Let me first say -- I lead a charmed life, so I’m not surprised that two months into my Upwork freelancing career, my job success score is 100%, I’m doing ongoing work for two clients, and I’ve grossed nearly a grand.
You should also know that I’m the furthest thing from a business professional. I’ve jumped from job to job as a waitress, secretary, copywriter, and substitute teacher (atrocious experience, subbing). Try not to feel intimidated or undervalue yourself if you’re new to freelancing. You offer unique skills, and clients need you! I’m having a blast using my natural writing and proofreading talents, and I love working from home in my PJs.
There are tons of posts on getting started with Upwork. I won’t repeat everything I’ve read, but a few crucial tips merit reiteration: craft a short, relevant profile (my description is 80 words); use your connects wisely (I find I only need half, and I spend time tailoring each proposal); knock it out of the park for your clients (this is how I’ve earned positive feedback and repeat business).
My #1 triumph has been securing ongoing work. Once I established great relationships with clients who continue to give me projects, I was free to slow down on bidding for jobs. Another benefit of repeat clients is that once you’ve hit the $500 mark with a client, Upwork drops its cut to 10% on work done for that client.
My biggest pitfall has been my own insecurity and perfectionism. Here’s how I’m combatting that: I cut/paste every positive Upwork message I receive about my work into a new document in my “helpful things” folder, and I refer to that feedback often to remind myself I’m doing well (also, my new mantra is “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”).
You can do this! Land a project you love, complete it with care, and revel in the satisfaction of a job well done.
Thank you so much Chris for sharing your very valuable freelancing experience. That was so helpful for me and actually brought practical change in areas that I was deeply struggling with. Wish you all the best.
"Choose your adventure."
Hey Ahmed -- so glad to hear that! Yeah, for me it's all about the repeat clients. Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It's where 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. Best of luck to you! Btw, I can tell from your photo what an awesome person you are!