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abu7amzah
Member

Why would a client hire a new freelancer?

Hello,

 

I am planning to do some studying so I decided to check Upwork to do some work from home. I was checking Upwork for the last three days and I found interesting jobs. I noticed that feedback is very important for clients, and makes clients a lot more comfortable by feeling that they would avoid scammers or unprofessional freelancers. 

 

I decided to accept work that does not pay a lot to build my rating and get positive feedback, however every job that I applied to ,appeartnlty, other freelancers apply who have better feedback and more history than me, so no one even called for an interview. 

 

 

This is the question:

 

What could make a client hire a person with zero work history in Upwork taking into considration that the client is getting applications from other freelancers with positive feedback and have Upwork hours? 

 

I am applying to jobs related to Arabic-English translation and Project Management services. 

 

Regards,

Mohammad Albakri, PMP, AC, MCM

17 REPLIES 17
tlsanders
Member

First, I want to suggest that you reconsider bidding low to get started. We often see people in these forums who have started off that way and find it very difficult to move away from their history of second-rate clients and low rates. It is probably worth your while to take a little longer to get your first job and make it a good one.

 

I'm outside your field, but I've hired a lot of writers over the past 10+ years. Many of them have been brand new, either students or people who have never written professionally before. That's okay in the writing field, because it's easy to demonstrate what you can do without having done it as a professional freelancer before. I suspect the same is true for you.

 

Regardless of feedback and history on Upwork, you can demonstrate your skills, through your profile and samples. 

 

If you have no professional samples to use, create a couple of samples for your profile. Write your bids with confidence, explaining your fluency in both languages and educational history and NOT talking about being new to Upwork and such. Keep it short, to the point, and professional.

 

Those who work in translation may have more specific advice to offer. 

Translation is no different than writing, and generally speaking, all new freelancers are facing the same issue. The fact that seasoned freelancers strive on Upwork means that being new is not an insurmountable obstacle.

 

The key is:

 

- your profile

- your portfolio (you can make one for yourself if you don't have one)

- your cover letter (and more generally your marketing savviness)

 

I have one more specific tip about translation: you have only one native language. This is usually the language you have the best command of. You don't do symmetrical translation. No professional translator does this. If you try to translate to your second language, you are taking risks, and on Upwork this may mean ending up with a poor rating. You don't want a poor rating at the beginning of your career here.

 

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
justyourtype
Member

What could make a client hire a person with zero work history in Upwork taking into considration that the client is getting applications from other freelancers with positive feedback and have Upwork hours? 

-----

 

 

Some clients specifically want new freelancers so they can pay less, so that's a reason they would hire new vs. experienced person.

 

 

Write a well-constructed cover letter. If you do this and have the skillset the client needs, it's just a matter of time.

Don't give up!

 

We all started at 0 jobs and feedback.

abu7amzah
Member

Thank you all for your responds, to clarify, I am not asking about how to improve my profile. 

 

My question is as a client, If you have 5 freelances, for a project 4 have positive ratings and Upwork hours, and one with no experience, what would make you choose the one with no experience?

I hired new freelancers because I didn't need high-end work completed and did need to consider costs. In addition, each of the people I selected had the education or experience I needed. Each person will get a small project from me. Those who do well will stay on my "list" of people I can call on as needed. New freelancers are also more likely to be available as they don't have a set of existing clients that keep them busy.

 

All of us were new once.


@Mohammad A wrote:

 

...My question is as a client, If you have 5 freelances, for a project 4 have positive ratings and Upwork hours, and one with no experience, what would make you choose the one with no experience?


Mohammad,

 

Verifiable expertise shown in the profile information, and rates corresponding to what the service is worth to me—if I ever had occasion to hire.

It's true that an Upwork job history makes a kind of verification easy. However, a professional who uses Upwork is likely to have a larger footprint on the web than the one you find here.

 

Best,

Michael

I just hired a new freelancer.  I hired her because her portfolio was really strong and her LinkedIn verified everything on her profile.  Her bid was competitive; well in line with the budget and what other, more established freelancers bid. If she had bid really low, I probably wouldn't have given her proposal a lot of attention.  She didn't meet the criteria I set out in the rfp but she acknowledged that and then laid out her years of experience.

 

Everyone starts out with no clients.  


@Mohammad A wrote:

Thank you all for your responds, to clarify, I am not asking about how to improve my profile. 

 

My question is as a client, If you have 5 freelances, for a project 4 have positive ratings and Upwork hours, and one with no experience, what would make you choose the one with no experience?


A better profile and proposal.

 

Seems like it was OUR point that needed clarification. 


@Mohammad A wrote:

Thank you all for your responds, to clarify, I am not asking about how to improve my profile. 

 

My question is as a client, If you have 5 freelances, for a project 4 have positive ratings and Upwork hours, and one with no experience, what would make you choose the one with no experience?


 

Mohammad - did you know that EVERY single one of us started out as a brand new freelancer with no hours, jobs and feedback?????

