- What's up everyone?
Welcome to Josh Burns Tech.
Are you new to freelancing on UpWork and are you struggling
to get your first job on the platform?
If so, then stick around 'cause in this video
I'm gonna give you five tips that will help you
get your first job on UpWork coming right up.
(bright Christmas music)
So listen, if this is your first time here,
my channel focuses on tech how-to videos,
tech reviews, and freelance consulting tips and tricks
so to stay up to date on all the future content
coming to the channel,
be sure to hit the subscribe button
in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
And now let's go ahead and jump into the video.
So before we jump into the five tips,
to give you a little background and history
of my journey on UpWork as a freelancer,
I started in May of 2016 and since then,
I've made nearly $400,000 across 70 different client jobs
and also worked more than 5,300 hours.
I recently flew out to UpWorks headquarters
in San Francisco, I got to meet some really great people
and I'm a huge believer in the platform
especially moving forward into the future
giving you the flexibility to make your own schedule,
control your pay and take advantage
of all the amazing opportunities that exist on UpWork,
and my goal is to be an example of that for you,
to show you what is possible if you put the work in,
what is possible pay-wise,
being able to build your online brand,
your online portfolio, the opportunities are endless
if you're willing to take advantage of them
and put the work in.
So before we jump into the five tips
to help you get your first job on UpWork as a freelancer,
the first thing that you obviously need is a great profile.
So if you don't have a great profile yet,
you just started, you haven't put the time
in to making it great, be sure to watch my last video
which focuses on UpWork top rated tips
and one big section of that video,
I focus on profile, I go through my entire profile,
explain what I did to create it
and you really need to go through that first
before watching this video.
So if you haven't watched that yet,
go ahead and click on the card at the top of screen here,
it's gonna link you to my last video
so you can go through that, get your profile looking great
and attractive before you jump into these steps.
So now let's go ahead and dive into tip number one
which is find the right jobs using advanced search.
There are literally millions of jobs on UpWork
so it's vital that you're finding the right jobs,
applying for the right jobs that fit your skillset,
your knowledge and what you can provide
value with to clients.
So what we're gonna look at now is advanced search
which I highly recommend
that you use when finding jobs on UpWork.
So when you're on the Find Work tab of UpWork,
click on the Advanced Search option
which is right below the Search For Jobs text box.
This is gonna give you different options
that you can fill in to do your advanced search.
The one that I would recommend
is where it says Any of These Words
or it can be All These Words but Any of These Words,
I'm gonna enter in SQL which applies
to specific jobs that I bid on and that I work on myself.
So I'm gonna type in SQL,
you would enter in something for yourself.
If you're in graphic design,
enter in graphic design for instance.
Type that in and then hit Search.
So as you can see, now we're in the Advanced Search,
we have SQL typed in as the keyword that we're looking for
and what we can do now
is we can click on the Filters button right here
and this is gonna give us a lot of other options
that we can include in our search.
So these other options include job type, hourly or fixed.
I wouldn't really limit that in your search initially
when you're trying to get your first job,
keep both of them in there
'cause you're gonna wanna see both types of jobs.
Then you have experience level
which includes entry level, intermediate, and expert.
So the price, the hourly rate,
the overall budget for the job
usually correlates directly to the experience level
so you can see entry level has one dollar sign,
intermediate has two dollar signs
and expert has three dollar signs.
We're not gonna limit that right now
but I usually do currently
because what I do is I limit all my searches
to expert or intermediate, not usually mainly just expert
because hourly rates for intermediate
are gonna drop off below what I charge
so usually expert level.
But to get your first job,
we're gonna leave all of them selected
so we can take a look at them.
On Client History, we're gonna leave it
as Any Client History because personally
I've had a lot of jobs
where I was their first freelancer on UpWork
and some of those have turned into big clients
so I'm not gonna limit that.
Client Info, Payment Verified is probably one
that we want to select especially for your initial job
because the new clients that aren't payment verified yet,
if you're bidding on their jobs,
one thing you would have to do
is before they actually hired you,
you have to tell them you know,
go ahead and make your account payment verified
to make sure that they can actually pay you.
So to prevent you from having to go
through that process initially
when you're trying to get your first job,
we're gonna filter that out.
Number of Proposals is definitely one
that I would consider very important
when you're trying to get your first job
on UpWork as a freelancer.
If you look at the 20 to 50 proposal range,
if you've been on that,
it's probably gonna be a waste your time,
it may not be but 99% of the time
is probably gonna be a waste your time
because clients are gonna look
through the different proposals,
they're gonna see all these other freelancers
that have a big history on UpWork built up
and yours is probably gonna get skipped all in that mix.
So for this Advanced Search,
we're gonna include the less than five proposal range.
