If you are just now getting started freelancing, you probably won’t have to do too many Google searches before landing at the Upwork homepage. Here’s what you need to know about this freelancing platform.
Is Upwork Legit?
Upwork is one of the most popular and longest-running freelancer websites. It originated as Elance in 1999, but the original company was purchased. It has been using its current name since 2015.
So, if your main question is whether or not Upwork is legit, its longevity in the marketplace should tell you that yes, it is considered a genuine choice for freelancers.
How Do You Get Started on Upwork?
Now that you know Upwork is a legitimate choice to begin your freelancing career, you may want to create a login and profile. The process is relatively straightforward. You will answer a series of job and skill-related questions. You will give details about past employment and education.
While the application process is not complicated, there’s plenty of online chatter about Upwork rejecting their profiles. It may be that Upwork has an abundance of freelancers in a given field and is trying to limit the amount of competition for its current freelancers.
Upwork has 12 different categories of work. They are Web, Mobile & Software Development, IT and Networking, Data Science & Analytics, Engineering & Architecture, Design & Creative, Writing, Translation, Legal, Admin Support, Customer Service, Sales & Marketing, and Accounting & Consulting.
There are many subcategories under each of these primary listings. For example, writers can label themselves as Academic Writers and Research Freelancers, Creative Writers, Editors and Proofreaders, or six other categories.
Some Upwork gurus suggest that if your profile or account is rejected, it could be because there are too many people with your same skill set in that particular category.
To find out the most sought-after freelancers on Upwork, visit the news portion of their website and scroll to the bottom. Each quarter there is a new article published listing the fastest-growing skills for freelancers.
For example, the top five fastest-growing skills from the last quarter of 2018 were Hadoop, Dropbox API, Genetic Algorithms, Microbiology, and Computational Linguistics.
Do not be discouraged if your Genetic Algorithm skills are not as top-notch as they should be. There are plenty of jobs for regular people as well. It is worthwhile to peruse the list to see if there are any categories that you might be able to add to your profile.
What Happens After Your Upwork Profile is Approved?
After your profile is approved, you find a job. Much like other job searches, getting your foot in the door can be difficult.
Here’s how it works. When you log into your account, Upwork will give you a list of the jobs that were listed in your specific skill categories. If you find a job that you are interested in, you submit a proposal for the job.
Your proposal will tell the client how much you would expect to earn for completing their task. You can either ask for a flat fee, or you could request an hourly rate.
You will then write a cover letter detailing why you are the best choice for the job. This letter should not be a repeat of your profile information. Instead, you should highlight how your skills and experience can help the client.
Although it takes a lot of time, each cover letter should be unique to the job. In fact, some clients will ask for you to include a keyword or phrase in your cover letter so that they can make sure you read all the details of the job posting.
Before you send the cover letter to your client, it is wise to include attachments of previous work you have completed. If you have not completed any freelance work before, you should probably consider creating samples of your work to provide to clients.
Depending on the popularity of your skill set, you may need to apply for dozens of jobs before you hear back from a client. This can be frustrating because although you are sitting in front of your computer for hours at a time, you are not earning any income.
What Happens When You Hear From a Client?
Then that magical day occurs when you finally get a message from a client. Before you accept the terms of the final proposal, it is essential that you make sure you understand the scope of the work.
How Do You Get Paid?
Once you have completed some jobs, you will see the amount of money you have earned gradually increase. Unfortunately, since Upwork takes 20% of your earnings that amount will not grow at the rate you would hope.
Overall, Upwork is a decent place to get started as a freelancer. It gives you practice knowing what is standard in your industry and gives you practice interacting with clients.
This article was originally published by FreelancingBuzz.com