Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Quality of clients on Upwork

Ace Contributor

Hi everyone! I've just moved from Elance to Upwork. I have been sending some proposals, just 6 and although I do not expect to get a contract so soon I was a little surprised by the average hourly rates paid by clients.


For most it shows around USD 4/5 an hour, some USD 10... but not higher... I know some of them might be willing to pay higher for a PM, but it's a little shocking anyway. I even found one offering USD 3/hour.


Is it viable for more senior and expensive freelancers to work on Upwork? (By expensive lets say over USD 30 an hour, although I don't consider that expensive) What has been your experience so far?


@fergus M wrote:

I've given up looking through the jobs. I'll just see what happens with invitations. I've had one already and I've only been here since May.

If that is how you plan to work here then you really don't want to get those top clients and good paying jobs. 


As for Wordpress jobs, there are many in the $1000 - $5,000 range on here. Are you saying your want more money than that?

In my experience, 90% of the clients have been great, and the rest have been okay.


But that is just my experience, of course.

@fergus M wrote:

I've given up looking through the jobs. I'll just see what happens with invitations. I've had one already and I've only been here since May.

I still have 50 connects - and received 13 invites in the past 90 days. 

If it weren't for repeat clients that contact me on a regular basis...


I'm so relieved to find this and other similar posts. I'm an Elance writer with a $40+ per hour rate. After recently returning to the newly merged platform after a stint of maternity leave, I've been utterly shocked and dismayed by the lowly payments offered on Upwork projects. There's such a tiny trickle of projects seeking so-called 'Expert' services that I don't find many jobs relevant to me. I'm hoping that as the chorus of indignation grows, Upwork will finally listen to its vital community of freelancers - and be forced to take some kind of action.

Upwork (Elance) can't force better paying clients to the site. They have to persuade them by making the site irresistible . . .



re: "They have to persuade them by making the site irresistible"


Excellent point, Nichola.


I know contractors here in the forum (and those who don't post) feel strongly about many of the issues and technical problems on Upwork.


But the number one most important thing that Upwork can do is attract quality, paying clients to the site.


Part (not all, but part) of attracting quality clients is attracting and retaining quality contractors.


But no matter what Upwork does with the interface, and no matter how bug-free it is, quality contractors won't work here if they don't find a substantial stream of quality clients.


For me, this is a real strength of Upwork... there really are many quality clients here for me. In an ideal world, every contractor would experience this as well.


In fact, attracting quality clients is far more important than filtering out low-quality clients. I can very easily avoid problems from low-quality or low-paying clients by being selective. But I can't do much with regards to careful filtering, screening or searching to find good clients if they aren't here in the first place.

A highly unlikely scenario.....


Tha powers that be in Upwork decided to send out a message to all their staff about how they wanted to make their site irresistible to clients.


Just to be on the safe side, before they sent it out, they thought they would have it proofread.


So Upwork put a job ad on the site, looking for a fluent English-speaking proofreader. 


The wonderful 'algorithm' selected a number of freelancers, who Upwork invited to interview, and the job was posted.


The site was down (for a change), but they were told little quirky facts and thanked for their patience.


When the job was posted, people applied. Unfortunately (again) due to a little bug, native English speakers were excluded from applying. Those that did manage to apply had their proposals disappear into limbo.


Of the freelancers that were invited to interview, most of their messages got 'lost', so they never replied (Upwork marked them down for their lack of responsiveness of course).


The messages that did get through went through to freelancers with very high JS scores, as they hadn't been active for a few years and had never heard of Upwork, it went into their spam folder.


When the people who were eligible to apply applications finally got through, anyone who was suitable was placed in the hidden folder. The person who posted the job had never heard of the hidden folder, so didn't think to look there.


In the end, Upwork decided that there were no suitable applicants so left the job open and just ignored it.


They decided to send the communication out anyway. Unfortunately (yet again), there was a typo (an 'ir' was missing), instead of telling all their staff to make sure that Upwork was totally irresistible to clients, they were told to make Upwork totally resistible to clients.


Which they are diligently proceeding to do.


I know what you're thinking, how ridiculous, as if anything remotely like that could ever happen.



Let's just try and help Upwork attract the sort of clients that we would all like.

Community Guru

There are top quality clients on Upwork. I have had the pleasure of working long term for 2 of them. I also have had invites from the top rated clients. I was sent one this week by one of the Upwork Recruiters to apply for. 


Unfortunately I did not have enough hours available, but it was right up my alley for work. 


I have had 10 invites in the last 90 days and I have been interviewed for almost all of the jobs I have put applications into. I have not taken the jobs or wanted them or was not hired for various reasons, but I have been interviewed for almost all of them.


The invites were all work I could do but because my time is limited to just a few hours many did not fit into what I was looking for. When you get down to only wanting 10 hours a week to work around your other work it is a bit trickier.



