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How to efficiently spend Connects as a new user?

Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
1 of 4

Hello Guys!


I've registered on Upwork 5 days ago and so far everything seems to go well. Out of my 6 proposals I got 3 jobs.

Since I'm new here I hesitate applying for hourly jobs, especially because many of those require 100+ Upwork Hours.


All 3 Jobs were "Fixed Price" jobs. ($ 50, $ 100, $ 250) Which at this point is absolutely fine for me.

For now I plan to stay with Fixed Price jobs until my Work History looks decently enough to try for  bigger jobs / hourly paid jobs.


But at this point I only have 48 Connects left and this makes me wonder how I should spend them to maximize my success.


What I find interesting is that there are many fixed price jobs with a budget as low as $ 5 - $ 20 and a really huge list of requirements. Certainly not a job anyone would want to do.. but then I scroll down and see 30+ proposals. Partly from people who have been working on dozens of jobs with 100+ working hours.


So, maybe I'm wrong on this but I certainly don't feel satisfied with proposing for a job that barely compensates for all the jobs I don't get.


Currently I evaluate a job offer like this:


The Budget must be high enough to compensate for the work + to compensate for jobs that I'm not getting. Meaning that if I have to spend 10 - 20 Connects to successfully get a job, then the job must pay enough to re-buy those 10 -20 Connects without going lower than what I think is worth for my work. In other words applying to a job that only offers $ 5 - $ 20 even if it really is a simple 10 minute task, is not worth proposing for at all.


Secondly I go through the profiles of people that proposed. Often I feel like people disqualify themselves in their profiles, so I can predict how many people are actually competing and how many people are most likely not getting the job to begin with. This also depends on the previous hires of the client.


And I hesitate to apply for jobs that have been posted 6+ hours / days ago. I believe that most Fixed Price jobs are given out early. I can't imagine someone going through dozens of proposals and evaluating freelancers for days for a $ 100 job.


Besides that I only look for detailed job decriptions and I usually bid as high as the posted Budget is.

More or less that's it so far.


I'm  just not sure if this is the most effective way.


I don't know how many clients are looking for the lowest bid or if going for the posted Budget is an bad idea as a new freelancer.

Is it still worth applying for a job that was posted several hours ago? Something tells me that it is not worth it.

Are there any statistics on the time it usually takes between posting a job and hiring a freelancer?

How do you evaluate if it is worth spending your connects on a proposal?


I'm thankful for any advices.



Ace Contributor
Edward G Member Since: Sep 22, 2014
2 of 4

You're way ahead of the curve by gettng 3 jobs with only 6 proposals. A 10% success rate is considered good and you're at 50%. You're obviously doing something right. As far as listings 6+ hour old, I don't think it hurts to apply to those from legitimate clients (full job description, some sort of Upwork history, average hire rate about where you want to be) if they have less than 10 applicants and are not interviewing anybody. Chances are they looked over the current applicants and didn't find what they wanted.

Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
3 of 4

Thanks for the reply, Edward.


I think I have just been lucky so far. 2 of the jobs I got had no proposals at that time, leaving me pretty much as the only one to hire and one job seeked people from central europe which ruled out quite a lot of freelancers. But I don't expect to always be that lucky so I want to start early to build up my reputation.


The "6+ hours" was more of  phrase than an actual treshold. I don't know how clients scan through proposals.

I would expect that at 10-20 proposals, they will most likely find a fitting candidate within the first 10 proposals. If they aren't interviewing anyone yet then I assume that they simply didn't read the proposals yet.


But you are right, it can also mean that none of the applicants matched their expectations.

So I need to keep that in mind!


Are there any things to keep in mind before applying to better paying / hourly jobs? Should I focus on Fixed Price jobs until I have a solid work history on upwork? 

Community Guru
MERCY N Member Since: May 6, 2015
4 of 4

"... Are there any things to keep in mind before applying to better paying / hourly jobs? Should I focus on Fixed Price jobs until I have a solid work history on upwork?" 


Sebastian, let me first point out that clients are not a homogenous lot - different clients have their way of doing things. Some will pay high rates to attract quality while others will offer low rates even when they expect quality. What I'd say is you set your parameters regarding the kind of jobs you apply for or accept, as well as the rates you demand or accept. After that potential clients will look at your work history and estimate where you fall.  


When it comes to hourly jobs, there is no reason to avoid them. Even when a client gives a pre-requisite of 100hrs that should not stop you from applying for the job. In any case, there are many contractors with over 500hrs yet won't apply for that job. If the image you cut on your proposal is impressive, the client may even forget that number of hours was on the list. But again, you can't climb a tree from the top - if you have no work history, you may wish to begin with reasonable rates before you really begin to claim what you are worth.


* As for the extremely low paying jobs with a long list of demands, take caution. You can't have a job ad taking longer to read through than doing the actual job and convince me the job is worth it. Many are the material scam is made of.


After all is said and done, this is a free market place - read the market behavior and sell your brand the best way you can.


Good luck!