Five to 10 and then 10 to 15 as well.
Next for budget we're gonna leave it open at any budget.
If you already had a history built up on UpWork,
then you only want to apply to certain jobs
that have a certain level of a budget,
then you can include that here in the Advanced Search.
We're gonna leave it open since this is your first job,
you're trying to get on UpWork
so we're gonna leave that as Any Budget.
On Hours Per Week, you don't wanna limit that,
leave it as Any Hours Per Week
and then Project Length as well,
leave it as Any Project Length.
So when you're going through
and applying filters to your search,
you don't have to hit search again or anything like that,
it's dynamic and it's automatically
going to update the listing of jobs that you're seeing.
Before we dive in and look at some of the job listings
that popped up based on our advanced search,
what we can do now is we can also save this search
where we can quickly use it again in the future.
So I'm just gonna click on Save Search
which is this button right here
and we'll type in first job and click Save.
So be able to see this on our main five jobs screen
so that we can quickly click on it
next time we're looking for a job on UpWork.
So now with all of our filters applied,
we can take a look at jobs that met our filters.
So what we'll do now is scroll down
and take a look at a few of these jobs.
So these jobs met all the filters,
they have the SQL keyword included in them as well.
This one right here is one I bid on,
I was trying to get my first job on UpWork as a freelancer.
It has an overall fixed budget price of $50
which is low but you want to get
some reviews under your belt, get some five-star reviews,
this is one I have a lot of experience with
in high availability for SQL server.
It's one that I know I can deliver five-star value on
so this is one that I would bid on initially
to get my first job on UpWork,
get a great review under my belt
and start building up client trust.
So then again scrolling down looking at all the other jobs,
you can see that all of these are meeting our filters,
they're jobs that we would want to bid on initially
when trying to get our first job,
they all have a low amount of proposals,
I've been applying to them, they're really new jobs,
and they're ones that meet all the filters that we applied.
We're now ready to dive into tip number two
which is apply quick.
Applying to jobs quickly is gonna get your proposal
ranked higher in their list of proposals.
They're gonna be able to see your proposal
ranked towards the top because there are gonna be
very little amount of proposals that have been sent in
for that specific job.
And most often, after clients post their job,
they're gonna look at the initial proposals
that are coming in from freelancers.
I know this because I have a freelance employer account,
I used it to hire my video editor for YouTube
and after I submitted my job on UpWork,
I found myself paying attention to the freelancers
that were bidding quickly,
I took a look at their work history,
not even just their UpWork history but the jobs they listed
as their previous jobs of employment,
I took a look at those,
any type of samples of work they submitted as well
and then I short-listed the freelancers that I liked a lot.
So I'm not recommending that you only focus on new jobs,
I'm just recommending that you apply to those jobs first
because that's gonna give you the best chance
to get a client to start interacting with you
and message you about their job.
So to make sure those are appearing
at the top of your advanced search,
we've already done one thing to do that
and that is to list the number of proposals
to limit it to less than five, five to 10, 10 to 15.
Those are typically gonna be new jobs
that are gonna fall within that filter.
The second thing is to make sure the sort is on newest.
So there's different types of sorting that you can do,
the main thing is to make sure it's on newest,
it's gonna place the newest jobs at the top of your list.
Now with the number of proposal filters set up
and we have the sort on newest,
we can scroll down and we can start seeing the jobs
that were just recently posted.
So this one it's an interesting job flag,
that's the reason it's here, it's five days ago.
The only reason it's appearing on the top of the list
'cause it's this interesting job flag
that UpWork uses to place certain jobs
at the top of your list so it is older
but that's all the reason it's appearing there.
Now if we start looking at the other jobs,
you can see this Azure expert one
was only posted 16 minutes ago,
45 minutes ago, 50 minutes ago,
look at this, less than five proposals,
less than five proposals,
five to 10 when you start getting into an hour ago,
less than five, that's why I'm recommending
that you apply to jobs quickly.
There's gonna be a low amount of proposals
and your proposal has a better chance of being seen
by the client when there's a very small amount of proposals
that have been submitted for their job.
Now we're ready to jump in to tip number three
which is write proposals to attract clients.
In addition to bidding on jobs quickly,
it's also vitally important
that you're writing attractive proposals
to convince the client to hire you
even though you're a new freelancer
without any reviews or any feedback,
you need to convince the client to hire you
over freelancers that do have feedback and previous history,
so your proposal is something
that's very important and doing that.
So even though I personally think
my proposals were absolutely horrible
when I first started and yours won't be that great either
and you're gonna continuously improve
your proposals over time,
we're gonna take a look at my first proposal
that helped me obtain
my first job on UpWork as a freelancer.
