lyambarreau
Member

Retain New Clients

Hola!

 

So, I usually apply for jobs posted by new clients. Because I have steady work, I can afford to lose Connects, and sometimes new clients come through. Also, less competition and by less...I'm usually the only applicant. 

 

Most jobs I'm seeing posted by new clients (or more specifically clients who haven't verified their payment method) receive a shockingly low number of applicants.

 

Why? Because freelancers don't want to waste their Connects.

 

The solution? Any jobs posted by clients who are new and/or haven't verified their payment method should require no Connects to apply. 

 

If nothing's done about this, new clients who may be honest and willing will leave simply due to the lack of applicants. 

 

You can argue quality this, quality that...blah blah blah...but I'm sure clients would prefer to have 50 applicants with 5% being skilled, rather than no applicants. 

 

I think this is pretty important and would appreciate input.

 

Cheers!

Lyam

22 REPLIES 22
yitwail
Member


@Lyam B wrote:

 

Most jobs I'm seeing posted by new clients (or more specifically clients who haven't verified their payment method) receive a shockingly low number of applicants.

 

Why? Because freelancers don't want to waste their Connects.


 Lyam, I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion. I could also say something sarcastic about the situation, but will hold my peace.

 

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
ago_g
Member

Yeah, that sounds like it could work out well. No connects needed for clients with no verified payment method and/or no history/feeback.

 

"New clients" can get a little better chance at finding someone (IF they are a real deal client) and freelancers don't lose any connects while taking yet another chance.

 

Lets face it, every job any freelancer applies to has the chance to waste connects just the same. But if it is another fake job post with no real intention of hiring, at least the freelancers only lose some time in applying and can continue without further losses.

Thanks for the input!

 

I honestly think this would make a positive change on clients, freelancers and Upwork.

Good suggestion Lyam, I also take advantage of the situation you described.

 

But how about the client just waits until payment method is verified. It doesn't take a long time even for a new client. Also, if something goes wrong for whatever the reason, you have no coverage whatsoever by any of the 2 Upwork guarantees. Rather than going in that direction, I would push for clients to get their payment method verified as a mandatory requirement.

 

This is a business environment, not "feel up and buy" (a colloquial slang in my country). I know many will argue that clients sometimes want to feel out the environment and potential offerings from freelancers. Well I am not for that either. In the same way we (freelancers) did our due diligence before and after joining the platform, to see what jobs exist, categories, numbers, opportunities, rates, etc; a client also has the same access and even more to all these areas and tools on the platform. A client can investigate these matters easily before posting a job. When you are ready to post a job - get your payment method verified.

 

And that is what actually wastes freelancers' connects - clients who did not come here to do business.

My two cents.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----

Setu, a while back, when Connects were first introduced. I argued the exact same. I said before clients should be allowed to post, they MUST verify a payment method. I think Garnor said they were implementing things to safeguard Connects, but making verifying payment as a mandatory procedure was not something they were pursuing. Or something along those lines...

I personally think it should be mandatory in order for the client to post a job, since hiring someone to get your job done was the reason you came to the platform. I am not sure what "verification" entails, and why some legitimate clients would opt not to do it, so I cannot comment on that.

But in regard to Upwork's guarantees, and the fact they are dependent on client payment verification; I find it contrary that they do not make it mandatory. Mods and CS are always warning you to ensure that the payment method is verified in order to have some form of redress. Yet the system has no intention of making this same "warning" mandatory - in the way of forced payment verification.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

Completely agree. Also, imagine the reduction of spam and scam listings if clients had to verify their payment details before posting. They wouldn't be able to create account after account after account. 

 

Clients can get a "feel" for Upwork without posting a job, but they should have to verify their payment if they post a job. If they don't verify, to me, it means they aren't willing to go ahead with the contract and are timewasters. 

