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Here we go again!

dsmgdesign
Community Guru
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
1 of 11

I've been a graphic designer on Upwork for 2 years. I've heard that graphic design is an over-populated field, and I think this is mostly true. So, I focus on a small set of specialties that aren't widely practiced and also focus practicing graphic design in niche market verticals to make myself more attractive/valuable to clients in those markets.  And it works for the most part, as I'm busy throughout most of the year.

But currently it’s slow, which I mostly attribute to the pandemic. I get very few invites these days from qualified leads, which is a shame. So, I have no choice but to turn to submitting proposals.

 

My success rate with submitting proposals seem to run in cycles. I can send out a couple feelers after months of sending no proposals at all, and then get offers to 1 out of 2 proposals on a good week, or 1 out of 5. Then there are the cycles where I get nothing. 

 

Hence, the title of this post "Here we go again."  Since April 1,  I've sent 17 proposals, 6 of those jobs resulted in a hire.  I did not even a single message from any of those clients, even though these are clients in my niche market and my specialty.  I also keep my proposals short, professional and customized per client.

 

Could it have anything to do with how Upwork sorts proposals by “best match?” How does it sort by best match anyhow? Not by market vertical or deliverables specialization, I don’t think. Are freelancers cycled through the "best match" algorithm, like they are in the general marketplace? 

 

Should I not waste my time on proposals and ride it out a while? 

 

Could it be that nobody can be truly fully successful on Upwork every week of the year?

 

What else could it be?

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
2 of 11

David S M wrote:

 

Could it be that nobody can be truly fully successful on Upwork every week of the year?

 


Few are. Many see ups and downs.

 

And for the hires, I'm absolutely convinced that there is a lot of circumventing that goes on behind the curtains.

 

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
dsmgdesign
Community Guru
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
3 of 11

And for the hires, I'm absolutely convinced that there is a lot of circumventing that goes on behind the curtains.


I'm curious as to what you mean by this, exactly. Are you talking about agorithms, or freelancers/clients misbehaving? 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 11

David S M wrote:

And for the hires, I'm absolutely convinced that there is a lot of circumventing that goes on behind the curtains.


I'm curious as to what you mean by this, exactly. Are you talking about agorithms, or freelancers/clients misbehaving? 


go try to hire for anything. It's  the same deal with clients. If they immediatel say "here's my skype" and try to avoid chatting in Upwork chat, there is a very good chance they are moving it to skype right away to get you off platform. Freelancers do the same thing.

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
5 of 11

David S M wrote:

And for the hires, I'm absolutely convinced that there is a lot of circumventing that goes on behind the curtains.


I'm curious as to what you mean by this, exactly. Are you talking about agorithms, or freelancers/clients misbehaving? 


No, freelancers pulling prospects off-platform.

 

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
dsmgdesign
Community Guru
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
6 of 11


No, freelancers pulling prospects off-platform.


Ah, that's another reason why I make sure that most of my proposals are going to clients with very high hire rates, because they would be most likely to both hire and keep work on the platform. So, not sure if that's very likely to be what's hurting me, at least for most of my proposals. 

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
7 of 11

David S M wrote:


Ah, that's another reason why I make sure that most of my proposals are going to clients with very high hire rates, because they would be most likely to both hire and keep work on the platform. So, not sure if that's very likely to be what's hurting me, at least for most of my proposals. 


That's 100% sensible. Low hire rates maybe people who are circumventing, but also people who post ads on many platforms. Any poster with a hire rate < 50% is a total waste of connects.

 

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 11

Rene K wrote:

David S M wrote:

 

Could it be that nobody can be truly fully successful on Upwork every week of the year?

 


Few are. Many see ups and downs.

 

And for the hires, I'm absolutely convinced that there is a lot of circumventing that goes on behind the curtains.

 

 


Yeah my friend who used to hire a lot on Upwork said a lot of Top Rated freelancers would offer to take it off platform. That's why whenever someone comes around saying they are TR and got banned for NO REASON I always figure it's for circumvention. There is a lot of that I think too.

hannah_campbell
Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: May 6, 2015
9 of 11

I've been thinking about this recently too. I am Top Rated with a 96% success score and years of history on the site (as a translator). I submit brief, well-written, tailored proposals ONLY for jobs I am demonstrably qualified for - usually at a rate of around 1-2 a month, though I've been sending (a few) more recently due to my regular client base being quieter.

 

After "spending" more than 25 proposal credits (still consider it grossly unfair that people who use the site correctly have to pay for them), I haven't received a single interview. When I go back and check if (big if) and to whom the job has been awarded, it's often to a person who is claiming to be a native English speaker, has close to 100% job success, yet has basic grammar mistakes on their profile. How? They aren't even cheaper than me. It feels pointless to try and compete in an intransparent and obviously imperfect system. Either Upwork is "pushing" certain freelancers based on a faulty algorithm or clients are so low quality that they cannot (e.g.) ascertain the difference between a native speaker and a basic-level speaker of a certain language. I am sure freelancers in other fields can identify comparable irregularities.

hydra2016
Ace Contributor
Caroline W Member Since: Oct 26, 2015
10 of 11

Since covid-19 started, a few of my long-term projects stopped, and I sent proposals again - last year, if I sent 5 proposals, I would get 5 interviews and in the same time, 3 invites- well in the last month, I sent 15 proposals and got 1 interview, for an under-paid task. 

I feel there are a lot of new freelancers joining, and also, clients attribute jobs in private- the job offer stays without any hire, but if you look at the client jobs in progress- the same job is there- with private content, for a very low price. 

In the end, we, freelancers, are paying for connects, and using them, for jobs which will never be attributated. I have worked happily here for 5 years, but in time of pandemic, at least the connects should be refunded if no hire is made!!!! 

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