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dsha06
Community Member

Upwork favors short-term projects over long-term hourly

Let me know your thoughts on this...

 

If I do some quick jobs for clients and earn a few thousand and get 4 good reviews with 4 different clients, I will have a great JSS. But, consider this...if I instead have 2 long term hourly clients for over a year and I've billed over $10k each, I will not have any reviews after the year or even a JSS, even though the clients clearly think I'm going a great job (otherwise they wouldn't keep me on for a year). Because hourly clients can't review until the job is done, this is a punishment for long-term hourly freelancers.

 

2. Consider this 2nd scenario...You have only hourly clients. You've had 4+ clients where the contracts ended and you have good reviews. So, now you have 4.8 star rating and a JSS of 100% and you even have a Top Rated Plus Badge. Your demand is increasing and your getting offers for higher paying jobs, so you tell your currently hourly clients you need to raise your rate becuase of the demand for services. One of them can't pay the higher rate, so they cancel the contract in frustration. They give you a good review but give you negative private rating because they don't like that you increased your rate, making your JSS score drop to 88%. You lose you Top Rated Plus badge a few weeks later and it's harder to get new jobs.

 

How does this person improve their JSS score in this scenario? They would have to get another hourly client...but if that new client goes well and is long term...they won't ever be prompted to leave a review/give private feedback unless the job comes to an end. But if it goes well, it won't come to an end anytime soon.

 

Maybe you would say..."Well, you need to go do some random one-time project jobs. But, there are some work types that don't lend themselves to one-time projects (like EA or Operations Manager). So, this person feels pressue to just search for random jobs outside of their skill set (like transcription or reviewing websites...many of which can be sketch and just want to pay for reviews).

 

I wish you could ask a current client to leave a review and give private feedback after you have billed them a certain amount of hours (maybe 50 or 100). Maybe the Upwork devs will see this.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

33 REPLIES 33
759e32fa
Moderator
Moderator

Hi David,

 

Many factors go into your JSS calculation, including public and private feedback given when the contract is closed, the weight of the contract, etc. We won't be able to share information about any specific feedback, but you can check the explanation of how your score is calculated here.


~ AJ
Upwork
dsha06
Community Member

I'm glad to hear that job weight (job size) is taken into account with the JSS. But, this still does not address the fact that if you have ongoing work with a client(s) where the contract doesn't end for a long time...you never get the opportunity for them to leave any feedback (at least not for a long time). And here's another thought...when would these more long-term contracts end? If the client ends the contract, it might be because they no longer need the work done anymore of they are not happy with the freelancer. Or, the freelancer finds a better opportunity or decides to stop for another reason...both of these options have the potential to make the client upset (even if they liked the freelancer) since they are loosing the worker they liked. Of course, we would hope the client still gives the freelancer a good review, but again, I just think this tilts the platform in favor of one-time projects.

 

I think you should allow clients to give feedack on hourly jobs after a certain amount of hours have been billed. Please pass on my suggestion.

David,


Look for short term jobs at, perhaps, compromised hourly rates, and aim for great reviews. We're all stuck playing Upwork's game and there's generally pros and cons to each of their convoluted regulations. Upwork hasn't got it perfect. To find that, you have to go to a parallel universe in another dimension.

Thanks Anthony. Yes, that's good advice. I have done just that. Although I'd have to say, it's been almost as hard for me to get the small little quick jobs as it has been getting the longer hourly jobs.

wlyonsatl
Community Member

So, David, ask your clients to occasionally close their projects (every three months?), leave feedback, then re-open their projects for continued work. If Upwork has a problem with that and doesn't want it to happen, they can let us all know that here in this message board or through a comment on a relevant page on their Web site.

There's a trade-off, though--no number of small contracts with the same client adds up to a "large contract" for top rated plus status.

 

Also sounds super annoying for clients. 

Super annoying, Tiffany?

 

Spending 1 minute leaving cursory feedback would be super annoying to good clients?

 

Not for any of the ones I have dealt with. Most are happy to help once they realize client feedback is important for me as a freelancer.

 

Freelancers make a big mistake when they treat their clients as delicate flowers who cannot be asked to do the simplest of things that take little effort, such as leaving feedback, not expecting the freelancer to be available 24/7, etc., etc. 

 

 

Closing a contract every three months and reopening it just so the freelancer could get feedback more often? Yes. Super annoying. It would make me think that freelancer was extremely unprofessional. 

