Module 4: Discovering the Proper Contract on Upwork

Congratulations! Making it up to now means you have got practically each software you must turn into a profitable freelancer! Whether or not you wish to make this a full-time profession change or are simply searching for a facet hustle for extra money, you’ve acquired a sturdy toolbox in hand and are able to tackle the world.

Most of what you want now could be gaining talent in utilizing these instruments, and that’s what we’ll delve into right here. The few remaining instruments you require will even be launched on this part, so let’s buckle down and get to it!

You accomplished the very first step towards optimizing your job feed within the final chapter. Having a profile that’s 100% full, verified, and correct to the job kind you’re searching for will drastically streamline your seek for these jobs.

Upwork has a vested curiosity in matching shoppers with high-quality freelancers. Those that align themselves most intently with how Upwork has designed the platform will see probably the most important profit find jobs. Creating a powerful profile does exactly that.

Desk of Contents

Easy methods to Use Search Filters to Discover the Good Job

There are a couple of important areas the place you’ll be able to modify the roles you’re taking a look at, although. The primary is the search bar, the place you’ll be able to search by key phrases or by talent units. In case you don’t wish to miss out on initiatives in your talent space however aren’t positive of which search phrases will flush out the entire jobs, you’ll be able to shortly sweep accessible contracts for alternatives in that method. 

Because of this understanding the knowledge within the earlier chapters was so essential: exhaustively looking the skillsets part if you constructed your profile has already knowledgeable you of how Upwork classifies you. Now, you’ll be able to simply entry the roles listing for what you need.

Utilizing solely key phrases or particular abilities will forged a large web, and you may slim this by utilizing an intensive set of filters. To start, kind any key phrase into the search bar and hit “Enter.”

The web page that seems offers you a couple of choices. The primary is the “U.S. solely” toggle change. Purchasers can limit jobs to solely U.S. candidates for varied causes, which usually decreases total competitors and will increase pay charges.

Upwork states that US-only jobs are likely to pay 75 % extra, however if you happen to haven’t verified your U.S. tackle, you received’t see these. As soon as your profile is verified, nonetheless, you turn into eligible for this filter.

Subsequent, you’ll see a button titled “Filters.” Click on on that, and this expanded view is what you’ll see. Mess around with these till you are feeling comfy with them, then actually start to dial into what sort of jobs can be found. 

Which filters produce posts that catch your eye? Save those you discover by marking the inexperienced coronary heart icon. We’ll use this later as we construct your profile and present you find out how to combine posting norms on Upwork into your profile–this actually simply searches engine optimization (website positioning) for Upwork’s search instruments.

That is additionally a superb solution to collect details about how well-liked jobs are, what they’re going for on the freelancer job market, whether or not they’re primarily lengthy or short-term gigs, et cetera. Work by way of every of the filter areas and discover. Earlier than I allow you to unfastened, although, there are a couple of important notes I have to make.

Job kind 

The primary column is Job Kind, and earlier I mentioned how you must try for a stability between fixed-price and hourly. Early on in your Upwork profession, you’ll probably discover that you just win the next proportion of 1 or the opposite, relying on the business. 

Don’t let this panic you–it’s very typical. After you get to 10 or 15 closed contracts, you’ll wish to start making an effort to stability issues out. Bear in mind once we went by way of the client-side search choices?

They’ll additionally filter freelancers for varied expertise ranges, and an imbalanced profile will end in fewer job matches than might have occurred.

Expertise stage 

The subsequent choice kinds jobs by expertise stage. That is principally subjective–how would you charge your expertise and high quality of labor? Crucial facet of that is brutal honesty with your self. 

Some individuals have low vanity and would by no means contemplate themselves consultants in a subject, even when everybody round acknowledges them as such. If that is you, it’s a shortcoming you must grasp. 

In case you don’t precisely worth your self, you’re going to have a subpar expertise as a freelancer and fail to be as profitable as you can have been. Don’t fear, this isn’t one thing it’s a must to overcome in the present day, however you must take note of it and slowly work towards an correct self-valuation.

