Upwork works as a platform and service to help find reliable talent online. Its aim is to solve problems associated with big and small online businesses worldwide.
It is a platform that serves different purposes for both freelancers and other companies.
When it comes to freelancers, it provides a genuine and reliable platform for them to look out for employers seeking their services and fairly get paid for it.
For the companies, it provides the platform where professionals knock at the door ready to offer the services you are looking for.
You will get to see their profiles and portfolio before you hire out.
Companies will no longer need to go round the internet looking for the best people to hire.
The freelancers are rated by former employers depending on the previous jobs that they have done helping you to know about their history and reliability.
Upwork gets to combine all of the above and offer a safe place to “give and take” in the freelancing online world.
Just like it is when you get accepted to Merch by Amazon, the excitement that comes with it is on another level.
They offer you 10 positions with two upload daily.
There are endless possibilities in such an opportunity, but the first thing you need to do is to get to know the basics first.
Know everything you need to know about the business of focus.
This is the only way you could get to outsource and get a successful business out of it.
You just need to be a professional and act like one and you will never miss finding a reliable talent in the online world.
How to get started
1. Sign up to the Upwork platform
The first step is to get your Upwork account set up and activated to be ready.
From this point, you are now set to make your first post.
At the top of the Upwork page, you will get to see a button “become a freelancer” and click on it.
The button will take you to a page detailing how freelancing works.
As you scroll down, you will come across the button “if you’re hiring”, click on the green button that prompts you to get started.
You will now need to fill out the form with the requested details of your name and email address and you will be already signed up.
This takes only a few minutes and you are ready to move on to the next step.
Before you do that, make sure you verify your email address.
Get to your email and click on the link sent to you by Upwork to verify your email address.
Set up the security questions for your account then follow the prompt to specify your billing method.
Upwork has two types of processing fees including 2.75% as a fine option and $25 every month ideal for those people who spend huge amounts of money on Upwork.
You have a few options to pick, from the credit cards to PayPal.
For PayPal option, ensure that you have a verified PayPal account and your Upwork account is now ready to post!
2. What exactly are you looking for?
After you are all signed up, get to the account’s dashboard and fill out your project specifics.
Coming from the top scrolling down to the bottom you will need to select the following:
Project category and subcategory
Under this menu, you will need to specify the category and subcategory of the project.
For example, under the category “Project Virtual Assistant” you may choose a subcategory “graphic and design” or any other subcategory that fits the job you are going to post.
Name of the job you are posting
This is the part that you mention the specific name of your job posting.
Tell the freelancers what it is that you need from them.
This also helps them decide on whether to apply for the job or not without wasting their time.
For example, a job posting with the title “design creators required for $20 per content”.
The title is upfront and any freelancer who comes across it and is comfortable with the payment will show interest or send an application immediately.
Upwork is full of different freelancers with different capabilities and you will come across some of them not comfortable with your offer and some might even harass you for it.
As a professional, ignore such and look for the ideal candidate among the positive applicants to hire.
Give a detailed description of the job
You need to be very clear here.
This is where you need to provide the details for your job posting stating clearly and in simple language what needs to be done.
Be straight up with the freelancers and let them know the nitty-gritty of your job posting.
The type of project
Specify the type of project i.e. could be a one-time project, one month, three months or an ongoing project without a specific timeline.
It is advisable to choose the “ongoing” project type especially if you want to find an employee that will stick with you throughout your Merch account’s growth.
It does not necessarily have to be continuous work; it will be a lot easier for you to get back to the same person who did a good job for you.
How many freelancers do you need?
Pick an option for the number of workers you need.
It is advisable to take the option for multiple freelancers even if you only need one.
The reason is, when you choose one slot, many freelancers will not have the energy to compete over it.
The multiple slots encourage more applications where you choose the ideal person for your job.
Which Country should the freelancers come from?
You can specify the country you opt that the freelancers should come from.
You can also pick the option of any location if you are not so specific about the country they should come from.
What are the skills needed?
Specify the skills required for the job to help the applicants weigh and range themselves before submitting proposals.
When should be the starting date?
Here, you need to pick a date when the project should commence.
If you want the job done as soon as possible, pick the very date you post the job.
How much do you want to pay?
You need to quote a fixed amount that you would like to pay.
A fixed price is better than the hourly rate where you get freelancers dragging their time to make more money.
What is your budget?
You can quote the amount of your budget keeping in mind that you are not going to pay all of it to the person you hire.
You are free to adjust the amount once you hire someone. Quote a budget that exposes your job to many freelancers.
The level of experience needed
Select the level of experience needed for the job.
An intermediate level is normally the best you can choose to get a good number of applicants to choose from.
You will get new freelancers applying but their job is amazing.
Carefully sort through the applications to make sure you land on the best choice.
Add some screening questions
Screening questions will help you assess the talent and the English level of your potential.
Mostly, ask questions seeking for explanations to see how they type and their English command in general.
