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Just give it to me straight

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 28

Jeremy Y wrote:
Great thoughts from everyone who has also helped answered the 3rd question. Many thanks.

To Tiffany: Why I think it squeezes out new freelancers is I can't imagine anyone hiring me for a $500+ job until I've got several small projects under my belt. So I feel confined to those for now.

I didn't WANT to do 2 little jobs for ~$100 each, but until I do (and do several more) I don't see why any client would select me over someone else. I've tried larger ones, but haven't even gotten responses... and why should they, until I've been proven? Likewise, if smaller jobs are squeezed out, then that also leaves fewer places for me to initially prove myself.

Am I wrong?

What's your experience outside the platform? It's true that a client might be reluctant to take on someone with no experience for a larger job, especially when there's so much competition. But, are you actually inexperienced, or are you just lacking in Upwork stars? If you have past samples, client reviews, etc. that are strong, I think it matters less than you (and many other Upwork newcomers) think where they came from.

Active Member
Jeremy Y Member Since: Dec 2, 2018
12 of 28
I'm experienced in what I'm offering, but lacking in both Upwork stars and "formal" freelancing elsewhere -- Upwork is my first "formal" attempt, other than my various publications. When appropriate, I've sent attachments of my work (which have gotten great feedback) but none have landed a larger job... and I can't blame them without more Upwork clout.

In that regard, are you (and others) saying that newcomers to Upwork should come with external clout, and not expect to earn it here? I feel that's what I'm doing to an extent, but still assume clients want to see some smaller Upwork experience before offering larger projects.

In fact, one client flat out told me that, saying unless I start taking jobs like he was offering (a mere 0.002 cents per word) then I'd not get any jobs later as I've not been proven within Upwork. (I still didn't take his job as not worth my time.)
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
13 of 28

Jeremy Y wrote:

In that regard, are you (and others) saying that newcomers to Upwork should come with external clout, and not expect to earn it here? I feel that's what I'm doing to an extent, but still assume clients want to see some smaller Upwork experience before offering larger projects.

I'll say that. Maybe it wasn't always true, but at this point, Upwork has many thousands of available freelancers in every category. There is no good reason for a client to take on someone who may or may not be able to do the job when there are so many options. In fact, I'd go a step further and say this is true for freelancing generally. Two key reasons companies hire freelancers are that they don't have time to do the work themselves or don't have the necessary expertise in-house. In neither case are they well positioned to do any kind of training or hand-holding, so they need to know going in that you can do the job (and often that you have the skills to fill their own gaps)

In fact, one client flat out told me that, saying unless I start taking jobs like he was offering (a mere 0.002 cents per word) then I'd not get any jobs later as I've not been proven within Upwork. (I still didn't take his job as not worth my time.)

 

ETA: Clients like that are not a good source of information. First, they're likely to lie to get what they want. But, even assuming their intentions are good, they have no idea how good-paying clients who respect your expertise think and behave. 

 

I hope you're exaggerating about the rate, though, because unless my math is off that's 2 cents per thousand words.


 

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
14 of 28

Jeremy Y wrote:
Am I wrong?

If you seriously want to write/edit fiction here and can demonstrate ability and experience, you're as wrong as Mr Wrong on a day trip to Wrongtown on the wrong day. 

 

Small fiction project clients are amongst the worst for leaving unreasonable feedback because they're so emotionally invested in their project and don't understand why you can't read their mind. ETA: And because no-one's paying them, they're baffled as to why it should cost them more than a feather and a couple of buttons. Yes, there are some smaller projects that could turn out fine, but it's a genuine and serious risk. (Been there, got the t-shirt.) 

 

Projects I've bid on have been awarded to a newbie (as in no feedback whatsoever) because the newbie has knowledge of XX.  And being in the US, you have a much larger pool of projects to draw on than I do.

Active Member
Jeremy Y Member Since: Dec 2, 2018
15 of 28
Good to know, Kim. Thanks. And thanks to everyone else too for all the great input.

I want to be accurate, so I re-checked the one time I was contacted by a possible client. The job is still out there, offering $25 for 15k word short stories. So I was wrong... it wasn't 0.002 per word, but 0.001666. Guess I rounded up. Smiley Tongue

ETA: Understand the confusion of what you were asking now from my earlier post -- I should have simply said 0.002 or 0.2 cents. My bad.
Ace Contributor
Charles M Member Since: Sep 8, 2017
16 of 28

Jeremy,

 

May I suggest one thing?  In your profile, you list that you have written "novels and numerous short stories," and have edited "100's" of projects - that may not be an exact quote, but it's close enough.  I would suggest listing your actual publications: 

 

-Which novels have been published?  What are their titles?  Are they on Amazon?  What are their sales ranks?

-Where are your short stories published?  Periodicals?  Anthologies?  

 

While you obviously cannot list every project, it might benefit you to list a few of them.  This gives clients an idea of what you have actually accomplished, rather than what you claim to have accomplished.

 

Just my two cents, for what they're worth.

 

Active Member
Jeremy Y Member Since: Dec 2, 2018
17 of 28

Charles, I took your advice. Please let me know if my profile looks better. Others are welcome to chime in as well... or maybe this is worth a separate forum thread to discuss what works (or doesn't) in one's profile? *shrug*

Ace Contributor
Charles M Member Since: Sep 8, 2017
18 of 28

Perhaps another thread would be good, but since the subject is "Give it to Me Straight," I suppose we're still okay.  The references are a nice touch. However, you wrote, "I've completed novels and am penning more, which I'm considering sending to publishers."  That screams, "I've never had my novels published!"  If that's the case, take any references to being a novelist off your profile.  You don't want people saying, "Well, he calls himself a novelist, but he clearly isn't, so I don't think I can trust him." 

 

 Again, just my two cents, for what they're worth.    

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
19 of 28

Charles M wrote:

Perhaps another thread would be good, but since the subject is "Give it to Me Straight," I suppose we're still okay.  The references are a nice touch. However, you wrote, "I've completed novels and am penning more, which I'm considering sending to publishers."  That screams, "I've never had my novels published!"  If that's the case, take any references to being a novelist off your profile.  You don't want people saying, "Well, he calls himself a novelist, but he clearly isn't, so I don't think I can trust him." 

 

 Again, just my two cents, for what they're worth.    


Good point. Clients are looking for someone to solve a problem. Their only interest is "What can this freelancer do for me?" If something doesn't demonstrate that you can deliver results, it isn't worth mentioning. 

Active Member
Jeremy Y Member Since: Dec 2, 2018
20 of 28
Since anyone can self-publish garage these days, I take issue with calling such a person a "novelist" if they can't write. Whereas someone who can write (and has written novels) yet hasn't gone the self-publish route is NOT called a novelist? That seems very wrong to me.

Still, I get what you're saying. Hmm. I'm torn.
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