I finished travelling, got my success score, and now I’m ready to ramp up production…
This is post #4 in my Freelancing on Upwork series.
Freelancing while on vacay?!?
In between my trip around East Africa and taking my twin sisters to their freshman year of college, I landed 3 new clients on Upwork for fixed-price jobs.
That means I’ve landed 4 clients and completed 6 jobs on Upwork, totaling $635 ($508 after Upwork’s fees) in my first 3 months.
That’s not too impressive until you consider I took a 6 week trip around East Africa and spent the last 2 weeks driving to two different colleges. I just got back yesterday.
$508 isn’t bad for part time between vacations!
The types of jobs you have to take at first
Here are my jobs from the first few weeks/months of Upwork and what I earned for each:
- Article writing for a real estate agent (my first job on Upwork) — $60
- Lead magnet PDF eBook for a real estate agent [repeat client] — $150
—TRAVEL EAST AFRICA —
- Newsletter writing for a startup — $100
- Infographic text for an oil & gas research department — $125
- Revise a training powerpoint for a startup [repeat client] — $100
- Rewrite a catalog for a California cannabis distributor — $100
They’re not glamorous or high-dollar, but they are respectable jobs. I wasn’t forced to take low-paying content mill jobs like many critics of Upwork would suggest.
Now that I’ve built a solid base of good reviews, I feel comfortable bidding on bigger projects, raising my rates a little, and taking on longer-term jobs.
Getting your job success score
Another side effect of all those good reviews is I received a job success score, a semi-important indicator on Upwork of how well you work with clients.
And my score is….
100%! I’m stoked. I worked hard on all my contracts to this point.
Here’s how I got my 100% success score and 5 star rating:
- Do quality work; there’s no substitute
- Always try to over-deliver for clients
- When submitting work, I say, “I want to provide 5-star service, so if there’s anything else you need, please don’t hesitate to ask!” (Notice the subtle psychology here. I expect a 5-star review, and now the client knows it. If there’s anything I could do better, now is the chance for them to voice it, instead of in the review.)
So far this process has paid off…
The 5 star rating and 100% success score are great indicators on a site like Upwork that’s so heavily based on client feedback.
Will Upwork clients pay higher rates?
I originally listed a low rate on my Upwork profile to help get my first few jobs/reviews. Now that I have those, I’m going to experiment with raising my rates.
A lot of people say that there’s too much competition on Upwork for anyone to command higher rates. I’m going to be testing that assumption over the next few months. I’ll let you know how that goes, so you can know when to raise your rates.
How much you can expect to earn
Just a quick recap of where I’m at with my freelancing journey. Getting this far was NOT hard work. If you have writing chops, you can earn extra income.
- Two word-of-mouth clients pre-Upwork: $342.45
- Upwork clients: $508
TOTAL EARNED FROM WRITING TO DATE: $842.45
Taking my business to the next level
I am ramping up my proposal writing. Starting yesterday, I’ve been pumping out custom proposals to Upwork jobs that are a good fit for my skills.
I also have much more time to devote to writing now, so I intend to explore other options for finding work, including cold emailing, job boards, and social media strategies.
If you have other creative ways you find writing work, comment below. I’m open to trying all kinds of options.
If you’re interested in Upwork or freelancing, please follow along on this Medium series. You can get updates when I publish a new post byfollowing me.
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