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Not getting first job after trying everything

I have spent numerous hours looking at tips, tricks from YouTube and Community Boards about personalizing my pitches, and have tried everything under the sun. 
One suggestion was to make my profile 'public', but apparently I cannot do that as I have not 'earned in a while' on UpWork. 

Am I really missing out on some secret sauce or what? I applied to 40+ jobs, with personalized pitches, and went the extra mile to even give a snippet of the task to deliver... in spite of this, no luck! 


I am on the verge of giving up hope, guys. Any recommendations/suggestions at this point will be appreciated. I don't want to be wasting long hours reading and applying for suitable jobs when the outcome is absolute zilch. 


Distressed Mr., 

Muhammad A Qureshi

Community Member

Freelancing is the game of patience. Its not just applying for the job but only to the right job.  Each job has many experienced freelancers bid. So how to survive? Few points to keep in mind

- always bid to the most relevant job and try to bid early

- keep patience it may take months you get your first job. Its tuff in the beginning but highly rewarding for those who know how to grab an opportunity 

- Your profile should be too good. Share your experience outside upwork there

-   Create your cover letter as per job requirements not the same one for each job. Offer the client more ways of communication like video or audio call so you can tell him that you are able to do this job.

Community Member

Hi Muhammad, There is a lot of talent on here and there are two types of clients. One type of client is looking for the cheapest work possible because they are outsourcing the work to you or they are not knowledgable about what they want done and do not understand what the true costs of professional work is. These clients are not what you want to build a freelance business. The other type of client is looking for highly specialized talent who can achieve high level results for their company or their clients. This client will be looking for a proven track record ( great reviews, great ratings ), and and appropriate pricing that would show that they are experts.


At the beginning of upwork you will have to work with the first category of low quality clients who only want things done cheap. You need to accept that you must build your portfolio and work for low ( often unlivable ) pricing to achieve that. This is only temporary and it's important that you have a plan to increase your pricing. So for example. Whatever you do, offer to do it for $50 dollars or some very low rate. You must do a great job on that project to get a good review, and let the client know upfront that you are taking on the job at a reduced rate to build your upwork ratings up. Every time you complete a job, increase your pricing. So you may start at $5 an hour and increase by $1 every job. After 3 months of this you should have great reviews and your pricing should start to allow you to put more time into your freelancing. At some point you will be a highly rated expert charging enough money to run your business full time.  Your goal is not to be getting the fast and cheap jobs. Your goal is to get serious work from clients who want your expertise. Whatever you do, you need to focus and market yourself as an expert in that particular thing. For example, I am a logo expert, but I also do many other things that I let my clients know about after the logo job has been completed succesfully. It took me 5 years to build my business on upwork and the first 3 years I was not making much money. So you need to think long term and be putting in the time. The biggest lesson I learned was the need to focus on a particular skill or job, and the importance of building a routine to apply to jobs every day. Be an expert at something and tell people about that expertise everyday. Wish you the best of luck. - Chris

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