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Lex DeVille

Lex DeVille

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Seems that Upwork has began charging for Connects. 16 cents per pop.

But repeat clients don't need any Connects, so its good that repeat business isn't penalised.

Also, I got this email from Upwork:

View attachment 25352

Good point from Upwork that skill field develop too quickly for skills tests to update quickly.

Some of the skills tests were embarrassingly no better than middle-school comprehension tests lol.

Wonder what benchmark or filters that Upwork will use now to have freelancers stand out, to replace skills tests.

Maybe more power to portfolios, as typically should be?
Are you getting billed for proposals? If so, where does it show up? I've sent a couple proposals this week to see how it all works and didn't notice any additional billings on my reports.

Upwork is empowering profiles more, starting with specialized profiles. There are new questions and options you can add to make it easier for clients to figure out if you're worth their time. I haven't played with those yet because I got rid of my specialized portfolio a while back.
 

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ZF Lee

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Are you getting billed for proposals? If so, where does it show up? I've sent a couple proposals this week to see how it all works and didn't notice any additional billings on my reports.
Seems you can buy Connects when you need them. Upwork doesn't do this automatically.
In amounts that you want.

It seems we can go finish our stock of Connects, and then pay to restock them whenever we want.

Extracting from the support website:

Add Connects
Connects cost $0.15 (USD) each and are sold in bundles of 10, 20, 40, 60, and 80. To purchase additional Connects:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Memberships & Connects
  3. Click Add More Connects
Once you’ve selected the bundle you wish to purchase, click Add Connects and your account will be automatically charged.

Plus...

Connects may also be returned under the following circumstances:

  • If a project is canceled by the client without making a hire, the Connects used on that proposal will be returned to you for reuse. This does not apply to expired job posts.
  • If a job post has been removed by Upwork for a Terms of Service violation, the Connects used on that proposal will be returned for you to reuse.
Note: Withdrawing your proposal will not return your Connects.
 
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Lex DeVille

Lex DeVille

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Seems you can buy Connects when you need them. Upwork doesn't do this automatically.
In amounts that you want.

It seems we can go finish our stock of Connects, and then pay to restock them whenever we want.

Extracting from the support website:

Add Connects
Connects cost $0.15 (USD) each and are sold in bundles of 10, 20, 40, 60, and 80. To purchase additional Connects:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Memberships & Connects
  3. Click Add More Connects
Once you’ve selected the bundle you wish to purchase, click Add Connects and your account will be automatically charged.

Plus...

Connects may also be returned under the following circumstances:

  • If a project is canceled by the client without making a hire, the Connects used on that proposal will be returned to you for reuse. This does not apply to expired job posts.
  • If a job post has been removed by Upwork for a Terms of Service violation, the Connects used on that proposal will be returned for you to reuse.
Note: Withdrawing your proposal will not return your Connects.
We still get stock connects to work with? I thought they were adding the charge to all connects.
 

ZF Lee

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We still get stock connects to work with? I thought they were adding the charge to all connects.
I meant by stock connects that prior to the charges update, we would have some Connects still in storage.
Never heard of anyone who went around with zero Connects to use lol.

Charge is to get new Connects, if we need them.

Let's say we have 35 connects.

And we used up 10, leaving 25.

So, we can choose to buy 10, 20 or 40 connects to replenish our store of connects.
 

Wiezel

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Ah, I see. I misunderstood. The only thing to do when you can't get approved is to keep trying and testing different things. In my experience, the best way to get approved is to try different skills and build your profile around the skill each time. Upwork wants you to show them what makes you someone who will be a good freelancer in that skill.

- How does your education support your ability to do the skill?
- What about your work experience?
- Does your bio focus on the skill and what makes you credible with it?
- Do your tags support that skill and only that skill?

Those are the main things I've focused on when getting people approved in the past. It's hit or miss though. Some people have taken 40 tries before they got approved. There's no guarantees. It might be worth looking through the Upwork Skills Index to find an in-demand skill and building your profile around that.

