17 Tips for Boosting Your Success on Upwork

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Ready to take your business to the next level? In this article, you’ll find ideas to help you achieve greater success on Upwork. When clients have a great experience working with you, they’ll want to work with you again. They’ll also be more likely to recommend you to others. Read on for tips to help you enhance your professionalism—and your success.

Reputation is everything

In the business world, and on Upwork, your past work experience speaks volumes to future clients. The Job Success score is a measure of your reputation on Upwork. A freelancer’s history of success impacts their ranking in search in the marketplace and may be considered by clients who are deciding whether to engage them.

Learn more about how your score is calculated here.

Before taking on a new project

It’s great to be enthusiastic and passionate about your work. However, that doesn’t mean you should agree to (or submit proposals for) every project that comes your way. Be selective and focus on the projects you can perform well—and get done on time. Here are five more tips to help you land new projects.

1. Understand the job

Make sure you know the scope of the project and skills that are required to accomplish it. Do they match up with your expertise? Make sure.

2. Check your availability

Understand the deadlines and ensure you have the time to complete the project successfully. Consider your other commitments and deadlines, and plan accordingly.

3. Make it clear why you’re the right fit

It’s not enough to know you can do the work. You need to show the client why you’re the best fit. Use your profile and introductory letter to show off your experience, demonstrate your skills, and make it easy for the client to choose you.

4. Screen your client

Interview the client while they interview you. Make sure you understand what they’re looking for. If you get a feeling that it’s not going to be the right match, don’t take the project.

5. Manage your time

There are only so many hours in the day. Be realistic about how much you’ll be able to accomplish; you simply can’t do it all. Only take on projects you’ll be able to do well and complete on time.

Starting a new project

Before you begin working, it’s critical to make sure your new project gets off to a great start—communication is key. Here are a few best practices that have worked for other freelancers.

1. Have a kickoff meeting

Whether you meet via Skype, phone, or a Google Hangout, be sure to agree to the deliverables that are needed and the deadlines.

2. Determine how you’ll work together

During your kickoff meeting, consider letting your client know how you’ll communicate with them going forward. You may also want to communicate when, and at what points, you’ll update the client on your progress.

3. Set deadlines

Be sure to talk about and decide on the first few deadlines with your client. If the deliverable deadlines are not set forth in your service contract, it’s a good idea to get them in writing in Messages on Upwork, so you can easily reference them again later.

4. Make sure you have what you need

Put together a list of all the questions you have. You can go over this list during your kickoff meeting. In addition to your questions, are there any passwords, permissions, and contact information you’ll need? Gather everything needed to get started, and ask the client about all of it at once.

5. Be realistic

If you realize at any time that you won’t be able to complete the project, inform your client right away so they can plan accordingly.

During the project

Communication, respect, and responsiveness are critical to forming a successful working relationship.

1. Be proactive

You may want to communicate with your client and let them know you’re on track to complete their project—even if your client doesn’t ask you to.

2. Respect deadlines

Agree with your client on due dates and make sure you make them. If for some reason you won’t be able to meet a deadline, communicate with your client immediately to let them know when you’ll be able to complete the work.

3. Ask questions

When in doubt, ask. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to reach out to the client. It’s important to be proactive and confident that your work is on the right track.

4. Be responsive

When your client reaches out, consider responding within a day. Clients might get concerned if they don’t hear from a freelancer promptly.

5. Request feedback

Asking for feedback about your work deliverables will help demonstrate to the client that you’re eager to deliver high-quality work and may lead to another engagement with the client.

At the end of the project

First impressions can help you win a contract. Final impressions can make or break the feedback you receive and whether the client engages you again in the future. Make sure both are equally positive.

1. Be sure the client is happy

When you submit your final deliverable, ask your client to let you know what they think of your work and if it meets their expectations. Be open to fixing it if necessary. If you do five-star work every time, your clients will rate you highly and be much more likely to work with you again.

2. Let the client end the contract

When you submit your final work and the client approves it, recommend that they end the contract. Clients often leave feedback about your business when they close a contract. Positive feedback can boost your score and is likely to make a good impression on other potential clients in the Upwork marketplace.

Start putting these tips to work for you. Find a new project now to tackle on Upwork.

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Krista Bruun

by - Senior Writer and Editor at Upwork

Krista Bruun is a senior writer and editor specializing in developing informative, engaging content, which helps clients and freelancers work better—and smarter—on Upwork.com. A veteran… more

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