Upwork Profile – Things I Wish I Knew

Hey, are you looking to get started in Upwork? Or are you looking to upgrade your knowledge on Upwork? So you can perform better, get higher-quality contracts that you actually like working on with a high job success score? And are you looking for some ways to optimize your Upwork profile, so that all this becomes possible, and you have 10 to 15 leads coming into your profile on a weekly basis without having to send proposals as well? 

Well, in this video, we're going to cover just that. We're going to cover the 5 things I wish I knew before I started freelancing. And this isn't one of those “oh, here's some easy tips that are super easy, and you can just do them and magically make more money”. No. What I'm going to tell you requires time, effort and optimization. You really need to use your brain to figure out how this works, and then optimize over time, so your asset on the internet (your Upwork profile) becomes better and better and gets you more and more leads. So your freelancing career and your business can grow over time. 

So why am I qualified to talk about this? Well, here's the client results page on my website. You can click here to visit it and take a look. I've been working with agencies and freelancers on Upwork for the past six years, and I've been freelancing myself since 2011. Click here to subscribe to my youtube channel and then click on the bell notification icon so that you get future updates on my Upwork tutorials. 

1. No feedback Doesn’t Damage Your Profile

The first thing I wish I knew when I started is actually something brand new. And I wish they introduced it when I started. In the past, one week before this article was published and before that, to be precise, your job success score was negatively affected by reviews that Upwork clients “forgot” to leave you. So when they finished the contract without leaving feedback, you would get a negative job success score result on your profile, which took months and months to recover from. 

Now, what they did this week and moving forward is they removed this. So if you don't get feedback on your Upwork job, on a contract, you no longer have a negative job success score effect on your profile, which is a huge thing. It’s the difference between some clients ignoring to leave you feedback and your score dropping to 70% for 3 to 6 months (that is if you don't give up at least), and actually just maintaining the 100% job success score, which allows you to maintain things like top-rated status, which give you more leads and make people take you more seriously (because, well, that's what they're looking for: someone with 90 to 100% job success score).

2. Upwork Works Like a Reverse Auction

The second thing that I wish I knew when I started is Upwork works as a reverse auction. That means that you go on there and you bid on contracts. Instead of clients proposing how much they want to get paid, you propose how much you want to do a contract for. Now, here's the thing that I wish I actually knew: you can circumvent this functionality in Upwork, because it is definitely not to your advantage when you're freelancing or running an agency, when you're talking to clients, and you need to give them a price before we even know what they want exactly. Let's be honest, their job posts are not very accurate, they're not very detailed. And it's just very difficult to know what on earth they want, how long it's going to take you, how much you should charge. 

As such, you can put in a filler bid, and you just write a random mount that kind of makes sense. And then you add to your proposal “Oh, this is just a placeholder, because what we really need to do is we need to talk on a call, and then I can figure out how much I can do this project for because it’s unknown to me right now based on your specifications. So to best help you let us get on the call and discuss it.” So it's only a placeholder. You can just say that, and then the job bid that you submitted is just a placeholder. You don't have to stick to the bid that you've made.

3. You Can Sell Pre-Packaged Services 

The third thing, which is actually relatively new on Upwork, is you can set pre-packaged things on Upwork that you sell, that are consultations. So instead of doing a call that you do for free as a sales call, it's a paid consultation call. For example: “For $100, I will review your Facebook ad account and tell you how to improve it.” And then at the end of the call, you can still sell them ad management which is what you actually want to sell for $2,000 to $2,500 to the client per month right, whereas the upfront cost is the $100 for the review because otherwise you're talking to clients for free and it's free sales calls. 

Now, this will drive down your conversion rate by a lot and you better have a lot of reviews and credibility if you want to do this. But if you can pull off having a paid consultation upfront, instead of doing free calls, this changes the whole dynamic of how the sales call works because they already paid you. They're already a buying customer and anything after that is a lot easier because they already trust you from the first delivery which is this call that you're doing. And if you do a good job, they have a good experience they're likely to buy your next thing, your next offer which is $1,500 to $2,500 for Facebook ad management service, for example. Now, if you don’t sell Facebook ads management and you sell something else like development services, of course, this is different. But still you can charge a scoping fee or discovery call fee. 

4. You Don’t Have to Follow Every Single Rule

So the fourth thing that I wish I knew and this is a little bit controversial. So just take it with a grain of salt, just opinion. I'm not affiliated with Upwork. But the way Upwork works, and the way they have their little rules on everything is they have way too many rules, like everything is controlled and regulated, and they send you emails. And, you know, it's really like that on the platform. 

As such, as anything with any place or location or platform with too many rules, some of the rules are enforced very strictly like you can have two accounts. For example, because you will get suspended, I guarantee you. However, other rules are enforced very sporadically. And as such a lot of agencies and freelancers disregard many rules and Upwork. And you notice if you follow every rule, and then you know, you post the job, and you see people messaging you that are not following every rule, you'll see very quickly that you know, they're not getting suspended very often. People who disregard the rules have it a little bit easier, because you know, when they disregard the rules, they make it a little bit easier for themselves to get hired. And they have an advantage over people who follow every rule religiously. 

Now, that's just the way it looks to me right now, I don't know if it's going to change. But certainly, many freelancers and agencies are disregarding many, many rules right now on the platform. 

5. You Can Call Upwork Phone Support

Now the fifth thing I wish I knew is you can call Upwork phone support. And no matter which account you have, if you google their phone support, you can find a phone number, and they will help you. And they're quite good actually. And sometimes, you know, when you speak to someone who's not very helpful, you just call them back until they get someone a little bit better, who's going to help you a little bit more. And you'd be surprised what you can get done like that. You can get accounts reinstated if you apologize enough. You can do all kinds of interesting things to get interesting information from Upwork support. They are very helpful and they're available most of the day. You can just call them and talk to them and resolve many issues, they'll even give you advice because they're also on Upwork themselves.

6. (Bonus) You Can Get Mentored by Experts

Now there is a sixth thing I wish I knew that I'm going to give you as a bonus here. And that is you can get mentored by existing Upwork pros, like people who are really good, who have hundreds of thousands of dollars earned on Upwork. And they're usually very helpful and really want to help you. They don't consider you to be competition, if you find the right people. 

If you go to businessmentor.com you can actually find a whole program that we've built just for that like how to get success on Upwork and how to build out your agency or freelancing career successfully. We have hundreds of case studies on there. So take a look, go watch them. 

What I want you to do next is watch this video on how the Upwork algorithm works. Take a look at that and I have a bunch more videos and Upwork tutorials in the description below this article. So take a look at those as well. See you in that video or in the other two videos in the description.

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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.