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mwatson1982
Member

Connects application rates -- Thoughts

My Upwork acct has just rolled over into the new "pay to play" connects system. While I am unconvinced of Upwork's statements on why these will be "improvements", I am trying to give things a chance. While I complete some jobs, I am looking through my job stream and seeing what kind of rates (of the connects) are being applied to what kinds of jobs. 

 

As suspected, Im definitely seeing some ads that still are getting bombarded with 20-50 applications within a short time.  These same jobs, before the new connect system, definitely gave advantage to the freelancers in countries with a lower cost of living.  Definitely goes against the result that Upwork staff purported during its town hall and explanation of the new system.  While I am taking a more conservative stance on what jobs I apply for, I have felt more liberal in marking more ads as "Budget Too Low" when compared to how often I would do that in the old connects system.  Unfortunatley, between the available flags the "Budget Too Low" designation is the closest choice to apply to this situation.  Really, I figure that for a while, there are going to be mistakes in the connect rate that Upwork staff assesses for jobs.  It would be nice to have a more direct flag to just say "hey, this advert might be requiring an incorrect number of connects for the circumstances and description of this ad" . Again, trying to be patient here and see how things look a month from now.

 

Update: Here is a rundown of the types of sectors my job search and skill set fall into

 

  • 3D Modeling (and some crossover into CAD)
  • Web Design (and specifics to E-commerce websites)
  • Content Management (and related, Data Entry)
  •  *** Between those types of searches and concentration, I also get a bit of product copy writing, and customer service falling into my feed (even If I dont take too many of these jobs on)

One respondant to this thread was correct in that "what I am seeing" may highly depend on what Upwork job categories Im working in.

 

Simply put, I dont think that the analysis of "how many connects to charge" is effective.  Still seeing the same amount of low ball jobs, and the same amount of jobs submitted by those who havent verified payment. I already was disinclined to apply for those before this new system, but Ill tell you... how can they charge 4 connects for such low pay jobs, or for the jobs that have no guarantee of follow through (because payment is not verified).  If there was a "Charging Too Many Connects" flag for ads, I would use that instead.

141 REPLIES 141
tlsanders
Member

Don't forget that only a fraction of freelancers have been moved to the paid connects system thus far. Many of us are still not paying for connects. Even those who are may have 60 left over from the most recent renewal. So, any analysis of the success or failure of the system is quite premature.

Yeah. You are right which is why I am giving it more time. I just wish there was a way to provide feedback on what connect rates are being set on ads. Flagging one of these ads (like, the example of the add charging 4 connects for a $100 job and/or from an unverified payment method user) has me using the "budget too low" flag, as that is the closest  choice that applies to this situation. Maybe that would help get some of the bumps out of the system.



I love the big bucks / client with no verified payment method job posts. They tend not to get that many proposals, so chances of winning them are higher and I love working with new clients anyway.

 

Those will get even less proposals now as people don't want to risk 6 connects...


Petra R wrote:


I love the big bucks / client with no verified payment method job posts. They tend not to get that many proposals, so chances of winning them are higher and I love working with new clients anyway.

 

Those will get even less proposals now as people don't want to risk 6 connects...


Me, too, and for other reasons, as well. An unverified client is usually one who is new to Upwork, which increases the chance that he/she is looking for a specific skill versus trying to staff a business with freelancers. I try to avoid clients with a long Upwork history unless they are well-establishing marketing agencies, because a company using a high volume of Upwork freelancers isn't likely to be a high-end, high-paying client.

"analysis of the success or failure of the system is quite premature."

 

LOL. As my daddy always said, "you don't need to be a weather man to see which way the wind blows." I'm a relative new-comer to the platform and I can tell you, from where I sit, it looks like a scam to me. In other words, it appears Upwork is pivoting from a platform that makes money when its freelancers make money to a platform that makes money DESPITE its freelancers losing it. Lost in this discussion of charging for connects are two essential ingredients that make this look like a scam. First, the number of connects required to apply for positions has increased dramatically. In my case, as an acocuntant, I've seen the number required go from 2 to 6 on almost every job. So not only must I pay for connects I must pay for 3X as many as was required before.

