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michaelajornlin
Community Manager
Community Manager

Tips for Getting Started on Upwork

Getting started on Upwork can be challenging. Here are some top tips that can help you succeed.

 

Complete Your Profile

First, it can be very helpful to complete your profile 100%. It’s important to understand that there are certain sections that must be completed in order to reach 100%. You can even technically exceed 100% completion. The more fields you complete on your profile, the better your chances of winning work. Also, your profile must be 100% complete in order to qualify for badges such as Rising Talent and Top Rated. Check out this help article for more information on the numerous ways you can reach 100% or more completion. I also recommend this article about why a great title and overview can make a difference.

 

Set Your Profile Visibility

Second, we recommend updating your profile visibility. Once you’ve crafted the perfect profile, you’ll want clients to be able to see it. When setting your profile visibility, you have three options: Public, Only Upwork Users, or Private.  If you set your profile to private, it will be excluded from the Upwork marketplace and search engines. This means clients won’t see you when they search for freelancers. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to set your profile visibility to Public or Only Upwork Users.

 

Submit Proposals

Third, submit proposals! This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s one that often doesn’t receive enough attention from new freelancers. By regularly submitting proposals for projects that fit your skills, you not only increase your chances of winning work, but you also prevent your profile from being automatically set to private, which can happen if you are inactive from the platform. As you submit more proposals, you will also learn what does and doesn’t get the attention of clients. Also, remember, that you may have to submit more than 5 proposals before you win your first project. Persistence is key. To help improve the quality of your proposals, I invite you to read about how to create a proposal that wins jobs and take in this proven advice from freelancers on Upwork. Also, check out this great article about How To Get More Jobs on Upwork in 2022!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
ACCEPTED SOLUTION
michaelajornlin
Community Manager
Community Manager

For help with your profile, check out this peer feedback thread and consider joining an Upwork Academy Coaching Cohort!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

View solution in original post

849 REPLIES 849

Hi Bobbie,

 

Could you elaborate a little on what you are trying to do?


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Thank you for such a great info.
gladprather
Member

How do I browse other freelancers in my field to see how they structure their fees?  Trying to decide how much to charge by the hour, by the word or page?

I believe there are a number of ways. This is the way that I do it:

1. In the Upwork App, click Find Work.
2. At the very top of the screen is the "Upwork" sign. Just to the right of the sign is a box with the search logo. Faded in the background are the words "Find work".
3. You will see an arrow pointing down in this box.
4. Select this arrow and then click "Freelancers & Agencies".
5. Press the Enter key.
6. A new search box will appear below the top of the page that has the Upwork logo.
7. In the search box, enter the job description that you wish to compare such as "Multifamily Financial Analyst", "Social Media Marketing", etc.
8. You will then see the profiles and hourly rates of freelancers that match your specialty.

Regards,
John " Jack " Feehan
pstainke
Member

Thanks for this helpful intro, Mike. I am actually not new to Upwork. I started with both oDesk and Elance in 2014, so I pre-date the merge! 

I have had a great deal of success finding work on another site, but I check back here once in a while. My freelance editing business has been full time for the past two years, and I earn about $30K a year. So even though I haven't been on Upwork recently, I do know the ropes. 

I do have an issue with the way the job success score is calculated, though. As a seasoned freelance editor, I do have a respectable amount of repeat business, but if I had secured all my jobs here on Upwork, the percentage of ongoing and repeat clients would appear small. Why? Most of my work is on manuscripts and dissertations; most of those authors and doctoral candidates do not turn right around and write another book or another dissertation! I could give other reasons why my particular line of work does not lend itself to ongoing or repeat business. So I feel it is unfair to have this factor figure so prominently in the way the success score is calculated. 

Also, as I have seen from other posts, not everyone leaves feedback. It's been my experience that my most significant clients are often the ones who are the least likely to follow through with feedback! I know they have been very happy with our partnership, but for some reason, this is a hurdle for them. So again, allowing this factor to figure so prominently in the way the score is calculated seems somewhat unfair. 

Once when I had had just come back to the site, my score apparently jumped higher as soon as I came back. But this time, when in the process of writing bids, I only see on the bid page that I don't 'qualify' because my score is less than 90. But try as I might (go to my profile, ask questions, open a chat, etc.) I can't even find what my score is or where it is posted. Why is it so hard to find? 

 

The jobs that show up here in my history are from the earliest days of my business, when I was willing to work for pennies, just to get started. I am in a very different place now, after having a lot of success and more than 2500 hours of service to clients in the last two years. But anyone who goes to my profile sees '34 hours' and all those penny jobs. The few reviews that have been left have been positive, but when you post that no review has been left after a job, that makes us look bad! Why not just list the review that have been written? 


