Skip to main content

What I Have Learned From Upwork

Uriel is a freelancer who has worked with clients on the Upwork platform for the last three years.

Upwork logo

Upwork logo

What Is Upwork?

Upwork is a freelancing platform based in Santa Clara and San Francisco, America. Upwork was formerly known as Elance-oDesk. In the year 2015, Elance-oDesk emerged as Upwork.

Upwork is an awesome platform for freelancers looking for full-time or part-time work, and I have been working on Upwork as a freelancer since 2019. In this article, I will share some useful insights for newcomers to Upwork.

How Does Upwork Work?

Upwork is one of the best freelancing platforms. It lets clients interview, employ, and collaborate with freelancing firms and individual clients globally. Clients and freelancers create accounts on the platform. After creating their accounts and verifying their identities, clients can post jobs. Freelancers can then apply for the jobs by submitting applications.

The clients might select the most qualified or preferred freelancers or freelancing firms. The client can also opt to invite freelancers privately via direct messages.

After clients have selected the freelancers for the tasks, they hire those freelancers by sending a contract with the agreed-upon terms. The terms include hours, pay rate, and a deadline for the task.

Upwork also protects freelancers and clients by placing money in escrow accounts. After a freelancer has completed the work and the client has approved, the payments are released. The platform also has different payment methods, including direct bank transfer, PayPal, and Mpesa (for supported countries like Kenya and the USA).

A Strong Portfolio Is Essential

A portfolio is a series of creative (artistic) work intended to illustrate your ability to a prospective client. You can use articles, videos, or photos to showcase your work.

Upwork allows freelancers to create a portfolio of their past or current work. The portfolio helps to attract clients and enables them to gauge the skills and competence of a freelancer.

Clients on Upwork often choose freelancers who have demonstrated an ability to produce high-quality work, so if you are just starting on Upwork, you need to create a portfolio on your account. Your portfolio will set you apart from the rest.

Good Communication Is Key

Upwork provides numerous features for interaction between clients and freelancers.

Freelancers are required to write proposals (cover letters) when applying for jobs on Upwork. The proposals are required to outline their qualifications, portfolios, rates, and reasons for applying for the job.

Upwork has a chat and messaging feature that enables clients and freelancers to communicate in real-time. Upwork also has a time-tracking application that records the keystrokes of freelancers working on hourly contracts. The application captures screenshots and keystrokes, enabling the clients to pay only for work done on their contracts.

As a freelancer, you need to be able to convince a client to hire you with concise and well-thought-out proposals. Freelancers also need to respond to direct messages from clients.

Clients often send messages to freelancers after reading or accepting their proposals. Many freelancers lose out on work when they fail to respond to messages promptly.

Persevere Despite Setbacks

You will suffer numerous setbacks and hurdles when you're first starting on Upwork. I encountered many difficulties while starting as a new freelancer on Upwork. Perseverance enabled me to succeed.

“Those who do not understand the power of collaboration always struggle for growth.”

— Anuj Jasani

Collaboration Can Help You Hone Your Skills

Upwork has some amazing features that allow freelancers and clients to collaborate on projects.

Some clients teach freelancers that have inadequate or obsolete skills. As freelancers work with clients, the freelancers can hone their skills in a variety of fields. This collaboration enables freelancers to produce high-quality work that meets the clients' requirements.

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

— John F. Kennedy

Negotiate to Find Mutually Acceptable Solutions

Negotiation is a powerful skill in business or at the workplace. Parties negotiate to find mutually acceptable solutions. The parties often have differing objectives and needs.

Excellent negotiations have a significant impact on business success. They help to:

  • forge better relationships and foster goodwill
  • deliver lasting, quality solutions that satisfy all parties
  • avoid future conflicts and problems

Upwork has enabled me to hone my negotiation skills. I have been able to handle difficult clients and solve disputes with clients with ease, and my confidence has also increased.

If you have enjoyed reading this article, check out How to Submit a Winning Proposal on Upwork.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Uriel Kushiel