How To Get Your First Job On UpWork (Fast) – 5 Tips!


– 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)

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