposals aren't being viewed

Applying to plenty of proposals, but something like 1/50 in the last 2 weeks have been viewed. It appears no one is being hired for these jobs or is ever even viewwing them again. Engagement has fallen off a cliff for freelancers right when Upwork's cut of all work has increased and Connects have gotten more expensive, along with no longer earning Connects for interviews or other thigns. I'm wondering if the platform is jsut honestly dying and these jobs are ghosts there to keep people subscribing to the platform every month. the amount of work we put into all these proposals for how little engagement we're getting is truly appalling.

60 REPLIES 60
raju42
Community Member

It's disappointing nowadays! 

aldair_romo
Community Member

I have never been hired on this site by sending a proposal, it has always been with an invitation to an interview but lately I have not had any luck either.

I've never had a single invitation.

sajal36
Community Member

1/50 is not a good statistics for proposal view metrics. I believe it is somewhere between 1/10 which I have observed. I believe you need to look at the data the way you have applied for the proposal - for e.g. if you are not boosting your propsoal than how many proposal were already made before you applied. If you are boosting your proposal than definitely there will be some way of evaluating. I normally do not boost my proposal so cannot comment on the same.

yofazza
Community Member

1/50 is not a good statistics

Yes the (observable) average are supposed to be 10-30%.

 

2% is below the (observable) average, or it could be that average is becoming lower. I haven't sent a proposal in the past few weeks, I'm being extra careful to not throw the precious connects into nothing ๐Ÿ˜

 

I still feel it's okay if client read my proposal and decided that I'm not "the one".

 

What's annoying is when they don't even see me exists.

b4c15981
Community Member

My guess from glancing at your profile is that your hourly rate is on the high side with the JSS being only 88% and only 6 jobs completed. I would suggest doing some lower cost jobs to build your JSS higher. I don't know your niche, though, so maybe that is not an unusually high rate. 

 

My view rate for proposals in the last month is 50/160 so I don't necessarily think it can be generalized to say the platform is dying based on what you are experiencing in the last couple of weeks. There may be other things you can adjust to have more success. 

88% is a good JSS, especially for low job counts. My JSS was that low a few months ago. It was significantly lower 6 months ago.

It's only 88% because a client who hirred me to ask audio questions to at will ghosted after the first week and never closed the job, reviewd me, or fileld out anythign on his end. My reviews are glowing.

A job with no rating has zero impact on your JSS.

88% JSS isn't high enough to qualify for top rated, and if some is choosing from a large applicant pool that includes some people with 100% and another with an 88%, it may make them choose the other person. 

That may be so, but that client simply paused the contract and disappeared. 7 months later I closed the contract because I never heard from them again. Nothing I can do about it and my feedback and the work quality on my profile speak for themselves. 

But people don't understand that backstory and may not know how JSS are calculated. If they're quickly skimming and trying to distinguish between someone with a 100% JSS who is top rated and someone with an 88% JSS, they may click to view only the first. 

 

You can get your score up with successfully completing more contracts. 

 

Or maybe look at your wording on your proposals, particularly the first 2 lines. 

I'm a professional cinematographer and editor. I don't work for $5. My rate on here is half of what I charge the national brands and travel all over the country to film video content for. Upwork unfortunately only allows me to display an hourly, which I'd rather not have at all as video production uses day rates. 
The 88% is because one client ghosted and hasn't closed the job from his end ever. It's closed from mine. All my reviews are glowing. 
This isn't what I've expereiences over weeks, it's months. Most of what's posted for video content are ultra low cost UGC or TikTok jobs or someone who wants a birthday or Youtube video edited for $50. I'm already on the video Talent Cloud and there have been 3 jobs posted there in 6-8 months, all for the same company. 
Most of Upwork just isn't geared toward higher-paying jobs or even this field, unfortunately.

25005175
Community Member

Upwork's cut of all work has increased

Upwork's cut went down from 20% to 10% for the first $500 of all new FL-Client relationships.

 

Connects have gotten more expensive

Interesting. The price of Connects increased by $0.01 per unit - a 6.7% increase. Still lower than total inflation over the past few years, as far as I know.