Mostly it comes down to trial and error, but if they haven't permanently suspended you, then just keep trying.
Maybe I'm misreading this but does this mean if you learn a certain (new) skill and you won't get approved and start all over again in learning another (new) skill? For me I don't own any particular skills that will sustain my expenses so I will need to learn new skills. By not getting approved I will need to change my skill and also learn a new skill completely from scratch again?
 
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Lex DeVille

Lex DeVille

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Maybe I'm misreading this but does this mean if you learn a certain (new) skill and you won't get approved and start all over again in learning another (new) skill? For me I don't own any particular skills that will sustain my expenses so I will need to learn new skills. By not getting approved I will need to change my skill and also learn a new skill completely from scratch again?
You don't have to learn a new skill to apply to do a skill. You only have to support your position that you can do the skill. If I weren't a copywriter, I could still support my ability to perform copywriting by showing how my psychology degree is relevant, or how other training I've had backs up that ability. I could also show how past work experience in collections gave me persuasion skills that are useful in helping me write copy. It doesn't matter if I don't know how to write copy. It only matters that Upwork believes I can write copy and make money.
 

Wiezel

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You don't have to learn a new skill to apply to do a skill. You only have to support your position that you can do the skill. If I weren't a copywriter, I could still support my ability to perform copywriting by showing how my psychology degree is relevant, or how other training I've had backs up that ability. I could also show how past work experience in collections gave me persuasion skills that are useful in helping me write copy. It doesn't matter if I don't know how to write copy. It only matters that Upwork believes I can write copy and make money.
Gotcha, thank you for clarifying!
 

Eos

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  1. Why are you doing this?

    I am doing this so
    I have a time for money trade service skill I can start earning money from in the next week,
    I can work from anywhere - skip UK winters and potentially live abroad permanently,
    I could earn additional income to my main ventures / career job when I get one and scalable ventures,
    I can earn without having to rely on beta male admin jobs in boring offices where I have to pretend I’m happy or minimum wage manual labour jobs which realistically are below my level of intelligence and ambition and make me feel like a loser.
    I could always stop it if I find something better and then pick it up at any time in the future for income once I have the skill and understanding of how to get work,
    can support me when I’m trying to do what I enjoy - creating content out in the tropics, scaling up bigger projects, football coaching.

  2. Describe your endgame in specific detail...

    My end game would be taking on work and doing this for few hours per day to supplement my main income.
    Scaling it up to replace my main income when possible by virtue of being able to charge high rates due to my skill level and / or number of clients retained.

  3. How much money do you need to earn to make this worth it?

    If I can make £1600 a month net. from doing this I am doing better than what I have had at jobs and that would also allow a comfortable lifestyle in South East Asia.
    If I can net £5000 a month this is more than I can make in many careers.

  4. Who are you failing if you give up or don't succeed

    MYSELF.
    I also want the ability to travel some more (Australia, South America) and head back to Bali, to create enough income to be comfortable and feel free of the corporate world.
 

RASA911216

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Your homework today is to create your Upwork account following the guidance in this post. Create your account and submit it for approval. Then report back and let us know how it went or if you have any trouble. Do this now!
Thanks a lot for this amazing post! Already submitted my application and now I'm waiting for the approval. In the meantime will keep working on the startup.
 

Siddhartha

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Having done free work for friends, I took the content and copywriting skills I've cultivated over the past two months and started hitting up upwork.

Even though it took about 120 connects, I landed a first copywriting gig.

Something very interesting popped up though...

Upwork is now asking me to submit a picture ID and get on a video call with their support team before I apply for more contracts. Even after I payed them for the joy of having 20 more attempts to send proposals.

This sketches me out, and it's caused me to look around for other freelance site options.
It's also made me pull back and look around to see what opportunity is in my area. The owner of a local shop is pulling me in to help with his sales letter and I have a meeting with him on wednesday. Need to find a way to turn this and helping others locally into gold.

Does anyone else have experience transferring off of online platforms to local opportunity?
 

I AM THE SENATE

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I've been following this thread but I didn't want to post anything until I tried it for myself. I finished updating my profile last night and preceded to bid on 4 jobs . Landed 1 and turned it around today.


