Get Started

How do I get started?

All you need to get started is a computer, Internet connection and amazing skills. Your next step is creating an outstanding freelancer profile to showcase your business. Think of it as an introduction, resume, and personal marketing brochure rolled into one, highlighting your:

  • Professional skills, experience, and portfolio
  • Education and accomplishments
  • Upwork skills test results

The best profiles are complete, well-written, error-free, and feature a professional, friendly looking picture.

How do I get hired by clients?

Getting freelance work is a lot like traditional searching — you submit applications on projects, then impress potential clients before being offered the project.

You can start by sending the client a compelling application. This will greatly increase your likelihood of getting an interview, so consider making sure yours is:

  • Professional, well-written, and error-free
  • Tailor-made for the work you're seeking
  • A true representation of your strengths and skills

Can I grow my business on Upwork?

Yes, you can build an online business that's personally and professionally rewarding. When you deliver great work to your clients, success will follow.

The most successful freelancers are:

  • Responsive to client needs
  • Excellent at communicating with their clients
  • Upfront about their abilities and deadlines
  • Able to deliver excellent work on time, every time

How will I get paid by my clients?

All payments are made securely through the Upwork platform. Receive funds via whatever payment methods works best for you:

  • Direct Deposit / ACH
  • PayPal
  • Wire Transfer
  • Local Funds Transfer (LFT)
  • Payoneer
  • Skrill

When working on hourly projects, you're eligible for Upwork Payment Protection that assures that an hour worked is an hour paid. On fixed price contracts, pre-funded milestone payments from your clients are secure with Upwork Fixed Price Protection.

FAQ

  • How do I get started?

    All you need to get started is a computer, Internet connection and amazing skills. Your next step is creating an outstanding freelancer profile to showcase your business. Think of it as an introduction, resume, and personal marketing brochure rolled into one, highlighting your:

    • Professional skills, experience, and portfolio
    • Education and accomplishments
    • Upwork skills test results

    The best profiles are complete, well-written, error-free, and feature a professional, friendly looking picture.

  • Who can be an online freelancer?

    Anyone with awesome skills and a reliable Internet connection can enjoy a thriving business as an online freelancer at Upwork. Thousands of jobs are posted daily, offering a variety of work opportunities for those with talent.

  • What's the difference between working online and working locally?

    To begin with, no more office and no more commute. You'll work freelance jobs from wherever you have a reliable Internet connection — your home, a café, or on a rooftop.

    Instead of being limited to nearby jobs, you can now work with clients around the globe. Choose the jobs and clients you work with—it's a whole new world of freedom and opportunity.

    There are some things that don't change when working online freelance jobs. Once you earn the work, you'll be expected to communicate openly and consistently with your client and deliver excellent work, on time, every time.

    Getting paid for projects on Upwork has several added benefits over freelancing on your own. When you work on an hourly contract, you can keep track of your time and be paid by your clients automatically through our platform. When you work on a fixed-price contract, payments are pre-funded by your clients with agreed upon milestones. No hard copy invoices to generate and mail, no paperwork to manage, and no need to remind clients to pay you.

  • What's the best way to work with an online client?

    In many ways, working with a client online is just like working with any other client—you still want to choose work you're qualified for, communicate well with your client and anyone else involved in the project, and take the time and effort to build a great working relationship. In addition, some successful freelancers have found that the following best practices help them build thriving freelance businesses:

    Choose your projects carefully.

    • When you interview for a freelance project, “interview” your client as well. Ask questions about the project and what result is expected of you.
    • Be sure the needs of the job are in line with the desired deadline, and that you'll have the time to execute well.
    • If you end up feeling that the client or project isn't right for you, feel free to turn it down.

    Start the job strong.

    • Once you're hired, have a conversation with your client to kick off the project. Decide and let your client know how you will work together, how often you will communicate, and your preferred mode of communication.
    • Agree upon project deadlines, being sure not to overpromise if you don't think a deadline is reasonable.
    • Then gather all the information you need to get started on the job.

    Communicate clearly.

