Contractors – Upwork Blog https://www.upwork.com/blog Insights, info and updates about Upwork Mon, 02 May 2016 20:06:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Perspectives on the Future of Work: May 2 https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/05/future-work-may-2/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/05/future-work-may-2/#respond Mon, 02 May 2016 13:00:37 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=37243

What’s the latest news about the future of work? This week’s roundup highlights the impact of digital learning opportunities, the influence of entrepreneurial hubs, and the value of building relationships with other freelancers.

The post Perspectives on the Future of Work: May 2 appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

Upwork’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and working with freelancers, freelancing, and the future of work.

Digitalist | How To Create a Culture of Continuous Learning

Beyond the walls of traditional educational institutions, the way we learn continues to be transformed by the digital age. Whether you’re a business leader eager to help your team level-up its skills or a freelance entrepreneur bridging skill gaps to land new clients, specialized post-secondary learning is far easier than it once was thanks to the range of ebooks, apps, online courses, and other digital resources available.

Business writer and tech consultant Polly Traylor reports that this shift is spurring companies and entrepreneurs alike to find new ways to keep skills sharpened through virtual learning opportunities. Speaking with experts on the subject, Traylor uncovers interesting perspective on the growing trend toward creating a culture to spur ongoing learning beyond the physical classroom.

“My daughter wanted to apply to the Centers for Disease Control for an internship, which required statistics knowledge. So she went to Khan Academy, took a few modules, and passed the test,” said author and workplace futurist Karie Willyerd. “It’s the idea that you can instantly get the training you need…companies are getting increasingly virtual. There will be a very limited percentage of training that is done live in the future.”

It’s not just a transition to digital formats, either. The goal of creating continuous learning opportunities is an approach more businesses are adopting these days.

“The general shelf life of knowledge is shortening with the increasing pace of digital transformation, so companies need a strategy to push knowledge and make sure that knowledge is always fresh,” said Bernd Welz, a senior VP at SAP. “That’s where the digital learning platforms come into play.

Tech.Co | Being an Entrepreneur Might Be Contagious

Have you caught the entrepreneurial bug yet? Hanging around creative folks who are constantly coming up with inventive ideas to pursue? It might be just a matter of time before you get bitten, too, says Tech.Co writer Conor Cawley.

A recent study from the World Economic Forum suggests individuals who are surrounded by entrepreneurs are significantly more likely to become one themselves: The historical data taken from a study of a dozen of Italy’s entrepreneurial centers shows marked upward trends in these hotspots.

“The study dictates that the learning environment created by startup hubs is invaluable to people looking to start a business,” writes Cawley in his analysis. “While researchers originally thought that the draw of low startup prices was bringing entrepreneurs to certain areas, the data showed that impressionable minds are highly influenced by an entrepreneurial setting.”

Freelancers Union | Why Other Freelancers are Not the Enemy

Camaraderie, not competition, is the lifeblood of the freelance economy, says business blogger Sagan Morrow. She makes a strong case for encouraging freelancers to make nice with their self-employed brethren. Given the challenges that freelancers can face, Morrow says it’s important to band together and forge a strong sense of community to support and help one another.

“When you have other freelancers with whom you can connect, share ideas, and simply commiserate on the challenges that are unique to freelancing, you’ll be able to do an even better job freelancing,” she said. “You need to be able to have others to whom you can go who understand your line of work so that you can help each other out, brainstorm, and constantly improve at the world of freelancing.”

The fact that many freelancers offer very different services, and not everyone has the bandwidth to tackle every gig opportunity that arises, also adds to her argument that it’s more valuable to make friends with other freelancers—especially when people are in the position to help one another out.

What business trends have caught your attention recently? Tell us about them in the comments below!

The post Perspectives on the Future of Work: May 2 appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/05/future-work-may-2/feed/ 0
Growing your Freelance Business: Hiring Help https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/freelance-business-hiring-help/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/freelance-business-hiring-help/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=37177

There comes a time in every freelance professional’s life when a potential client approaches you with an amazing project but there is no way you can pull it off with your current workload—unless you have help. Melanie Feltham highlights some of the ways freelancers can benefit by hiring their own freelance help.

The post Growing your Freelance Business: Hiring Help appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

There comes a time in every freelance professional’s life when a potential client approaches you with an amazing project but there is no way you can pull it off with your current workload. So you have to turn it down.