You don’t must put a ton of stress on your self to precisely gauge this on the outset if you happen to’re doing this part-time. This isn’t your major supply of revenue, so you have got time to give attention to constructing that strong suggestions status.

Estimate the place you assume try to be, then start taking a look at jobs one stage decrease than that. This lets you bid on contracts that you just’re extra more likely to be overqualified for, and that provides you the next likelihood of with the ability to knock it out of the park. Do this, you’ll get killer suggestions, and also you’re in your journey to success.

On the opposite facet of the spectrum, if you happen to overvalue your self after which underperform, your suggestions will replicate that. There is no such thing as a fast exit from an otherwise-promising Upwork profession than to achieve a foul status. 

Jobs that require increased experience do pay extra, and so they’re very tempting, however keep in mind that suggestions and a excessive Job Success Rating comprise the trail to an extended, worthwhile affiliation with Upwork.

If they appear far too simple, you’ll be able to transfer issues up a notch. Simply just remember to’re doing it as a result of you’ll be able to legitimately deal with extra, and never as a result of it’s an ego factor.

Critiquing an Advert

In Module Two, I taught you in regards to the anatomy of an advert. You realized what every subject was, what it meant, and the way it related to numerous search options. On this part, I’ll break down what these fields talk and the way you should use them to seek out the correct contracts.

Shopper historical past 

The Shopper Historical past part presents some fascinating perception into the contract combine. Roughly one-third of job postings come from shoppers with no expertise on Upwork. That is one thing you must take note of when bidding for 3 causes. 

First, it’s essential to notice that brand-new shoppers could possibly be completely phenomenal, undeniably horrible, or wherever in-between. You merely don’t know at this level, as a result of they haven’t employed anybody. Upwork hasn’t had an opportunity to measure that but.

The positioning does an outstanding job attracting high-quality shoppers, retaining them, and culling poor shoppers in a short time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of these culls occur after the primary couple of contracts. 

Though nonetheless small, you’ll see the next proportion of not-so-great shoppers on this pool, and also you don’t know that are which. A few of my finest shoppers have been first-time shoppers, so don’t shrink back from this pool, simply notice what the unknowns are.

In that spirit, if you happen to’ve had a foul first expertise with a consumer, test their job historical past. You’ll be able to observe their profile by going to My Jobs > All Contracts, find the correct one, then click on on it and go to the unique job posting. Scroll down, and you may see the place you have been within the consumer’s job historical past, even when it’s been some time.

Upwork locks the suggestions in chronological order; in case your awful expertise got here within the consumer’s first three contracts, you most likely didn’t get a superb indication of what Upwork tradition is really like, so don’t get discouraged.

The second factor to bear in mind is that shoppers with no job historical past on Upwork aren’t totally purchased into the platform but. They assume it’d fulfill their wants, however they’re unsure. They’re testing the waters. 

Different freelancing platforms could be a greater match for a specific enterprise’s wants, and in the event that they determine to depart for that, they haven’t vested a lot curiosity of their presence. Generally a job publish will probably be deserted because the consumer seems to be elsewhere.

This may be troublesome if a contract goes badly: the consumer can drop unfavourable suggestions and stroll away from Upwork solely, leaving you with a poor evaluation and no repercussions for them. I don’t see this occur typically, however it’s one thing to concentrate on. Once more, merely know the assorted components going right into a negotiation setting.

There’s a second edge to this sword, nonetheless, and it’s a superb one. In case you give a consumer a superb first expertise, they’ll probably come to you once more–repeatedly.

They could give you extra work in the identical subject, or ask you if you happen to can deal with work in different areas. I’ve had shoppers ask me for assist in utilizing the platform to seek out different specialties; this is a wonderful alternative to positively mildew their’ expectations on Upwork cultural norms. 