 

But that's not where the scam lies, in my opinion. I just logged in to my email here and, as is always the case, I get some words of wisdom from the platform (i.e. "Did you know?....") as I wait for my email to load. Today it was this: "Did you know it takes an employer 3 days, on average, to hire on our platform?" REALLY? Do tell. Because, being new to this platform, I got 60 connects and then got an additional 30 for being rising talent. 90 total. And each job used to cost 2 connects to apply. So almost immediately I applied for 45 jobs. That was two months ago. And most of those jobs are still open. And, in many cases, I can go in and look at those jobs now and see that the job has been awarded and that someone is working, and billing for, it. See attached screen shot. Here's an example of a job still showing as open, ***and on which dumb ass freelancers are still wasting connects they now must buy to apply for,*** that is, in fact, long ago awarded and gone. Yes, it may in fact take 3 days on average for a job to be awarded. Thanks for the stat, Upwork. But here's the problem: Upwork isn't clearing those awarded jobs out of the job feed. They are left there for people to waste connects they paid for on it.

 

What does this tell me? It tells me Upwork has devolved in to a scam. The mission has become to make as much money as possible off of people ***applying*** for work rather than making money from people ***doing*** work. The difference matters and, in this case, it will ultimately prove to be this platform's undoing. 

 

Again, one need not be a weatherman.....

 

**Edited for community guidelines**

Marco,

 

If Upwork is allowing freelancers to continue to submit proposals (and spend their connects) on jobs that have already been awarded to other freelancers, that is a serious problem.

 

But I have never noticed that to be the case. 


Will L wrote:

Marco,

 

If Upwork is allowing freelancers to continue to submit proposals (and spend their connects) on jobs that have already been awarded to other freelancers, that is a serious problem.

 

But I have never noticed that to be the case. 


It does. Thanks God it doesn't close the job automatically when one person has been hired. The client is the one who decides if they want to close the job once a hire is been made, or if they still need more applicants and more hires, not Upwork.

 

Upwokk asks clients after each hire if they want to close the job or if they want to keep it open, and clients decide.

 

 

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

The client should state how many freelancers they need when filling in the new job form on Upwork

 

If that number is "1", Upwork should automatically stop showing it to freelancers and stop allowing proposals on it once a freelancer is hired.

 

If the current situation is that clients have to notify Upwork when they don't want any more proposals on a job posting, that is silly. When we so often see complaints here that clients are not closing completed jobs, what in the world makes Upwork think clients will be any better at actually telling Upwork they don't want to receive any more proposals on jobs they have found a freelancer for?

 

Now I understand why jobs I've applied to are apparently still "open" for a while after I've applied. Or why I see jobs that appear to be attractive and stay "open" for weeks after first being posted.

 

But this situation allows for alot of connects being wasted by freelancers fruitlessly applying to jobs that the clients have no intention of doing further hiring on. (I don't apply to jobs that were posted more than two or three days before I submit a proposal, so this Upwork "feature" probably doesn't have much effect on me.)

 

Not good, Upwork. Not good at all.

 

This is how Upwork doing "fair" business, building a strong relations with their **Edited for Community Guidelines**partners(freelancers). 


Will L wrote:

Marco,

 

If Upwork is allowing freelancers to continue to submit proposals (and spend their connects) on jobs that have already been awarded to other freelancers, that is a serious problem.


Yes, it happens and it happens all the time.  It's a flagrant disregard to the freelancers money and time.  Compound that by 3x of tangible money and I see a serious problem as well.  But remember, this is "for our own good".

Are they leaving jobs up that have been filled? Quite often you can see "1 hired" in the stats at the bottom of a job once you've looked at the job activity. If the client is looking for more than one freelancer then fair enough, but if not then I have to say it does at least look dodgy.

 

Of course, a fair few times I've been hired for projects that another freelancer has failed to do a satisfactory job on, in which case of course someone else has been hired before me (sometimes even more than one someones).

 

It would be great to get some clarification on this from Upwork. I think I might ask it as a question.


Marco V wrote:

> I've seen the number required go from 2 to 6 on almost every job

 

6 connects means $0.90. Who can afford that much money nowadays? 

 

> Upwork has devolved in to a scam.

 

Who in their sane mind yould remain on a platform that is a scam? Don't hesitate to ask the help of the moderators to close your account that you opened by mistake on this scam site.

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Rene, you beat me to it.

