Freelancing is the freeway of doing work your way!
Having the opportunity to travel whenever you need, work at any time that suits you, and the most important thing is doing what you love, are the core of the perfect job.
In recent days, Freelancing has become much easier and more achievable with the assistance of the internet. There is a huge demand for outsourcing for companies for means of cutting down expenses, so freelancers are the ideal solution.
There are a lot of freelancing platforms and websites that play a crucial role in connecting the clients (companies or Employees) with their freelancers (job seekers). Upwork is one of the most popular freelancer platforms.
Is Upwork a trusting platform?
As a person who is new to freelancing, joining freelancing websites such as Upwork may appear like a good idea or the best way to start your new career in freelancing.
The reasons that drive new starters to think of joining Upwork, is that Upwork will help them to build their clients’ base, marketing themselves, and without worrying about their websites’ or blogs’ traffic.
Unfortunately, the reality with Upwork is not as bright as it may sound. Is it because Upwork is fake & not genuine?
The answer is no. Upwork is a genuine website, but there are a few points I would like to point out in this article to clarify my point.
Upwork is an expensive freelancing website!
Upwork applies several fees to its freelancers. For example, when a freelancer places a proposal on a certain project, the applicable fee is 15 $ per month.
While other similar platforms and websites offer a free number of applications. Once the applicant exceeds this number, they will start applying their fee, which is cheaper than Upwork’s.
Once you accept the job or the project and receive your payment, there is a fee of 20% applied. This 20% is deducted from your payment, and will not be taken as a separate fee.
However, the more you are committed to a client and receiving a higher amount of money from this specific client, you will accordingly receive a discount. For example, if you start getting more than 500$ but less than 10,000 USD your deduction will be 10%, and if you are earning more than 10,000, then you will be entitled with a 5 % deduction fee only.
The problem with this procedure is that to be entitled to this deduction, your payment from a specific client must be higher, not the amount of work. Therefore, it does not matter how much work you will provide this client or other clients, as long as your payment is 500$ or below.
The reason behind the high upfront fees and their token system in Upwork, is actually that Upwork tries to make a lower number of freelancers to apply for jobs. They need their clients to work only with high rated freelancers or the best freelancers. Therefore, in this way Upwork forces their new starter freelancers to only apply to projects they are qualified.
Also, their monthly fee of 15$ allows freelancers 70 connects. However, Upwork knows it is not possible to get benefits from all these 70 connects.
The reason is the fact that the review system in Upwork is not in favour of new freelancers. If Upwork does not think that you are a good match for the job, you will appear at the end of the list or placed in a separate category. To be viewed, the client has to manually click to view the other category.
So, when clients search for their applicants’ list to pick from, they choose from the top on the list. Most of them will not bother to see the new freelancer category.
The Client is Always Right
One of Upwork’s strategy is being in favour of their clients. Upwork’s clients are their employees who seek for freelancers.
Freelancers and their works, on the other hand, are just the products to be provided to their clients.
Derived from this belief Upwork always stands with its clients all the time. In case of disputes & payments’ issues, clients always win.
Therefore, it is advisable to start an hourly paid project at the beginning to avoid this kind of trouble. That is because as a new freelancer without reviews, the client knows for sure that you need to finish this job to get reviews and get started. As a result, many clients can take advantage of you much easier if it is fixed or long-term jobs than an hourly rate job.
Also, it is always advisable to do your work within their platform. So that you will have screenshots of your work, tracking your time, and other things which make it easier for receiving your payments and avoiding any problems with the client you are working with.
Even So, Upwork is a good platform for freelancers who have already built their base, it may not be good for new freelancers and it is hard to get in for the first time. Also, it is an expensive platform for a new starter, but once you will have reviews it will get much easier.
Tips for a better start
There are tips & advises to survive the breaking into Upwork if you are a new freelancer. For example, you need to do your search on every single project you feel interested in. You must be sure that you have the right skills to do it. Also, you must search for the usual rates for these types of projects, so that you will not price higher than the average.
This also brings us to the second advice which is to start with a low or average paid job once you are still a new freelancer. In this case, you may have more chances to win projects as a new freelancer as compared to requesting a high rate.
Also, as mention earlier, it is advisable to choose hourly rated jobs at the beginning to guarantee to get your payments or to avoid delays.
Another important point is always accepting jobs, and keep working within Upwork platform and its conditions, and payment terms. By doing so, you will avoid problems with payments and clients, and also you will avoid paying penalty due to breeching Upwork’s terms & conditions.
After reviewing Upwork’s way of working, and pointing out its disadvantages for new starters, we can confidently say that Upwork is not fake, and it is genuine, but it is a tough website for freelancers to compete in, especially if you are new.
However, there are a lot of top-rated and qualified freelancers who enjoy being and working with Upwork and have gained popularity among employees and reach their targets with Upwork.