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russtice
Member

Yes another Connect post.

So I get that they want to streamline freelancers down to successful freelancers that add real money to the bottom line for Upwork. So here is an off the shelf idea. Insted of no free connects(negative reinforcement). Why not reward success and successful working relationships. Could be as simple as for every $500 earned in a given span. You get X number of connects added to your account.  Positively reinforcing their end goal.

The whole point is bringing money into the platform is it not?

 

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richard_wein
Member

Russell, if someone with your level of success on Upwork is put off by the need to spend a few dollars on connects, then I guess the benefit to you of using Upwork (compared with other sources of work) must be quite marginal. In that case, please do switch to those other sources of work, and leave the Upwork jobs to freelancers for whom the benefit of using Upwork is not marginal. ๐Ÿ˜€

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petra_r
Member


Russell T wrote:

Could be as simple as for every $500 earned in a given span. You get X number of connects added to your account.  Positively reinforcing their end goal.


Neat idea in principle, let's say $ 500 a week, but most of those people who make the kind of money Upwork wants us to make, likely don't need many connects anyway.

I agree with Petra. I make more than $500 a week on Upwork and haven't used connects in ages. There is no incentive whatsoever for Upwork to reward me with something I don't use.


Catherine M wrote:

I agree with Petra. I make more than $500 a week on Upwork and haven't used connects in ages. There is no incentive whatsoever for Upwork to reward me with something I don't use.


Let's face it, nobody thinks "Oh, I think I'll work some extra this week so I can get more connects..."

People earn money for the money, not for connects...

You're assuming that they don't need connects to garner new work.

I'll use myself as an example. This is my 2nd or 3rd week of no connects. I have the bandwith for more projects(obvi thats why I have time to post here).  However,  since I watch my pennies closely as many freelancers do I refuse to purchase them. The success rate of sealing a deal with a client is way off kilter for it to be a value proposition for me and many others I'd assume. 

Lets say it takes 30 proposals at 6 connects to win a single contract(being kind). That equates to $30 give or take. Thats for a single gig with no gaurantee that it will be anything more. Not to mention the time and effort that goes into crafting a personal proposal.


Russell T wrote:

 However,  since I watch my pennies closely as many freelancers do, I refuse to purchase them.


Well.... then... that's the end of the road then? You continue working with existing / repeat clients until they retire / fade away / die?

Completely understand that its probably the end of my chapter here at Upwork. Still doesn't dissuade me seaking alternatives to acheive the same result. If not a more lucurative one for Upwork. 



Russell T wrote:

Completely understand that its probably the end of my chapter here at Upwork.


Like Kelly, I really don't understand that way of thinking...

It's a shame because you're one of those for whom buying connects would make sense.

Is it more out of principle? Isn't that cutting off your nose to spite your face so to say?


Russell T wrote:

You're assuming that they don't need connects to garner new work.

I'll use myself as an example. This is my 2nd or 3rd week of no connects. I have the bandwith for more projects(obvi thats why I have time to post here).  However,  since I watch my pennies closely as many freelancers do I refuse to purchase them. The success rate of sealing a deal with a client is way off kilter for it to be a value proposition for me and many others I'd assume. 

Lets say it takes 30 proposals at 6 connects to win a single contract(being kind). That equates to $30 give or take. Thats for a single gig with no gaurantee that it will be anything more. Not to mention the time and effort that goes into crafting a personal proposal.


I don't understand. Looking at your profile, a) it seems like you should be receiving as many invitations as the rest of us, and b) it seems like you are a professional and understand that spending $30 to make $30k is a no brainer.

 

I "spend" more money in time and gas getting to my local clients.

Thanks Kelly, 

I normally don't need connects an as you see I have many long term clients. Yet there is always and ebb and flow in freelance work(including invites).  That being said its not a no-brainer for me. Sorry it's not. If you said that the $30 would equate to $30K then yes I'd agree. Unfortunely my average gig client is far less than your example. Yet its those small fill in jobs overall that keeps my ship afloat. So from time to time I do require connects here and there to fill the gaps. 


Russell T wrote:

Thanks Kelly, 

I normally don't need connects an as you see I have many long term clients. Yet there is always and ebb and flow in freelance work(including invites).  That being said its not a no-brainer for me. Sorry it's not. If you said that the $30 would equate to $30K then yes I'd agree. Unfortunely my average gig client is far less than your example. Yet its those small fill in jobs overall that keeps my ship afloat. So from time to time I do require connects here and there to fill the gaps. 


