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Urgent help needed from fellow freelancers

Hi fellow freelancers my name is Ray i am a artist and graphic designer that has been on upwork for over 3 months now and i need your advice please.


the first month on here i was lucky enough to get 3 jobs, all completed way before deadline and with happy clients, i figured if i want to make this my job i will need to invest in it s o i purchased the monthly sub for the connects mainly, but over a month after the purchase i am down to 23 connects and i did not get 1 interview from the over 70 connects i spent on proposals.


Im gonna be honest i need this job, me and my mom are living on the edge of homelessnes every day and i dont know what to do anymore, i have never copy pasted a proposal, i tried being my nice self, i tried the robotic proffesional aproach, i have even gone as far as completing the job and adding it to my proposal with a watermark, but i have not even gotten 1 reply.


I am honestly lost as i have low prices and i do my best, it has come to the point where i am wondering if my account got deactivated or something as my old clients that i had ongoing work with also have not replied in the last month or so.


I am not sure what i am asking all i know is i need help, if these last 23 connects are gone and i cant afford to replace them me and my mom just get closer to being homeless and she is too old i cant allow that, please any advice is appriciated.


Kind regards Ray.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ray,


I'm sorry to hear about your situation, I hope you'll have a thriving freelancer career ahead of you that can help you through these times. I've pulled a few resources that may be helpful to you. Check out these articles to help you create a profile that stands out and improve your profile title and overview. For some great tips on writing proposals that win jobs, check out this article.


Visit our Resource Center and sign up for upcoming events and webinars to learn more about how you can boost your success on Upwork.
Community Member

First, I'm sorry you're dealing with that. Second and unfortunately, this is just the nature of the beast. I can't say it's upworks fault. The competition is stiff and you may only get 1 out of every 100 jobs applied for. 


Many jobs never even start. There is no time limit that a client has to make a decision - or if there is one its way too long. They do not have to message you or tell you why.


I canceled my monthly sub for this very reason. 1/1000 upwork freelancers can make a living and that's just a fact. 

Community Member

Rather than empathize, I am going to be candid - if you are depending on work that badly, you may want to find something more stable and predictable.  Upwork is a great platform for freelance work - IF you can secure it.  I am not saying any of this to be mean, I am saying it because it is true.  If people aren't telling you this, they are doing you and your situation a disservice.

If you have time to sit it out, these slow periods will pass - as long as you continue to build your portfolio and work history.  If you're living week to week or month to month, you may want to seriously consider if this is a good fit.


Looking over your profile - I saw mention in your portfolio that you cant upload your good work because it exceeds the size limit.  Try pulling up those images on screen, make a screenshot of them, then post them as a jpeg screenshot from the snipping tool.  You may lose some quality, but at least people will be able to see your samples and possibly something that might resonate with them.

Community Member

Hi Ray, 


I'm sorry you're going through a rough time at the moment. I agree with what Chris has said.


When I first started, I was also lucky to get a solid project right away, but after that I worked in fits and starts for quite a long time. I had the same experience you're having now - sending so so many proposals, trying to write them in different ways to see if something else was more effective, and hearing nothing back at all. It was maybe a year and a half before I could live only off the money I made freelancing.


Getting projects and great reviews on my profile was essential to getting more work, but it just really took some time to get there. Now that I have a lot of history on Upwork and am Top Rated, I don't have to work too hard to get new clients. You'll probably get there, but that's not going to help you now; you may need to find other sources of income to supplement your freelance work until you get to that point - I know I did.


I will say - while you have the Upwork membership, take advantage of seeing the low/high/average bid amounts for the types of jobs you are bidding on, and don't lowball your bid too much. This may actually send a bad signal to a good client. Bid within the market range for your area.

Community Member

Hi Ray. 
I'm really sorry about your situation and I believe you will find your way.
I'm looked at your profile and I can say that it really looks like newbie's profile. You need to learn how to improve it and put some effort in it.
In your situation it's better to apply only for jobs with fixed price. Because accordingly to my experience, even if you have 100 000 hours worked outside of upwork employers often look how much hours you worked on Upwork. And if you have less then 100 - 150 hours worked it would be a happenstance to get per/hour payment job.

I'm not the illustrator and I do not know how the things are going in your field. But I can say that the bidding less is better. When I look for job actively I rarely set more then 2 bids per day. 1 even more often.
I always look for reason why do not beed. If I do not like job description even a little I do not bid.

About the cover letter. I never waste the time explaining how good am I. I even never describe who am I. I usually ask questions about the job posting forcing an employer to enter the conversation.
And one more treack which works in 95% of cases. It's to write something like "I have already done a job which is similar to this one, here is an example".
And of course you need to research other platforms. Like Behance for example. Put everything to one platform it's not the best decision on your situation. 
I hope you'll find these advices useful. Thanks for attention.

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