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ShannonL
Community Manager
Community Manager

Marketplace Updates: Boosted Proposals and Connects

Two new Marketplace updates: 

  1. Introduced a fourth slot in Boosted Proposals, increasing your chances of being noticed, while continuing to let clients see who is most interested in their job post.
  2. Adjusted the range for the cost of Connects per job to better match the demand for jobs in the Marketplace.

 

Check out the product release for Marketplace Updates: Boosted Proposals and Connects and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

603 REPLIES 603

8-12/16 i saw today 3/6/2023
is it glitch or upwok raised connects again per job?

azharuddin99
Community Member

There have been many many jobs that do not justify 8 connects. To apply for a potential job, 6 connects were more than enough as freelancers are already paying a lot. I think this needs to be revised.

 

Why 8 connects to apply for a $100 job or less? Indigestible!
 It was better if they had introduced it for only >= $500 jobs, it could have made more sense.

Exactly. If you're going to ask me to spend 8 connects, the job should have a minimum. 

k_froudarakis
Community Member

I wouldn't mind the boosting proposal system that much if Upwork added the following. A "relevance" score where the result of Upwork's ranking algorithm would be displayed next to the name of each freelancer to send a proposal.

 

That would be a great indicator of whether a freelancer is a good match for a job or is just using financial resources to do the equivalent of shouting louder than everyone else.

Konstantinos,

 

It's already a feature - it called Best Match.

So the client can already see the score of the ranking algorithm next to every freelancer's name? Not just one dubbed "Best Match"?

Have you used this function? Anyone who has knows it doesn't do a great job of matching.

mike_zimmerli
Community Member

Not every freelancer at UW wants to work for an agency. I want to be a freelancer. I am 66 and semi-retired. I wanted something I could do for as long as I desired - hopefully into my 70s. But I haven't had a new job this year. I had two that crossed into 2023, but since then, zilch. 

 

I keep hearing that Upwork needs to be profitable by 2024. How about this: I need to be profitable in 2023!  

 

Is something going to be down about the horrendous flood of "agencies" that are lowballing us, telling us a job that should be priced at $4K can be ours if we're willing to do it for $100 or less?  $400-$500 jobs are being "offered" for $25-$50, and the condescending line included is "Yes, this is below normal wage, but it's steady work." It's a farce.

 

A few months ago, I was turning away work because I couldn't do it all. Then last fall, it crashed, and I have had two smaller jobs since then. It's good that I don't have to live on what I make through UW.

 

1. COMPLETELY do away with the boosting fiasco.

2. VET the clients. There are so many scams on here that it's not even humorous anymore. Has anyone else in the writing world seen this one: "I'm just starting out, so I don't have a big budget. I know professional editors get paid a lot. I just hope I can find someone to do one round of editing of my 20K word romance for $50." Give me a break. I see dozens of that exact ad every single day. By the way, I figure editing at 1¢ a word a quarter of a penny a word. 20K words = $200, not $50. And that's still below my hourly rate of $35/hour. 

3. VET the freelancers. It's not for everyone. Bad freelancers give us all a bad name. 

4. Somehow, REDUCE the percentage that Upwork takes. If they TRULY  care for the people that bring them money, they wouldn't force us to work for next to nothing. My $35 an hour after UW's 20% is $28 - taxes, etc., and it's under $20. If  I have to buy $20 worth of connects for a job, I'm losing money in the first hour I work. More happy workers and happy clients mean a bigger pot of money. UW would rather take 20% of a little pot than 15% of a huge pot. 

 

I used to invite clients from the outside to come to UW. No more. If it's this bad for the workers, I can only imagine how bad it is for the clients. 

 

If I'm not here in six months, you know why. 

They have set my profile visibility to private (on some ground) maybe just after I raised my voice about insincere job posts. That's disgusting.

However, I kept it visible only to up workers before.


Kazi Q wrote:

They have set my profile visibility to private (on some ground) maybe just after I raised my voice about insincere job posts. That's disgusting.

