You are about to experience an awesome Upwork tutorial in 2019. I’ll show you how to hire the best freelancers on Upwork based on my experience.
I’ve hired more than 300 freelancers & spent above $100k on Upwork as you can see in the image above with very high reviews on Upwork which I’m grateful for. The first key tip I can give you for this is to be an Upwork plus client and use featured jobs. This sounds like obviously such a simple thing from my point of view. If you care about a job, pay $29.99 to get the job featured. If you want to hire the best talent on Upwork, be a plus member because if I’m a freelancer on Upwork and I’m looking at jobs, I want to see that clients are legit. If you want to hire talented people, the talent you’re looking for will be effective in determining whether you are a quality client or not. The idea with hiring freelancers is then once you can show your quality client to make a system to hire people where you can let people show you whether they are qualified or not. Also how much they’re available and how well they can do the work.
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Naturally things, like posting more jobs, hiring more and always giving others the best possible feedback you can and just doing this consistently over time is naturally the best of the best talent-wise. We’ll look at and consider all of these things before an application which makes it pretty easy for me with this profile having all these reviews, all the jobs I’ve posted, all the hires and the average hourly rate. It makes it pretty easy for me to get to the best talent possible. However, I’m going to give you some tips that will allow you to start a profile from scratch in addition to what I’ve already shared to help you stand out in the job posting and get serious applications and sort them out quickly from those that aren’t serious.
Let’s go over here and look at the last job I just posted a job a few days ago for an animated music video producer for Jerry Banfield as you can see in the image above. This is my latest amazing idea to make animated music videos that when combined with electronic music and an amazing story then I advertise those and utopia everyone goes crazy. The world’s a great place just it’s no fun here anymore because life is so good. That’s my latest idea and I’ve posted a job for this the exact kind of job that I’m very grateful I’m effective at hiring the best talent for the lowest cost because this is a big investment. Thousands of dollars just to get anything produced and ready to use.
If you are starting on Upwork you might want to start with something simple, for example, the last job I posted was for taking my Youtube videos and converting them into blog posts. This is a job that people are doing for as little as $6 an hour and doing a great job with it as well. If you look at some of these blog posts at jerrybanfield.com/blog, these are being turned over incredibly fast. There are links to my channel, to relevant blog posts and the pictures taken out from the post. I mean these freelancers are doing an awesome job for a low rate. Thus, if you’ve got several different projects you want to hire for, it can be nice to start with whichever is easier and get comfortable on Upwork.
Then the next key thing to do is to help those right away in your job description get to know you. What I do for this is, I start with an idea of what we want to create. My goal is, “Let’s make some viral animated music videos together for my Youtube channel. You can see in the picture above that how right away in the very beginning of the description, I’m giving an idea of what we’re going to work on together and I throw people at my Youtube channel because that helps freelancers to see that this is someone you’d want to work for. This is someone who is committed to helping people and wants to have a great long-term relationship with you and do some amazing work together.
If you’ve got videos on your YouTube channel that showcase what you do, linking to your YouTube channel can be a way to do it. You can also put a link to your website. You want freelancers to be able to get to know you upfront because this helps get better applications and it will help disqualify people that you don’t want to apply. That is equally important as getting good applications is discouraging the freelancer that you won’t work well with to go away. Thus, just by sharing who you are and your vision for what you create, you will scare off some of the wrong people and attract some of the right people.
In your job description, the first sentence is critical. Start with something that communicates the vision of what you’re going to create. For the transcription job, I said something like, “Let’s help make blog posts from YouTube videos that will help people to learn something” and then again I linked my YouTube channel with this.
Here’s how I do the rest of the job description then I go through for this particular one with animation I put some of the ideas I have for videos and what I’ve found for this and getting proposals is, the animators looked at some of the proposals and got excited and started immediately thinking of videos to be made and then we’re really enthusiastic and responding to messages and I end up hiring 2 animators so far and depending on how long that $33k credit lasts on my last business credit card which is open. We’ll see how many more of these animators and animated videos I can do. Thus sharing ideas are very clear examples of what you want to be done. Again, you want to disqualify those that won’t be right. I imagine there’s at least one of the animator that read this and went, “This is a bunch of dog crap. I certainly am NOT going to want to work on this crazy spiritual ancient alien crap.” That’s what you want to do is to get those applications to not even appear and then for the people that are going to be on the same page with you, get them reeled in by providing an idea of what the finished product looks like.
