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Serious clients: gone for good?

Active Member
Lucas D Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
1 of 9

Yes I know about free market, being free to pay and receive what you want. Cheap projects and clients have always been part of the game. But they were mixed with serious projects / budgets and good clients at least. Now all I see are ridiculous budgets from sneak clients trying to get the best of you.

 

And that happened in a very short time. Yes there are good and bad seasons for freelancers but I've been working on good contracts for the last 3-4 years.

 

It all changed for me in the last few weeks, a flood of cheap stuff (I mean, 3D animation projects for $10?? Come on!), no proposals, no answer to proposals, nothing.

 

I'm giving another try with the paid plan after buying more than 80 connects without a single feedback.

 

Do you guys think this is the new "reality" or maybe just a transition moment?

Active Member
Keith T Member Since: Apr 26, 2016
2 of 9

I completely agree... but for the past few months, and even since early this year, all the good jobs have disappeared.. 

 

I do graphic design.  People now want GREAT books cover for $5… 10 hours – 30 hours work for $5…

Example… Illustrate an entire children’s book… and they give examples of some of the BEST and HIGHLY paid illustrators in the world as the quality they want, put will pay. $300 for 20 – 30 double page illustrations, yet those ‘world class’ illustrators charge $30,000 - $100,000 and give 1 year or more timeframe to do do the work... but people want that same quality done in 3 weeks!!!

I have had barely any work this year (2019) from Upwork, as there is nothing worthwhile applying for anymore on this website.

I am very busy elsewhere in my life, and make very good money from stocks, BUT, I like to keep my options open and really enjoyed the previous clients I found, the very interesting design/illustration work I had on Upwork ( And even more so on Elance before it, etc)

 

Particularly I have noticed since the “pay for connects” was introduced there has been a HUGE decrease in quality work jobs posted.

 

** I have been following Upwork’s stock price since it went public… there is a VERY distinct correlation between the introduction of paid connects, and the downward spiral of the stock price. Thankfully I didn’t buy any.

 

Active Member
Lucas D Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
3 of 9

I'm not sure it's all about the connects being paid now, but I actually thought that could be a good thing to keep away cheap projects. I couldn't be more wrong.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 9

re: "I'm not sure it's all about the connects being paid now, but I actually thought that could be a good thing to keep away cheap projects. I couldn't be more wrong."

 

My ideal version of Upwork - what I would like to see - is that it is the "go to place" for clients to post jobs.

 

I would like to see Upwork be the preferred place for people to post cheap jobs AND medium-level jobs AND very large jobs.

 

Then freelancers have even more jobs available to them. Freelancers who like to do short, cheap jobs could work on those jobs, and freelancers who don't like those kinds of jobs could just skip them.

 

I personally like to do BOTH types of jobs. There are plenty of jobs that I work on that are very short, only a half hour or hour of time involved.

 

I don't think Upwork should try to eliminate all small jobs. But I do believe they want to focus more on the bigger jobs.

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
5 of 9

Lucas, you're right.  It isn't the paid connects that are causing the downturn in number of quality jobs / serious buyers.  U. decided to charge buyers monthly fees if they:

 

1. Wanted access to reporting tools, etc. they once got for free.  While U. argues the same tools are still available, buyer reports are that the new form in which they are delivered is unwieldy at best.

2.  Wanted to invite 3-15 FLers to their job

3. Both these can be 'resolved' by buyers forking over $50 per month

 

In other words, Upwork is driving away buyers.  Go figure ...

 

Have a read thru some of the threads in both Clients and Announcement Forums.

 

IMHO, paid connects are a plus.  It helps to eliminate the bot bids and the utterly incompetent FLers.

Ace Contributor
Michelle T Member Since: Mar 28, 2018
6 of 9

Wendy C wrote:

Lucas, you're right.  It isn't the paid connects that are causing the downturn in number of quality jobs / serious buyers.  U. decided to charge buyers monthly fees if they:

 

1. Wanted access to reporting tools, etc. they once got for free.  While U. argues the same tools are still available, buyer reports are that the new form in which they are delivered is unwieldy at best.

2.  Wanted to invite 3-15 FLers to their job

3. Both these can be 'resolved' by buyers forking over $50 per month

 

In other words, Upwork is driving away buyers.  Go figure ...

 

Have a read thru some of the threads in both Clients and Announcement Forums.

 

IMHO, paid connects are a plus.  It helps to eliminate the bot bids and the utterly incompetent FLers.


I've been wondering about this. In the last few weeks, I'm seeing many ads in my Facebook feed targeting more clients for Upwork. I'm not the target market since I'm a freelancer and not a potential client so the targeting seems a little off. It did make me wonder if they've been having problems getting or maintaining clients. I guess time will tell.

Ace Contributor
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
7 of 9

Lucas,

 

I'm in agreement with pretty much all the comments here so far.

In my niche (content/copy writing), just like yours, the worthwhile jobs have absolutely cratered harder, faster and deeper than I've ever experienced in my many Upwork years. (for some context- In the past 5 years or so I would regularly bid on 1-3 good jobs per day with expected action on at least 1; now if I come across 1 decent job per week, it's immediately swamped with bids and likely not worth the time)

Unfortunately, due to the changes on both sides, for us freelancers it may be time to fish or cut bait.

 

Work smart, work safe!

 

 

Active Member
Lucas D Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
8 of 9

Another thing that really bothers me is this ($) ($$) ($$$) system the way it is now.

 

I can't understand the logic behind it. I mean you give the client the option:

 

$$$ Expert level I am willing to pay higher rates for the most experienced freelancers

 

But then you allow the same client to break the rule and set a ridiculous budget anyway? It's not the client or Upwork who decide on the standart rate for a type of job, it's the market around us.

 

I mean every serious designer knows, for example, that a professional logo design could never be done for $5 (yes, five dollars budgets, they are everywhere now) so if the client is REALLY "willing to pay higher rates for the most experienced freelancers" you need to set a standard or this filter doesn't even make sense. 

Active Member
Raz T Member Since: Mar 12, 2016
9 of 9

Yeah, I agree. I've definitely noticed a sharp decline in overall budgets of jobs posted (as well as jobs that I generally apply to, that involve server management and website migrations) I see a lot less of these posted nowadays. And I think there are two main reasons, firstly Upwork changing the client plans in unfair way (and in return, making a lot of em ditch UW as a result), then there's UW directly encouraging & supporting cheap labor (which is beyond ridiculous!) The way I see it, the solution to making UW more profitable is not charging clients & freelancers more fees, but to get rid of cheap labor (and stop supporting it!) I think they'd be best dropping the "entry level" title, keeping only intermidate and expert (and set minimums to each!), I.E $15 an hour/$25 fixed minimum (for intermidate) and $25 an hour/$50 fixed for expert (and disallow freelancerrs to bid any less than said minimums), and the "US Only" section is downright discriminatory also! I think it should be scrapped (or at the very least, be reserved only for US jobs that require the physical presence of the freelancer/s involved). I get that there could be Americans who only wanna work with Americans, but encouraging this bias is unfair (and hurts international freelancers!), if such an American posts a job that is accessible to all freelancers, then there's always a chance he could be swayed to hire a Non-American for the job, but when this bias is encouraged, there's no such chance, and it only hurts non-US freelancers.

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