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How would client profile details help you?

Weโ€™re exploring a potential new feature where we would ask clients for a bit more information about who they are, in addition to the usual job post details. We know talent in our Community have expressed a desire to see more information about clients so we wanted to reach out directly and see what information would be most helpful to you. 

 

Here are some questions weโ€™d like to get your feedback on:

 

  1. If we created a client profile, would you find such a client profile useful?
  2. How would a client profile be useful to you?
  3. What would you like to see in it? 
  4. What do you wish job posts currently had to make you feel more confident in applying? 
  5. For new clients who have 0 reviews and spend, would a client profile be more likely to encourage you to work with them?

 

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts as we explore features to make your experience even better! Please feel free to include additional ideas you have about client profiles you would like to share. 

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Thanks everybody for sharing your feedback and suggestions with us! The insights you have shared are very valuable to our teams as we work on new features. For now we'll be closing this thread from further replies and will process the information. We'll be sure to inform the Community about any updates that come out of it.

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92 REPLIES 92
7843c44d
Community Member

Hello

 

One of the first things I do when I have been granted a contract is to research the company and/or person. I want to see what their "look and feel" - style, colors, fonts, etc. 

And one thing that would be very valuable to know (that I wish I knew) was what field they are in.

- Are they an agency?

- Are they in the medical field?  

- Small business owner?

- Etc.

So, if I had that information up front, that would be a time saver for me! I would love that. 

 

Thanks!
Amy 

prestonhunter
Community Member

This is kind of a silly question.

 

Because the answer is obvious:

 

What details do freelancers want to see about a client that we can't already see?

 

How many times has a client filed a dispute?

How many times have freelancers filed a dispute against a client?

How many times has a client gone to arbitration?

How many times has a client initiated any formal refund request?

 

Basically... freelancers should be able to see if a client is a serial manipulator of the system who gets freelancers to work for them and then gets their money back from the freelancer (or tries to).

 

Any other additional information about a client pales in comparison to the importance and significance of this.

Thanks Preston! How about for a brand new client who would have 0 disputes/refunds or contract activity on Upwork?

re: "How about for a brand new client who would have 0 disputes/refunds or contract activity on Upwork?"

 

As a freelancer, I regularly work for brand new clients.

I don't have a problem with that.

 

For a brand new client, information about disputes/refunds SHOULD ALSO BE DISPLAYED.

We would see zero.

Alongside the fact that this client has had zero contracts, zero hires, etc.

 

A freelancer can make up their own mind about whether or not they want to work for a brand new client. I think most freelancers are perfectly happy to do so.

I speak only for myself about the following things, but in case you're interested:

 

I don't care about most "info" about a client.

I don't care where the client lives.

I don't care what the client's name is.

I don't care what a client looks like.

 

I rarely even know what country my clients llve in.

Sometimes I literally work for clients whose names i don't know. I only know the name of the contract.

 

I have no problem whatsoever with freelancers who are interested in these things.

I think it is GREAT if freelancers are able to find out information about a client that THEY are curious about, or that they find interesting, or even useful.

 

If there is a client "profile" I am not going to read about a client's background or where they went to school or what their job title is or what their hobbies are or what their family is like or what their medical problems are or whatnot. I don't think any of those things should be private. I just don't care.

I will definitely work with a brand new client, it is like someone without a credit score so banks go ahead and take a chance with someone without a score. 

 

 


Preston H wrote:

This is kind of a silly question.

 

Because the answer is obvious:

 

What details do freelancers want to see about a client that we can't already see?

 

How many times has a client filed a dispute?

How many times have freelancers filed a dispute against a client?

How many times has a client gone to arbitration?

How many times has a client initiated any formal refund request?

 

Basically... freelancers should be able to see if a client is a serial manipulator of the system who gets freelancers to work for them and then gets their money back from the freelancer (or tries to).

 

Any other additional information about a client pales in comparison to the importance and significance of this.


I agree with all of this. I also think that encouraging clients to provide information about their business will only make it easier for freelancers to contact them (and potentially harrass them) off of the platform.

The most important thing for me is being able to see their profiles when receiving direct offers.  

 

Right now, I'm unable to learn any details about clients when they send contract offers or even direct messages to set up meetings. There's no way to view their profiles or learn anything else about them, including their ratings.  

 

Many freelancers receive direct offers and messages, so this really needs to be fixed ASAP.  

