How To Use Ads on Upwork To Win Work

How To Use Ads on Upwork To Win Work

Freelancers on Upwork have a secret weapon to grow their business on the marketplace: ads. With three ad products working hard for you, your freelancing business stands to benefit from increased visibility, an optimized workflow, and most importantly, winning the work you truly want.

In this guide:

What are ads on Upwork?

Ads are designed to help freelancers win more work on Upwork. Ads are paid with Connects—Upwork’s virtual token. Each Connect costs $0.15 (USD) or you can purchase them in bundles or a custom amount of your choice. Learn more about Connects.

There are three types of ad products: Boosted Proposals, Availability Badge, and Boosted Profile.

Boosted Proposals

When you submit a proposal for a job on Upwork, you have the option to boost your proposal to the top of the proverbial pile. Clients will see your proposal first, giving you a chance to build more client relationships and win more jobs. Learn more about Boosted Proposals.

Marketing landing page

Availability Badge

Ready to work now? Turning on the Availability Badge on your Upwork profile lets clients know you’re ready for work now. Clients will see your badge in search results, recommendations, and on your profile. Learn more about the Availability Badge.

Availability badge

Boosted Profile

A Boosted Profile appears as one of the top profiles on the list when we prompt clients to invite freelancers to submit a proposal for their job. Increased visibility can lead to more job invitations which can lead to more hires. Learn more about Boosted Profile.

Boosted profile

How to use ads to win jobs on Upwork

So how exactly can you put ads to work for you on the work marketplace? Let’s help you get started.

Get Connects

The very first step in the process is to add Connects to your account . Each month freelancers receive free Connects to help them get started. If these aren’t enough for your needs, you can add more Connects to your account. You can do so by earning or purchasing them.

Connects cost $0.15 (USD) each and are sold in bundles or a custom amount of your choice. Learn more about how Connects work and how to use them.

Three ways to get noticed

With Connects on hand, it’s time to get started.  There are three ways to help you achieve your goals. Place a bid to participate in an auction for more visibility. We discuss more details about each specific ad product below.

Boosted Proposals

There are some jobs on Upwork that will probably stand out to you and deserve that something extra. When you find yourself really interested and hoping extra hard for an interview, you may want to consider boosting your proposal. Here’s how it works:

  • Find the Boost your proposal (optional) button at the bottom of your proposal (if available)
  • Set the maximum number of Connects you’re willing to spend to win one of the top spots as a Boosted Proposal
  • Choose Send for [your total bid] Connects
  • Eligible freelancers who bid the highest number of Connects will have their proposal appear in the top four slots, marked “Boosted”
  • Eligibility to boost your proposal is determined based on how good of a match you are for the job and client requirements, among other factors

Get all the details about how Boosted Proposals work and find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Availability Badge

The Availability Badge is a way for you to earn more job invites with less effort. Let potential clients know you’re ready for new projects. Turning the badge on adds a blue “Available now” badge to your profile which will be visible to clients within search results. Clients can also use the “Available now” filter to find freelancers who are available immediately to get started on their projects. Here’s how it works:

  • Go to Find Work, look at your profile banner on the right side of the screen, select the pencil icon next to Availability Badge
  • Set the maximum amount of Connects you want to spend in one week to keep the badge on
  • Select Turn On
  • You can also access the badge on your profile, under your name at the top of the page
  • The weekly price of the badge may fluctuate, but you control how many Connects are used, by setting a maximum number you'd like to spend in a week
  • If at any point the cost of the badge exceeds what you've set as your maximum, we will turn off the badge automatically

Here’s everything you need to know about the Availability Badge.

Boosted Profile

A Boosted Profile allows you to market yourself to clients who are looking for freelancers in your work category. Bid Connects to jump to the top of a client’s view. Your profile will be shown at the top of the list of freelancers we suggest inviting to their job. Here’s how it works:

  • Go to Find work > Boost your profile (pencil icon)
  • Under Audience, choose who will see your Boosted Profile
    • Specify the Category and Specialty within which your boost will appear
  • Under Budget
    • Under Bid per click, choose the maximum number you’d like to spend for a profile click
    • Set your daily and total limits and we will turn your boost off if your spend hits that number of Connects
  • Under End date, you have the option to specify a date to automatically end the boost, if you so choose
  • Select Boost now to get started
  • You can edit, pause, or turn off your boost at any time

Check out Boosted Profile and see how it can help you.

Why use ads on Upwork?

Ads are an optional way to help freelancers get more out of Upwork. You get to decide when you want to use ads. Ads are not required to submit a proposal. However, if you do decide to use your Connects to place bids for ads, there are some great benefits.

Spotlight your profile

Increased profile visibility can lead to more job invitations which can lead to more hires. Why limit yourself to just sending out proposals? A Boosted Profile can give you priority positioning at the top of a client’s list of suggested freelancers. Freelancers who use Boosted Profiles can double their chances of getting hired.

The Availability Badge appears in search results, recommendations, and on your profile, letting clients know you’re eager for new work.

A Boosted Profile increases your chance of getting hired by up to 2x.

Indicate your availability

The Availability Badge lets clients know that you’re ready to take on more work now.  By adding this badge to your profile, you increase how often it gets noticed in search results.

The Availability Badge gets freelancers up to 50% more job invitations.

Rise to the top of the client’s list

When you’re first in line for jobs you’re excited about, you’re more likely to land the work you want. When you boost your proposals, clients will often see what you have to offer before they look at other freelancer proposals. Being seen first can help you be top of mind with a prospective client.

Boosted Proposals deliver 10x more earnings on ad spend.

Grow your business

All three ad products are designed to help you win more work, earn more money, and give you more control over how you grow your business. These features help your profile get noticed, get your proposals viewed, and grab the client’s attention in a competitive work marketplace.

When you take charge of winning the work you want, you take charge of your business trajectory. More work = more relationships = business growth. Check out the graphic below for a breakdown of how each ad product can help you meet your goals on Upwork.

Grow your business

Get started with ads

Ads are an optional way to get more visibility, win the work you want most, and optimize your workflow to grow your earnings on great projects. Getting started is simple and low risk.

Consider using some or all ad products. Place your bid to participate in the auction. If you win, you stand to benefit by creating greater awareness among clients, increasing client engagement, and winning the work you want most. Get started with ads today!


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Author Spotlight

How To Use Ads on Upwork To Win Work
Radhika Basuthakur
Content Writer

Radhika is a self-confessed word nerd and content expert with over 15 years of experience writing content for businesses around the world. She is a cheerleader for flexible work, a passionate world traveler, and spends her free time alternating between a good book and a good hike.

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