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Here's an idea - Lower fees for Top Rated Freelancers and clients!! Come on!

Upwork couldn't thrive without the top rated freelancers and clients, but why am I working so hard to have 20 dollars taken out of everything I earn?! Where is that money going?! To support the site for the people who make it iffy? PLEASE consider a significant discount in service fees for top rated freelancers - then maybe more people will be motivated to improve work ethic and clean up the site! Because this is starting to raise my blood pressure. Every time I think I can count on a certain amount of money, the number is significantly lower when I withdraw it. If it was going to taxes, I wouldn't mind, but it's not! It isn't fair!

 

I say give the hardest workers something for their efforts and sticking with this site for so long.

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I agree. It's not a business mindset to look at it as "what client's charge." You are the freelancer doing the work and it's what you charge. The budget is what the client has listed as what they are looking to pay, but this doesn't really mean much in many cases. Kissing butt is the last thing you want to do because you look desperate and willing to work for pennies. This is not a successful business practice. It's one thing to give bulk discounts, but client's don't respect someone who kisses butt. I have many long term clients that pay my rate consistently and there have been times when I've had to raise my rates. It's just part of business and serious clients understand that. Kissing butt equals getting taken advantage of. Always try to provide good customer service, but if a client doesn't respect your standard rates and policies, then this typically spills over into other areas of the working relationship.

 

You set your standard rate on what you feel is fair to you, so it's important to stick to it. Sometimes you just have to say no. I have minimum that I work for and I don't waste time or money (connects) on projects that don't meet that minimum or if the client's budget is not there. I go as far as to dig through their history to see if they pay remotely close to my rates and the feedback other freelancer's have left for them. 

 

Honestly, there needs to be more information to help freelancers in the bidding process. We just now have features showing us if they are previous clients. How many projects do we bid on over and over because the budget is there and everything looks good, but they either haven't awarded preivous jobs or for whatever reason they haven't selected your bid. That's where we are really wasting money and time, as far as connects go. It's not hard to show freelancers if they've bid on a particular client in the past. That's a feature that Elance had and I used it all the time. If I had bid on a client more than twice, I wouldn't waste anymore bids on them. We should be entitled to that information considering it's $2 a bid. 

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OK, I have learned now that Valerie's model - offering services of a whole team (that is partly outside of Upwork) is absolutely OK on UW, even with an individual freelancer profile, provided he client knows that I do not all the work myself. I have learned now that this is subcontracting and NOT farming and think I have misunderstood Upwork's TOS in the past and have missed a lot of opportunities to earn money here. I thought that an individual profile never could represent a team behind me. I have to think about my business model now. Indeed there is a great difference if I subcontract to somebody who proofreads one article for me or if I have a large team outside of Upwork whose services I can offer here being able to acquire large projects and offering translations in all languages or large writing projects or PR covering several countries etc.. 


@Margarete M wrote:

OK, I have learned now that Valerie's model - offering services of a whole team (that is partly outside of Upwork) is absolutely OK on UW, even with an individual freelancer profile, provided he client knows that I do not all the work myself. I have learned now that this is subcontracting and NOT farming and think I have misunderstood Upwork's TOS in the past and have missed a lot of opportunities to earn money here. I thought that an individual profile never could represent a team behind me. I have to think about my business model now. Indeed there is a great difference if I subcontract to somebody who proofreads one article for me or if I have a large team outside of Upwork whose services I can offer here being able to acquire large projects and offering translations in all languages or large writing projects or PR covering several countries etc.. 


 

Now I realize I could have subcontracted those obscure invites to friends who needed extra $$$ and get my account to be worth more than a few thousand in just days.

 

P.S. I wonder if I'm allowed to say this is a loophole in the TOS.

 


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Robert James R wrote:

@Amanda B wrote:

Upwork couldn't thrive without the top rated freelancers and clients,


Upwork doesn't really need TR people. This whole TR thing is actually bad for their business. Upwork thrives from volume of work and not amount paid. Let's say every 1 TR peep got paid twice as much as 10 newbs per day. From that, you can say the TR person is an asset (and he/she is) but not as much as 10 newbs with potential to be future TRs.

 

Also, if the TR guy's business goes sour, UW would lose more than a handful of money. If one or two newbs got banned for committing TOS violations, UW still has eight newbs left to cover their a$$es until the two gets replaced.

