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Boosting - to boost, or not to boost?

About this Boosting --

What is your opinion?



 We generate revenue from both talent and clients, with a majority of our revenue generated from service fees charged to talent for access to our work marketplace, Upwork 10-K Feb 15 ,2022.


Community Member

I rely on my charm instead. It's got me one hire in the last 30 days and 24 proposals.

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Community Member

I have seen ZERO benefit since the boost function was enabled except for wasted connects. So just a benefit to the company from what I've seen.

I think the only one benefiting is UW. This is simply allowing people to purchase massive amounts of connects and then outbid those who have experience and time behind them that will benefit clients. But again, those connects cost money and that's where UW is raking it in. This does not benefit us, nor does it necessarily benefit clients who expect to hire someone who is experienced enough to handle the work asked for. This is not saying that new freelancers have no experience. But it seems to be allowing people to "cart snatch" jobs away from others. This is not a fair system, but is only a money making scheme.

Community Member

I rely on my charm instead. It's got me one hire in the last 30 days and 24 proposals.

Solution - thanks Robert Y

Can you elaborate more on that?



Community Member

NO:  This is actually turning OFF clients.  Here's one client's complaint in her own words:



I know of quite a few clients that actually ignore or immediately 'reject' boosted proposals. I sent my feedback on this feature a while ago.




It actually has a detrimental affect because your proposal shows as 'boosted' to the clients,  so clients know you paid extra to 'cut' to the front of the line, and it ultimately makes you look desperate for a job, which increases the likelihood the client will want nothing to do with that proposal



With a bit of luck, this could persuade Upwork to ditch the boosting option. I've never understood why they charge people to make or boost proposals, and then give out loads of free connects. Self-defeating, you might think.

That was a fantastic example from a client's perspective. The majority of them review by specific criteria so they find the right people & also get approval from their bosses lol

Thanks for this comment! Hope it works for most of the clients. I really disappointed with these new features. Instead of doing normal, modern working product we get a bunch of confussed features.

Community Member

Personally, I believe the boosting feature is one of the worst feature ideas I've ever seen, and it provides no benefit to either the freelancer or the client.


On the freelancer side, it doesn't seem fair that someone who is frequently less qualified than you can simply cheat in order to appear to be in a privileged position. It reminds me of one of the worst aspects of the real-world market system, where people can cheat their way to the top. Why would you add something like that to the platform? To be honest, I have no idea.


On the client side, you simply want to hire the most qualified person for the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. The boosting system prioritizes resources over talent, which will eventually lead to less-than-ideal results, frustration, and, ultimately, looking for talent elsewhere the next time.


Also, the worse freelancers have already found a loophole to earn hundreds of free connects by bidding on all those spam/scam job posts, which literally reply to everyone who applies. So, if the boosting system was supposed to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, it also doesn't work.


It's a total lose-lose, situation. I guess the only side that wins something with this is Upwork itself, but only in the short run. 


Well said. It was perhaps an idea with good intentions (my experience with Upwork has been that they are very supportive of their freelancers), but as the weeks go by, I'm seeing 40-50 connects on the. boosted list, and it's just unaffordable to compete. My hope is that clients still value my proposal even if it's not boosted. 

Community Member

Boosting definitely helped me get more interviews...here are my past 90 days it is not bad at all...I have always had about 10% response rate to my proposals now Upwork's stats prove that my response with "Organic" proposals has remained the same but with "Boosted Proposals" the response rate has almost doubled! 


I feel the bid should be vary calculated and not just a random number...also the value of the job should be considered while bidding. 




Has boosting resulted in being hired more often? And if you say yes, how do you know?

Yes, it has resulted in jobs as well. But the function of a boost here is to help you get noticed by the client and if your proposal is effective you win the interview and once you get the interview the ball is in the freelancer's court to convert that interview into a job. 


The boosting can help you get noticed and is more likely to generate the lead by way of an interview, now converting that interview into a job is totally a freelancer's skill. I choose clients very carefully during the interview and turn down jobs more than I accept. But my interview-to-job ratio has remained the same about 60%. 


And you can find the stats under Find Work->My stats->Scroll down to the bottom there is a new section called Analytics. 


Under Analytics you can select what you wish to view the image I posted from the "Proposals" option then select the time range you see the distribution. It also shows you how much hiring was a result of Organic proposals and Boosted proposals. 


If you believe it has actually helped you, you are fortunate. How do you know that boosting got you jobs you would not have received without the boosts? I still don't see the direct evidence.


As for me, I detest the boosting and the results. I am not going to play the game. Not only do freelancers hate the system, but the clients do as well. You should read some of the posts from the clients.


