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Loss making

Ace Contributor
Taha A Member Since: Mar 18, 2019
1 of 7

Hi all,


I joined Upwork on mid-February this year and have applied to 206 jobs (I bought connects for around $ 100-110). I only got 4 jobs. That is around 2% success rate only! & these jobs didn't even cover my cost of buying connects.


I can't figure out why my success rate is so miserable. Below is my applying strategy:


  • I don't consider clients with low hiring rates. Most of them are just posting jobs and forget about them so I skip these jobs. I also skip new clients to Upwork since I tried many of them and they also post the job and forget about it.
  • I only apply to jobs that I'm confident that I can complete successfully (Excel and Accounting jobs).
  • I read every job description many times to make sure I understand what the client is looking for.
  • I try my best to find client's name to address him/her with.
  • I browse client’s previous jobs to understand their main business and also look into their website if available on their posts.
  • I always write a customized cover letter for each job even though it takes time.
  • My cover letters are not long (100-150 words).
  • I don't talk much about myself on my cover letters (sometimes I don't say anything about myself at all). I try to focus on addressing the client's requirements.
  • I check my cover letter by pasting it into Microsoft Word.
  • I create samples that are close to what clients are looking for in their job description and put them as links rather than attachments so that they are at the bottom of my cover letter.
  • I'm aware that the client sees the job questions then the cover letter so I also put focus on these questions.
  • I don't bid too low nor too high (I have freelance plus account so I can see the bidding range).
  • I try to bid as early as possible so the number of competitors is still low.

Feel free to address any issues with above points or add new points that might be helpful.


The issue could be also with my profile but I'm not sure.




Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 7
Taha, your approach seems reasonable to me, though I do not address clients by name unless they give their name in the job post or I’m responding to an invitation. But if it’s any consolation, connects will soon be $0.15 each, so unlike many freelancers, this change might reduce your cost of doing business.
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Ace Contributor
Taha A Member Since: Mar 18, 2019
3 of 7

Hi John,

I think trying to find the client's name shows interest in the client and the job. Not sure how clients preceive it.

Yeah, I'm kind of happy with the change since this will reduce some competition.

Ace Contributor
Daniel M Member Since: Oct 8, 2015
4 of 7

Your method may be cool, it follows the best practices, it's intelligent, very efficient, and blah, blah, but if I enter in your profile and after scrolling down I find out that you are charging ridiculous (for not saying humiliating) amounts such as $5 or even $1 for entire projects, that's the perceived value I have from you: "the work quality of this guy is worth $1 - $5", and thus, I will automatically close your profile. 

And even if I was a poor client, I would keep my little money with me rather than investing wasting it on such cheap quality work, unless I was planning to scam you.

And yes, you may be great on your field, I don't know, but if your profile is saying that a bag of peanuts is more valuable than a hour of your time, your hiring rate will follow accordingly.

Ace Contributor
Taha A Member Since: Mar 18, 2019
5 of 7

These two jobs were only 20 minutes jobs. That is why their rates are low. I was trying to get some good feedback. My last job was worth $ 60 so not sure if this will change clients view.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
6 of 7

It sounds like your proposals are highly detailed, but for me, your profile doesn't sound like there's anything special about you - it just says that you know how to automate Google and Excel spreadsheets. Lots of people know how to use these programmes. You talk about why automation is a good idea, but presumably your potential clients already know this, or they wouldn't be posting a project in the first place. You need to say why they should hire YOU and not one of your competitors. Frankly, the samples that you've posted aren't impressive, either - they just look like the sort of thing that anyone with a basic knowledge of Excel could achieve. You need to up your game.

Ace Contributor
Taha A Member Since: Mar 18, 2019
7 of 7

Hi Christine,

Thank you very much for your time & advise. I'll work on expanding my profile and adding better samples.