14 Tips to get your first client on Upwork


Upwork is the number one freelance website for clients and freelancers at present. It is the world’s largest online workplace. Upwork connects clients with top freelance professionals.

Upwork values a mission to create economic and social value on a global scale by providing a trusted online workplace to connect, collaborate and succeed.

People from 180 countries are using Upwork daily with more than 3 million jobs being posted by clients and completed by freelancers annually on Upwork. Upwork is now a well-established community of more than 14 million clients and freelancers that execute almost $1 Billion worth of work each year.

That’s why Upwork is the best freelance website on the internet and by keeping in mind the following tips, you will discover that there are ample opportunities to find your first client.
But what is the proper procedure to follow in order to get clients? How to present yourself and your profile, and what kind of projects you should be applying for, these are the kind of questions racing through every new freelancer’s mind.

To show novice freelancers the way forward in the very beginning, the Upwork blog provides enough data, information, and knowledge that you can go through to get an initial idea of things. It is important and compulsory that your Upwork profile is 100% complete before you start applying for any projects.

It is vital that your Upwork profile is 100% ready but this in itself is no guarantee that you will get a job. Similarly, a well-written job proposal is also not a guarantee for landing a job. Remember that clients are spending their money sometimes by the hour for your services so he/she will check out all the options available before awarding an assignment to a freelancer.

Explore: How to get more clients with a portfolio website

So let’s understand what are the options and good practices that help you to get your first, second, third, fourth client and beyond on Upwork?

Learn the following points seriously to get your first client on Upwork.

1. Personal Image is everything

Personal image is of utmost importance on your Upwork profile and a well-thought-out and written profile leaves a confident, professional impact on your clients.

Your communication style in a job proposal or cover letter, profile photo, and description can be your first chance to impress a potential client on Upwork. The personality and presentation style of your skills should be first-rate.

Clients notice your skills later but first, they observe your profile photo, title, writing style, spelling and grammar, and job proposal.

So, it is very important that you spend some quality time improving your interpersonal and presentation skills, which will encourage a client to trust you.

2. Understand the job description

Before applying for the project please understand and analyze the task at hand, the problems, and issues associated with it, and the solutions that the client is getting or looking for in a freelancer.

After that communicate your ability to successfully execute the expected solutions in your job proposal. Don’t worry if you’re on the 20th or 30th number down the line, just aim to provide quality in your work, be confident and optimistic and apply for the right project.

If you have the right solution and your skills match the desired assignment then you can try to capitalize on your proficiency in that field by submitting your job proposal at the first chance because submission of a job proposal is your second chance to get your first client.

3. Don’t apply for the jobs only to earn money

The money will start pouring in if your skills are of value but first prepare to provide services and solutions that are of great worth to the client.

Your skills need to be matched with the job description so if your profile title is logo designer then apply only for logo designs jobs at first instead of applying for everything at first sight without experience.

It will help both parties to complete the work successfully with positive reviews for the freelancer after completion which is an added bonus that helps accelerate his or her progress further. Here you can see more about this: How to apply for a job in Upwork

4. Do not talk too early about the prices

As a common practice, the price is already set by clients according to the budget and magnitude of the job. If the price is not according to the efforts you will have to put in, then ask for a review of the price.

Generally, It is always a good idea to discuss such things during the interview but my suggestion to beginners is to avoid being too concerned about the price when you’re looking for your first client. Just get the client after politely conveying the efforts required and the start to build your reputation.

 5. Share your experiences

Share your experiences regarding different projects and assignments you have come across or completed on your Upwork profile and job proposal. Explore everything you can regarding a project that you’re interested in.

A Client will analyze your knowledge and skills after reading this and if your experiences and skills have an impact on the client then he/she will hire you. But be honest about what you share because one small mistake of deception can ruin your reputation and your chances on Upwork forever.

Related: Strategies to get work experience to add in your freelance profile

 6. Open communication

Be a very good communicator. Openly discuss, share and explore the smallest detail about the project during the test job, during interview time or in the job proposal. Communicate with the client in a sincere and responsive manner and appeal to his or her good nature.

Don’t scare them off by being forceful or cocky because they may be feeling similar to you on the other end. Ask questions about the project. If you ask a question it will clear doubts in your mind and prevent the chances of things going wrong midway.

This way you can do the job in a much better way with full confidence. This will make a good impression on the client about your proficiency, skills, and dedication. The client will be interested in you because you’re talking confidently and sharing every detail. It is very important for clients also to talk to freelancers clearly.

This will make a good impression on the client about your proficiency, skills, and dedication. The client will be interested in you because you’re talking confidently and sharing every detail. It is very important for clients also to talk to freelancers clearly.
Related: How to communicate with freelancing business clients effectively

 7. Be ready for the interview

After sending a job proposal to stay prepared and available for an interview. To prepare for this research upon all kinds of details on Google and other resources regarding the project. Prepare questions you want to ask and write all possible answers the client can ask.

