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No new contracts, all connects gone

cobeste
Ace Contributor

I was wondering how is Upwork doing after the Elance/Upwork merge. A year ago and with my profile I had to bid on 4 - 6 job postings to get a job. Now I have spent all my connects winning just one small - 3 hours job in two months. Somehing has changed obviously.

 

1. I added the amount of higher fees on my qoutes. As a result the higher pricing cover 95% of all my Upwork clients since most of the design works are usually short-term to mid-term contracts. (below 500USD)

2. The quality of clients probably went down. I was confronted with more spam and timewasters then never before, although I learned how to differentiate quickly in job postings. 

3. With double fees - mid/small term contract are much more expensice and top freelancer has to make a bigger effort to start suitable contract and move their focus elsewhere. Extra 22,75% for all this contracts is really a lot. 

 

I am still Since June 2016 I am already working more with my own clients or other platforms. I had not much work with my non-Upwork clients this month, so I tried to find some extra work here and it looks almost impposible when I want to keep the same net hourly revenue as before June 2016. I am still TOP Rated freelancer, with no connects, no contracts and almost no invitation. I never experienced this even when starting on old good Elance. 🙂

 

What are your thoughts? I would be very curious how is Upwork doing recently? There are always some loosers with changes, but is there any evidence that Upwork is winning on the other grounds of this huge freelace enterprise? 

13 REPLIES 13
versailles
Community Guru

Many different factors enter in play to judge the pertinence of this platform. The industry is one of the main factors, some are over saturated. Also much depends on how well you are established.


My experience is that Upwork is really a good place which is improving. Other may have a totally different experience.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
jmeyn
Community Guru

Stefan,

 

There is no need to raise the prices for old customers you have acquired on Elance. Upwork still honours the old commission of 8.75%.

 

I don't know about the quality of the clients dropping but the prices are dropping, I'll give you that. My business on Upwork has dropped considerably, old clients taking me off (after the two years have expired i.e. nearly all former Elance clients are now working directly with me) and new clients here on Upwork are thinking about a price level, I'd rather read a book.

 

cobeste
Ace Contributor

All my clients from Elance are gone and most of my design jobs were short-term. So my Elance/Odesk/Upwork clients were mostly passing by and sometimes returs back. These were well paid one time projects. They just not needed more work althoug they were always content. With the same strategies and even better profile, getting new work is much more difficult for me now. That is my experience. This is maybe not a case for a programmer where jobs require more continuity and long term work. 

I just did a project for an elance client. I totally forgot that it's only 8.76%. I got a few extra bucks there. I usually calculate in my head what I'm getting, so that was for once a nice surprise.

 

There is another longterm elance client of mine that usually comes around this time of year. I hope she does again. She usually hires me twice during the year.

 

I'm currently working and watching the Bachelor (don't judge me... a friend of mine and I bond over this show) and I'm watching these farmer tools try to do what they can to trap this guy.  My job is p cool.

I have been noticing since last few months that , hiring rate on projects specifically related to IT and Software has descresed , that may be just my obeservation but , as much I follow my applied jobs , I can see in the activity that client has pereformed few interviews but rarely hired. 

 

I used to receive a lot of responses and used to land many propsals successfully converted to jobs but these days its rare. It may be specific to me , but I can definitely see the hiring rate going down. Either these projects are being dealt with outside upwork or these clients are coming to upwok just for reasearch. Either way its bad for us developers.

 

I have had few clients who discussed with me took a detailed plan and dissappeared (may be I was scammed lol ) but  we often need to do this in order to make them understand how project will progress.

 

Also way too many new clients on upwork in specifically my area of experties, they just prost project discuss and gone. Strange enough.

 

No idea whats going on, and not sure what upwork can do about this.

Also this eventually end up exhausting the connects, however responsibly I try to use. I often apply to jobs with only verified clients , but some newbie client projects actully look genuine and interesting , thus I endup applying . 😞 

Since last two months I am neeeded to buy additional connects which never happened since connects were implemented .

 

This is my experience too. I have spent all my connects while winning almost no job. A year ago I won 1/5 job posts. Fees got up, quality went down and I think that many top clients and freelancer moved elsewhere. This would be the opposite of what Upwork CEO claimed to happen with new pricing. Maybe I am wrong and someone is winning with these change but not sure who.  

christian1220
Community Leader

Stefan K wrote:

 

What are your thoughts? I would be very curious how is Upwork doing recently? There are always some loosers with changes, but is there any evidence that Upwork is winning on the other grounds of this huge freelace enterprise? 

 

I certainly hope so. They started to verify freelancers ( the beta program started some time ago but I wasn't aware of its existence until recently. ) I am aware this is a time consuming process and the verification process is simplistic but I hope it will reduce spam / fake freelancer accounts. 

 

Project budgets are still generally low or very low but I don't think Upwork will try to get involved in this area. It seems to me that their focus is to build the marketplace and then everyone is free to demand / offer whatever they want, like in any real market.

 

Based on what I experienced in my niche, it is possible to find good clients ( according to my expectations ) but my strategy is to ignore more than say 90% - 95% of the jobs posted. 

 

Yep, the cost of working here on small projects is very high - more than 20% as you said. $45 / hour is frightening for a lot of Upwork clients so one thing you can do is to find a way to target only the top clients looking for your services. 

 

vdharankar
Ace Contributor

One more thing I would like to add here, I have been screened for Pro program recently and was added to it successfully, but I havent had a single good opening from that program , obvioulsy clients arent really lookin for quality then , my experience is they would fix it with low budget than quality , but then again its just my experience.

I am coming from oDesk basically , and had really good time interms of quality of offers and clients back then.

 

About fees, I said this on other post as well that many of my existing clients complained about raise in fees , its not just freelancers even clients get charged for their payment processing at 2.5% or something, and since it was more than 2 years they wanted to take me off the upwork, its really bad on upworks part, plus the evaluation of JSS is another story altogether.

 

I will explain my client role story as well, I often use upwork to get some work done. These days when I post a job a lot of freelancers with 0 hrs/ $s earned are suggested as best fit for the job just because they have 100% JSS , or are rising talents. I seriously dont uderstand someone with 0hr experience but is a Rising talent badge is a good fit than someone who offers good price and very good work history but JSS around 90 on upwork, and when you have like 50+ proposals its really hard to hunt down a right candidate.

 

 

anamariacuesta
Community Guru

I noticed a clear falling trend in the quality of the offers since the price hike. 

 

Then, I was unavailable for a while and didn't check what was going on. Soon I will have to look for new jobs again, so I started to check the listings again. I don't like at all what I see, I will even find hard to spend my connects.

 

I read out there in other forums that, because of the new price scheme, some good freelancers moved and took their clients with them, maybe that's the reason. 


@Maria C wrote:

I noticed a clear falling trend in the quality of the offers since the price hike. 

 

Then, I was unavailable for a while and didn't check what was going on. Soon I will have to look for new jobs again, so I started to check the listings again. I don't like at all what I see, I will even find hard to spend my connects.


 I can confirm that it's close to impossible to spend the free connects if you don't want to join the race to the bottom.

My observation - less clients, smaller rates on fixed price projects, lower quality of the platform, a lot of scammers and non-hiring clients.


@Elena S wrote:

My observation - less clients, smaller rates on fixed price projects, lower quality of the platform, a lot of scammers and non-hiring clients.


 Elena,

 

Non-hiring clients and scammers are common on all of these platforms. Compared to other platforms, Upwork has a large number of clients. 

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