Even if it costs you $30 to earn $300, it still seems worth it. Where else in the world can you just search for hundreds or maybe thousands of jobs in your field for so little money? In my town it is really rare to find someone who is willing to pony up my rate for an annual report or a textbook design.

 

 

The logic behind paid connects is sound imo, so I'm not sweating it. Clients were getting overwhelmed with crappy or fake proposals. Limiting the amount of free invites to clients however... that one concerns me.


Kelly B wrote:

Russell T wrote:

Thanks Kelly, 

I normally don't need connects an as you see I have many long term clients. Yet there is always and ebb and flow in freelance work(including invites).  That being said its not a no-brainer for me. Sorry it's not. If you said that the $30 would equate to $30K then yes I'd agree. Unfortunely my average gig client is far less than your example. Yet its those small fill in jobs overall that keeps my ship afloat. So from time to time I do require connects here and there to fill the gaps. 


Even if it costs you $30 to earn $300, it still seems worth it. Where else in the world can you just search for hundreds or maybe thousands of jobs in your field for so little money? In my town it is really rare to find someone who is willing to pony up my rate for an annual report or a textbook design.

 

 

The logic behind paid connects is sound imo, so I'm not sweating it. Clients were getting overwhelmed with crappy or fake proposals. Limiting the amount of free invites to clients however... that one concerns me.


I would look at the connects cost as a fee per lead. Then, evaluate the value of the leads you receive and compare it to other sources. Upwork now charges $0.90 per lead. Assess your conversion rate and the LTV of each lead and use those numbers to decide whether you continue to purchase leads from Upwork or go elsewhere. (I haven't had to face that decision yet because I have long-term clients so I'm not sure what my decision will be.) 


Russell T wrote:

Thanks Kelly, 

I normally don't need connects an as you see I have many long term clients. Yet there is always and ebb and flow in freelance work(including invites).  That being said its not a no-brainer for me. Sorry it's not. If you said that the $30 would equate to $30K then yes I'd agree. Unfortunely my average gig client is far less than your example. Yet its those small fill in jobs overall that keeps my ship afloat. So from time to time I do require connects here and there to fill the gaps. 


I think Upwork's new business strategy is intended to eliminate this freelance model. (I could be mistaken though). 


Russell T wrote:

You're assuming that they don't need connects to garner new work.

I'll use myself as an example. This is my 2nd or 3rd week of no connects. I have the bandwith for more projects(obvi thats why I have time to post here).  However,  since I watch my pennies closely as many freelancers do I refuse to purchase them. The success rate of sealing a deal with a client is way off kilter for it to be a value proposition for me and many others I'd assume. 

Lets say it takes 30 proposals at 6 connects to win a single contract(being kind). That equates to $30 give or take. Thats for a single gig with no gaurantee that it will be anything more. Not to mention the time and effort that goes into crafting a personal proposal.


The thing is yes, it might be $30 but how much are you going to earn from that? If you work out your averages you can simply incorporate the cost of connects in your pricing......

 

The time and effort that goes into a personal proposal would be the same if connects were free, so the only issue i see here is the cost. You have clearly been very succesful here so it puzzles me slightly why you wouldnt just adapt pricing slightly and carry on?


Russell T wrote:

You're assuming that they don't need connects to garner new work.

I'll use myself as an example. This is my 2nd or 3rd week of no connects. I have the bandwith for more projects(obvi thats why I have time to post here).  However,  since I watch my pennies closely as many freelancers do I refuse to purchase them. The success rate of sealing a deal with a client is way off kilter for it to be a value proposition for me and many others I'd assume. 

Lets say it takes 30 proposals at 6 connects to win a single contract(being kind). That equates to $30 give or take. Thats for a single gig with no gaurantee that it will be anything more. Not to mention the time and effort that goes into crafting a personal proposal.


It's true though that people who make $500/week don't need connects. September is always my absolute worst month on Upwork. I think this September I made like $3k give or take maybe $500. I bid a ton in the open marketplace even on jobs that I knew I would never get. With all that bidding, I still have 140 connects left and my billing cycle is in three days so I'll get more again. I can't spend my connects. If Upwork rewarded me with more connects, I'd be flooded with connects that I never use. 

