[Quora] How Do I Get Clients on Upwork Like I Used to On Elance?

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain “affiliate” links to products and services I recommend. I’ll receive a small commission if you decide to purchase one of these products or services. I only recommend products I genuinely believe will help you in running your freelance business.

I was recently asked to answer this question on Quora and it’s something I get asked quite a bit:

I used to be very successful on Elance, but the same profile/strategy is performing poorly on Upwork. What are the possible reasons for this?

Here’s what I think you can do to win on any freelance site, including Upwork. Upvote if you get value from it:

First, I’d want to know what your strategy was. It’s possible that it was something that exploited how Elance worked that’s now been shored up with the migration to Upwork. If that’s the case, then it’s just important to understand that is the limitation of gimmicks.

That said, I’m assuming that’s NOT the case so let’s dive into some of the reasons why it might be different and what you can do.

1. Competition. The stats I can find show that Elance was around 2 million freelancers in 2013 and oDesk was about 3.1 million. Even when they became Elance-oDesk, you still had two separate sites and so on Elance were competing with roughly 2 million other freelancers.

Those numbers have grown and the sites have now combined and Elance-oDesk (now Upwork) reported 9.3 million registered freelancers in 2014. So now you’re competing with roughly 7.3 million more freelancers.

So, it’s just a lot more competitive now.

2. Rich Get Richer. It’s always difficult to get inside the inner workings of sites like these but if you try to sift through the public statements they do make, I believe it’s pretty clear that Upwork is focused on helping the “cream rise to the top”. That is, surfacing what they consider the best freelancers on their platform and displaying their profiles much more prominently on more searches even if they’re not 100% relevant.

Of course, relevance is always important and I’ll cover that but Upwork seems to be less concerned with it and more concerned with surfacing high quality freelancers. This is quite a bit different from Elance. I found on Elance that I could rank for searches even if I wasn’t always the highest rated developer based on how I targeted my profile with keywords, skills, etc. Upwork still has that a bit, but it seems to be less effective.

So, what can you do?

Read the full answer here

If you have a question you’d like me to answer, you can invite me to answer it over on Quora, tweet it to me, or join me LIVE on Periscope every Tuesday for my WebDev Q&A.

You might also like

Do you want more freelance clients?

I’ll show you what I learned over the last 15 years to grind out (from absolute scratch) a backlog of new clients wanting to hire you. Who your best client prospect are, what services you should be offering them, where to find them and more. Just enter your email address in the box below and let’s get started:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
John Morris

JOHN MORRIS

I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do you want more freelance clients?

Enter your email below to get started building your system for consistently bringing in new freelance clients:

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Lewis Howes

John is amazing at building membership sites. He converted one of my sites over from it’s existing (hardly working) platform over to the clean and simple to use WishList membership platform. I highly recommend using John and WishList for any of your membership site needs.

Bradley Smith

John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.

Close Menu