New to Upwork + Can’t Find Clients? Try these 4 tips to win your first creative project.
#1 - Pull in Past Testimonials for Social Proof
The #1 thing that prevents clients from wanting to take a chance on new freelancers is a lack of track record. (And it’s not personal, if you think about it! Would you invest in someone without the proof that they can do the job successfully?)
To help build trust with clients that you’re great to work with, add in testimonial quotes from past references to your Profile. This can be content from a past employer or instructor or even former work colleague. When I was new to Upwork, I pulled on quotes from my college professors who had written me LinkedIn reviews, picking content that showed qualities I felt clients would probably want in a freelancer: passion, work ethic, and commitment to quality.
#2 Build Your Portfolio with Pro Bono Work
Your Portfolio of past work is another key opportunity to advance your “proof” as a new Upworker. If you don’t have relevant project examples from a past job or you’re new at the skillset you’re trying to sell yourself with, you can complete pro bono creative work to share tangible examples of your talent in action.
Though a pro bono project means free work, it doesn’t have to be a large effort. Check out @taprootfoundation to find nonprofit gigs, and consider reaching out to local small businesses to see if they‘d be interested in your services.
#3 - Make Your Profile About the Client
Even if you don’t have experience on Upwork, you can still craft a strong argument for being the creative that clients want to hire. Just tell them what you can do for their business.
Your Profile should start with a summary statement of how you help your clients, as opposed to what your credentials/education/degree are. Tell the story of how you take them from Point A to B; paint the picture of the results they can gain in working with you.
#4 - Have Patience
It might take time to win your first client--but staying positive and resilient in your search and proposal process will be vital if you want to build a niche-leading presence on Upwork. Being flexible on your price point at the beginning can help you to quickly build a base of happy clients--and it all really snowballs from there.
Clients will sense if your energy is frustrated or gripping -- so approach each opportunity with an open mind and confidence that’s what’s for you is on its way.