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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
ri3dviz
Community Member

They are reluctant to charge clients to list a job, which makes the platform a free for all of scammers, bad clients and low ball job listings. If they charged clients to post the number of jobs would go down but they would be better, that's not their business model though it's volume equals more profit.

If they don't help freelancers then they will fail because they're not the only game in town, freelancers are paying their salaries all through the process with little regard for all the crap here.
I understand their business model it's a numbers game, more jobs on the books more profit. Precisely why they don't charge clients to post a job, which if they did it would weed out a lot of the BS postings.
It's not my company but I certainly wouldn't run it this way, I'm not sure it'll get better since I have been here since day one and it's much worse now than ever.

correct...
lets wait for a time freelancers connect together and develop another platform... a cheaper one.. and competitor of UW... however long it takes to get established completely.

lbooth
Community Member

I don't use the boosted connects. I can't afford to use 40 connects to boost my proposal, but I also notice that UW is not letting clients see my proposals. I highly dislike the boosted proposals. Clients are not getting to see the freelancers' proposals that are actually the right fit, they're seeing the ones who have paid the most, thus defeating the entire connects program. Unless the entire program's purpose is to make us buy more connects so they make more money. Then it's working perfectly.

Last month, I had more work than I could almost handle, this month? Bupkis. And I'm putting proposals out there. I'm a top-rated freelancer. Seems to me that, boosted connects or not, top rated freelancers should be promoted, not punished.

nbwosm
Community Member

I have seen two job posts requiring 8 connects and also have 4 boosted spots. I believe this was only rolled out in the last day or so. I have not seen any announcement on it. Curious if anyone else has?

rodrigobeta
Community Member

6 connects was already a lot. And all good projects are now 8 and still full of proposals.

 

 

its called... earning money with both hands...  some financial guru at UW thought of this scheme... of taking advantage of UW goodwill

uxidiom
Community Member

I'm confused about some recent activity on Upwork. I noticed that 8 connects were deducted from my account for a high-budget job, even though I didn't increase my bid. I'm not sure why this happened. Additionally, I didn't receive the 10 free connects that Upwork usually provides when a client responds to my proposal. Can someone please explain what might be going on?

jvbonzi
Community Member

And no more "1 connect" jobs

b29f8994
Community Member

Hello.
Tonight I noticed that the cost of responding to customer requests has risen. Everything would be fine, but now the average price is 6 connections per response. I thought this was an isolated case, but I have at least 5 requests in the feed in the last hour that cost 8 connections. I did not see any information or news about this.

P.S. It seems to me that I will soon be giving 50% to upwork just for giving me at least a job.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

I also am now seeing jobs for 8 connections. It's getting difficult to justify costs here.

It just kills the ability to compete, a couple of applications and you are forced to buy connections again. Pay 8 connections for a request that the client overestimated in terms or rate. But what can I say, according to my statistics, 70% of requests are not even viewed.

It seems now it costs more to apply.  I have seen few $5 fixed price jobs that costs 4 connects (those jobs guarantee 5 star feedbacks). Some jobs 100 -300 range now costs 6 connects.

Well, yes.

 

Wondering if that's the only thing you've missed.

Thanks. 4 connects for a 5 buck job and many people applied!

The number of Connects is driven by demand for that type of job on the marketplace, not by the value of the job.

I just saw one for 6 dollars,  12 connects point to apply.

the minum now to propose is 8 , with pick of 16 connects!

 

 

natkin-rick
Community Member

Raise your hand if you are shocked...  SHOCKED!  To find there is gambling going on in the casino.   (Where are my winnings?) 

9ae2d9a7
Community Member

Hi,

All Frustrating freelancers, I am also one of those, I think its a big stone burden on our head. When I check a job for 8 connects.

 

  • Job hire rate is 50%.
  • Upwork decides the connects as per their amount or high billing rate only.

if the clients' chooses us for job as per our score and our badges(they are top rated or top rated plus). Why not these rules for clients' jobs for their connects(if they have low rating or low hire rate)? But Upwork has no eyes on their clients his only eyes on freelancers who makes money.🙄 😂

  •  if the job have 8 connects how far the connects for boosting, why upwork squeeze us very slowly 🙄

Hope you all agree with me 
keep raise your voice for it.

