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Tutorials

Active Member
Ella M Member Since: Aug 1, 2019
1 of 8

New to upwork and need tutorials have found some on youtube but mostly about proposals, profiles, etc, want actual process of job interviewing and once job excepted how does it work

Community Guru
Michael S Member Since: Aug 29, 2017
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
3 of 8

Hi Ella, 


Welcome to Upwork, and the Upwork Community! Michael has provided you with a valuable resource. But you may also want to read up on the freelancer resources we have compiled, for great tips and insights on how you can work successfully on the platform.

 

Please also pay attention to the Safety First! section of the resources, and these tips for avoiding questionable jobs for more information about working safely through Upwork.

 

I hope these help, and good luck!


-Avery
Untitled
Ace Contributor
Robbie B Member Since: Oct 30, 2015
4 of 8

Hi Ella,

How you getting on?

What Michael and Avery point you to, and then here’s my take for when you have your profile done, ready to put yourself forward for interviews, then what happens after you get a client response and onto being awarded the job.

Job interviews are just messages unless a client asks for a video or a phone interview, but most don't. Even then, it's just a casual conversation.

 

In the chat, the platform's programmed to pick up on keywords and symbols that could indicate work's moving away from UpWork. Like, if you mention Skype, it'll prompt you to start a video call on here. If you put an @ symbol, it'll tell you not to take work outside of UpWork.

If you need to Skype, or call, you can. What you can't do is get paid off the platform. Because money's involved, UpWork notifications appear like you're breaking the rules before you do. You can talk to your clients however you like (the method that is, not the tone lol) but if you agree to changes to a proposal, follow it up by confirming the changes in the workroom. As an example, you put a price forward for a job, then consult with the client over the phone and agree to an extra service for x fee, you should then confirm that in the message board and proposal to make sure the client is fine paying the extra.

The service you agree to do for the price the client agrees to pay has a payment guarantee - only - when it's in writing, which is in two places on here. The message board and your contract, which starts when you accept an offer. Once accepted, you can propose changes to it. Sometimes you should.

 

When a client responds to your proposal or reaches out directly, a workroom is automatically opened. Until you get a reply, you won't be able to reach them directly.

 

So, your proposals need to get a response before you can be hired. In other words, there’s no point trying to hard-sell your services to get hired from a proposal. You can only open a conversation. The reason I say that is because of the point above...

 

When a client responds, a workroom is created.

 

In there is a personal notepad. You can go back through the jobs you applied for, got a response but not the job, then go back to the listing later, find the contractor who did land the job and what the rate was and the testimonial.


Put those details in your personal notepad in the workroom. (remember you only get this after a client messages you)

 

Every person to respond or reach out to you directly gets a separate workroom so you won’t have notes scattered everywhere. You click a prospects name on the left menu, then on the right, click the personal notepad to see your notes for that person.


Up top, you can click to view your original proposal. Going back to that, once another freelancer has had time to do the job, that’s when you can get the notes to put into the notepad bit in the workroom.


Some points to take are:

  • Client wanted: ___
  • Hired: [other freelancers URL to their profile]
  • Paid them: This much $
  • Said this: Copy and paste the review.

 

The last part for client feedback is what to study. This is clients telling you what they love and how you can stand out.

 

In some cases, you might realize you quoted too low that the client was likely skeptical. Other times, it's the opposite and you quote five times their budget. No joke. I looked at one from a few months back I quoted $1,000 to do and it was awarded for $180. So, that explains why I didn't get that job. Just, ever so slightly over budget lol. Despite it being a decent price and that's because the platform's international.

 

What's a decent price for me in the UK is a King's ransom to someone overseas. When you see a job you think would be good, check the client's country location and look up the cost of living. It can save you wasting your credits applying for jobs that can't meet your rates. 

 

On a side note: When a job description states for the budget “unsure”, don’t get yourself in knots trying to guess what the client can afford. Clients list their budget based on the level of experience they want. It’s not necessarily experience on here. You could be a 30-year veteran of your industry but new to UpWork.