The first time this happened to me, I was over the moon. It meant I’d made it, I was in demand. Clients were coming to me without me seeking them out, and I didn’t have a minute to spare. But I really didn’t like saying no to awesome projects.

So I started thinking. What if I said yes? Well, I’d need some help. Not with the project itself—the clients were specifically looking for my expertise and hiring out their work would be dishonest. However, I could get assistance with other things that were less dependent on my skill set. Like all of the necessary things I had to do regularly that were not billable to any particular client but nevertheless took up time I could otherwise spend on project work.

After an analysis of my time, I identified several areas in which another professional could be responsible for non-billable hours more efficiently–and more cost effectively–than I could myself. Here is a sample of the types of freelancers that are great resources for busy freelance professionals.

A calculator and pen sitting on top of financial information

1.Taxes and Accounting

The first time I did my self-employment taxes, it took me more than 10 hours. And it wasn’t at all enjoyable. A freelance tax pro likely could have completed the same work in half the amount of time. If I had used those 10 hours for billable work, and hired someone to do the taxes for me, I would have been ahead financially!

Scheduling new appointments in a calendar application

2. Administrative Support

A lot of time is wasted sorting through emails, booking appointments, keeping track of deadlines, planning tasks, and answering calls. And as your business grows, so does the number of administrational tasks that you need to take care of. An admin support specialist can take these non-billable tasks off your plate and allow you to focus on the meat of your projects.

A man and a woman discuss business over a computer

3. Business Development

As entrepreneurs we can’t help but want to continually improve our businesses and set bigger goals year after year. Maybe that means developing a strong brand identity including a logo, a website, or a strong social web presence. These goals, and the work needed to bring them to life, all fall under non-billable hours, but they can be key in expressing to potential clients the legitimacy of your work and positioning you as an expert in their minds.

Although a DIY approach to design, branding, and marketing is tempting, if you don’t have the necessary skills to complete this type of work—and do it well—you may end up doing more harm than good.

The key is to remember that a professional in that particular area has the knowledge to do things efficiently. It could take you twice the time—time you could be billing. See the trend here?

A freelancer taps their pen on their open notepad

4. Writing and Editorial

How much time do you spend drafting emails and reports? How many times have you submitted a report to find out—too late—that you included a number of grammatical and spelling errors? If writing isn’t your specialty—and even if it is—these things can happen frequently. Having a go-to editor can save you countless hours and will go a long way to improve the professional appearance of your work.

A woman does research on her computer

5. Research

I don’t know how many times a day I make a note that starts with “find out how/if…” I work in an industry that is ever changing. So it takes a lot of time to gather and stay on top of the information I need to ensure my processes stay relevant. Collecting those notes in one place for an Internet researcher to find the answers for me saves countless hours and improves the quality of my work.

Does this sounds familiar to you? If you feel like it is time to expand your business even more by building a team of individuals who have skills that are similar or complementary to your own, maybe it is time to start an agency.

What types of freelancers have you hired? Are there any other categories you think that would be useful for freelancers to hire from? Tell us in the comments.

The post Growing your Freelance Business: Hiring Help appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/freelance-business-hiring-help/feed/ 0
How to Grow Your Freelance Business From Small Jobs to Bigger, Repeat Projects https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/freelance-business-bigger-repeat-projects/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/freelance-business-bigger-repeat-projects/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:39:15 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=37173

Many freelancer-client relationships start with small projects—a chance for both parties to see how they work together. Growing those initial projects into bigger and more valuable relationships is how you can create a more sustainable business. One freelancer shares his top tips to help move toward larger, repeat projects.

The post How to Grow Your Freelance Business From Small Jobs to Bigger, Repeat Projects appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

Businesses of all sizes share a fundamental principle: It costs more to acquire new customers than to build on relationships with existing ones. It’s an important concept to hold onto if you want to grow your freelance business with a more stable pipeline of work and reduce the amount of time you spend going after new projects.

Many freelancer-client relationships start with small projects—a chance for both parties to see how they work together. Growing those initial projects into bigger and more valuable relationships is how you can create a more sustainable business.

Freelance mobile developer Richard A., a Top Rated professional on Upwork, says there are strategies to use when reviewing projects or staying in touch with past clients that can help you expand your business and serve your clients better.

