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carolynsorrell
Community Member

Part of an Agency?

I have been working on upwork for years and am a top producer. So people ask me every day to work on their projects. Recently a guy asked me if I wanted to be part of a new agency he was forming on upwork so I joined. Now it doesnt seem like clients are contacting me very much anymore. 

 

Does being part of an agency affect the way clients perceive you? or your hire rates? 

9 REPLIES 9
petra_r
Community Member


Carolyn S wrote:

 

Does being part of an agency affect the way clients perceive you? or your hire rates? 


In my opinion, yes.

As a client, I would not touch an agency freelancer with someone else's bargepole, and as a freelancer, there is no way in the world I would dream of joining an agency. Many clients decline agency freelancers' proposals unread.

 

Why get hired less and earn less? Seems crazy to me.

 

You're a top-rated freelancer in your own right and you decided to be associated with an outfit that has no history and a 0% hire rate.


Why in the world would anyone want to do something like that, ever?

 

You make some good points. I think you may be right. Now I need to know how to get out of being part of an agency...lol--


Petra R wrote:

Carolyn S wrote:

 

Does being part of an agency affect the way clients perceive you? or your hire rates? 


In my opinion, yes.

As a client, I would not touch an agency freelancer with someone else's bargepole, and as a freelancer, there is no way in the world I would dream of joining an agency. Many clients decline agency freelancers' proposals unread.

 

Why get hired less and earn less? Seems crazy to me.

 

 


So curious what the logic or incentive is for upwork supporting an agency model? As I understand the existing agency model (based on reading the forums) - the agency bids out the work, client pays the agency via Upwork and agency pays the Upwork freelancer outside of Upwork?  

 

The only thing that makes any  sense in this equation is fraud or freelancers who can save the 20% upwork takes by giving 10% to the agency and being paid directly? (All math is made up by me).

Thanks Miriam, your math seems sound to me...lol- I dont really get it either and have never thought about joining an agency but this guy approached me and he seemed really nice so I went for it and then later had second thoughts.

 

Plus, I'm going in the hospital next week and I dont want to be responsible for some project somewhere. I can manage my own workload okay. But not this other stuff. 


Miriam H wrote:

The only thing that makes any  sense in this equation is fraud or freelancers who can save the 20% upwork takes by giving 10% to the agency and being paid directly? (All math is made up by me).


Well no, because the agency has to pay the 20% - it isn't as if nobody pays it. The client hires the freelancer through the agency at a price agreed between client and agency, the client pays the agency (through Upwork, who take their usual cut, and the agency then takes a (usually significant) chunk before passing on what's left to the freelancer. Or not. That's the other thing, the payment between the agency and the freelancer is out of Upwork's hands. If the client pays agency and agency keeps the money, that's the end of it.

 


Miriam H wrote:


So curious what the logic or incentive is for upwork supporting an agency model?


It works for existing (off Upwork) businesses, where the agency workers are employees, on a salary.

Say someone has a software firm with 5 staff, they may look for business on Upwork, the agency gets paid, the employees doing the work  carry on getting their salary.

Or for a group of friends with complimentary skills who want to pool resources.

Some freelancers haven't got the business skills to write good proposals or may not even speak English. Or quite simply people who haven't got their own bank account for example.


Petra R wrote:

Miriam H wrote:

The only thing that makes any  sense in this equation is fraud or freelancers who can save the 20% upwork takes by giving 10% to the agency and being paid directly? (All math is made up by me).


Well no, because the agency has to pay the 20% - it isn't as if nobody pays it. The client hires the freelancer through the agency at a price agreed between client and agency, the client pays the agency (through Upwork, who take their usual cut, and the agency then takes a (usually significant) chunk before passing on what's left to the freelancer. Or not. That's the other thing, the payment between the agency and the freelancer is out of Upwork's hands. If the client pays agency and agency keeps the money, that's the end of it.

 


 By fraud, I didn't mean to imply anything untoward as it relates to Upwork. I understand the agency pays the 20% from their earnings. I was looking at it from the freelancer prespective, where they are able to save the 20% because the agency payment to them may be preferable to Upwork - depending on what is charged.  I guess it just seems odd for existing, successful Upwork freelancers to work for an agency.  I guess it makes sense if you have freelancers outside of the Upwork ecosystem.

 

Thanks for clarifying, I'm just trying to understand the appeal for a current, succesful Upwork freelancer. The answer is probably, there isn't one for that use case.

I don't follow you... Who saves 20% how?

 


Miriam H wrote:


 By fraud, I didn't mean to imply anything untoward as it relates to Upwork. I understand the agency pays the 20% from their earnings. I was looking at it from the freelancer prespective, where they are able to save the 20% because the agency payment to them may be preferable to Upwork - depending on what is charged. 


Jim, the client, wants a widget. Agency offers widget to Jim for $ 100 and the client hires Jane, the "freelancer" through the agency for $ 100.

 

Jim pays the agency $ 100, Upwork takes 20%, leaves $ 80 in the agency's hands, who pays $ 70 or $ 60 or whatever they see fit to Jane outside the platform.

 

Who saves anything?

 


Petra R wrote:

I don't follow you... Who saves 20% how?

 


Miriam H wrote:


 By fraud, I didn't mean to imply anything untoward as it relates to Upwork. I understand the agency pays the 20% from their earnings. I was looking at it from the freelancer prespective, where they are able to save the 20% because the agency payment to them may be preferable to Upwork - depending on what is charged. 


Jim, the client, wants a widget. Agency offers widget to Jim for $ 100 and the client hires Jane, the "freelancer" through the agency for $ 100.

 

Jim pays the agency $ 100, Upwork takes 20%, leaves $ 80 in the agency's hands, who pays $ 70 or $ 60 or whatever they see fit to Jane outside the platform.

 

Who saves anything?

 


I guess in my scenario, it depends if the agency owner is more of a project manager - he charges 100 - nets 80 - but has a team that will work for 20. So he earns 60 and the team earns 20, which if they charged 20 on upwork, would only be 16.

 

This is why I don't offer financial modeling services. 


Miriam H wrote:

This is why I don't offer financial modeling services. 


I see 😄

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