For instance, outlining the forms of issues they need to ask for within the job posting, find out how to consider a freelancer’s profile to discover a winner, and many others. You are able to do all this since you learn this e book, and you understand Upwork Fundamentals from the bottom up.

Cultural norms are the third space to concentrate on when pitching to shoppers who’re new to the platform: they merely haven’t had time to get used to what’s typical for the Upwork setting. What are the usual charges at which they get high quality freelancers? 

How a lot interplay ought to they ask for within the interview course of? In the event that they ask you for one thing exterior the norm, attempt to gently deliver them again according to what’s typical for Upwork in your expertise. If a brand-new Upwork consumer tries to barter too exhausting, it’s higher to stroll away than take the contract.

I additionally need you to note the stability of shoppers who’ve reasonable ranges of expertise on Upwork (1 to 9 hires) and people who have intensive expertise (10 or extra hires). There are extra skilled contracts (39% of whole) than there are these with reasonable expertise (29%) and even no expertise (32%). Upwork does a superb job of attracting and retaining high-quality shoppers.

Shopper data 

This can be a helpful software. In case you’ve performed a superb job for somebody, it is a excellent place to seek out repeat shoppers. In case you’ve had a couple of tough experiences, you would possibly wish to double-check if a job is from a consumer you didn’t get together with earlier than submitting a bid.

Variety of proposals 

A few components will instantly flip me off of a job chance, and a type of is that if it exceeds 10 proposals which have already been submitted. At that time, I feel there’s an excessive amount of competitors for me to face out, and my probabilities of being employed have decreased, so I transfer on in my search.

The excellent news is that greater than 60% of jobs match on this standards, so that you’re nonetheless retaining the lion’s share of the posts whereas slicing out the bottom 40%.

Each minute I spend bidding for jobs as an alternative of working them is a minute I’m not being paid, so I solely wish to go together with high-quality pictures. Once you do that proper, that is what your “My Stats” part seems to be like:

Upwork compares how typically you have been considered, interviewed, and employed in comparison with your friends in the identical business. This tells you whether or not your bidding methods (beginning with choosing the correct contract) are working.

There have been a number of the reason why Upwork determined to cost for connects, however the backside line is that they wished to lower the variety of bids submitted for every job, making every contract extra selective. 

When individuals must pay even a couple of cents to use, they hesitate for a second longer. Which means that solely the freelancers who really feel they’re genuinely certified bid, making a smaller pool of candidates the place it’s simpler to face out.


Don’t put a lot inventory on this function for a couple of causes. At first, there is no such thing as a dedication stage related to an estimated finances. Even with a confirmed cost methodology, a consumer doesn’t must deposit cash into escrow till they rent somebody for the job. 

Whereas it’s extraordinarily uncommon for somebody to be deliberately misleading, it isn’t unusual for somebody to fat-finger a quantity, or extra generally, not know find out how to actually consider a job. Use this as a relative indicator, however I’ve had jobs initially valued at a few hundred {dollars} flip into tens of hundreds of {dollars} price of labor.

Sadly, you’ll sometimes run right into a consumer who is clearly overvaluing the job to get higher-value freelancers and can then supply them much less. If this occurs, don’t take the contract. These shoppers are all the time complications and can trigger stress and virtually all the time end in unhealthy suggestions for you.

Hours per week & undertaking size

Take this class with a grain of salt, as effectively. Jobs typically change from the primary time the consumer conceives of it to remaining execution. Use this in the identical method you probably did when setting your availability in response to these classes: they’re a relative indicator of time required, however not an absolute one by any means.

It’s additionally not unusual for a more recent consumer to understand they incorrectly categorized a job and want to modify it to a distinct kind of cost (e.g., from hourly to fixed-price). So long as you each conform to it, that isn’t an issue; that simply means you shouldn’t disregard all contracts primarily based on the belief that every part in regards to the advert is correct.

Class, consumer location, & expertise clouds

The Class drop-down menu means that you can seek for any main class and even particular subcategories of jobs. The Shopper Location menu is about on the nation stage, so it received’t be of a lot use to freelancers in america however could be very helpful for worldwide freelancers. 