Richard started his freelance business with two goals in mind: It was important for him to create a stable freelance business so he could focus his efforts on challenging projects and create the work-life balance he wanted. When he started, Richard knew he needed to focus on gaining positive reviews and expanding his portfolio, two important factors clients use to evaluate freelancers.

“When it comes to moving from small jobs to longer-term projects, it comes down to drive and discipline—you need to have both every day for every client because each one is trusting you. The success of your work together will help you get the best reviews and expand your portfolio with quality projects, paving the way for you to build the business you want,” said Richard.

Read Between The Lines

When reviewing job details, everything a client shares—from the description to the deadlines and budget—can help you identify whether they might be a good client to work with and whether they may be looking for more support in the future.

“I keep my process very simple for reviewing and evaluating new clients and work,” said Richard. “I go after jobs that have clear and detailed job descriptions with realistic deadlines and budgets. The more research the client has done and the better he or she understands what they need, the more likely they are to understand the true value a freelancer can bring to the job.”

Research Clients’ History

Just as clients will look at a freelancer’s portfolio and past client feedback, on Upwork you can review a client’s previous projects and feedback. You can also get a sense of whether they’ve had other repeat relationships, as well as their typical budget.

“When I initially considered submitting a bid for a job with one of my [now] long-term clients, I saw from my research that they had long-term relationships with other freelancers,” said Richard. “This was a main reason I went after their project over similar projects.”

Trust Your Instincts

Every project you win and work on helps build your business, regardless of size or budget. Each has potential for continued work with that particular client, referrals to new clients, or positive feedback that can help you win future projects.

That said, the same is true if a project does not go well: It may hinder your chances of winning your next project. Richard feels if you aren’t excited about a project, or are hesitant for some reason, you should trust your gut.

“It may be hard to decide not to go after a job, especially in the beginning, but consider that you are working on more than each individual job—you are building your business for the long-term,” he said. “Focusing on projects that excite you will help you earn positive reviews and expand your portfolio, and that will show your value best to the market.”

Deliver, Deliver, Deliver

Consistently delivering on your work is crucial to keeping any job or client. Never underestimate how valuable it is to give every client you agree to work with your best.

When Richard landed his first project with a now long-term client, he gave it all his energy every minute with the hope that it could lead to something more. His hard work, skills, and service paid off—he has been working with this client on different projects for nearly a year.

Offer Your Expertise

Once you have established a positive relationship with a client, look for ways to help them even after your project is completed.

Since Richard is an app developer, iOS updates are an ongoing consideration for his clients. “I make sure to follow up with past clients to make sure they are aware of upcoming changes, offer my insight on what they may need to do, and suggest how I may help,” shared Richard. “This shows that I care about their business and am an expert they can rely on into the future.”

Within six months of joining Upwork, Richard had established himself with positive reviews, a strong portfolio, and a stable set of clients—including long-term and repeat clients. Now with over more than years of success, Richard consistently follows these strategies to find the right clients and jobs that match his values and he is committed to delivering his best every day.

Get more ideas about how to raise your rates or build a successful freelance business through the Upwork blog or in the Hiring Headquarters, including insights from other members of the Upwork community.

The post How to Grow Your Freelance Business From Small Jobs to Bigger, Repeat Projects appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/freelance-business-bigger-repeat-projects/feed/ 0
The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Business Communication https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/online-business-communication-tips/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/online-business-communication-tips/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=37159

Working with people online can be very different from working with people in person. Being a successful remote worker is tied to the ability to communicate clearly, and professionally, across a variety of communication platforms.

The post The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Business Communication appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

Working with people online can be very different from working with people in person. Being a global marketplace, clients and freelancers on Upwork connect with each other from thousands of miles away—as well as across borders and cultures—making the nuances of interpersonal communication difficult to pick up.

For this reason, being a successful remote worker is tied to the ability to communicate clearly, and professionally, across a variety of communication platforms.

How can you ensure your message is received the way it was intended? We asked our Facebook community to describe the do’s and don’ts of online communication. This is what they had to say.


