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Freelancing on Elance etc.
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Tigre Offline
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Post: #601
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(02-19-2019 05:08 PM)Wutang Wrote:  I've had two clients who interviewing me request that communications be taken off of Upwork and onto e-mail. What are your guys experience with this?

Do at least the first job with them properly on Upwork.

Over time, you can move off-platform. But only once trust is established and you have a track record of working well together.

Some countries are better than others for trust and paying what was agreed. In general, if you see clients from India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, just keep scrolling past. Spare yourself the frustration of dealing with low value clients.
02-19-2019 11:04 PM
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Post: #602
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
For those of you generating significant income and are making a living off of writing - what kind of tax structure do you have set up? Do you funnel all the money paid to you directly to yourself or through a LLC?
02-26-2019 01:04 PM
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Wutang Offline
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Post: #603
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Just finished up two 500+ words articles for the blog of some tech start up. Got $40 for each of them. The first article I wrote back in February was also 500 words but I got $20 for it. Nice to see my pay rate getting doubled in one month.

Also went back to my first client and asked if she needed me to do another article for her. She had given me a 5 star rating for my previous project so I figured she wouldn't mind throwing me more work. I didn't want to work for $20 like I did previously so I asked for $40. Ended up getting $30. I accepted since I read that a factor that improves your Job Success score is having repeat clients. (https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/arti...cess-Score) I want to get my score up so I accepted the slightly lower pay.
03-07-2019 12:27 PM
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Wutang Offline
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Post: #604
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Got my first hourly contract on Upwork. Rate is $35 per hour. Instead of writing blogs I'm writing Facebook posts instead. This is the first gig I've had that involves social media posting and also the first one where I was really using copywriting principals. The previous writing I've done was more along the lines of informing a reader on some topic without really selling a certain product/service besides including a call to actio nat t

For this gig I went back and read the part of The Copywriter's Handbook where the author gives his own "copy formula" ie. his version of the classic copywriting AIDA outline. The sequence is:

1. Get Attention
2. Show A Need
3. Satisfy The Need and Position Your Product as a solution
4. Prove Your Product Can Do What You Say It Can Do
5. Ask For Action

Since a lot of the stuff I'm writing is only one paragraph long it means I have to pack all of this into less then 100 words. It's nice practice.

Also was studying the material in this link to get an idea of what to do for this gig:

https://karolakarlson.com/copywriting-fo...ial-media/
03-13-2019 11:50 PM
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Post: #605
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Contract for the Facebook post writing gig ended today. Billed them for 5 hours for a total of $175 - before Upwork takes their cut.

For this gig, the client had also hired another freelancer. I saw this person has so far billed them for 18 hours over the course of about 3 days at the same rate I was ($35/ hr) It's making me go Dodgy a bit. I have no idea how this person is spending that amount of time coming up with Facebook posts especially when the client was requesting them to be more more than 400 characters (not words) and was requesting only about 8 - 10 posts. This freelancer's contract appears to be ongoing too while mine got ended so I'm wondering what the hell is going on.
03-15-2019 09:58 PM
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Handsome Creepy Eel
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Post: #606
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
^ It's possible they upsold them on other services/skills and took on more responsibility than you did. That's just one possibility. A great deal of money in freelancing is made in add-ons, upsells, and cross-sells. What are your clients REALLY looking for is what you always want to think about. Or what else?

Then learn the necessary skills and offer it to them.

In my earlier freelancing days, I used to even attach a pdf doc to my bids itemizing all the writing and marketing services I offered, some of which were packages that required a bigger buy-in. When relevant, I'd highlight a service the specific prospect might be interested in within my bid and refer them to the doc.

In some cases, I'd have a service (i.e. submission to 30 biggest, highest authority article directories online, when that was more important) that was enabled by a software program I had a membership to use. And by selling it as an added service, I could double the profit per article with very little extra work on my part. In fact, I often just outsourced the uploading of the articles to the software using a Filipino VA.

Again, just one example - and obviously not the case with this hourly job. It also often happens a lot less formally than I've described, meaning you can upsell without a list of commodified services, obviously.

But bottom line is think like an entrepreneur.

How can you maximize the value you bring to your clients? It may take time to build that capability, whatever form it takes, but it's something you should always be thinking about.

http://BeyondAllSeas.com
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
(This post was last modified: 03-15-2019 10:41 PM by Beyond Borders.)
03-15-2019 10:37 PM
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Winston Wolfe Offline
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Post: #607
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-15-2019 09:58 PM)Wutang Wrote:  Contract for the Facebook post writing gig ended today. Billed them for 5 hours for a total of $175 - before Upwork takes their cut.

