When you decide you want to get started freelancing, you suddenly find there are sources online just for freelancers! It can become overwhelming with all of the options.
So I’m going to answer the question: is it OK to use a freelancer website?
But please keep reading because, TLDR: you can get started on a freelancer site, but don’t hang out there forever!
In this article, I’m specifically going to talk about Upwork. I’ll even give you my experience with it!
Back in 2018, I wrote a review of Upwork for Full Time Job From Home. Even then, I already had experience getting jobs through the platform.
Upwork is a place where people (AKA businesses or entrepreneurs) can post jobs that they need to outsource. And you (the freelancer) can bid on the jobs that you think you’re qualified for. Pretty simple.
How to be successful on Upwork
From my experience, the way you will find the most success on Upwork is to fill out your profile. Make sure it’s 100% complete. This will help you stand out against the competition.
Back when I was a bigger user ( I haven’t had to log in for quite some time, but I’ll get into that in a bit) I was able to take tests to help demonstrate my abilities. The tests could be focused on English grammar, etc.
I looked around and only found 1 test for myself at this time. I found it under the heading Find Work. It’s called an Upwork Readiness Test which I am able to take.
“The Upwork Readiness Test has 10 questions. It covers the best practices and safety tips that top freelancers use to build successful businesses on Upwork.” It continues on to say that each question has a 2-minute time limit. And they give you links to study up!
My Upwork Readiness Test Score
Oops! I scored a 3.5 out of 5… and failed! 😳😥
Definitely read up using the links they provide! I wanted to speed through the test to see what it was about. Thankfully, it says you can retake it at any time. Phew!
When do I use Upwork?
I’ve been a virtual assistant for over 5 years. I have clients and I have other lead sources for jobs. (You have to check out the Horkey Handbook mini-course!) But once in a while, I like to see what kind of jobs people are posting on Upwork.
Clients come and go. In the past, as clients have left, I have logged into Upwork and started bidding on new jobs immediately.
I think that’s the beauty of a freelancing site like Upwork. If you feel like you need more money – get online and bid on some jobs!
How Upwork works
When you sign up (for free) you receive what they call connect credits. The connect credits allow you to connect with the owner of potential jobs. You get a certain number of connect credits per month, so there’s no reason to hoard them. When they run out, you can buy more.
DON’T BUY THEM!
Just bid on jobs that you want. And when the month rolls over you can get more credits.
Why I say don’t hang out there
I say don’t hang out there because you’ll be competing against some people who will low-ball the jobs to get them. On the other hand, not all jobs want the cheapest labor! Some people need a certain skill that they don’t have and they’re willing to pay more for someone to do a better-than-good job.
Also, Upwork takes a portion of your earnings. Twenty percent, to be exact. So if you bid $40, they’ll take 20% which is $8, and you’ll receive the balance, or $32.
The nice thing is, you can play with the number to get it where you want it. I adjusted the field for the amount I’ll receive after fees, to make sure I’m getting my rate, and it adjusted the hourly rate I will propose to the client so that I can receive my rate after the fees are taken out.
Interestingly, I was able to submit a proposal even though I just failed the readiness test! 🤷♀️
My experience with Upwork
I have gotten at least 2 good jobs through Upwork plus other small jobs. One of them I’m still working with! After our contract ended, she contacted me to work on a different project for her and I’m still working with her!
Another client I’m still in contact with and we’re actually connected on Facebook! Needless to say, I’ve had a pretty good experience with it. But as I said, I put the time in, completed my profile, and took the tests they offered.
What to do next
If you haven’t started your virtual assistant business yet, there are a couple of ways to get started.
- If you’ve got $19 burning a hole in your pocket, you can take a mini-course from Horkey Handbook and find out if being a VA is something you really want to do.
- If you want to dive right in (this is you if you already KNOW you want to be a VA) you can enroll in Horkey Handbook’s FullyBookedVA system. It’s basically full access to all of their courses for as long as you want to stay enrolled.
- Or, you can take my FREE eCourse! You’ll receive 5 emails that will walk you through starting your VA business and you can literally start your business this week!
So is it OK to use a freelancer website? Have you tried Upwork? Are you ready to start your VA business? What questions do you have? I’m here to help!