Here are my answers to the day one questions.

1.Why are you doing this? - To earn extra money for debts and to finance my entrepreneurial pursuits.

2.Describe your endgame in specific detail - My endgame is to build my own video marketing agency.

3.How much money do you need to earn to make this worth it? $1200 per month would be ideal. $600 would still make it worth it.

4.Who are you failing if you give up or don't succeed? Myself, my daughter and my friends.
 

ZF Lee

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Having done free work for friends, I took the content and copywriting skills I've cultivated over the past two months and started hitting up upwork.

Even though it took about 120 connects, I landed a first copywriting gig.

Something very interesting popped up though...

Upwork is now asking me to submit a picture ID and get on a video call with their support team before I apply for more contracts. Even after I payed them for the joy of having 20 more attempts to send proposals.

This sketches me out, and it's caused me to look around for other freelance site options.
It's also made me pull back and look around to see what opportunity is in my area. The owner of a local shop is pulling me in to help with his sales letter and I have a meeting with him on wednesday. Need to find a way to turn this and helping others locally into gold.

Does anyone else have experience transferring off of online platforms to local opportunity?
I already got my ID verified and the call with the Upwork support team done.

They were very quick and professional about it.

Finished it all within minutes.
A single attachment of your ID, and a short chat with an Upwork rep.

Don’t be afraid of getting cleared up with the Upwork team. It’s just some simple ‘house rules’.
 

Siddhartha

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Howdy all,

Currently at 57 sent proposals, 8 """active""" candidacies, and 4 paying jobs, 2 of which ghosted and didn't actually pay me after sending work.

Even though I've put a lot of effort into shining up my profile and adding value, it looks like today as of around 6pm that I have been shadowbanned for sending too many proposals without getting feedback. I watched Lex's "you" focused proposal YT and udemy vids many times as I sent these, and always aimed to give them more than they asked for.

Feeling a bit angry, feeling like I just don't know what the f*** I can or will do.

Any comment or suggestions are appreciated. I'm cooking up ways to either niche down or find local clients right now. They may have gotten me down, but f*** them if they think I'm anywhere close to being out.
 

Kruiser

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I've had a bit more success, but not a ton. I've actually spent the last day redoing my profile. If what you've done isn't working, try something else, right?

Here are the key variables:

- profile - (see what others having success are doing)
- picture - (test on Photofeeler)
- samples
- proposals

Start pulling the levers and see what you can do. I'm a day ahead of you in terms of making changes and I'll report back here if I have any breakthroughs.
 

ZF Lee

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Howdy all,

Currently at 57 sent proposals, 8 """active""" candidacies, and 4 paying jobs, 2 of which ghosted and didn't actually pay me after sending work.

Even though I've put a lot of effort into shining up my profile and adding value, it looks like today as of around 6pm that I have been shadowbanned for sending too many proposals without getting feedback. I watched Lex's "you" focused proposal YT and udemy vids many times as I sent these, and always aimed to give them more than they asked for.

Feeling a bit angry, feeling like I just don't know what the f*** I can or will do.

Any comment or suggestions are appreciated. I'm cooking up ways to either niche down or find local clients right now. They may have gotten me down, but f*** them if they think I'm anywhere close to being out.
Yup, local clients are good. Do Lindkedin, optimise the profile similarly to Upwork and follow people you like to work with..

I found some small success with meetup.com networking, but you have to go for 2-3 meetings to be the ‘in-person’. Not as quick as Upwork.

As for niche down, look at your paying jobs.

Are there any specific fields of sub-tasks within those jobs where you find that you are good at, and somehow Upwork jobs keep springing up for it? That could be a starting point.

And yeah...50+ proposals may be overkill.

The most I’ve ever sent out in a row was only 10-12, and then the job offers and interviews took my time from then on.
 