However, I kept it visible only to up workers before.


Hi Kazi,

 

Your posts in the Community have no effect on your profile visibility.

Profiles of freelancers with a history of earnings on the platform will remain public unless they have not earned in more than two years, while profiles of new freelancers who haven’t earned on Upwork will be set to private after 90 days. You can check out this help article to learn more and request for your profile to be set to public. You can also consider subscribing to Freelancer Plus membership to ensure that your profile visibility is never set to private.
~ Valeria
Upwork

Valeria

 

I knew there are some conditions but it's hard to believe that this is a coincidence that I raised my voice about the insincere job post issues and I got my profile quarantined if I am not utterly wrong. That's not a problem for me but that's not decent.

 

I would like to reiterate that "the problem is when we see job posts from clients with less than 50% hire rate or even lower and where total client spend is not much or not mentionable and they demand 8 or 6 connects that becomes expensive for the newbies. Moreover, a good number of those clients are observed not to respond to even a few applicants for interviews let alone hiring anyone for months. Hope you understood my viewpoint about insincere job posts that are costing freelancers time and connects for no fruitful reasons."


Kazi A wrote:

I knew there are some conditions but it's hard to believe that this is a coincidence that I raised my voice about the insincere job post issues and I got my profile quarantined if I am not utterly wrong. That's not a problem for me but that's not decent.


All you have to do is read the help article that Valeria linked to and contact Upwork to reset your profile back to public. Nobody is punishing you for making comments.

 

 I saw a lot of '8 connects projects' in the news feed.
Is this something new? 6 was the maximum before. Does this mean that we will spend more USD for new projects?

Thanks

I just noticed this today, too. I didn't see any notice about it. Is Upwork trying to make more money, or are they trying to reduce the number of proposals to a job?

Yes I also observed, it is not looking good. It seems people who has money they only can survive. But the resources like me, as a new comer facing big problem. Even feeling shy when everyone is bidding high. Here skilled people might be neglected, which was not the primary goal of Upwork. Upwork should apply a general policy for all kinds of skilled people with full of love and respect. 

I spent around 600$ on proposals in the last 90 days. This means that I will spent additional 200-300$ in the next 90 days if I send the same number of proposals :S 

Some people keep forgetting what does working mean and why people are working in the first place, they ignore all of that and just impose rules they think everyone should take as given from the get go so they become normal, like it is the case with paying to apply to work. Ok, I understand they need to take cut from earnings, but that is different thing, they are taking after earnings are made - paying to apply for work is nonsense which had become normal. Bidding wars? come on, get serious 🙂 You need to spend time to research client and write proposal and after that you only have to win in Bidding Wars game so all of that you were writing gets read anyhow 🤣 I mean it really becomes Orvellian when you think about it

You hit the nail on the head! When I'm invited to apply for jobs with that "can't pay much but can offer steady work," I tell them that the only thing worse than one low-paying job is a steady diet of low-paying jobs. When I'm invited to apply for jobs that pay outrageously low rates, I point out that it can easily take two days to edit 20k words (I'm sure you've noticed that many documents written by unskilled writers verge on needing rewriting, not just editing) and ask them if they would work for two days on something to earn $50. Of course, I never hear from them again, but at least I feel better for having pointed this out.

BTW, I never understood why anyone would want to bring their outside clients to Upwork. I keep my private clients on the outside and pay no commissions. Regular corporate clients get billed monthly and always pay up. New or occasional clients have to pay their bill before I release their work. Why move them to Upwork (I'm probably missing something here)?

mily23
Community Member

Hello, Upwork community!


Edit: I have found the culprit, is something they announced and applied just yesterday: 
Marketplace Updates: Boosted Proposals and Co... - Upwork Community
Still, is very alarming...

