Upwork Review: Is It A Freelance Marketplace Scam or Legit?
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The internet has made the world a smaller place, for better or worst. In this case, it's for the better because now sites like UpWork make it possible to find freelance work at home opportunities no matter where you are based.
But you're probably wondering if it's legit and have been scouring the interwebs for UpWork Reviews. Well, if you want to know the real deal about UpWork.com then you're in the right place. But be forewarned, you may not like what you're about to read.
What is Upwork?
Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk) is an international freelance market place where independent business people hire and meet with freelancers for various web based tasks. Upwork came about after two highly successful freelance market platforms Elance and oDesk merged in December 2013 to form Elance-oDesk. 18 months later, Elance-oDesk was rebranded to Upwork. The Mountain View, CA-based company, run by CEO Stephane Kasriel and Chairman Thomas Layton, claims to be the biggest freelancer marketplace in the world.
How does Upwork Work?
Basically Upwork provides a platform where clients can hire freelancers to complete projects, and pay them.
If you are a client requiring a certain service that can be performed by a freelancer remotely, all you have to do is create a profile with the website. You will then deposit funds to your profile and start hiring. You can also choose from three client profiles:
1. Upwork – The basic platform where you interact with all potential freelancers
2. Upwork Pro – The freelancers you will work with are hand-picked and pre-vetted
3. Upwork Enterprise – End-to-end freelancer management system where Upwork-employed professionals do most of the work for you.
You can work at Upwork if you possess the skills the website facilitates and can perform the service on your computer remotely. All you have to do is create an account, specify what service you are able to provide, start looking for jobs, get hired and get paid.
Finding a job involves browsing for available gigs on the Job Feed page. The Job Feed has work relevant to your profile, as your profile determines what you will see on the feed. Once you come across a project you can do, you can submit your proposal to the client.
If your proposal is successful you will be notified and you can start working on the itinerary of the job with the client, directly. However, if your bid is unsuccessful, you will also be notified, with the reason why the client turned down your proposal.
How do I create my Upwork profile?
Your Upwork profile will be your main selling point. What you fill in will have an impact on your ability to secure clients. Upwork's profile is very detailed and could take up to an hour to complete, depending on how fast or how detailed you want to be. Let's break the process down.
Step 1: Choose the main service you will be offering clients. The services you can choose to include are as follows:
- Web, Mobile & Software Development
- IT & Networking
- Data Science & Analytics
- Engineering & Architecture
- Design & Creative
- Admin Support
- Customer Service
- Sales & Marketing
- Accounting & Consulting
Step 2: Select your level of work experience. Upwork has three levels; Entry Level, Intermediate and Expert. The higher your level of experience, the higher your salary will be.
Step 3: You can now complete your profile. The information you will have to provide include
- A professional title,
- Your profile photo,
- Your professional overview,
- Employment history,
- Level of proficiency in the language you speak,
- Desired hourly rate,
- Availability (hours of the day) and your physical location address
Step 4: Submit your profile for review. It takes up to 12 hours to get a response. After that, once your profile is reviewed and approved, you can now develop your portfolio.
Step 5: Come up with your portfolio. While bidding for jobs, you will need to submit a proposal. Your proposal will include your portfolio, a cover letter and your resume as attachments. All in all, a well developed portfolio will go a long way in enhancing your chances of getting jobs.
Step 6: Set up your payment method. You will need to have the necessary details with you, depending on which payment method you choose.
How Do I Get Paid with Upwork?
How you get paid depends on how you set up your payment system for any particular job. Upwork provides you with three ways you can choose to bill your clients.
Hourly billing: An hour worked is an hour paid. Of course, the payment system will bill the client from his account to yours after every hour. Of course, once the work is done, billing stops.
Fixed-price billing: You get paid once the work is done and approved by the client.
Pre-funded milestone payment: Sequential payments are made up until the job is done. For instance, you can choose to be paid a certain percentage of the total amount once you submit a draft and the rest after you send the complete project.
All these payments are managed by Upwork's Payment Management System.
Upwork has several payment methods including
- Direct Deposit
- Wire Transfer
- Local Funds Transfer
It is important that the payment details you provide be the same as what you provided while creating your profile. Example, your PayPal email address should be the same as your account's email. Note that you can edit or update your account information at any time.
How do I get hired at Upwork with no experience?
Your profile will reveal your experience, success rate and overall progress report while working at Upwork. Of course, it can be hard securing your first client if your profile is amateurish. As a matter of fact, you could be skilled or experienced personally, but since you are new to Upwork, your profile may be repulsive to clients who require experienced freelancers. However, all is not lost. You can still get work if you follow these five rules.