 

If Upwork aren't in favour of making payment verification mandatory, then surely they can simply the client interface so 'payment verification' pops up a lot, as in to persuade them to verify, even if it's a friendly fact like, "57% more freelancers will apply to payment-verified jobs"

***Parts retracted since it may be offensive to the OP***

I like that last idea of the informative but annoying pop-up 🙂

Go back and read your OP, and see how Upwork was seeping into your brain. How you were engineering an Upwork solution to patch a problem you once spoke about in detail 🙂

We have to endeavour not to relent until the platform works as it should, not let Upwork's broken environment change how we looked at things.

Nice discussion Lyam.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----


@Setu M wrote:
I personally think it should be mandatory in order for the client to post a job, since hiring someone to get your job done was the reason you came to the platform. I am not sure what "verification" entails, and why some legitimate clients would opt not to do it, so I cannot comment on that.

But in regard to Upwork's guarantees, and the fact they are dependent on client payment verification; I find it contrary that they do not make it mandatory. Mods and CS are always warning you to ensure that the payment method is verified in order to have some form of redress. Yet the system has no intention of making this same "warning" mandatory - in the way of forced payment verification.

 I was literally just about to post this!! Bang on.

ago_g
Member

What I'm wondering is how much it costs for a client to verify their payment method?

 

Previously I would think it was a good idea but not anymore. "Clients have to verify their payment methods before they can post". << That idea.

 

If it costs nothing to verify payments, the idea "no posting without verifying first" simply won't work. Even clients WITH verified payment methods, ratings, and great feedback have gone vanishing act just the same as clients without these things. It costs a "client" nothing but some extra time and/or a worthless or nearly empty payment method to verify. Where's the "loss" or "penalty" for the client in posting scam / fake jobs?

 

If it does cost something, the idea MIGHT drive off clients. More costs, fees, expenses, etc and whatever else anyone wants to call it, really wouldn't help much at all. Especially if any given client had anything resembling a bad experience here on upwork. For example, freelancers applying to jobs that they have no useful skills for. A set of "recommended freelancers" to the client with the same lack of required skills. Honestly, how many times have most or all of us seen these complaints all over these forums? A client specifies they want a freelancer from a specific country / place. They get applications from everywhere without any hint of the freelancer reading the job post. Why would a client that has read things on these forums bother paying for that?

 

 

But that first idea here from Lyam of costing freelancers zero connects when the client has no verified payment method...... that I don't really see a problem with. Or at least not with freelancers that are starting out and/or freelancers that wish to take chances. Yes, the clients would get flooded with applications. But they'll also have a much bigger pool to pick from. And it didn't cost anyone other than the time it takes to post (clients) and the time it takes to apply (freelancers). Do note that even clients have to start somewhere too. But if payments are made to a freelancer for completed work via going after posts by these "new clients", upwork gains too in all this. That 10% fee is still there upwork.

 

Other than that, I just hope freelancers that go after these "new client" job posts know not to start working until the payment method of the client IS verified. That, and other basic common things to look out for.

@ Santiago,

 

  1. I / We do not know if verification costs the client, or how much.
  2. Verification DOES cut down on spam jobs, and especially SCAM jobs.
  3. Verification is unlikely to reduce legitimate job posts - this is just logical.
  4. Not using connects is a backward step, especially since most here have acknowledged and benefited from a reduction in spam applications. The client would rather useful applications than not.
  5. This statement

"Other than that, I just hope freelancers that go after these "new client" job posts know not to start working until the payment method of the client IS verified. That, and other basic common things to look out for."

 

defeats all the other points you made above, which is the essence of what I am saying. If freelancers should not start working until payment verification, then clients still have to verify. Therefore I could just have responded to this point alone.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
kugrin
Member

While I do believe that making the payment verification mandatory (which is free, in fact Upwork sends 8 cents or so to verify the credit card) would reduce the spam postings quite drastically, I also believe it would greatly increase the barrier of entry for legitimate new clients, which is why I find Lyam's proposals of no connects great. I know that verifying a payment method seems like such an easy thing to do, and it is, but when I go shopping, I wouldn't verify my credit card before having found a product I want to buy, it's not different on here. In fact, I would've most likely never posted my first job had I get to verified before knowing I'd find a suitable candidate. Also, back when I verified my payment method (ca. 2010), it was not exactly intuitive or clear that I had to verify it, and I was allowed to make a hire before my verification, which was odd. That is something Upwork should not allow.