Lastly, the Expertise Clouds I mentioned earlier may be individually searched, so don’t hesitate to test these out when you get accepted into one.

“Save search” button When you’ve spent a while constructing a search, you would possibly wish to reserve it. Click on this button, then title the search accordingly. These will probably be positioned on the left facet of your house display screen within the Discover Work part.

I’ve acquired three saved: “Generic Writing Search,” “Professional Writing,” and “Professional Analysis.” A single click on will recall the entire search standards and kind the accessible jobs appropriately.

In case your job feed ever appears caught, and the highest job is listed as being posted a number of hours earlier than, clear the cache in your browser. Often it can fail to refresh accurately, and also you don’t wish to miss any jobs as a consequence of a glitch.

What to Search for in a Shopper

You’ll ceaselessly see a “Featured Job” tag on contracts that seem at or close to the highest of your job feed. These shoppers have paid a payment to push their contract to the highest. This tells you many issues. First, the consumer is invested–they’ve already spent cash to make this occur.

Second, the consumer actually needs this job crammed. That is very true if the job has been renewed (proper above the placement tag within the picture under). Meaning the consumer has not solely not employed anybody, however the consumer has tacitly rejected everybody who submitted a bid to that time. 

A renewal overrides my earlier rule about submitted proposals as a result of it successfully locations the consumer’s applicant pool all the way down to 0. Even if you happen to see 50 candidates, if it was renewed lower than an hour in the past, bid. These first 50 candidates not depend within the consumer’s eyes.

Third, you have got an edge in value negotiation. The consumer has paid cash to function this job, figuring out how a lot they need it to be crammed. They’ve been watching the state of affairs intently, and have been dissatisfied with all proposals to date. 

They renewed the job posting, indicating it is a must-fill place. If the consumer extends a contract supply, you have got fairly a little bit of energy in your facet of the desk.

Use this properly and respectfully. Do not forget that long-term success is created by creating a superb title for your self. Supply your companies at a good value, even if in case you have the entire leverage–simply don’t really feel any stress to go down in value. Ask what you’re price, and don’t apologize for it.

Evaluating a Job Posting


The title of a job posting varies in how invaluable the knowledge is. Some shoppers write unambiguous titles that clearly talk what they’re searching for, whereas others is usually a bit obscure. As a result of every of those is custom-written by the consumer, there may be numerous room for typos to wreak havoc. 

Even if in case you have a superb set of saved searches, it’s good apply to evaluation the complete job feed on your major freelancing occupation a minimum of as soon as a day.

A great title will inform you what sort of freelancer the consumer is searching for (test for key phrases corresponding to “author,” “programmer,” or “developer”) in addition to the kind of work to be performed (corresponding to “10 Responsive E-mail Templates” or “WordPress purchasing cart arrange”). Even when the title is well-worded, you must learn the complete description subject for a number of causes.

First, Upwork permits shoppers to reuse templates, and sometimes a job posting will slip by way of with a title for Contract A, however content material for Contract B–and these may be in solely completely different fields.

Often shoppers need assistance figuring out exactly what they need; one of the crucial frequent causes to rent freelancers is as a result of shoppers don’t know find out how to do the particular duties themselves; in consequence, they may ask the flawed questions or describe the work incorrectly upfront. 

Studying by way of the outline subject will assist you understand if the consumer precisely described the work to be performed or wants a little bit of assist fleshing out the main points.

Lastly, it isn’t unusual for a consumer to position a requirement within the job advert itself that you should tackle to be thought of. Generally it’s a really particular query; e.g., “Inform me particularly about your final job in X.” 

Often, the consumer will say, “Put (some random phrase) on the prime of your cowl letter, so I do know you learn it.” Even if you happen to’re an ideal match for the job, you’ll miss this if you happen to don’t learn the advert completely, and that can probably imply lacking out on the job itself.


The very very first thing you must search for when reviewing job posts is the time it was posted.