I'm agree with you, except the fact that Upwork too greedy to get money only from connects. They need money from every were and every one. Clients are paying when creating a job, freelancers are paying 20%(man it was fair when we payed 10%) when doing job and now paying for this scamconnects(hello bitconnect). I'm sure next year we will see another scam grabbing more money from freelancer. 
It is too greedy Upwork you know?

'm imagining things and maybe I'm not too smart, but it seems to me I'm being charged twice to get work: I pay to apply and I pay a % of what I earn. (Then I pay income tax, of course.)

In reality, it simply isn't worth working through Upwork in my view. I'm going to try another platform unless someone can correct me and show me that I'm onto a good thing by paying twice to get a job.   


Tess D wrote:

'm imagining things and maybe I'm not too smart, but it seems to me I'm being charged twice to get work: I pay to apply and I pay a % of what I earn. (Then I pay income tax, of course.)

In reality, it simply isn't worth working through Upwork in my view. I'm going to try another platform unless someone can correct me and show me that I'm onto a good thing by paying twice to get a job.   


Tess, there are expenses and revenue. Whatever you pay to get a gig is an expense, whatever you get from the gig is revenue. This gives you a ratio in %.

 

Compare different sources of gigs and settle for the one that gives you the best ratio and the best flow of income. There are so many options out there: many different B2B platforms, Craiglist, cold calls, ads, etc.

 

Upwork is one B2B platform amongst many others. It's not working for you? Got a better ratio elsewhere? No problem, ditch Upwork, you don't own it anything. No hard feelings. 

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
lysis10
Member

I can only speak for my section, but I've noticed some of my prime target clients aren't getting many proposals, so I'm kinda liking the change. I've only been looking for the past couple of weeks though and holiday weeks are always terribly slow so I'm waiting until June to start really looking into it.

 

I think I got rolled over just a couple days ago but with the holiday people are taking 5 day weekends over here.

I was just reviewing my feed today and noticed that most of the jobs require 6 Connects! Yet, there are still so many applicants to these jobs. Upwork said that they did this change so that clients receive less proposals (in other words, less competition for freelancers) but I don't see this happening currently. Also, Upwork said they estimate that freelancers will spend around $5 monthly on Connects. How can this happen if most of the jobs costs 6 Connects?! If I want to bid for 10 jobs per month, then I need to spend $9 to get 60 Connects which is not a low amount.


Taha A wrote:

I was just reviewing my feed today and noticed that most of the jobs require 6 Connects! Yet, there are still so many applicants to these jobs.


 

Most people have not been moved over or haven't had to spend any connects yet because they had so many and all the top rated people got another 60.

 

Also, if you are in one of the desperately over-subscribed categories, it will still be very competitive going forward. That is just how it is.

 

Then the freelancers (or should I say victims) who have been enrolled to the new Connects system are in disadvantage compared to the rest of freelancers as they have to spend more Connects to apply for the exact same jobs. I believe Upwork should compensate them by adding free Connects to their accounts.


Taha A wrote:

Then the freelancers (or should I say victims)


Oh please....

 

quit whining....quit whining....

 

 

Petra,

You are in the website for many years and most likely, you have recurring clients and receiving invitation from clients. So you are not much impacted by the change compared to new freelancers. Put yourself in their place and you will understand.

I'll be blunt.  A reply like this is exactly what I anticipated would probably come up, simply because of the inequality at how these new conditions are playing out.  The reason this scenario cannot be so simple as saying "suck it up" or "life is unfair") is because things like a given user's ratings, skillset, categories*, tenure and Upwork job experience....those all are part of what is going to make the experiencee we are having differ from person to person.  The main reason I debated not creating this thread of all because of replies from people that may have the "It worked for me..." mindset.

 

* at least, that was suggested by another user and I totally agree with that as a possibility

 

 


Mary W wrote:

I'll be blunt.  A reply like this is exactly what I anticipated would probably come up, simply because of the inequality at how these new conditions are playing out.  The reason this scenario cannot be so simple as saying "suck it up" or "life is unfair") is because things like a given user's ratings, skillset, categories*, tenure and Upwork job experience....those all are part of what is going to make the experiencee we are having differ from person to person.  The main reason I debated not creating this thread of all because of replies from people that may have the "It worked for me..." mindset.