 

I think there a number of steps Upwork could introduce to encourage clients to verify their payment without forcing them to do so, which would be a win win for all parties involved. Clients, payment verified or not, should not be allowed to post 20+ jobs without ever making a hire. Limit it to 3 posts for unverified clients, and 10 for verified ones. If someone can't find a suitable candidate after posting 10 ads, they never will and are just wasting resources. Get rid of them. 

ago_g
Member

@ Setu

 

1) Yeah.... that's why I asked!! Smiley LOL  With any luck, someone does know it and will eventually answer that one. Maybe?!! No idea !! hahahahaha

 

2) When did reducing spam / fake posts happen?? I still see plenty of clients with verified payment methods, feedback, and ratings. They posted a job or more and went vanishing act. How's that not spam / fake posts? The job wasn't closed or anything. Now it's a loss of everyones time and connects.

 

I'm looking at one right now that I applied for (currently) 19days ago. No interviews, no sign of anyone being hired. Only 2 applicants. Why bother to post that job if there's clearly no intention to hire? Really? 19 days isn't enough time to decide?!! It's really no different than the spam posts already out there from clients without payment verification, etc.

 

It's not like I wasn't qualified for that particular job. Pretty much the same story for the other freelancer that applied. If I wasn't qualified for that job, I'd never bother to waste my own time and connects appling. Common sense on my own part. But after 19 days, it still sits there with no activity. The client is showing with 19 hires and ZERO activity. Nothing showing for that post.

 

And it's not like a client with a history on this site doesn't have any chance for scamming a freelancer or more. You replied to how many posts concerning freelancers getting scammed by their client? How many of those freelancers had a case concerning a client WITH a verified payment method?

 

3) But it's also not helping to remove the junk posts. Logic aside, it's now currently listed as common fact.

 

Even with verification, clients still post jobs with no hiring intentions. I'm still looking at the one I applied to!! But that's just one. Complete WITH payment method verified, feedback, and a 5 star rating. There's nothing stopping a client from posting fake jobs. Even if their account gets suspended / closed, what's to stop them from making another one? This same mess caused me to withdraw several applications. Still lost connects.

 

4) The idea was to give both sides a chance. Clients also have to start somewhere too. How many times lately does a freelancer see a new client and skip over their post because there's no verification, feedback, ratings, etc? So where's the real chance for a client? The idea first posted was never really meant as a backwards step. But rather as a reduction of possible losses for freelancers.

 

But if veryifing their payment methods will stop application flooding because the connects come back into effect, there's some incentive. The other part is that any given client can post a really good job/offer (the assumption being that it's a real deal) and still get spammed beyond belief. Especially if freelancers are holding their connects till the end of the month. That's certainly not a new idea.

 

The other part is that payment verification didn't matter because even WITH a verified payment method, etc etc, they still post fakes.

 

5) That was just there in hopes others would spot it and pay attention. There's a good possibility that was too high a hope!! I'll let history decide!! Smiley LOL

How many of us seen the posts where someone got caught by a "client" one way or another? I seen plenty already. So at least the freelancers can't say they were not warned....... somewhere......I tried !! hahahaha

 

 

Edit:

 

Ok, the first part is answered...... Thanks Krisztina !! Smiley Very Happy

I understand the points of everyone who chimed in "for" no mandatory verification along with Lyam's OP. However how do we address the lingering point of "no guarantee" without payment verification? Both ideas are exclusive. And remember, a 'new' client carries the most risk.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----


@Setu M wrote:

I understand the points of everyone who chimed in "for" no mandatory verification along with Lyam's OP. However how do we address the lingering point of "no guarantee" without payment verification? Both ideas are exclusive. And remember, a 'new' client carries the most risk.


