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NOTABLE! Lex DeVille's - I Deleted My Upwork Account...

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Lex DeVille

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Hey @Lex DeVille Thanks for the great thread.

My issue is that I can't get approved on upwork.com. I applied over 50 times with different location, different skill set, made every attempt to make it work, read Google tutorials but I just can't get approved. (I live in Jordan)

What can I do about it from your experience?

Freelancer.com is just a screwed up platform. every time I bid (and my bids finish so fast) I never get the job even after I follow your advice and the amount of scams on the platform is unbelievable I don't even know if there's any chance for newbies.

Chances are if you haven't made it on Upwork at this point, you probably won't get approved. Upwork is barely approving anyone who isn't from a "first-world" country. In fact, they're even rejecting people from the U.S. regularly now.

A better use of your time would be to look to one of the other up and coming platforms from the list I posted the other day in this thread:

NOTABLE! - Lex DeVille's BIG List of 100+ Freelance Websites by Skill Area 2019

An even better option would be to go to Facebook and join groups where people are likely to need your skills. When someone asks a question in those groups, respond with a helpful answer. Eventually people will get to know you and they'll start coming to you for more help or referring you when others need help. Then you can offer your services at whatever price you want.

Upwork isn't the only way to earn freelance clients. It isn't even the best way. It's just an easy way, which is why everyone tries to go there first.
 

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Chances are if you haven't made it on Upwork at this point, you probably won't get approved. Upwork is barely approving anyone who isn't from a "first-world" country. In fact, they're even rejecting people from the U.S. regularly now.

A better use of your time would be to look to one of the other up and coming platforms from the list I posted the other day in this thread:

NOTABLE! - Lex DeVille's BIG List of 100+ Freelance Websites by Skill Area 2019

An even better option would be to go to Facebook and join groups where people are likely to need your skills. When someone asks a question in those groups, respond with a helpful answer. Eventually people will get to know you and they'll start coming to you for more help or referring you when others need help. Then you can offer your services at whatever price you want.

Upwork isn't the only way to earn freelance clients. It isn't even the best way. It's just an easy way, which is why everyone tries to go there first.
Woah! Big news to me!

Good thing I came in early!

I'm interested in AWAI, Reddit and Cult of Copy. Will try to investigate them when I have the time.

Also, I just did some free copy for a local author. She liked it so much that she invited me to a private event ( not open to public) where she mentioned that startups folks would be present.

Dunno whether its a potential pool for prospects. Easiest thing is to just listen to see if they need me and then hop in. :)

Also, see if your country has its OWN freelancing site.

In my country, it is Favser, but I prefer overseas clients- they are a more interesting bunch.
 

Lex DeVille

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Woah! Big news to me!

Good thing I came in early!

I'm interested in AWAI, Reddit and Cult of Copy. Will try to investigate them when I have the time.

Also, I just did some free copy for a local author. She liked it so much that she invited me to a private event ( not open to public) where she mentioned that startups folks would be present.

Dunno whether its a potential pool for prospects. Easiest thing is to just listen to see if they need me and then hop in. :)

Also, see if your country has its OWN freelancing site.

In my country, it is Favser, but I prefer overseas clients- they are a more interesting bunch.

Yes, I've suspected it was the case for some time, but didn't want to believe it. There's a good chance that 70-90% of people just don't try very hard to get approved, so they get instarejected.

But more recently I'm seeing seemingly good profiles getting rejected. I've also seen Upwork do other things that indicate they're cracking down on freelancers from certain countries.

For instance, a few days ago I got suspended for Terms of Service violation. Yet I was able to recover my account within a few days. Maybe it's because I'm more persuasive, but a person in my student group also got suspended for the same violation this last week.

He had the same earnings on his profile as I have. He had a 100% JSS. In fact, I'd say his violation was even less of a rule breaker than mine. But instead of a temp suspension, he got permanently banned, and Upwork wouldn't give him any chance to appeal.

The only real difference between our profiles is mine says "United States" and his says "India."

Ever since Upwork went public a lot more people get rejected.
 

ZF Lee

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Yes, I've suspected it was the case for some time, but didn't want to believe it. There's a good chance that 70-90% of people just don't try very hard to get approved, so they get instarejected.

But more recently I'm seeing seemingly good profiles getting rejected. I've also seen Upwork do other things that indicate they're cracking down on freelancers from certain countries.

For instance, a few days ago I got suspended for Terms of Service violation. Yet I was able to recover my account within a few days. Maybe it's because I'm more persuasive, but a person in my student group also got suspended for the same violation this last week.

He had the same earnings on his profile as I have. He had a 100% JSS. In fact, I'd say his violation was even less of a rule breaker than mine. But instead of a temp suspension, he got permanently banned, and Upwork wouldn't give him any chance to appeal.

