Getting started as a freelancer on Upwork

Freelancing usually offers a lot of freedom, flexibility, and other benefits. Freelancers want a lifestyle they can control independent of company structures. You still have clients and have to meet their demands plus follow contractual obligations, but the fine details of your everyday life are under your control. That being said becoming a freelancer takes a lot of hard work and it’s not for everyone. In this blog, we briefly talk about developers' switch to freelancing.

So Let’s start by setting the right expectations here —

  • You won’t make a full-time income from the get-go. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.
  • You might get overwhelmed with being your own manager and being accountable for your deliverable
  • You need to develop your non-technical skills too, such as effective communications, time management, project management, etc
  • The idea of freelancing is also appealing to those who would like to make extra money even though they’re already working a full-time dev job.
  • It can get super competitive, and so a lot of Grit is required to make it as a successful freelancer
  • The above list can go on, however, if you really want to start off freelancing, then you need to be ready to give it your 100% commitment.

It’s common for developers to go the freelance route. This is true for many of our college graduates as much as It is true for many who have developer jobs but are considering going out on their own. Below are some of the most common questions we get asked by our graduates;

What platform should I start with?

  • There are a lot of freelancing marketplaces that can help find quality contract-based jobs, but UpWork is perhaps one of the most beginner-friendly and trusted platforms. We highly recommend Upwork, not because we are promoters of the platform, but because we genuinely feel the features that safeguard the freelancer's interests are super, and the interface is easy navigation too.

What are the Upwork payment options?

  • Upwork offers various payment models for the contracts on the platform, there’s a fixed price option and an hourly rate option. A fixed price contract means that the client and freelancer agree on a fixed amount for the entire contract or job, this price can further be broken down into milestones to ensure timely and systematic delivery and payments. The hourly contract is when the client and freelancer agree on an hourly rate to get the job done.

How to get freelance jobs on Upwork?

  • First of all, you need to sign up and create an effective Upwork account. It is a very important step as a freelancer as an Upwork profile gives potential employers a first impression about you.
  • Second, you should choose a niche or a skill. You can cover multiple skills for sure, but it is better to choose a niche as it will give you a competitive edge over other freelancers.
  • Third, you should not take up any freelancing job that comes your way as you need to work on your Upwork profile and you also need to earn money. Focus on having a small number of clients and make sure you work hard and deliver quality work. It is the only thing a client wants from a contractor and it also helps the profile get better.

Treat Upwork like a constant stream of jobs, meaning jobs are being posted constantly on the platform, and you should be checking Upwork as regularly as possible to be able to bid for good jobs. Look at Upwork, twice a day if not every day. You should be looking at all jobs under the filter of your skills. Doing this will sharpen your skills to filter jobs much quicker and get a wider understanding of the types of jobs being posted every day. Below are a few things to look out for while searching for a good job on Upwork;

  • The client history
  • Location and timezone difference
  • Must have skills and qualifications
  • Competition on that particular job

These are a few of the things to keep in mind when starting off as a freelancer.

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