For this gig, the client had also hired another freelancer. I saw this person has so far billed them for 18 hours over the course of about 3 days at the same rate I was ($35/ hr) It's making me go Dodgy a bit. I have no idea how this person is spending that amount of time coming up with Facebook posts especially when the client was requesting them to be more more than 400 characters (not words) and was requesting only about 8 - 10 posts. This freelancer's contract appears to be ongoing too while mine got ended so I'm wondering what the hell is going on.

I'd thank the client for the collaboration, let them know you are still available for more work in the future and most importantly, ask what you could have done better. Worst case they won't answer, best case you get valuable feedback on what you can improve.

I second what BB is saying, the other guy probably had other skills to offer and put those on the table. Maybe his profile gives away some clues as to what his skillset is?

One thing that has worked well in the past for me personally with new clients is to stay absolutely on top of things and stay on their radar constantly. It happens a lot that clients test out several freelancers and then pick the best one, so you want to go above and beyond until the others drop off.

You don't even necessarily have to be better at the actual job than the other freelancers. There's other ways to make yourself stand out such as excellent communication, asking for feedback, prompt delivery, showing genuine interest in the project, pushing them to jump on a quick call with you to discuss the job, underpromising and overdelivering, etc.

Another thing I like to do is to get them on a short call, find common ground and interests and get them to relate to you. If the client starts feeling like "alright, this guy is with me on this" and start seeing you as a human being instead of a screen name, then they'll gravitate towards you. I know it doesnt apply in this case but its even better if you know the client personally. Ive had people contact me for work years later just because we got shitfaced together in the past and had a great time.

You want to become the go to guy when they want to get shit done, even if it isnt a task they originally hired you for. I have a long term client I started out for as a translator, but these days I also do some SEO for them and they even request calls every now and then to hear my thoughts on the direction their product and brand is going. I don't even charge for these half hour calls but use them to continue building rapport and solidify the relationship so they keep coming back to me with more work.

I guess I'm rambling a bit here now, but these are just some thoughts on the subject. There's lots of possible reasons for choosing the other guy.
03-16-2019 01:57 AM
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Post: #608
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I sent a nice email over to the client talking about how I enjoyed collaborating and said I would love to work with them again. Also asked for constructive criticism about the work I had submitted and on the communication process.

I was pretty prompt with communication. They had asked for about 10 social media posts but as soon as I wrote 2, I sent those over as samples to get some feedback about if this was the sort of material they were looking for and if I should keep writing the other posts in that fashion. Had a bit of back and forth clarifying what their vision was for the posts which even involved a phone call with the president of the client company I was working for.

I was actually the reaching out to them more ie. they would thank me for a submission and say they would get feedback to me soon. I'd wait for 3-4 hours with no feedback and then I would send a no-pressure polite email asking if they had a chance to look at the post. Normally I wouldn't be messaging as much but they had they were on a pretty tight deadline (they hired me late on Wednesday night and said they wanted the work done on Thursday so they could submit the material to their client on Friday) so I thought they might appreciate me messaging a bit more than average.

As for the other contractor I was talking about, this gig is actually her first job ever. [Don't link to personal sites that could dox yourself -mod]. What she does have over me is has a lot more technical writing experience from her non-freelance career. I actually work as a software developer in my full-time career so I do have real world technology experience but it's not quite the same as being a technical writer, even though I do have to write documentation as part of my job. She also seems to have some graphical design skills - maybe she was making some images to go along with the posts for them? I'm stalking her profile to see what sort of feedback the client eventually leaves her - that could clue me in on what was going on between the two of them.

Thanks for the feedback from everyone that responded so far. As I was working through this thread I saw some black-pill stuff about how Upwork is hopeless and not worth the time blah blah blah so it's nice to get this thread moving in a productive direction.
(This post was last modified: 03-16-2019 09:03 PM by Wutang.)
03-16-2019 09:02 PM
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Winston Wolfe
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Post: #609
Big Grin RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-16-2019 09:02 PM)Wutang Wrote:  I sent a nice email over to the client talking about how I enjoyed collaborating and said I would love to work with them again. Also asked for constructive criticism about the work I had submitted and on the communication process.