 

We had properly written profiles that showcased our strong points, experience, skills and qualifications. We had portfolio's/work samples that we created. We wrote strong original proposals that addressed the job and attached more work samples to that proposal to show our style. When a client read our proposals they had no doubt that we could complete the job not only to their satisfaction, but above and beyond.

 

We didn't steal other contractors overviews. We didn't steal work off of different websites and call it our own. We didn't use "bot" programs to search for certain keywords and then spit out a generic proposal. And we didn't write proposals such as "I do good work, pay me what you think." (and yes, that was a proposal I got on one job I posted a while ago.)

 

 

ragaie_sara
Member

Hello Mohammad

I'm an Arabic translator just like you. And it took 2 months to get my first job here . At the beginning I was bidding on  jobs that require expert and intermediate levels, after a while I discovered that I was just wasting my connects Smiley Very Happy . So I started to propose to the entry level  jobs , putting low bids ( 0.1 $ per word - 10 $ per 1000 word - from English to Arabic , 3$ per hour ) , writing catchy cover letters short but effective , and hoping for the best. 

abu7amzah
Member

Thank you all for your posts, I got the point. This site definitely made me appreciate more my daily work! However there is something catchy about this site, that your getting the experience of establishing your businesses without investing in capital or getting permits, and there are 1 out 20 job posts that is considered as an opportounity, really interesting!


@Mohammad A wrote:

Thank you all for your posts, I got the point. This site definitely made me appreciate more my daily work! However there is something catchy about this site, that your getting the experience of establishing your businesses without investing in capital or getting permits, and there are 1 out 20 job posts that is considered as an opportounity, really interesting!


Mohammad,

 

It was a growth process for me to move from desperation and the mentality of "work at home for whatever I can get" to seeing myself as a specifically-skilled professional, and as the owner and developer of a business. As an editor and writer, my expenses are minimal. I do have to invest in equipment that keeps up with Internet standards, in reliable broadband, and in software subscriptions. I have a required home business permit from my town, pay the town taxes to run that business, and pay the federal government income and self-employment taxes. In hiring, apart from specific qualifications for the job, you might look for such indirect, possibly subtextual, hints that your applicants approach their businesses with a comparable level of seriousness.

 

A five percent return on most forms of marketing is pretty good—for some forms of marketing it would be enviable. The fact that I loathe marketing and Upwork lets me do it passively is a bonus.

 

Best,

Michael

Hello Mohammad.

I also agree about bidding low not being a good idea. It's not worth it. You need to bid what the job is worth to you. If you start low, when you get a job, you set a precedent that's what your price is and it's then very hard to increase your rate.

Actually bid more than what you want. Say you would be happy with $20 per hour. Don't bid $20, bid $25. There's always unexpected expenses and clients will try to lower your fee. You could of course stand pat and not lower it. You may think this risks losing the job but if you show you have great value, they'll still hire you at your price. At most, you could offer a 10% discount so the job would pay you $22.50 so you still win.

It's all about showing you have the best value than the other guy. I've had jobs where I was the highest bidder because I've convinced the client I was the better choice and had greater value. Of course, it helps to have data to back that up.

A copywriter for example would say for example they increased a client's conversion rate from x% to y%. Your profile says you are a project manager. You would say a project you were on was so much under budget and was on time. Those are the kinds of things that clients want to know so that you can help them.

Whoever a client chooses can depend on many things, including a certain price range. But even that can be overcome. After all, even seasoned Upworkers were new once and got their first job.

Anonymous User
Not applicable
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Start with a few smaller jobs where you can prove the quality of your work. Do not bid for jobs when you cannot provide excellent quality for this kind of work. Deliver a good proposal that fits to the job offer. A good portrait photo with a friendly smile is also important. Sometimes clients just look for the cheapest freelancer and do not care about quality but those clients are not really interesting for us.

abu7amzah
Member

Thank you all for your feedback, but there is a rule that does not know any  other rules which what some people call it luck, others call it opportounites and I thank God for that. Rather than translating for 5$ per page, I found couple of clients who are exactly looking for my area of expertise and welling to pay a very fair amount of money! 

Bidding low you are cornering yourself, because you put yourself in a (very numerous) league of already provably bad freelancers, who get hired for low price. Don't do that.

tj1972
Member

Hi Mohammad,

Good question indeed. 

Basically many factors - 

 

Starting from such an obvious things like your profile, skills, experience, cover letter, client willing to work with new commer, etc.

and

Ending up with not so obvious approach like "something tells me - go with this guy"...

When I got my first ever job here it was perfect hit for both of us - client (very good proffecional and simply a nice human being) and myself.

We worked for more then a year or so without a glitch and, by the way, from day one with hourly rate more than you've outlined in the profile. 

However, to speak on statistics language (was on Elance in those days back) it'll take about 30 - 40 job applications untill you'll get a contract.

Keep appling to the jobs and don't give up!

That's it...