I have noticed a worrying trend on the platform:

The cost of general connects/proposal is much higher than it was before. For example, most job proposals cost 6 connects now. Even if the client has no experience, is paying really low rates, and/or doesn't have a verified payment method. That kind of proposal only cost 1 or 2 connects in the past.

Now, most job proposals cost 8 and more connects per proposal. The price range or type of jobs remained the same, but the number of required connects is now much higher than before. Do you have a similar experience? 


sofia2008
Community Member

Here is the official announcement: 

Marketplace Updates: Boosted Proposals and Co... - Upwork Community

 

 

 

 

mily23
Community Member

Yes, thank you! I just saw it... but I am worried that even clients with the characteristics I´ve just described need that many connects for proposals... I am afraid that many new freelancers with no income yet are going to have a bad time with fishy and scammy ad posts that still run rampant in Upwork and are going to leave the platform disappointed with these changes...

If an ad is taken down as a scam, everyone gets their connects back, so the increased price shouldn't make anyone have a worse time with scams than they did before.

Not all scam ads are removed. As a veteran at Upwork, you may not have to face those rampant posts.

 

From a newbie's perspective (not from a veteran's), raising connect spend is a bit problematic, but it becomes worse when that happens simultaneously with mushrooming insincere job posts demanding 8, 6, or 4 connects.

Hi Kazi and others,

 

I understand the concern with spam job posts or posts that violate Upwork TOS. I'd like to reiterate that if a job post is found to be in violation of Upwork TOS, the Connects freelancers used to apply to it will be refunded.
Raising the number of Connects needed for certain jobs has several benefits, including giving us more resources to put toward 
reducing spam job posts and proposals, and keeping unwanted, fraudulent users off Upwork. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

Valeria

 

You are quite right from your standpoint and from your current status at Upwork as a freelancer.

 

But the problem is when we see job posts from clients with less than 50% hire rate or even lower and where total client spend is not much or not mentionable and they demand 8 or 6 connects that becomes expensive for the newbies. Moreover, a good number of those clients are observed not to respond to even a few applicants for interviews let alone hiring anyone for months. Hope you understood my viewpoint about insincere job posts that are costing freelancers time and connects for no fruitful reasons.

They have set my profile visibility to private (on some ground) may be just after I raised my voice about insincere job posts. That's disgusting.

However, I kept it visible only to up workers before.

Milesther,

 

That is the goal to have fewer unqualified freelancers sending out proposals. Now ALL freelancers will stop and think if they are truly a great match for the client's job post. Have a great day!

No William. The people who were boosting 40 connects for a $50 job will not stop and think. They'll just have an easier time outspending everybody else.

That is the goal to have fewer unqualified freelancers sending out proposals. Now ALL freelancers will stop and think if they are truly a great match for the client's job post. Have a great day!


If Upwork truly wants to have fewer unqualified freelancers, they'd stop auto-approving every terrible new profile. Why do you think they're still welcoming absolutely everyone who applies, if there are too many freelancers already? If people are desperate for work, an extra 30 cents isn't going to stop them from bidding.

 

You probably missed it because you weren't in the forum at the time, but when Upwork increased their service charges to 20% instead of 10%, hundreds of freelancers complained and threatened to leave, then again when Upwork introduced paid connects, and again when they introduced boosting. Guess what? They've still got way more freelancers than they need.

William, have you heard of the schemes used on Upwork? One account posts a very lucrative job, great pay, long hours, awesome description, the employer has good ratings and so on. The description of the project is kind of wide and provides all sorts of encouragements like "more work will follow", "if you don't fully comply with requirements, we would still be happy to talk to you". The job gets 50+ applications at 8 Connects, first 4 top places going for 90-120 connects.

 

The second account, makes a simple big of 8 connects, gets the project awarded, gets paid $20 and the job is closed with highest rating and great feedback on both sides.

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

Do that 3-4 times a week in your field of expertise and all your competitors are bled dry by the time the actual customer publishes an actual project.

 

Now ask yourself if Upwork has any incentive to do anything about it? Connects = revenue. 