Always stay optimistic that you will get the job. Be hopeful always. Confirm that your Skype, phone, and Google hangouts. is ok and ready for video, audio or textual conversation. A client can ask anything at any given time in the interview regarding the project to be available.

If you’re not available for a chat then the client can send an interview request to other freelancers. These are basic things every freelancer needs to keep in mind.

8. Do not give up

Clients are very professional and they only hire familiar and capable freelancers for their work. Some clients are very personal and touchy.

You need to learn the quality of understanding the personalities of clients from their job descriptions. If you’re applying for work as a fresh job seeker or to get some kind of brand new kind of job then it is tough.

Freelancing is a serious business with lots of competition. You’re a freelancer with a definite skill set and an ability to provide on-demand services. To provide the best and better services than any other freelancer on Upwork.

And always remind yourself- I can do it. You’re the best teacher for yourself, so teach yourself to win and upgrade your skills to succeed. Try again, try again, and be creative, and passionate every time you write a job proposal.

Related: How to keep yourself motivated before the Success

9. Don’t skip the skills test on Upwork

A number of essential skills tests are available on Upwork to gauge a freelancer’s efficiency and competence. So spend your time improving your skills if you feel you are lacking in a section.

You should give the test with an aim to achieve top 10 or at least top 20 ranks. It will establish rapport and build trust with the client. Trust is very important in remote jobs and it determines a freelancer’s chances of getting more clients. 

10. Set your price by valuing your time

Calculate and analyze the value of time with respect to the amount of hard work and effort you will have to put in to complete the job to the client’s satisfaction.

Set price according to the work and try not to undermine the task by asking for a low payment or overwhelm the client by asking for an unusually high price. The price should be suitable and fair for both the client as well as the freelancer.

11. Add a video introduction to your profile

In the video, you can talk about your skills and experience. You can also share the visuals of your past work. By doing this you have more chances to showcase who you are and what you do.

This helps to establish a personal connection with potential clients because they will feel as if they know you before talking about any project or job with you.

It will give you an upper hand over other freelancers who don’t haven’t added a video introduction to their profiles.

12. Job proposal style

In your job proposal write about how you’re going to do this work. When you will start working on the aforementioned assignment. Read the deadlines set, skills required, incentives offered, examples provided and other necessary tools used carefully in the job description.
If you feel that you’re a good fit for the job then apply confidently. Write a job proposal positively and always be confident of your abilities. The writing and communication style should be professional. Proofread your job proposal before sending it.

A client can see your confidence, abilities, nervousness, and excitement, positively in your job proposal. And it is easy for clients to decide which single freelancer has the potential to do the job successfully.

13. Golden Tip

Explain everything to the client about the project in a job proposal or in an interview. demonstrate and explain clearly how you are going to do this. What tools are best to use for the project and why do you want to use the specific tools that you have chosen. Show the complete project process from A to Z.

It should look like a clean and concise tutorial. I believe that 7 clients out of 10 should contact you or call you for an interview. In which you have a chance to get your first client. Always try to explain openly everything about how the work is going to progress and move towards completion.

What has to be done? What could possibly go wrong? What happens when we do a particular thing or not?

14. Try again, be creative, learn from the past success and failure

Never give up just because you are not able to find a decently paying project for a few weeks or even a couple of months. Sometimes it takes considerable time and good fortune to land a job with your first client.

Most of the reputed professionals on Upwork with lots of positive reviews today had to spend weeks and months without a project, but their perseverance and quality of work saw them through and that is exactly what you should yearn for by not quitting despite any setbacks that you may face.

Conclusion: These aforementioned 14 points are derived from my personal experiences on Upwork so far and most of the other successful freelancers on the internet talk about similar experiences.

The key to success is your skills, knowledge, honesty, integrity, dedication, and passion for excellence. The more you practice the better you will become. Plan to send 3-4 proposals every day, while continuing to practice 2-3 hours on upgrading your skills.

It will not take much time to get a job by using unethical ways but you can cheat one time but not all the time. So, don’t use the wrong ways and be sincere. Follow Upwork guidelines, talk to them about the problems you’re getting and be confident of your abilities.
It takes time to build a fulfilling career on the internet. All are capable but the problem is they don’t do it seriously and don’t have the patience to see their efforts bear fruit.

So get up and try again by following the above-mentioned tips. And very soon you will get your first, second, third client and so forth. Do give it your best effort and feel free to comment or ask us any questions that you might have.

Also if you have any experiences you’ve had on Upwork that you’d like to bring to our attention and share with like-minded professionals, we would love to hear from you and so would the world.

Good luck and Godspeed!

You can learn here from the beginning all about freelancing: Freelancing for beginners here how it’s done

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3 thoughts on “14 Tips to get your first client on Upwork”

  1. I’m Bangladeshi, a new comer in the Internet Income. Dear sir, I’m really glad reading your fine cute but instructive article. Pray for me please, and have very very happy and enjoy longer life.


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