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Increasing Transparency in Boosted Proposals

Our team recently launched a test to increase transparency around bidding in Boosted Proposals to help you make a more informed decision around spending Connects.

Check out the product update about this test here and let us know your thoughts about this update in the comments below.

~ Valeria
879 REPLIES 879

I understand this but when I'm seeing the top 3 bids as 16, 17 and 21 connects that severley dampers my desire to even apply to certain jobs if I don't think I'm getting noticed - so while I'm not forced to do submit that many connects it certainly feels like it's going to affect me either getting jobs or applying in the first place

it seems to me that if you have more cash at your disposal you can simply outbid everyone by 20+ connects, unfairly favoring freelancers that have a ton of resources. Now I'm actively rooting against freelancers when it used to be a community I rooted for. I think this whole idea is bad for the site and I am already putting together profiles on competeing sites because of it. 

Hi Steve,


Here's a link from LinkedIn with a curated list of 18 alternative sites. **Edited for Community Guidelines**

Hi Steve,


Apparently, the moderator didn't like the link I included.  If you have LinkedIn, you can navigate to the posts from Ali Arslan Akbar's from Dec 21st and Dec 22nd.

I just made a thread about this


It unfairly favors freelancers with more money and resources to just outbid everyone else and that is not sustainable for me to try and keep up. I saw a $65 job whose top bids were 16, 17 and 21 connects. This is not a good system - I feel discouraged from even applying to these jobs now and even if I do at a normal connect number I doubt I'll even get seen!

Don't let the boosting discourage you. I don't boost, and I still land jobs. The problem is the enormous number of unskilled freelancers clogging the system for the clients. Not boosting is not the reason people aren't getting jobs.

We should all agree not to use it, and boosting would disappear when no money was forthcoming.

So, your response was posted on September 22nd. Are you still getting jobs without taking part in the bidding war? Just wondering. Thanks.

Yes, I am.

Lucky you. Not my case. I am aTop Rated Plus architects, first time in 13 years that I spend two months without an interview. Appling to 6-11 jobs per day. Not a single response. 
Many jobs are open for months, with no interviews, and if so without hiring. Upwork keep those connects and I am left with nothing.

Hi Susan.

Like Jean, I have done some testing.

For 14 days, I used the available now badge and boosted proposals.
The result was that profile views didn't change (they were down 43% anyway), and I did not receive a response to any proposals. However, my profile views went slightly up once I stopped using the badge! And I've gained a few new clients without boosting.

Having said that, I've always seen submitting proposals as a numbers game, as in, you stand more chance the more you send.

Yes, I am.

Hi Jeane.

If it is unskilled freelancers who are clogging the system and boosting, the question would be, how can they afford the connects? Plus, where is the value in spending $$s on connects when the potential return may be negligible?

I know some agencies or farmers, freelancers who have other freelancers do the work, but pay them less, apply/spam clients on every single job. Clients complain bitterly, and I understand why.


There are also individuals who are desperate to get a job and start their freelance career. Unfortunately, the majority do not have freelancers skills and will never earn a penny. Those people will still try to land jobs and spend those connects doing it. Some know they have no skills, and use the platform to cheat clients.


If an agency spams most jobs, even if they only get a small percent of hires, that's still a lot of hires. I look at it the way direct mail used to be. Send out your ad to everyone in the country, and if you only receive 4% response, that's still a lot of money.


Some freelancers are so desperate to get the first job, they will lower their rates to nothing and bid high, thinking after their first job, things will be much better. Not necessarily so. If they do get the job, the next client also expects dirt cheap rates. However, some hear others say you can make easy money on Upwork. This is not true. (This post may disappear) Still, some will bid high for a job, believing it is the way to become a real freelancer.

I hate it because I don't want people to know how badly I blow them out of the water with connects.


The troll side of me lovvvvves it because now I want to do it more and watch the SEETHE when it gets posted somewhere. teeheee

Hi All,


Thank you for feedback and observations you've shared about this test so far. I've merged the comments here to make sure we keep the discussion and feedback organized in one place.
I encourage you to check out the product update for more information about this test. 

~ Valeria

So, as I was asking, another beta test that we weren't told about.
From what I've seen, the ad is from half an hour ago.