“We should be clear and honest with our clients. Always share views and suggestions regarding the project and how to make it run successfully.”
Sandeep Raina

“I believe that it starts with good writing. Never use social media style writing to communicate with a client. Maintain professionalism, and keep it brief—‘less is more.’ End all communication with clearly defined next steps. I always begin a project with a phone or Skype conversation. So much can be conveyed in a personal conversation. Not everyone is savvy or skilled at expressing themselves through the written word.”
Belinda Johnson Bernhard

“Empathise…put yourself in the client’s position….what is most important to him/her? Then tailor your communication with that in mind.”
— Tony Haynes

“Do’s: Follow instructions. Be upfront and raise any questions you have with the project. Always be polite and open to criticism (constructive). Meet their expectations, be professional, be there. Put yourself in their shoes, but make them see your stand on an issue. Reply immediately. Don’ts: Impolite, rude, or aggressive behavior. Don’t talk too much—learn to listen. Avoid being late for a scheduled meeting. Do not ignore their feedback, it is very important.”
Hazel Ramos

For more great tips on how to communicate effectively with clients, see Communication Is Key for Online Work. For more info on working with freelancers, check out How to Become a Freelancer’s Favorite Client.


Editor’s note: Responses edited for grammar, spelling, and clarity. The statements above are those of their authors and do not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork.

The post The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Business Communication appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/online-business-communication-tips/feed/ 0
Four Ways to Get the Rate You Want: Tips From a Six-Figure Freelancer https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/get-freelance-rate-you-want/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/get-freelance-rate-you-want/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:00:14 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=37109

One freelancer shares his easy-to-follow best practices to help you increase your value to your clients and serve them better—the first essential step that can help enable you to successfully raise your rates.

The post Four Ways to Get the Rate You Want:
Tips From a Six-Figure Freelancer
appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

Few freelancers start out making a six-figure income and Tim H. is no exception. A marketing strategist and writer who joined Upwork in 2009, he doubled income every year and within three years Tim went from an income of $0 to nearly $100,000 every year—with a gradual increase that ultimately raised his rate more than 1,500 percent from where he started.

Freelancers can make mistakes when deciding what to charge, but there are ways to raise your rates to reflect your value in the marketplace. Start by doing your market research, considering how other successful freelancers position themselves or how similar projects compare budget-wise. Then make a gameplan that will help you reach your target. Then, put it into action as you wow your clients and pave the way to your goals.

Tim’s strategy is to deliver value to his clients every day and his strategy is paying off.

But he’s found that getting the rate you want takes more than doing good work. He’s refined the process he uses to identify the work and clients that are the best match for him: Work that “enables me to make a difference and add value to their mission, is interesting and challenging enough to make me better at what I do, pays well, and leads to great feedback,” he said.

Here are Tim’s easy-to-follow best practices to help you increase your value to your clients and serve them better—the first essential step to help enable you to successfully raise your rates.

1. Understand What Your Clients Want—and Prove It

“Clients care about streamlined processes, less stress, and more bang for their buck,” said Tim. By understanding and delivering on these components autonomously, you can make your clients’ jobs easier and make them look better to their higher-ups, shareholders, and customers.

Think through what the client is asking for and how you will deliver, then document it. For example, if you’re providing copy for an email campaign, consider creating a master document that details key dates and milestones with room to add links to deliverables as they’re created. This can help keep everyone up to date while making important files easier to find and manage.

“Once you understand what your client wants, you prove it to them by executing proactively and independently on the projects so your client sees that you know what you are doing.”

2. Communicate Well and Set Expectations

As the captain of your business success, you’re responsible for ensuring great communication and aligning expectations—two metrics that can determine the success of a client-freelancer relationship.

Tim does both simply and effectively with an infographic he created for his clients that clearly illustrates his process—and even the hours he works.

A diagram of the process freelancer Tim H uses for copywriting projects

“I think a lot of people—clients and freelancers—take good communication as a given, but that’s a dangerous assumption to make because different people have different expectations,” Tim said.

“I created the Process infographic because it’s a very clear way to start a new relationship. Clients know exactly what to expect from me and the quality of my work—and then I deliver again and again autonomously, and my clients keep coming back.”

3. Exceed Expectations

Once you’ve set clear expectations, Tim says you should do what you can to exceed them:

  • Deliver faster than they anticipate,
  • Be a brand ambassador by supporting them on social media and in your networks, and
  • Send them business or free opportunities that could be valuable to them.

When clients find rockstar freelancers, they often want to keep working with them on future projects. They also tend to refer top talent to their own contacts, and may leave a positive review to help you land your next client—further helping you showcase your value in a way that supports a higher rate.