 

Applying to plenty of proposals, but something like 1/50 in the last 2 weeks have been viewed. It appears no one is being hired for these jobs or is ever even viewwing them again.


What kind of jobs are you applying to? There are many, MANY window-shoppers who post the same job on multiple platforms.

But all the jobs require a higher number of Connects now, plus they removed giving Connects to people for booking jobs or being interviewed or anything else. 
I'm a professional cinematographer/editor. I'm applying for video production, editing, color grading and audio post production work (also a audio engineer with record credits workign with Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Daniel Donato, Anthony Green, and more). I make video content, music videos, documentary work, all kinds of stuff. I think this platform is mostly aimed at a race to the bottom for wages. 

It's certainly true that most of the postings on Upwork are low value. If you're strategic, that doesn't matter at all. What matters is the number of good prospects you find, not what percentage of the total they make up.

 

I remain mystified by where you found 50 postings you felt were worth sending proposals on. My hourly rate is slightly lower than yours and I've sent 11 proposals in the past 90 days. It's not a raffle. Just focus in on the handful of good prospects where you're clearly the best fit and ignore the rest.

We're in wildly different fields, so what you're so mystified about I cannot imagine. I'm a cinematographer and also offer production work. That means actualyl traveling to sites to capture video content. It also means offering post production services like video editing, color grading, and audio mixing a la carte or as a package. We aren't even remotely in the same fields here. As a for instance, today I mixed 4 audio projects for a client and also completed edits on 2 others for that same client. Those edits included audio, color grading, motion graphics for titles, and a seperate 30-60sec vertical social cut. I also took meeting with another client to plan a shoot in NYC and talk about post production for a project they're shooting in LA right now with Snoop Dogg. I'll be editing, color grading, audio mixing, and making titles for that. So yeah there's a much broader range or work I apply to than you.

Ope, I left out that I'm also a pro audio engineer (with record credits) too. So yeah. Wide range.

Actually the rate was 20% for the first $500, 10% for the rest up to $10000 and then 5%. 

Now it's 10% flat, meaning anything above $5000 you lose extra 5%.

 

So if you get a $5000 job, you save $50 the first month, and then lose $250 dollars for each following month. 

Yearly thats $3000 dollars of possible loss meaning you lose incentive to get large projects or a full time gig, and you're encouraged to do mini-projects. 

 

If you want to use multipliers, you would lose 60 times more money on a full time gig vs getting small projects under 50 dollars.

 

And mind you, this is an ideal scenario where you don't actually  take into account the fact that for each of those small projects you'd need connects. If you take that into consideration..... well, I'll let you do the math. 

 

Edit: I think the limit was $5000, now I'm thinking whether or not it was actually 10K, but never the less, just substract a month, and you get more or less the same conclusion, $250 a year give or take. 

atreglia
Community Member


Gabriel O wrote:

I'm wondering if the platform is jsut honestly dying and these jobs are ghosts there to keep people subscribing to the platform every month. 


I've never really bought off on this before, but I'm beginning to now because it's really the only thing that makes any sense to me lately.  I mean, nothing much really adds up here.  It's as though they've given up; they won't clean house, they won't vet, they've left the gates open, and now they're crushing their own customers with vacant job posts and abysmal fees to apply to them, yada yada.  Perhaps they're just desperately trying to rake in as much money as they can while they can.   Their choice, I guess.

fe9b8d82
Community Member

I've noticd a huge increase in AI generated job postings (at least in the legal category).  They literally say words to the effect that some of this post may have been generated by advanced AI.  The details are always specific enough so I know I'd be able to do the job, but never specific enough where you get an actual detailed account of what is needed.  "Intellectual property contract review" or something equally vague.

They also always ask for links to your past completed projects - yes, let me send you Google Doc links to all my clients' private files....

I've applied to some that are my skill set, and I notice that invariably none of them ever hire anyone, and the majority never invite nor interview anyone either.  Further, they only get maybe 10-15 applications at the max, so the argument that they were overrun with unqualified spammers doesn't hold water there.

I'm not saying they're dummy jobs, but wow, it sure feels like dummy jobs.