So I got my first job on UpWork as a freelancer
on May 31st of 2016.
So what we're gonna do
is we're gonna look at this specific job,
see what I used my proposal that helped
give me the job over other freelancers
so let's dive into that now.
For this first job that I obtained on UpWork,
I worked a little bit over 41 hours
and made a little bit over $1,000 as well.
And honestly that exceeded my expectations
of my first job on UpWork.
I was very happy to make what I made on that
and then work the amount of hours
that I got on that job as well.
So the first important thing that I did
and something you definitely need to do
is read the job description fully.
So I read through the job description,
I found out that it was a job related to updating a database
which is definitely in my wheelhouse of my skills that I do
so I read the job description fully,
made sure it was something that I should be bidding on
and then also checked out,
made sure it was payment verified
which is gonna happen from the filter
that I showed you how to apply earlier
and the client reviews were also great as well
so this client has really good reviews from freelancers
giving them reviews and honestly that type of review
definitely fits this client,
was one of my best clients that I've worked with
and that's something to definitely pay attention to.
Make sure that you're gonna start out with a client
that's at least a four to five star client.
You don't want to start out
with any less than that initially
because you want your first job to be a good one.
You wanna get a great review, you wanna work with a client
that's gonna communicate well
and notice what they're doing on UpWork
and it's going to be fair.
So make sure that you're at least working with a client
that has four to five star reviews on your first job.
After reading the job description fully,
making sure it's something that I should be applying to,
it's something that's in my skillset,
something that applies to my expertise,
I would then submit my cover letter or proposal.
So now we're going to tear through my proposal
on the first job that I obtained on UpWork.
We're gonna look at things that I did poorly
but also look at things that I did well
that helped get me the job.
I started out listing the SQL server DBA role that I was in,
the extensive experience that I have
with the different versions of SQL server
and then I went into some daily duties and tasks
that I performed routinely.
I probably would have left all these out,
they're definitely not in the proposals that I submit now,
these are kind of fluff
and they just aren't really needed for this type of proposal
so this whole section here I would have excluded.
This section up here is good, I would leave that in there,
I have something similar to that now,
it's definitely different
because I have a few different roles,
especially jobs that I apply to on UpWork,
so this is a little bit different but very similar.
But from here to down to right here,
that would completely be gone,
this is not needed and should be excluded from my proposal.
As an alternative to this section
that I just recommended that be removed,
what I would have done is included something specific
to their description.
So their job description was related to updating a database
so I would have went through, figured out some type of job
or task that I had previously
where I did some database updates and I would have included
something specific to that in this section.
So now my mindset is to dive
into their specific job description
and give something from my experience
that relates directly to it
in that section that I just recommended that we remove.
And now if we scroll down a little bit,
this last section is probably what helped me obtain
my first job on UpWork.
So in this last section, I started out by stating
that I was just beginning my freelancing career on UpWork,
however, you can review my five star ratings,
outstanding reviews and 100% completion rate
on my Freelancer.com profile.
So I initially started out on Freelancer.com,
I initially started there, did a few jobs,
so I included that in my proposal to show them
that I had great reviews on Freelancer.
I didn't have many,
I only did like you know like five jobs or so
but I had some good reviews on there
so I included that in here.
That's not exactly what I think got me the job,
it's the next section down.
Let's read over this last section.
I can assure you that if you work with me once,
you will always work with me on these kinds of projects.
I will do whatever it takes to completely
100% deliver on this project
and earn a five star rating from you as well.
This last section not only displays my confidence
and my ability to deliver on this project
and do it successfully but it also gives them
a sense of my work ethic,
the work that I'm willing to put into this job
because I'm willing to do whatever it takes
to get a five star review from them,
I'm going to over-deliver and exceed any expectations
they have for me as a freelancer.
And that's vitally important, on your first job,
your mindset has to be that you're going to over-deliver,
whatever's expected of you, you're gonna go beyond that
no matter if you have to work more hours
than you initially wanted to.
If it's a fixed price, you're gonna be putting more hours in
than you want to based on the budget for the job.
You have to be willing to over-deliver
to exceed their expectations.
So be sure to use everything I gave you in this tip
to help you write a proposal
to get your first job on UpWork as a freelancer
and also check out my previous video,
I'm going to link another card above.
Check out that video,
it's geared more towards my current proposals
but that will give you a sense
of what I'm doing right now for my proposals
so that once you're able to get your first jobs,
you can move on and gear your proposals
towards different clients.
And again, I'll keep repeating it, over-deliver.
Over-delivering is gonna get you reviews like this one.
A good five star review,
great feedback that looks great on your profile
and stands out when other clients come to your profile
and they start checking out your reviews
that you have in your history.