The only real difference between our profiles is mine says "United States" and his says "India."

Ever since Upwork went public a lot more people get rejected.
Hopefully they won't be tweaking the ranking algos for existng freelancers in the same manner.

I'll watch the Upwork forum and see if the third world freelancers raise hell about it.

Still surprised that Upwork might be doing something derogatory. Even Third World countries are quite well educated and up-to-date with market skills.

I know the influx of folks into the platform may have spiked competition and crap proposals/jobs, but I don't think it really hit Upwork's quarterly earnings.
 

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Lex DeVille

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This week I decided to pick up some Upwork clients.

This is after going several months only writing lower cost articles and book descriptions in preparation for my article writing course. As you can see below, my profile was filled with these low-cost gigs.

I point this out because many people list this as an excuse for why they can't increase their prices, or why they refuse to offer low rates to get started. Usually the exact words are, "why would clients pay me higher rates when my profile shows low rates?"

Screenshot 2019-03-09 at 6.36.11 PM.png

The answer is that clients will pay whatever rates you ask for once you've proven yourself as a freelancer. When you send a YOU Focused proposal...when you ask the right questions...when you show you care so the client knows you are competent as a person, and feels confident in your skills, which makes them feel comfortable going forward with you...then they will hire you at higher rates no matter what your profile shows.

So what did I earn in this first week taking copywriting clients again?

ezgif.com-gif-maker (6).png
This, plus a $1,200 client that won't show up until next week.

I should note, none of these are past clients. They're all brand new. I had to work my butt off and write custom proposals to get their attention. Then I had to get on phone calls and talk to people so they would experience the value they get live.

Brand new clients. Same old approach (help people, make money).
 

Joe Whittaker

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1st post on forum is going to require making myself look like an a$$.

Here goes.


I've just been permanently banned from upwork.

I'm literally gutted, it's totally my fault but I'm really hurting right now.

A client was having a hard time understanding why money hadn't been released into my account via escrow. I explained upwork's policy to them and showed screen shots. They were getting impatient and I made a rash move. I said, you can always pay me through PayPal if you want it to transfer quicker.

I'm writing this post because, I know I'll hear what I need to hear.

What I've already learnt:

I'm an a$$ for breaching their terms.

I deserve to be perma banned.

Would be good to hear what insight you guys can offer.

Joe.
 

Lex DeVille

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1st post on forum is going to require making myself look like an a$$.

Here goes.


I've just been permanently banned from upwork.

I'm literally gutted, it's totally my fault but I'm really hurting right now.

A client was having a hard time understanding why money hadn't been released into my account via escrow. I explained upwork's policy to them and showed screen shots. They were getting impatient and I made a rash move. I said, you can always pay me through PayPal if you want it to transfer quicker.

I'm writing this post because, I know I'll hear what I need to hear.

What I've already learnt:

I'm an a$$ for breaching their terms.

I deserve to be perma banned.

Would be good to hear what insight you guys can offer.

Joe.

Not sure what kind of insight you're looking for, but from the Upwork side, if you haven't contacted them by phone, then that's a start, assuming you want to work on their platform.

From a freelance standpoint, there are plenty of other places to find clients. Upwork isn't freelancing. It's just one freelance platform, and there are hundreds of others. Like these:

NOTABLE! - Lex DeVille's BIG List of 100+ Freelance Websites by Skill Area 2019

From a mental stand point, stop beating yourself up. People get banned from Upwork everyday. That's part of the risk when you don't control the platform.

If you haven't read The Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted , be sure to do that as well. It will help you get your mind right.

You only lose if you quit trying.
 

Joe Whittaker

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Not sure what kind of insight you're looking for, but from the Upwork side, if you haven't contacted them by phone, then that's a start, assuming you want to work on their platform.

From a freelance standpoint, there are plenty of other places to find clients. Upwork isn't freelancing. It's just one freelance platform, and there are hundreds of others. Like these:

NOTABLE! - Lex DeVille's BIG List of 100+ Freelance Websites by Skill Area 2019

From a mental stand point, stop beating yourself up. People get banned from Upwork everyday. That's part of the risk when you don't control the platform.

If you haven't read The Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted , be sure to do that as well. It will help you get your mind right.

You only lose if you quit trying.

That's precisely what I was looking for. I get my energy from people telling me what i need to hear.

Currently listening to the unscripted book on audible.

Definitely determined to succeed with this. Ready to break out of living to work mindset.
 

Joe Whittaker

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Thank you so much
 

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srodrigo

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The answer is that clients will pay whatever rates you ask for once you've proven yourself as a freelancer. When you send a YOU Focused proposal...when you ask the right questions...when you show you care so the client knows you are competent as a person, and feels confident in your skills, which makes them feel comfortable going forward with you...then they will hire you at higher rates no matter what your profile shows.

