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mrsslong
Member

Proposal questions: milestone section and email requests

Hey all! I'm new to Upwork and I hope this is the correct place to post my questions. I am new to submitting proposals here, and I have a proposal that I'd like to learn from. I got an unexpected response today from my very first proposal..  I submitted a proposal for a writing contract. The employer gave his hourly rate and an estimated sum for the entire project. I thought we had to fill out the how we want to be paid section, so I put it in as a milestone payment and put in the hourly rate the employer had mentioned. Where it asked how you'd like to be paid, I wrote I'd like to be paid the hourly rate the employer suggested ($XX) -and weekly if convenient. Today I got an offer from the employer for an interview. The employer asked me to click on his company calendar to make an appointment. The calendar was off Upwork. I wrote a reply in Upwork's messenger. Basically, I thanked him and said I was very interested and would love to interview for the position. But, being new to Upwork and having read Upwork's terms, I was uncomfortable sharing contact information before we had a contract. I asked him if we could use Upwork's platform to set an appointment and interview. He wrote back that the calendar was the way he always scheduled interviews and he was concerned I brought up $ before an interview and mentioned how I wanted to be paid (he was referencing the milestone form). These two things made him wonder if I would be a good fit for the job. I obviously mis-communicated. I'm still trying to process what I did wrong and how to proceed.  My questions:  1. Are we supposed to fill out the pay section of the form when we submit a proposal- or should we leave that until after the contract? 2. If we have to fill out that section-How should I have filled out the milestone? 3. Was I wrong to be concerned about sending my email through his calendar link? Did I misunderstand Upwork's policy?  4. What can I take away from this exchange to make my next proposal go more smoothly?!  Again, thank you for any feedback. Syl
ACCEPTED SOLUTION
colettelewis
Member


Sylvia L wrote:
Hey all! I'm new to Upwork and I hope this is the correct place to post my questions. I am new to submitting proposals here, and I have a proposal that I'd like to learn from. I got an unexpected response today from my very first proposal..  I submitted a proposal for a writing contract. The employer gave his hourly rate and an estimated sum for the entire project. I thought we had to fill out the how we want to be paid section, so I put it in as a milestone payment and put in the hourly rate the employer had mentioned. Where it asked how you'd like to be paid, I wrote I'd like to be paid the hourly rate the employer suggested ($XX) -and weekly if convenient. Today I got an offer from the employer for an interview. The employer asked me to click on his company calendar to make an appointment. The calendar was off Upwork. I wrote a reply in Upwork's messenger. Basically, I thanked him and said I was very interested and would love to interview for the position. But, being new to Upwork and having read Upwork's terms, I was uncomfortable sharing contact information before we had a contract. I asked him if we could use Upwork's platform to set an appointment and interview. He wrote back that the calendar was the way he always scheduled interviews and he was concerned I brought up $ before an interview and mentioned how I wanted to be paid (he was referencing the milestone form). These two things made him wonder if I would be a good fit for the job. I obviously mis-communicated. I'm still trying to process what I did wrong and how to proceed.  My questions:  1. Are we supposed to fill out the pay section of the form when we submit a proposal- or should we leave that until after the contract? 2. If we have to fill out that section-How should I have filled out the milestone? 3. Was I wrong to be concerned about sending my email through his calendar link? Did I misunderstand Upwork's policy?  4. What can I take away from this exchange to make my next proposal go more smoothly?!  Again, thank you for any feedback. Syl

______________________________

You didn't do anything wrong and you were quite right to insist on continuing through Upwork.  The client deliberately wrong-footed you. IMO you dodged a bullet. 

 

If a client posts a job offer with an hourly rate and answers and invites you to an interview, you will only see the hourly rate on the invitation, so then you enter your hourly rate which doesn't  necessarily have to match the client's rate.

 

If the client posts a fixed-rate offer and invites you, you have a choice between being paid for the entire job or by milestone. (I usually go for the entire job, unless it is a really long gig. 

 

At this stage, everything is open to negotiation, so whatever payment system you agree with your client will be reflected in the  Upwork Offer. Once you accept the offer,  the payment method can't be changed.

 

Does the client have any history on Upwork?  (Ratings etc.) 

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9 REPLIES 9
colettelewis
Member