Upwork tried this awful crap some time ago and removed it because everyone hated it, and it's a way for unskilled freelancers to game the system. Some clients think Upwork is promoting the freelancers, and therefore, they must be good.


Would you have an issue with Upwork putting a statement on the boosted proposals that it is paid advertising?

There is very clear statistical evidence I posted from my profile. I do not necessarily need the boost feature, if it helps why the heck not? 


There has been a general consensus amongst experienced freelancers that boost is bad and does not necessarily help! I am just trying to present evidence that it is not what most are trying to make it appear. And I am pretty sure I am not the only one benefiting from this...


If you look closely, the % of proposals resulting in interviews of those who viewed my profile is "significantly" higher in the boosted proposals by almost 3x that of organic proposals. To further elaborate, this means those who saw my organic proposals 19% resulted in an interview, and from boosted proposals, 60% resulted in an interview! This also proves that clients do not skip past, at least not the majority of clients, the boosted proposals. 


"You should read some of the posts from the clients." As for this claim, I have been pretty active on the forum and have never seen a post from a client disliking or complaining about the boosting feature except for that post by Amanda, and she is primarily a Freelancer. Most experienced freelancers are disliking it! 


It is just like Google Adwords, where any new company can appear as a top result buy bidding enough, and we have all learned to skip past those ads to get to the organic results with time. 


I do not hate or love this boosting feature, I was happy and had enough clients without it but this just gives me the opportunity to be more visible and win more interviews, and have more options to choose a contract. 


But to each his own, I guess! 









So, as I asked before, do you have a problem with Upwork stating to the client that the boosted proposals are paid advertising?

That'd be great and honest and it's never gonna happen.

Sorry I may have missed that question!


But Upwork already does that in a very unambiguous way and that clearly distinguishes boosted proposals, then you'd expect them to do.


There is a Blue colored thunder bolt icon and clear text next to the icon saying it's a Boosted proposal, and when you hover over the icon a box appears that says this person has paid extra to get noticed! 




Hello Ashraf, it's interesting to note re. the two boosted proposals that you shared, one has no JSS score, the other one has 80% JSS. This corroborates my impression that at least for someone, boosting serves to compensate something lacking in their profiles. What do you think? 

Your stats are worse than mine and I have hardly ever boosted proposals, just to see what happens.

You have 33% viewings of your bids. I have 45%

You get an interview in 1 in 6 interviews. I have 1 in 5

Community Member

I think the boosting system could work only if UpWork stops giving free connects. If connects costs money, freelancers will thinks twice before making a proposal. If the costs is free, some peoples will makes proposals in every job they can, including the ones they can´t do or the ones they have 0 interest of doing it; Clients will see 50+ proposals on their job posts, and just 5 is from freelancers that wants to works for serious in that job.

Now thinks what would happen if free connects doesn´t exists anymore: Since connects costs money, nobody (or at least the most freelancers) would do proposals on jobs they don´t want to do or they can´t do, or jobs with vague description. Clients would turn to be more smart and post jobs with descriptions more acurated to atract freelancers that wants to work for serious in their projects. The number of proposals in job posts would decrease significantly. And finaly freelancers would boosts their proposals if only they realy wants to works on that job.

Community Member

The boosting system needs to be discontinued and never brought back.

Community Member

It hasn't helped me at all other than wasting a bunch of connects.

Community Member

I am NEVER boosting again. Hasn't helped me one bit. Waste of time, most ridiculous, useless  thing on UPwork in my opinion 

Melissa, did you try looking at Proposals, in the Analytics section on the My stats page in the Find Work menu? How your boosted proposals are performing compared to organic?

Community Member

I personally consider it as the worst feature and I believe it is Upwork being unfair to those who are really capable of doing the projects over those who have deep pockets and simply purchase connects and boost their proposals to the top. I tried this boost option and ever since this feature is enabled, I never got any new clients so I have to leave Upwork and I joined Fiverr and Freelancer. Upwork was just and fair when they were preferring freelancers for the jobs who applied the earliest. 

I'm about to leave as well. There are a number of other freelancing platforms, as you mentioned Fiverr and Freelancer, but there are several others that I have been tempted to create profiles on and begin using and just leave this platform for good. I am not there yet, but in the past 3 months I have not gotten a single job from Upwork. Before the boosted proposals I was getting many responses and work was great. 

Same story past 3 months no interviews no responses something is going on and we dont know.

Community Member

Although I prefer that boosted proposals system could be removed, I must assume that boosted proposals helped me to get more interviews, but didn´t helped me to be hired more often.