By no means bid on a job that was posted greater than 24 hours prior. Within the company world, a job can take three to 6 months from the time the necessity is recognized till it’s posted, candidates are interviewed, employed, onboarded, and start work.

The typical timeline for Upwork, nonetheless, is 72 hours. This may be damaged down roughly into the next three areas:

  • First 24 hours: Job is posted, bids are solicited, and consumer narrows candidate subject
  • Second 24 hours: Interviews start with candidates
  • Last 24 hours: Candidate is chosen, and work begins

Clearly, this will fluctuate fairly a bit, however that is the case most of the time. After the primary 24 hours, your probabilities of successful a bid lower considerably–and you continue to must pay the identical value for connects. 

In case you discover a job that appears completely suited to your skillset and expertise, you’ll be able to bid on it, after all.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that the consumer could also be within the interview stage, so that you’re going to be competing for the primary look in opposition to freelancers who’ve already been recognized as potential winners.

What you must learn about renewed jobs One exception to this are jobs which are renewed, as I discussed above. Upwork has a phenomenally assorted subject of freelancers, however sometimes a job is so particularly focused {that a} consumer can’t discover the right match they’re searching for. On this state of affairs, a consumer can renew a job that’s greater than 72 hours outdated to bump the job posting again to the highest of the listing.

A renewed job posting can inform you a number of issues. As I simply talked about, it might merely be as a consequence of a particularly particular job posting that isn’t simple to match–if that’s the case, you must be capable of inform by the wording of the advert. 

Nevertheless, a number of probably unfavourable issues might trigger a contract to fail to draw a high-quality freelancer pool.

Generally shoppers publish work at such a cut-rate that no competent freelancer would bid on it. Remember to consider the work description completely and know that you would be able to bid a good value. One more reason freelancers would possibly refuse to submit bids is that the consumer’s suggestions score could be very poor. 

Upwork does a superb job attracting a high-quality pool of shoppers, however as with each group of individuals, you’ll finally run into a foul apple. To keep away from being trapped in a contract with a consumer who can’t be happy, all the time test their suggestions rankings and feedback.

Upwork evaluations work on a five-star system like Amazon product rankings, but it surely’s important to grasp the cultural nuances behind how a company makes use of score techniques. At Upwork, the default assumption is that if the freelancer and consumer every carry out in response to expectations, 5 stars must be awarded.

That’s not an “above and past” score, however fairly a default for well timed, high quality work that met expectations from the freelancer facet, and clear expectations, immediate communication, and painless cost for a consumer. 

Figuring out that is important as a result of a consumer with a 3-star common score is something however common–this is somebody you must actively keep away from.

You also needs to dig extra deeply than simply the rankings and a minimum of peruse the suggestions feedback left by earlier freelancers who labored with this consumer. A consumer can have a 4.95 score throughout 30 contracts, however as you take a look at his historical past, you would possibly discover that 29 of these have been for simple contracts that didn’t require a lot effort (e.g., reviewing a product on Amazon or an app within the App retailer) and just one required actual work. If that “actual work” contract has a horrible evaluation from the freelancer, it’s an indication that you must most likely be cautious.

I’ve had two shoppers like this. One owned a courting app and had employed actually hundreds of freelancers to offer app evaluations. I used to be employed as a part of a five-member writing group with an editor, and after a few weeks, none of us have been working for him and had all agreed that he was one of many worst shoppers we’d encountered. 

One other consumer would goal shoppers who have been early of their careers and attempting to earn good suggestions. He’d promote a job at a selected value, then reduce the speed with every successive milestone till the freelancer determined to finish the contract. 

At that time, he’d inform them how badly a poor evaluation from him would have an effect on them. He’d solely give them a superb evaluation in the event that they gave him a five-star score.

Upwork usually does a superb job of quickly culling unhealthy shoppers, so every of those situations is comparatively uncommon, however nonetheless attainable. Your objective ought to all the time be to do every part attainable to create and preserve good working relationships together with your shoppers. Upwork offers a filter to go looking particularly for shoppers with whom you’ve beforehand labored.

