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miss_a_beam
Community Member

The problem with Upwork

Hi I'm new on Upwork, I the only one who thinks we should be given free Connects or at least more than 20 free Connects. After finding out about how connects work on Upwork it doesn't make sense to me. We're given 20 free connects but some connects take 6. So how many proposals can you reasonably make without paying. It is troubling if you make your living do small quick jobs. As it requires making many proposals to multiple people. And how much of those people are going to hire you? Some jobs (usually the most appealing) have like 30+ proposals made. Not to mention it's not like you are going to get refunded if you're not hired. How much money are going to spend trying to GET A JOB. If you are unemployed that's a luxury you can't afford.
22 REPLIES 22
florydev
Community Member

You are not the only one.  You are easily in the majority.  It might be even the vast majority.

 

Being a freelancer is scary.  It is something I would only advise someone to do if they are prepared for it and understand what they are getting into.  You have to market yourself all the time and will likely have to invent new ways to market yourself on a constant basis.

 

The way Upwork is you will likely have to pay to find a project to work.  I think it is important, for our mindset, to not to call them jobs (I still do sometimes).  You don't work for your clients, you work with them.  You are your own employer.

 

For me, Upwork is not a reliable source of income.  But nothing else is either.  If I wanted a reliable source of income I would go work for someone.  What I want is control.  With Upwork, right now, I believe I mostly have control.  I can bid on projects that make sense for me and I can choose what I bid.  If UW becomes more of a burden to me, I will leave it behind.

 

Because your profile is private I don't know what you do or how long you have been doing it.  If you have something you are really great at though, I suggest you look for projects that when you see them, you think I can absolutely destroy that, and you apply only to those.  You want to use your connects strategically but not sparingly.

 

You want to write a proposal that tells that client that you are not only great for the job but you are the only person for that job.  You need to catch their eye with the first two lines so that they see that on the review screen.  Your profile needs to back that up completely, this is the THING Akhera does and she is awesome at it.

 

The reason that connects are paid is that there are too many people on Upwork that, no matter how awesome they are, cannot sell themselves at all.  They are just inundating the client with pointless proposals.  There are a lot of people who are not awesome at the thing they are selling themselves about.  You have to be different than that.

 

My biggest problem with the new paid connects is that it could be a barrier to someone who is new but is also awesome.  I don't have an answer for it, I just hope that if you are awesome you work you way through it.

like this response. It has pure sense.

Yes I love what you said about the connects creating a barrier for some individuals!!!

Loved your reply, it is very comprehensive and very objective ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Yet, there is one factor i disagree with: charging for applications.

 

I even escalated this situation to the highest company member possible (yes, it went high) by the end of 2019; and that man was very smart, listening, and caring enough to understand the argument and help fall back that policy as soon as he could.

 

It is understandable that having a lot of people may confuse the offerors, but while it is true there will be many freelancers with not enough skills, there is also the fact that "talented" has a very subjective element to it, one person may be good enough though one contractor may not feel it so whilst that very same freelancer could be the best for other similar (or even equal) jobs, and how can you tell whether a newcommer is good?

 

There is also the fact that becoming "good" requires not only having a grading, trayectory, and advertizing yourself properly but making an insane amount of tests, what happens when a professional is good at many things? responding to all of them would make hi/her look either a cheater or overprofiled, I know this person who attained 99% on a hardcore mathematical exam requiring him/her to respond 200 questions within 1.5 seconds each.. and he was dismissed anyway.

 

There is a limit to what should be considered "good policies", charging applicants (and by extension: those who just joined, needing money) was not one of them.

 

The different amount of connects is a better solution, yet, it must be improved, you will find jobs with $5 payments charging 6 connects whereas $35 jobs will only chage one. This clearly aims to a desire of oversquishing the frelancers' pockets rather than taking measures to prevent "poor performers".

 

upWork is a great place, but the objective of every company is making money; nothing else. What do you do when you're leading the market, charging up to 20% comission to freelancers (which is considered usury in many countries) and exploited every single profiting alternative?

 

Make no mistake: There is a difference between understanding their policies and justifying everything they do. Users as a community should stay vigilant; whoever said it: "the price of freedom is perpetual vigilance", so know when the change is good and know when they're going too far..

 

Cheers.

wlyonsatl
Freelancer Plus

Akhera,

 

Upwork has said a reason for making connects relatively more expensive for freelancers is to reduce the (sometimes overwhelming) number of responses clients get when posting jobs.

 

According to Upwork's quarterly filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission...

 

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1627475/000162747519000025/upwk-2q19x10q.htm

 

...these new fees were not significant relative to the fees freelancers pay based on their payments from clients.

 

If the goal of reducing freelancer proposals is achieved, freelancers who focus on in the lowest-priced projects on Upwork are likely to find their net earnings drastically reduced due to the new connect policy. But if that's what it takes for Upwork to eventually report profits to its shareholders, the new connects policy is here to stay.

 

We'll see.