Quite simple, clients should not be allowed to make a hire without getting their payment method verified, at which point any legitimate client would be happy to do so, especially after having identified an awesome freelancer. My proposal is basically let them browse to some limited extent (3 posts), but do not allow them to purchase (hire) without verifying. 

Krisztina, you raise some good points in regards to mandatory payment verification. I can see it as being a little off-putting like you mentioned in your shopping online example.

 

The problem is:

 

Two examples:

 

An honest client wants to build a team on Upwork.

  • He doesn't verify payment method and posts a job
  • Only a few freelancers apply despite the listed job being popular
  • The client isn't happy with the freelancers that applied
  • Client leaves and finds freelancers elsewhere
  • Freelancers' Connects are wasted

A client joins with intent to spam and scam

  • He doesn't verify payment method and posts a job
  • Only a few freelancers apply despite the job being popular
  • The client has no intention of hiring anyone
  • Freelancers' Connects are wasted
  • Client posts another job/creates a new account
  • More Connects are wasted

Limiting clients to job posting is a good idea, but it doesn't solve the problem. And now you mention it, verifying payment method might not either. This is why I think Connects for new/unverified clients should cost nothing. 

But Lyam,

If verification is mandatory, clients cannot go around creating spam accounts - since verification would pick up duplicate accounts.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

Setu,

 

I completely agree, but it's catch 22. If payment verification is mandatory before posting a job, it could be off-putting and clients could leave. If it's not, clients may leave because freelancers are too cautious. 

 

I still think Connects should be free for new jobs. And in regards to spam/scam jobs, oDesk should employ someone (not machine) to authorise job descriptions prior to freelancers applying. 

Ok.

 

So clients should be allowed to post without payment verificaton (with a # limit) - Krisztina's idea

Application to unverified jobs should cost 0 connects - Lyam

Client should be forced to verify payment method befor hire - Krisztina

All posts should be vetted by a team consisting of humans - Lyam

 

Sound like the proposal can be forwarded to management now!? - Setu 🙂

---- easy like Sunday morning ----


@Lyam B wrote:

Krisztina, you raise some good points in regards to mandatory payment verification. I can see it as being a little off-putting like you mentioned in your shopping online example.

 

The problem is:

 

Two examples:

 

An honest client wants to build a team on Upwork.

  • He doesn't verify payment method and posts a job
  • Only a few freelancers apply despite the listed job being popular
  • The client isn't happy with the freelancers that applied
  • Client leaves and finds freelancers elsewhere
  • Freelancers' Connects are wasted

A client joins with intent to spam and scam

  • He doesn't verify payment method and posts a job
  • Only a few freelancers apply despite the job being popular
  • The client has no intention of hiring anyone
  • Freelancers' Connects are wasted
  • Client posts another job/creates a new account
  • More Connects are wasted

Limiting clients to job posting is a good idea, but it doesn't solve the problem. And now you mention it, verifying payment method might not either. This is why I think Connects for new/unverified clients should cost nothing. 


I do agree with your idea of 0 connects for application on ads without a verified payment method. It a win win.

 

I am not sure what new clients see when they sign up, but there should be a constant reminder to verify their payment method. Verifying the payment method takes a few days, which is why I would not prohibit new clients to post a job, but prohibit them from making a hire.


@Setu M wrote:

I understand the points of everyone who chimed in "for" no mandatory verification along with Lyam's OP. However how do we address the lingering point of "no guarantee" without payment verification? Both ideas are exclusive. And remember, a 'new' client carries the most risk.


Setu, a client without a verified payment method should not be allowed to make a hire! I don't understand why that is allowed by the system but should be relatively easy to fix. Either grey out the hire box, or even better, when they click on it, take them to the verify your payment method page. 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

I have been following this discussion and there are some really interesting points in it. I will be forwarding your feedback to the team.

I would just like to add that usually a client will be prompted to add and verify a payment method before sending an offer to a freelancer.

 

Thank you!

~ Valeria
Upwork