Upwork is a website that popped up at the peak of online telecommuting. However, when it first appeared on the scene, it went by a completely different name. While it still operates the same as it did years ago, many people who are looking to get into freelancing wonder if this site is as good as it claims to be.
Will will find out how well it works for freelancers in this in-depth UpWork review!
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My Honest Upwork Review
Website URL: www.upwork.com
Owner: Hayden Brown
Advertised Price: Free to sign up
Verdict: Legit and Highly Recommended
Summary: Upwork is a legitimate freelancing website where freelancers have been finding legitimate online work in a variety of niches for over a decade.
What is Upwork?
Upwork is an online freelancing portal that helps connect clients with freelancers in the industry of their choice. This website used to go by the name oDesk before it merged with another freelancing website known as Elance. Thus, it launched as Upwork. Today, up to 2 million businesses and freelancers use UpWork for their telecommuting needs.
Pros. vs. Cons
- The ability to become your own boss
- Can make your own schedule
- Low fees
- Many jobs are low paying
- Must cover your own taxes
- Will not find consistent work
How to Use Upwork
Using Upwork doesn’t take rocket science. The owner behind this site understood that freelancers and business owners alike needed a platform that was simple and easy to use. Luckily, UpWork’s dashboard is pretty easy to navigate and it’s even easier to get started.
1. Sign Up
The first step is to sign up for a free account. All you need to get started is some basic information including:
- Your name
- Your email address
Once you sign up, you will need to verify your account. Once verified, you will have full access to everything UpWork has to offer.
2. Complete your Profile
Once you are in the UpWork Dashboard, the next step is going to be completing your profile. There are many parts to doing this correctly. You will need to fill in necessary information such as:
- Your physical address
- W-9 tax information (need this in order to get paid)
- Verify your identity (might need to send UpWork staff a copy of your ID)
- Completing your online portfolio
- Setting your standard pay rate
- Recording an introductory video to go on your profile
- Setting your niche, work, and contact preferences
In order to use UpWork to its fullest potential, you will need to make sure to complete each of these steps. Yes, while they may be time-consuming, I promise you it is not something you will regret doing.
3. Proposing to Your First Job
Once your profile is 100% complete, the next step is obviously to start working. In order to do this, you will need to propose a job. Simply click on a job that you are interested in and select the option “submit a proposal.”
Now, a proposal isn’t something that you are just going to slap, “Give me a job already”, and then be done with it. No, a proposal is the first step to impressing future customers or clients. It is going to be the first and only time you really get to make a great impression and show potential clients that you have the skills they are looking for.
Here are a few things you want to make sure are included in your proposal.
Restate the customer’s core issue
After you say a quick “Hello,” or “How are you doing” at the beginning of your proposal, you want to summarize the core problem the customer is having. It can be as simple as, “I see you are looking for a content writer to help grow your content marketing strategy for the new year,” or “I see you are looking to build a WordPress website based around the “pet food” niche.
Show the customer how you can solve their problem
The next step is to let the customer know you are the perfect person for the job and show them WHY you are the perfect person. Show them the solutions you have come up with and let them know you can start implementing these solutions right away. Describe the process of solving the process for them in an easy to understand and step-by-step process. Elaborate sections of the process that highlight the core solution to the customer’s problem.
Attach examples of previous work
The last step is to attach an outline of the process you discussed in your proposal and to attach previous samples of your work. This will reinstate the fact that you are the best solution to your customer’s problem and show them that you have done work similar to their task in the past.
4. Complete the Job
Once you get hired, the next step is to obviously complete the job, whatever it may be. Complete the job as discussed in your proposal and within the time frame agreed upon with the customer.
5. Get Paid
Once you have completed the job and the customer is happy with it, the next step is to get paid. Now, UpWork generally acts as the middleman for this, having an escrow the customer can drop the money into and is then released upon completion of the job.
Most customers will typically release the funds without needing to be asked. Unfortunately, others you will need to pester them over and over again until they release it. How you do it is completely up to you.
6. Ask for Feedback
Once you have been paid and your customer seems to be happy with your work, the last step will be to ask for feedback. Feedback is essential to getting more and more jobs on UpWork and the key to ultimate success.
It is actually pretty simple to obtain and many customers are more than willing to offer it if you ask. That’s all you have to do: ask. You can send your customer a simple message like, “If you were satisfied with the job and the working relationship we have had, would you mind leaving me feedback on my profile?”
Is UpWork a Scam?
No, UpWork is not a scam. Far from it actually.
While they do have some fees when it comes to using their platform, this website has a solid history of paying its freelancers and is one of the most trusted freelancing platforms in the industry today.
My Final Opinion
Look, I have personally been using UpWork for several years. I was using it back when it was oDesk and even used Elance as well. I have never had a problem being paid, finding pretty decent writing jobs, and getting great feedback from customers. It is still a platform I use today to earn a little extra money here and there to supplement my income.
That being said, I can personally attest to how well it works and can attest that even beginners can benefit from it. Since it is free to use, I highly recommend giving it a try if you have the time. You have nothing to lose except time.
Have you tried UpWork? If so, what has been your experience using it? Let us know in the comments below!