I'd also like to know how our score is 'calculated' (in quotes) after we have been inactive for a significant period of time. 

 

I'm in the process of rebuilding my portfolio here - another factor that has changed significantly since I was last active here on Upwork. But I'm in the process of securing permissions, and it will take time. 


Please tell me where I can find my score and how it is calculated after a period of inactivity. Any other tips you could offer re ways I could configure my profile to more accurately reflect my value and level of experience would be helpful. 

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and reply. 

Pat 

 

Hi Pat,

 

Thank you for your message.

 

Regarding getting client feedback, we suggest asking clients to end the contract when the work is complete. Ending the contract will require the client to leave feedback.

 

The Job Success Score (JSS) can be found on the My Stats page (Find Work > My Stats) or on the Profile. That said, you do not currently have a Job Success Score. The JSS is only calculated based on projects completed in the last two years. As you have not completed any projects in the last two years, you do not currently qualify for a JSS. You can learn more about the JSS and how it's calculated in this help article.

 

I hope this helps!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
gandhi_vinny
Member

Hi Sir !
Unable to crack my very 1st project.
Can I get your help on it please.

Thanks.

Hello Vaishali,

 

It doesn't look like you have completed your profile yet. Please log in to your account and complete your profile.


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
khach_serop
Member

Hi there Mike!

 

My name is Serop, Thank you for your help, I'm looking to perfect my profile and was wondering if I can add my portfolio from previous works or only works done for upwork clients.

 

Best,

Serop K.

Hi Serop,

 

You can add work from clients outside of Upwork as long as you have their permission to share the work publicly.


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community


Mike J wrote:

Hi Serop,

 

You can add work from clients outside of Upwork as long as you have their permission to share the work publicly.


Mike, I liked your other picture better. 

You might find this helpful: https://www.upwork.com/resources/how-to-guide-perfect-profile-picture

thanks mike!

rashka99
Member

Dear Mike,

Greetings.

I hope you are doing well and safe. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips for new freelancers like myself. I will be happy and appreciate it if you can go through my profile and give me suggestions to improve. I have been sending proposals but I am yet to secure a contract with a client. Looking forward to hearing your response.

 

Regards,

 

Abdulrashid M. Omar

Hi Abdulrashid,

 

Thank you for your message. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Your profile overview is difficult to quickly scan and understand what your primary services and experiences are. It might help to organize it with paragraphs: for example, have your introduction paragraph, a separate paragraph for skills, and one for experience. In this way you might emphasize certain areas, but use caution with adding lists of skills with few to no related work examples because clients may question the sincerity of your skills list. Another idea is to use bullets and other delineators to break up your profile.
  • Your written English skills are strong and you are easy to understand. However, I did see a few minor errors. If you'd like to add extra polish, you might want to consider using Grammarly. I use this myself and really like it because it's free and it offers a Chrome add-on so it works in webmail, messages, proposals, and more.

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Dear Mike,

Thank you so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it. These tips will definitely help me polish my Upwork profile and bid for jobs. Looking forward to receiving more tips from you. 

 

Kind regards,

 

Abdulrashid M. Omar

 

 

I am level 2 seller at Fiverr but Why don't I get a job at Upwork? Any one help me please?   

ppc_gurus
Member

Hi

I'm trying to get to grips with Upwork and create a profile that will engage and convert for me. Any chance you could have a look and see how I can improve it.  I am sure my profile overivew is too long and rambling and not relevant

Thanks

Hi David,


Thanks for your message. I'd suggest posting here to get feedback from experienced freelancers, but I did review your profile and have some suggestions:

  • Your profile should be written in the first person and reflect your individual skills. If you are operating as a team, please consider creating an agency account.
  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Your profile overview is difficult to quickly scan and understand what your primary services and experiences are. It might help to organize it with paragraphs: for example, have your introduction paragraph, a separate paragraph for skills, and one for experience. In this way, you might emphasize certain areas, but use caution with adding lists of skills with few to no related work examples because clients may question the sincerity of your skills list. Another idea is to use bullets and other delineators to break up your profile:

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Thank you, Mike J.  Extremely helpful. I will continue to plug away ...

6c8bea05
Member

Hi Mike!  Thanks for this post.  I am just getting started and would love some feedback on my profile. 

One item I am stuck on is getting my profile to 100%.  It is missing a linked profile from other social media.  I don't have any of the accounts listed - can I link to LinkedIn?

Thanks for any help! 

 

Hi Megan,

 

Thank you for your message. There are a number of ways to reach 100% profile completion. Please review this article for more information.

