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Unresponsive client in an opened hourly contract doesn't send tasks | Advices for a New Member

alexproactive
Active Member
Alejandro M Member Since: Mar 18, 2018
1 of 9

Hi! UpWork Community.

 

As this is my first post in this forum, i'd like to say that, as many of you: I'm in love with this platform. I've just accomplished my first month in this place and i've been capable of much more than I thought I will. This is by far, one of my greatest experiences working online to date. Starting from April 2nd, I fortunately have had 6 different clients, 100+ hours of proud work and greatful experiences. 

 

I work in various areas, but mainly as a Virtual Assistant. 60 hours per week is my average goal, the amount of work i'm willing to offer and achieve. Since the very beggining, and because I was receiving many invitations, I've had to develop a very tight schedule for the very first week of hard work. 68 hours. I managed to complete 60.  I have 4 active contracts by the moment, all of them hourly. Work 1 (60 hours), Work 2 (15 hours), Work 3 (10 hours), Work 4 (3 hours)

 

First question comes by: What should I do with clients that get my weekly limit higher without asking? For example, my contract with Work 2 (my first hourly job) started by 5 hours. Steadly being increased throughout the weeks. I know I can talk this through with the client, but is there any way to avoid them to do so? How do you guys do in those scenarios where you're really busy but clients still want to take more of your time?

 

But what drives me to post this is my curiosity in how to behave when clients start to be unresponsive about the job. For example, when suddenly one day they just do not send you work (even if you scheduled that activity), and same thing for the other day. What should I do then to maintain my work to achieve the average? Is this usual in UpWork?

 

I'm worried specially because I set myself as unavailable  since I couldn't accept more job invitations.

 

  • Work 1 is a long-term job. It's the most reliable one, but even this week we stopped working for a few days. I understand this, this is not a typical job. But, my main statement is: I can't stop working. Specially because I need to achieve my 60 hours per week mark.
  • Work 2 is not very straight-forward with time, but as I see, the client is satisficed with my work. I went up from 5 hours to 15 hours. But haven't engaged any activity/communication this week (10 hours less).
  • Work 3 is about writing a book, and i'm sure that that'll be gone soon. But as Work 2, didn't send anything this week, that means more hours without work in a week.
  • Work 4 is the one that dissapeared. Only the first week we worked greatly, then he said he was about to send me work and never appeared again. I sent him a text asking him if he wanted me to continue, but he said he'll first do something. I just wrote him again to clarify.

So, to resume everything my questions are:

 

  • How do you manage an unresponsive client with an opened hourly contract that does not send you tasks? What if he doesn't respond to your messages? What if you do not want to lose that contact?
  • What can I do to ensure I'll be able to complete my 60 hours per week (or any mark I set) mark?
  • Do you have any advice for me to keep growing for a Top Rated score? I have read every single step and rules, I already have the Rising Talent one, and I do believe in this platform as a main workplace for my grandslam in this business.

P.s. I'm from Venezuela, and i'm maintaining my family with this. Also I want to get out of this country asap. That's the reason of my hurry to maintain a schedule.

 

Thanks for reading,

Appreciate your comments, before hand.

Alejandro.

 

tranvanhieu
Community Guru
Hieu T Member Since: Aug 11, 2017
2 of 9

You must understand that hourly job is not 100% stable, clients only want you to work until the current tasks completed, then they also have to wait for next task, or they will not have any more task at all. You probably can't ask them to always give you 10 or 20 hours per week.

 

Because you want truly want is a stable income, not 60 hours, so I think one way for you is to find more fixed price jobs (that will can do whenever you have free time). You can fill the idle time with these jobs.

 

Good luck!

Hieu T

Vietnamese translator
alexproactive
Active Member
Alejandro M Member Since: Mar 18, 2018
3 of 9

Thanks for your suggestion, Hieu.

You're logically right.

 

I understand, then, the dynamic of hourly jobs which is depending on the client's needs and not the hours that we've set for the job. Even if the client increase the limit there's no actual proof that you're going to work them.

 

But, still, If the client increase the weekly limit, does not send you work in a week and then you seek for another client and start working/compromising with him/her.

 

What could yo do to manage a situation like that?