 

Thank you!

Anton B. wrote: 

 

1) If we created a client profile, would you find such a client profile useful?

Yes. (There was much more transparency when Upwork was oDesk.)

 

2) How would a client profile be useful to you?

In addition  to what everyone else has said, Client job offers are often interesting but too sketchy, knowing a bit more about a client and what their business is, would make it easier to make our proposals more  relevant to what the client may be looking for. 

 

3) What would you like to see in it?

A little more transparency about the client's background (business and scholastic if  a student) and location.  I think this could go some way in reducing the following 

i) The number of scammers.

ii) It might also make it a little easier to identify farmers, who make healthy competition difficult.

iii) The number of cheating students.

iv) And all the other reasons mentioned by the others. And I am sure there are more! 

 

4) What do you wish job posts currently had to make you feel more confident in applying?

More relevant detail,  appropriate budgets, and realistic delivery times for skilled freelancers.  

 

5) For new clients who have 0 reviews and spend, would a client profile be more likely to encourage you to work with them?

Yes.  Although  if a new client posts an intelligently written job offer, 0 reviews doesn't bother me that much when it comes to applying.

 

ETA: Re-reading all the other posts, I agree with Preston and Christine about too much detail. But it would be good to know the type of business a client is in. 


Lisa B wrote:

The most important thing for me is being able to see their profiles when receiving direct offers.  

 

Right now, I'm unable to learn any details about clients when they send contract offers or even direct messages to set up meetings. There's no way to view their profiles or learn anything else about them, including their ratings.  

 

Many freelancers receive direct offers and messages, so this really needs to be fixed ASAP.  

 

Thank you!


Yes, yes, yes, and it's odd that Upwork is pondering what new details to provide about clients while for direct offers and PC buys it withholds the information available through the marketplace and (with an extra click) invites.

Because the answer is obvious:

 

What details do freelancers want to see about a client that we can't already see?

 

How many times has a client filed a dispute?

How many times have freelancers filed a dispute against a client?

How many times has a client gone to arbitration?

How many times has a client initiated any formal refund request?

 

Basically... freelancers should be able to see if a client is a serial manipulator of the system who gets freelancers to work for them and then gets their money back from the freelancer (or tries to).

 

This is an excellent idea. However, I believe the site makes it easy for clients to cancel their accounts and start anew. That in itself is a good thing, as clients may wish to come and go, and restricting their access to the site makes it bad for freelancers. But when a client comes back and starts a new profile, it might be hard to keep track of their identity and past record on the site. 

 

Of course, in the case of a good client with a good feedback history, it's in their interests to keep the same profile to attract more freelancers. But those who cause trouble and manipulate the system usually have bad reviews and feedback, so they have nothing to lose by cancelling their accounts.

Yes


Preston H wrote:

This is kind of a silly question.

 

Because the answer is obvious:

 

What details do freelancers want to see about a client that we can't already see?

 

How many times has a client filed a dispute?

How many times have freelancers filed a dispute against a client?

How many times has a client gone to arbitration?

How many times has a client initiated any formal refund request?

 

Basically... freelancers should be able to see if a client is a serial manipulator of the system who gets freelancers to work for them and then gets their money back from the freelancer (or tries to).

 

Any other additional information about a client pales in comparison to the importance and significance of this.


Also, better will be to show how many contracts with the particular client closed with 0 billing. 

Your answer is kind of silly. What about clients who have no history in Upwork?

wescowley
Community Member

I agree with the stats that Preston listed, along with what is already given about clients on the job posts.

 

But most of all, I agree with Lisa about being able to see a client's history when receiving direct offers. 

 

I don't think there's any additional information needed on new clients. 

 

There should not be any additional information that could identify clients before an interview starts. That will just open them up to more off-platform harassment than they already see.

 

While I'd love to be able to see a verified name once an interview starts in order to help my vetting, I think it's a bad idea because it would just add friction that would turn good clients away.

I'd like to see client profiles, not for any specific information but because those people who fill in the information will have made a psychological investment into Upwork. And the more they're invested, the more likely they are to hire.

 

Should it happen, whatever information it does contain, I hope it will allow space for the client to add whatever *they* think is relevant.  