So, how does this help? I read and re-read and I don't understand what they're trying to say. At first glance, it looks like mumbo-jumbo trying to divert from the real issue. I mean "increase transparency?" We can already see the bids, so...how does "transparancy" help? It's more of the same. They must think we are really gullible. 😂  Or, again, as I've stated before, maybe I'm missing something in all of this. Just trying to find a silver lining... 😎

So the upwork introduces. a new feature of bidding .. as i am totally destress to see that.. earlier i don't used boost proposal as it was introduced ..i got many project without boosted proposal and now i see that freelancer spending 20 connect for 50 dollar project what that nonsense .. i can't spend so much connect for one project i am  not comfortable ..as i faced many scammers who brought there money back from thrid party after the approval of milestone .. please take back this feature 

We've seen the product update and it doesn't bring solution to our current problem.

If the product team are tasked to generate more income for upwork, they should go out there for marketing instead of starting unhealthy competitions among freelancers on the platform.


I don't know how you guys see this current situation, or maybe you just don't care, but boosting proposal is very unnecessary.


1) It enrich the platform at the expense of the freelancers/service providers on the platform( The platform generate money in so many ways, why are they still stylishly trying to take more from us?)


2) This directly impact the client decisions(without having the client best interest in mind)

3) What of service providers/freelancers that can not afford to spend outrageous connects just to be seen?

4)It showcase Big Connect Spenders not Qualified Candidates so we can say the aim is to enrich the platform and the client/service provider/freelancers interest is not included.

We don't see any positive effect of boosting proposal except to enrich the platform by creating unhealthy competitions and benefiting from it.

If I'm missing something or wrong, I will be glad if you can explain better.

Hi This is my second year at Upwork, And it's been a few months I haven't looked for a new job because there are a lot of loading from my long term clients,

At this time I realized there is a new feature that is being hotly discussed, about "Boost Proposals",
At first I always added boost to my proposal even though it wasn't much (1-3 connects) but apparently someone else Added Connect up to 50 for each proposal.

My question is simple for those of you who have Boost Proposal up to 50 connects, does it really work?

In fact, boosting proposals makes you more visible, but isn´t a guarantee of a hire. I boosted 14 proposals and had 11 views. In fact boosting helped to get views, this is in my stats. (See image).

But I don´t think a client cares about boosting, as none of my boosted proposals landed me a hire. A client may read your proposal, but if he didn´t like your proposal, no matter how many connects did you spent, he will put your proposal aside and looks for others.

If I was a regular client, I would read boosted proposals of course, if catched my attention, but wouldn´t hire someone just because he boosted. Boosting is completely irrelevant to make the decision to hire someone. Boosting just helps to be seen, nothing more.



It's really giving me hope! 💪

Community Member

Boosting just helps to be seen, nothing more.


Being seen is the first step, you don't get interviews and hires if you're not being seen.


I believe the Boost thing plays a role in the client's decision. Not all clients are like you in your "not hiring now" job. Some of them seems prefer to ignore many proposals no matter how great, or eye-catching, the first lines are. From what I see, this is where the Boost thing steps in.


Or take a look at Google Ads. People pay to get noticed. We (potential customers) knows that, we might think that they're bad for spending money to get noticed, but is that 100% correct? You strictly prevented yourself to not click the sponsored ads because of that thoughts? Or will you still click it to at least check?



There is no evidence that Upwork looks at logic when making these decisions.


I don't have the data but that above is a sample logic. Upwork have the data, where they based their decisions on. Why would they ignore the rants for months if they aren't at least >50% sure that this change will bring more profits! to them?


They will remove the Boost thing if people using it are really only the unqualified freelancers who will eventually annoys the majority of clients - not just clients who posted in this forum.


Or, they will keep it, if qualified freelancers (where most of them are not wandering this forum) give in and joins the game.

Community Member

Radia L wrote:


Being seen is the first step, you don't get interviews and hires if you're not being seen.

I agree, but being seen is completely useless if your proposal is a complete garbage. In the job I posted, yesterday had a proposal on top, first place, the photo was very bad, I couldn´t see the person, his name was not a person name, seens like a company name, the title was "Social Media Expert", and the first line of cover letter was "I´m good in social media", just this, yes and thats it! - This is the one that bided the most number of connects to be in the top of my post. Me, as a client, wouldn´t hire this person in anyway. As a client I can´t see how many connects he spent, but if he was on top, I supose he spent a lot! I just clicked the "thumb down" button for him, and scrolled down the list with 20+ proposals to search for someone. I realy didn´t care who is on the top, or first page, since I can click "load more" and show 50 proposals in same page, its easy to see everyone, just scroll down or scroll up.

