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How to Validate an idea of Upwork based service to reduce job search time and find better-fitted clients?

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Nick Kadutskyi
May 8, 2021
Los Angeles
Hey Fastlaners,
I do some work on Upwork and struggle with finding jobs time to time. Also, I see that other people struggle with that too.

So I am thinking of ways to reduce time wasted on job search.
Also I am looking into how to segment clients on Upwork so you only interact with people which are a good fit for you.
As a result you will be able to save time and increase profitability for a small ($5-20/mon) subscription fee.

❓What is a good way to validate an idea?

My current plan is:
  1. Formulate my ideas and condense them into a product
  2. Do some UX/UI design (only partial, just a functional part)
  3. Setup a landing page
    • Where I will talk to a specific segment of freelancers/agencies ( let's say web development segment)
    • I will describe how my service:
      • will help them to find better-fitted clients and how that will result into more earnings
      • reduce time wasted on reading job postings and interacting with clients who aren't a good fit
      • will help get projects faster
    • I will show some designs/wireframes
    • I will show pricing and will allow them to sign up.
    • Once they try to actually sing up I will tell them that the service is coming soon and will ask for their email to add them into a waiting list
  4. Look for "watering holes" (where people talk about problems that my service can solve). Go to Upwork related forums/communities/groups and talk to people who face same issues as I do. Ask their feedback and to enter a waiting list.
  5. Do cold outreach on LinkedIn
  6. Once Beta is released reach out to people on a waiting list and propose them to use service for free for 1-2 months.
  7. During the trial period survey customers to see if the service helps them.
I've already thought about this idea for a couple years and I actually have some parts of it that I use for myself. And I think it helps me.

My assumption is that if I will be able to get at least 100 people on a waiting list there is definitely a need.

❓How representative is the number of people on a waiting list?

❓Do you think faking an ability to sign up is a good idea? I can just say that it's coming soon and provide a way to enter a waiting list.

❓How to not look like a scam while asking people to check my service landing page?

❓What do you think about paid surveys?

This is what I think in terms of CENTS:
  • Control is really low since the service is fully dependent on Upwork
  • Entry is average
  • Need. For now I think everyone can benefit from this service, but I want to validate that (the whole purpose of this post)
  • Time. Potentially this service might be fully automated.
  • I still don't know how Scalable it is. There are about 400k earning freelancers on Upwork who might actually benefit from the service. If I reach at least 1% that would be great.
  • Access to Market. Should be easy, but it totally depends on Upwork Partners team decisions (lack of control).
Schedule that I anticipate:
  • Marketing research/idea validation. (1st-4th weeks)
    • Do product development and copywriting to the point when I can show some designs and describe how it's going to be useful. (1st week)
    • Drive traffic to the landing page through "watering holes". (maybe ads???) (2nd-3rd weeks)
    • Analyze data (4th week)
  • Development until Beta (2nd-4th weeks)
  • [Milestone 1] Released 1st Beta on 5th week
  • Customer development on a real product (5th-7th week)
    • Surveys
    • Interviews
  • Continue development until fully stable v1.0 (5th-7th week)
  • [Milestone 2] Released stable v1.0 (8th week)
  • Continue Customer development and marketing execution
    • "Watering holes"
    • Blog posts targeting specific people
    • Posting on Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn)???
    • Possibly cold outreach on LinkedIn
    • Affiliate program for existing customers
  • Continue additional feature development
I have experience in Software/Web Development, Project and Product management, UX design, some experience in UI design. I don't have any experience in copywriting and marketing.
But I would like to learn more about marketing since that's very important.

Thank you,

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