 

* at least, that was suggested by another user and I totally agree with that as a possibility

 

 


I think that what you're interpreting as people not realizing (or not caring) that the impact will be more significant on others is really just seasoned freelancers recognizing that this impact is not accidental. The point isn't that we think it will/could work just as well for everyone, nor is it that we're heartless. We just understand that Upwork is a business, making business decisions.

A freelancer to whom $9/month is a lot of money is not a freelancer who will be a profitable customer for Upwork. The new system works for the freelancers Upwork makes money from--high-billing freelancers with long-term clients who pay Upwork hundreds of dollars per month in fees and require virtually no assistance from Upwork staff.

That's very bad news for low-billing freelancers who do mostly small one-offs, and we (or I, at least) really feel for those affected. But, Upwork's job isn't to be fair to freelancers or to help low-billing freelancers eke out a living--it's to make money.

Touching story.




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

I would have to respond to your interpretation with a "yes and no" response.  Honestly, the point of my oriignal post was* to see what kind of experiences people were having outside of mine.  I myself felt like the changes made were exactly as you say "... just seasoned freelancers recognizing that this impact is not accidental.".  Feeling that way, I took to the forums to find out OTHER people's experience so that I can approach this with more than just my input.  Looking around some of the other respondants here, I am reminded what kind of take-away I could have had by not getting other people's experiences.  Speaking very generally about online discussions and how things can get heated or the conversation could degrade..... the whole "It worked for me and so you guys need to suck it up" or "Yeah, life isnt fair, they are in it to make money" is pretty much the kinds of unhelpful feedback that only alienates other people in the conversation.

 

I wont speak for others but, I dont need to be told "life is not fair". That pretty much states the obvious and is not useful (generally speaking) for the conversation.  At this point, I have gotten the feedback I needed from some of you (thank you) to confirm some of the initial observations I had.  Again, my original post was to seek perspective and to step outside my own experience. However, given the overall backbiting I see thorughout this thread, it also confirms a more general viewpoint: Upwork will keep making that money and, just like other corporations, they dont need to do any work to keep us where we are. We are too caught up in our own stories and, for some of us, we are doing the work for them by putting energy into infighting and trying to look like we are "in the right". 

 

(*and again, I do apologize if it comes off as redundant or repeating myself, but I just clearly see that there is a mix of comphrension here, including some assumptions made no matter how clear some of us tried to be on what we wanted to address)


Taha A wrote:

Then the freelancers (or should I say victims) who have been enrolled to the new Connects system are in disadvantage compared to the rest of freelancers as they have to spend more Connects to apply for the exact same jobs. I believe Upwork should compensate them by adding free Connects to their accounts.


By giving them free connects, it would become even harder to get a job, because not only you but everyone ells would get XX free connects.

So you are saying that let the first freelancers who were enrolled in the new Connects system suffer the most by being at disadvantage? How fair is that?!


Taha A wrote:

So you are saying that let the first freelancers who were enrolled in the new Connects system suffer the most by being at disadvantage? How fair is that?!


New freelancers I believe get 20 connects to start with, which is obviously really low. Giving the new freelancers extra connects to compensate would completely eradicate the intention. 

But what is fair? The top rated people or others who still have lots of connects will run out of them eventually, so then everybody is created equal. 

I have seen a few decent jobs come up.  Almost all require 6 connects.  I just clicked on a 50 USD fixed price contract and it needed 4 and a load of applications (20-50).  What on earth now only needs 2?  Seems like this is going to earn Upwork more money than the commission will.  This job it almost certainly will.

 

Personally I am applying for absolutely nothing for a week or two.  I have a few invites and I have 3 things on the go anyway.  I suspect many are not looking properly and have not realised and applications will drop off rather rapidly when people have depleted all their connects in 3 or 4 days and realise it is nearly 1 USD per application for most jobs.  The anticipated 50 a month needed is a woeful underestimate when most things are 6 connects.  I also won't be applying pretty much ever unless it is perfect fit and low applicants unless it is a lot of money and client has a high hire rate.  New clients are going to have a bit of a problem unless people start receiving a lot more invites (which would not be a bad thing).


Simon T wrote:

I have seen a few decent jobs come up.  Almost all require 6 connects.  I just clicked on a 50 USD fixed price contract and it needed 4 and a load of applications (20-50).  What on earth now only needs 2?  Seems like this is going to earn Upwork more money than the commission will.  This job it almost certainly will.