Sylvia L wrote:
Hey all! I'm new to Upwork and I hope this is the correct place to post my questions. I am new to submitting proposals here, and I have a proposal that I'd like to learn from. I got an unexpected response today from my very first proposal..  I submitted a proposal for a writing contract. The employer gave his hourly rate and an estimated sum for the entire project. I thought we had to fill out the how we want to be paid section, so I put it in as a milestone payment and put in the hourly rate the employer had mentioned. Where it asked how you'd like to be paid, I wrote I'd like to be paid the hourly rate the employer suggested ($XX) -and weekly if convenient. Today I got an offer from the employer for an interview. The employer asked me to click on his company calendar to make an appointment. The calendar was off Upwork. I wrote a reply in Upwork's messenger. Basically, I thanked him and said I was very interested and would love to interview for the position. But, being new to Upwork and having read Upwork's terms, I was uncomfortable sharing contact information before we had a contract. I asked him if we could use Upwork's platform to set an appointment and interview. He wrote back that the calendar was the way he always scheduled interviews and he was concerned I brought up $ before an interview and mentioned how I wanted to be paid (he was referencing the milestone form). These two things made him wonder if I would be a good fit for the job. I obviously mis-communicated. I'm still trying to process what I did wrong and how to proceed.  My questions:  1. Are we supposed to fill out the pay section of the form when we submit a proposal- or should we leave that until after the contract? 2. If we have to fill out that section-How should I have filled out the milestone? 3. Was I wrong to be concerned about sending my email through his calendar link? Did I misunderstand Upwork's policy?  4. What can I take away from this exchange to make my next proposal go more smoothly?!  Again, thank you for any feedback. Syl

______________________________

You didn't do anything wrong and you were quite right to insist on continuing through Upwork.  The client deliberately wrong-footed you. IMO you dodged a bullet. 

 

If a client posts a job offer with an hourly rate and answers and invites you to an interview, you will only see the hourly rate on the invitation, so then you enter your hourly rate which doesn't  necessarily have to match the client's rate.

 

If the client posts a fixed-rate offer and invites you, you have a choice between being paid for the entire job or by milestone. (I usually go for the entire job, unless it is a really long gig. 

 

At this stage, everything is open to negotiation, so whatever payment system you agree with your client will be reflected in the  Upwork Offer. Once you accept the offer,  the payment method can't be changed.

 

Does the client have any history on Upwork?  (Ratings etc.) 

Thank you Nicola! I appreciate your encouragement and feedback! I didn't want to overreact. To answer your question, yes, the employer has verified payment and several reviews. 


Sylvia L wrote:

Thank you Nicola! I appreciate your encouragement and feedback! I didn't want to overreact. To answer your question, yes, the employer has verified payment and several reviews. 


______________________

In that case, it is to be hoped that Upwork will investigate the client. (Hope, of course, must spring eternal!)

 I don't think you overreacted. It takes a while to get traction on Upwork, but I am sure you will soon.  

 

Good luck! 

 

 

egaruth
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Sylvia,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. I will send your report to our team for further investigation and appropriate actions will be taken according to our internal processes.

 

I would like to confirm that sharing contact information before a contract has started is against Upworkโ€™s Upwork's Terms of Service and that all communications prior to the contract starting must take place on Upwork. We also encourage you to let us know if a TOS violation has happened by using the Flag as Inappropriate option throughout the platform. You can learn more about user reporting here.

 

You may want to check this post for the freelancer resources and tips for avoiding questionable jobs that we put together to help freelancers make decisions whether to work with a client or not.

 

Here you can find more information on how to stay safe on Upwork.  

~ Nikola
Upwork

I appreciate your response! Thank you for the educational links. Is there anything further I need to do?

Sylvia  

You did absolutely everything wrong from the scammers point of view, because that is what he was. He was trying to get you out of the platform, insinuating that payment could be out of upwork too. 

If only everybody would be so diligent to not communicate outside before hire...

But now you really need to read everything about how the platform works, because you were too easily confused by what the person was saying, and that's not a good thing. Also, your overview shows you are new to freelancing. This is not the place for a resume. This is the place where you very subtly tell the client why he should hire you and nobody else. In short, customer oriented. As a writer, I need to be dazzled by your words. So go ahead and do that. 

Thank you for your encouragement and response! 

Best wishes, 

Sylvia 

In addition to what Nichola and Martina said... Do yourself a favor and get thoroughly familiar with how UW contracts and payment terms work, so you're better equipped to decide which contract model will work best for you on a given project. (Some people work only fixed-price, others work only hourly, many of us including myself use either one depending on the project.) You also won't be so easily thrown by pushy and/or ill-informed clients.

Also bear in mind that clients are sometimes receptive to using a different contract model than they asked for. That is, they may advertise seeking to pay hourly but be happy with a fixed-price contract (or vice versa) with a FL who proposes and explains how it will work better. And sometimes they advertise for fixed-price and give you no clue as to their budget, in which case you can use placeholder amounts for milestones in the proposal and specify in your cover letter that they are placeholders pending discussion of specific requirements.

Before you do anything else, though, give your profile overview an overhaul. Anything a client can find elsewhere in your profile (education, job history, even your name) does NOT belong in the overview. That is the most valuable real estate you have and it needs to showcase your most compelling capabilities. IMO a very useful exercise is searching the platform for FLs with credentials comparable to yours who are succeeding here (earning money at a level you want to earn, and maintaining strong JSS) and studying their profiles.

 

This is a long game that takes perseverence, confidence, and a thick skin. And not least, the desire and ability to examine what happens when you miss and figure out what to do differently next time. That is the toughest thing for some people to grasp but you already did it instinctively, so good for you!

 

Good luck!

Thank you for your response and helpful advice. 

Best wishes, 

Sylvia

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