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Why Freelancers Need Upwork (And How to Stand Out on a Crowded Platform)

upwork Mar 14, 2024

When I first started my freelance business, I’ll admit — I was skeptical of Upwork. I had heard the myths that it was a “race to the bottom” for cheap work and that you couldn’t earn decent rates competing with freelancers worldwide.

But over the past few years, I’ve had a very different experience! I now view Upwork as an invaluable tool for creating a steady stream of leads for my freelance copywriting business.

Here’s why Upwork is a must for any freelancer, and how to make the most of the platform:

Upwork Lets You Quickly Test and Refine Your Offer

The best part of Upwork is that you can experiment with different service offerings, packages, and pricing.

Have multiple side hustles you’re trying to launch? Create specialized profiles to see which gains more traction.

Unsure if your rates are competitive? Try raising or lowering them and see what happens.

You can test out new marketing messages, portfolio samples, and more to get immediate feedback on what works. With the ability to apply to dozens of jobs per week, your learning curve accelerates quickly.

Upwork essentially lets you test ideas that would take months or years to try out if you were only getting a trickle of organic leads through social media or referrals. You get real time feedback to streamline your freelancing business much faster.

Studying the Competition is Easy (and Strategic!)

Market research that could normally take weeks is really simple on Upwork.

You can browse profiles of freelancers offering similar services and see first-hand what a successful profile looks like in your niche — from the headline, to the video, portfolio, and more.

Examine how top providers position themselves, what services they offer, what they charge, and their marketing language. This gives you an instant education on how to stand out.

Startup Costs, Instant Credibility

As a bonus, Upwork has low startup costs. It’s free to create a profile and only $15/month for premium access. No need to build your own website to get started.

And a polished Upwork profile can instantly give you more credibility than an unknown personal site ever could. I was even ranking on the first page of Google for my copywriting services just by using my Upwork profile!

How to Get Ahead on Upwork

Ready to leverage Upwork to grow your freelancing business? Here are my top tips:

  • Create a compelling profile. Don’t just fill in the basics. Craft a headline, description, and video that captures attention. Provide plenty of portfolio samples or case studies to showcase your skills.
  • Apply strategically. Don’t spam applications. Carefully target jobs where you’re a great fit and personalize your cover letter. Follow up promptly.
  • Focus on value, not price. Present yourself as a premium provider. Have strong reasons why you’re worth higher rates. Offer packages versus hourly pricing.
  • Create irresistible offers. Don’t just take orders from clients, create a clear process for delivering your services and then communicate like a professional. Let the client choose your offer, rather than you just quoting an hourly rate to fill their wish-list.
  • Learn from feedback. Pay attention to why you aren’t getting some jobs. Refine your positioning and applications based on what works.

Put in the time upfront to build an engaging and personal Upwork presence using my tips above and it will pay dividends for your freelance business. You’ll get more leads and invitations so you can focus on doing great work versus hunting for your next client.

To get my full step-by-step Upwork course that shares my proven process for standing out and attracting high-paying clients, just click below:

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