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mrbrooks33
Community Member

HELP!!!!

I have submitted over 20+ proposals without an interview or job offer, can someone please provide me with pointers? Or even review my profile? I'm frustrated! 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Brian, Upwork will not allow the exchange of personal emails or phone numbers.   I believe there is a facility within here where one can send a private message.  That comes into our Forum email box.  If you will figure out how to do this -- I will get your message -- and we can connect from there.  It would be a thrill to work with you through your start up time frame on Upwork.

Here are a couple key pieces of information.

One your rate:  $150 - it was.  I think you just changed it to $100 based on forum advice.  That is certainly one's discretion.  Here's a good path to take.  Upwork provides a 'premium' service (or something of that name).  It is $15 a month or so.   With it, we get some extra connections, but the key value is this.  For each proposal sent -- Upwork will display the competing contractor's highest bid (rate), the average bid (rate) and lowest bid (rate).  With this service, you can check what is being bid on the work you want, and not so very much guess at rate.

Also, and this is key.  The first step I would recommend you take:  distill down, from your past career, eight to ten projects or work efforts with specific deliverables.   From this, you can literally build up your profile portfolio.  There is no rule from Upwork that indicates our portfolio work has to be delivered solely on the Upwork platform.  As long as the work is true-and-done, it is fair game for portfolio listing.  With your decades-class experience and about 20 hours of time, you can deploy a portfolio of past work that provides a crushing competitive advantage.

Just a couple tricks of the trade. There are more.

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30 REPLIES 30
geri_kol
Community Member

Brian, just from glancing at your profile my guess would be that you are not getting expressions of interest from clients because you have no work history on Upwork (you are a new freelancer), yet your rate is set at $150/hr. Perhaps this is standard rate in your industry, but without a history of positive reviews it might be hard to get started at that level.

Thank you for the response! The reason for a higher rate is due to 20+
years of work experience, I can make a reduction rate hopefully that will
help.
joansands
Community Member

Brian, first of all it usually takes a lot more than 20 proposals to land an initial job on Upwork and, with your hourly rate, it could take a lot longer. But - why on earth is your profile written in the third person? And why does it talk all about yourself instead of what you can do for a client? In addition, I have no idea if there is a big need on Upwork for the work you do.

Thank you for the suggestion, yes there are a lot of work on upwork! And I
made changes in my profile that you recommended. Thank you again!

Are you applying to fixed rate or hourly jobs? When I first started I think I did my first gig for 25 bucks and my second for 300 just to get a couple of jobs on my profile because even though I had 20 years experience, clients seem to like to see Upwork experience and a Job Success Score before they start sending invitations and hiring.

 

 I would try to land some fixed rate contracts if I were you and be creative and selective with your proposals. I always explained that although I didn't have much Upwork experience I had tons of real world experience.

 


Brian B wrote:
Thank you for the suggestion, yes there are a lot of work on upwork! And I
made changes in my profile that you recommended.

You need to take another look at your overview. Even leaving the glaring English mistakes aside, it really doesn't help clients understand what it is you are offering, let alone why they should pay $ 100 an hour for it.

 

grimesr
Community Member

To be constructive, I don't see much in your profile that states what you have accomplished, no real achievements. Tell a one (or two) paragraph story of the impact you made on clients, how you were succesful and specifically how it benefited the client. Is it possible to put $ to your claims of greatness, like "I saved the client $14 billion in lost revenue by finding a missing firewall setting"? Try to stay away from what a politicion would promise and tell how you made clients successful in the past. Supposedly, "past behavior is a predictor of future success".

 

My $.03 worth.

Thank you! Please tell me where I can put this type of information?


Brian B wrote:
Thank you! Please tell me where I can put this type of information?

Robert is absolutely right.

The place to put that is to replace your current overview with something client-centric, which describes how hiring you will benefit the clients.

In your profile, as close to the beginning as possible. You will probably only get about 1 paragraph read by clients at first glance.

Perfect, thank you so much!
bizwriterjohn
Community Member

Hello Brian.  I see you hail from Frisco, Tx.  I am a Texas Aggie.  Talk about a disadvantage.  (lol...)

I noticed your work history: Lockheed Martin.  My brother worked in the Ft. plant for 20 years.  Know the company.  Nine years of experience at a company like Lockheed is hard to translate into Upwork-styled credentials.  As is your private industry work.   I see a power-packed resume.  A lot of hiring clients might not get it.  There are tactics to fix this.

