Understood...I do the same thing in response to certain jobs.
There was a category on Elance for for this situation. The client could indicate for budget: Not Sure
Could that be an option?
I also see budgets of !0 or $20 listed for projects (media production, editing) that will take many hours, and I don't see any way to tell if that's supposed to be an hourly rate, or if they are looking for people in other countries that will work for 2 dollars an hour, or if they just have no clue. The "Not Sure" would be helpful in such cases, it seems.
I think it WOULD be helpful to have a way for a clients to really indicate that they're "not sure" about the budget. Because LOTS of clients are not sure, and lots of contractors assume that a specified budget is more "set in stone" than it really is.
@Preston H wrote:
How on Earth are you going to figure out an accurate figure for how much it would cost to do this?
This has been covered many times already. If a client can't come up with a meaningful fixed priced, the professional thing to do is post it as an hourly job.
If I see a job like this posted as a fixed-price contract
That's a big if on a site like Upwork. If a client posts a $5 job, it's going to be filtered out of all of my search results. It makes zero sense on Upwork for a client to behave that way.
re: "This has been covered many times already. If a client can't come up with a meaningful fixed priced, the professional thing to do is post it as an hourly job."
Always good advice.
re: "If a client posts a $5 job, it's going to be filtered out of all of my search results. It makes zero sense on Upwork for a client to behave that way."
It is a BAD IDEA for clients to do this.
But I have seen people do this, including people I know personally and whose intention was to pay a reasonable amount, not $5.00.
I think the Upwork client-side interface makes this tactical error more likely than many contractors realize.
I've been lurking on this site for YEARS and haven't done a single job yet. Why? Insanely low budgets. I mean I recently saw a job which is exactly my specialization (not writing, but a business support service) for which I often get paid $2,200 in the "real world". It's about 50 hours work, and they were looking for an expert. I have graduated from one of the top universities in the world, have done this kind of project many times, always pleased the client, and have glowing references from prominent firms, so what else could you ask her?
Can you guess the budget for this "expert"? $1 an hour.
Seriously... I just come here for the LOLZ now.
Seriously, there's no reason to be here if you don't want to make money. There are more effective ways to get laughs.
I genuinely think you could make a lot of money here if you wanted to.
Just ignore the "insanely low budgets."
I turn down two or three client-initiated invitations every week from clients who ask me to work on jobs at my posted hourly rate. These are high-budget projects, ranging from a few hundred to over $10,000.
Most of the invitations I turn down are for jobs that are highly appropriate for my skills and interests. But sometimes I'm invited to work on jobs outside my skill area, any many of those jobs are exactly the type of jobs you profess to be interested in on you profile page. Of course I'm turning these invitations down, but these clients must be hiring somebody else. I think if you made an effort to finish a few jobs, thus making your profile appealing to prospective high-end clients, then some of these invitations would be going to you.
I literally would be unaware of the low-budget jobs were it not for my habitual participation in the community forum. I simply don't encounter them in my actual work.
I'm GLAD that low-budget jobs are present on Upwork, because it means that there are jobs that fit a wide variety of clients and contractors. But based on my own experience, I know there's a lot more on Upwork than just "low budgets."
I just haven't seen any evidence that it's possible. Everything I've seen has been offering from 1 to 20% of real world rates. If I just took these jobs anyway and kept busy all year, I'd struggle to make $10K.
And that's the best case scenario. I would make double that working at Mcdonalds.
re: "everything I've seen has been offering from 1 to 20% of real world rates."
I believe you when you describe what you have seen.
But there's a whole other side of Upwork that exists outside of what you have seen.
And it's not just me. There are large numbers of contractors who earn a lot here. Representing diverse job skills areas, including your own. Some of them participate in the Community Forum. Most do not.
Using my client profile, I just did a search and found many pages of contractors working in your skill area, including people based in London, who have worked hundreds or even thousands of hours, and have and hourly rate as high or higher than yours.
I have also talked with other contractors, as part of discussion group not part of this Forum, who work exclusively through Upwork, an whose clients are high-budget clients. Many contractors earn significantly more than $100,000/year.
Maybe some of this is exclusively within the realm of private invites. I really don't know. I'm not as in touch with public job postings as I used to be.