Now let's move into tip number four
which is nail your interview.
So after you've attracted a client with your cover letter,
you've got them to message you about their job,
the next thing I recommend doing
is jumping on a call with them,
a quick call to further discuss their job in more detail
and identify how your skillset can best fit them
and their job and help them be successful.
So if you look at my current cover letters,
this wasn't in the one that we just looked at
from my older cover letters
but be sure to include this in yours
because here's what I stated.
Please let me know when you'd be available
for an initial 15 to 30 minute call free of charge
so that we can discuss your project in more detail
and identify how my skillset will work best for you.
This is definitely something that I recommend
that you include at the bottom of your cover letter,
it's worked very well for me.
For clients that are interested in hiring me,
when I use this at the bottom of my cover letter,
they always reach out to me to ask me
when I would be available
for the initial 15 to 30 minute call,
it makes them feel like I'm really interested
in their project and it gives me a chance
to better portray my skills to them
to give them another reason to hire me
over other freelancers.
So just word this last part however you want to word it,
you can change it around, you know,
I'm not telling you to copy and paste
what I'm using obviously
but word it the way that you want to word it
to attract them to get on an initial call with you
that will help you secure their job.
So for this specific job proposal that I submitted,
it's for one of my clients that I've done a lot of work for,
one of my best clients.
If we scroll down to look at their first message to me
after I submitted my proposal, they wrote,
hi Joshua, do you have time to discuss tomorrow 10AM EST?
So they initially sent me the message
after they saw my proposal,
saw the last line that I included about the initial call,
their first message to me was to ask me
if I was gonna be available the next day
to get on a call with them.
Some other items of advice to nail your first interview
would be to do your homework,
read over the job description more before the call,
make sure you know what you're going to say,
how you're going to portray yourself to them
to provide value to them and completing their job
or their project successfully and be professional.
Make sure even the way that you're typing on UpWork
in the messaging feature,
you're portraying yourself in a professional manner
and do the same for your interview.
A lot of these clients may end up
wanting to also get on a video call with you
so make sure that you know
I'm not saying dress professionally you know,
it's UpWork, you're working from home,
that's one of the best features of UpWork,
but make sure that you look
like you didn't just wake out of bed five minutes ago,
make sure that you at least
are portraying yourself in a professional manner
and presenting yourself well.
Don't just roll out of bed, get on a call,
on a video call with the client,
make sure that you're preparing yourself
for that aspect of it as well.
And now let's dive in to tip number five
which is never give up mentality.
So when you're working hard to get your first job on UpWork,
you're putting in the time,
you're working hard on your proposals, your cover letters,
submitting a lot of them
and gearing them specifically to client's jobs
and you're still not hearing back from any clients,
don't give up.
I remember my first days on UpWork like it was yesterday.
I was submitting a lot of proposals for jobs,
my proposals weren't great obviously,
they were a work in progress,
I was submitting a lot of them,
not hearing back from any clients.
Trust me, I realize it gets discouraging
to make you almost want to give up.
I've been there, I know exactly how you feel
if you're in that situation at the moment
but push through it.
Be sure to look inward, look at what you're doing
or what you can do differently to get your first job.
I see too many freelancers complaining
that they can't get jobs on UpWork
because other freelancers bid lower than them price-wise,
et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I see too much of that, it's not true.
I have the job history to back it up,
I continuously get new jobs to back it up
and they're just not putting in the work,
they're not using the filters,
they're not looking at the right types of jobs
or applying for the right types of jobs either.
So again, the early days on UpWork and freelancing,
I've been there, I've submitted tons of proposals
and not heard back from any clients.
However, don't give up
because you're going to hear back from clients.
The more proposals you submit,
someone is going to select you, it's going to happen.
So you just have to stay focused, keep submitting proposals,
don't give up because someone is going to like you
and they're going to contact you.
And you never know, you may think it's gonna be
some little job that you're gonna do, I've had those,
I've had jobs that I submitted proposals for,
I've got the job and I'm like okay,
this is gonna be a smaller job to complete quickly,
something that'll be good for me to have.
But then it's turned into something long-term,
they've reached out to me to ask me
if I could work with them more
on different types of projects
and some of those that I thought
were gonna be very small jobs initially,
turned out to be some of my biggest jobs
that I've made some of the most money on on UpWork.
I'm confident that if you follow the tips from this video,
you will get your first job on UpWork as a freelancer
and if you've already had your first job on UpWork,
be sure in the comments section below
to list the date that your first job started on UpWork.
Again, my channel focuses on tech how to videos,
tech reviews and freelance consulting tips and tricks
so on this end screen, be sure to hit that subscribe button
for more videos just like this.
Until next time.
(lighthearted Christmas music)