If there is no budget listed or experience is listed as unsure, they may be playing the lottery to see who will go low on price, while others genuinely want expertise for a service they haven’t outsourced before (or are having difficulty finding someone) so are after contractors with experience to quote them the going rates for what they need.

You can click through to view the client’s past hires to see what they’ve outsourced before. If there are multiple listings for the same service and numerous freelancers hired once, then the same service outsourced to someone else shortly after, then chances are, they’re having a hard time finding talent.

 

Obviously, if a budget is set at $475, freelancers will bid around that ballpark if it is feasible for them. You can still put your name forward over the budget and there are times to do that. When you see in the clients past hires and money spent that they do pay the rates you’re happy with.

 

There’s a lot of agencies on here. (which categories, I couldn’t say) They pay a proportion of what their client pays them. If they have a history of paying good rates, it’s possible that you’ve just found a job where their client has a lower budget. Just hit submit proposal, let them know you’re keen to work with them and quote your usual rates. If something comes up, tell them to message you at upwork.com / fl / your username.

 

Now, the elephant in the room…

 

There are going to be some reading this saying that’s crazy, you’re paying to bid for a job you don’t even want.

 

That depends on how many credits you’re burning through.

 

If you have no or few jobs, you’ll go through a lot of connects trying to win jobs. The more jobs you land, the more time you’re working instead of submitting proposals. For free users, it’s probably not smart. For busier freelancers on a plus plan who aren’t going through the 70 connects a month, chances are, you’ll have some spare.

I’d rather throw six connects into an intro to a good-paying client because there’s a better chance of them reaching out to me than there is of me wasting time checking for new job listings they’re posting every day. There’s an even bigger chance I won’t bother trying to remember them.  

Now, connects, I'm not 100% how the rollover thing works. I think you get 70 credits a month on a freelancer plus plan that let you carry over a max of 140 credits in a 2-month period. If that's right, then if freelancers on a subscription plan don't use that amount, they're lost. If that is the case, then chances are, using them as intros is a better use if they're going to be taken off you anyway.

 

There’s an attempt to explain connects pricing here but at the same time, it tells you that the freelancer plus plan costs $14.99 which includes 70 “free connects”. By my math, that’s a rounded 20 cents per connect plus $0.99 just because.  


But…


Back to what I was on about in the workrooms…. (if you forgot, this is the part that happens after a client responds to you or invites you to a job)

 

You can add a 'private' note in the workroom about client preferences.

 

Obviously, when you're working with the client, you'll know what notes to keep about they like and what doesn’t make them smile.

 

Until then, you're guessing. But, eventually, you'll see themes emerge from the notes you take.


Those ones I listed earlier were:

 

  • Client wanted: ___
  • Hired: [other freelancers URL to their profile]
  • Paid them: This much $
  • Said this: Copy and paste the review.

 

Learn from the profiles of those being awarded jobs. Obviously, don't copy their profiles, but do pay attention to what hot buttons they have on their profile.

 

Is it their description that's enticing?  experience? work history? Do they have a certificate you could get?

 

Starting out, keep submitting to the jobs you're suited to with the sole goal being to get a response. Not the job.

In terms of the jobs to apply for, there's a search filter you can use to weed out unsuitable jobs. To prevent you from getting a bidding frenzy and low-balling, don't focus on price, but instead on speed. 

Here's one I run on QuickBooks showing the filters applied for jobs relating to QuickBooks

qb3.png

 

And here's one of the results

 

 

 

Scroll down a bit, and you'll see the client history

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

And that's how to find the jobs.

Now, how to intrigue clients to hit reply...

Invite them to your profile to see what you do overall. And, 'tell them' to message you back with a date and time they'd be available to discuss their specific project in more detail.

 

Don't ever come across as begging. Clients will take you to the cleaners. Not all, but don’t invite it with a lack of confidence in your abilities. You will get low-balled if you do, and that’s no good for you nor any freelancer in your category. It lowers prices across the board.