This is valuable not only for freelancing, but for any kind of entrepreneur that has to make sales. :clap::
 

harlansjobs

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How not to get freelance work...

View attachment 23847

So is this guy for real? Even from another country, he should know that you start each new sentence with a cap, even if the sentences or choppy. That is unforgivable!. On the other hand, I have seen people from third world countries on FB, posting online jobs with the most atrocious English grammar and have tons of comments, people falling all over them like Pavlov's dog experiment!
 
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ZF Lee

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@Lex DeVille , so I got this in the mail just now...

upload_2019-4-3_2-59-12.png

I don't think its too bad though.

As long as freelancers get their hourly rate up, the costs should be settled with.
And if I optimize my profile better, I can get more invites.

Hope this will cut down the insane 40-50 bid numbers I see for some jobs.

But for the third-world folks...I might expect an outcry...
 

Lex DeVille

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@Lex DeVille , so I got this in the mail just now...

View attachment 24241

I don't think its too bad though.

As long as freelancers get their hourly rate up, the costs should be settled with.
And if I optimize my profile better, I can get more invites.

Hope this will cut down the insane 40-50 bid numbers I see for some jobs.

But for the third-world folks...I might expect an outcry...

Wow, that's really interesting!

I need to have a think on this and do a YT video about it.

Did they send this to you by email? I haven't seen this message yet.

Can you link to the resource page they linked in that post so I can read more about the change?

Thanks for sharing!
 

ZF Lee

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Wow, that's really interesting!

I need to have a think on this and do a YT video about it.

Did they send this to you by email? I haven't seen this message yet.

Can you link to the resource page they linked in that post so I can read more about the change?

Thanks for sharing!
Yup, email.

Just a few seconds ago.

They may have sent one to you already.

Here's the links:
Terms of Service

resource page
 

Bekit

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I'm curious about this.

  • Is this a greedy move on Upwork's part? They've been pushing their paid options for a while; now everyone has to adhere to them or be left out.
  • Is this a value-add to the freelancers so that it weeds out the bottom-feeders?
  • Is this a win-win?
  • Or where do you see this falling on the continuum?

Personally, I see it as a cash grab by Upwork, as now they'll be getting paid, not only by everyone who lands a job and gets paid, but by everyone who bids.

And only remotely secondarily do I see it as a benefit to the freelancers.

But I'm barely in the upwork world at all (I have a profile but haven't completed any jobs). So I could be seeing this through a different / incomplete lens.

Curious to hear others' thoughts.
 

Lex DeVille

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Hmm... Not sure how I feel about this yet. It's kind of like getting slapped in the face during sex. It hurts but I like it, I think... lol

At first glance it feels like another cash grab to please shareholders. On the other hand, it will 100% cut down on proposals, especially since you have to buy in bundles of $1.50 AND since there are tiers of jobs from small to large with each requiring different numbers of connects.

Probably another play here is they want to cut down people stealing clients from their platform. There are some people who are really good at applying to gigs and moving clients beyond Upwork (not that I know any of those people). But if it costs money to reach those people, then less freelancers will go that route.

I'm really curious to see how this plays out and how the community responds. Upwork has cornered the market and they know it. The question is, how do I want to adapt my freelance processes to account for and capitalize on these changes!
 

Lex DeVille

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I might feel better about this if they had some kind of checks and balances system for the type of jobs clients post. What happens when a client posts a $$$ job but really wants to pay $100 for a whole website? Will we get docked 6 connects for applying to that job because it was marked $$$ which would indicate $600+ tier? Or will they switch how this process works completely?
 

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Oh, fun! Can't wait to catch up on this and see how it's humming along.
 

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What about drive by postings? (People creating projects and never coming back.)

This was my first thought.

So many dreamers, tire-kickers, and even actual clients with an actual history of paying for work that seem to have made a side-hobby out of posting jobs they never actually do anything with.

I could see this new approach working, but if they don't have a plan for limiting trash job postings that don't go anywhere, I take big issue with it - you can't give buyers free reign to spam the platform with non-jobs that suck up freelancer money...

Since it would be really hard to qualify posters before the post (without discouraging their presence), the "fair" thing to do would be only charge you for bidding on jobs that actually ended up closing. I don't see them doing that, though, ,and it probably would reduce the potency of the change.

There has to be a better way to do it in there somewhere.

If they implement this change without addressing this issue, I suspect they'll see some real competition in the market pretty quickly.
 

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But if they ask for some kind of sample, then yeah, I'd do a sample, but only if I really think the gig is worth it. For instance the other day I wrote a 3 paragraph story because I thought a gig might be worth it. I got the interview and even got the offer, but ended up declining because I didn't like what the client was working on.