I require clients to explore a fit with me before I will accept any work. That means one or more chats. With few excptions most job pots are to enable the client to make more money. So, how does the client make money? If he sells, is it products or services or both; is it to other businesses or to consumers? I also want to know the client's footprint - How many sites, how geograpically spread? These allow me to deterine whether it is worth my while to respond.

lysis10
Community Member

I second the info about disputes/cancellations. This would help us stay away from people who are serial disputers and cancellers.

 

I like to see location (country) to determine if I'll bid. Previous jobs are good too. You can see this on job posts but not on direct offers.

I agree with everything mentioned, most importantly is their history of disputes and being able to see the same information across the board for a client whether they are posting a job or reaching out directly. I HATE that i cant see any history for direct offers.


Jennifer M wrote:

I second the info about disputes/cancellations. This would help us stay away from people who are serial disputers and cancellers.

 

It would also discourage the low-end client business model that relies on forcing refunds.

LOL.

Yes, I suppose "business model" is one way to characterize theft of this sort.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

If you'd asked me this question when I first joined UW, I'd've requested info about the client's company and the business they're in. By now, though, I've learned that what they share -- or more often, neglect to share -- in their job post or invitation can be a useful initial screening tool for me.

 

That said, I agree with others that it would be useful to see their UW report card if there is one (disputes, etc.) and to see their UW history when they send direct offers.

 

Phyllis G wrote:

 

By now, though, I've learned that what they share -- or more often, neglect to share -- in their job post or invitation can be a useful initial screening tool for me.

 

What do you consider to be red flags in job postings? I often find them to be vague, which is annoying, but may only be because the client intends to tell the freelancer more when they contact them.

 

One thing that really gets to me is dishonesty about pay rates. Again and again I see postings that start out like this: "Hourly: $35-$50 - Expert..." etc., then I look through the jobs done for the client in question and find out the average hourly rate they pay for this kind of work is $7 or $8. 

Robert Y.,

 

The single most obvious red flag for clients I want to avoid is a job post that includes a phrase along the lines of, "There is plenty of future work for the right freelancer..." or, more ominously, "...so we are looking for good value on this first project...," meaning "we know our budget is small compared to what we know we ought to expect to pay."

 

In other words, "I would gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today."


Will L wrote:

Robert Y.,

 

The single most obvious red flag for clients I want to avoid is a job post that includes a phrase along the lines of, "There is plenty of future work for the right freelancer..." or, more ominously, "...so we are looking for good value on this first project...," meaning "we know our budget is small compared to what we know we ought to expect to pay."

 

In other words, "I would gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today."


I mean, why even mention it? Surely if you like the work of a freelancer you will work with them in the future.

bilsim
Community Member

Iโ€™ve seen many incomplete, misleading and inaccurate details about clients/jobs which bothers me more than introducing new details. Examples:

 

  • Client in Turkey showing Sweden as location in their profile
  • Client in India showing United States as location in their profile
  • Client setting fixed budget to $150 for a writing job that they describe but do not mention the size (word count) anywhere in the job description. Am I supposed to lose my connects on blind bidding?

As such, I donโ€™t see the point in requesting clients to provide more details if they can provide fake or incomplete details without any repercussions.


Phyllis G wrote:

If you'd asked me this question when I first joined UW, I'd've requested info about the client's company and the business they're in. By now, though, I've learned that what they share -- or more often, neglect to share -- in their job post or invitation can be a useful initial screening tool for me.

 

That said, I agree with others that it would be useful to see their UW report card if there is one (disputes, etc.) and to see their UW history when they send direct offers.


Agreed, much of my screening now depends on how often-anonymized prospects handle the given open-format-with-pulldowns. In that respect, some of the points I responded to earlier might be of only marginal or hypothetical utility. But let me again endorse both accountability for clients' on-platform history and uniformity of client/prospect information at all points of contract acceptance and negotiation.

sjbercot
Community Member

Just chiming in to say my thoughts largely echo the other freelancers here in that I would be interested more in information regarding number of disputes, etc. and seeing information for direct offer clients, and much much less interested in particulars about the client's company or the client themselves (and I think anything that makes it easier to identify clients and contact them off-platform is probably not a great idea). I also don't hesitate to apply for projects with new clients who have $0 spent and no reviews, or even unverified payment. I'm not sure the client profile would affect that, since I don't screen out new clients based on being new.

 

 

For me the most important information about a prospective client is how stingy or generous he is

If there was a way to mesure this information, using some scale 0-10 with 0 for extremely stingy clients and 10 for very generous clients, it would be very helpful. 

