As a freelancer on Upwork, whether you're brand new or established, how you identify clients and pitch to the right people can make your life extremely enjoyable and lead to lucrative and fun contracts.
Who Are the Right Upwork Clients?
When you're not sure about how to find the right clients, however, you're throwing spaghetti against the wall and getting frustrated by bidding on job after job with no success. Finding the right clients begins with an understanding of what you want to offer.
If your own unique value proposition is unclear and clients cannot see the individual characteristics that you bring to the table, they will struggle to see how you can contribute directly to their organization.
For that reason, your own marketing materials on Upwork, such as your profile and your pitch, should be uniquely tailored to your area of expertise. People who specialize in particular types of projects or software need to ensure that this is reflected throughout their profile and their proposal.
When an ideal client is reviewing your materials, you want it to be immediately clear what you offer and why they should consider hiring you. A Facebook ads expert for example, would want to focus on their knowledge and success in the arena of Facebook ads. If you pitch yourself as a social media strategist however, someone who is looking for help specifically with Facebook ads may never find it.
Looking at Feedback to Find the Right Upwork Clients
When identifying whether or not a potential client who has posted a job on Upwork is someone you want to work with, you can look directly at feedback that's already been provided by other freelancers. The double-blind feedback system on Upwork works such that freelancers, as well as the clients, give feedback to one another after working together. This means that clients who are especially problematic may be easily flagged by what past freelancers have had to say.
If you look at a client's profile, which you can click on and see their reviews when looking at the job itself, you'll able to tell their overall rating out of 5. The lower the rating, the more likely it is that numerous people have left them bad feedback or the higher the chance that someone has left them the worst feedback of all; 1 out of 5 stars. Go in and look at what past freelancers have had to say. If you notice that there are 20 different jobs they have had on Upwork and only one person had a negative experience, you still might want to give the client a chance. However, if you see multiple people complaining that they weren't paid on time, had a difficult situation with the client or otherwise found it problematic to work with the person, avoid interacting with them at all.
Refer to an Upwork Client’s Job Post Carefully
A job posting on Upwork can tell you a lot about a client. It can tell you the emotional state they were in when they initially posted their request for a proposal. You can learn a lot about the client and their overall mentality by reviewing the proposal.
For example, when I look at proposals that say things like, "The freelancer should be available on Skype all day long" or "The person hired must pay attention to every single detail and write absolutely perfectly".
While the person posting the proposal might think they're just doing their due diligence to find a high-quality freelancer, those can be signs that someone is actually way too difficult to work with. A perfectionist can be a major problem as a client. Look for clues in the job proposal to figure out whether this is the right client for you.
Offer to Get Them on the Phone
Communication online can only go so far and tones can be misunderstood and misread on Upwork, messaging tools or similar features. If you can, get the client on the phone. This forms a better relationship to begin with and shows that you are serious about getting hired. Suggest that you could schedule a quick 15-minute phone call to get a better understanding of their needs.
You'll know instantly whether or not this individual's personality is right for you, and this can help you avoid relationships that leave you frustrated or thinking about cancelling the job overall. Choosing the right clients is about finding someone who offers ideal opportunities for you with a personality you can work with. Your research in advance and your willingness to look at what past people have had to say, if available, is an extremely valuable tool when being hired as a freelancer.