UpWork (formerly known as oDesk) is one of the best platforms for freelancers around the world. UpWork creates a level playing field for freelancers, so a talented freelancer from India or Malaysia has the same earning potential as someone from Australia or the UK.
There are many freelancers on UpWork who make anything from $20,000 to $50,000 quite comfortably. There are opportunities galore for web designers, content writers, SEO specialists, logo designers, graphic designers, programmers, virtual assistants and more on UpWork. Let’s discuss how you can make the most of UpWork. Here are the top 5 UpWork Tips for Success that you can use.
- Keep Deadlines Realistic and Stick to Them
Deadlines are the biggest issues that many employers have with freelancers. Freelancers are notorious for over promising and setting unrealistic deadlines to get a project and then failing to complete the project on time.
Punctuality gets rewarded big in the freelance world, but it’s something very few freelancers are capable of. There are occasions when you don’t have a choice but to delay the delivery of your work – your child may fall sick, your presence will be required at a family function and so on.
If you are going to miss out on a deadline, be sure to inform your client about it as early as possible. Another thing you should do is to segment the work and define a set of deliverables. This way, by dividing your work into segments, you will ensure that at least a part of the work is done on time. So this keeps the client from getting too upset.
- Focus on Work While On the Timetracker
One of the hardest things about working on oDesk is the Timetracker. Since you will be working on an hourly contract on oDesk, you must focus fully and what you do. The Timetracker takes a screenshot of your activities on the laptop every 10 minutes. You must keep your concentration high and shouldn’t wander off during this time. Chatting with a friend on Facebook when you are supposed to be working for a client on UpWork is something that can get you fired by your client and blacklisted on UpWork. UpWork is not easy, just 4 hours on UpWork are the same as working 10 hours in a normal desk job.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Say No!
There are many clients on UpWork who are impossible to work with. They want your phone number; they don’t pay enough and send you messages throughout the day, requesting changes. They have highly unrealistic expectations and just don’t pay enough. They will even try to emotionally blackmail you so that you do more work for them for no pay. If you meet such clients, it’s better to quit as soon as possible. Just say NO to them. The stress of working for such difficult clients is simply not worth it.
- Don’t Accept Payment outside UpWork
Never accept payment or work outside UpWork. For sure, the 10% service fee charged by UpWork is high, but there is always a chance that when you work for a client outside of UpWork, he may get his work done and simply refuse to pay you. Also, UpWork doesn’t like it when you work outside of the site and if they come to know about it, they can ban your account.
- Learn the Basics of Taxation Laws in Your Country
Just because you are a freelancer does not mean that you don’t have to pay tax. Everything gets taxed, even the money that you make online. Get in touch with your country’s tax office and get all the documentation related to the taxes to be paid by you. If you are based in the United States, do visit the IRS website for the details on the necessary documentation. If you are a non-US freelancer, then you will be asked to fill out the W8-BEN form, to confirm that you are not based in the United States and hence not subject to US tax laws.
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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