 

Personally I am applying for absolutely nothing for a week or two.  I have a few invites and I have 3 things on the go anyway.  I suspect many are not looking properly and have not realised and applications will drop off rather rapidly when people have depleted all their connects in 3 or 4 days and realise it is nearly 1 USD per application for most jobs.  The anticipated 50 a month needed is a woeful underestimate when most things are 6 connects.  I also won't be applying pretty much ever unless it is perfect fit and low applicants unless it is a lot of money and client has a high hire rate.  New clients are going to have a bit of a problem unless people start receiving a lot more invites (which would not be a bad thing).


I think this is the intended effect. Freelancer are going to apply to fewer gigs and be selective when choosing those gigs to which they do apply. Prospective clients who don't put effort into creating their job posts will see fewer applicants and will learn 'the hard way' that they must be clear about their deliverables and reasonable when setting their fees or they won't get many bids. 

Which bit, doubling revenue or reducing applicants......

 

Anyway, I don't see effect yet but it is altering my decisions.

 

This could be due to people not looking at connects required or could be those not switched yet still having only pay 2.  For the moment though I will for the most part be observing from sidelines until this settles down.  Longer term, people with badly written requirements and/or terrible hire rates will not be recieving bids from me unless unusual circumstances.  I am kind of hoping people get too few bids and we start seeing clients do more searching and inviting themselves.

 

It would be interesting to know what others are planning re; short term approach to this, at least until equal playing field has been established and possibly longer.

 

Still, one point stands regardless.  I had seen it was expected 50 connects would be about number most required.  That is just not the case.  I generally used most of my 60 at 2 connects a go without quite running out and I was fairly selective already.  There is absolutely no way 50 is sufficient at 6 per go.  That is around 2 bids a week.  There is a difference between reducing people who spam the things everywhere (charging and keeping at 2 would do this when no new free ones) and the current position.  I see multiple things every day I would be a decent fit for.  I in no way apply for all of them (too many applicants, too low price etc), I will need to drop my application rate very substantially to use "target" number of connects.  If my hit rate goes up, sure can buy more but I am likely going to be extremely selective rather than just very selective from now on.  That is probably beyond what was wanted.

 

I'd also add.  I have, on occasion, offered people some free advice at the cost of connects before.  This is more where the potential client doesn't seem to know what they are asking or they are asking for the wrong thing and it is my expertise.  Just being nice, it is not a bid.  E.g.  "I want to import all transactions into Wave", they had a bunch of applicants who are clearly spanners as this is not possible so I just let them know what is, rate is probably too low, I am not interested in data entry but just being helpful.  Costing me around 1 USD to do that is not going to happen which is a bit sad.


Simon T wrote:

I had seen it was expected 50 connects would be about number most required.  That is just not the case.  I generally used most of my 60 at 2 connects a go without quite running out and I was fairly selective already.  There is absolutely no way 50 is sufficient at 6 per go. 

 

50 seems very high to me, seems far too low to you...that suggests that whomever estimated that it was about average if probably right.

 

Okay, print this out an put it somewhere that you'll see regularly:



LIFE IS NOT FAIR


Tonya P wrote:

Okay, print this out an put it somewhere that you'll see regularly:



LIFE IS NOT FAIR


True, but this is clearly something that could easily be fixed.

It cannot be intentional that for a period of 2 months different people have vastly differing pricing/conditions.

 

All Upwork has to do is move people to the new plan, but keep all jobs at costing 2 connects until everyone has been migrated.

 

Makes sense. 

 




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Does it really matter that much?

Soon the rest of the flook will be transferred to the same system.

I armed my self with connects and now I have around 700, including my Agency account. Spent some money on it, but I guess I'm OK for some time now. 🙂

 

So soon it will be:

 

                                     *** Survival of the Fittest AKA Upwork Royale ***




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


Filip K wrote:

Does it really matter that much?

Soon the rest of the flook will be transferred to the same system.

I armed my self with connects and now I have around 700, including my Agency account. Spent some money on it, but I guess I'm OK for some time now. 🙂

 

So soon it will be:

 

                                     *** Survival of the Fittest AKA Upwork Royale ***


_____________________________________________

 

Well, bully for you! Enjoy ...

I chose to remove a half dozen of my eggs from the Upwork basket, and you know what the grass is greener on the other side Smiley LOL