How Upwork stacks the deck against you

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 get a lot of pushback when I talk about Upwork. A lot of developers think it’s anywhere between a flat-out scam or just completely worthless because all the jobs and clients suck and it’s impossible to get work…

And clients only hire 5/hour developers…

And, on and on.

I’ve heard it all.

Here’s the truth.

If you’re new to Upwork, the deck IS stacked against you. It’s true. The whole point of Upwork is to identify and surface the best freelancers to match with clients who need their services.

Now, here’s the thing…

Upwork doesn’t talk about how they do this anymore (that I can find).

But, they used to.

Back when it was Elance.

And, daddy figured that ish out…

And, I’m gonna give you the 411 on it.

Of course, things will have evolved, but the basic fundamentals of what they look at CAN’T change all that much. Because, what they’re attempting to do is the same… the best freelancer for an individual client’s project or search.

So, let’s talk about how it works.

Upwork looks at two things when matching clients with freelancer:

  1. Rank
  2. Relevance

Rank is what freelancers tend to think about most. Upwork uses your job history, Job Success Score, ratings, etc… a series of different factors to determine how “good” of a freelancer you are and what your Rank is.

The better you deliver…

The more satisfied your clients…

The higher your Rank…

The higher you’ll tend to show up in searches made by clients.

The problem for new freelancers is you don’t have ANY of this. You have no job history, no job success score, no ratings, no testimonials… none of it. Upwork’s entire machine for surfacing freelancers based on Rank is stacked against you.

Burying your profile 1000 pages deep.

So, clients never see you.

No job invites.

No hires.

No work.

No dolla dolla bills y’all.

And, it feels like… no way out.

But, there is.

The secret is in the 2nd part of how Upwork surfaces freelancers: Relevance. Because, so many (even good) freelancers on Upwork screw this up… it leaves a crack in the door for you to sneak your way in.

And, rank higher than you normally would in searches.

Higher than you really *should* based solely on Rank.

So, you DO show up in searches.

You DO get invites.

You DO get work.

Anyway, this is the “Master Strategy” I cover in Lesson 1 of my new Upwork 101 course on SkillShare. And, you can get it for FREE with the 2-month no-cost trial I can give you as a teacher there.

Here’s the link:

http://johnmorrisonline.com/skupwork101

It’s not something that’s immediately obvious…

And, it’s counter-intuitive to how most freelancers think…

So, most never even think about it…

Or, get it wrong when they try to do it.

But, once you see it… it’ll be one of those “aha” moments.

And, suddenly become clear.

Anyway, go here to learn how to do it at no cost:

http://johnmorrisonline.com/skupwork101

Later,

John

P.S. I also talk about it some more in Lesson 3 about writing your Title and Tags… if you want to find all the Relevance related material in the course. It starts about the 5:15 mark in Lesson 3.

Do you want high-paying freelance clients?

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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.

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