Becoming a freelancer can be hard at first. Sites like Upwork, a global job platform for freelancers, have hundreds or thousands of qualified freelancers who are all competing for the same job. To be successful, you must find a way to get your profile and talents to stand out from others.
When you first sign up, you might not have any success, but there are a few tips you can use to land more projects on Upwork and make money as a freelancer.
1. Build Up A Skill You Have
First, you must decide what skills you are going to offer to your potential clients. You should take the time before even joining Upwork to build up that skill to make sure you are the most qualified person for the job. To figure out what kind of service you want to offer, you might want to go on Upwork first and look at what other freelancers are offering, and what types of jobs people are hiring for on the job platform. You can then take a free class on Coursera or EdX if you want to brush up on your skills or learn new ones.
2. Set Up Your Account and Profile
An account that is 100% complete gets more profile views. It helps your profile to rank higher in the Upwork search engine. If you can, fill out as many of the sections you can, with as many details as possible.
Some things you might want to consider are:
- Adding a professional profile photo of yourself. Make sure that it is just of you, with no other people in the background.
- Input your relevant work experience. Put in the details of all relevant projects you have worked on because it will help to showcase your skills to potential clients.
- Add projects to your portfolio. If you have designed websites, created promotional flyers, or written articles, you can add those to your Upwork profile. It helps to add to your credibility.
- Advertise a reasonable pay rate. Look at what other people with similar experience and education are offering, and set your pay rate at a comparable price. Not the lowest price! A comparable, fair price.
3. Write an Interesting Profile
On your Upwork profile, you can create a profile that is very “you” focused. This will be the best way for you to market yourself and should include the problems that you can solve for your potential clients. You can even individualize your profile based on certain skills or packages that you might want to offer.
By targeting your profile, potential clients can find you easier when they filter freelancers by specific skills and profiles.
4. Write Custom Proposals
Proposals are essentially your cover letter. It is your first chance to impress your potential client. One thing that you can do it to stand out from the crowded field of freelancers is to personalize your proposals. To do this, you should thoroughly review the job post. Try and mention things that are looking for in your proposal pitch.
For example, if they want a marketing copywriter who has experience writing Facebook ads, then you should mention it in your proposal. Maybe you can share a social media handles for accounts you have worked on before, or show the ads you have written. The more tangible evidence you can show for the work you have done, the better your chances of being hired are.
Generic proposals don’t win bids.
5. Develop Your Niche
When you first start on Upwork, you might want to consider taking every job that comes your way. It is a great way to build your reputation. Short, one-time jobs could be a great way to earn some quick money and learn how the Upwork platform works.
However, after you have been on the job board for a few weeks or months, you might want to become pickier and choose jobs within your niche. Choose a niche that you think you can perform best on the site. You can add keywords to your Upwork profile and to your job title. That way, people can find you a little easier when trying to find a freelancer.
6. Find the Right Project
There are hundreds of jobs advertised on this freelance job board platform every hour. The Upwork Job Feed makes it a little easier to narrow down the job results into categories that help you find one that fits in your niche. Paying attention to the Job Feed means that you can send in more proposals to job posts that are relevant to your work experience.
You can set up your own job feed on Upwork. To do so, first, enter in one or two skills into the search bar. It lets you filter for the projects that best match your skills. Next, you can use the filters on the Search Results Page to create a job feed that is customized directly for you. Once you have done this, you can add the job feed to the left side of your Upwork homepage.
7. Build Your Freelancer Reputation
Sometimes, the hardest job to get is the first one. Before you get hired for the first time, people might not be sure if they can trust you to complete the job on time. Even if you haven’t been hired yet, there are other ways you can create a reputation. Make sure to respond quickly to job invitations. You should also be professional in your communication with potential clients. When you have a better reputation on Upwork, you will be able to get more jobs.
Upwork will measure your Job Success Score as a way to show your reputation. After each finished contract with a client, they will be able to rate your work, your responsiveness, and their willingness to work with you again. All of this is calculated into your Job Success Score. The higher your score, the higher you rank in the Upwork search engine.
As you build your reputation, you might get the Rising Talent badge, which means your profile is 100% filled out, you have had no Terms of Service violations in the past three months, and your first contract on Upwork was less than 90 days ago.
8. Good Communication
Once you have written a strong proposal, you can focus more on getting the right clients that will pay you to do work that you are good at. Communication is one of the most important parts of working as a freelancer.
Keep that line of communication open and respond to messages quickly. The stronger your relationship is with the client, the more likely they will use you again when they have a similar job opening in the future.
Freelancing can be a great way to either earn money as a side hustle or a full-time gig. It gives you the freedom to work remotely on your own time. After a few months, Upwork can become a great way to make dependable income online.