This will additionally work effectively if you happen to’ve had a foul expertise with a consumer and particularly wish to keep away from her or him.

Evaluating the “Concerning the consumer” Part

You’ll discover a transient dialogue about this in Module Two, the place the main target is extra on understanding an advert’s anatomy.

Cost methodology verified

The very first thing you discover on this part is whether or not the consumer has a validated methodology of cost on document. Upwork makes funds simple for everybody concerned: they invoice the consumer after which deal with transferring cost to you. 

When a consumer creates an account, they’re prompted to listing a debit or bank card. As a result of this isn’t required to publish an advert, Upwork will permit an employer to publish a job advert with out confirming a cost supply, however this could all the time trigger you to step again in warning for a second.

Time zone 

You may also see the consumer’s time zone. This issues extra for some sorts of initiatives than others. The vast majority of freelance work doesn’t require a specific location. In case you’re concerned with something that requires common working hours, commonplace collaboration instances or connecting with the consumer all through their workday, you’re going to wish to be in the identical or a immediately adjoining time zone.

Jobs posted & rent charge

The “jobs posted” and “rent charge” offers you a sign of whether or not this consumer is fishing, hiring off-platform, or hiring on- platform. Somebody who’s fishing can have posted a number of jobs however can have a low rent charge. 

He’ll publish job adverts to analysis what’s accessible, after which would possibly by no means comply with up with any of the candidates, which might point out you’re losing your time. Take into account the next consumer:

He’s been a member of the Upwork neighborhood for 4 years however has by no means as soon as employed anybody on the platform. If the kind of job you’re taking a look at is a short-term, fixed-price job, he’s fishing–I wouldn’t waste my time making use of.

Nevertheless, on this case, the sort of job he’s promoting is a long-term, hourly place, which signifies that he could be attempting to rent off-platform. This implies he’s utilizing Upwork like a job board and would possibly ask you to come back work immediately for him with none intention of awarding the contract right here.

I’ll say that I’ve identified a couple of individuals who have efficiently met long run employers this manner, however I’d advocate in opposition to it. Going off-platform not solely surrenders the entire protections you have got as a freelancer, but it surely additionally violates Upworks phrases and circumstances, which might have extreme repercussions for you.

In case you determine to do that, simply watch out for the worth it might value and the connotations it can have.

If the rent charge is above 50 %, you’ll be able to safely assume that it is a real consumer taken with hiring on-platform. Don’t be discouraged if it isn’t a lot increased than that; generally, shoppers are concerned in extremely area of interest industries and searching for extraordinarily particular matches they will’t all the time discover. 

They could be very earnest about hiring somebody; it’s simply comparatively frequent for them to not discover exactly what they’re searching for. That isn’t a problem.

Member since ______ The ultimate piece of this part is how lengthy a consumer has been a part of the Upwork neighborhood. That is largely irrelevant since somebody might have joined three months in the past and gone complete hog on the operation, posting 50 jobs and hiring on 40 of them. 

Then again, they could possibly be like the guy above, who’s been on the platform for 4 years and has by no means employed anybody. It’s a knowledge level, however usually isn’t a cause to determine for or in opposition to making use of for a job.

Job kind 

That is the cross-section for a job that’s described as hourly as an alternative of fixed-price. The consumer can specify the variety of issues right here. 

The primary is roughly what number of hours she thinks it can take up every week, and the choices are “lower than 30 hrs/week,” “greater than 30 hrs/week,” and “To be decided.” Understand that that is an estimate; whereas it’s probably comparatively shut, there’s no assure that it’s correct.

Job size 

Second, you’ll see how lengthy a consumer estimates the job will final. There are 4 selections she will be able to choose from: lower than 1 month, 1 to three months, 3 to six months, and greater than 6 months. Once more, take into account that that is an indicator, nothing extra. 

