Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Connects get out of hand.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 57

Richard L wrote:
I mentioned that I am wasting time that I could otherwise be
working...and I do have work. Instead of working I am applying for work,
and that comes off the ledger.

Isn't that just a bad business decision on your part, though? If you're taking time away from paying work you already have to make a crazy huge number of bids on Upwork every month...why?

Community Guru
Richard L Member Since: Dec 14, 2016
12 of 57

This is pretty close to being the most acidic group of people I've ever had discussions with. I have to have work week to week. My jobs don't always last that long. I have to apply for new ones. If you have good luck and get one in ten and you put 20 minutes in on each application, that's a significant amount of time put in to get a job. 

Perhaps you are special and you work the system better than I do. Kudos. There were weeks where I spent all 40 or 50 hours just applying. Things are much better now. 

Just when did I put the bee in your bonnet?

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
13 of 57

Richard L wrote:

 

Just when did I put the bee in your bonnet?


I don't know whether this is a real question or not, but if you did actually want an answer...I really, really hate when more experienced freelancers feed the mindset that finding someone to blame/trying to fix the way someone else (including Upwork) does business is the way to go when freelancing isn't going your way. After decades of mentoring new and newish freelancers, I know that the single biggest obstacle many face is looking outward for reasons they're failing rather than focusing on the things they can control. That seems to be a very popular hobby here in the Upwork forums (and many other freelancing forums), and feeding that mindset is super-destructive to people who are relatively inexperienced but honestly working to build their businesses.

Community Guru
Richard L Member Since: Dec 14, 2016
14 of 57
I'm not failing, and I certainly wasn't blaming my level of success on
the cost of connects. I'm doing as well as ever on Upwork -- or somewhat
better than that. You must be enjoying a lot of long-term jobs.
Congratulations. The past two years have been a learning experience
where I found that trusting a client when they pushed me for hours was
not always the best move because it edged out other opportunities. Long
term work can suddenly come to an end when the client gets what they
need or if their business changes, and I found out how to suffer by
putting my eggs in one basket. I don't do it anymore.

Again, I don't see the point of the 15 cents per connect or the reason
why suddenly 'preferred jobs' (magical distinction not based on a
client's past performance and reliability) require up to 6 of them. It
isn't the 15 cents or the dollar. And that same 15 cents isn't going to
stop lower-rate workers from under-bidding me either. Honestly, if they
want to cut the riff-raff, make the monthly fee required. I'd have
bought that better than the 15-cent needling.

The thing that I see as being popular on these forums is the nasty
attacks for no reason. So, I will just depart assuming it is fine with
you that Upwork makes policy changes that help no one, including
themselves. Go own that idea. It is helping no one to attack people who
bring up topics. If that is your perspective, you might want to
re-evaluate it.
Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
15 of 57

Tiffany S wrote:

Richard L wrote:

 

Just when did I put the bee in your bonnet?


I don't know whether this is a real question or not, but if you did actually want an answer...I really, really hate when more experienced freelancers feed the mindset that finding someone to blame/trying to fix the way someone else (including Upwork) does business is the way to go when freelancing isn't going your way. After decades of mentoring new and newish freelancers, I know that the single biggest obstacle many face is looking outward for reasons they're failing rather than focusing on the things they can control. That seems to be a very popular hobby here in the Upwork forums (and many other freelancing forums), and feeding that mindset is super-destructive to people who are relatively inexperienced but honestly working to build their businesses.


It might be though that some are unhelpable.  He is not seeing the good advice he is taking everything as a personal attack.  What can you do?

Community Guru
Richard L Member Since: Dec 14, 2016
16 of 57

Mark,

I have, honestly, failed to see the "good advice" and my reading comprehension is pretty good. Perhaps you can point it out?

It may have been that I didn't state my position clearly in the original post, and the point was that the 15 cent charge is like a gnat flying around my head. It isn't going to solve any problems for anyone. While I can see the claim that jobs with more potential value will cost more connects could be a good thing (I do not remember this being announced in the community), I do not see what 15 cents is accomplishing.