4. Show Your Appreciation

“Saying thank you is a small way to show clients you appreciate their business but—like good communication—it’s a simple act that’s often overlooked,” said Tim. At a minimum, leave a thoughtful review after each job is completed. Consider going a bit further and send a more traditional snail mail thank you; it’s a thoughtful gesture and another way to show your attention to detail.

Tim regularly sends care packages as part of his plan to build long-term client relationships. He personalizes each box with inspirational items including books his clients may find interesting, products from other clients he represents, and even small items that relate to clients’ hobbies or their children.

Tim feels his thank you packages “spur clients in their awesome missions, show my appreciation for their loyalty, and say thank you for investing their lives, talents, and resources in doing work that matters.”

Tim’s extra efforts are part of why clients keep coming back to him and refer him to others. “It’s one thing to do great work, it’s another to build a lasting mutually beneficial relationship. Clients want to feel that you care about their business, and this is one way I have found to show that I not only care about my clients but also want to help inspire and support them and their business.”

Getting the Rate You Want Starts with the Basics

It took three years for Tim to reach the level of income he aspired to. The game changer for your business isn’t just following these tips, it’s doing them consistently and on an ongoing basis.
With nearly half of his business made up of long-term clients, breaking it down to the simplest factors Tim considers “adding value autonomously and consistently showing up as the two main keys to building long-term relationships. If clients can depend you, that adds significant value to your role.”

When and How to Tactfully Increase Your Rates

People find different ways to raise their rates with new and existing clients. Tim generally doesn’t raise his rates unless he has been working with a client for a couple of years.

When he does think it’s time for a rate change, his first step is to communicate with the client. To ease the transition, he typically offers two options: To increase his rate in small increments, or to switch to a fixed-rate price for a period of time.

One thing he suggests is to track the impact your work has (i.e. web traffic, sales, downloads). Then when you speak to them about your rate, you can provide concrete data that shows how you’re helping their business.

Tim’s parting advice: Always be committed to delivering your best work and higher rates will follow. Getting projects from repeat clients is a sign they’re confident about you and your experience. If you consistently deliver value, your clients will grow with you.

“Each freelancer has their own criteria when getting gigs—individual strengths and talents—and their own standard ways to wow their clients,” he said. “Embrace your uniqueness, get the gigs that will maximize your potential, and make the most of them. All the money you need will follow if you focus on adding your value.”

The post Four Ways to Get the Rate You Want:
Tips From a Six-Figure Freelancer
appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/get-freelance-rate-you-want/feed/ 0
Tips for Successful Web Design in 2016 https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/tips-successful-web-design-2016/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/tips-successful-web-design-2016/#respond Thu, 07 Apr 2016 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=37064

When it comes to specialized web design projects, like building a web presence or integrating ecommerce functionality into existing sites, companies look to the experts. Demonstrating current web design skills and a knowledge of what's fresh in the field are great ways to increase your chances of landing new clients.

The post Tips for Successful Web Design in 2016 appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

In the ever-evolving world of web design, keeping up with the latest trends and tech tips is helpful for any freelancer who wants to stay at the top of their niche. When it comes to specialized projects like building a web presence or integrating ecommerce functionality into existing sites, companies look to the experts.

Demonstrating current web design skills and a knowledge of what’s fresh in the field are great ways to increase your chances of landing new clients.

To catch up on best practices for online content and web design, check out these recent articles from The Hiring Headquarters—Upwork’s resource for entrepreneurs, executives, and freelancers.

Staying in the Loop with Responsive Web Design

The explosion of mobile devices has made responsive design—an approach that lets websites automatically adapt to fit the size of different devices—all but essential for businesses that want to stay competitive. Users expect a smooth browsing experience whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Even this relatively new realm is changing, too, which is why it’s worth brushing up on the latest tips for creating an optimized browsing experience.

5 Responsive Design Mistakes to Avoid” takes a fresh look at the state of responsive design, offering tips to help overcome challenges that can pop up when working on adaptive web page layouts. Learn about mistakes to avoid and suggestions to help you create responsive website designs in 2016. Here are three ideas to consider.

1) Test the code early and often. Rather than waiting until the late stages of web development, it’s useful to thoroughly test the code and adjust as you go, especially if you’re working with third-party APIs.

2) Find the sweet spot for negative space. It’s tricky to design perfect layouts for all devices, but finding a balance between design elements and negative space can make for a much more engaging user experience.