 

tl;dr TR f'lancers are more liability than asset.


Where do you get the idea that Upwork "thrives" on volume versus amount paid? 



It's a business principle specially when it comes to service-oriented platforms like Amazon and Upwork (we are the service).

 

You need volume of users to keep afloat and to be considered a major player in the business you want to be known for. It's like opening a huge mall and you want net plenty of customers so you naturally offer what most can afford to keep your mall from becoming a ghost town, as such with high end retail shops.

 

Upwork doesn't outright claim to offer premium services for premium price. That's something T*ptal does. Upwork leans more on a "you can save money here for good quality" type of concept and attracts small businesses, one-time clients, and startups with limited budget. 

 

If you need a more concrete reference, I remember Setu publishing some graphs indicating where Upwork's money mostly comes from, the top jobs available, as well as the percentage of job pricing (from <$50.00 to >$1000).

 

I think the top 3 are from web development, customer service, and admin support, job categories that have volume of both jobs posted and freelancers engaged. And yes, the $$$ earned per job is minimal but sheer volume is enough to act as a counterbalance.

 

P.S. Edited to add: Are the freelancers in the top 3 categories mostly TR? I don't know but what I do know is you can get hired without being TR which I assume still makes up majority of the f'lancers here.

tlbp
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The nature of independent contracts has always been that the client is purchasing a product or outcome, not the process. Hourly rates the way Upwork characterizes them actually muddy the waters as you are representing that it was your time spent. 

 

Under normal independent contractor standards, if someone hires me to provide a written brief it does not matter who writes it. I am responsible for the final product, however. It would not be in my best interest to hire someone incompetent to do the work. But if I am procuring the requested product, then I have fulfilled the contract. Of course, a client could negotiate a different scenario as that is the beauty of creating a contract--both parties agree on what should take place. 

 

I understand this is terribly offensive to some, but it is a legitimate business model. I usually do my own writing and leave the editing to someone else. But as an independent contractor, I'm not prohibited from hiring out research and writing as long as I am willing to be responsible for paying for the work and stand by it. 


@Tonya P wrote:

The nature of independent contracts has always been that the client is purchasing a product or outcome, not the process. Hourly rates the way Upwork characterizes them actually muddy the waters as you are representing that it was your time spent. 

 

 

 

Not at all - because IMHO you owe different things. On a flat rate contract, I owe a certain result - so I would agree that it shouldn't really matter how I come by that 'product'.

On an hourly contract, I owe time (my time) - I undertake to spend time on a certain project. When the time is up, I stop and deliver what I got.

 

I can hire a pizza baker to bake pizzas for three hours; when the time is up I will find out how many pizzas he has managed to bake in 3 hours.

 

Or, I can hire him to bake 25 pizzas - no matter how long it takes. He might manage that in 3 hours, but I don't care if it takes him double the time.

 

In German law, there is a clear legal distinction between both types of contracts with very different legal consequences. I guess in English you would call both a contract for (works and) services.

Upwork thrives on cold, hard, filthy cash... much like most businesses. The optimal result for Upwork is for freelancers to earn shed loads of money from minimal clients, and if freelancers do earn shed loads of money from minimal clients then they're going to be paying 5% instead of 20%. That sounds pretty good to me.  

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@Robert James R wrote:

...If you need a more concrete reference, I remember Setu publishing some graphs indicating where Upwork's money mostly comes from, the top jobs available, as well as the percentage of job pricing (from <$50.00 to >$1000).

 

I think the top 3 are from web development, customer service, and admin support, job categories that have volume of both jobs posted and freelancers engaged. And yes, the $$$ earned per job is minimal but sheer volume is enough to act as a counterbalance....


Robert James,

 

Setu's pie charts showed number of contracts segmented by revenue range, not by actual revenue. If you made some assumptions and calculations based on the ranges he used, the higher-end contracts displayed a far bigger share of total revenue, and the low-end contracts far less. And that's not taking profitability into account.

 

The high-end malls survive by competition between tenants. They track revenue by location, and shops that don't perform well have to either change locations within the mall or get kicked out. That's why anchor and destination stores are so critical to success. Bargain tenants are used for leavening, and often consigned to in-aisle kiosks.

 

Best,

Michael

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