Boosting proposals is useless and helps just a litle to be seen, in numbers 1-10, I would say that boosting proposals helps just 4. It is worthy boosting proposals to have just a little bit more of views? In my opiniom: no.

Community Member

Radia L wrote:


Some of them seems prefer to ignore many proposals no matter how great, or eye-catching, the first lines are. From what I see, this is where the Boost thing steps in.


I don´t think so. Clients aren´t dumbs, they´re risking their money when hiring someone. They will consider a lot of things before taking the final decision. So it is not wise ignoring many great and eye-cathing proposals and chooses the proposal that is on top just because it is boosted.

Think as a client: would you risk your own money to hire someone just because he boosted? If the bid has no good proposal, I don´t care how many connects the person spent, no good, ok, lets see the next.


What has been disquieting about Upwork's promotion/defense of boosting is that they have so far only claimed that boosted proposals receive hires more often than unboosted ones. That is a metric that should be of no concern to Upwork—which has no interest, financial or otherwise, in any particular freelancer's being hired. It would be an enormously stretched and twisted inference that boosting affects the absolute number of hires, or the chance of a prospect's hiring at all; many of us have worried that it might have the opposite effect, if underqualified candidates are the likeliest to boost.


With transparency, it becomes possible to assess the cost of boosting, and calculate its worth for each particular bid; that reduces the preposterous gambling element. Jobs will continue to have an investment threshold for bidding—likely now elevated—which has always been the fundamental purpose of connects. At least now that threshold can be known.


As you suggest, the ultimate test of success would be tracking boosts to client satisfaction. Until we have that metric—the only one Upwork should use to evaluate this scheme—I can afford to watch and wait.

A sub-topic with several comments has been removed from this thread as it was off-topic. Please, refrain from entering interpersonal disputes or posting public accusations of misconduct when participating in Community discussions. 

Thank you.

~ Valeria

How do you know if your proposal was viewed? 

Community Member

Hi Lynette,


You can see the number of proposals you’ve sent, how many of those were viewed by clients, and how many of those resulted in interviews or hires on your My Stats page under Analytics. This report also shows whether you boosted proposals and how many Connects you’ve used to boost. You may want to check this help article for more information about your engagement outcomes on Upwork.


~ Arjay

Upwork please don't show Live Proposal
Upwork does the justice with new freelancers.




Boosting the proposal is not a good option.

I am working since 2009 in Elance and Elance is best in Connect.


I think the boosting system is like a mission war game, we Upworkers are wasting our connect on it.

How do you check if your proposal has been viewed or not? really surprised i didn't knew about that. 

Hey Upwork,
Why have you set " Available Now" badge based on weekly connect cost?
This will deteriorate the career of new freelancers? They have not earned yet. How they will purchase " Available Now" badge for their profile?
You know it is tough to buy something at the beginning of career.

Even most of the expert freelncers stay most of the time on Computer. So, why you are charging by offering " Available Now" badge based on money.

Again,  clients see thay freelancers are avaiable now but actually they are not. So, they become unhappy and unsatisfied.  🥲😥

What is the advantage of this feature for freelancers?

There seems to be no advantage. The advantage is to Upwork as you spend those connects.


I think they should reconsider this features.

+1.  Agree with Sultan, I was about to post the same comment.  
This is a disasterous feature.  It is not even subtle, UpWorks clearly going for a [even more] money grab; there is no evidence or feedback saying that any of this wins more bids, and even if it does, it's not ethical.  

I am hoping that someday there is a craigslist version of Upworks instead of this gint NYSE traded money-making SuperBowel commercial corporate bullshiate.  All of us just want a piece and a fair one; Upworks taking our money constantly like a bad union membership.  

Connects war is incresingly preventing those who do not boost their proposals from being viewed by clients.

Its good

I think the reason behind Boost is that many new freelancers are losing confidence and trust in the marketplace. I have noticed many times a proposal submitted with 100 connections for a small $5 job. It's actually nothing but a waste of money. There are many who are not fit for the job but get the job from the top rank by submitting proposals. In this case, the qualified freelancer is deprived of the job even with the proposal. He gets frustrated and loses faith in the marketplace. The same is the case with clients also when they appoint the top rank proposer the work that is not satisfied with his work. His work is not done properly and his precious time is wasted. By doing this he exits this marketplace. I think this is a downside.

I request the authorities to think more about this boost proposal.
Many new freelancers cannot come through this.

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