4deb59e6
Community Member

With that increase I appeal that the minium number of connects for Freelancer Basic plan should be inceased to 20 connects now, 10 connects seems nothing.

aaron-messer
Community Member

Can you guys remove the boost option? 
It's really hard to get jobs for freelancers. Many fake and unprofessional guys boost their proposals and took the top 4 slots. 
So the other developers don't have enough chance to show their proposals to the clients. 
Vise versa, clients have fewer chances to hire professional developers because many new freelancers(0 earned) boost their proposals to take the top 4 seats. 
The boost option is not a good idea for both clients and freelancers. 

I think so!


Aaron M wrote:

Many fake and unprofessional guys boost their proposals and took the top 4 slots. 
So the other developers don't have enough chance to show their proposals to the clients. 


When I raised the question of whether or not freelancers who were not playing the boost game were even getting their proposals in front of the clients, I was assured that the clients could see ALL the proposals. Someone else told me that mine were hardly ever being viewed by potential clients. (A perk of paying for your account rather than a free account??)

 

I'm still not convinced that my proposals are being seen. I've been doing this for two-plus years and was seeing an increase in jobs and getting bigger, more lucrative projects. Then WHAM! The door shut last fall. Upwork changed something, whether it was a more laser-focus on boosting or their push to make all projects have the potential to be converted to long-term (permanent) work/jobs at outside companies.

 

I'm hoping—fingers crossed—that this change eliminates some of the unqualified proposals and freelancers. I'm hoping, but I'm not hopeful. But I'm optimistic enough to ride it out.  

Upwork says that the boost feature is for reducing the proposals but that's not true actually. 

Too many freelancers submit proposals and the clients don't want to scroll down and down to the bottom. 
They see only a few proposals on the first page. So only boosted proposals(4 guys) and 1 lucky guy has a chance to show their proposals to the clients. 
Whether the boost feature exists or not, still lots of freelancers submit their proposals. 
So the boost feature is not for reducing proposals, it's Upwork's strategy to take more money from the freelancers. 

 

jvbonzi
Community Member

If Upworks plans were to be more profitable with that, at least from my end it's making the opposite. I am spending much less connects now, and applying for fewer jobs than ever. 

 

But at least by what they said, that's their plan, right? fewer candidates per job, so it's working. Let's see how long they will keep that idea if their revenue starts to drop with that, then they will come up with something like "we heard you freelancers!".

 

For new freelancers, especially for the ones living in underdeveloped countries, it will be unfeasible for many. Many new freelancers give up on this platform already because they can't even win their first job. Sometimes it takes months. If that's Upwork's plan, to have fewer freelancers, that will surely work, as the freelancers that are not making any money yet or just starting in the platform will definitely give up and seek somewhere cheaper.

 

It will become a platform designed for freelancers that are already making decent money, or living in a developed country and can afford it.

 

Upwork is already one of the most expensive freelancing platforms out there. Just google it and will see that the main con most articles say about Upwork is how expensive it is. And it's just getting worse. Therefore I can't agree with the increase in price.

Vitor,

 

For the freelancers reading this post, the net result of increasing the minimum connect bidding to 8 will be:

 

- Fewer freelancers bidding on jobs that truly are not a good match.

- Fewer freelancer submissions for client review which speeds the client decision making process.

- Increased revenues for stockholders. Upwork NEEDS to become profitable. Hopefully by  2024.

 

Increasing the minimum bid should make the professional freelancers, clients and Upwork shareholders happier.

 

It is highly likely that the bid system will need to continue to increase to the 12 to 18 minimum range to met the above goals. The data scientists and the economist at Upwork can optimize for the best outcome once the new data starts coming in. My best guess is that 8 connects will be very inelastic and bidding will need to go higher to have the desired outcome for all involved.

Sorry Willian, I had seen your argument before and tried to see things on your perspective, but I don't agree with it.

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