Whereas the overwhelming majority of shoppers do their finest to characterize the job precisely, it isn’t unusual for them to be promoting for a brand new or evolving position, and so they’re simply estimating. Much less generally, however nonetheless one thing to concentrate on, some shoppers will try and make a job appear as interesting as attainable (e.g., long-term, excessive pay) to get increased high quality freelancers.

Pay vary 

There’s an hourly vary listed within the backside left of this part, and that is one thing you must take note of. When a consumer creates a job advert, Upwork leads them by way of a fairly intensive set of questions digging into the particular kind of labor they need and talent units a freelancer will want. 

By the point they attain the cost charge display screen, Upwork has a fairly good thought of what that expertise will value, and so they advocate an hourly vary primarily based on what this kind of work sometimes goes for on the platform. 

The consumer can select to maintain that vary or override it with one which extra precisely displays their finances. There’s all the time the likelihood that the consumer simply clicks by way of this stage and doesn’t concentrate, but it surely’s way more probably that they see this finances vary as indicative of

what they’re prepared to pay. If the excessive finish is lower than you’re prepared to work for, transferring on is your finest wager; in any other case, you’re probably losing your time by bidding.


When a consumer selects a fixed-price fairly than an hourly mannequin, they’re requested to place within the particular finances quantity. You’ll see one among two forms of responses. The primary is $5, which is the minimal a job can go for. On this case, the consumer normally has no thought what the job will value, and so they need you to bid what you assume try to be paid. 

If this occurs, be happy to bid very precisely, however you additionally have to explicitly clarify the place that quoted value comes from and what it’s primarily based on. You’re going to be competing with different freelancers who will attempt to get in by lowballing. 

High quality shoppers aren’t afraid to pay what you’re price, however they should perceive the worth tag earlier than signing off on it.

If the estimated finances is increased than $5, they’re probably placing down what they assume the job is price or what they will afford to pay. That doesn’t imply you’re restricted to that; a good variety of the fixed-price jobs I’ve received have exceeded the finances because it was listed on the unique job posting. 

In a single occasion, I used to be in a position to justify my bid that was 5 instances what the job was posted for (though that is undoubtedly an exception). That is the place you must be a salesperson, although: pitch what it can value, then justify it.


Upwork simply launched a brand new kind of billing mannequin that revolves round a weekly retainer. The consumer pays you a set quantity to stay repeatedly accessible, and also you’ll each agree on an hourly charge that can operate equally to an hourly contract. 

Presumably, the consumer pays a barely decrease hourly charge as a result of they have you ever on retainer, however that’s as much as you to barter.

Expertise stage 

Lastly, the consumer will estimate the expertise stage she thinks she wants. Take this with a grain of salt, and examine it to how extensively the consumer has employed on Upwork, as proven within the “Concerning the consumer” part. 

Many people who find themselves both new to the platform or do numerous worldwide hiring will listing that they need an skilled after which supply a ceiling charge that’s one-third of what consultants in that subject sometimes cost on Upwork. 

Often, a consumer is prepared to pay very excessive costs however will listing that they solely want a freelancer working at an intermediate stage. Hold this in thoughts if you’re utilizing filters for searches.

Geographic preferences 

Purchasers can set sure geographic limitations or preferences for freelancers. They’ll specify that they solely need freelancers within the U.S., and so they can get much more particular and require a specific time zone or zip code. In case you dwell within the U.S., you’ll be able to click on an choice on your house feed to restrict what you see to “U.S. Solely” jobs. 

On common, these jobs pay charges which are 75 % increased, have 20 % much less competitors, and the general contract dimension is 50 % larger than what you’ll discover on Upwork worldwide markets.

There’s actually no cause to go exterior of U.S. Solely jobs if you happen to’re eligible for them.


In case you’re not positioned within the U.S., contemplate discovering an company that’s headquartered within the U.S. Since contracts are awarded to the company, and so they can subcontract the work to you, it is a potential door for extra profitable work.