 

Also, I do not find that much offers of fixed contracts in my area. Have you ever negociated with a client to change from hourly to fixed payment? And if so, what are the main suggestions for that matter? 

 

Same luck for you,

Alejandro.

holymell
Community Guru
Melissa C Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
BEST ANSWER
4 of 9
Hieu is correct. Sometimes clients get what they need and disappear.

I wait a few weeks, sometimes a month, then I message the client and ask if they'd be so kind as to close the contract for now and I let them know that I would be happy to open a new one when they have more work for me.

On a separate note, you wouldn't have to work 60 hours a week if you raised your rate.

You have some good reviews under your belt and a few ongoing jobs. It's time to raise your rate (for new clients, not the ones you're currently working with). I would suggest bumping it up to at lest $10/hr if not $15.

View solution in original post

alexproactive
Active Member
Alejandro M Member Since: Mar 18, 2018
5 of 9

Thanks, Melissa!

 

What do you do while you're waiting the few weeks or the month? Do you compromise with another client?

Imagine that you still have an opened hourly contract with a 30/h per week limit. Would you compromise with another client even in that case?

 

I see that you both are managing almost every contract with fixed-payments. How do you do the transitions, just looking around for offers or do you negociate that with the client?

 

And about the raising my rate, I could bump it up to 10$, in fact I was thinking about it as well, but knowing the market i'm working in (admin support), I don't know if this exact moment is the perfect one for that. I was thinking about going smoothly and steady with that increase. Do you still recommend it knowing that? Why?

 

Thanks again for your answers, they really help a lot!

Alejandro.

8db515b6
Active Member
Laura C Member Since: Jul 12, 2018
6 of 9

Dear Alejandro,

 

Regarding: "How do you do the transitions, just looking around for offers or do you negociate that with the client?"

 

I tend to look for other short-term hourly or short-term fixed-price "filler projects" to fill in the gaps and let my current long-term contracts remain as is. I have no desire to ruffle great working relationships if at all avoidable. 

 

Regarding: "And about the raising my rate, I could bump it up to 10$, in fact I was thinking about it as well, but knowing the market i'm working in (admin support), I don't know if this exact moment is the perfect one for that. I was thinking about going smoothly and steady with that increase. Do you still recommend it knowing that? " 

 

If I were you, I would increase the rate to at least $10 if not more. Remember, the client can always counter offer if they want to -- and clients often do. The goal is to come to an agreement that both the freelancer and the client are content with. 

 

My personal advice: Figure out how much money you need to meet your bills, etc averaged out on a weekly basis. (Total all of your expenses for the entire year and then divide that amount by 52. That is your base weekly income requirement.) Figure out how much time you are willing to work each week. Divide the base weekly income requirement by the number of hours you are willing to work. Use that as your minimum rate. As your reputation grows and becomes more famous, increase your rate every few months until you discover what the market will bear for your services. When a contract is paused, look for short-term fixed-priced projects or short-term hourly projects that will pay you at least the amount you would have earned if you charged your normal hourly rate for the amount of time spent on those short-term "filler" projects. That has been my strategy and it has worked out fairly well for me. 

 

I hope that helps! :~)

 

Warmly,

 

Laura

junaidlatif
Active Member
Junaid L Member Since: Aug 7, 2018
7 of 9

Hi there,
I have a query regarding client Unresponsive.
client send me offer and i accepted.
they have created milestone as well which is completed today 27-1-2021.
after that client not respond . what i can do for now?
they already add payment in Escrow.


please help me 

bstojadinovic
Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
8 of 9

Hi Junaid,

 

If the client has simply stopped responding but the milestone was funded in escrow, then the client has a period of 14 days from the most recent work submission on a milestone to review and request any changes, after which the funds will automatically be released from escrow to you.

 

You don't want to submit the work more than once, since this resets the clock back to the beginning and you will have to wait 14 days from your most recent submission for the funds to be released if the client does not take action on their end. You can have a look at this article about Fixed-Price Protection for more information.

 

Thank you!


~ Bojan
Untitled
junaidlatif
Active Member
Junaid L Member Since: Aug 7, 2018
9 of 9

Thank you so much for your time.