sarinebelle
Member

Almost 3 Months on Upwork - Feedback

..And I like it so far. This is how it went for me:

 

This is my first foray into the wild world of online freelancing. In the beginning, it was really difficult to be noticed! I used up all my connects very quickly and I only got the one project. At first I really wanted more connects. And I got a little discouraged when I saw other profiles with a bajillion hours and jobs and here is lil ol’ me, with no connects and another month to go. I nearly bought more connects but what I did is I trawled (ok a little trolling, too) through the community forum and read everything I could. While I worked with that one client, I read up on everything to do with how to create proposals, I read 3rd party blogs about their experiences on Upwork, I just really kept researching. It's when I found out that I joined during a particularly difficult moment for Upwork, as it was errors in all languages for many days (zut alors, oopsie etc etc). Now I realise the connect limit is there for a reason. No one needs more than 60 connects, I haven't even made a dent in them for quite a while now. And all the clients will probably disappear if the newbies get more than 60 connects each. Lol.

 

I did really well on that first project, the client gave me a great feedback and then hired me again for the next project they had. While I was working on that, I got my first gift from the Upwork algorithms: an invite to interview for a perfect skill match. This client was a bit more difficult but I just kept at it. If there was something I wasn't sure how to do or say, I asked the gurus here on the community. There are really some amazing people here always ready to help. Everyone new would do well to listen to them instead of being all defensive or argumentative. And using everything I learned from the forum and guides, I upped my proposal game and everything changed.

 

Just last week or couple weeks ago, I got the rising talent badge, and just today I found out I already have a Job Success score! At the rate everything seems to be going I think I'm going to get the Top Rated badge soon! Yay!

 

My tips those who are just starting out or are discouraged:

  1. Whittle down your profile skills. Pick a focus for your initial months.
  2. 2 words: Customized Proposals. Really write each and every proposal from scratch, addressing the details included by the client. Also, your English, grammar and writing style really does matter.
  3. Always be professional, but it’s also good to have your own voice. Be honest about your capabilities.
  4. Keep your clients happy by under-promising, and over-delivering even just a bit, but understand and nail down all those details first before accepting an offer. Communicate well.
  5. Listen to the community gurus! I’m not saying blindly follow everything they say or not think for yourself anymore. But if you need some help, there are lovely people here who know a lot and are willing to share their experiences/knowledge.
  6. Read as much community threads and guides as you can. Read the problems people are posting about. Read the ones labelled ‘SCAMMM!’ and its other variations. Read them to learn from them and then later on, read them to return the favour and dish out the help.
  7. Don’t be a bottomfeeder, you will attract the same and then some. It’s ok to bid low on 1 or 2 projects to get something on your profile but not too low and don’t do it all the time.
  8. You will make mistakes, such as bidding too low and end up getting the project. Do it anyway as best as you can and learn from your mistakes.
  9. Relax. Desperation is a turn off and people can smell it from the way you write.
  10. Be confident in that you know what you’re doing. You’ve got it down! (Just make sure you really do!)

I might be just repeating things already said but these are the things that helped me and they’re worth repeating. Goodluck everyone!

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@Maria E wrote:

..And I like it so far. This is how it went for me:

 

This is my first foray into the wild world of online freelancing. In the beginning, it was really difficult to be noticed! I used up all my connects very quickly and I only got the one project. At first I really wanted more connects. And I got a little discouraged when I saw other profiles with a bajillion hours and jobs and here is lil ol’ me, with no connects and another month to go. I nearly bought more connects but what I did is I trawled (ok a little trolling, too) through the community forum and read everything I could. While I worked with that one client, I read up on everything to do with how to create proposals, I read 3rd party blogs about their experiences on Upwork, I just really kept researching. It's when I found out that I joined during a particularly difficult moment for Upwork, as it was errors in all languages for many days (zut alors, oopsie etc etc). Now I realise the connect limit is there for a reason. No one needs more than 60 connects, I haven't even made a dent in them for quite a while now. And all the clients will probably disappear if the newbies get more than 60 connects each. Lol.

 

I did really well on that first project, the client gave me a great feedback and then hired me again for the next project they had. While I was working on that, I got my first gift from the Upwork algorithms: an invite to interview for a perfect skill match. This client was a bit more difficult but I just kept at it. If there was something I wasn't sure how to do or say, I asked the gurus here on the community. There are really some amazing people here always ready to help. Everyone new would do well to listen to them instead of being all defensive or argumentative. And using everything I learned from the forum and guides, I upped my proposal game and everything changed.

 

Just last week or couple weeks ago, I got the rising talent badge, and just today I found out I already have a Job Success score! At the rate everything seems to be going I think I'm going to get the Top Rated badge soon! Yay!

 

My tips those who are just starting out or are discouraged:

  1. Whittle down your profile skills. Pick a focus for your initial months.
  2. 2 words: Customized Proposals. Really write each and every proposal from scratch, addressing the details included by the client. Also, your English, grammar and writing style really does matter.
  3. Always be professional, but it’s also good to have your own voice. Be honest about your capabilities.
  4. Keep your clients happy by under-promising, and over-delivering even just a bit, but understand and nail down all those details first before accepting an offer. Communicate well.
  5. Listen to the community gurus! I’m not saying blindly follow everything they say or not think for yourself anymore. But if you need some help, there are lovely people here who know a lot and are willing to share their experiences/knowledge.
  6. Read as much community threads and guides as you can. Read the problems people are posting about. Read the ones labelled ‘SCAMMM!’ and its other variations. Read them to learn from them and then later on, read them to return the favour and dish out the help.
  7. Don’t be a bottomfeeder, you will attract the same and then some. It’s ok to bid low on 1 or 2 projects to get something on your profile but not too low and don’t do it all the time.
  8. You will make mistakes, such as bidding too low and end up getting the project. Do it anyway as best as you can and learn from your mistakes.
  9. Relax. Desperation is a turn off and people can smell it from the way you write.
  10. Be confident in that you know what you’re doing. You’ve got it down! (Just make sure you really do!)

I might be just repeating things already said but these are the things that helped me and they’re worth repeating. Goodluck everyone!


Maria, it is nice for you that you have been so successful. However, be aware that there are a lot of qualified freelancers who do not make any mistake and do not acquire good jobs anyway. The potential reasons have been discussed already. 


Margarete M wrote

Maria, it is nice for you that you have been so successful. However, be aware that there are a lot of qualified freelancers who do not make any mistake and do not acquire good jobs anyway. The potential reasons have been discussed already. 


Ok, maybe I just got lucky. Sorry for those who are having a hard time getting started. But here it is anyway, just showing how someone who started from nothing on Upwork somehow succeeded and if it helps anyone out there, that's great! I mean, when I started out, I saw many many complaints and that discouraged me a bit. Everything was so doomsday, all the Elance/Upwork differences, how all the clients are leaving, how everyone is leaving Upwork, how Upwork is just terrible and all the ones who had so many jobs before are now not getting one single job, all the errors, many of which I myself experience. But this is just to show that there's a good side, too. That's all.

Looks like we have our newly found pirate. Grats on your booty.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and tips, Maria. I am also happy to hear that the Community helped you achieve success.

 

Congratulations!

~ Valeria
Upwork
garnorm
Member

Awesome post Maria, thanks for sharing!