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Feedback Question: Would you like to ask a client questions before sending a proposal?

Community Guru
Sarah B Member Since: Dec 15, 2017
21 of 28

Just chiming in to say I wouldn't use this feature for the reasons many others have noted, and think it will probably create problems for the same reasons others have noted as well.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
22 of 28

Lena E wrote:

I want to hear your opinion and feedback. As a freelancer, would you like the ability to ask a question about a client's job, prior to submitting a proposal?  Would you find this beneficial? Do you have any concerns?

 

Side note: In the past, freelancers had mentioned they're concerned that clients may be spammed in DMs if freelancers were able to message them before a contract had started. When addressing this question, we're thinking outside the box of direct messaging and perhaps including this in the product in such a way that would deter any spamming behavior. Likely, this would be a public type of Q&A, with questions about the job post and answers being public. 


It would be much more effective to allow freelancers to flag inadequate posts. However, that would require Upwork to do something with that data. Perhaps set triggers. If a gig receives more than X flags for inadequate details, send an automated message to the client suggesting they revise their post. If a gig receives 150%X or more flags, send an automated message telling the client their listing will be removed unless updated.

Of course, you would then have to impose some penalty on freelancers who abuse the flag option to punish clients who offer low rates. We see that problem already. "I'm going to flag this job because I don't like the offer!" 

Maybe just start using gig upvote/downvote metrics for something useful. "Dear client, out of X votes by freelancers, 90% downvoted your gig posting." Or your post has been viewed by Y freelancers today and received Z downvotes. 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
23 of 28

Tonya P wrote:

Maybe just start using gig upvote/downvote metrics for something useful. "Dear client, out of X votes by freelancers, 90% downvoted your gig posting." Or your post has been viewed by Y freelancers today and received Z downvotes. 

I like this idea because we need a mechanism for signaling to clients when they need to up their game on job post writing, while blocking abuse and also avoiding clients experiencing it as punitive or cumbersome in any way. Everything that touches a client should be experienced as helpful.

What if up/down voting were only available to TR FLs? Or at least, have the metric that clients see include how many up/down votes from TR vs the general population.

 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
24 of 28

omg they are going to make it public LMAOOOO YESSSSS

 

Do you Elancers remember this feature? You could just pop popcorn and watch freelancers go at it in the rooms LMAOOOOO This would be AMAZINGLY hilarious. Like they would see the question from their competitor and tell the client the other guy was a scammer. LMAOOOOO

Ace Contributor
Jennifer V Member Since: Jan 31, 2018
25 of 28

This is probably not something I would ever use or need due to the nature of my work. I pretty much only do hourly projects, and there are rarely firm requirements or specfications. Often a big part of what I do is figure out what needs to be done, give the client a few options, and we go from there. 

 

I do get job invitations that are very general and have few details, but I don't really mind. My proposal is then just my hourly rate with a response, 'Sounds interesting, let's set up some time for a conversation". That's where I ask questions and get more info. These questions are better in the context of conversation than as a written list for the client to fill in.

Active Member
Audrey S Member Since: Sep 26, 2020
26 of 28

I don't know if overall direct questions to clients would be helpful or not (I can argue both pros and cons, not sure which wins out)... but IF you're going to implement something along these lines:

 

1. I like the idea of just being able to flag a job posting for being too vague, and I like the idea of limiting who can flag it. One potential approach -- only folks who are Top Rated or have 90%+ JSS can flag it; the flag basically says "I *might* be interested but the description is too vague to tell," and the client can see who flagged it. That way clients will know that they need to add more detail, but they can also look at the profiles of who flagged it and reach out directly with info and an invitation to apply.

 

2. If there is an actual "ask a question" feature -- limit it in some way (e.g., one message per freelancer per job, cap on total questions from a freelancer in a day or month) and then ONLY show the questions publicly that the client has actually answered. (Realistically I don't think a private Q&A option will work well from the client side unless it's only offered to select freelancers, and I have mixed feelings about whether I'd choose to use it.)

There are definitely times that I would like more information about a job and am unwilling to pitch something bare-bones; there are occasionally times when a simple clarification would tell a 6-connect project is worth spending time pitching or not at all in my wheelhouse; and I also feel like I do a decent job of sussing out what to pitch or not and I use thoughtful questions to help with my candidacy.

Hope this is helpful -- thanks for seeking input!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
27 of 28

re: "I like the idea of just being able to flag a job posting for being too vague, and I like the idea of limiting who can flag it."

 

Very smart idea.

 

Could save a lot of wasted time simply by limiting flagging privileges to freelancers with demonstrated sense about such things.

Community Guru
Gina H Member Since: Aug 10, 2020
28 of 28

This doesn't directly address the original question (although I agree with those who said it is a resounding no), but my suggestion would be to have a box pop up with tips right before the job is even posted, and the client has to check off the boxes (almost like a TOS checkmark sort of thing)

 

"Does your post have a clear description with a list of defined deliverables? This can affect the number of proposals you receive, as vague job posts do not get as many replies."

"Is your budget fixed, flexible, or are you unsure of how much your project should cost?" (this should show up in the job post for freelancers somehow, similar to the way the hourly rate and project turnaround time shoes up)

Would also be nice if freelancers had a checklist to fill out too - rather than the canned questions saying "do you have any questions about the project" or "do you have any questions about the job description" (drives me absolutely wild when they choose to use BOTH of these, THEY ARE THE SAME QUESTION!!), maybe it could have a checkbox for "need more information to quote" while filling out the proposal, just so the client immediately knows the proposed price is a placeholder and they can decide if they want to pursue the freelancer further before we waste our time asking for a big long list of info only for them to never get back to us.

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