They are dealing with freelancers as BiG CHANCES to scam their profits, even if they are already cutting shares of their profits already from 10-20% per done job.

 

Instead of delivering a good service for both Freelancers and Clients, it turns into an INSANE desire of demolishing freelancer's hopes. This is not a fair system.!

If they want to help they just can LIMIT the number of proposals, but as we can see it only help the site only and most of freelancers would go to another platforms or even find another job but freelancing.

Limiting the number of proposals would mean—only people who have nothing to do but stare at their feed and jump on job listings instantly get a chance to propose

 

In my field I regularly see over 50 proposals within the first 20 minutes of a listing. What a firehose!!

 

Professionals who are doing work for their clients, may check in to their feed once a day (or less—when Upwork was functioning better for me I tried to check in only once or twice a week). Limiting the number of proposals would mean clients get only the lowest-quality, most desperate proposals, and clients would think that UW has nothing but such people to offer them. Already a large percentage of clients make no hire. Showing an even worse selection would be the kiss of death for the site.

 

Stopping proposals after X number just wouldn't help in the way it seems. Like turning off the firehose when only dust and sand has gotten through... before there's any water.

 

In my opinion (it should be) either random order, time order (with clients made aware that good freelancers aren't always jumping in first), or weighted by quality of freelancer. Weighted by who pays most, as it is now, is crap.

I know, but I said that because this guy William T C said up there that one of the reasons for increasing connects for bids is making fewer freelancers bidders.

 

 

I see where you were going with it. It's a tough problem.


Abd El-Karim K wrote:

I know, but I said that because this guy William T C said up there that one of the reasons for increasing connects for bids is making fewer freelancers bidders.


It's not. If Upwork really had too many freelancers, they would stop accepting new ones.

Great points, Kelly. I don't like to spend time prospecting - I like to work and do what I am good at, and it's definitely not my top priority to spend countless hours scrolling through proposals that have boosted proposals that would cost like 50$ just to bid and over 50+ people applied. And that could be a one-and-done type of job.

I think making changes that you've proposed would make it better than just showing those proposals from oftentimes people who have no clue how to approach the job, yet who spent 50-60 bucks to be #1.

And it's about clients. I think Upwork does little to nothing in terms of attracting new clients. If there's no demand, there's no supply. If we don't have good clients there's zero reasons to stay here, IMO.

For the record that boosting proposals has yielded zero (0) jobs for me since its inception. I don't even bother bidding on jobs anymore it just costs more money. I normally only apply to jobs i am well suited to, why would i bother otherwise? Now the client isn't looking at the most qualified freelancers but the most desperate. I'm not here to play little bidding games and gamble connects. It's a big waste of time and clients i've spoken to don't like it either. Spend time on improving the functionality of the site. I spend more time explaining to clients how to hire me than I should.

Fix prefab questions suggested to clients that are not relevant to the industry.  "where do you get your inspiration from?" I'm a commercial artist. I'm trained to have inspiration. it comes from everything, everywhere all the time (not the movie although it was good!) it's so hard to answer that question without insulting the client. Or helpful tips for novice clients like how to end a contract and that releasing a milestone does not end a contract. I tell every client:
When the job is done and you are 100% satisfied, please follow the 3-step process
1. Release the funds from escrow
2. click the 3 dots ··· on the contract page  and scroll down to "end the contract"
3. you will be prompted to leave feedback.
I might also say:
Please note anything less than 5 stars is a demerit and a blight on my JSS that takes a year to go away.

Regardless of how many great outcomes I have, one client who tried to scam me has knocked my JSS down 3 points for a year. But this idea of boosting proposals to first second third and now 4th place is absurd. I am happy about the 10 percent across the board that works for me and it's fair.