    • Be proactive: Even if they don't ask for it, communicate with your client at least once per week and let them know what you're working on and what your schedule will be.
    • Respect deadlines: Ask your client for deadlines and make sure you keep 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.
    • When in doubt, ask: If you have a question, ask the client. This will keep your work on track and on time.
    • Respond quickly: When a client reaches out, respond as quickly as you can. Clients may get concerned when they don't hear from a freelancer.

    Ensure client satisfaction.

    • If you can, consider submitting a small part of the project early on and asking your client if the work product meets their needs.
    • As you submit deliverables, make sure the client is happy with the results before you move on to the next step.
    • At the end of the contract, make sure the client has everything they need.
  • How can I find the right freelance projects?

    To determine the type of jobs you want to search for, you'll want to make a few decisions about how you want to work:

    • Do you want a part-time project or a long-term contract?
    • How many hours per week are you available to work?
    • Do you want to get paid by the project or by the hour?

    Now, search Upwork for jobs that fit your skills and preferences. Read descriptions carefully to determine the ones you are most qualified for, as well as to decide if they meet your criteria.

    Once you've found a job that's the right fit, send the client a well-written, error-free application that has been customized to address the needs of the work you're seeking.

    Thousands of freelance jobs are posted each day. To stay on top of the ones that interest you, set up a job feed based on your saved searches.

  • How does Upwork help me manage my work?

    Upwork provides a user-friendly platform to help you communicate with your client, share files and project-related documents, track your time, and get paid.

    For hourly projects:

    • You'll need to download and use the Upwork Team App—this tool includes the Work Diary, which ensures you are guaranteed payment. By taking work-in-progress screenshots every 10 minutes, it provides proof to your clients that you are hard at work.
    • Your client will be billed automatically for the time you track via the Team App.

    For fixed-price projects:

    • You and your client set milestones and deadlines for each part of the project.
    • You submit work for each milestone.
    • Fixed Price Protection keeps funds secure for release upon a client's approval of your milestone submission
  • How does Upwork help me stay on top of projects?

    Upwork provides a user-friendly platform to help you communicate with your client, share files and project-related documents, track your time, invoice your clients, and get paid.

    For hourly projects:

    • You’ll want to download and use the Upwork Team App—this tool includes the Work Diary, which helps you get paid by your clients for every hour you work. By taking work-in-progress screenshots every 10 minutes, it provides proof to your clients that you’ve worked all hours that you bill to them.
    • Your client will be billed automatically for the time you track via the Team App.

    For fixed price projects:

    • You and your client agree on milestones and deadlines.
    • You submit work for each milestone.
    • Fixed Price Protection keeps funds secure for release upon a client’s approval of your milestone submission
  • What kind of clients can I work with?

    Clients using the Upwork platform range from Fortune 500 companies to one-person startups. They can be high-powered tech companies building out a huge product or local small businesses needing a brochure designed. They might even be a solopreneur who needs some legal assistance.

    Whatever your preference, you'll have the opportunity to work with companies you like on projects you love.

  • Why should I freelance on Upwork instead of on my own?

    Upwork offers three advantages you won't find on the open market:

    • Unparalleled opportunity: You'll find 4+ million clients all in one place and 100,000+ projects posted each month.
    • Built-in security: A free app to help you track your time and better ensure automatic weekly payments, 24/7 customer support, and a clear dispute process should you need it.
    • Reputation building: Our client feedback system helps you build your reputation in a way that is verifiable and leads to more business and higher earnings.
  • How much can I earn?

    On Upwork, freelancers always set and negotiate their own rates. As with any business, your earning power is often tied to your experience and the demand for your skills. Once you build your reputation through consistently high client satisfaction, you'll be able to command higher rates from clients who respect your proven skills. In fact, we have found that freelancers on Upwork, on average, increase their hourly rate almost 60% in the first year and close to 190% over 3 years.

    And with access to worldwide job opportunities, your earning potential is no longer limited by the rates within your local market—you can earn as much as your skills are worth to a global clientele.

  • How much does Upwork cost?

    It's free to join Upwork. Once you begin doing freelance work with a client on our platform, we deduct a 10% fee from each payment. So, be sure to price your services accordingly. Upwork also offers premium membership plans for an additional cost.

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