Upwork Tips For Beginners 

Published on: 07/27/2022

“Dietitians and Upwork: Get Into it RDs!” Tune into the first part of a two part series. I share helpful upwork tips for beginners.

If you don’t know already, I love Upwork. I joined the platform earlier this year and I have earned ten thousand dollars so far. 

Not everyone has the same experience on Upwork, but for me it is a no brainer. I will go more in depth into why I think you should also use Upwork, especially if you’re just starting your freelance journey.

Season 1 Episode 4

What Is Upwork? 

Upwork is a freelance marketplace (you can learn about other marketplaces here). It is an online website for clients to post jobs for freelancers. You sift through all the jobs and only apply for the ones you are interested in. 

Upwork is free and there are no upfront costs to join or use the platform. However, there is a catch: you will have to give them a portion of your earnings, but I explain all that in the episode. 

Here are some tips to help you be successful on Upwork: 

1. Look For Verified Clients 

Verified clients all have a blue check mark beside their name. I recommend only working with verified clients at the start of your freelance journey. They have payment on file, which means they should be able to actually fund a project and pay you.

Stay away from any client that asks for free work or asks you to complete a free unpaid trial. These are major red flags, avoid them! 

2. Upwork Takes Care Of The Contracts

Upwork’s contracts are seamlessly integrated into the marketplace. You do not need your own documents, you just need to click through their digital copy and fill in any outstanding details. 

Again, stay away from anyone who sends you a message asking for work. You need to complete the contract and accept the project to be protected by Upwork’s legal terms and conditions. 

3. Client Ratings 

Upwork has a rating system that applies to freelancers and to clients. This is so helpful when trying to see if someone you met online is worth your time! Always read the reviews from past freelancers, they tend to be very honest. 

If a client has no ratings they may be too new to the platform. You will have to use your judgment and decide if you want to work with them, personally, I would not. I only worked with people who had glowing reviews and had been previously vetted by other freelancers. 

4. High Paying Clients Use Upwork  

Compared to any other freelance platforms, Upwork always has the highest paying clients (in my experience). Brand names and bigger companies use upwork all the time because they may not know where else to find freelancers. 

5. It Is A Low Risk Freelance Pursuit 

There is no overhead or up front investment required to start using Upwork. From a risk perspective, freelancing on upwork is quite low. 

If a client ever asks you to pay for supplies or submit your personal information, run. This is not a normal practice in the world of freelancing and you should be vigilant against online scams. 

6. Upwork Resolution Team 

If you ever run into a dispute with a client, Upwork has a third party resolution team that will handle the case. I hope none of you ever have to use this service but it is comforting to know it is available.

Keep all your communication with your client on the platform. Upwork will review all your exchanges and messages when trying to resolve the dispute. 

7. You Get What You Put In 

Upwork will still be there tomorrow, next week, and next year. If you want to take a break from freelancing you can walk away until you are ready to dive back in. 

I believe Upwork is a great option for anyone who wants to try freelancing without committing a lot of time and energy to their business.  

Tune into this episode to hear more helpful tips for Upwork beginners, including: 

  • The rates I charged throughout my Upwork journey 
  • A full breakdown of earnings Upwork will take from you 
  • Practical tips on how to screen potential clients 
  • When to walk away from a projet 
  • When it is time to move away from the platform and get your own clients

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Julia Zakrzewski is the host of the Freelance Dietitian Podcast. She is a clinical dietitian turned freelance writer and now she can’t stop talking about freelancing!

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