When a consumer has restricted a contract location to a metropolis or time zone, they could or will not be strict about it. I’ve been employed practically a dozen instances for jobs that have been initially location restricted to a selected time zone I used to be exterior of, however a superb match for the undertaking. 

Learn the advert content material and make your finest judgment name on whether or not the work would require you to be the place the consumer has listed; if not, submit a bid and clarify why you can nonetheless full the necessities the place you’re positioned.

Understanding Service Charges

Upwork’s main moneymaker comes within the type of charging service charges, that are primarily commissions on every greenback earned by a freelancer. The everyday mannequin consists of three tiers:

  • 20 % for the primary $500 billed with a consumer
  • 10 % for consumer billings between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5 % for consumer billings over $10,000

These are charged per consumer, not per contract. When you have two consecutive contracts with a specific consumer and the primary one ends at $499, the subsequent job will decide up on the $500 mark, so that you don’t reset. Whereas these appear steep (and I agree that they’re), they’re offset by two realities. 

First, Upwork needs to encourage long-term relationship constructing between shoppers and freelancers, so this monetary mannequin is only one of a number of mechanisms that reinforces this. 

Second, it’s simpler to justify increased pay charges if you clarify to a consumer that 20 % of your preliminary charges go straight to Upwork. Because the contract continues, you’ll find yourself holding extra of what you earn.

That is the everyday mannequin, however there are exceptions. Upwork Plus shoppers can negotiate completely different charges with Upwork that can trigger these charges to fluctuate. One consumer I work with periodically has a flat 10 % service payment for all contracts.

That’s nice for all new freelance hires, however it could possibly value fairly a bit if you happen to work for the long run. You don’t get any say on this from the contractor’s perspective, however it’s one thing to concentrate on, significantly if you’re setting and negotiating your charges.

Gross sales tax 

Upwork simply began accumulating state gross sales tax for shoppers who dwell in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. 

Examine the Upwork Neighborhood for updates on this and if the listing of states expands. The excellent news is that this makes it easier at tax time. The unhealthy information is, effectively… it’s taxes.

Module 4 Train

Utilizing searches effectively goes to make an evening and day distinction in your Upwork profession. This train consists of two completely different duties that can set you up for achievement.

Utilizing filters. I need you to make use of search filters to seek out the next listing of jobs. Search within the particular space you wish to work–these are jobs you can probably bid for. Screenshot and save them to a folder. 

Evaluate every of those with the others you discover on this guidelines and see if you happen to can spot variations you missed earlier than.

  • Discover 2 jobs which are Hourly, 2 which are Mounted Worth, and a couple of which are Weekly Retainer.
  • Discover 2 jobs at an Entry-level, 2 at an Intermediate stage, and a couple of at an Professional stage.
  • Discover 1 job advert for a consumer with no hires, 1 job advert for a consumer with 25 or fewer hires, and 1 job advert for a consumer with 100 or extra hires.
  • Discover 1 job with 0 proposals, 1 job with 10 to fifteen proposals, and 1 job with 20 to 50 proposals.
  • Discover 2 jobs with $5 budgets, 2 jobs with a $500 – $1k finances, and a couple of jobs with a $5k+ finances.
  • Discover 2 jobs listed at “lower than 30 hours per week” and a couple of at “greater than 30 hours per week.”
  • Discover 2 jobs for every of the classes within the “Undertaking Size” filter.

Saving searches After you’ve labored by way of all of those filters, you must have a good suggestion of what sorts of jobs can be found with completely different mixtures.

Open the folder the place you have got your screenshots, then open a browser and go to a complicated Upwork search. Work by way of your whole screenshots to discover a mixture that pulls the particular forms of jobs you’re searching for.

When you’ve put every part in, hit the “Save Search” button within the prime proper nook. Identify it appropriately, then repeat the method as soon as extra. You must have a minimal of two saved searches that you would be able to shortly run. I’ve one for “Writing” and one for “Analysis”; between these and my residence feed, I sometimes discover the entire jobs I want.