I offer this.  Rather than do this blog-chat stuff.  Which has value, yet it is limited.  Please send me a private email.  From there, I will establish a personal dialog with you, and provide my best counsel and guidance through a working relationship.   I do this for a new contractor or two each year, as a thank-you back to Upwork.  Why?  Because no one did this for me.

 

Let's take a holistic look at your profile, how you present yourself.  I'd like to see your letters of application and let's talk about building up a portfolio.  We can make this a one-month project.  Next year, when you are strong and producing vital wins on the platform.  Pass it on.

I'll share my profile with you when I get the private email.

John.


John B wrote:

   I do this for a new contractor or two each year, as a thank-you back to Upwork.  Why?  Because no one did this for me.

 

 


You must not have come to the forums and asked for help--in three years, I've never seen anyone do that and not get assistance from several established freelancers. 

I have attended all informational sessions by upwork and got nothing... I
just want this work out.


Brian B wrote:
I have attended all informational sessions by upwork and got nothing... I
just want this work out.

Upwork's advice is not intended for established professionals. Honestly, some of it is counterproductive for beginners, but it definitely doesn't apply to someone with a strong background in his/her field.

 

One clear example: Upwork repeatedly advises freelancers to open their proposals with a greeting. However, when the client sees the list of proposals, only the first two lines of the proposal are displayed. So,those who waste that space with pleasantries miss the opportunity to open with a hook, and their proposals may never be opened.

Thank you so much! You can contact me at **Edited for Community Guidelines**

He has an IT firm in nyc. Iโ€™m sure this will turn out well.

Thank you very much! I really would like this to be a place for me to ongoing engagements. 

Brian, Upwork will not allow the exchange of personal emails or phone numbers.   I believe there is a facility within here where one can send a private message.  That comes into our Forum email box.  If you will figure out how to do this -- I will get your message -- and we can connect from there.  It would be a thrill to work with you through your start up time frame on Upwork.

Here are a couple key pieces of information.

One your rate:  $150 - it was.  I think you just changed it to $100 based on forum advice.  That is certainly one's discretion.  Here's a good path to take.  Upwork provides a 'premium' service (or something of that name).  It is $15 a month or so.   With it, we get some extra connections, but the key value is this.  For each proposal sent -- Upwork will display the competing contractor's highest bid (rate), the average bid (rate) and lowest bid (rate).  With this service, you can check what is being bid on the work you want, and not so very much guess at rate.

Also, and this is key.  The first step I would recommend you take:  distill down, from your past career, eight to ten projects or work efforts with specific deliverables.   From this, you can literally build up your profile portfolio.  There is no rule from Upwork that indicates our portfolio work has to be delivered solely on the Upwork platform.  As long as the work is true-and-done, it is fair game for portfolio listing.  With your decades-class experience and about 20 hours of time, you can deploy a portfolio of past work that provides a crushing competitive advantage.

Just a couple tricks of the trade. There are more.


John B wrote:


One your rate:  $150 - it was.  I think you just changed it to $100 based on forum advice.  That is certainly one's discretion.  Here's a good path to take.  Upwork provides a 'premium' service (or something of that name).  It is $15 a month or so.   With it, we get some extra connections, but the key value is this.  For each proposal sent -- Upwork will display the competing contractor's highest bid (rate), the average bid (rate) and lowest bid (rate).  With this service, you can check what is being bid on the work you want, and not so very much guess at rate.

 

Then again, as a seasoned professional, being influenced by bit rates without knowing the credentials of those bidding may be the very last thing you want to do. Most jobs get low-ballers and people desperate to get jobs on the board, and a lot of those bids are from people who are not qualified, or who may have some qualifications but not be on the same level as someone with your years of experience.

 

Presumably you want clients who are more interested in quality than the best price, so why compete on price? Many of my Upwork clients tell me mine was the highest bid they received, and I've heard the same from other successful freelancers here. If you have a service to sell and know its value, price it appropriately and let clients decide whether it's worth the price. The ones who recognize that it is are the ones you want to work with.

I went back and forth on my rate and felt like $150 was high but $100 was
too low given 20+ years of experience that I have. LOL! so I changed it to
$120.



One other technique.  Upwork has a past work history (employment in your circumstance), but it not particularly well suited to explain, in concise format, the exact depth and responsibilities of your work.

As a quick step, develop a professional resume.  Yours can carry two pages, easily.  Then, using your portfolio, you can install it for clients to easily see.  Also, it will be handy to include in your proposals, as an attachment.

