Digital Nomad Guides

Upwork 101: How to Stand Out from the Rest

This is an old Upwork guide on how to stand out from the rest that got deleted along with my other blog content 🙁 Enjoy!

I’m not sure whether to start a new blog for my freelance ventures or just expand Soulful Mandy as a no-niche blog. But because I’m too lazy for updates, I now declare this a complete mix of everything kind of blog, so here you go.

I’ve been an Upwork user for the past almost year. I have 86% of clients who would recommend me and 11% long-term clients. I’m currently an ongoing virtual assistant and a copywriter, tracking 30 hours on Upwork every single week and earning $600 per week on average.

My niche isn’t exactly unique – about 40 freelancers apply for a virtual assistant job ad and probably twice as more for a copywriter / article writer ad. So how is it that a foreigner managed to get attention from clients who usually want a native English speaking client?

Upwork 101: How to Stand Out from the Rest

How to stand out on Upwork
1. Be Quick

Upwork might be a side hustle, but applying for projects is a full time job. Enable notifications but check your job feed a few times every single day – apply as soon as you see a job being posted. Top tip: pay for that Upwork membership for your first few months – it’ll pay off.

2. Have a sense of humor

I’ve been on both ends – applying for a job and posting a job on Upwork. And I really appreciate freelancers with a sense of humor – they’re the ones that usually stand out from the rest. This shows your client they can be completely comfortable when talking to you and you’ll motivate them when they want to give up – unless it’s a large company, most people use Upwork for their small busineses. Having employees that make their job fun is a huge bonus.

3. Include samples in your cover letter

Make sure your samples and relevant job experience are added in your cover letter. And keep your cover letter short. 70% of the time, people don’t read cover letters and ask you the same questions you’ve already answered later on. Including samples of your work is a quick-to-the-point way to show them what you got.

Get online certifications from Udemy. Many will appreciate you are trying to learn something, even though you’re not yet a pro at it.

4. Take interest in their work

One of my pet peeves is people who don’t have any questions when asked at job interviews. Dude.

Ask questions. Ask them who their audience is. What their vision is. What their mission is. What they expect from you. Ask questions and take interest in their work – it’ll help you create a connection with your client and an opportunity for

Ask them who their audience is. What their vision is. What their mission is. What they expect from you. Ask questions and take interest in their work – it’ll help you create a connection with your client and an opportunity for long term work. One of my biggest advices is to work for the client, not for the money. The money WILL come. Just not for the first few months 🙂

One of my biggest advices is to work for the client, not for the money. The money WILL come. Just not for the first few months 🙂

5. Arrange a Skype call ASAP

Don’t wait a week – arrange a Skype call ASAP. Most of these employers are just looking to hire people FAST. I have terrible social anxiety and the thought of Skype calling complete strangers seemed absurd. Upwork actually “cured” that anxiety for me and I now really enjoy talking to my clients and getting to know their companies.

Questions you should ask during your Upwork interview:

  • Who’s your audience?
  • How many hours per week are you looking for?
  • (If you’re not on the same timezone) Are you okay with me working on a different timezone?
  • Where do you see your company in 2 years (1 year if it’s a startup)? This is super important because it’ll help you see whether this will be a long-term job and how long are they planning on keeping you.
  • What are you expecting from an [insert job title you’re applying for]?

And that’s it! Don’t worry – this is the first of the Upwork 101 series, stay tuned. If you have any questions, please comment below and I’ll be more than happy to answer them! 🙂

How do you stand out on Upwork?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mandy 1st July 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Hi! I just found your blog through the Copywriter Club group on Facebook. It’s rare to see another freelance copywriter with a lifestyle blog, so your first paragraph definitely spoke to me since I’ve been trying to find the same balance between having a “lifestyle” blog on the same site that promotes my freelance business (especially when everyone says you have to have a niche and stay as exclusive to that niche as possible). I’m always looking for people to talk blogging/freelancing/copywriting/website stuff with, so I figured I’d stop by and say hey 🙂

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