 

Your profile is off to a great start. If you haven't already, check out these tips for writing a great Overview. You might also consider asking for peer review here.


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
ljmodonnell
Member

Mike, I think your website has lots of potential, especially for someone like me with lots of experience with CAD and design.  But I am not comfortable with taking a picture and uploading it on anyone's server.  Is there any way I can identify myself other that basically allowing anyone to steal my identity?

Hi William,


Thank you for your message. Upwork stores your information securely. A profile picture is required.


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
mikaelaraujo
Member

Hi, how are you?

Awesome advises. Can you take a look at my profile, please? It will be glad receive any feedback regarding this.

 

 

Hi Mikael,

 

Thank you for your message. Congratulations on earning Top Rated Plus status! Your profile is off to a good start. Keep in mind that the beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.

 

If you haven't already, consider posting here to get feedback from other freelancers.


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Hello,

I hope you're doing great.

I have joined upwork a bit over a year now but haven't been active on it until recently.
I did set up my profile and I got a couple clients.

I am not getting interviews or jobs as much as I would want to get. I can't help but wonder about the reason.
So I wanted to kindly see if you'll be willing to have a look at my profile and let me know if it's well setup or needs some tweaks. I'd highly appreciate it.

Here is a link:
https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/~010c325b6e7c405cbe/

Thanks.
Cordially.

Hi Hassene,

 

Thank you for your message. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
  • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
  • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
  • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
  • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
rafihshahadat
Member

Hi Mike

 

I'm new member of upwork community group. Your post are very helpful. Thanks Mike.

katte-dumitru
Member

Hello, Mike! I am new here and i find your post very useful.  I would much appreciate if you can give me a feedback regarding my profile. My main concern is that i do not have much experience in working field.  Otherwise, I do feel like i have good skills and i can acomplish with excellent results many jobs. How can i gain the trust of potential clients?

Thank you so much.

your answer would be much appreciated.Smiley Happy

Hi Katte,

 

Thank you for your message. It's okay that you don't have a lot of experience. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
  • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
  • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
  • If possible, add more examples to your portfolio. This helps a lot when you don't have paid work experience to share. 

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
kateshoshia
Member

This is really helpful, Thanks a lot!

Mike, can you also take a look to my profile? I would like to know how I can improve it

 

Thanks in advance! 🙂 

Hi Ketevani,

 

Thank you for your message. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • Update your title to be descriptive about the services you offer rather than trying to list every skill you have.
  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise, not just quality adjectives about your work ethic.
  • Some special characters are not displaying right in your profile. You may have copy and pasted the text. Make sure to carefully proofread your Overview before posting and do a spot check after posting.

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Thanks a lot! 🙂 

Hi Mike,

Thanks for great guidance for the new users in Upwork. I am active for almost two months and my profile is 100 percent and public. I have almost submitted 15-16 proposals in which I was confident to complete on time. But till date, no invitation received so far. Although I will keep on posting my the proposals but need an expert advise from you.

Thanks

Rajesh M   

Hello Rajesh,

 

I checked out your profile and according to me you should focus on the following:

 

1. Write a better overview for your profile.

2. Add some more contents in your portfolio.

3. Write project dedicated cover letter for each project and DO NOT use a template.

4. Lastly, my personal tip: Only bid on those project where the bid numer is low, else you won't be able to compete the vast experienced majority.

 

I too walked on the same path as you and by following the above tips I've managed to win some jobs and have started my Upwork career.

 

Regards,

Har**bleep**

Hi,
Thanks for the suggestions and will do necessary changes in my profile and
put better work sample for the portfolio. In the meantime, please clarify
my confusion that as my id is **Edited for Community Guidelines** but my name is Rajesh M.
Does it creates any confusion for the prospective clients regarding Id and
user name.
Thanks
Regards
Rajesh

Hi Rajesh,

 

The client cannot see your username, they will only see your real name.

 

I hope this helps!


Best,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the reply. Anyways one more query how to achieve the Rising Talent badge. I have cleared the Upwork readiness test. Thanks.

Regards

Rajesh M

Hi Rajesh,

 

I checked and it looks like you completed Upwork Readiness Test just recently. Please note that once you complete the Upwork Readiness test successfully and meet all the other requirements for the Rising Talent program, you should receive the badge within 48 hours. Let us know if you need our further assistance after 48 hours period is passed.

~ Nikola
Upwork

Hello Mike,
Thank you for the freelancing tips. It was really helpful. I am new to upwork. Please can you review my profile and tell me if there's anything I need to change. I would really appreciate it. Thank you.