Upgrading to Freelancer Plus: Your Guide

Upgrading to Freelancer Plus: Your Guide

Upwork is the world's work marketplace. It’s a place where everyone, from single-person start-ups to Fortune 500 clients, comes to find the independent talent they need for their teams and projects. And it’s a place where, as a freelancer, you can build a career doing what you love while working from home and creating a schedule that fits your lifestyle.

To freelance on Upwork, you'll need to make an account, which is quick and easy. Many freelancers start with the free Basic account and then upgrade to Freelancer Plus to grow their business.

Freelancer Plus is a paid membership that offers exclusive benefits for Upwork talent, helping you be more productive and competitive. This guide will explore the benefits of Freelancer Plus and how it compares to the Basic membership.

Basic membership

When you first create your account on Upwork and set up your profile, you'll have the free Freelancer Basic account until you decide to upgrade to Freelancer Plus. This membership is helpful when you're just starting out and as you build your freelance business.

Basic plan includes:

  • 10 free Connects each month
  • Hourly payment protection
  • Fixed-price payment protection

Freelancer Plus membership

As you look for ways to grow your business and take on bigger clients and contracts, you may consider upgrading to a Freelancer Plus membership. This plan gives you access to exclusive Upwork tools and perks to help you work faster and smarter.

Freelancer Plus subscribers on average have a 50% higher chance of being hired.

The perks you get with a Freelancer Plus membership are designed to help you be more strategic, make the most of your work hours, and develop and scale your business. Membership costs $20 per month. When you upgrade to Plus, you get these exclusive benefits:

100 Connects per month

Every month, you'll receive 100 Connects with the Freelancer Plus plan (90 with your plan purchase, and 10 free from Upwork). You can buy additional Connects for $0.15 + tax each. Connects are your virtual token on Upwork and are needed to submit proposals and optionally run ads.  

Using ads on Upwork can help you get noticed, from getting more job invites to increasing the visibility of your proposals. If you want to use ads to stand out, you have three options:                                                                      

  • Boosted Proposal. Increase the chance that clients will see and click on your proposal.
  • Availability Badge. Signal to clients that you're ready to take on work right now.
  • Boosted Profile. Show up first in the results list when clients search for talent in your category.

Upwork Chat Pro with GPT-4

Freelancer Plus memberships include access to Upwork Chat Pro, an AI tool powered by Uma™, Upwork's Mindful AI, with GPT-4. Built directly into Upwork, Upwork Chat Pro has been fine tuned using data from the Upwork platform to give you responses and recommendations that will help you succeed.

This integrated tool is tailored to the needs of the freelancers and clients who use the Upwork marketplace. It can help you be more productive and efficient in your day to day. Think of Upwork Chat Pro as a project assistant, ready to answer questions, create rough drafts, and help with monotonous tasks you don't need to be hands-on for.

You can use Upwork Chat Pro to:

  • Speed up repetitive tasks
  • Brainstorm new ideas
  • Review work
  • Debug code
  • Draft content

Competitor bid view

Strategize your proposal rates by seeing other freelancers’ bid range for a job. Once enough freelancers have submitted their proposals, you can see the highest, lowest, and average bid for a project. This helps you know how much you should charge the client based on your skill level and the project requirements.

Ideally, you don't want to be the highest or the lowest-priced service. Try to be in between the highest and average to make it more likely the client will click and view your proposal.

Join Freelancer Plus Group

Once you upgrade your membership, you can join the Freelancer Plus Group in the Upwork Community. Network with other motivated freelancers either in-person or virtually. You can get support from other freelancers and share advice, tools, and best tips.

Skip the Skills Certification line

Upwork offers skills certifications in web, mobile, software development, and design and creative categories. Once you complete a skills assessment, the certificate appears as a badge on your profile.

Having a skills certification can attract more clients by highlighting your expertise and skills. 48% of freelancers who receive an Upwork Skills Certification won a new contract within 3 days.

As a Freelancer Plus member, you get priority access to these skill certifications. Move to the front of the line and get certified faster.

No service fees with new clients that you bring

If you upgrade to Freelancer Plus, when you bring new clients to Upwork you’ll enjoy a 0% service fee on contracts with that client. You don't have to pay fees on any contracts with these clients forever.

This program is called Any Hire. You can work with clients that you found outside of Upwork and use the platform for payment. Bringing your clients to Upwork can help you stay organized, keeping all of your work in on place.

Profile customization and perks

All Upwork freelancers can create profiles with comprehensive portfolios. This is how clients evaluate talent for their projects. Freelancer Plus plans allow you to customize your profile further to fit your business better.

Upgrading to the Freelancer Plus membership gives you the option to create a custom profile URL. Basic accounts have auto-generated URLs. You can build your brand and choose a URL that includes your name or your business's. A custom URL is easier for clients to remember and search for. Think of your URL as your business card.

Another profile benefit is being able to keep your earnings private. You can hide previous contract rates and total billing on your profile's work history. Clients will still be able to see your public hourly rate, but your earnings will only be visible when you're actively bidding on jobs.

As a Freelancer Plus member, you can take a break from Upwork and keep your profiles active. Established freelancer profiles with Basic plans will go "private" after two years or more of inactivity. New freelancer profiles who don't submit a proposal or have any earnings will become inactive after 90 days.

This allows you to take time off without having to worry that you're missing out on job invites or other opportunities.

Grow your business with Freelancer Plus

As a freelancer on Upwork, you get to decide when and where you work. Many who are new to this way of working take on projects outside of their regular 9 to 5, checking the demand for their skills and growing their business. Many independent professionals quickly realize they are able to support themselves by freelancing full-time.

Freelancer Plus is an investment in your business. Take advantage of the additional Connects each month by running ads and be more productive with Upwork Chat Pro. Upgrade to Freelancer Plus and reimagine what's possible.

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Author Spotlight

Upgrading to Freelancer Plus: Your Guide
Cassie Moorhead
Content Writer

Cassie is a storyteller and content creator with over eight years of experience helping brands communicate to their customers through different channels. She enjoys finding new coffee shops to work from and spending time in nature with her dog, Sweeney.

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