Landing your first job as a new freelancer can be tough and tiring on UpWork because you are mostly competing with experts for the same kind of jobs. These seven (7) secrets and tips helped me land my first ever job on the platform.

1. BE STRATEGIC AND HAVE RELEVANT SKILLS: You need to ask yourself, why am I really on UpWork? You need to set goals and be ready to persevere. Give yourself some time to familiarize yourself with the platform and understand the dynamics of job search, writing catchy profiles and the concept of applying for jobs rightly. Your skills also matter. They are the reason why you are on the platform in the first place. If you are like me who is multiskilled, you might be confused as to the kind of skill you want to focus on the freelancing platform. You need to take time out to decide what broad and specialized skill you will be focusing on UpWork. For instance, if you are a social media manager (broad skill), you need to have a speciality in a particular field (e.g Ad management or Instagram management or YouTube management). You know social media well, quite alright but you are an expert in a particular social media niche. Same applies to you if you a writer, programmer, content creator, accountant etc.

2.  HAVE A GREAT AND CATCHY PROFILE: This is your first elevator pitch and the proposed client’s first contact with you. Just like your skills, you need to be strategic with your UpWork profile, sell yourself as much as you can and also let the clients know what you will offer them if and when you get hired. The trick to writing a sellable profile is to understand top-rated freelancers in your selected skillset and chosen niche. Check out how they crafted their profiles and emulate them. Do not COPY and PASTE! UpWork now gives you an option as a freelancer to sell yourself with 3 unique profiles tailored to the skills you want to sell. You can search for freelancers in your field HERE on UpWork.


3.  ONLY APPLY FOR JOBS WITH ALMOST 5-10 PROPOSALS: As a new freelancer on UpWork, you are eager to get your first job and then end up wasting your free connects. You need to understand the concept of applying for jobs and again, you have to be strategic. There are thousands, if not millions of expert, intermediate and new freelancers on the UpWork platform competing for the same jobs as you so filtering your job search will save you time and connects. Only apply for jobs with utmost 5 -10 proposals so you can stand a chance of landing your first job. Clients are always overwhelmed with the influx of proposals they receive so they tend to make their decisions from the first 5 to 10 applications they receive. This is should be one of your goals.

4.  ONLY APPLY FOR JOBS YOU QUALIFY FOR:  Many new freelancers don’t take out time to read requirements of jobs posted on Upwork. Criteria like location, skills, number of jobs done, the amount earned, language experience among other things matter. Usually, a job client makes all these known, if you don’t fit into any of them, do not apply for such jobs as the probability of you getting them is very low and you would have also wasted your time, resources and UpWork connects for a job you will not get.


5. BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR APPLICATION: Consistency and dedication are two key attributes to having a successful freelancing career. You can’t just give up when you try a few times, you need to persevere and be consistent. As a new freelancer, you need to have goals that drive you. These goals could include: job targets, earning targets, skills target etc and they should smart and specific enough to drive you to want to get the best out of your freelancing career.  Having said this, you need to be consistent with the type of your jobs you apply for and improve on each application.

6. MOVE ON AS SOON AS YOU APPLY: It is very okay to be hopeful and optimistic about your applications, but also have in somewhere in your mind that it may not work out. Just like every other thing in life, we don’t get everything we want. So it is advisable to move on to the next application as soon as one is done. You can hope for the best and worst in equal proportions so you don’t feel too bad when it doesn’t work out. 

7. SPEND MORE TIME ON QUESTIONS ASKED BY CLIENTS: Spend more time on questions asked by clients as much as you spend on cover letters. An average job seeker is used to writing catchy cover letters to wow recruiters and yes, this works! But the case is different in freelancing, especially on platforms like UpWork. You need to realize that clients have to deal with 10s and 100s of applications and answering your questions in the most unique ways gives you an edge. It is also worthy of note that recruiters on UpWork will get to see your answers to questions first before your profile so you need to spend more time on them and give the answers your best shot.

These are the top seven (7) secrets every new freelancer should take note of on UPWork, there are more, but these 7 stand out and if you follow them strictly, you will get the desired results,

Are there other secret tips freelancers should follow? Do share with me on twitter @Olamideyelo