100%. Or I'll see job posts askign for before/after examples of say color grading for example. Um, I'm not sending you my clients' material. 


Miles H wrote:

They also always ask for links to your past completed projects - yes, let me send you Google Doc links to all my clients' private files....


Asking for work samples is pretty standard when clients consider whom to hire. Can't you redact sensitive information, or create some case studies that you can share?

For limited scope legal representation I really can't.  Each client is different, and each fact pattern is different.  I don't feel it's necessary or practical to present an exceedingly general case study of a client who was helped by my legal advice, nor am I inclined to open up my files and provide free samples of my contracts or other documents for tire kickers to view and copy.  I let my 5 star feedback and 100% JSS pique a client's interest, and after we've made contact, I may, under the proper circumstances, provide redacted copies of a public court filing to show that I can in fact string a sentence together.

It's a moot point anyways, because the vast majority of the AI generated jobs (at least in the legal field) don't ever interview or hire anyone anyway - hence my reference to them feeling like ghost or dummy jobs.

tlsanders
Community Member

It seems unlikely you've recently run across 50 jobs with budgets comparable to your rate. Are you bidding your rate on jobs with much lower budgets, or are you bidding a rate that's significantly disconnected from your profile rate? Either would be a good reason clients weren't opening your proposals. 

Many of these are jobs that show no view activity or hires and simply go dead. And no, while my bids may be a little higher than their estimate, I'm pretty focused on avoiding lowball projects.

2a05aa63
Community Member

You have your earnings hidden, but unless you actually had hourly contract with that hourly rate - the clients will leave the moment they see it.

Thanks for the tip, I've unhidden them. All the previous work I've done on UPwork has been for audio, which I charge less for. Current contract live is at my regular post hourly rate. On production I charge $2500+/day plus travel and equipment - most video work is on a day rate. This is also true of post production work.

I see. Then the rate is great.
On upwork I've always seen proposals going up and down from time to time. I wouldn't stress much about it. I only send proposals to jobs I like, and just do other stuff if I cannot find anything. I've never bought connect. Though, I am mostly looking for long term jobs, so might be specific for IT.

You may want to consider creating a specialized profiel and separating out that work. I obviously don't speak for every client, but I immediately rule out anyone whose profile rate and actual rates are wildly disparate.

I already have a specialized profile for audio work.

Oh. Unfortunate that those low-dollar jobs show up on your main profile. I thought you could move them to only show on the specialized profile, but maybe it's the other way around.

canobenitez
Community Member

I'm on the same boat, things aren't looking good. I've sent 55% more proposals in 3 months than in the whole last year with a ratio of 20 proposal - 1 hire. This is looking bleak for us freelancers...

Is there a reason you're not using your Top Rated perk to remove the 1.45 score at the top of your profile?  It might help you get hired more.

I might do so but it doesn't explain the why clients don't even check my proposals. 

f7546bfa
Community Member

I am a compliance documents writer and keep myself updated with Regulations to write policies and procedures. 

 

I learned from this thread that the reason for the client's not selecting any freelancer at all might be connected with the fact that they are window shopping.

 

So I am changing my strategy likewise by carefully sending proposals across multiple freelance sites to not invest too much time and money to secure a technical writing job.

 

What is your strategy for window-shopping clients?

5209de78
Community Member

me too, no one review my proposal, just threw out my connect

raf65
Community Member

Same here. Work as a professional screenwriter and script consultant. 9/23 profile views ratio with 185 connects spent in the last 7 days. The span of rates for the jobs I have applied for is very broad, but still nothing. I decided to aggressively adopt the 'boosting' facility to win work but have ended up spending about $5 - $20 (in real money converted to connects) to apply for each jobs and boost proposals. These remain unviewed and unanswered. What the hell is going on?

bilsim
Community Member

And when they are viewed, and a client contacts you, 99% of them ask for your CV and/or a free test.

 

Why do so many of them want a CV these days? Is it just a partice drill for HR department, when they have nothing else/nothing useful to do? Has Upwork become an employment site, I thought freelancers need a profile and work samples, not CVs to be sent for every single job.

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