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Help me understand what am I doing wrong

kserega
Active

Hello everyone!

 

I am new to UpWork, however, I am an experienced freelancer in the Russian internet segment and I can't understand -- why am I not getting any answers from the clients after I send my proposals?

 

My profile on UpWork is 100% complete.
I send a customized cover letter with each proposal.
I use less "I" and use more "You" in my proposals, meaning that I highlight the benefits of working with me. 
I have three completed tests -- 2 of them put me in TOP-10% and 1 puts me in TOP-20% test results.
I try to propose to jobs that have been posted just recently
Where applicable, I attach my CV so that the client could see everything about me

However, I've almost used up my allowed monthly connections -- I've submitted around 26 proposals - 2 of them were declined (chose another freelancer) and others just hang in there with no answers! Not even a single interview!

 

I want to know, what is it exactly that I'm doing wrong? I think that it's mainly because clients here are looking for profiles with some experience on UpWork, therefore, another question -- is there a job here that I can do for the website or a small job for free in order to get a few 5-star reviews and start earning actual money here?

Because it's really frustrating -- feels like I'm just knocking on the doors that will never open. And I really need money &/or a job -- on the Russian segment of the web you don't get these amounts of money that clients offer here. 

 

Thanks in advance for your answers,

Regards,

Sergey

13 REPLIES 13
gerrys
Community Guru

Your profile reads like a "virtual assistant" ...

 

There are a bazillion "VA's" here that you are competing against ... most with a lower (!) rate than yours.

That's not the only thing I can do and I understand the competition side of it -- that's why when I make a proposal I put almost the lowest rate just hoping that I will get an interview at least. 

If on my profile page I put the rate to the lowest one possible, there's going to be a better chance of getting a job? That can't be the only option possible. I can copy-write, rewrite, translate, I know tons of stuff about digital marketing, I have strong communication skills and etc. -- that's not just a VA, as you see.

If you go with a low rate, you will attract the bottom feeders and scammers.  Look at other profiles in your category and see what they are charging.  The more I have raised my rate, the better quality clients I attract.

 

There are tens of thousands of VAs on the platform.  Use your profile to highlight other skills.

pandoraharper
Community Guru

@Sergey

 

Your on the right track, though it might not feel like that right now. Having said this, I think prospective clients might be a little confused by your profile data.

 

Issues that from a client perspective, would make me wonder:

 

1. What exact service are you selling? Translation? Copywriting? Internet Marketing? There are too many skill sets listed on your profile right now. It's highly recommended that you start small (1 or 2 skill sets) and then broaden your service offering once you get a few jobs completed.

 

2. Your availability shows that you have more then 30 hours a week, but in your Employment History section, you say "This is a remote full time job". This makes me wonder if you have any time at all for an UPwork client.

 

3. You have no Portfolio items. Once you decided what service offering you want to focus on intially, do create add some portfolio items. Not sure what to upload?  Here is a tip:

 

Once you decide what service to sell, use the "Find Freelancer" search for other Freelancers who are selling the same service, and who have portfolio items. This might inspire you to create simaliar portfolio items.

 

Finally, I am in a niche that isn't easy to represent with Portfolio items, so I actually went another route and created some documents that address common concerns my client base has. I've gotten good feedback about these portfolio items.

 

4. You have a few small typos in your Profile. While your written English is quite good, the data on the very bottom of your Overview could use some editing and re-wording.

@Pandora

 

Thank you for these advices. I see what I should improve now.

It's a bit hard to create a portfolio as all my articles are mainly in Russian, but I'll see what I can do 🙂


@Sergey S wrote:

@Pandora

 

Thank you for these advices. I see what I should improve now.

It's a bit hard to create a portfolio as all my articles are mainly in Russian, but I'll see what I can do 🙂


If your only responding to U.S. jobs, then having English language portfolio items is important.

 

I'm not sure about non English portfolio items (if you were targeting the Russian job market, for example).  Not sure if those items would be accepted by the Portfolio review system.

 

I just realized I am not clear about the rules regarding non English portfolio items, and did some searching on the Support pages and the Forums. Did find a specfic answer about this.

 

Does anyone know if non English portfolio items are even allowed?

 

From my point of view, there's no point really here on UpWork, which is international pretty much, to upload documents on foreign languages.

 

I think I will upload one or two just to emphasize that I am a Native Russian speaker, that I have experience in this field and that I can translate. However, as I target everyone who offers jobs in areas of my interest all around the globe, I'd rather upload documents in English so that everyone can clearly see what I did before.

 

See, Russian clients (and other non U.S. ones) use an English version of the site and they mainly use English language to communicate.

I've seen a bunch of portfolios that contain both English items and items in the freelancer's native language. Personally, I think that is great because it speaks to a global audience. That's what Upwork is, so it seems rational to me.


@Sergey S wrote:

From my point of view, there's no point really here on UpWork, which is international pretty much, to upload documents on foreign languages.

 

I think I will upload one or two just to emphasize that I am a Native Russian speaker, that I have experience in this field and that I can translate. However, as I target everyone who offers jobs in areas of my interest all around the globe, I'd rather upload documents in English so that everyone can clearly see what I did before.

 

See, Russian clients (and other non U.S. ones) use an English version of the site and they mainly use English language to communicate.


I completely agree with you on this. Upwork is indeed an English language site. I was just thinking that if I was fluent in other languages, as a writer or translater, I might want to show examples of my skills in other languages.

csjarmitage
Community Guru

I'm not an expert and this is just my two cents.  Please take it for what it is worth.

 

First, don't lower your rate.  It's already too low at $5/hr.  In the long term, it's a lot more beneficial to start out with a decent rate, than to have to increase it dramatically after you take a few jobs.

 

Second, your overview is much too broad.  You need to choose one thing to specialize and do it well.  You should also remove the feedback bullet.  That is frowned upon and, frankly, why would you promise good feedback when you may encounter a problem client?  Freelancers depend on accurate ratings of clients in order to help us determine who is good to work with.  

 

Remove the entire "Life Motto" section.  You only have a few minutes to grab a client's attention.  Don't waste it with that sort of discussion.  

 

 

@Christy

 

Thank you!

mariawicz5
Community Guru

This might be minor, but I also suggest improving your profile photo. It's okay as it is, but something better-lit and more clear might give you an edge.

cupidmedia
Community Guru

Sergey, I'm not going to repeat the excellent advice you've received already about improving your profile. However, I will add that in your language spoken, you don't list Russian. You should definitely add that.

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