 

Clients are networked more than freelancers are. And they’ll have more negotiating experience than you so know your lowest rate so you aren’t bartered down to crappy money.

It sounds scary, but you get used to it and you will eventually be saying no to more clients than you have clients saying no to you just now. Or are about to get loads of rejections - be ready for it. You'll stand a better chance of getting work with little experience here by putting in for jobs that are entry-level. The pay is indicative of UpWork experience though. Not your work experience away from here. 

To be taken seriously at the intermediate and expert levels, you need your profile shining. Just now, yours has "Quickbooks online bookkeeping and data entry" and your rate is listed as __ well, no need to keep it around here, but look at this.

qb.pngThat's some of the rates being charged for a similar service

And that's applying a filter for the US. 

Here's the filters client's can apply to their search

qs2.png

If you don't know about Rising Talent, it's an invite thingy that UpWork do for new freelancers to get a bit of a leg up. To be eligible, you do the stuff this page says. Mainly, do your profile justice and get verified, which I think involves proof of ID and a video confirmation call to see that you match the photo.

If anything, it's another reason to spend time on your profile before you approach clients. 

When creating your profile, think of it from the client perspective. What's there that's worth them considering paying you?

If it were me: I'd a) Set my rate to your category average, probably around the $20 mark. b) Make your title clear. Just now I can't tell if you're a bookkeeper, a data entry assistant, or someone who does data entry but only experienced with Quickbooks?

Searching 'Quickbooks online' there's advisors, bookkeeping, data entry and then some just slapping the word professional in their title - as you do just randomly. Is there a professional Quickbooks pro data entry person? Experienced, more likely. Reliable, hopefully. Accurate, I'd want that in a bookkeeper or for data entry. Coming to think of it, what's your typing speed? If that's fast, you'll get more done in an hour. Might be worth dropping that in as a subtle hint to clients they could hire you for short notice quick turnaround jobs, or to rattle through a bunch of data entry within their budget. 

Do the profile first, then use your credits to apply to suitable jobs. 


To get clients responding to you, all that's needed is something like...

 

"I describe the big picture of my (put in your service) on my profile at upwork.com/fl/ (username)"

 

…easier to remember is /fl/ as an abbreviation for freelancers. That’s how I remember it. UpWork / Freelancer / User. You just replace the username with yours and that’s the web address to send clients to.


Wrap it up with something like,


“Message me back with a date and time to discuss your project and I'll make myself available for you, Ella.” <-- Use a name when you have it when asking for something. People love hearing their names. Even if it's reading it aloud in their own heads.

 

Remember, you only want a response to find out more about what the client needs doing. Rarely do the job descriptions cover everything.

 

Once you get a response, it's the usual niceties. Hi, thanks for applying. Nice to hear from you. how are you?

 

Some clients are straight to business with this is what I need doing, can you do it?

 

Blunt clients are good clients. Shows they respect time. Respect theirs and get straight to answering their questions and asking anything you need to be answered.

 

A reserved client, you might have to coax. By that I mean, move it away from casual messaging which is just the rapport building and get them talking about the job.

 

That might just be me though. After a half dozen messages about anything but the job, then I'll bite first. (that's the same on phone interviews btw. Clients can ramble for ages if you let them)

 

Once the client trusts that you're capable of delivering, they'll award the job.

 

So, the steps to getting work are first to get a response, then build up a bit of rapport, then asking the right questions and getting the client to trust you enough to spend their money.

 

When that happens, the client makes you an offer. You get a notification from UpWork to tell you there's offer ‘awaiting your attention’ or something boring.

 

They don't do buzzy stuff like, WOAH, Ella, Jim just sent us $150. The lion’s share is yours when you go here to claim it by reviewing what's to be done and by when. Check it's all doable and if it's good with you, click the ginormous accept button, start working, do a STELLAR job and we'll bump your balance up by $120 when Jim tells us you done an epic job.

 

How cool would that be lol

 

You accept, the contract starts and the messages stay in the same room you had the conversation with to get the job awarded.

