Sales 202: Upwork
Coming back to sales, it would be a shame not to mention a freelancing platform like Upwork. They have been on the market for a good amount of time, and are a good place to start selling your services. But, like everything in our lives, there are some tips and tricks that you should know and use when starting your way on Upwork, and that's what we are going to talk about today.
Set Up Your Profile
First things first, you want to keep your profile updated and perfect at all times. Ideally, the potential client has to be able to tell what are you all about in seconds: what you do, and how you do it. So it is in your best interest to give them all the information on the services you provide and make a perfect first impression. It increases your chances to get hired drastically, so don't miss the opportunity!
Start is Going to be Slow
To get the most important tip from the way: everything on Upwork is based on the amount of work that you have done in the past and your rating. Every client wants to hire someone who has the best ratings and a lot of successful jobs, so it is only natural that you won't be their first pick. It may take you up to two months to get your first gigs, so you have to be prepared for this.
I have spent a lot of time on Upwork, and let me say this: speed really matters. You have the highest chance to get an interview if you are in the first 10 people who responded to the job posting. If there are more than 20, chances are getting close to zero. That is why you have to be really fast about your response. To get better chances, you can use a bot on Telegram that will connect to the RSS on Upwork and send you the best picks from your endless feed. The best thing about it is that you can customize what projects you want to see, save them as a Search Result, and feed it to the bot. This way, you will be able to be lightning fast in your response.
You might want to filter all the jobs that come to your feed, because there are thousands of those, and most of them are not good or straightaway not your profile. So it might be a good idea to have a few searches saved with filters on.
Short is Good
Nobody is going to read your essay on how good you are, and that is a fact. That is why you have to be really short, but informative. The best practice to approach this is to limit yourself to maximum five sentences, not more. Tell who you are, what you do, for how long you have been doing this, and the most important part: tell how you can solve the client's problem, because they are here for this. Don't forget to tell them that you are ready for a call or even a video interview, or invite them altogether, even better. Make them notice and believe that you are worthy of their time and money, and that you can both benefit from the deal.
Don't be a Copycat
Yes, speed is essential to your success on Upwork, but you never want to sacrifice your quality and uniqueness. Every response to every interview has to be somewhat unique, and never copied from another one. A client with be able to tell if you're not trying, so please do.
Build Your Portfolio
You must have started doing this even before going to Upwork, but nevertheless it's important to mention your portfolio. You can build somewhere like Behance, or make it into a PDF, or both (which is even better), but you have to have something that will show what you are able to do. The best thing that you possibly could have is live examples like a posted website, or perhaps the branding that you did for a company a while back.
Practice Your Social Skills
Talking to clients is no easy task, and you have to be prepared. Always be ready to greet them with a smile, even though they don't see you yet, but when the video interview comes, hit then with all you've got! Remember, that apart from money, you are working on your 5 star review that will enable you to have more clients.
Don't Respond to More Than Three Questions
Sometimes, job postings will have five questions that require long answers. Let me say this: it is not worth your time. Generally, even if you will get an answer, chances are big that it will be a time waster. Too much questions will probably turn into a headache of a job, and you won't get anything good from this experience.
Know Your Client
A good trick would be to look through their history and get their name early on, and use it in your reply. This way, by getting more personal, you drastically improve your chance to get a response, because you invested a little more than others and scrolled through client's history. And that means you care.
Okay, that is something almost no one wants to talk about, but it is very important. Some people are not the best to work with, and in a such competitive platform like Upwork, a one star rating can ruin your whole career for a while. Look at their history, and if there are more than 2-3 bad reviews from your colleague freelancers, skip the job. If you see that a person is not willing to talk on the same level and comes at you with a bad attitude, kindly decline an interview or even the offer, and go on, because chances are they will not be satisfied in the end and you will get demolished in the reviews.
Do Not Undersell Yourself
Although it can be quite tempting to go lower than a client's budget, but in reality, it won't help. It can, but if it does, it is not a good gig. You always must bid for the highest price the client can offer, because it tells them that you are good and know your thing. Who in their right mind would like to hire a person who values themselves as a low-tier?
You always want your expectations to be met, as well as the client's. If something is not clear, go and ask! Dialogue is the only option. There are a lot of people who are scared of talking more to their clients for no reason whatsoever. They are just as human as you, and it's in their interest to provide you with all the info possible, because your success is their success.
Update Clients Regularly
Even if there are no big updates on the progress, talk to a clients at least once per two or three days and tell them what you are working on, show them some screenshots or something else. Engaging clients in the process is a very good practice that makes them come back to you, and you will learn a good review too!
Follow Up Monthly
You want to have a list of people that you will follow up every month and see if there are any projects that you can take on. Even if they say there are none at the moment, that one message will stick in their minds and sooner or later you will get a message from them.
That pretty much sums up all the tips for Upwork! Hope that it will help you in your freelance endeavors, or other ventures that you decide to take on. Don't forget that those come from my experience, and you must always think and act for yourself, filtering all the information that comes through you. Your experience is what matters most, and you might want to experiment and see what works best for you.