It was in 2013 when I started exploring Upwork. From re-evaluating my skills, choosing the right category of job I want to pursue, reading job postings and trying to figure out what would be my starting rate.
The whole process was challenging. It took months and nth bidding to job postings before I got my first contract. And as a newbie, it was hard to get a job, especially on an hourly basis.
How di I get it through?
Perseverance, sure. Enthusiasm, sure. Focus, hell sure.
I first landed with a Data Entry job. It was a copy & paste task at a rate of $0.04. Yes, you read it right. That rate. But it was okay, I was a newbie and trying to get 5-star feedback.
Do I sound desperate? I’d say no. Everyone has his its starting point, I took mine.
I got my second contract for Data Entry and Data Mining job. I remember I was tasked to collect or copy & paste data from Lead411.com. The price was reasonable. The fifth client I had was paying a good price and even hired me 22 times for data entry and research task. They’re in real estate – internet industry.
These two contract I won was a blissful moment in my freelancing career at that time. It was the turning point wherein I decided to continue doing this freelancing thing. I was able to finance myself especially with school finances and my daily allowance. I quit my SEO job as well in the same year to have more time in my studies since it will be my last year in college. Thesis in 1st sem and practicum in 2nd sem are coming. But I haven’t thought I’ll still be able to find some free time during 1st sem, so I spent it with job hunting.
Was there a time when I almost give up before hitting the turning point? Definitely, YES!
It was even before I got my 2nd contract. I was still trying and trying to bid and win a project. So one time I applied for a job posting where basic SEO knowledge, Google extensive search knowledge, Skype with cam, reliable internet connection and prefer newcomer with cheap rate was the requirements for the job.
I am confident, of course, I got all the requirement there, and I am even one of the first 5-10 people to send an application letter/bidding. I got lucky to be chosen to proceed to the next process, Skype interview with a cam. But it turned out to be unpleasant. And by unpleasant, I think you know what I meant. The moment I knew that it was something unrelated to any work interview, I didn’t hesitate to end the conversation and withdraw my application for a reason of “Applied by Mistake.”
Yes, it happened, and definitely, this is not just a made up story.
However, I didn’t generalize everyone. I guess that’s just too unfair and besides, that was my first and last encounter with a potential client someone like him. And no, I am not that stupid or just being naive. Any communication platform will do as long as both parties can discuss the project thoroughly. And who would have thought that someone with an excellent rating and feedback from his past contracts is like that? Right?!
But of course, because of my perseverance, I was able to set my foot in freelancing world.
After gaining 5-star feedbacks from my 1st to 5th client, I was successfully got my first hourly contract with the 6th client I had. It was a Data Entry job at a rate of $0.67 including the Upwork fee. Sounds simple but to every data you input must be gone thoroughly. Accuracy indeed!
From then, I was able to find well-paid data entry and internet-research contracts. Competition among freelancers before was getting higher. So from time to time, I was really looking for another project to work on.
How did I maintain good feedback on my ended contracts?
Communication. Quality work. Quick turnaround.
Freelancing may not work for everyone. It might be a long way for you to go but once you’re into it, no doubt, it will suit you.