 

More to the point, I know that many of my ongoing clients find the entire process of having to log in and release a milestone and create another one on a regular basis to be extremely inconvenient. Client dislike for having to take time out from regular business operations to log into a special platform and take those steps on a regular basis is the main reason many of them request to leave the platform as soon as the two-year period is up. They certainly don't want to jump through extra hoops that don't benefit them in any way.

If I have worked for any client for three months I will have developed a good relationship with them. If not, then I'm not managing my client relationships very well.

 

It's no different than closing idle projects after a certain amount of time. I've never had a client complain when I close their idle project rather than waiting for them to do it; many will then leave feedback for me (often apologizing for not being responsive) and go on to renew the same projects with me at a later date.

 

Client management is important to long-term success on Upwork. It's not a good thing if a freelancer never develops anything more than a superficial relationship with all clients. They are people, too.

You don't think closing an idle project yourself without asking anything of the client is any different from asking the client to close an active project and immediately open a new one because you want to rush feedback? 

 

I agree with you that client relationships are important. It's one reason I would never ask a client to do something that is work for them and doesn't benefit them in any way just because I was impatient to get feedback. 

 

dsha06
Community Member

Tiffany, I agree with you on the annoying part, but I don't understand your other point "no number of small contracts with the same client adds up to a "large contract" for top rated plus status."

 

According to what I've ready about Top Rated and Top Rated Plus, you need about jobs with 4 different clients that ended and you also need good/decent reviews. BUT, once you get to that point, the only think you need to get Top Rated and eventually Top Rated Plus is to maintain the 90+% JSS and simple increase your earnings to $10k (higher for some categories). So, in your example...if you've already hit your 4 good reviews with 4 different clients, it doesn't matter if you stopped and restarted with a particular client...those earnings woudld still count toward Top Rated and TR+ (assuming the job is in a particular category). The "large" contract requirement for TR+ can be spread over multiple clients, as long as it's in the same category. See the list here under "Large Contracts."

tlsanders
Community Member

No, you're reading that wrong. Top rated plus requires one large contract. The list you point to indicates just how large that contract must be to qualify. For example, as a writer, I need a contract that pays at least $5,000. I've been top rated plus in the past, and when I was, I could click on information to show exactly which contract or contracts qualified me.

 

On the other hand, I could have 100 contracts worth $500 each and that would not qualify me for top rated plus, even though the aggregate earnings were 10x as much.

dsha06
Community Member

O no! that's too bad 😞 I have over $10k, but the biggest I have is around $6-7k. thanks for clarifying.

dsha06
Community Member

Thanks Will. I've considered that. I never heard about closing and "re-opening" a job, but even they closed it and created another identical job and only invite me. That might work. Although it's not an ideal situation to ask a client to fumble around with that kind of task.

wlyonsatl
Community Member

David,

 

A client can easily close a project's current contract and later re-open the same contract on the same project on identical terms. I often have clients do that when we reach a stopping point and they know they won't need anything from me for a few weeks or longer.

dsha06
Community Member

Oic, thanks for letting me know.

tlsanders
Community Member

Long-term contracts have a positive impact on your JSS even when they have not been closed/you haven't been rated.

How do you know Upwork is factoring in long-term open contracts in the JSS.  Do you have some insight into the scoring system?  That's the first I heard of this.  All the information Upwork lists about how the JSS is calculated is related to SCORES and feedback, which is only counted on closed contracts.

 

Now, I do know a current client can leave feedback for an open contract, but Upwork makes it CLEAR that, for whatever reason, that feedback is not 'counted' toward the JSS. My long-term client left feedback months ago, and it's more for informational purposes for future clients, but doesn't 'count' toward my JSS.


CJ A wrote:

How do you know Upwork is factoring in long-term open contracts in the JSS.  Do you have some insight into the scoring system? 


They've said it does. They even specify a length of time considered long-term. 

 

 

Yes. I have the insight of having read numerous threads here where various moderators confirmed that long-term contracts have a positive impact on JSS. 

