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Re: Rates - a controversial subject

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
21 of 31

@Fanny K wrote:

There are plenty. That's like saying you can't mention Twitter on Facebook.


 That analogy is so far off base I can't even pick which of the millionish major differences to point out.

fmkellerman
Ace Contributor
Fanny K Member Since: Dec 10, 2016
22 of 31

Of course they are completely different. But in essence, they are all private companies, as mentioned in the previous comment. They are competitive businesses and have plenty of rivals in the marketplace. They are also platforms for communication and networking (and, a lot of the time, work). Smiley Happy But my view is that offering as unrestricted communication as possible is paramount for a company which relies on creating connections, communicating with people and making new contacts. And I don't believe that forbidding members from discussing other websites etc, would restrict success or improve retention (if anything, it could hinder retention since professionals working across several platforms cannot make use of their proven experise on other sites, for example). There is already a rule to say you can't work with Upwork contacts outside of the platform for some time, if you make contacts on here. That's a restrictive, but very sensible, rule which I completely understand.

datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
23 of 31

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Fanny K wrote:

I used to work for a social community website for children. They had less restrictive communication rules than Upwork. I can't believe you're not even allowed to mention the names of other freelancing sites.


 It strikes me as odd that so many people are surprised by this. I know of no private company that allows the promotion of its competitors within its community.


 A few months back, via Amazon, I ordered some protein bars that were normally sold at a large, well-known U.S. bulk retail store. The protein bars were so hard there was no way to consume them.

 

I wrote a review using the Amazon system. They rejected the review. Why? Because I had mentioned the aforementioned merchant specifically. That, apparently, was a no-no.

 

So, yeah, I've experienced that firsthand. 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
24 of 31

I need to figure out how to get the money to roll in without working.

 

I'm just all like this reading about people debating over $.02/word and whether it's good or bad.

 

Meanwhile-At-The-Mattress-Factory-Funny-Bored-Meme-Image.jpg

fmkellerman
Ace Contributor
Fanny K Member Since: Dec 10, 2016
25 of 31

Haha, well that was the main point - how can you tell what a reasonable rate is if there is no comparison, from fellow freelancers on the same platform? Mattress factory looks awesome.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
26 of 31

@Fanny K wrote:

Haha, well that was the main point - how can you tell what a reasonable rate is if there is no comparison, from fellow freelancers on the same platform? Mattress factory looks awesome.


 True. I find I make better money basing my work on time and charging an hourly fee, so this way I don't have to worry if the stuff is more complex and takes more time because I'm just charging per hour anyway. I never really liked this per word thing or negotiating based on whatever. Just my fee times however many hours it takes me. 

 

Someone asked me recently what my per 100 word rate was (they obviously had no money lol) and I told them I have no per 100 word rates.

 

I don't get into per word rates with anyone and I find I make more money and it's easier for me to estimate costs. I can add an hour or two or whatever to account for unforeseen things too for escrow.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
27 of 31

@Fanny K wrote:

Haha, well that was the main point - how can you tell what a reasonable rate is if there is no comparison, from fellow freelancers on the same platform? Mattress factory looks awesome.


 I guess it's just a different perspective. I've never considered the rates of other freelancers on this platform or elsewhere. I consider what I think my services are worth to a client in terms of return on their investment.

hbbabiar
Community Leader
HB B Member Since: Aug 9, 2015
28 of 31

I started on Upwork in August 2015. My first translation job was 2,100 words DE-EN and paid $16.67. Yes, I knew that was atrocious, but, you know...newbie and client feedback and gotta get that initial rating and all of that.

 

During early 2016, I reached a point where I generally refused to work below $0.06 per word or $25/hour. I changed my experience level from intermediate to expert. At the same time, I put together a professional portfolio highlighting my translation work and increasingly went after jobs outside of Upwork. I regularly update and polish this portfolio and consider it my calling card. I was increasingly hired by non-Upwork clients and started getting repeat and referral business. The client feedback was good and I raised my rates slightly, using $0.07 to 0..08 as a starting point. 

 

At this point, I also began to focus on medical and legal material. 

 

As we welcomed 2017, I was rarely using Upwork to secure new work. It appeared to me that good translation jobs had become very rare on the platform. I got the occasional invitation to interview, but by and large I only checked Upwork when I had nothing else to do. 


Meanwhile, my rate is at a steady $0.08 to 0.12 with occasional outliers north of that, even.

 

I have no doubt that some serious clients still use Upwork for their translation needs. Many of their jobs probably aren't public, though. It's a tough business and you need to establish a reputation for excellence before you can expect to be paid a halfway decent rate. 

 

I love the fact that I can do this from anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection. I spent 20+ years working in international finance and not a single day goes by where I miss that life! 

fmkellerman
Ace Contributor
Fanny K Member Since: Dec 10, 2016
29 of 31

That's a great answer, and it's nice to hear from someone with so much experience and knowledge. I got very sick from my office job, which is why I started freelancing - so I don't miss that environment either!

 

For now, I am sticking with my base rate for my favorite returning clients and trying to be brave enough to refuse more jobs that just don't seem worth it. It's terrifying being a new freelancer, and I'm sure I would have taken that 16 dollar job too in the beginning!

 

I've only been freelancing since December, so I'm still finding my place, but I definitely feel now that I can start to edge up that "per word" ladder, at least when it comes to things I know I'm actually good at. Smiley Happy

koch_mirjam
Ace Contributor
Mirjam K Member Since: Sep 7, 2015
30 of 31

I found that in the beginning of freelancing you learn to say "Yes, of course - I will gladly do that, no problem at all!" a lot - even if you are not quite confident that you actually can do a job. That was when I started out with teaching as well - of course I can teach you Finance/psychology/XY. Learned a lot.

 

And then you start learning to say "No", and it's even harder. No, I will not work for that amount. No, I don't feel bad for you not finding someone doing it for that money. No, I especially really absolutley don't feel motivated to work for ridiculously less than I asked for, because "all the people who would have done it for less are so much worse". And, for the expert class, just: No!

[I especially like upwork's app for refusing invitations, since there you can choose "Other" as a reason and don't have to keep yourself from typing "Client is obviously making a joke about work and budget...".]

 

Have fun learning to refuse! It's a life skill Smiley Happy