- Always use the ”no experience required” filter while looking for jobs, instead of competing with experienced freelancers.
- Set your hourly rate as low as reasonably possible. Keep in mind that with Upwork, if you accept to get paid less than you are worth, you will eventually get paid more than you are worth. Work on your reputation first and with time, your reputation will land work for you.
- Don't hold anything back. Furbish your profile with each and every skill, experience and accomplishments you have, even if you are not sure about them. In the first place, clients will check out your hourly rate, before they get to your skills.
- Take the inbuilt proficiency tests. Each area of expertise has tests that once you pass, will improve your chances of landing jobs.
- Make your profile as authentic as you possibly can. If English is not your native language, don't say that it is. It's easier than you think to spot a liar, and this could make its way to your public profile, from the start!
Remember, all these are based on conjecture and do not guarantee success in the end. On the other hand, you do not require any experience to get started with My Top Work At Home recommendation, Swagbucks.com or Fusioncash.com.
Upwork hacks, tips and tricks
- Mind your time zone. If most of the clients you work for live on the opposite side of the world, adjust your working timetable to match their daily routine. For example, most clients will post jobs in the morning and before retiring for the night.
- Avoid back and forth with clients. Be as interactive as possible with the client before starting the job. Clients hate getting half-baked work. All in all, ensure everything is in the clear before you start working.
- Don't come across as desperate. It's ill-advised to set your rates high in the beginning. It's also misguided to set your price too low.
- Be easy to get in touch with. Keep your email notification sounds on and always be prompt while replying to clients' messages.
- Don't wait for work to come to you. Be reasonably aggressive while looking for work. For instance, send as many proposals as possible and don't be quick to throw in the towel.
- Create a proven online portfolio. Provide proof wherever necessary of the skills and experiences you indicated in your resume. Showcase your actual work to clients, and remove the speculative bit of your proposal.
- Make your profile error-free. Your profile includes your resume and cover letter. All these are the first things potential clients will see even before you get the chance to interact with them. For example, grammar, spelling and texting lingo should be close to perfect.
What we like about Upwork
Upwork's payment management system is designed to protect freelancers from dishonest clients. Of course, the hourly mode of payment ensures an hour worked is an hour paid.
Efficient Customer Support
You are never in the dark in case you need help. Given that Upwork has over 12 million freelancers; we have to give credit to their customer service. In any case, you will get a reply, including through social media.
It is Worldwide
Presently, the opportunity is open to clients and freelancers no matter the country they pay allegiance to.
An A+ rating is something worth smiling about for people who value a company's BBB status.
Ability to work full-time
You can quit your day job and start working as a freelancer full time. We came across a good number of reviews where people commended the company for facilitating full time freelancers. Did you know you can also work full time through My Top Work At Home Recommendation? Now you know.
It might be the biggest freelance marketplace out there, but no good deed goes unpunished. All in all, here's why you might want to hold your horses before signing up for Upwork.
It takes time to start earning
You won't start earning right off the bat.For instance, the time between your first login and first payout is up in the air. At the end of the day, you will just have to choose whether your time is a worthy price to pay. Did you know you can start earning as soon as today with Swagbucks.com and Fusioncash.com? Well, now you know.
You are highly skilled; no doubt, but are you willing to get paid way below the minimum wage? Arguably, at Upwork chances are you will have to be a peasant freelancer, especially if you are a beginner. Remember, you are competing for the same job with people all around the world who are willing to be paid a lot less than you.
Some clients string you along only to drop you after hours of negotiations and deliberations. All in all, it's not easy to sail through deals, especially urgent ones.
Is Upwork A Scam?
No. Upwork is a legitimate work from home freelancing platform by its own merit. You will get paid to do what you are skilled at, get to set your own rates and choose when to work.
However, the truth is to get started you will have to serve your time on the sidelines as the big boys play. In addition, theoretically it's possible to start earning on your first day, but that's a hypothesis that's yet to be debunked. In any case, eventually you will work your way up. Get it?
In conclusion, you might also have to sacrifice the weight of your paycheck for the sake of a glamorous profile. You might have to charge less to offset the competition. The clients you work for determine your success rate and progress report.
If relying on people to write your work at home success story is not appealing to you, I would recommend you head over to Swagbucks.com and Fusioncash.com. Alternatively, you can also always check out My Best Work At Home Recommendation.
Do you have an experience with Upwork or any other freelancing website? We would love to know your side of the story. At the same time, feel free to drop a comment or question below!
Eddy with a Y