I was pretty prompt with communication. They had asked for about 10 social media posts but as soon as I wrote 2, I sent those over as samples to get some feedback about if this was the sort of material they were looking for and if I should keep writing the other posts in that fashion. Had a bit of back and forth clarifying what their vision was for the posts which even involved a phone call with the president of the client company I was working for.

I was actually the reaching out to them more ie. they would thank me for a submission and say they would get feedback to me soon. I'd wait for 3-4 hours with no feedback and then I would send a no-pressure polite email asking if they had a chance to look at the post. Normally I wouldn't be messaging as much but they had they were on a pretty tight deadline (they hired me late on Wednesday night and said they wanted the work done on Thursday so they could submit the material to their client on Friday) so I thought they might appreciate me messaging a bit more than average.

There are definitely plenty of flaky clients on Upwork too who just never get around to fully implementing what they had "planned". The solid clients make up for it in the end. Remember, it only takes about 2 or 3 good clients and suddenly your schedule could be fully booked, so just keep bidding.

Quote:As for the other contractor I was talking about, this gig is actually her first job ever. [Don't link to personal sites that could dox yourself -mod]. What she does have over me is has a lot more technical writing experience from her non-freelance career. I actually work as a software developer in my full-time career so I do have real world technology experience but it's not quite the same as being a technical writer, even though I do have to write documentation as part of my job. She also seems to have some graphical design skills - maybe she was making some images to go along with the posts for them? I'm stalking her profile to see what sort of feedback the client eventually leaves her - that could clue me in on what was going on between the two of them.

It could also just be the prefer her style more. That's business.

Thinking it through a bit is good, but no reason to get too hung up on this one client or competitor. Keep bidding. Directly ask the client for a testimonial if their feedback on your work is good. In the big scheme of things, and especially at this stage, one job is just a stepping stone.

Quote:Thanks for the feedback from everyone that responded so far. As I was working through this thread I saw some black-pill stuff about how Upwork is hopeless and not worth the time blah blah blah so it's nice to get this thread moving in a productive direction.

This was the case when this thread first started - at that time Upwork was basically elance. It was the case when I first got into the biz over a decade ago. It was the case years before that and kept me out of the industry.

"It's already finished!" "It pays pennies!" "Good luck ever making more than 5 bucks an hour!" "Too much low cost competition!" "Too many scammers!" And so on...

Naysayers never change, and neither have the state of things much. I suspect that's the same for most online opportunities, or opportunities in other realms for that matter.

Just goes to show there's a huge difference between talkers and doers.[/quote]

http://BeyondAllSeas.com
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
03-16-2019 09:51 PM
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Tigre Offline
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Post: #610
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Why would you post that Upwork profile link on a public forum?

That shows a disturbing lack of tech savvy, as well as a disregard for privacy (your own and other people's).
03-17-2019 10:20 AM
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Post: #611
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-16-2019 09:02 PM)Wutang Wrote:  Thanks for the feedback from everyone that responded so far. As I was working through this thread I saw some black-pill stuff about how Upwork is hopeless and not worth the time blah blah blah so it's nice to get this thread moving in a productive direction.

Although their 20% cut for the first $500 (and 10% after that) per client is ridiculous, Upwork is how I started out online years ago and to this day a sizable chunk of my income is still coming from Upwork.

I also have experience from the other side of the fence, as a client who hires freelancers on Upwork.

Upwork is what it is. People like to complain about other freelancers driving the rates down, the market being saturated, too many low quality and time-wasters, and all the standard yadda yadda. But its a free market and Upwork is a huge player, and if people are willing to do your job for a lower rate, then you need to either lower your own rates or offer value in other areas that warrants your higher rate.

Its really that simple. If youre not willing to do that, all the power to you, but just get off the platform and market your services elsewhere then. Complaining about it isnt helping anyone.

Saying theres no quality clients or freelancers to be found on Upwork is nonsense. Are there a lot of bad clients and freelancers? Yes, for sure. Is it annoying to sift through them? Hell yes it is. But you get better at it, and at some point you start recognizing quality.

It isnt the best idea to be fully dependent on Upwork for all of your income, because people do get banned and you dont want to lose close to 100% of your income overnight. But if you are a freelancer offering a service, you do want to have a presence on it, just like you want to have your own website, you want to be on LinkedIn, and on any other platform where clients can discover you. If you dont, its a missed opportunity. Its a fact that a certain percentage of clients will use Upwork as their go to platform, and you want to be discoverable by as many potential clients as possible.

Instead of hating on Upwork, people should take it for what it is (not perfect, but it isnt going away), and use it to their advantage.