But my point here is that yes there are some low ball jobs, but there are a lot of Top Rated Clients.


I mentioned previously in a post earlier in this thread, that a lot of you have yourselves set to Private, which you will not be found if you have your profile hidden.


If you don't want to share with outside of Upwork put yourself to available and to be viewed only on Upwork, but if you set your profile to private they aren't going to find you on the site.

I figure it's the same as Elance. On the surface, it looks like junk, but once you start getting invites and regular customers and all that, you start to see the value.


Got an invite yesterday addressed to me that seems interesting, so we'll see about that one. It's picking up for me, so maybe there is a waiting period for noobs and Elancers got their profiles ported but the algorithms needed some time to rank us and "understand" our stats. 


I still have 114 connects and need to waste some before the rollover!



Suzanne, I hope your comments were not directed at me.


My profile is not set to private (nor have I migrated from Elance. I have two separate accounts.). Since oDesk became Upwork,  I have had two invitations that I have taken up and completed  and then there were a whole lot more that were scams., So clearly the Upwork algorithm considered my skills as good to go for those.


I have had one or two other jobs that although correctly paid, can only be described as ephemeral.


At the risk of provoking Upworklancers' wrath -  in the last couple of weeks, even in Elance's death throes, I have made 1000% more on that site than I have here.


Upwork should take into account that the site needs more than just a few quality clients to make it successful. Because even if they make money from crap clients and crap freelancers - eventually they will be left with dust, not gold in the bank. 





My comments were not directed at you. It was a general statement to everyone. As far as clients. The changes on Upwork have been hard on us all. There are good clients here was all I was trying to make a point of. 


The comment on those who have their profile private, see my post earlier on. There was so folks in this thread who stated they weren't getting invites. All my point was is if they have their profiles set to private they aren't going to get invites.

People don't get invites even if their profiles are  public, which was my point.

I get private invites.

@Nichola L wrote:

People don't get invites even if their profiles are  public, which was my point.



Did you even read my post and a couple other posts about how many invites they have received?


People do get invites. You just have to keep applying and writing a good cover letter, and the invites come.


I was sent three invites this week alone. As well as I applied for several jobs that I was interviewed for.


There have been some rough times for everyone. We woke up one morning to a whole new site and everything changed and the invites all of sudden dropped, but over the last couple months I do see them improving.


I had 10 invites in the last 3 month. There are others in this thread Ela for one has had invites. Jean has had invites and I am sure others have.



"I was sent three invites this week alone."

Yes, but three invites a week, frankly, is crap. On Elance I was getting half a dozen a day before the rundown of the site kicked in, and even now it's more than three a week. Given the quality of the average job on any freelancing site, if you're getting three a week how many are going to be worth bidding for? Out of 20 invites on Elance I'd submit proposals for maybe two or three


So far I've had no invites here at all, and one email with a recommended job that was "a good match" for me. It was offering $10 for 1,000 words. Not a chance.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

I've suddenly got five or six invites in the last couple of days - one of which has struck gold. Nothing for weeks before that though. The reason is that Upwork rotates freelancers's visibility in searches, apparently to give everyone a chance. I can confirm it really has been cyclial over the last year or so - I get nothing for ages, then suddenly for a week or so I get a flood of invites (most of which rare irrelevant, of course).


Hi Solange!


My sentiment is the same - I was very sucessful on Elance, and still get work there, but migrated my account to Upwork in mid July, and was flabbergasted by the quality and the low rates! I have sent 15 bids and had zero success in getting my bid selected.


I fear that with the merge, the number of freelancers will be so high that it will be almost impossible to get work. I also feel that Upwork is geared towards clients and NOT towards the freelancers, with the way they lower your rate so quickly if you don't get work, so in fact, they lower your chances of getting work still!


Freelancers are lowering their rates rapidly, I saw people bidding for projects that pay $2 an hour...

It's not looking good I'm afraid. I think that if Upwork don't care more about their freelancers, the quality (and naturally more expensive) ones will leave.


Looking forward to other freelancers' thoughts - this has been bugging me ever since I joined this site!



hi Einat, the fact that you're not working doesn't affect your score on Upworks. It does on Elance but not here. What's affecting your score here is the "no feedback given" you have on  your job history

Einat C wrote: with the way they lower your rate so quickly if you don't get work, so in fact, they lower your chances of getting work still!


 You keep saying that and it simply isn't true! Whether you win 100 contracts or none at all has absolutely no bearing on your job success rate, in any way, shape, or form. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada!


ONLY the outcome of your actual contracts does. Something happened with one or more of the contracts that ended since your JSS score was high to cause the drop. And / or contracts that had previously bolstered your score fell off the calculation because they became over 2 years old. Whatever caused it, it was NOT the fact that you did not win any new contracts at all.


It is a JOB SUCCESS Score



Repeating something that is wrong over and over does not eventually make it true...