It took some digging, but I finally found a statement from an Upwork mod that explicitly says open long-term contracts contribute positively to JSS. Most of them say long-term relationships

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Product-Release-Notes/Job-size-will-now-be-factored-into-your-JSS/bc...

dsha06
Community Member

thanks Jonathan. Can you give me the exact quote because I could not find anything at that link when I searched "open long-term contracts"

25005175
Community Member

"However, maintaining longer-term contracts with satisfied clients that have been in place for three months or longer can improve your score. These longer-term relationships count positively toward the Score even before they are closed because they indicate client satisfaction"

 

-Vladimir G

dsha06
Community Member

Are you sure? That's not what the moderator said above. She indicated that they do take into account the "weight" or size of the contract to the JSS (which is good), but, it doesn't say that it's giving you any benefit when the contract is ongoing and they haven't yet left feedback. My impression was that it has an impact, but only once the job has been closed and you get the feedback.

yofazza
Community Member

.

ericaandrews
Community Member

Yes. In lots of ways, Upwork does punish freelancers for keeping long term contracts and not constantly 'job hopping'.  Remember, they get a higher percentage of earnings from small contracts or at the START of a long contract, so they have every incentive to let past scores clients 'age out' of their 24-month JSS calculation, so that if you've been working with only 1-2 or long term clients during that time, your score can just go down because you aren't 'changing jobs' frequently enough' for them even those 1-2 clients have been paying reliably for months/years.

 

You are absolutely right.  I basically take a 'one off' quick project here and there just to 'inject' a new score into the JSS equation, because otherwise, their algorithm would just ignore that fact that I've held a client for over 2 years.  To me, the biggest sign of 'success' is a client staying or hiring you over and over.   Technically, they should also be boosting JSS scores for freelancers able to keep contracts open for a long time that invoice regularly/weekly, since we are producing a steady, reliable stream of profits for Upwork versus somebody 'hopping' from sproadic  $5 job to $5 job or somebody that lands one medium/big fixed price once every month or two with UW income gaps in between

The JSS article states that long-term relationships boost JSS. It's the 2nd item listed in the factors section.

9a6aa2c7
Community Member

It's out of topic. But, I hope Upwork can change the minimum rates for the clients to set. There was a role I applied for and it says $3-50. So I bid within the range. It even mentions that they are willing to pay the most experienced freelancer.
I got a response from them and they are insisting on $3/he even though I have an experience for the role. I let them know about the service fee charge but, they just ignored it. I hope clients are aware of that and I am REALLY hoping that they can’t set their minimum hourly rate lower than $7. I also hope we can send feedback to the clients who were not true about the rate that they are posting or something’s not met. Thank you!


Mariztel O wrote:

It's out of topic. But, I hope Upwork can change the minimum rates for the clients to set. There was a role I applied for and it says $3-50. So I bid within the range. It even mentions that they are willing to pay the most experienced freelancer.
I got a response from them and they are insisting on $3/he even though I have an experience for the role. I let them know about the service fee charge but, they just ignored it. I hope clients are aware of that and I am REALLY hoping that they can’t set their minimum hourly rate lower than $7. I also hope we can send feedback to the clients who were not true about the rate that they are posting or something’s not met. Thank you!


If you submitted a proposal within the range that the client gave (very wide, I must admit) and the client does not want to pay more than the minimum, what do you expect Upwork to do?
At least there is a minimum, I think of before was lower or did not exist (I'm not sure).
Many freelancers are willing to work for that minimum because it means a good income for them.
You have a good work history, if you're not interested, forget it and go for the next one.


Mariztel O wrote:

I hope clients are aware of that and I am REALLY hoping that they can’t set their minimum hourly rate lower than $7. I also hope we can send feedback to the clients who were not true about the rate that they are posting or something’s not met. 


The minimum hourly rate on Upwork is $3, and there are plenty of freelancers who are willing to work for that rate, so there's no point in arguing with clients. I certainly wouldn't talk to them about service charges; there's no reason for any client to concern themselves with your business expenses. I wouldn't complain to clients about Upwork fees any more than I'd complain about my electricity bills or how much my new computer cost.

 

You can't worry about what other people are charging. Set your hourly rate to whatever amount you need for a comfortable life - taking your expenses into account - and construct your proposals and profile to convince clients that you're worth that rate. That's all you can do.

6bfcdaf8
Community Member

Customers feedbacks/ratings are important. So when someone wants to hire you, insist for a better job definition and ask them to close the contract every few months, providing a feedback. Even if you were a full-time employee you'd have a performance review or 1 to 1 with your manager once every few months. 

dsha06
Community Member

Are you suggesting they close and then reopen the same contract, or start a new identical job?

6bfcdaf8
Community Member

I dont think you can close and re-open. But rather create a new contract that represents your more recent work scope

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