5 Secrets to Improve your Success on Upwork


Upwork is a great platform to find additional work.  It can be very competitive, but by following the tips below you'll greatly increase your success.


Find a Niche


Upwork offers a number of categories for freelancers to fall under, but finding your specific niche within one of these is crucial.  I'll use Ekspohz as an example:

We knew we would be targeting clients looking for web design and upon further research it was noted that the amount of designers focusing on Wordpress was saturated.  There were far fewer offering Squarespace expertise (but still a demand for it) so we decided to make that our sole focus. It also helped we felt Squarespace is far superior and more user friendly for our clients Additionally, we focused on our preferred design aesthetic of modern and minimalist.


Craft the Perfect Proposal


One caveat before getting into the proposal is a necessity to have a complete profile, professional photo, and solid portfolio. 

Initially you'll be writing A LOT of proposals, but the secret is it doesn't need to be elaborate. I often see example proposals that start out by listing ALL of your qualifications and years of experience, followed by a detailed break down of every step in the process you'll follow. By the end it's close to a full page and 5 paragraphs.  With the amount of proposals that clients receive most simply won't have the desire to get through all of it. You also don't want to come across like you are simply copy and pasting the same words to every client. If you are...stop!

  • Introduce yourself.

    "Hi I'm Charlie"

  • Connect with them on a personal level. I always recommend that you should be working on projects that you have a passion and general interest in. It makes it a much more enjoyable experience. If you're writing a proposal for an athletic company and that's one of your hobbies you may state:

    "As an avid runner and crossfit trainer, this job falls right into my passion and skillset.

  • Quickly address their issue and how you'll solve it. Don't make this part more complicated than it needs to be. If they need a new website, that's the problem. Your response might be:

    "I'd be glad to build you a modern, professional, and responsive website for your business."

  • Provide your contact information. This part is crucial. In order to continue to build the personal connection and truly understand what the client's vision is you need to get on a phone call, skype, google hangout, etc.

    "If you would like to discuss this project and your vision further I can be reached at xxx.xxx.xxxx. Feel free to recommend a time that is convenient for you."

  • Conclude. Thank them for their consideration and sign your name.

    That it's. Keep it simple and you'll begin to increase your conversions. My stats are below.


Have Passion for your Projects


I touched on this in the proposal section above, but your work experience, quality of product, and design ideas all improve when you are working on projects that you are passionate about.  In the beginning it may be tempting or somewhat necessary to accept all jobs, but as you grow it is much more effective to focus on areas that are of interest to you.  Additionally, you'll begin to develop a profile and portfolio that shows you are a subject matter expert for those types of jobs.


Only Accept Jobs within your Expertise


Each job you take should be the best experience your client has had.  Your job success score and overall rating depend upon it.  By only accepting jobs you that you can complete to the client's full desire is the only way to ensure that you will continue to be rated highly.  In the very least, express yourself early on any limitations or concerns you may have with the project.  Clear communication is key!


Have your Client Close the Job


The easiest way to ensure you get feedback on a job is to ensure your client closes it first.  Once they do so it will immediately prompt them to provide feedback.  If you decide to close it first, they are still able to leave feedback, but it is more difficult to access and they may forget to do so.  Your final phone call with the client should close up all loose ends, conduct any necessary training, and then ask them to close the contract on their end.  Express that you appreciated working with them and that one of the most helpful things on the site is positive feedback.  Hopefully you have provided an excellent experience so there is no question and it's simply a reminder.


I hope these tips will help to improve your success on Upwork. My full profile can be viewed by clicking the button below.