Obviously not directing this at you personally, just wanted to provide my 2 cents on Upwork.
03-17-2019 12:13 PM
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Post: #612
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Finally got my Job Success score on Upwork - a measly 75%. I had all these visions of getting a Rising Talent badge and so I'm wondering what happened. I've never flaked out on a client and have completed each of the 6 jobs I've done - earning feedback form 4.6 to 5 stars.

There was one client on Upwork who didn't leave me feedback even though he seemed satisfied. I don't think he's aware of the importance of the feedback system since I saw he hasn't left feedback for any of his other freelancers either. I wonder if that's what is dragging down my score.

The only other thing I can think of that could be dragging down my score is a client who I sent a proposal to who then replied back with an interview. He disappeared after that initial contact but I still kept the proposal open. About 2 - 3 weeks later, I send him another message asking if he was still interested in working together. He didn't reply so I withdrew the proposal finally.

Upwork specifically mentions that dropping below 75% makes it harder for you to find new clients. On the plus side, I got hired to write a 700 page post for $80 yesterday and I'm interviewing for another gig at the moment. Hopefully I can get some nice feedback after I finish these gigs and raise my score.
(This post was last modified: 03-18-2019 03:01 PM by Wutang.)
03-18-2019 02:38 PM
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RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
^ meant to say 700 words, not 700 pages.
03-18-2019 04:18 PM
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RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-18-2019 02:38 PM)Wutang Wrote:  Finally got my Job Success score on Upwork - a measly 75%. I had all these visions of getting a Rising Talent badge and so I'm wondering what happened. I've never flaked out on a client and have completed each of the 6 jobs I've done - earning feedback form 4.6 to 5 stars.

Completed every job you had with an average rating of 4.6/5 stars, and you get only 75%? Yeah, something isn't right. You should contact support. Someone not leaving a feedback shouldn't affect your job success score if you completed it fully.

To me, all the more reason not to use Upwork. But I do have a much more black pilled view of that platform than Winston Wolfe and a lot of people. Full disclosure, I'm banned for life from Upwork, so call it sour grapes if you want.

But my advice for you would be to use Upwork as "training wheels" for now, and eventually learn how to run your own freelance business with all the admin, invoicing, and your own marketing stuff. Getting banned from Upwork myself forced me to learn all that before I was really ready, but it was a sink and swim moment and I made it. It was a catalyst to a higher level of success where I can charge 10x what you are currently charging (and yes I used to charge what you do when I first started).

Good luck.
03-18-2019 08:56 PM
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Post: #615
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
The clients give both public feedback and private feedback about you to Upwork. It's possible they gave you a good public review so as not to ruin your profile, but then tanked your job success score on the private feedback. They ask questions like "how likely you would be to recommend this freelancer's services to a colleague on a scale of 1 -10", and reason for ending contract, etc. Don't remember what all they ask about but pretty sure it's similar to the reviews freelancers do for clients.
(This post was last modified: Yesterday 09:47 AM by WhatTheFuck.)
Yesterday 09:47 AM
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Post: #616
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-18-2019 02:38 PM)Wutang Wrote:  The only other thing I can think of that could be dragging down my score is a client who I sent a proposal to who then replied back with an interview. He disappeared after that initial contact but I still kept the proposal open. About 2 - 3 weeks later, I send him another message asking if he was still interested in working together. He didn't reply so I withdrew the proposal finally.

Most likely three clients privately gave you a 9 or 10 rating, and one client privately gave you 6 or less.

See #4 of this blog.
https://freelancetowin.com/job-success-score/

After doing this for a while, you should have a "script" that you use. Like something that call center operators get, for every stage of the conversation as it moves from beginning through to end.

With time, you can crank this out without needing to think about it.

- Most of my proposal cover letters are just one sentence that never changes.
- To ask for a positive rating when the job ends, I always use the same two sentences verbatim.

I know that at the start of doing this, you will want to bid on absolutely anything. But if you see a prospective client who left less than 5 star ratings for past jobs, strongly consider not working on anything they list.
Yesterday 10:10 AM
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Post: #617
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
^ I was doing some research on my own and what you say appears to be correct. There's been lots of discussion/complaints on the Upwork forums about private ratings:

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelanc...rue#M66857

There's been lots of other discussions about private feedback among Upwork contractors on the Upwork forums as well:
https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelanc...d-p/461198



https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelanc...d-p/461198
Yesterday 11:08 AM
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