Siddhartha

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If what you've done isn't working, try something else, right?
...
Start pulling the levers and see what you can do. I'm a day ahead of you in terms of making changes and I'll report back here if I have any breakthroughs.
I understand what you're saying, and it's something I've already been playing around with for the past few weeks. One thing that may have had the biggest impact, is that I didn't have any portfolio pieces uploaded for awhile because of specific issues I ran into when using the portfolio builder on UW; the issue was so bad that it had to get elevated from support to engineering.
Other than that, I'm guessing that my new-ish, low job count profile probably just couldn't compete with some of the other freelancers that were submitting.

Yup, local clients are good. Do Lindkedin, optimise the profile similarly to Upwork and follow people you like to work with..

I found some small success with meetup.com networking, but you have to go for 2-3 meetings to be the ‘in-person’. Not as quick as Upwork.

As for niche down, look at your paying jobs.

Are there any specific fields of sub-tasks within those jobs where you find that you are good at, and somehow Upwork jobs keep springing up for it? That could be a starting point.

And yeah...50+ proposals may be overkill.

The most I’ve ever sent out in a row was only 10-12, and then the job offers and interviews took my time from then on.
Yeah, linkedin has been may main method of market research and will be the main form of outreach after I've optimized it. You said you got deep into interviews and offers after 10-12 proposals; how long had you been freelancing on upwork before this? Any factors with your profile that you think contributed to that success?
 
Last edited:

ZF Lee

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You said you got deep into interviews and offers after 10-12 proposals; how long had you been freelancing on upwork before this? Any factors with your profile that you think contributed to that success?
I had freelanced over...six to seven months?
Maybe over a year? Not too sure...

That was beginning from last year.

But don’t take the duration at face value.

I F*cked around after getting my first gigs, due to stupid shit like procrastination and university studies killing my time.

Now since I’ve been bitten once, I don’t let either bite me again.

I think getting the first initial good reviews from clients, as well as filling in the portfolio section helped

Plus, it was around mid-year and intuitively speaking, businesses in general seemed to need more help with their stuff.

And as for interviews, at that time, I didn’t always need to schedule online calls with prospects. The clients just texted me requirements and asked questions over the chat.

These last few days though, since my price points are much higher than day 1, and I choose to be picky on what I can or cannot do (eg I do not write copy for certain markets), the interviews come in.
 

Siddhartha

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Alright, Nabbed a 6$ gig and completed it, waiting on feedback and seeing how that boosts me elsewhere.

Another note: Someone reached out to help me with their site copy, but I could tell just from the introductory text chat that they wouldn't be a good client. Their cause was noble, but the way they chatted was just frenetic, and they spent an hour and a half taking me in circles on what they wanted or didn't want. I told them I wouldn't be the best person to help them and wished them luck on their journey, and they lost it.

You see something new everyday I guess.
 
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Vibhusha

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Upwork is one of the fastest ways to get your feet wet with online business. You probably won't get rich on Upwork (though it's not impossible), and that isn't the purpose of this guide. This multi-post guide is an Upwork Tutorial for those who:

  • Need to get moving on something...ANYTHING
  • Need a way to bootstrap cash...FOR FREE

It doesn't matter where you're from or what your situation is. If you have semi-stable internet and a computer to work from, then you can make money on Upwork at no cost to you but your time.

In the posts that follow I will share a series of Upwork Tutorials to get you started even if you don't know what the f*ck you're doing, and even if you don't have any skills or experience right now. This step-by-step guide will give you a clear path from $0 to your first $1,000 or more on Upwork.

If you follow my posts and do as I say, you will make money...

Possibly this week.

However, you should know that your success here requires a difficult mindset shift. You will have to change how you do things. Employees do NOT make good freelancers. So here are some things you should know right now:

  • You can take your 20 year work history and light it on fire
  • Tuck your college degrees away on some shelf
  • Tear that entitled victim attitude to shreds because...

Freelance clients don't give a shit about your education and experience unless it backs up your ability to get the job done. Also, nobody owes you anything. In the freelance world, you rise to your own level based on how much you help people, and on how clearly you demonstrate that you can help people.


Also... I'm developing a corresponding tutorial for my YouTube channel, and as such will be posting videos related to each post topic. You can watch them or not. You do not have to watch them to get the information because I will also post it in text here.

