So have you just started on Upwork, and you’re wondering how in the world to land a job?
Upwork can be an intimidating place. If you’re a new freelancer, though, it’s a great way to find hundreds and hundreds of gigs. It’s like the Walmart of freelance gigs, with an ostensibly endless wall of jobs, fitting almost every type of skill. The big question is though – how to get accepted to jobs on Upwork?
I’m a digital marketer, and there are more digital marketing gigs online than almost anything else. Logo designs, social media posts, blog content – there’s no end to the businesses that are looking for these things. I can do these things, so I thought landing these jobs would be easier.
The truth is, landing jobs on Upwork isn’t easy until you really start doing it right.
The Law Of Numbers
If you don’t get jobs with your first 5, or even 10… 15… 20 proposals, don’t let this discourage you. It’s normal. Or at least I hope it is, because it definitely took me at least 10 tries.
The first thing you’ve got to accept is that even though Upwork has at least 5 million registered business owners who are hiring, it also has at least 12 million freelancers looking to land those jobs. Working from anywhere you want is popular. Surprising, right?
So in many cases, no matter how immaculately qualified you are for a certain gig, there are just a lot of other appliers to beat for the jobs.
If you’ve ever been in a sales position, you’ve probably heard about the law of numbers a million times. But I’ll reiterate it. No matter how good you are, it takes a lot of tries before you land each sale. This is true of every kind of sale, from insurance to affiliate marketing. One of the services I promote as an affiliate here on Young Retiree is Shopify – I had over a 2 dozen people sign up for free trials through my referral link, before I finally had 1 actually upgrade to a paid plan, and land me $60. Don’t let this scare you off, or make you want to give up. Just realize that the greater volume of proposals you can send in Upwork, the more gigs you’re inenvitably going to land.
How To Write Proposals
There’s a little luck, and a little timing, to beating out your competitors to land gigs on Upwork. It’s even more important, though, to write good proposals. The proposal for each job is not something that you should just copy and paste a generic response on. That will almost never land you a gig, or help you to stand out.
If you really want to know how to get accepted on Upwork, you need to write a KILLER proposal. Let that be your focus.
Understanding how to write a good Upwork proposal really boils down to how much care you show to the individual person you’re applying for. Make sure you actually read all of the details of their job listing, or their project. Ask them questions. Compliment the things that you really like about their ideas, or their business. It’s often even in your best interest to give a bit of advice in your proposals. It may seem presumptuous, but this can often show the hiring person that you know what you’re talking about, and you have ideas that can help them.
Robots aren’t going to land as many gigs as real, live people. Respond like a person.
If you want an AWESOME guide on how to write a great proposal, I learned from a blog called Freelance To Win. Check out their guide here!
Don’t Start Off Too Picky
Here’s the honest truth, not all clients are ideal. In many cases, including on Upwork, you’re going to have clients that are impossible to please. They nit-pick over every little thing. If they’re paying you several hundred, or $1,000 for a project, this is a little more reasonable, but you will sometimes have clients who want FAR more than their job listing described, while paying you nothing for your time.
It’s painful enduring clients like this. And as you become more established, you should never continue working with a client that will not pay you what you’re worth. Choose gigs that are worth your time. My wife and I have landed logo design gigs that paid $50 to $100 and only took 20 minutes. I’ve landed some writing gigs, on the other hand, that paid $5 per project for what was advertised as some quick editing. It turns out, these writing projects more reasonably take 45 minutes. $5 per project didn’t look so good after that.
But here is my word of advice. When you start out on Upwork, take whatever you can get. Even if your first couple of clients are terrible, if you don’t have anything to show in your portfolio, and no 5 star reviews, than you just need to take whatever you can get to build up your reputation.
Once you have a few successful projects to show on your portfolio, and you’ve received some public, positive feedback on your work, it will become easier to land gigs. The more impressive your profile looks, the pickier you can be. It makes sense, right?
Attach As Many Examples of Your Work As Possible
If you have some impressive examples of your work – logos you’ve created, websites that you can provide links to, PDF files of your blog posts – attach as many as Upwork will let you.
Without these kinds of examples, a hiring person doesn’t have a way of knowing if you can do a good job for them. You have to remember, they don’t know you yet, they don’t know the amazing stuff you’re capable of, and they usually have a lot of proposals to sift through.
Stand out. Show off. Never waste the opportunity that you have to attach some examples of your skills.
Get Out there!
This is all it really takes to take off on Upwork. If you sincerely have the skills necessary to for the gigs you’re applying to, you’ll get work. Keep applying, don’t get discouraged, and do your best on every project. Eventually, freelancing can be become an incredible money making opportunity with an AMAZING amount of freedom and flexibility.
Are you feeling tired of sitting, and you want to run to the gym? Nothing is stopping you, because you can pause your work and do what you want. Need a nap? Make sure you have enough time later to finish up your project, and GO for that siesta. Errands to run? Guess what, you don’t have to wait until you clock out. Even if freelancing is just something that you do on the side for extra cash, it’s an awesome way to make good money.
Last but not least, check out my list of the best places (not just Upwork), to find freelancing gigs! If you have any other questions, please ask in the comments below!