How to Make Money on Elance Upwork
Upwork is a freelance platform where anyone with a skill can make a living selling their services. In this article, I am going to provide you with free information about how you can start making money as a freelancer. It is important to mention here that Upwork doesn’t accept every application, they only want the best workers on their platform, so its important that you do your best to come across as professional in your application.
What Are You Good at?
The first step is to know what you are good at, the good news is that there are millions of jobs on Upwork that are available in a variety of different fields such as:
- Data entry
- Content creation
- Web Design
- Logo Creation
- Graphic designer
- And much more
Set Up a Profile
The next step is to set up a profile, there are plenty of experienced workers on Upwork with impressive profiles that you can get some inspiration from. There is a search feature on the site that allows you to look for freelancers. Your profile is very important, it operates in the same way as a resume, if it doesn’t stand out, clients will quickly move onto the next.
The assumption is that you should fill your profile with how great you are and every single qualification you have ever attained; this is not the case. Obviously, clients want to know that you are qualified for the job, but most importantly, they want to know that you have done similar work.
Even though you may not have had any experience as a freelancer, you will have had experience in some area even if it is not directly related so you will have acquired transferable skills.
Your profile should start with how you can solve a client’s problem; because that is what they are hiring you for. The first thing a client will see when it comes to your profile is a strap-line, you need to make sure you write something compelling that will really get the attention of the reader. You can then go on to speak about the skills you will use to solve their problems.
Keep it short and sweet, clients are busy people and they don’t have the time to read an essay, just include the most important information and leave the rest to when you get to communicate with the client. They will ask questions if they want more information. Your profile should include the following:
- A captivating strap-line
- How you can solve the client’s problems
- A short introduction to who you are and why you are qualified to take on the job
- The services you offer
- A call to action (tell the clients to contact you
Your Profile Picture
A good profile picture is important, not only do you want to look professional, you also want to look friendly and approachable. People only want to do business with people they think they are going to like, and if you are scowling in your photo, you will give a bad first impression.
Your photo should be a head shot only, make sure there is nothing in the background, a white or light colored background is best.
Your portfolio is also very important, this is where you get to showcase your best work. I am assuming that most people reading this have never worked as a freelancer, in which case you may not have any work to showcase. Not a problem, you can create a portfolio. If you are a content writer, write some excellent pieces and publish them on sites like hubpages.com. If you are a graphic designer, do a couple of pieces of graphic design work. If you are a web designer, you can create a few websites. Whatever you do, make sure it is stunning because it is going to go on your profile and that is what clients will see.
Start Bidding For Work
As soon as your profile has been approved by Upwork, you can start bidding. This is where most people give up because they are not seeing immediate results. The key is perseverance, you are going to have to keep applying for jobs every day. When you first start freelancing, the work doesn’t come to you, you’ve got to go out and find the work. It’s only once you’ve built a substantial reputation that you will start getting job invitations. Until then, bidding is your best friend.
Bid Template: When it comes to bidding, it’s super important that you don’t send a canned template to all applications. Clients can see through this and you will get more rejects than you can handle. All clients want to see that you have read and understood the job description. You can do this by ensuring that you mention the job, the requirements for the job and how you can help solve their problem. Some clients will ask you to include a secret word in your application to ensure that you have read the instructions clearly.
You can use a template, just make sure it is tailored to every job you are applying for.
How Much Should I Charge: How much you charge is up to you, most clients will include a budget; but in some cases, especially with clients who don’t have much of a history on the site and don’t understand the pricing structure, their budget is very low. It’s up to you whether you want to bargain with them or look for jobs that are in your price range.
On Upwork, you can either bid by project, or you can bid per hour. I wouldn’t advise bidding anything less than $25 per hour even as a newbie. It is important that you start as you mean to go on, if you bid low to get jobs, what will end up happening is that you will get stuck with low paying clients. If you are going for a fixed rate, make sure you are specific about what you are willing to do for that price, and price the job according to how long you think it’s going to take.
How Much Bidding Will I Need to do: A LOT! On average, you will get around four responses for every 20 applications you submit, so you will need to keep bidding if you want to be successful on Upwork. In most cases, you won’t get a rejection email. Serious clients will usually contact you immediately, taking into consideration that it is an international platform, so you are dealing with people in different time zones. But in general, you should expect to get a response within 72 hours.
When a Client Wants to Hire You: If a client has decided to hire you, they will set up a contract and fund the escrow. The contract starts the moment you click the accept button. If it’s an hourly project, you will need to download the Upwork app and as long as you are logged in, it records the hours you work, this system ensures you are paid for your time.
How do I Get Paid?
Before you start working on a job, make sure the client has funded the escrow; if not, you risk doing work and not getting paid. Once you have completed the project and submitted it to the client, they will either request editing or release the funds to you immediately.
Before you can get paid, you will need to set up your payment preference. You can either have payments made directly to your bank account, or sign up with paypal.com or payoneer.com. These sites are connected to your bank account, you transfer the money from Upwork, and then the funds are transferred to your bank. This process doesn’t take more than 24 hours.
Upwork takes 20% of the first $500 of each project, you also have to pay a small VAT percentage, as well as $2 per withdrawal. Also, the site only pays in dollars, so you will need to bare that in mind if you live in a country such as the United Kingdom where the pound is stronger than the dollar.
Reviews are very important when it comes to the buyers decision-making process. Since you are new and you don’t have any reviews, you will need to work hard and get some. Once you get your first review, it’s onwards and upwards from there. After you have completed a project, ask your client to close the contract and leave you an honest review because some clients will either forget, or they don’t have the time.
If you are going to succeed on Upwork, you’ve got to be diligent, you will get many rejections, but you can’t take it personally, it’s the nature of the job. There are thousands of freelancers all trying to get work. Your job is to master your craft, stand out from the crowd and build a clientele that provide you with a regular stream of work. This is not going to happen overnight, but as long as you are consistent, you will get there in the end.