If they ask for a sample and you're willing to do it, then it's usually pretty easy to get the gig because most freelancers aren't willing to write a sample out of fear they'll waste their time. It's funny because those are some of the easiest gigs to get since there's so few people bidding.
I started out on Upwork, and I've always taken the opposite approach, even before I had an agency. If someone wants a free sample, I won't give it. Ever since I've started my agency I've made it into a rule for everyone NOT to accept any kind of free work under any circumstance, even if Bill Gates were to ask for it.

Think about what that says about you. It shows that your time isn't that valuable, and you actually have time to work for free for them. It also indicates that your work isn't as good in quality since you're willing to do it for free.

When I worked solely as a freelancer, I've often got clients who wanted to do a "free test" and find the right freelancer to actually do a paid test just with me. And most of the time they ended up working with me too. Because think about the dynamic. I tell them I don't do free samples, but they're super eager to work with me. Then they agree to pay me, while hiring 5-6 other freelancers to deliver free samples to them.

The guys doing free samples do poorer quality work compared to me - it's inevitable, since they're doing it free, while I dedicate proper time to it. In addition, since the client is paying for mine, he'll EXPECT to receive quality from me, and expectations build up reality. Combine that with me allocating more time to do it, and I'm actually standing a good chance to beat the competition a priori.

So my advice is learn to sell yourself, and never split the difference. A client should want to work with you more than you want to work with them at the end of the day. Then you have leverage.
 

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Aye! Aye!

I've taken a comparison of my 'free samples' and actual client work...and most often, they never match.

Also, doing too much free samples actually took more time away from delivering actual client work.

The guys doing free samples do poorer quality work compared to me - it's inevitable, since they're doing it free, while I dedicate proper time to it.
To make the free sample, for example some sales copy, one might have to do just a cursory look at websites or present material in the job listing...and that isn't enough info to lead to a great piece of work, since you haven't interviewed or chatted up the client yet.

I like @Sadik's quote for getting them in the door in the first place:
Tell them exactly what you will do, how will you do it and the time it will take IN the freaking cover letter.


When I worked solely as a freelancer, I've often got clients who wanted to do a "free test" and find the right freelancer to actually do a paid test just with me. And most of the time they ended up working with me too.
I find this probably the best filter-system for now myself.
 

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Haha, to resurrect this ol' thread a bit...

I got yet another info of change on Upwork, from the email:
31039

Looks fair to me that they want the score weightages to follow according to the job earnings and market value.

Crocodile in the Yangtze, eh?
 

ZF Lee

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A recent Upwork email update:
33849
Curiously, Upwork has been catering more towards allowing freelancers to take on clients from outside the platform. They have also opened Direct Contracts, which allows you to collect payments from non-Upwork clients, at a flat 3.4% fee (haven't tried it though).

This testimonials update might be helpful, especially if you have done some offline networking and got some decent feedback from pro-bono or paid freelance work. Or if you got some testimonials from LinkedIn, FB etc that could be brought over.

Is Upwork turning over a new leaf???
 

Bekit

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A recent Upwork email update:
View attachment 33849
Curiously, Upwork has been catering more towards allowing freelancers to take on clients from outside the platform. They have also opened Direct Contracts, which allows you to collect payments from non-Upwork clients, at a flat 3.4% fee (haven't tried it though).

This testimonials update might be helpful, especially if you have done some offline networking and got some decent feedback from pro-bono or paid freelance work. Or if you got some testimonials from LinkedIn, FB etc that could be brought over.

Is Upwork turning over a new leaf???
Looks to me like it's less about turning over a new leaf and more about lead gen for Upwork.

Capturing the contact information of 5+ potential businesses who hire freelancers for each Upwork member? Yeah this is way more about what's in it for Upwork and less about what's in it for the freelancer. The business owner doesn't even control the sharing of their information, as it's the freelancer who enters their client's email into Upwork's system. So even if that business owner never responds, Upwork suddenly has a massive new list of emails and company names to retarget and show ads to.

The process of collecting payments from non-upwork clients is sketchy, too. It looks more like a grab by Upwork to say, "Hey, we don't just want a cut of all your payments from the Upwork platform. We want a cut of all your off-platform client payments, too."

If I want to pay a 3.4% fee on each payment, I can use Paypal for that. Why would I ask my clients to go through the friction of setting up an Upwork account, when they already have paypal?
 

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With all this new stuff Upwork is doing, I see it more as a stepping stone rather something to stay on permanently. I think it's good if you have no experience or you want to build a clientele, but ultimately, you should be looking outside of the platform at some point once you feel comfortable doing so.
 

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