I have ideas that will make upwork function better and make us all more money faster.
1. charge the credit card before allowing the post so people don't use stolen credit cards.
2. Weed out the people who post logo design contests where you only get paid if they pick yours.
3. teach novice clients what they need to do before hiring. Such as submitting a job ticket with all the relevant information at the start of the job.
4. Consult with freelancers in each profession on how to write relevant questions that help both client and freelancer understand the job. Questions like, "Describe a recent project you did that was similar to this one." That's what your portfolio and reviews are for. For me, as a logo design specialist every job is as unique as the client. 
5. Don't let clients post 5 dollar jobs. How can upwork or anyone make money on a $5 dollar job?
6. Don't let scammers blackmail freelancers with low scores. change the algorithm. When I give a client a refund because they are unreasonable and expect too much they should not be able to hurt my score with a bad review. They got their money back!
i have more.

usdadp
Community Member

Yes totaly agree with you. Upwork must need to think about this.

a93cc0d8
Community Member

This is not a good update. Rather I think it'll be best to take off boosted proposals and ensure clients pay money into escrow before posting their job. 

 

 

Increasing the required connects to apply when most jobs posted actually end up without a hire only milks us the freelancers

motoyen
Community Member

The max used to be 6 but now I'm seeing jobs with 8. Anyone else seeing the same thing? 

Thanks for sharing the link. To the team at Upwork: require more of the clients. I'm seeing vague posts, posts with little information, and clients with little or no history posts that are for 8 connects. You might have reduced the number of proposals from the freelancer side, but now it's time to require more of the posters. If I'm going to spend 8 connects, the posting needs to be clear and quality. Right now, they aren't. 

kelly_e
Community Member

>>ensure clients pay money into escrow before posting their job.

 

I love that idea—oh, to apply only to serious jobs!! —but Upwork loves listings, so it'll never happen.

williamtcooper
Community Member

Shannon,

 

Thanks for the Marketplace update on the Boosted proposals and connects!

 

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.

 

Thanks for all the hard work you and the Upwork team are doing!


William T C wrote:

Shannon,

 

Thanks for the Marketplace update on the Boosted proposals and connects!

 

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.

 

Thanks for all the hard work you and the Upwork team are doing!


Well, I'm sorry, but I don't know how this will actually help when people are spending sometimes ridiculous amounts to power their proposals and there are still +50 proposals in a short time.
It's not something that benefits freelancers, it just increases Upwork's income.

Maria,

 

Only 4 jobs can be Boosted not 50+ proposals.

 

The higher the minimum connect fee the fewer freelancers that apply for a job.

 

When fewer freelancers apply for a job, the higher the average probability of a getting hired.

 

Math 101 😁

But William,


The connects someone bids have no connection to how good a fit he is for the job. They don’t really have a connection to how good a fit he thinks he is for the job. This will only discourage freelancers that don't have deep pockets. There will be fewer submissions by the freelancers that were not boosting ridiculous amounts. I assume that this will reduce their retention to the platform as well. So, the non-superboosters will start dropping off. The ones that boosted 100 connects for an hourly contract or 40 connects for a $50 fixed one will be unaffected.

 

Now you say that hopefully Upwork will become profitable by 2024. I didn't know Upwork had damages. I don't know why it has damages and whether it's because of the global downturn in the economy or is it because of a systemic problem in the way it operates. If it is the first one, and if this change drastically reduces the quality of work available to the clients as I assume it will, Upwork can very well become unrecoverable. And there are alternatives.

 

Bear in mind, that Upwork is already a globally competitive platform where freelancers from developed countries are at a disadvantage because of the increased cost of living reflected in the budget of their proposals. To that, an added cost of boosting is starting to appear. I think it is safe to assume that clients, between two freelancers with the same skill level, will select the cheaper one. I don’t blame anyone who does that. That’s what I’d do. They might not really have a choice either. And it is also safe to assume that skill is only but one of the factors in an equation in the client’s mind with varying coefficients and final results.

 

You know, in automobile racing a situation might occur where the grip at the rear of the car breaks and the back of the car starts moving towards the outside of the corner. That is called oversteer. At that point, you need to correct the attitude of the car by steering the other way. That is called counter-steering. The problem is if you’re inexperienced or not paying attention you might steer too far the other way. That is called over-correcting. The tail will swing the other way and the pendulum effect will make it exponentially more difficult to regain control.

