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Re: When will I really take off as a freelancer?

Active Member
Miguel M Member Since: Sep 9, 2019
1 of 4

Hello to all! Thanks for taking a look at this thread.

I am wondering when, in the expert opinions of the most seasoned writers around here, will I be able to stop worrying about whether I'll get new clients or not. At first I thought that after a point, counting with a few thousand dollars and the reviews of a handful of satisfied clients, it would be overall easier to get new jobs more consistently. But I keep finding myself struggling to get out of dry spells. I've tried with different kinds of cover letters, spicing my profile up a little, setting more competitive prices and applying to a ton of jobs. At this point, it seems that it's not possible to find anything unless I begin to work for rates that aren't enough for me to live out of this. Sometimes there are jobs for which the budget is 800$, and which I offer to do for 500$, only to find that someone has agreed to do them by 100$. Frankly, with 100$ for the research and level of writing that such jobs require, I don't see the worth of freelancing at all.

Is it that I'm doing something wrong? My profile, perhaps? In other words: is it me? I've had excellent experiences and satisfying deals here in Upwork, but ultimately I would like to make a living out of it. I'd be honored to hear what the more experienced writers here can say about being in this situation.


Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 4

Miguel M wrote:

Hello to all! Thanks for taking a look at this thread.

I am wondering when, in the expert opinions of the most seasoned writers around here, will I be able to stop worrying about whether I'll get new clients or not. 

Pretty much never.

Community Guru
Bettye U Member Since: Mar 6, 2016
3 of 4

Your profile isn't public, so no one can answer your question of whether it's your profile...

Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
4 of 4



Your profile is locked until you get work, but can't be unlocked unless you get work. Welcome to UW.


There are several systemic problems with freelancing that create a perfect storm for writers. First, every job board advertises "Hire world class workers for pennies on the dollar," and "Get high-paying jobs from global clients." If you can't see the disconnect, neither can the boards. An ungodly number of bottom-feeders are attracted on both ends. This creates a downward price spiral you cannot win. Price it at what you believe it is worth to the client, if it's something you can accept. Then, when the client asks to negotiate price, kick it up ten percent because he's obviously not bright enough to take a good deal when he sees it.


Next, most clients have no idea how to differentiate quality from garbage. I hire on UW and another board, including editors and an occasional writer. I ignore JSS; until UW makes it transparent; it's useless. I ignore all ratings without a narrative. If it wasn't worth a narrative, it isn't worth consideration. Hiring writers on an hourly basis is insanity. The bulk of my products are for business consumption. An eight page document is far more valuable than a ten page document if it conveys the same information. A seven pager is even better. The best strategy I ever helped a client write was one napkin size over lunch, $2,500 per napkin.


Last, your response should probably open with questions. Ask about the client, the industry, the work. Most people would rather talk about themselves anyway. Questions are the most powerful form of persuasion, because you are displaying interest and can demonstrate your understanding. Include a part entitled Client Responsibilities. This is a two-way street. Client will make information and people reasonably available and promptly review material, including drafts, when delivered. Noiw I know you're a businessman. I wait for the end to list my credentials, which are reasonably impressive.


When I was serious about freelancing, twenty years ago, I won 75% of all jobs to which I applied that were ever eventually awarded. Which was still less than 20% of those to which I responded, and I'm pretty good at qualifying clients.


Best of luck.

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