Upwork is the world’s largest freelance exchange, which can become the basis for creating an IT company from scratch and its subsequent development. Also, this freelance exchange will be an excellent addition to the existing lead generation channels.
Let’s talk in detail about this platform and the specifics of working with it.
🟪 What is Upwork
Upwork is an online platform where customers can find performers and find customers. Upwork itself acts as an intermediary who guarantees the freelancer payment, and the client a high-quality project execution. For its work the site takes a certain percentage, changing downward, depending on the duration of work with each specific client.
Freelancers can work independently, or unite into agencies that, in their essence, correspond to the structure of the IT company and the roles in it: performers, business managers and the owner of the agency.
🟪 How to start working at Upwork
1. Registering a profile. At the moment, the number of freelancers on the platform greatly exceeds the number of potential customers, so the platform is very attentive to the registration process, and some countries (for example, China) have completely lost the opportunity to register on Upwork.
To improve your chances of signing up, pay sufficient attention to each of the following steps:
2. Professional photo: your face should be clearly visible and occupy about 80% of the image area, since after receiving the first project you will have to go through video verification.
3. Carefully fill in information about yourself (BIO). Try to “sell” yourself as much as possible by describing your professional experience.
4. Describe in as much detail as possible each place of work, courses, certification.
5. Portfolio is probably the most important item on your profile. It is important that you fill in at least 3 projects with high quality, at the time of preliminary verification of your profile before registering.
6. Next, you need to mark your 10 strongest skills. Please note that according to these skills, the system will check the correspondence of your profile to the projects, it is advisable to take the filling out very carefully.
🟪 The process of finding orders for Upwork
The process of searching for orders itself is as follows: all the works currently available on Upwork are laid out in a kind of “feed”, in which all the works are published, as they become new.
In order to make your job search more relevant, you have the ability to use filters and save them, which will not waste time every time you need to select jobs.
When you find a job that is relevant to you or your IT company, you should write an application (bid) – a kind of motivation letter that allows the client to choose a freelancer whose letter he likes best.
It is important to try to submit your bid as soon as possible after a client has posted a job on Upwork, which will allow you to be among the first and significantly increase your chances, because, as a rule, the client is still near the computer for the first 20-30 minutes after the application is published.
Also, special statuses that Upwork assigns to freelancers will help you get projects:
Rising Talent is a special status assigned to the most active freelancers who meet the following criteria:
- 100% completed profile;
- passed the test for knowledge of the rules of working on the platform (Upwork readiness test);
- bids have been made regularly over the past months.
Top-rated – the status is even more priority than the “Rising Talent”, which is assigned when the following conditions are met:
- the current success rate of 90% or higher;
- your first hiring on Upwork was over 90 days ago;
- have maintained a Rising talent status or success rate of at least 90% for at least 13 of the past 16 weeks;
- your profile is 100% completed;
- your earnings in the last 12 months are more than $1000.
By receiving one of the above statuses, you can be sure that your application (bid) will be higher than the applications of other freelancers without such a status, regardless of the time the cover letter is submitted.
🟪 How to become successful on Upwork
In conclusion, we will give you some tips to optimize your work on this freelance exchange, and possibly organize your own IT company:
- At the beginning of work, you need to understand that you will need to send a lot of applications in order to get your first project (150-200, according to statistics) – so do not expect quick results, but they will definitely be if you show some perseverance.
- Make projects really high quality, because your rating as a freelancer depends on it, and, accordingly, the attractiveness of your profile for potential employers.
- Ask clients to give you 5 stars – the maximum rating on the exchange, even if this requires doing additional work or reworking the project to please the client. The rating on the Upwork platform is alpha and omega, if your rating falls below 90%, it will be difficult to find subsequent projects.
- Maintain a database of applications in Excel so that you can analyze your work efficiency, see which cover letters work best, save message templates and answers to questions that clients ask when they post a project on Upwork.
To add up
Upwork is a great platform to start an IT business from scratch or add another good lead generation channel for an existing IT company, which should not be “discounted” if you are really interested in diversifying the lead generation channels. Details can be found in this article on our website.