 

I just hope whoever thought this change was a good idea was paying attention. Here's hoping I'm wrong. Because I am increasingly feeling like a passenger in said car. And I can’t find the damned seatbelt…


William T C wrote:

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's an extra 30 cents, and only on the highest-value projects, so let's not get carried away in thinking that this will make an impact on the huge number of bids that clients are receiving, or that Upwork is interested in achieving this. Freelancers are already boosting by hundreds of connects whenever a project appears with a decent budget - since it so rarely happens now - so this won't make any difference whatsoever. 

 

If Upwork really wanted to make it easier for good clients to connect with good freelancers, and for projects to stop drowning in unsuitable bids, they could do any or all of the following:

1. Start vetting profiles from new freelancers instead of auto-approving them, or at the very least, don't approve new profiles if they aren't filled out by at least 70%. In addition, anyone in a creative category must have a minimum of 10 portfolio pieces. (The number of so-called writers and designers with completely empty portfolios is ridiculous.)

2. Have a mandatory onboarding test that new freelancers must pass, to prove that they know how to use Upwork and how to avoid scams.

3. Delete profiles if someone hasn't won a job for at least six months; also delete profiles that have a JSS below 60%. 

4. If someone wants to provide writing services in English, they must pass an English grammar and spelling test. 

5. In order to be marked a "best match" when proposing, you need to have completed a minimum of 5 jobs with good feedback.

 

All of the above are ideas that some of Upwork's competitors have already implemented - I didn't make them up - whereas Upwork has gone in an opposite direction by getting rid of all quality controls. Why do you think that Upwork is so flooded with freelancers these days? It's because people with no skills are being rejected by Upwork's competitors and are flocking here instead. It's only a matter of time before Upwork gains a reputation for having the worst freelancers on any website, good clients give up on trying to find skilled professionals here, and there's nothing but $5 and $10 jobs left over. 

I wholeheartedly agree with you Christine! I couldn't have summarized it better myself. Upwork appears to have taken a counterproductive direction by eliminating all quality control systems. This is absolutely true. 

However, I do not concur with point three, where you propose deleting freelancers with a JSS below 60%. Such a move would unfairly eject less fortunate freelancers, resulting in a double whammy for them. I say this because we have seen numerous cases of freelancers who were desperate to land their first clients and ended up working for unscrupulous individuals who ultimately threatened to tarnish their profile, and followed through with it. It's always disheartening to witness such stories repeating themselves. But deleting their accounts would be too harsh.

Apart from that, I completely agree with all of your other suggestions.


I truly hope that someone in a position of authority reads these comments full of excellent ideas.

#UpworkPleaseDoSomething


Mohamed A. A wrote:

However, I do not concur with point three, where you propose deleting freelancers with a JSS below 60%. Such a move would unfairly eject less fortunate freelancers, resulting in a double whammy for them. I say this because we have seen numerous cases of freelancers who were desperate to land their first clients and ended up working for unscrupulous individuals who ultimately threatened to tarnish their profile, and followed through with it.


I disagree. A single bad client isn't going to take your JSS below 60%; for that to happen, you'd need to have a pretty high level of incompetence, not just bad luck. It would also discourage unscrupulous clients - not to mention scammers - from using Upwork in the first place, if there were fewer desperate freelancers who were willing to accept jobs from them.

Thanks for sharing your perspective Christine. It's always a pleasure to read you! 🙂

However, I have to respectfully disagree with you on this: The fact is, the JSS calculation is shrouded in mystery, and no one can confirm its algorithm. On the other hand, As we all know, the JSS is heavily influenced by the amount generated by each contract.

 

Let's consider a hypothetical scenario: a new freelancer with only a handful of contracts gets unlucky with a high-paying contract that has a significant impact on their JSS. While it's not a guarantee, it's mathematically possible that this scenario could lead to a big drop in JSS.

 

Given this uncertainty, I believe it would be risky to assume that all profiles with less than 60% JSS are not at risk if they are deleted and assume that this could never be due to a single client.

Please let me know if I'm mistaken. Thank you

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