5 Tips to Start an Upwork Agency (Better than Freelancing on Upwork?)

If you are currently a freelancer on Upwork and you are wondering how you can grow your client base and income, one option to consider is to set up your own Upwork agency.

If you start an agency you will be able to scale up your business by collaborating with other freelancers, taking on larger projects, and expanding into other niches.

If you are ready to start an agency, here are some good tips on why and how you can do it.

How to Start a Successful Upwork Agency

1. Scale-Up

As a freelancer, your income is not scalable, the amount of money you can make depends on how many hours you work. Freelancers will spend most of their time doing lead generation/ signing up new clients, then doing the delivery for those projects. This does not scale. You need to work with other people.

2. Outsource Tasks

You should outsource tasks to virtual assistants. Start by outsourcing the simplest tasks (e.g. – any task worth $10 or under). This will significantly free up your time and allow you to focus on more important things. Once you grow and take on more clients (i.e. – you are making $4-6K/month) look to hire 2-3 part-time freelancers to help you with other tasks. You can outsource more and more as you grow. This will free up your time to spend on other more important tasks. It is well documented that top earners on Upwork can make $20-40K per month!

3. Look for Multiple Ways to Get Clients

Don’t just rely on Upwork to get clients, once you are running an agency you can expand out to platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to find new clients.  Eventually, your existing clients will recommend you to other business owners and you’ll start to get organic sales growth as well. 

4. Determine Which Clients You Want to Work With

You should be more “picky” about who you work with. Choose to work with clients that fit well within your niche, and that are prepared to pay more for quality work. You’ll develop much better long-term relationships with your clients and will be able to build up sizable recurring revenue streams.

5. Focus on the Bottom Line

As a freelancer, you might do 5 or more jobs (e.g. – lead generation, sales, project delivery, etc.) but as an agency owner, you can focus on just the “high leverage” jobs that you need to do to manage your agency. You will turn over more money as an agency owner compared to working as a freelancer. Profit margins will be lower, but bottom-line results will be much higher. Focus on working on your business, not in your business!

The Bottom Line

So, is it better to set up an Upwork agency or be a freelancer? It depends on what you want to get out of life! Freelancing is simpler and less risky but running an agency will allow you to scale the business and ultimately make more money. Size gives you the ability to choose your clients, not the other way around. You just have to be prepared to put the work in.

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Aleksander Vitkin

Aleksander Vitkin has helped over 700 people with a sincere interest in entrepreneurship and contribution, to start profitable businesses and quit their jobs.