Freelancing is a great way to make some extra cash using skills you already have. People and companies will pay good money to outsource their jobs by piece, and you can reap the benefits. I have found UpWork.com to work best for me and my specific niches. Finding places to work for extra cash is one thing, actually being awarded jobs is another
I recently mentioned UpWork.com in a post outlining ways to make money from home, and have had some further questions about the site and how to get awarded jobs. Below are a few of the techniques I’ve used to be successful in being awarded jobs on Upwork.com.
How to Get Jobs on Upwork with No Feedback
Since UpWork relies on a feedback system to reward good workers, its easy to get overlooked when you’re starting out and have none. Some jobs can get 50+ bids and if you don’t make your proposal count and put some thought into it, it will be overlooked. This is especially true if you have no feedback on the site to substantiate your claims.
Fortunately, it’s not impossible to get jobs on UpWork without feedback and I have been successful obtaining multiple within my first weeks on the site using the following techniques.
You will be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pay a new writer or content creator an above average price for a job on UpWork, without feedback proving your work ethic. When you start bidding for jobs, look at what is being offered and bid just a bit lower.
For example, I found someone with two jobs listings, both of which I was interested in. She was offering $10 per 500 word piece (which would take me 15-20 minutes each to do), so I offered a bid of $8.50 each if I could do both. I was able to save two bidding credits by putting this in my terms and I did not have to submit two proposals plus she got to save a couple of dollars.
I have also been able to submit bids lower than the asking price for the creation of various link lists. The person offered $30 per list of $25 links and I offered $25. My bid was accepted and the project took less than an hour.
I only suggest doing this when you are starting out to build up feedback, or if the person offering the project is already offering a fair price. There are many job listings on the site that are already way below a fair asking price. If you choose to apply to these in order to quickly increase feedback, please note that you will put in a lot of effort for minimal return.
Offer a 24-Hour Turn Around
Many jobs listed on the site outline their expected turnaround time for their project. In order to increase my chances of being selected for jobs, I offer 24 hour turn around in my bid.
You are only allowed to select “less than one week” as the minimum time frame turns in the pull down menu, but you may add your 24 hour proposal in the Cover letter portion of your proposal. I have found that on jobs that I have offered 24 hour turn around on, I have been selected more often. On two such jobs, when I followed through with my quick turn around and got the work submitted in only hours, I was offered even more work!
Offering a quick turnaround, and sticking to it, shows that you are serious about your proposal and are willing to both turn in good work and can be depended on to get it done at a fast pace.
Send Out Bids Until Something Sticks
Most likely, you will have to send out multiple bids before something is accepted. This is totally normal.
You are competing against people worldwide for these positions and you are unlikely to start out getting projects quickly and easily. Maximize your monthly credits by using them all and only applying to jobs you are truly interested in doing. Once your credits are gone, they are gone until the next period begins. I prefer to only apply to jobs that have been listed for less than 2 hours and have less than 20 applicants. You can easily see how many have applied and how long the listing has been up before you even click for more information.
Give Evidence to Back Up Your Claims
It’s not enough to submit a proposal and say, “Pick me because i’m the best for the job!”, even if you offer a very competitive rate. If you have no feedback on the site that proves your work ethic, and no portfolio to show your work, you’ll never get anything. Take advantage of the myriad of file sharing site options and create a portfolio. If you you want to get into blog and article writing and are a great writer but have no experience, fudge a little. Put some time into creating great pieces and save them as google documents. When you submit your proposal, attach links to these to provide as writing samples. If your work is good, your lack of feedback on the site won’t matter. And, no one has to know the pieces you submitted are not previous paid work.
Other things to consider
It’s important to keep in mind that while jobs on UpWork are free to apply to, you can only submit so many proposals each month and you, as the freelancer, are the one who foots the bill for the work. For each completed project, UpWork takes 20% of your final pay. This can be a big chunk on little projects so that is important to keep in mind when submitting your bid.
While I have only been on UpWork a short time, I have already made over $200. In looking at my proposals submitted, I have submitted 18 total and gotten 8 jobs on UpWork, two of those have been requests for repeat work from happy clients. This means that I’ve received 44% of the jobs that I’ve applied for on the site. As my feedback increases, I expect that my acceptance rate will too. For the time being, however, I’m not at all displeased with putting extra money in my pocket while also creating great content that I can use for a portfolio for higher paying jobs later.
What Have You Done to Get Jobs on Upwork?
Have you had success freelancing on UpWork or other sites? What other advice would you offer for getting bids accepted when you have no feedback?