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What kind of work can I get done?

Anything that can be done on a computer – from web and mobile programming to graphic design – can be done on Upwork. Freelance experts can tackle a range of projects:

  • Big or small
  • Short or ongoing
  • Individual or team-based

Whether you need a writer to knock out a 500-word blog post or a full-fledged software development team to support your business, our tools and the expert freelancers in our marketplace can accommodate.

How do I hire the right freelancer?

Start by writing a clear and concise job post. Each freelancer submits a cover letter and link to their Upwork profile covering:

  • Skills, experience and portfolios
  • Client feedback
  • Language and communication skills

You'll get applications from independent professionals and receive our personalized recommendations within minutes. From there, just interview your strongest candidates and hire your favorite.

How do payments work?

Pay your freelancer per hour or per project, whichever you choose. For hourly projects, the freelancer bills you once a week, and we'll send a secure payment to your freelancer. For fixed-price projects, we'll release funds to your freelancer after they meet pre-set milestones. In either case, you're covered by Upwork Payment Protection, assuring that you only pay for work you approve.

All payments go through our secure system. Choose from the following billing methods:

  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • Bank account

When we send your payments to the freelancer, we deduct a 10% fee from the rate they charge you. For example, if you pay your freelancer $20, they earn $18 and we receive $2.

How do I know I'm protected?

Enjoy peace of mind with systems designed to provide a safe and trusted workplace, including:

Work Diary. This tool captures snapshots of your freelancer's screen every 10 minutes, helping to verify that on hourly jobs, work has been completed as invoiced.

Payment Protection. Upwork Payment Protection assures you that you pay only for work you've approved.

Dispute Resolution. If an issue ever should arise, we have programs to help fix the situation.

FAQ

  • How do I get started?

    The three steps to getting started are:

    1. Signing up on Upwork.
    2. Defining your project.
    3. Posting a job.

    So, if you haven't already, sign up as a client—be sure to add your details and a payment method.

    Now it's time to define your project. Outline your goals, deliverables, the skills you're looking for, and your desired deadline. By thinking through and articulating your needs, you make it easier to write an effective job post and explain your job to others.

    Now that you know what you need, post a job! Be sure to include as much detail as possible. You can also scout your own talent by searching for freelancers and inviting qualified experts to apply.

  • How do I evaluate freelancer applications?

    A proper evaluation begins with the basics—the freelancer's application, skills, and feedback.

    Scan the application for content, level of communication, skill and attention to detail. Next, review their profile to determine if they have the skill set and experience you need.

    Screen according to:

    The freelancer's job success rate and client feedback. Look for a success score above 90%, and positive client comments.

    Work history and experience. Have they completed jobs similar to yours?

    Portfolio. Do you like what you see?

    Tests and certifications. Look for scores in the top 20% of the skills you're hiring for.

    If the freelancer seems to be a good fit for your project, contact them directly to get the conversation going. Ask a few project-specific questions to get further evidence of their experience and written communication skills.

    For smaller jobs, a quick chat or email exchange may be all you need. If you're hiring for longer term or more complex projects, interview via live chat or video call to confirm they're a good fit.

    Consider hiring a few top candidates for a short “test-drive” job. If you're happy with the quality, speed of work, and communication, then make a hire and kick off the project in full!

  • How much should I pay my freelancer?

    You’ll find a range of rates based on a freelancer’s skills, experience, feedback, and work history. There are a few rules of thumb to follow when you’re negotiating a rate and setting your budget.

    Is it a specialized skill? Proven, qualified specialists, particularly in technical fields, will typically command a higher rate.

    How familiar are you with the skill you're hiring for? If you're hiring outside your comfort zone, we recommend paying a little extra to secure a qualified freelancer with proven experience and great client feedback, hiring a project manager to help you find an ideal freelancer, or working with one of the agencies on Upwork who will staff the project with their vetted talent.

  • How can I best kick off a project?

    A good kick off meeting can set the groundwork for a smoothly running project. It's your big chance to get your new freelancer (and anyone they'll be working with) ramped up and ready to go. And it's even more important if you're working with a freelancer for the first time.

    Introduce yourself and your team. Take a little time to get to know each other by talking about the job, your business, and your background.

    Set expectations. Go over what you expect from your freelancer, and what they can expect from you. This can include timing, delivery methods, and anything else important to the success of the project.

    Agree on how you'll communicate. The importance of clear communication can't be underestimated!

    Remember, the more info you give your freelancer about the job, the better. So take the time to cover all your bases, reiterate your project requirements, and kick things off on a high note!

  • What's the best way to communicate with my freelancer?

    Upwork has a built-in messaging platform that lets you communicate with your freelancer at your desk or on the go. Chat instantly, send messages, and attach files securely. We'll show you what time it is in your freelancer's time zone and when they are online to respond immediately.

  • What should I do to make my project a success?

    While every project is different, there are certain principles that will always help guide your job to success.

    Know what you want. Be crystal clear about what you want to achieve with your project before you post a job or hire. It's easier to explain the job and find the right talent once you've articulated your goals and deliverables for yourself.

    Hire well. Just as in the offline world, the key to a job well done is to hire the right person to do it. So, particularly for larger, ongoing jobs, take your time and vet your candidates well. Evaluate them first through their application and portfolio, then during a real-time interview, and finally by hiring them for a short, test-drive project.

    Communicate, communicate, communicate! We know we say this a lot, but communicating clearly, thoroughly, and consistently is just too important not to make a big deal about.

  • How do I hire and work with a larger team on Upwork?

    Whether your team is growing rapidly as you get the hang of distributed work, or you’re migrating an existing team onto the Upwork platform, here are some best practices to get more done with a larger team of freelancers.

    Hire a freelance project manager. Hire a professional project manager on Upwork to plan your project and help it succeed.

    Got a 20+ team? Contact our Upwork Enterprise team. They have different levels of support services that are flexible, affordable, and remarkably manageable.