I couldn't work with a client that focuses mostly on money and not on the quality of the work. And I am very happy when working with clients that focus on quality and don't care too much about money.

It's not that I will make more money from the second category, neither I will try to take advantage of the generosity. It will just make my working time happier and more pleasant

 

I think almost every experienced  freelancer has dealt with behaviours like the following:

 

1. Clients that set an hourly rate of $30-$40 in job posting BUT after chatting, they mention that their entire budget is $50. I wish I could mark this behaviour in client's history. 

 

2. Clients that complaint all the time about hours, money, budget, etc. (Luckily I never workd for such a client and I would like to avoid it in the future)

 

3. Clients that ask for additional work without charging, etc

 

These are some examples. I am sure that there are plenty of such behaviours, in almost all stages of the process, from job posting, interview, offer, to mid-contract, payment, contract-ending, post contact-ending, etc.

 

On the other side, many clients never talk about money and hours. They give bonuses. I even had a client that increased the hourly rate on his side, without any relevant discussion. It would be nice if such behaviours could be added in client's history in some way.

 

In simple words, it would be great if we could see client's attitude regarding money in his history. It will be much more useful that any information about his business, products, etc


Ioannis T wrote:

 

I think almost every experienced  freelancer has dealt with behaviours like the following:

 

1. Clients that set an hourly rate of $30-$40 in job posting BUT after chatting, they mention that their entire budget is $50. I wish I could mark this behaviour in client's history. 

 

2. Clients that complaint all the time about hours, money, budget, etc. (Luckily I never workd for such a client and I would like to avoid it in the future)

 

3. Clients that ask for additional work without charging, etc


You know, at first I thought this was silly but if clients can leave us cowardly private feedback behind our backs that could potentially affect our scores and therefore livelihood, there's really no reason why we shouldn't be able to post private feedback that only other freelancers can view, such as simple yes or no questions - "did client stick to proposed budget" "did client request more work outside the scope of the contract" etc.

a_lipsey
Community Member


Anton B wrote:

Weโ€™re exploring a potential new feature where we would ask clients for a bit more information about who they are, in addition to the usual job post details. We know talent in our Community have expressed a desire to see more information about clients so we wanted to reach out directly and see what information would be most helpful to you. 

 

Here are some questions weโ€™d like to get your feedback on:

 

  1. If we created a client profile, would you find such a client profile useful?
  2. How would a client profile be useful to you?
  3. What would you like to see in it? 
  4. What do you wish job posts currently had to make you feel more confident in applying? 
  5. For new clients who have 0 reviews and spend, would a client profile be more likely to encourage you to work with them?

 

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts as we explore features to make your experience even better! Please feel free to include additional ideas you have about client profiles you would like to share. 


This is an interesting question. I will speak only from my POV. For my work, to determine client viability, I have to do some extensive vetting that others may not have to do. I am used to doing this myself prior to any wasted time in pre-consultation calls, but the kind of information I have to collect includes:

 

  • Year incorporated
  • Size of business (# of employees and annual revenue/expenses)
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Funding history
  • Have they completed SAM, DUNS, SBC, and grants.gov registrations? 

 

That's the baseline of everything I have to confirm before I can accept a client. I see others have commented about the client's hiring history, # of disputes, # of refunds, and reviews. I am not certain any of that is useful to me in my niche, although reviews from other freelancers are definitely something I look at. I don't often consider their hiring history because the nature of my clientele is that they typically have a limited hiring history, if any at all. 

 

Obviously the information in my list is very specific to my niche. I'm sure industry and location would be beneficial to many other freelancers as well. 

 

ETA: I'm not asking that any of my list be used in a client profile. As Phyllis mentioned, I often use that discovery as a screening tool to see how responsive they are. But that is the type of information I need to know. 

ed79daa1
Community Member

1. If a client profile is created and if we can access it while applying job, then atleast we can get to know their name, so that we can address them with name on our proposals. So, we can actually know who we are messaging (like person name).

2. I guess the point above gave what my opinion is for this question too!

3. Name of the client. His company name and details, so that we can know the field they work in. (if not mentioned in job post).

4. I feel that the current job posts are clear and personally I don't like conveying 'Hey Client' in my proposal, so I would like to know the name of the client. 