3) Balance size and space with images. High-resolution images can take a lot of time to load on mobile, so it’s helpful to put a little extra thought into the file sizes and dimensions of any images to account for the capabilities of different viewing devices and screens.

Maximizing the Traffic Impact of Word Choice

Visual layouts and image selection may be top of mind when designing a website for a client, but the text on the page and choice of headings is equally important. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool to attract visitors to a website, and the right word selection can make or break a client’s site traffic. If you’re in a position to create any written content for clients as part of the design process, it makes a lot of sense to know what’s working in the current landscape of SEO.

Your Guide to SEO Best Practices in 2016” covers some of the latest industry-wide trends to factor in if you want to get the most from your SEO efforts. From writing search terms in a more conversational tone to accommodate the rise of voice search to the value of optimizing your business for geotargeted searches, there are a lot of updates in this piece to consider applying to your to own SEO best practices.

You can find even more tips to help boost your SEO and web design chops in the Hiring Headquarters.

The post Tips for Successful Web Design in 2016 appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/04/tips-successful-web-design-2016/feed/ 0
Upwork Enterprise Gives Freelancers Access to Top Clients https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/upwork-enterprise-access-to-top-clients/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/upwork-enterprise-access-to-top-clients/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2016 15:30:44 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=37000

From fast-growing startups to Fortune Global 500 companies, Upwork Enterprise streamlines sourcing, engaging, and paying contractors so clients can hire quickly and easily at scale. What does this mean for freelancers? Here's an overview.

The post Upwork Enterprise Gives Freelancers Access to Top Clients appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

We recently announced the launch of Upwork Enterprise™, an end-to-end freelancer sourcing and engagement system (also referred to as a Freelancer Management System). From fast-growing startups to Fortune Global 500 companies, Upwork Enterprise streamlines sourcing, engaging, and paying contractors so clients can hire quickly and easily at scale.

For freelancers, this means access to top clients and the potential for repeat projects:

  • Once you’ve worked with an Upwork Enterprise client, you’re added to their Talent Cloud® pool, which makes it easier for others in the company to find you. With their large size and teams of hiring managers, this could lead to more high quality opportunities, repeat projects, and a steadier stream of work for your business.
  • Enterprise-level projects are often complex and challenging, which can help you grow both your skills and your portfolio.
  • Upwork Enterprise offers a chance to extend your professional network with top clients and colleagues around the world.

The Inside Track to Upwork Enterprise Talent Cloud Networks

A Talent Cloud network is a private group of freelancers; you cannot apply to join one, you need to be invited by a client hiring manager or a member of the Upwork team who’s helping that client. How can you make the short list? Below are some tips.

Watch for opportunities

Upwork EnterprisePublicly posted projects can be identified by an Enterprise badge. Interview invites and offer emails are also clearly marked as being from Upwork Enterprise clients.

Be recognized as top talent

The most effective approach is to bring the search to you. Top Rated and Rising Talent freelancers are often the first to be invited to Enterprise projects.

  • Top Rated highlights freelancers with outstanding reputations in the Upwork community; when it launched last year, less than 10 percent of freelancers on Upwork met the requirements.
  • Rising Talent is a program for experienced professionals with a strong external work history who are new to Upwork.

Polish your personal brand

A profile that makes a great impression is important for any independent professional or other business.

  • Consider the impression you want to make on your potential clients. In an article about personal branding, University of Virginia’s Kimberley R. Barker, MLIS, wrote: “By clearly and consistently communicating what you have to offer, it makes it easier for those who need you to find you.”
  • Then revamp your Upwork profile to match. “Make a Great Impression Every Time with Your Freelancer Profile” links you to best practices from other successful freelancers. Also, check out these top tips about nurturing a professional reputation.

To learn more about Upwork Enterprise, check out this help article. For more help creating a knock-out profile and building your business, check out the information for freelancers in the Hiring Headquarters.

The post Upwork Enterprise Gives Freelancers Access to Top Clients appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/upwork-enterprise-access-to-top-clients/feed/ 1
Balancing Act: How to Manage Time When You Have Multiple Clients https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/balancing-act-manage-time-multiple-clients/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/balancing-act-manage-time-multiple-clients/#respond Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=36992

How do you manage your time when working with multiple clients? We asked the Upwork Facebook Community for their tips—here's what they had to say.