 

On fixed price jobs (I don't know about hourly jobs) clients fund projects by milestone. At least one milestone should be funded before you start.

 

Speaking for myself only here, but I don't bother if it's not funded provided the client has a good history on UpWork. Sometimes I'll trust my judgment but never as a clients first hire without payment being verified. There was a job not too long ago I had to cancel as the client claimed he could not deposit funds to Upwork. I highly doubt that was the truth. A lot of things don't work on UpWork but money coming in ain't one of them.

 

The messaging during a job, if something's unclear, send a message to ask them about it. It's better to ask what you think is a stupid question than to make an avoidable mistake.

 

I can't say about hourly jobs, but on fixed price projects, deliverables are uploaded in the workroom as attachments. There's a shortcut link on the right-side tab under your personal notepad link to view all files and attachments uploaded in the workroom. For work that can’t be uploaded, but instead done on software or a website, just click the submit work for payment button. You don’t need to upload anything to request the money’s released.

 

That’s the same if you need a deposit to cover your fees to do a job. Use the milestones to request an upfront deposit is released before you start work so you’re not out of pocket. Obviously, you’ll need to have told your client that’s your terms. That you’re not going to pay to do their work until they pay you. (more polite than that obviously)

 

And put, "thanks (name)" with a nice comment when asking them to release payment because 1) it’s good manners and 2) reviews are the next step once a project is finished.

 

For the workroom messages, I’m only talking about working one-on-one with clients. I’ve not done teamwork for a while. If memory serves, a client can set up a team room with other freelancers they’ve hired. That creates a group room but you still have direct access to the client in the original workroom.

 

If you find yourself as part of a team, keep private conversations between you and the client. So, no mention of rates in a group chat because there’s a good chance, people will be on different rates.

 

I remember a job I was doing a while back. The client had a bunch of freelancers in a Slack group. The topic of rates come up and there were differences. The client settled it by explaining the simple reason for one person getting paid more than the rest… It was because he asked.  

 

So, that's my take on getting going on here. 
Hope it helps you get cracking on. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 8

Robbie B wrote:

Hi Ella,

How you getting on?

What Michael and Avery point you to, and then here’s my take for when you have your profile done, ready to put yourself forward for interviews, then what happens after you get a client response and onto being awarded the job.

Job interviews are just messages unless a client asks for a video or a phone interview, but most don't. Even then, it's just a casual conversation.

[...]

So, that's my take on getting going on here. 
Hope it helps you get cracking on. 


_____________________________

+ 1000 +

 

Wow! Upwork should hire you. At the very least this should be in the blogs on the right. It is a real keeper and helpful for everyone not just newcomers. Smiley Happy

Ace Contributor
Robbie B Member Since: Oct 30, 2015
6 of 8

Ha, cheers Nicola. I never knew there was a blog section here. I only jumped in to find out how to find a proposal I withdrew. Didn't know there was an archive tab.

 

Clicked the next topic tab, found this, and done that lol.

 

I see there's a couple of screengrabs edited for community guidelines. I'm guessing I've captured sensitive info or something. There wasn't anything untoward. The board seems awfully sensitive. I mentioned a country name and that was edited too. Just put overseas instead. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
7 of 8

Robbie B wrote:

Ha, cheers Nicola. I never knew there was a blog section here. I only jumped in to find out how to find a proposal I withdrew. Didn't know there was an archive tab.

 

Clicked the next topic tab, found this, and done that lol.

 

I see there's a couple of screengrabs edited for community guidelines. I'm guessing I've captured sensitive info or something. There wasn't anything untoward. The board seems awfully sensitive. I mentioned a country name and that was edited too. Just put overseas instead. 


_________________________

 

A bit like publishing - you have to have your blog accepted when you submit. I'll add the link when I find it. 

 

Ace Contributor
Robbie B Member Since: Oct 30, 2015
8 of 8
With ya now. Thought it was somewhere in the community boards.
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