How to win jobs on Elance-Upwork: Tips for new freelancers

Are you sending proposals after proposals but still not winning any job on Elance -Upwork or Freelancer? Don’t give up yet. The first time I tried my hands on freelancing was four years back when I had just joined my College. I Googled “make money online” and “online freelancing” and was led to sites like Elance-Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverss. After reading the profiles of many successful freelancers, I figured I could also make a decent income online. So, I quickly setup my profile on one of those websites and completed all the sections of the profile very hastily.  Frankly speaking, I wasn’t even confident about my skills and believed I was under-qualified even for some menial tasks. Even so, I started sending out proposals. Days went by, weeks and then months passed and still no offer. Then I just lost all interest and decided to get back to my college assignments and forget about this whole “freelancing madness”.

Finally, I graduated from my college and had enough free time to try my luck on freelancing again. This time, I had developed more knowledge and skills in my area and I was confident that I could land some decent freelancing gigs.  This time, I spent more time setting up my freelancer profile and I practiced writing great proposals. Had I used the same approach few years back, I could have easily landed many freelancing jobs right then. You should know that there are many people out there who are not as skilled as you yet they are landing many freelancing gigs. Why? Because they follow certain rules.  So, before you ask yourself- Why am I not getting any jobs on Elance-Upwork? or Why is my proposal no accepted?, here are some tips for new freelancers to help them win jobs on Upwork:

How to win jobs on Elance-Upwork for new freelancers

Complete your profile

Don’t just plunge into sending hordes of proposals. Work hard on  completing your profile first. Remember, profile portfolio is something your clients will go through before hiring you. Spend some time collecting and organizing some of your significant past/present projects. It could be a small app you developed, a webpage you designed, a research paper you wrote for a journal, a college writing assignment, articles you published on blogs or contents you wrote on a website and so on. Write a short description about yourself and make a strong case as to why your clients should hire you among thousands of other freelancers.  Don’t write generic, robotic description. Be creative and professional. Maybe add a little humor to spice it all up. Include detailed Service description, academic background and portfolio of  sample works.

If you still find it hard to come up with something, you can take a look at the profiles of other freelancers (the 4 to 5-stars, high earning ones) and then use the info to make your profile even more awesome. Also don’t forget to upload a nice, professional and friendly looking profile picture. Another important part of your profile is the skills section, where you can list your skills and take tests to verify it. Make sure you take those tests carefully so that you at least end up among the top 30% freelancers- that really increases your chances of getting hired. Also, as you improve on your skills, take the tests again and you’ll probably boost your initial scores

Write confident proposals that are personalized for each client

Templated proposals, while saving time, lacks the personal feels to connect with your potential clients. Read the task requirements thoroughly and also identify if you have some additional skill that is useful to your client. You don’t want to sound like an intern when trying to land a well paying freelancing gig. Write with conviction that you have the required skills for the job, you are excited for it, and you are willing to learn and improve. While starting new, offer a reasonable fee that saves your clients some bucks but do so only for the first few weeks then ask for a raise. Most clients won’t mind giving you a raise or adding few extra hours to the week if your work is of good quality. Also, if you are sending out proposals for the first time on Elance-Upwork, tell the client that though you are a new applicant, you have all the experience and skill required by the job, and that you have done similar jobs in the past.

You are a freelancer who have signed up for Elance-Upwork to expand your online client base.Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of proposals competing for the job, let the client know that your top priority is delivering quality work unlike many low bidders who sent their proposal just to land the job. If you find a really interesting job that provides great learning opportunity then you can become more competitive by offering to do a free or low price trial work for the client so that he/she can see how serious and enthusiastic you really are about the work. In your trial period do your best to prove to the client that you can get the job done and that you are willing to learn more.

Send your proposals wisely

You’re allowed to send limited number of proposals per month. Look for interesting jobs where you can learn and improve your own skills and don’t waste proposals on jobs that are very low paying.

  • Use job search:  You can use Elance-Upwork search feature to find the right jobs for your skills. For example if you want “transcription” jobs simply put the keyword in the search bar and then you’ll get a list of related jobs. You can also filter the search result based on the type of payment you prefer i.e.  hourly or fixed price.
  • Check background/ratings and award ratio of your Clients: Some clients have poor ratings, low award ratio and they even cancel jobs frequently after posting. Don’t waste your proposal on those clients.
  • Don’t spend all your proposals early: New freelancers tend to spend all their connects or proposals in the first two or three days and then when a really good offer comes a few weeks back, they cannot apply for it. Carefully send your proposals to only those jobs which you think is interesting as well as paying well.

Feedback, feedback and more feedback

Let me tell you this, while there are clients who don’t care about feedback, over 90% still prefer providers with a good rating. Clients new to freelancer sites are even more cautious about hiring new freelancers who have low or no rating. Getting a bad rating could be worse than getting none so make sure you build a good relationship with your clients so that even if you fall short of your client’s expectation he/she won’t be tempted to give you a negative feedback. After completion of job don’t forget to ask your employer for a 5-star rating and a feedback because it will also help increase your freelancer level on Elance-Upwork. Some clients may not be willing to give a 5-star but you can persuade them by offering extra services. Ask them if there is anything you can do to help improve the rating.

    • Know your competition: Check their profile for service descriptions, hourly rate, portfolio, past jobs, ratings and so on. Use this info to craft your proposal. What is it that makes you different from your competitors? Any extra skills? Maybe you have more free time for the client’s works or you can offer slightly less hourly fee.
    • Learn new things and improve your skills: To stay competitive, it is important that you keep on improving your skills. While the work itself might help you gain some valuable knowledge, also give time to learn stuffs that will help increase your value or scope as a freelancer. For example if you are an article writer start writing on different topics, learn about SEO and internet marketing.
    • Be patient: Like in most things in life, persistence is the key to success in freelancing. So what if you didn’t get your job in your first bid. Get over it and start analyzing what you did wrong. Send another proposal, a better one this time, and keep doing that until you land an awesome job.

Keeping these rules in mind, its possible to win jobs on any freelancing platforms online even if you are new freelancer, and even if you are a non-native English speaker with basic typing skill you can land jobs that can help you learn and grow. So, why not give it a try one more time. Sign up for Elance-Upwork now and start earning money online.

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