The fact is it doesn't matter what type of freelancer you are - you could be a freelance writer, a virtual assistant, a web designer - you need to consistently put yourself out there to be able to rise above the irregularity of the freelance income cycle and to do well. This video specifically goes into the most effective ways of using Upwork as a means of finding and securing new clients.
Let's talk about how to use Upwork effectively.
Every so often I hear from people who jump on Upwork, bid on 15 or 20 jobs, then get frustrated when they get no response, and ultimately quit and jump off the site. While this can be extremely frustrating for them, it's equally frustrating for me when I hear it from freelancers – they are not giving Upwork a chance.
Marketing yourself is key
You need to be able to have a consistent marketing plan on Upwork if you want to succeed. Back when Upwork was Elance, I had to bid on dozens of jobs before I landed my first one. This means that it's not always going to be super easy for you to land a project on Upwork until you put a consistent marketing plan in place. For this reason, I recommend that new freelancers don't jump on the site once and hope that it's going to work for them until they have an established profile and lots of feedback.
It’s easier for me or another established freelancer to get on Upwork, bid on a few jobs, and land them – we have that feedback built up already, we have a reputation on Upwork. But if you're new, you need to spend that time on marketing every single day, or at least every single week. Set aside a goal of submitting 20 bids per week or spending three hours per day on the site – whatever you can afford to do in your current situation – and then you will begin to see results.
If you've ever read the book, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, it's a great example of why marketing needs to be consistent. Small incremental things done over and over again are going to have better results for you than jumping on Upwork, bidding on a hundred jobs, and getting no response. That first job on Upwork is the hardest one to get, so you might have to put in the most effort to get it, compared to your future projects.
Don't bid on Upwork for a couple of hours and then come back six weeks later and feel frustrated that you didn't get the results you wanted. It's much better to develop amazing work samples, a really clear pitch that can be tweaked a little bit for each individual client, and then be consistent with it. Apply to jobs every single day or set aside several hours a week for this purpose. It will take time to get traction – you've got to stand out from the crowd.