How to be successful on UpWork

Making lots of money on Upwork isn’t only possible but it also isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to be a brainiac or have amazing ideas. You don’t need a lot of money, less than $400 will do to get started. You don’t need to have Elon Musk levels of discipline (16 hour days), though you must be able to put in the work at least 8-10 hours per day.

All you need to do is deliver results you can measure with the service you choose, learn sales, and then scale the business by hiring other people to do the work for you.

Here’s how to be successful on Upwork. 


Unless you want to be poor, you need to deliver more value, usually in money, than what your clients pay you. So if you’re paid a $2,500 retainer, you’ll at least want to deliver $10,000 in revenue or more! And most importantly, you need to be able to record these numbers for later use.

This will do two things for you: First, you’ll get those absolutely necessary five-star reviews on upwork which will eventually get you Top-Rated. Top-Rated lets you get clients more easily and opens the floodgates of high-paying clients. And you’ll get case studies to that’ll help you close deals on sales calls because they prove you deliver the goods. 

If you intend to not compete on price, there’s no way around this. Most freelancers stay poor because they cut their rates to get jobs. But not you, you will win jobs on the VALUE you provide. Value can be many things but generally it’s the money you know you earned your client. When you get paid on value, you earn an exorbitant amount. If you can deliver $20,000 in value or more, it’s easy to get $5,000 up front. 

This will be important for your proposals and the sales calls you’ll schedule with potential clients. 

Which leads me to…

Become a Master Salesman and Consultant

There’s no way around this if you want to make a boatload of money. Most freelancers take orders. They’re employees without any benefits, taking orders and getting paid garbage as a result.

You need to do two very important things:

First, you must see yourself as a Consultant. Clients don’t know what they’re doing when they come to you for a service. They’re looking for someone to handle it and for many people, they don’t mind paying an expert a handsome fee. 

Second, what goes hand in hand with positioning yourself as a consultant is having razor sharp sales skills to allow you to close deals that are worth 10X the amount other freelancers get paid.

You need a sales process that lets you handle objections, present your case studies appropriately (and you’ll have case studies if you follow step #1) and then finally ask for the sale and have them PayPal you the money. 

Once you’re able to deliver results for your clients, you’ve positioned yourself as an expert because you are one. And you have honed your sales skills so that you can consistently close new businesses on sales call. Now you are ready to…

Become a True Businessman

Guess what, if you’re doing all the work yourself, no matter how much money you’re making, you do not own a business. You own a job.

That’s a fact, most freelancers didn’t “go into business for themselves”, they own they’re jobs and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you like writing and can make a lot of money from it then why not?

But if you intend to grow your business to the next level, then you must replace yourself and it isn’t nuclear physics. Like I said before, many freelancers don’t sell themselves on value but on price. Which means there are plenty of competent, fantastic freelancers who you can hire for your business.

There are so many business you can create on upwork but generally here’s how they’ll be structured: You’ll have a virtual assistant with a proposal template sending out 10-20 proposals per day to get new prospects.

You’ll also have employees who handle all aspects of delivery of the service. They’ll be competent and do great work and you’ll still earn margins of 50-70%! And if you’re big enough, you’ll also have a project manager who makes sure that delivery happens without any hiccups. And the project manager will keep the clients in the loop on what’s happening which will spare you  a lot of time.

At this point you may only be handling sales calls and thinking about what’s next for the business. Perhaps you’ll be creating other funnels for getting clients. Deciding whether or not to get bigger or different clients like corporations. And eventually you won’t be handling the sales calls as well. You’ll be training employees to replace you; all the work you did in the beginning will be handled by other people.

This is a true business and you’ll be a true businessman at this point. And you’ll also be able to do in life what many only dream about. You’ll be financially free and you’ll have an amazing skill set that if, in the worst case, your business fails, you can start a new one!

You’ll be able to live wherever and however you want! South America, Europe, Asia, the choice will be yours if you are successful on Upwork.

To Summarize:

Deliver a valuable service, become a master salesman and consultant, and then leverage the time of others to grow a 7 figure business on upwork.

And this is only Upwork, there are so many ways and so many places to find new and high-paying clients. This is only the beginning. This is how to be successful on upwork and beyond.

Good luck in your entrepreneurial journey and remember, be the “premium provider” of whatever kind of business you decide to do. That’s where the money and a good life is.

-Aleksander Vitkin

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.