For people rolling in from industry or corporate work -- having an 'old school' resume specifically prepared for inclusion in the portfolio and as proposal attachments -- creates significant competitive advantage.

Resume, have it prepared professionally, have it read and at hand for the competitions you can surely win if you position yourself correctly.  And that is all this is.  Just position yourself correctly.  Quirky-different doing that online through this platform than in the corporate lives from which we hail.

I have provided potential clients with a copy of my resume as part of my proposal.  I will condense it down to two pages maybe that will help as well.  

I am going to disagree to some extent of the idea of the resume. I am not a client so I really don't know what makes them choose a freelancer, but, my general experience is that a formatted resume that lists your your work experience, like dates and positions, isn't that helpful. That doesn't say anything how you have skills or how you can help a client. Don't get me wrong, I do have a resume type listing, but it is just as part of my profile and I would never include it in a proposal.

 

As serveral have said, focus on what you can do and how you have done it before that showed success that is a benefit. No platitudes, "just the facts, ma'am"

 

I am up to $.04 worth of advice now.


Robert G wrote:

I am going to disagree to some extent of the idea of the resume. I am not a client so I really don't know what makes them choose a freelancer, but, my general experience is that a formatted resume that lists your your work experience, like dates and positions. That doesn't say anything how you have skills or how you can help a client. Don't get me wrong, I do have a resume type listing, but it is just as part of my profile and I would never include it in a proposal.

 


I agree that a resume is unnecessary and most clients won't take the time to read lengthy proposals. Clients are not looking to hire you as an employee (in most cases), so they don't need to know about everything that you've ever done. I think that the best way to get attention is to write a short but effective proposal that addresses their needs. They can read the education and experience sections in your profile if they want to learn more about you.

tlsanders
Community Member

I think there are two problems. 

 

First, your profile doesn't really say anything. Reading it, I get that you think you have a good skill set for the industry and you have experience, but you tell me nothing about why I need you or what you can do for my company if I hire you.

 

Second, there are several typos or minor grammatical errors in your profile. At your price point, clients will expect more professionalism than that--particularly in an area where they absolutely can't afford to hire someone they can't count on to be meticulous.

Thank you! I have double-checked, triple-checked and I cannot find any grammatical errors.  I even used Grammarly and couldn't find any errors.  Can you please provide me with examples? 

 

In my profile, I thought I did a good job articulating my cybersecurity expertise. LOL! 

 

   


Brian B wrote:

Thank you! I have double-checked, triple-checked and I cannot find any grammatical errors.  I even used Grammarly and couldn't find any errors.  Can you please provide me with examples? 


brian.jpg

grimesr
Community Member

I just went back and reread your profile. For me, I don't see anything there that tells me how you can help me if I am the client based on your past experiences. What measure of success did your achieve? What monetary or resource impacts did you make, in hard values, not just "made things better". I read this a sales brouchure, not a "why I am so great" statement.

 

Also, if you are going to have multiple profiles, which probably is a great idea, make them different. I think I only noticed a few words different. As a client, I would look at this and think you don't take the time to differentiate yourself and skills.

 

I use my proposal as the cornerstone of how to get the work, not a static profile that someone has to seek out. I think of the profile in the same way as having a website somewhere it the web-world. I don't expect anyone to find me that way, never have.

 

I don't mean to sound hard, but you asked so I am giving my thoughts. Do as you wish.

 

[that cost $.05 for EXPERT adivce]

pkbrooks
Community Member

Just to add my two cents...Been on Upwork for one year now.  It took about 50 proposals and two months to get my first job.  A miracle really, knowing what I know now, which is all the advise you have gotten.  After the first job it took two more months to get my next job and then I had about three months of really good flow and then in September, the bottom dropped out.  Nothing since September!!  Over a hundred proposals and nothing!  

 

So I did what every commentor did Brian...I started really looking at my profile and asking the tough questions.  What am I really selling?  Not how do i make money, but what am I selling and how does a potential customer really experience my profile?  Are they impressed?  Do they get turned off by the rate?  Am I all talk about capacity but short on communicating potential solutions to problems?  

 

In short, we are freelancers and that does not always mean we know business and selling.  The last month I have completely reworked my profile to address this and am hoping that 2020 will bring a different result.  AND...I'm going to not assume that my current profile is the final rendition.  Got to look at it constantly...

 

Don't give up.  

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