How to make money on Upwork/ Elance

Everything you need to know

Well, maybe not everything just the important stuff to get you going. Especially if you’re new on the platform.

I remember starting out as a freelancer and thinking well, I will do this for a little while before something better comes my way. Plus I needed the money, double plus; jobs/ internships where kind hard to come by (still are). I was pretty much just swinging it, doing whatever worked. Learning a little here. Improving. Unlearning. I put together a killer proposal early on that worked like magic and literally used it for every single job I applied to. By whatever luck I managed to get a couple of cool clients who were willing to send me an offer, paid well and were more than happy to leave 5 stars ratings and really kind feedback on my profile.

A year and half down the line I am still here. Earning a decent amount of money and happy about it :) I have definitely become more intentional over the last couple of months and mainly focused on maintaining relationships with clients and making sure my rep as a freelancer is tight.

So, here are the general (how to get and maintain clients) guidelines for anyone whose thinking of diving into freelancing on Upwork or any other platform.

General Operations Guidelines.

  1. Look the part. Take time to work on your profile, clean up your title and proposal and it also pays to have a good photo that isn't too formal but still says professional. Be that someone everyone loves to love.
  2. The proposals you send out to clients should be tailored to focus on your client and their needs. Skip the “I am a hardworking/creative/determined/passionate… with xxx years of experience…” talk. No one wants to hear it. And because you are saying it doesn’t make me believe you. Which leads me to the next point.
  3. Show don’t tell. Always have work similar to what your client wants. Always. Show your client what you’ve worked on before and they are more likely to offer you the job.
  4. Work on projects you are great at.
  5. Do great work. Good feedback will get you more jobs. Raise your job success score. And maybe even get you long term clients. These are good things. You want this :)
  6. Offer a trial with no commitment. This is not the same as offering free work which is against Upwork’s policies.
  7. Respect deadlines.
  8. Communicate often and let your client know you’re on track to complete their project
  9. Maintain relationships with clients.
  10. Be sure your client is happy.
  11. Recommend that the client end the contract. The client is more likely to leave feedback than if you do it. But why would you?
  12. Lastly, request for feedback. Don’t be shy. Let your client know that good feedback will help you secure jobs with other clients and that if they need any changes made on their assignment that you would be available to make them.

Be clear about your future plans and have an even clearer exit plan.

— Happy freelancing.

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