Strategies and Tips to grow on Upwork

HOW TO MAKE YOUR UPWORK ACCOUNT GENERATE LEADS

PREQUEL: How to get approved on Upwork (the checklist)

  1. Enroll yourself using a professional email, not Gmail (buy one from Namecheap.com or a similar website)
  2. Fill in all the sections required by the platform
  3. Hire a copywriter or proofreader to improve your profile
  4. Add case studies to your profile
  5. List the languages you speak

Once you’ve done these first tasks, watch this video:

https://www.loom.com/share/ab9acba32653454bb93212fa0c60df7b

If you’ve followed my advice, you might have included “Japanese to French medical translations” as one of your skills (if you don’t get this joke, you’ll have to watch the video) in the hope of having your profile accepted on Upwork. Now it’s time to move forward.

Getting your profile accepted

It’s time to make your draft approved Upwork account into an effective landing page. Yes, an Upwork account is like a landing page that receives tailored traffic and converts proposals into leads and leads into customers.

Writing your profile

There are three aspects to a successful profile on Upwork, and they will make you successful because 99% of people use a boring description about how good, professional and busy they are. (Spoiler for those guys: everyone’s supposed to be like that, so what makes you different from the others?)

If you’re reading this article, you are different, potentially one of the 1%. So you should ensure you cover these bases:

  1. Describe your processes. Systems are typical of real professionals and not amateurs. That’s why their descriptions create trust.
  2. Detail your skills. If you’re a developer and you know c++, Laravel, Java, etc., you might not need to describe your artistic ability to generate a logo, but it’s really important that you can define what you can and can’t do based on your previous experience (never say things like, “I’ve never done it before, but I’m confident I can do it; this is a red flag).
  3. Show empathy. This is the profile aspect that gets results. If you already have an established agency, you’re looking for new clients and you know your Ideal Client Avatar, you need to explain how you will solve their “pain points” (if you are at this level, you probably know this already).
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Case studies

You need case studies to prove your credentials and these should be clear for your clients. Use them to tell your prospects what you are selling and what you are capable of. Here are the rules to follow:

  1. Keep it short. Three lines are enough to say how good you are. From x2 ROAS to X7 ROAS from $2,000 ad spend a month in 25 days, on the same budget. See? Easy. We are all too busy to hear about your genial intuition.
  1. Keep it focused. If you do websites and you also manage small Facebook ads campaigns for $200/month keep it to yourself. If you are selling your services to a client, talk only about the things you want to sell and not other services.
  1. Keep it simple. If you use images to describe your work, try a before-and-after approach. Blur any details you need to keep private and have always in mind: “I must keep it simple enough for my eight-year-old cousin to understand it.” If you don’t have a cousin, I can lend one to you 🙂

Headings

Every heading used on Upwork (the heading of your profile, the titles of your case studies, etc) will identify you to potential clients according to SEO parameters. So use relevant terms inside the Upwork dashboards, with a little embellishment. If you do Facebook Ads lead generation for real estate clients, use a title like “Best Real Estate Advertiser”. Real estate is a well-known phrase in the community and using it will rank you high in the search results. It’s like positioning for SEO keywords on Google.

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Keywords

I use a piece of paper for this vital exercise but you can use a Word document or whatever. Write down all the keywords you can think of that define your activities. Include only those activities that you have described in your case studies, not others.

Divide the keywords into macro-categories, and then into micro-categories. So, for example, if one of your services is to create landing pages with Elementor but you do not do coding, put down as a macro action: the creation of the page, creation of the design; and then as a micro task: integration of email marketing.

Obviously, you need to know what you can and can’t do in your own area of expertise.

Now people usually get lost when I explain this next part, so use all your powers of concentration not to get distracted. When you are “accepted” by Upwork your profile will not become active immediately. This happens only when you get your first job. You will learn that because Upwork will ask you to make a call to their service and they will ask you your name and other questions. On the call your face must be visible.

Before your profile is active you have some limitations (not least of which is zero credibility in the eyes of potential clients).

I have an incredible tip to help you get your first job in less than 48 hours.

An important point about reading job posts: you need to be able to read quickly to separate the works that fit you from those that don’t. Watch the video to see what I mean.

Quick video https://www.loom.com/share/06b5d9410eb24853886122141516bb74

When looking for jobs, use keywords that define your service (the macro keywords), for example: campaign management ASAP, graphic designer fast turnaround.

Search on the bar for these timeframe keywords:

test

test website

users test

 

To be hired (as shown in the video) to test a game, an app, or whatever, search

 

fast turnaround

asap

urgent

When you’re starting out, here’s a possible approach. Instead of looking for a big project as your first Upwork job, you might search for a bit of consultancy, or just do the strategy for a customer of yours. This would mean that as a first job you’re paid just to give your opinion on your everyday job and your prospects will feel safer than if they were giving you $2,000 for a full web-design project, say. Indeed also for developer profiles, your strategy might be to introduce yourself to the customer and then do an upsell to sell your complete service.

If the prospect has included some criteria and you don’t fit them you can still apply but an Upwork algorithm will place your proposal low down on the list of applicants.

Submitting proposals

Your profile is finally ready and you’re ready to apply for work. Remember: apply only for those jobs that fit your skills, and in which you have expertise.

 

Checklist for skills:

 

=> Level => Entry level/ Intermediate/ Expert

=> Earnings =>

=> Success rate

=> Language

=> Does the job require things I can do and I can prove I did before? Can I explain my work clearly with a case study plus a short comment?

 

How to write a good proposal

Josh Burns has made $400K a year with the kind of proposal that I love. He uses a template split into five sections

 

1. The hook Write something that will immediately strike the prospect, something like, “Hey, I’ve seen your previous reviews and they are so positive, it would be a pleasure for me to work with you bla bla bla.” Tip: write your hook all on the same line, not broken up like this:

Hi there,

I wanted to reach out…

 

This is because when potential clients will review the first line of your hook before opening the message, and this technique gives you more space and so more words to convince the prospect to open the message.

 

2. The central message Move from the hook to the central part where you discuss why you are relevant for the job. There are things in the template you can keep fixed, but you cannot copy and paste for every client (unless you want to lose many potential clients). Offer real value to the customer, answering his questions and trying to figure out how you will do the job.

 

3. Case studies: this part is related to the 2) and it’s where you highlight what you’ve said with the proof of your action: your case studies, your job is done. If you do have not enough documents on Upwork attached to the proposal, but be relevant.

 

A little trick: you can record a video presentation that summarizes parts 2 and 3 using Loom, you will do the same things, but recording a video. Usually, that technique has a higher conversion rate than the written proposals.

 

4. Pull away: don’t look desperate: pose questions, doubts, state that you don’t work with anyone, explain your doubts about the project presented, in one word: don’t look that hungry that you would.

5. End as a real professional, like “Looking forward to hearing from you” or “I’ve reviewed my schedule, I’m available to start this job from Wednesday” ( ASAP it sounds desperate if the job post doesn’t require it.

 

THE END? 

I have literally no idea how to proceed. Would you like to hear a strategy about how to make 2200$ of work in a week on Upwork, or you would like to hear advanced strategies for agencies to make Upwork an important lead gen channel ( what to do and what to avoid)? Please write how I can help you in the comment below and I’ll be back with a new article.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you 

 

A little tip: once the lead generation is active and the provider starts getting the first client, or the conversion rate between leads vs closed customers is increasing, it might be better to focus your profile services and the proposals you apply to only for those services where you have the higher profit.

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