 

I'd rather Upwork focus on attracting more clients. I feel charging clients is a terrible idea, but it is what it is and as long as I can keep attracting new long-term clients, I'm happy.


Petra R wrote:

Russell T wrote:

Could be as simple as for every $500 earned in a given span. You get X number of connects added to your account.  Positively reinforcing their end goal.


Neat idea in principle, let's say $ 500 a week, but most of those people who make the kind of money Upwork wants us to make, likely don't need many connects anyway.


And, they can afford to buy them because they understand how to profitably operate a business. Additional connects have little value to me because I haven't used the ones I already have. 

richard_wein
Member

Russell, if someone with your level of success on Upwork is put off by the need to spend a few dollars on connects, then I guess the benefit to you of using Upwork (compared with other sources of work) must be quite marginal. In that case, please do switch to those other sources of work, and leave the Upwork jobs to freelancers for whom the benefit of using Upwork is not marginal. ๐Ÿ˜€

russtice
Member

You all have it figured out so well. Sorry it was a dumb idea to offer such a suggestion as incentive to do more work on the platform. Shhh what was I thinking. 



Russell T wrote:

You all have it figured out so well. Sorry it was a dumb idea to offer such a suggestion as incentive to do more work on the platform. Shhh what was I thinking. 



I think you feel attacked even though we all seem to be impressed by your success. But you do not seem to be hearing our reply that it is not an incentive to many of us because we already don't use the free connects we have. Best of luck to you, whatever path you choose to follow.

Oh have come to expect attacks on this forum wouldn't have expected anything less, no worries.  

I am glad you don't need connects to garner new clients. Rest assured your situation is few and far between in this business. So kudos to you. 

The changes to the platform in general over the years has chipped away at its value proposition to me as a freelancer. The connect fee is just the final straw I suppose. It is what it is. 


Russell T wrote:

Oh have come to expect attacks on this forum wouldn't have expected anything less, no worries.  


Huh? Who attacked you?


Russell T wrote:

Oh have come to expect attacks on this forum wouldn't have expected anything less, no worries.  

I am glad you don't need connects to garner new clients. Rest assured your situation is few and far between in this business. So kudos to you. 

The changes to the platform in general over the years has chipped away at its value proposition to me as a freelancer. The connect fee is just the final straw I suppose. It is what it is. 


good grief, bro. Nobody attact you jeez.

 

I don't even think your idea is bad. I just think people who make weekly income from Upwork don't need connects. They probably get invited to lots of things and have plenty.

Russell,

 

   I think most people have just tried to offer some constructive help or advice. I certainly didnt mean to come across like i thought your idea was dumb - (for me free connects would come in very handy) BUT, looking at the bigger picture, your original post insinuated that you were not happy with the system as it is and cant/wont carry on with it. 

Whilst your idea is certainly not a dumb idea, it is not likely to happen (in the immediate future anyway) as such it seemed more use to try and offer advice that might help you look at the current situation in a different light.


Russell T wrote:

You all have it figured out so well. Sorry it was a dumb idea to offer such a suggestion as incentive to do more work on the platform. Shhh what was I thinking. 



I think the issue is that free connects aren't likely to be an incentive to freelancers who are earning the kind of money Upwork would want to incentivize. I don't know what the floor for that would be, but I'm sure it's in the thousands per month. If a freelancer is making, say, $5,000/month on Upwork, then spending even $50-100 on connects if it were necessary wouldn't be a deterrent.

I definitely agree with you that it's a bummer. I just started really using Upwork so things wouldn't be so tight at home. 

Russell, I'm late to the party but if Upwork wants to give me free connects, I won't turn them down. I still have 76 free connects that rolled over, but once they're gone, I guess I'll buy a few grudgingly. Most of my work currently recently has come by way of invites and existing clients, so I'm making the connects stretch.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Interesting discussion.

 

Nice to see John K, Petra, Jennifer M, and Russel T still around.

 

Looks like everybody except Petra and John changed their profile photos though.

 

I wonder how many of the old guard are still on UpWork.

I've been earning a little over $700 a month lately, and despite invitations and repeat clients, I still burn through connects. Extrapolating from only two months, I'm spending somewhere near the level of the cost for Plus membership. That said, I'm also not seeing any incentive in free connects, and might be doing more focused and targeted bidding because of connects cost. I'm here for the money, and if I have to invest a reasonably predictable amount each month to get it, I'm fine with that.