According to a 2017 study commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union, more than 50% of the U.S. workforce will work on a freelance or contingent basis by 2027.
In other words, freelancing is in vogue, thanks in part to a rapidly growing cohort of startups leveraging on-demand freelance labor like never before.
Where Freelancers Can Find Work
To stave off financial pressures that might leave them longing for cubicle life, freelancers must continuously be on the lookout for new projects and opportunities. These resources help thousands of freelancers find work online and in their local areas, keeping their skills sharp and their bank accounts full.
With total annual member earnings north of $1 billion, Upwork is one of the United States’ most popular freelance platforms. It’s favored by a “who’s who” of innovative American companies and organizations, from UCLA and Accenture to Airbnb and Microsoft.
Core Upwork verticals include writing, web development, design and creative work, sales and marketing, customer service, virtual assistance, accounting, and business consulting.
Job postings that require fewer specialized skills, such as website content writing and logo design, tend to have more applicants. More complicated jobs, especially OS-specific development work, may be less competitive. As you gain traction on Upwork, you’ll find it easier to compete for sought-after projects, as clients prefer workers with higher lifetime earnings, lots of positive client feedback, and portfolios rich with solid deliverables.
A stellar profile helps too. Upwork advises new users to create complete, error-free profiles with professional photos and comprehensive accountings of relevant skills, experience, and educational credentials.
Landing work on Upwork takes some effort. When you come across an appealing job posting, you must put together a proposal that includes your qualifications, estimated completion time (including a detailed timeline for each deliverable), and required compensation – either an hourly rate or a flat fee, depending on the client’s specifications.
Clients generally follow up on proposals that offer the optimal combination of experience, skills, and reasonable compensation requirements. Most jobs involve at least one phone or Skype interview before hiring unless they’re one-off affairs that require just a few hours of work.
All Upwork transactions occur through the platform’s internal payments system, which carries a payment guarantee – in other words, if a client stiffs you for completed work, you have recourse. Upwork takes a cut of every client payment on a sliding scale:
- 20% of payments up to the first $500 in lifetime billings with the same client
- 10% of payments between $500.01 and $10,000 in lifetime billings with the same client
- 5% of payments above $10,000.01 in lifetime billings with the same client
Payment options include PayPal, Payoneer, direct deposit, local funds transfer, and wire transfer…Read more>