Steps to launch your freelancing career on Upwork

By:Yash Guwalani 2017-08-09

In the last article, I shared some tips and tricks on starting your freelancing career on Fiverr. I explained how you can build your profile and also gave a step by step approach to make your services salable.

Upwork is completely different from Fiverr, to quote Upwork- “ It is the world's largest online workplace where savvy businesses and professional freelancers go to work!”

Sounds sassy, right?

Upwork was formerly oDesk and Elance, so it’s basically a merger of both the websites.

After reading this article, I can assure you that you will have enough insight in the world’s largest online workplace, which you can start earning over $1000 per week.

Let’s start with the steps right away!

1. Set up your profile: First things first, you need to make a killer profile. Give upwork as much information as you can, fill out everything; literally everything. Upwork has this algorithm where they tell you whether your profile is 70% complete or 80%, strive for 100%, complete profile’s shoot up the Upwork search engine much quicker.
Now a common mistake most freelancers make when starting out is they claim themselves to be the jack of all trades. I made the same mistake when I started out. And you know who’s an intelligent person, one who learns from others mistakes and ensures not to repeat them.
First, you would want to know your niche, what you’re good at, what you love to do and whether people are willing to pay for that service (demand of that particular service). Answer these questions honestly, and you’ll know your forte.
So if you’re a programmer and you know HTML, CSS, Java Script and Python, don’t opt for all the jobs relevant to all the languages, specialize in one; clients hire freelancers because they want to hire the best and not the generic.
Become good at what you’re doing, isn’t that obvious? Next up is setting your working rate, I will suggest you to start with a low rate; but, don’t undervalue your services.
Take the Upwork tests, I know they seem useless and irritating, but it’s worthwhile. After taking some tests, your application limit raises to 20 and you shoot up in the Upwork search results.
Setting up your profile is tedious and can take upto 2-4 hours, but it’s really important, invest your time.

2.     Getting the first job: Now it’s time to start applying for jobs and get hired! Search for jobs which match your skill set; filter your searches to fixed rate only and don’t care about how much you’re getting paid; we are building a profile with good reviews and a good rating.
It’s difficult to get your first client, people will always be hesitant in hiring you if  you have no reviews or past work on Upwork, don’t get upset and discouraged, max out your application quota, once you clear this stage and have procured a reasonable amount of work, reviews and ratings, you’ll be invited on jobs regularly.

3.     How to win jobs: The one thing which clients pay attention other than your profile is your cover letter, I will tell you what freelancers usually do, they make a template and copy-paste them on every job, this is where they go wrong. Do not do this.
Take out the time to read the entire job description and write a relevant cover article. I will be discussing about cover letter deeply in my next article. Cover letters are really important in actually helping you win a job, so, don’t underestimate the value of an appropriate and good cover letter.

4.     Communication with clients: After you apply for the jobs, clients will probably message you before hiring you. Always respond quickly and answer them well, let them know you care about them and their requirements, ask them questions, clients should genuinely feel that you’re interested.
I assure you that if follow these steps properly and put in the required work, you’ll start earning in no time. Raise your rate afterwards, do not change your primary skill, and get skilled in your niche. Clients always want the best and the unconventional. Remember that always. 
I hope you’re finding this series on freelancing helpful. As always, questions/doubts are appreciated. Stay tuned.

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