One of those 'very special' 6-connect jobs that I saw was from a client with no previous hires and apparently no Upwork experience with a job description that said "I might need an editor in the future." This suggests that the assignment of connects is either arbitrary or based on another magical realism.

Using connects to help define more valuable jobs is a great idea. I wouldn't have minded throwing all my connects for a month at some of the jobs I have currently (we used to get 50 or 60?). But, if a client with no Upwork experience checks a box that says "expert" and another that says "long term" and has no track record on the site with a job description that says just about nothing ... what is the point of the connects policy that makes that job exclusive? Is the difference between 15 cents and $1 really going to weed out anyone who either lacks qualifications or success as a freelancer? In my experience, a lot of Upwork 'clients' never hire at all if they have not previously. The difference between spending 20-30 minutes of my time applying and an additional 15 cents or $1 is pretty much totally negligible.

The above is just one example. I've worked for companies in the past year who have apparently spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upwork, and those companies would seem to be the ones whose job offers should demand more respect and more connects (well, so long as the pay scale matches). On the other hand, I could post a job right now, say it was long term, that I needed an expert, and post a budget of $5 with the intent of never paying even a dime of that after collecting 100% of the work and it might still be 'preferred' at least according to the criteria I received from tech support.

There are so many ways the connects system could be improved, and I'm not sure this is it. For example, reward successful freelancers with connects so they don't have gnats. That is, if I have proven the ability to successfully complete contracts and make money for Upwork while keeping clients happy, maybe that is worth encouraging? If jobs are really going to be exclusive, shouldn't they require a certain level of proven performance to apply for rather than just requiring paying for connects? Maybe proven successes and earnings could be rewarded with special vouchers that allow application to special jobs.

If the good advice is "Stop being cheap, shut up and pay for the connects, and make more money" that isn't really advice, is it. The expense, as I have said repeatedly at this point, isn't the 15 cents. To me it appears to be squeezing more out of the lemon rather than an attempt to improve anything.

Community Guru
Richard L Member Since: Dec 14, 2016
17 of 57

" After decades of mentoring new and newish freelancers..." Guess I missed the 'mentoring' and 'advice' parts of your posts.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
18 of 57

Richard L wrote:



Perhaps you are special and you work the system better than I do. Kudos. There were weeks where I spent all 40 or 50 hours just applying. Things are much better now. 


Seems like you're intentionally missing the point. I'm NOT special and I work the system better than you. I work part-time through Upwork, spend no more than an hour a week cultivating new business, and make more than 4x what you do through the site (which is only a portion of my income). And NONE of that is because I'm "special"--it's because I know how to manage the business aspects of my business. That's what I'm trying to convey to other people who would like to also make a good living freelancing. Some take it to heart, learn, and thrive.

Active Member
Catharine G Member Since: May 14, 2019
19 of 57

I couldn't have said it better. I earned about $7000 in just a few months as a newbie on Upwork. I found wonderful big jobs at good rates. However, I'm at the upper end on fees and I need to submit a lot of proposals to get one job. Since Upwork went to the new system, I keep seeing more bad jobs and more competition for the better jobs. I haven't had a nibble in ages.

 

I actually got pulled off the public view because Upwork said I hadn't been working. Whoever reviewed my account said I had good proposals and great reviews. She suggested a few minor changes to my profile, and gave me another 30 days of public view, but I think it goes deeper.

 

Upwork has now begun to attract people who compete with Fiverr, both as clients and freelancers ... super-cheap. Many of the better freelancers are leaving (and I probably will too at some point) which means clients are not getting good people; I actually tried to hire some people for design and was not impressed with the people who replied. So it's a vicious circle: the better clients give up and leave. The 20% hit was always a problem; now add $5-10 per job because each application costs almost $1 and you sometimes have to apply to 5-10 jobs to get hired. 


Those who joined earlier had a chance to build relationships and get longer- term options. Another few months and I would have too. This totally sucks. Upwork was a terrific opportunity when I joined last February. 

Active Member
Jure L Member Since: May 3, 2019
20 of 57

Richard, we share the same thoughts, except that I am more worried about unresponsive clients than the connects price: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/It-is-not-about-connects-price-but-about-time-invested-s...

TOP KUDOED MEMBERS