The post Balancing Act: How to Manage Time When You Have Multiple Clients appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

One of the most important aspects of being a successful freelancer is developing your time management skills. These allow you to schedule, work on, and complete numerous projects, with different clients, in different stages of completion, all at the same time—an absolute must if you want to grow your freelance business.

How can you manage your time and stay on track? We asked our Facebook Community for their tips. Here is what they had to say.


“I make use of the Pomodoro method. It helps a lot. Each Pomodoro is a 25-minute cycle followed by a 5-minute break. After the fourth Pomodoro, you take a 15-minute break.”
– Christina Ramas

“I use a task manager, where I have every day’s to-do list separated by project and priority. I recommend Todoist.”
Adriana Chionetti

“I have been struggling with this ever since I tried going to an electronic calendar. This year, I went back to a paper planner with time blocked out for each client, priority to-do lists, and recognition that sometimes I may need to erase or rearrange. I also use a big whiteboard to list my clients at a glance, crossing off jobs as I finish them. These two methods together are working.”
Bonniejean Alford Hinde

“I am a pen and paper person. I like to write things down. So I use a spiral notebook to track all of my to-do’s for the day. I put the client’s name with their own task list and then deadlines. So I record every detail. Same routine for small and big projects, with or without deadlines. Also just be honest, set boundaries with each client, and don’t promise things you can’t deliver.”
Fernmaiden Fuentes

“Start with a table in Word/Doc/Notepad: 1. List all your clients. 2. List the number of articles or words (for me) to be submitted that day PER Client. 3. List the time you hope to spend on it. 4. Strike off each one when complete and add your time.”
Geo Maria George


With a little practice, scheduling to-do’s for multiple projects will become a natural and automatic part of your workday. For more on how to optimize your day, be sure to check out Time Saving Tips for Remote Workers and 5 Ways to Keep Your Day Running Smoothly.

Editor’s note: Responses edited for grammar and spelling. The statements above are those of their authors and do not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork.

How do you manage your time when working with multiple clients? Tell us in the comments!

The post Balancing Act: How to Manage Time When You Have Multiple Clients appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/balancing-act-manage-time-multiple-clients/feed/ 0
Perspectives on the Future of Work: March 28 https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/future-of-work-march-28/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/future-of-work-march-28/#respond Mon, 28 Mar 2016 12:30:02 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=36984

What's the latest news about the future of work? This week’s roundup highlights lessons learned by a digital nomad, and the question freelancers face of whether to diversify their skills or not.

The post Perspectives on the Future of Work: March 28 appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

Upwork’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and working with freelancers, freelancing, and the future of work.

Forbes | What Digital Nomads Know That You Don’t (Yet)

Taking the concept of remote work to the next level, a growing number of adventure-seeking freelancers are eschewing permanent residence for a life of constant travel, reports Forbes contributor and podcast Jules Schroeder.

These digital nomads are finding financial success alongside the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. As more self-employed creatives take their business on the road, they’re also changing what the future of work can look like for freelancers who love to explore.

“What differentiates me from many round the world and gap-year travelers is that I worked the entire time,” said digital nomad and freelance entrepreneur Shannon O’Donnell. “In the past seven years, I have only truly taken two long breaks from my SEO consulting work, my freelance online work, and the weekly upkeep on my blog.”

O’Donnell has traveled across 55 countries while living and working remotely with clients over the past seven years. She shares a few important takeaways for anyone who plans to embark on a similar nomadic journey.

1) There’s never a “right” time, so just go for it. If you’ve put off doing something exciting with your life, traveling the world and working remotely can be a rewarding way to earn back the money you spend while you enjoy a memorable new adventure, she says.

2) You have the power to shape your own path. O’Donnell suggests focusing on your own goals and following the path that makes sense to you. There’s no single approach to take when considering the life of a digital nomad.

3) Experiences can be just as valuable as “things.” Traveling and living on-the-go naturally means keeping worldly possessions to a minimum. She recommends investing in your happiness through other enriching ways beyond fancy material things.

Freelancers Union | Diversify Your Skill Set or Focus on Your Niche? How to Find a Balance that Suits You

Should you diversify and expand the scope of your work or niche down and specialize in a specific area of expertise? It’s a big question that many freelancers face at different points as they grow their freelance businesses.

The answer isn’t always a straightforward one, says long-time freelancer Michelle Nickolaisen, who believes it’s important to weigh your options and determine which approach will deliver the most value to your business.

