#012: 3 Tips to Make 6 Figures on UpWork

August 19, 2022
Read time: 4.92 minutes

Today, I'm going to share 3 Pro Tips to land GREAT clients on UpWork.

Most people assume UpWork is full of bottom feeder clients that are looking to pay $5 an hour for top tier talent.

This is true 98.3% of the time.

For me, the other 1.7% has meant: 

• My first $625 earned as an entrepreneur
• A 7-day, all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas for a job
• $398,922 in lifetime revenue from clients found on UpWork
• $118,220 in revenue earned from referrals from UpWork clients

And it's not just me.

A firm owner in my coaching program landed a $4500/month client on UpWork a couple weeks ago.

UpWork can be a great place to find your 1st client or your 25th client.

Unfortunately, most firm owners never even land 1 client from UpWork because they're too casual about it. 

You have to take a disciplined approach to UpWork.

Most people sign into UpWork and:

• Get overwhelmed and bounce.
• Scroll, don't see any gems, and bounce.
• Apply for 1 position and bounce.
• Apply for 30 positions, get no responses, and bounce.

Those approaches won't get you results.

But with discipline, structure, and consistency, UpWork can produce amazing results.

Here are 3 Pro Tips that you can leverage to maximize your time and results on UpWork:

Pro Tip 1: Apply 3x a day. Every day.

Most positions get over 50 applicants in the first couple of hours after posting. 

By applying early and often, your application will be at the top of their list. If you're applicant #62, they'll never see you.

Searching and applying 3 times a day was the best cadence for me:

☀️ Start of the work day
🌮 Just before lunch time
🌙 Before I close up for the day

If you're serious, you'll block time on your calendar.

Pro Tip 2: Use semi-templated applications.

The fastest way to get ignored is to use an obvious cut-and-paste application: 

"Hi. I would love to help you with this position. I have many years of experience as a CFO. Here's my Calendly link to schedule a call with me.  -Fred"

That won't work, Fred.

Copy and paste doesn't work - but creating a new application for every job posting takes too long.

A semi-templated response works great. Here are some things you can include: 

Intro (very custom) - Include specific words from their job posting. This signals that you took the time to read their posting. Tell them why the work they're looking for is so important to their success. 

Middle (mildly custom) - Talk a little about your experience and the services you offer. But make sure it all points back to what they asked for. Remember, it's about them - not you.

End (very templated) - Ask them to hop on a call with you and include 2 specific dates/times that work for you.

A semi-templated response gets the best of both worlds: personalization and efficiency.  

Pro Tip 3: Quality check job postings before applying.

You must weed out the clients that aren't serious or who aren't willing/able to pay for your expertise. You also need to make sure the work is aligned with what you want to do.

Here are 5 things to look out for:

1. Payment verification + Total spend
👉
Payment verified is a must for me.
👉 A history of spending is a good sign too.

2. Hourly rate
👉 Usually $85/hr+ is my threshold.

3. Stars/reviews
👉 Are these guys good to work with? I target 4.5+.

4. Job description
👉 If they're saying CFO but asking for accounting, I stay away. 
This is actually fairly common.

5. Job activity
👉 Fewer proposals = good.
👉 Lower interviewing number = good.
👉 Recent "last viewed" = good.

Like most things in life, you have to take a disciplined approach to UpWork if you want it to work for you.  

These 3 Pro Tips have enabled me to get great clients without spending hours a day applying to hundreds of jobs.

UpWork can work for you too, if you stay loyal to the process.


That's all for this Friday.  3 Pro Tips to land great clients on UpWork.

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Your coach, 
Michael King

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