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Some reflections on the New Paid Connects Scheme

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
21 of 29

Plus ça change...

 

As an old lady, I started freelancing in 1992, before freelancing was a verb. Right from the start, the world was going to end because people were charging stupid low rates and the standard of everything was going down. And employment was going to change soon, next week, next year...

 

Yes, there have been changes but almost all of them have been superficial.  Email instead of telephones doesn't make annoying people any less annoying (for example).

 

I fully anticipate similar conversations in five years' time.

 

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
22 of 29

Kim F wrote:

Plus ça change...

 

As an old lady, I started freelancing in 1992, before freelancing was a verb. Right from the start, the world was going to end because people were charging stupid low rates and the standard of everything was going down.

 

And people writing for free were RUINING THE BUSINESS FOR EVERYONE. Since the 80s (if not earlier). They are the slowest, most ineffective business ruiners in history.

Active Member
Karolina G Member Since: Apr 20, 2018
23 of 29

Hey Guys and Gals

I'm responding for the first time ever, just wanted to give my general thoughts and feelings about paid connects. As much as I love Upwork and am very grateful for this platform, it does a great job for me, I've worked with really great clients and made some extra money here, the new connects policy seems not right to me. I do not feel like applying for jobs now. Upwork takes a significant amount of money from what we earn and I am fine with it, they do a great job and it is well deserved, but the connects paid new policy feels like a violation to me. It would be different if jobs cost 2 connects like before, then I guess I'd feel different, but not only the connects became paid but the jobs costs like 4 or 6 connects each most of them, and they are not well described, it is like blind gambling. I know it is a small amount of money to pay, and it is not that much about money, for me at least, it is just the fact... It is bothering me, just does not feel right.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
24 of 29

Karolina G wrote:

I do not feel like applying for jobs now. 

...

It is bothering me, just does not feel right.


Don't then.

As the stated purpose of the whole thing was to save clients from drowning in proposals, by not applying you are doing exactly what Upwork intended a proportion of the platform's freelancers to do.

Seems like it's working.

Active Member
Karolina G Member Since: Apr 20, 2018
25 of 29
Thanks for your response Petra and you are right, it is working and the purpose is good.
To me it seems that the change in the connects policy needs to also be reflected in the clients knowledge about their job descriptions, that they might need to give more details in their adds etc, that now it matters more than before - I do not know if they know that?

Besides I am not attacking the policy and I liked the idea when it was first announced, because that must have been hard for clients to try to pick someone from so many proposals. I just imagined it a bit different. Also I'm quite new to the entire freelancing thing and there might be a bigger picture that I might not be able to see just yet.
I just wanted to share my feelings around it and get it out of the system
I also thougt there could be maybe some reward system where you can get some connects for certain amounts earned for Upwork? That would be fun and motivating. This is just a thought I'm sure they've already exercised lots of ideas and this one too Smiley Happy it would be welcome
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
26 of 29

Someone tell me if I have the math wrong...

 

Before paid connects, each freelancer could apply to 30 gigs per month at no cost. 

If the joined the Plus Plan they could effectively get connects for $1 each so each proposal over the original thirty cost $2. So if someone wanted to apply to a total of 40 gigs per month, they would have to spend $20. 

Did I get it right?

30 proposals = free

40 proposals = $20

50 proposals= $40

60 proposals= $60

Now, each gig has a variable cost but the highest cost per proposal will be $0.90 (or 6 connects). 
Which means to apply for 30 of the highest cost gigs a person will need to spend $27.

To apply for 40, the cost will be $36, 50 will cost $45. 

Highest cost gigs
30 proposals= $27

40 proposals= $36

50 proposals= $45

60 proposals= $54

 

Someone who applies to 4-connect gigs will spend $18 for 30 proposals, $24 for 40, and $30 for 50. 
Medium costs gigs
30 proposals= $18
40 proposals= $24

50 proposals= $30

60 proposals= $36

 

So, the high-volume proposers are actually saving money under the new system. (Unless my math is wrong--which has been known to happen.)


This biggest cost increase is to those freelancers who relied solely on free connects to find gigs each month and needed to send proposals to find new gigs each month. They will now have to have "skin in the game" from the outset and adjust their business model accordingly. 

 


I'm not sure what I would have done if I had only been given a 20-connect head start when I joined Upwork. I remember buying connects to get started, but not until I had landed my first gig (which gave me some hope that I could make it as a freelancer).

 

My advice to those who are getting started now would be to consider whether the bet on yourself is worth the cost. And for those who already have a history on Upwork, it would be to adjust your fee structure to include the added costs you expect to incur from purchasing connects. If you have to send 10 proposals to earn one gig, make sure that gig is worth a $9 investment in connects. 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
27 of 29

Personally, in my sector when the change first came in i noticed a HUGE drop in proposals - pages of jobs with less than 5 proposals (i thought it was great). However, now it seems that the most ridiculous jobs that are advertised for $10 for something that should be a couple of days work is getting 20-50 proposals (anything with a relatively reasonable budget seems to have 50+ proposals within an hour). I was getting a fairly consistent amount of interviews (and in turn work) prior to the change but, now i am submitting 3-4 times the amount of proposals and getting next to no interviews! 

 

I was keen for the new system, and even now like being able to buy connects as required, but i am seeing youtubers advertise that upwork gives new users 90 free connects now? (no idea if this is true) and basically telling people to just register new accounts to keep getting free connects. I think this is resulting in MORE proposals being sent. not less as apparently intended!

 

I really hope this is just a combination of the new system settling in and a slow summer.

 

Jon

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
28 of 29

Jonathan H wrote:

I was keen for the new system, and even now like being able to buy connects as required, but i am seeing youtubers advertise that upwork gives new users 90 free connects now? (no idea if this is true) and basically telling people to just register new accounts to keep getting free connects.


New freelancers only receive 20 connects, which is the same as nothing. And if Upwork detect previous suspended users creating new accounts the accounts are removed for ToS violation, or never approved since they need to use an ID to register. So basically what those youtubers are saying is BS.

Active Member
Karolina G Member Since: Apr 20, 2018
29 of 29

Hi Tonya,

Took me a while to write, but just wanted to thank you very much for your kind response, advice and all the math you have done there for us, it helped to see your perspective.

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