In fact, my boosted proposals was viewed.

I think we must learn how to play the game with boosted proposal. Since freelancers spends money on connects, so I think no freelancer would boosts proposals on jobs that they are not much interested of doing. Money is hard to earn. (At least for most peoples on earth). So nobody spends money for nothing, right? At least wise people don´t do that. So, I think clients would thinks "This freelancer spent more, so he must be more interested than others of doing this job. I will at least read his proposal." - I would think this if I were a client. I just can´t believe someone could be spending a lot of money without hopes to be hired. Maybe just someone much rich would be boosting all his proposals with 10 connects just to do "working play".

Boosting proposals can be throwing your connects on trash if not used wisely. Also boosted proposals isn´t a guarantee or hiring, but it realy rises your chances of being viewed.

So, why I prefer boosted proposals be removed? Because the high number of scammers and not legitimate jobs we are facing this times. Boosted proposals can work if scammers get out of here. A lot of freelancers may be boosting their proposals on jobs that isn´t legitimate, and a lot of clients is receiving a lot of boosted proposals from scammers.

I realy believes that 90% of all problens Upwork is facing now can be solve if they find a way to reduce drasticaly the high number of scammers. My suggestions is:

- Don´t let clients post jobs without verifying their ID. We wants legitimate jobs, not a "maybe possible" job for us. If anyone can post anything without any verification, this is like letting drug dealers sells their "products" inside supermarkets.

Community Member

Since they started the "boosted" proposals I have not gotten a single job on this platform. I have waited, just to see if it was a fluke, 3 months now with my own testing and have not gotten any work on this platform as a result. They have ruined the platform for me and it is very disheartening. After reading some of the comments from clients about how they are now ignoring the boosted proposals in the same way they ignore the "sponsered" results on Google, I am seeing where I may have been shooting myself in the foot the past 3 months by boosting my proposals at all. I will now discontinue wasting my connects to boost any proposals at all and see if that helps.


It is simply a money generating scheme concocted by Upwork and it is disgusting to see a platform that worked extremely well for so long fall apart all because of greed. If they wanted to increase revenue, taking a larger percentage from freelancers or clients would have been the best approach, at least they would have been upfront about their scheme. Instead they tried to surreptitiously trick freelancers into utilizing the boosted proposals by releasing so-called market testing which showed that a handful of freelancers did well on their boosted proposals while ignoring all of the data that stated it was useless and lacked integrity.


I will no longer be boosting any of my proposals from now on. Which will free up a great deal of connects and allow me the opportunity to send out more proposals, which in the end will probably prove to be more effective and have greater results in the long run.


Boosting proposals should be banned.

Community Member

I don't think it needs explaining at all. I'm not boosting.

Community Member

hi, have you already seen the difference in your experience?

Community Member

I don't boost my proposals either, it would make me look like I am desperate. I trust in clients' cleverness to choose candidates according to their actual skills instead.

Do you think all businesses that advertise look desperate?

Of course not. But it's not the same thing.

Community Member

I absolutely refuse to participate in this idiotic exercise. I do not boost. It's obvious that Upwork doesn't listen to us. I use the platform to get work - and so far, I have enjoyed steady work with a variety of projects. I get the amount of work I want. I rely on my samples and past projects, along with my rating and recommendations from past clients. I don't want a client who would be swayed by someone spending $3 on some extra "tokens" to get noticed.  

Community Member

Anyone else notice that just today 9/21 UW has updated their boosting scheme to show how other boosters are boosting, so that we can outboost the best booster and become booster best, which is better than booster worst. 


I wonder what clients are seeing: lots of unqualified candidates appearing at the top of the list because they boosted (do they know they boosted?).  If so, they will learn to ignore the boost ranking and carry-on as usual (before this boosting thing appeared). 


I tried boosting and not boosting as suggested, and I did not notice any difference: even ran a regression to determine correlation: none existed.  So I decided not to boost any longer - it is a waste for me and a benefit for UW. 


I predict it will be gone by end of 2022 when everyone gets wise to the real reason behind it.


"We generate revenue from both talent and clients, with a majority of our revenue generated from service fees charged to talent for access to our work marketplace, Upwork 10-K Feb 15 ,2022."


Wow! I just checked it after reading your message and this is a total disaster for freelancers!


Now anyone can outbid me, and anyone can outbid the one who outbid me! Wonderful! 


Now the question is since the bidding system remains open for 7 days after the job is posted, what is the best time to send boosted proposal should we wait for 2-3 days to get the winning bid info to see how many connects we must burn? 


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