On one hand, it’s important to be able to easily describe your services in a way that your ideal clients will understand and find appealing. “You need to have something very concrete and pitchable,” she said. “You need to be able to explain it to a prospective client in one (ideally, short) sentence.”

This is where specialization and narrower fields of skill focus can be put to good use for freelancers. Being direct and streamlined in your approach, however, doesn’t have to limit you if you have complementary skills that overlap.

“When I first started pitching myself as a freelancer while at my agency job, my portfolio site was geared for not just freelance writing, but social media marketing and content marketing strategy as well,” said Nickolaisen. “These are all complementary services, and potential clients weren’t confused by the combination of them.”

What changes in the workplace have caught your attention recently? Tell us about them in the comments below!

The post Perspectives on the Future of Work: March 28 appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/future-of-work-march-28/feed/ 0
How To Work With A Hybrid Development Team https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/how-to-hybrid-development-team/ https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/how-to-hybrid-development-team/#respond Fri, 25 Mar 2016 16:00:51 +0000 http://www.upwork.com/blog/?p=36978

What's the best way to work with a distributed team of engineers, and which tools will help them excel? These tips from Upwork's Hiring Headquarters will give you a springboard to get started.

The post How To Work With A Hybrid Development Team appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>

Tech companies are increasingly turning to a distributed model of operation that weaves in remote developers to work virtually alongside on-site team members. Not only is this approach cost effective from a time and money standpoint, it’s also a scalable way to engage talent that can tackle a project of any size.

What’s the best way to work with a distributed team of engineers, and which tools will help them excel? These tips from the Hiring Headquarters—Upwork’s resource center for entrepreneurs, executives and freelancers—will give you a springboard to get started.

Stay Agile With Efficient Practices

Efficiency, speed, and iteration are all necessary ingredients for success in the development world. How companies structure their distributed teams can have a tremendous impact on productivity. As such, sprint-focused Agile development practices are especially popular among companies with distributed teams, since they incorporate both the speed and flexibility needed to deliver in today’s fast-pace industry.

How to Create a Thriving Agile Culture in a Remote Distributed Team” explores the benefits of adopting the Agile development method and using a selection of best practices to apply it to a distributed team model.

Here are some of the possible strategies:

Sync at regular intervals throughout a sprint with short, high-productivity meetings. A mix of daily 15-minute catch-ups can keep the distributed team informed, while group demos at the end of a sprint are a great way to show off completed projects.

Automate testing with embedded QA members to allow for quick build testing while developers have their “hands in the code.”

Deploy updates weekly back to the main code branch to avoid any bottlenecks or related issues. This also helps your distributed team stay on the same page.

Tools that can Enable Your Distributed Team to Thrive

In any tech-driven business, your choice of tools can help or hamper your team’s ability to work effectively. Given the remote nature of distributed teams, having the right tools can help bridge the gap between on-site and off-site developers, empowering them to do their best work. This can also facilitate frequent collaboration to maintain a cohesive remote work environment while still letting coders and designers feel connect.

“Finding the Right Mix of Tools and Technology to Support Your Remote Engineers” includes a detailed rundown of tools for tech teams, especially those that make life easier for remote developers. In addition to emphasizes the value of using solid software solutions to enhance your team dynamic, it suggests a wide range of resources that can benefit your workflow.

When you’re working with a distributed development model, clear communication and task delegation are a must. This means the top three bare necessities for remote team members are quality high-speed Internet, a decent webcam, and a headset. They’re invaluable for team syncs and conference meetings.

A distributed development team also needs a selection of trustworthy tools to handle its communication and collaboration needs. Here are some of the tools available:

  • Bitbucket: Useful for version control and online code-base repository.
  • Jing and SnagIt: When you need to share images and screen caps with team members.
  • Google Docs: Lets you share files easily and allows numerous people to work on the same doc simultaneously.
  • Upwork Messages: Upwork’s custom tool for real-time team messaging.
  • Chromebox: Enables Google Hangouts and video conferencing sessions on a TV.
  • JIRA, Confluence, and GreenHopper: For assignment scheduling and task coordination.

If you’re looking for more tips and resources to level-up your development team, head on over to the Hiring Headquarters to find the latest info on working with top tech talent.

The post How To Work With A Hybrid Development Team appeared first on Upwork Blog.

]]>
https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/03/how-to-hybrid-development-team/feed/ 0