Consider this DAY ZERO.

Each day I will walk you through one piece of the Upwork puzzle. Step-by-step I will guide you to get approved on Upwork, get started, and make money. At the end of each post you will find a homework assignment.

Do the homework each day.

I would encourage you to share your progress and results either here, on my channel, or both since it will encourage engagement that will send traffic to the Fastlane Forum (each video links to the forum), and to my channel which is valuable for M.J. and for myself and also promotes future comprehensive tutorials such as this one, which is valuable for you.

SET OFF AT SUNRISE TO GET THERE BY DARK

There's only one way this thread won't become another action-faking, analysis paralysis knowledge feast for you. To make anything useful happen, you will have to take MASSIVE action and get started. You will have to stop telling yourself every silly excuse. Stop being afraid. Don't let phantoms of fantasy futures destroy your dreams.

Action is the only way.

So start today. Right now. Make a commitment. Commit to do this. Commit to act and to get started. You will start this today. You will take your first step now. And that first step is to determine WHY you are doing this. What do you want to come of this? To do that, your first homework is physically to answer all of the following questions:

  1. Why are you doing this?
  2. Describe your endgame in specific detail...
  3. How much money do you need to earn to make this worth it?
  4. Who are you failing if you give up or don't succeed?

It's important to know WHY you are doing this. You can't be vague about it. "I want to be a highly paid freelancer who creates value" is not a good response for your "why."

You are doing this because you need to pay bills or debt. Because you want to quit your shitty job. Because you need money for your ecommerce business. Because you want to travel and earn money from anywhere. Because you want to support your family. Because you want to earn full-time pay with part-time work from home.

You are trying to escape something (bad job, bad boss, debt, poverty, feeling like a loser). You desire some kind of change (travel, money, freedom, skills, to get started). You are selfish and you want things in life and THAT IS OKAY.

But you need to define those things. The things you want. The things you don't want. Because it is those things that will help remind you why you set off down this path in the first place, especially when there's nothing but miles and miles of bumpy road ahead.

That is your homework today.

Do the homework. Post your response. In the next post I will teach you how to give yourself the best possible chance to get approved on Upwork. As of 2019, getting approved on Upwork is probably the single biggest barrier to entry for new freelancers.

Lucky for you, you're not a freelancer. You're an entrepreneur, and you have me as your guide. So follow this Upwork Tutorial and commit to continue even when the long road makes you weary. If you do, you may discover the distance between sunrise and sunset isn't so far apart as it seems.

By the way...

This is the only mindset post.

Get your mind right now. In the days that follow, we've got work to do.

Thank you Lex. This is my day DAY ZERO.
 

carcrazydan

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Hi Lex. Just wanted to stop by and thank you for your hard work. After implementing your advice, I have been converting more proposals into offers. As far as the haters go, well, I think attracting haters is a solid indicator of success, so you must be doing something right!
 

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Chip01

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Hi @Lex DeVille.

Submitted my application to UpWork yesterday as a Social Media Marketer and have just heard back from them a few minutes ago but unfortunately I've been rejected!

This is what they said:

"We’ve reviewed your profile and currently our marketplace doesn’t have opportunities for your area of expertise.
If you have more relevant skills or experience to add, you can update and re-submit your application. You can find more information regarding our decision here."

I followed your guide from this thread (obviously made mines relevant to SMM). Do you think adding that I specialise in Facebook Ads and Facebook Marketing when I resubmit may help? Or do you think this service is just too crowded on UpWork and I should learn and focus on another?

Thanks in advance
 

Entre Eyes

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An do not forget to utilize your Lists that you already have rapport with!

You say I do not have a list. Well if you have a mail account like me that I use for all the high quality sign up incentives to join their lists that is now YOUR lists.

One day I just got the idea to hit the reply button on all the Marketers that were talking to me like I was a great friend and emailing sometimes multiple times in day.

Just say to yourself it's a numbers game.

Long story short it has worked 3 separate occasions. The last time $300 from two separate bloggers and paid half from both upfront. Knocked it out in couple days and had $600.
 

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