The problem is that 20 connects are not enough for a newbie to learn what he/she needs to do in order to win projects. It's something that takes time as it was already explained. You need to be great but also you need to sell yourself, you need to scan jobs carefully, and then also scan clients before sending proposals. If your career is really unique like translating into a language only few people can then you have an advantage but it's not a guarantee. A job post may sound perfect for you but the client may not have previous history or the description may be vague with a "more details later"... Are you willing to take the risk? Some people can and some others cannot. Unfortunately it takes time to learn and meanwhile clients are prone to hire freelancers who already have experience here and reject the others unless the others are way too cheap.

 

All in all it's a long and hard road. It was hard before and it's harder now for newcomers. But it's also clear why Upwork do this: the place is overcrowded. There are way too many freelancers in comparison with the number of clients, so it makes sense that limits are imposed. I guess that sooner or later they could even stop taking new applicants or giving those 20 free connects.

tlale34
Community Member

I am also new here and noticed we going to have to spent money to be able to apply, and also without any reviews it is still going to be difficult for new freelancers like us to get the first gig.


Tlale B wrote:
I am also new here and noticed we going to have to spent money to be able to apply, and also without any reviews it is still going to be difficult for new freelancers like us to get the first gig.

I agree with you, starting on Upwork is getting extremely complicated. If I were you, I would not spend too much time trying - there are other freelance platforms that might be more suitable. You have to understand that there are too many freelancers on Upwork, so Upwork is sort of trying to discourage newcomers.

Lol that is so true,and they are succeeding at that

milanovic-boris
Community Member

I have just posted a simular post. Check it out.
arthurpr
Community Member

The current connections system is a valid alternative to make the job proposals more elaborated, and avoid an excessive number of applies.

 

If everyone has a lot of spare connections, the job proposals would get saturated, clients would end up not even reading all proposals, and potentially more valuable proposals.

 

Consider the transportation value that you would spend for a job interview, and compare with the costs in connections, it doesn't look unreasonable, and most times, it's cheaper than getting a bus, uber or taxi ride to have a regular job interview.

preeti_s_chauhan
Community Member

I agree with that a 100%. I have spent hundreds of dollars already to no avail. These days proposals don't seem to be getting through as well. All of that money down the drain and not one notification or reason as to why I was not hired or atleast not answered to for the huge proposals I wrote. Its dark out there ๐Ÿ˜ž

I feel you...hope your situation has changed

saraearle
Community Member

This has been an absolute disaster for me. I have spent about $20 on extra connects this month which has resulted in no job thus far. I am planning on quitting Upwork altogether at some point as it is not a stable way of getting income and has been costing me too much money. I could make way more money working for a company rather than having 20% of my earnings taken (and then another 25% probably for taxes). 

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Sara, 


I checked your profile and I can say that your profile is actually good. As recommended by other members of the community, you may want to update your profile overview to something that says how you can help your clients with their projects. 

 

I would recommend that you check out these articles from our Hiring Headquarters to help you create proposals that win jobs, and help you boost your career on Upwork: 

Hopefully, this helps you with your Upwork career. Good luck!

 


~ Avery
Upwork

Aver
Avery O wrote:

Hi Sara, 


I checked your profile and I can say that your profile is actually good. As recommended by other members of the community, you may want to update your profile overview to something that says how you can help your clients with their projects. 

 

I would recommend that you check out these articles from our Hiring Headquarters to help you create proposals that win jobs, and help you boost your career on Upwork: 

Hopefully, this helps you with your Upwork career. Good luck!

 


Avery, you mean well, but since the "change" a few months ago, I'm only getting jobs from old clients and little jobs once in a while from new clients. Something has changed, and this doesn't help freelancers at all.

OK, my profile doesn't stand out, but it didn't previously either. Are there less people hiring on Upwork?

53368ea8
Community Member

Ooh wow,how easy of you to reply with no useful solution but how would you know the struggle for us to get clients when you don't go through it

duthomas
Community Member

Hey, same situation, also a new member, for the Connects spent i did not get even a reply. So it looks much more new people than actual available projects.

bobo4aces
Community Member

Same here. Spend $27 for one week and nothing. I only receive messages from scammers and people who want free work. But I hope things will change.

Kind Regards,
Boris S.

Hi Boris,

I had similar experiences in the past, in order to get the most of it and avoid scammers, I'd recommend searching for long term jobs, for clients with other good hiring experiences and feedback.
We spend a big time writing applies and dealing with clients, so we can value our time by working as individual micro businesses, even if you're looking for short term jobs, a client with lots of micro contracts for small fixed budgets and a small amount of hourlies are not worth your time to apply and negotiate, specially if they had previous negative feedback.

I hope you have a better experience in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

bookkeepers10
Community Member

Think about it in different way, how many people are applying for the same job you apply for with taking into consideration that they also "pay" connects and compare it with how many people would apply if the connecrs are for free or cheaper. I am one of the people who pays for connects only if i am some how sure that i fit the job and i can impressive the employer with my proposal. You have to do the same, analyze your skills and compare them with what the clients need and then apply if it only makes sense.
53368ea8
Community Member

It's really frustrating to be honest,I'm glad somebody get me.Ive been trying to apply for over 3months daily but nothing

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