Go through the Cover letter
Check the cover letter box to allow freelancers to introduce themselves to you.
You will be able to assess their English command and also have a sense of who they really are before you hire.
Go ahead and post the Job!
After you have followed each of the above steps, you are good to go! Post the job and then wait to receive applications.
3. Screening and hiring
In an hour or less time, you will see applications starting to get into your inbox.
This process will require you to set a good amount of time to attend to it.
This is the point where you need to make smart choices and be able to compare and select different portfolios.
The applications could be so confusing that you may select one which is not actually the best.
Make sure you go through them carefully in a way that you can tell the advantage that one application has over the others.
It is very possible to miss out on some things if you do not take care.
That is why you need to be very careful with this process.
Exchange a few private messages with the freelancer of your choice to determine their attitude towards the job.
Assess whether or not they are polite, professional, and considerate.
How easy are they to communicate with?
Does the chat back up their competence?
Besides just working relationships, the freelancer you choose is the person that you are going to work together towards building a brand.
Therefore, there should be professionalism and creative aspect communicated by the freelancer and you should be very keen on that.
Different people carry out the processes differently.
There are those employers that conduct their interviews one on one via Skype.
Some will give their potentials test to carry out and hire the one that delivers good work that is on time and follows the directions keenly.
Once you hire, start on a lower note and work on getting higher as time goes by and as you strengthen your working relationship.
Make the starting goals to be short but reasonable.
Giving your freelancer small projects to handle will tell you more about how they handle bigger ones.
In case they go far beyond what you expecting, slowly increase the goals to see how they keep handling it.
This is generally because the process of building a successful working relationship takes some time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring and listing your company on Upwork?
Talent knocks at your door
We all agree that the internet is quite large to seek out talent for your project.
The process can be quite intensive and appear as unending.
When you find the person you think best suits your job, you will still keep feeling that you could have found a better person if you researched more.
Upwork comes in as a solution. You only need to post the job and professionals come knocking at your door.
There are no more lost investments
Most employers who have the experience of hiring workers online have in one way or another come through a horror story.
You get online, advertise your job, hire someone you think is best for the job, assign them the task and pay a certain amount to get the job rolling, the time that you expect them to deliver you find yourself blocked in all the communication channels and they are gone.
Stories are different but this is the most common of them all.
In Upwork, you will get to hire reliable freelancers who will deliver to you without losing your finances.
Upwork acts as a platform that guarantees your safety.
There is a lot of talent to analyze
Just like on the internet, you will still meet so many talents to choose from.
Once you post a job, be sure that hundreds of talent holders will pour in your inbox hoping for a chance.
It is quite a task to go through all these responses as you compare and contrast in order to choose the best freelancer.
To get quality workers means you pay more
In Upwork, expect to deal with different types of talents.
To get the best or decent talent, it means you will have to dig deeper into the pockets.
It is very important to consider that before you plan out your production budget.
Pricing your project
Most of the charges on the Upwork range at $20 – $150 per hour calculating an hourly rate of $45 per hour.
When it comes to designers, it is always advisable to set a fixed payment depending on the understanding of your project requirements.
For better pricing, here are some of the factors that you need to consider:
Experience and expertise
When you are setting an individual rate, keep in mind that a competent freelance delivers quality and works faster delivering on time to their employers.
This means that their pay should match up with their work. The reputation of the freelancer is another factor.
For example, a person who is constantly building his/her portfolio may be paid more than a freelance who is on and off.
The location and the market conditions of the area that the freelancer comes from may also influence pricing.
In summary, to get a good freelancer means matching their expertise with your goals and matching that to the price.
Scope of work
The quote of every project all goes down to the scope of work.
How much work do you need your freelancer to do?
Any kind of content creation requires the freelance to:
- Create and generate concept
- Review and approve the process
- Identify the right thing to do and materials to use
- Come up with the final thing
All the scope of work steps above needs to be considered in order to come up with fair compensation.
In case your project has a rush timeline, you will be required to pay a rush fee (premium) so that your work can start as soon as possible.
You can cut down the time required to complete your project in the following simple ways:
- Be straight forward on what you want – Be specific on your requirements but also allow your creator the freedom to add on their own creativity. Do not be too rigid about what you want as this can extend time through several revisions here and there.
- Have the required materials ready when you post the job – If you want to share a copy with the freelancer, have it prepared and edited ahead of time. Make sure the copy is finalized before work commences. If you want to include photos, ensure that they are of high resolution before you share them to avoid the back and forth.
- Shorten the review and approval process – If you have many freelancers, this means you have a longer timeline as well as more additional revision rounds. Simplify the review and revision process as much as possible.
Upwork offers you the opportunity to invest your money wisely.
The hiring process can be quite a headache before you get used to it.
With time, you will be able to get quality work that will be worth spending on as you learn how to handle your employees.
This is an investment in your Merch business.
You just need to create a solid base of content that sells then you will be able to continue outsourcing as you build your business to the higher tiers.