Figuring out how to get jobs on Upwork can be a great way to start a freelance career—which can be both exciting and worrying at the same time.
Getting a potential client to take a chance on you when you’re brand new to freelancing can be a tough sell and I have known many freelancers to give up after a few months of not being able to find clients.
To help you resolve this issue, this post will cover how to get jobs on Upwork, one of the leading freelance marketplace sites, so you can make the most of your freelance career.
Keep in mind, there are many sites like Upwork to consider finding jobs from — but here we’re going to focus specifically on how to get jobs on Upwork.
What is Upwork?
Upwork is a place where designers, developers, marketers and a wide range of other skilled professionals can connect with business owners and gain work on a freelance basis.
With a variety of reviews, some might wonder if Upwork is legit — however I can tell you, it’s definitely a great place to start your freelance career.
Upwork is very useful because it handles payments, disputes and they even have employees who can recommend how to get jobs on Upwork by applying based on your skills in your profile. For this service, Upwork takes a 20% fee until the client has spent over $10,000 with you, where the fee then decreases to 10%.
- To get started on Upwork, create a strong profile that highlights your skills, experience, and portfolio. Make sure to use keywords that potential clients are likely to search for when looking for freelancers.
- When applying for jobs on Upwork, take the time to write personalized, thoughtful proposals focusing on how you can help your client. Get specific.
- Build your reputation on the platform by delivering high-quality work and receiving positive feedback from clients. Consider taking on smaller jobs at first to build your portfolio and reputation.
How to Get Jobs on Upwork
Starting to land jobs on Upwork, even if you’re brand new, might seem daunting due to stiff competition from many skilled freelancers. Yet, securing that first gig and delivering top-notch work can open doors to opportunities you might not have imagined.
My journey on Upwork led me from small family businesses to giant corporations with football stadiums, something I never thought possible. By following the strategies I’m about to share, I connected with incredible companies and learned the ropes of securing jobs on Upwork.
1. Kick off with Small Jobs
The initial challenge on Upwork is landing your first job. This first success, coupled with positive feedback on your profile, significantly boosts your credibility with potential clients. Aim for low-risk, low-budget jobs to ease into the platform and start gathering feedback.
2. Prioritize Positive Feedback
Even if a job pays less than your usual rate, consider accepting it for the sake of positive feedback. This feedback is crucial for standing out and attracting more clients later on. While it might be tempting to skip over low-paying gigs, they’re essential for building your reputation on Upwork.
3. Optimize Your Upwork Profile
A well-crafted profile is key to getting noticed. Fill out every section with as much detail as possible, using high-performing freelancers in your field as inspiration. Experiment with your profile title and hourly rate to find the best combination for attracting the right clients.
4. Start Sending Proposals
Don’t rely solely on job invites; actively send out personalized proposals. Avoid generic messages; tailor each proposal to the job and client, showing you’ve done your homework and genuinely care about their project.
I once optimized keywords for a client for just $30. This small job turned into a fruitful relationship, earning me $12,000 in a year. This illustrates the power of starting small and focusing on quality work.
5. Aim for Job Invitations
After completing a few jobs successfully, you’ll start receiving job invitations, which are often easier to convert into actual gigs. Always ensure the job aligns with your skills and the client’s budget before proceeding.
6. Prepare for the Interview
Invest in a good microphone and webcam for client meetings. Use these interviews not just to sell your skills, but also to assess the client’s goals and expectations, ensuring they’re realistic and achievable to avoid negative feedback.
By following these steps, you’ll navigate Upwork more effectively, build your reputation, and gradually take on more significant, higher-paying projects.
4 Additional tips for how to get jobs on Upwork
To thrive on Upwork and secure the best jobs, consider these four additional strategies:
1. Carefully Choose Your Clients
Not all clients are created equal. Some may require constant attention, hindering your progress and growth. Assess potential clients by reviewing feedback they’ve received from other freelancers and noting how they communicate about past collaborations. Steer clear of clients who frequently leave negative feedback to avoid potential issues for yourself.
2. Keep Open Lines of Communication and Meet Deadlines
Freelancers often get a bad rap for being flaky or hard to reach. Set yourself apart by regularly updating your clients and always delivering work on time. This reliability can make you a preferred freelancer for a company, potentially leading to more referrals and steady work.
3. Verify the Client’s Payment Method
Before starting a project, ensure the client has a verified payment method on Upwork. This precaution reduces the risk of payment issues upon project completion. Utilizing Upwork’s hourly tracker can also safeguard your earnings by documenting your work hours.
4. Apply to Well-Defined Job Listings
Focus your efforts on job postings with clear, detailed descriptions. These listings indicate that the client knows what they need and is serious about the project. Given the limited number of connects Upwork provides for applying to jobs, it’s wise to use them on opportunities with the potential for actual engagement.
Expanding Your Freelance Business on Upwork
Upwork offers a dynamic platform to build and grow your freelance career. By continuously refining your profile, selectively applying for jobs, maintaining open communication with clients, and consistently delivering quality work, you’ll enhance your reputation and expand your freelance business. This approach not only solidifies your standing on Upwork but also equips you with valuable skills that apply beyond the platform.
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