Getting hired on Upwork is hard, there’s a lot of competition and many of the other applicants are willing to undercut your bid just to win the job.
With that said, Upwork is a great place to build your business if you persevere and know how to use the platform correctly.
Here are some tips to help you get jobs on Upwork.
Complete Your Upwork Profile
This should be common sense to everyone who’s looking to get a job on Upwork, your profile should be filled out as much as it can. If you don’t have the experience to show then you are going to need to get it from somewhere to show the work you can do.
A graphic designer may design some logos for some fictional companies just to display their work on their profile. A website developer may need to develop some mock websites. A writer may need to put some samples of writing together. Whatever your field you should have examples to show.
When I started as a website developer I had to create fictional websites just to show the type of work that I could provide for a potential client.
If you look at your competition on Upwork many of them will say they have 10 years of experience in a certain topic, but many of them will fail to show the type of work that they complete.
Showing your work can make a big difference when it comes to getting invited to jobs and getting invited to jobs on Upwork is where the real money can be made because instead of having to beat 50 freelancers to a job, you are now down to a selected few.
Respond Quickly and Thoroughly to Invitations
If you get invited to a job there is a high chance of you winning that job. I have found that replying quickly to job invitations is a great way of securing that job. If you’re the first person to reply and make a good impression you could win that job.
Mistakes I have seen others make while being invited to a job is to reply a few days later (they would have hired someone by then) or reply with a single line such as:
“Thanks for the job invite”
If you get invited, thank them for the invite and then go into what could be done for that job. If you’re being invited to build a new website you should talk about that website rather than how many years HTML experience you have.
Some people may think because you are invited to a job that you’re automatically going to get it, but this isn’t true, you still need to impress the person inviting you. This is done by actually caring about the job at hand and not just because you need the money.
If you do a good job the client could hire you for more work in the future or they good recommend you to others.
Talk About Their Job and Not Your Experience
No one cares that you have 10 years experience in HTML and PHP, do you think someone would choose you over someone else who has 8 years experience but also has shown an interest in the job at hand?
The answer is no.
Tyler of Firewall Technical who uses Upwork for hiring technical writers had this to say:
“When you put a job on Upwork you are going to get hundreds of replies many of them copy and paste jobs. If you want to get hired then you will need to show an interest in the job and speak about the job rather than your experience. If your proposal is interesting I can then ask you about your experience.”
Pick Relevant Jobs
Upwork changes how you can apply for jobs all of the time. At the time of writing, you have a set number of applications you can use before needing to buy more.
You should pick relevant jobs because that’s the only way you are going to get hired in the first place and if you don’t you are going to waste your credits you will need to spend more money which you may not have, especially when starting as a freelancer.
If you specialize in one thing on Upwork you are going to become the go-to person for that subject which will raise your hourly rate and make you win jobs easier.
From a development point of view there are thousands of WordPress coders on Upwork right now and standing out from them is going to be impossible.
If you become the landing page expert for WordPress on the other hand you are going to win more jobs as a freelancer on Upwork when landing page projects come up.
It doesn’t mean you only have to do landing page work but if your profile is optimized for landing page development you have a great chance of winning those types of jobs.
In other industries, you could become a technical writer who specializes in blockchain technology. You could become a WordPress technical SEO consultant for eCommerce websites and so on.
Test Your Rates
If you have no experience you may think that putting your rates low will win you jobs, but that isn’t always the case.
On Upwork, you are going to be dealing with people and their businesses and while there may be some who’s only concern is saving money, most business owners will want quality work to be done.
Setting your hourly rate low is going to make them question if you can do the job to a high enough standard.
Setting your rates too high initially will also make it difficult for you to get a job on Upwork.
What you will want to do is check out your competition, the number of hours they have billed, and adjust your hourly rate so you’re in the same ballpark but you could convince others to hire you.
You should test your rates constantly until you find a sweet spot that brings in enough job invitations and enough positive replies when you apply for a job.
Test Your Profile
You will also want to test the copy on your profile page. Testing your profile copy could result in going from no views and invites to have more than you can handle.
You should test your headline, the body content, the jobs, and work that you show off in your profile and your calls to action.
Just make sure to keep a copy of your old profile somewhere safe so if you start to get fewer job invites you can revert to your old profile and test it again in a different manner.
Starting as a freelancer can be difficult, especially when you need to make money right away to pay your bills. Freelance websites such as Upwork are a great way of getting started and when you get your first clients you can grow your business and look at other methods of lead generation.
The tips above will put you in the right direction to winning your first job on Upwork.