5. I guess this would be a problem. As client decide freelancers based on their history, even we freelancer want to know whether we can feel comfortable working with a client. But, as a client is would be a small issue, because freelancer don't expect much from client, and if he likes the job, he most probably apply for it!

aliharvey
Community Member

If we created a client profile, would you find such a client profile useful?

Yes, I definitely would.

 

How would a client profile be useful to you?

Learning more about how the client works with others, seeing the various content that verifies them as a legitimate business, understanding more about what working with them might entail.

 

What would you like to see in it?

Freelancer reviews, contract stats (closures, refunds, etc.)

 

What do you wish job posts currently had to make you feel more confident in applying?

More precise information on the time and tasks the project entails. Example: 10-30 hours is a pretty big range. So is < 30 hours. It causes a lot of wasted connects between clients as myself as we work to even find out if we have time available for each other.

 

For new clients who have 0 reviews and spend, would a client profile be more likely to encourage you to work with them?

Yes it would. 

researchediting
Community Member


Anton B wrote:

 

Here are some questions weโ€™d like to get your feedback on:

 

If we created a client profile, would you find such a client profile useful?

yes

How would a client profile be useful to you?

It might help me sniff out farmers and other third-party brokers.

What would you like to see in it?

(optional) link(s) to online or other professional identity 

What do you wish job posts currently had to make you feel more confident in applying?

editing and publishing specs that are realistic and conform to academic review and publishing norms 

For new clients who have 0 reviews and spend, would a client profile be more likely to encourage you to work with them?

Possibly. I don't automatically discount such clients, which must mean I'm already screening by different criteria.

 

Please feel free to include additional ideas you have about client profiles you would like to share. 


 

dc005c9f
Community Member

A prospect's hire history is most important, and we have that.


The next most useful piece of information is the company name.

 

It is almost inconceivable in the "real world" of job listings that the potential employer's company name remains confidential until one accepts an interview.

 

It is something of a yellow card for me that a person or company that would hire me via Upwork chooses to remain anonymous in their job posting. Is it their prerogative to do so? Of course!  In my dozen years as the Chief People Officer (VP of Human Resources), if a candidate exhibited such behavior we called it "flaky."  

re: "The next most useful piece of information is the company name."

 

Maybe that seems important for you.

It isn't important for me.

 

I routinely work for clients where I don't know a company name and sometimes I don't even know the client's name.

 

I am NOT dismissing the importance of this for some freelancers. You are probably in a different job niche than I am, so I can't say anything at all about the significance of this to freelancers in your niche.

 

But regardless of how you or I feel about a client's name or company's name, how do you get around this problem:

Upwork doesn't want to display company names or client names in job postings because naughty freelancers (or maybe even non-Upwork users) use the company names to contact job posters OUTSIDE of the Upwork platform.

 


Preston H wrote:

re: "The next most useful piece of information is the company name."

 

Maybe that seems important for you.

It isn't important for me.

 

I routinely work for clients where I don't know a company name and sometimes I don't even know the client's name.

 

I am NOT dismissing the importance of this for some freelancers. You are probably in a different job niche than I am, so I can't say anything at all about the significance of this to freelancers in your niche.

 


I guess it's not important for my niche either; I only look at the job description to see whether it's something that I can do, at a price that the client is willing to pay. If the client is interested in working with me, then sure, I'll look up more information, but it would be overly time-consuming having to do that kind of research every time I make a proposal. 

 

And of course, Upwork doesn't check clients' ID, so there's nothing to prevent a scammer from using a false name and pretending to work for a big company. I think it would give newbies a false sense of security if people like that had official-looking profiles in which they made such claims.

 


Preston H wrote:

re: "The next most useful piece of information is the company name."

 

Maybe that seems important for you.

It isn't important for me.

 

I routinely work for clients where I don't know a company name and sometimes I don't even know the client's name.

 


Yes, but he is commenting, just as I was, on his personal needs. We can only speak for ourselves. I think we all understand that our needs may not be your needs or another freelancer's needs, and we are simply giving the requested feedback. 

 

I also need substantial company information, as I explained in my post. I do not expect Upwork to start providing it. But they asked the question, so I gave them my answer. 

I understand Upworkโ€™s rational motivation for maintaining secrecy.

I want to know more about a potential client, and I recognize that pre-hire corporate self-disclosure on Upwork will likely always be voluntary.

 

Welcome to the gig economy.

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