On the transcription, I posted something like the workflow to take a youtube video, use some kind of transcription software, put it into WordPress, edit it, take some screenshots, do the linking and you’re done. The more detail you can put in the job description and the most concise amount possible, you can help get people who want to do the work and disqualify those that don’t.
Then I finish it up with letting people know I intend to hire several people and see who’s the best. This is a secret that works for me well while many potential employers on Upwork and their clients I’ve worked with seem to have this fear of spending too much or not wanting to hire more than as necessary. Unlike a traditional job where it can often take a lot of time and energy to hire one person. On Upwork, it’s about as easy to hire 3 people as it is 1 person. My strategy is to hire at least 2 if not 3. On the transcriber job, I hired 5 different transcribers on the job post and what I do is, compare everyone’s work that allows me to see, “Ok this transcriber is doing awesome posts for $30. This one did a terrible quality post for $90. Alright, we’re gonna drop the $90 guy and keep working with the $30 guy”.
Thus, you post up and you let people know that you’re hiring more than 1 freelancers and then be prepared on your planning to have a system where several different freelancers start doing the work. You compare the ones that do best and then you do survival of the fittest and you’ll often get down to 1 or maybe 2 or 3 of those that consistently are doing a great job for the lowest hourly rates. That’s what I’ve done with the transcriptions. I’ve hired 5 and there are about 3 freelancers who are doing an outstanding job. 1 that I dropped already, 1 that’s kind of intermittent and out of the 3, there’s 2 that are at a very low rate and 1 that’s at a bit higher rate. Thus, I’m letting them go for as long as possible to see who does the best over the long term.
What I’ve noticed on Upwork with hiring is people are flaky. 1 week they’ll be working 40 hours especially because these are freelancers online that have work come in and have real lives and you often don’t know about them. You want long-term consistency over time. Thus, I’m letting the transcribers do a marathon instead of a sprint. I got rid of the $90 guy immediately but what I’m doing is letting the other 4 go as long as possible and see who does the best job at the lowest rates because I want to work with 1 or 2 freelancers who then I can work with full-time that will do a good job for years. If you want to hire amazing talent, think about years when possible for hiring.
Next, as you can see in the image above, you want to go down and have good questions you can ask. I’ve applied to jobs on Upwork and I can tell my level of enthusiasm for a job by how willing I am to provide good answers for a question. Thus, you can screen out a lot of people you wouldn’t want to work with by having good questions. I put the essential questions I need to know. For example,
- “Do you agree to transfer copyright to me?” That’s obvious if someone’s not willing to do that, we’re not going to work together.
- If I’m going to work with you as an animator, I wanted to see what you’ve already done.
- Have you seen any of my videos already? This can be a good question even if you get people to say no I haven’t seen anything you’ve done yet.
- I like to ask people how much they’re available because that lets me know what to expect and what to hire.
- For this animation specifically I wanted to know the license terms to make sure I don’t get in any issues down the line.
Try and add as many good questions as you can because what I generally do is, I judge those that do the best job on the questions are those I want to get in an interview and send a message to and those that don’t, I don’t even bother messaging them back. I figure if all you can do is one-word answers to maybe a few word answers on every question, you don’t care that much about working with me. This helps me get fewer proposals because some people see this amount of questions and they’re like, “Nope. Now I’m not filling out all those questions.” Thus, always put good questions and that will help reduce the number of invalid and irrelevant applications. People often have a copy and paste cover letters in hand but the better questions you ask, you’ll make people do some work beforehand to submit the job application.
I learned this the hard way as you can imagine from hiring hundreds of people, I didn’t post very good questions before and it sucks trying to sort out hundreds of different freelancers to figure out who’s the best. On this particular application, I got 12 people who submitted proposals within the first 24 hours. I got 4 good ones out of those 12 that I messaged and got replies from and I weeded out 1 guy who had the lowest hourly rate but also did not provide a very good response to my first message. Thus, you can avoid a lot of potential problems with the questions.
Then you can put the skills in your job requirements. This is a very good idea to make sure the skills pop up in the right place and freelancers can see your activity on the job. So, if you haven’t found a freelancer yet and it can be good to check it daily to see who is new to let people know you’re still paying attention to it. The bid range is helpful for freelancers to know ahead of time that what bids people are submitting.
How do I do my interviews? For my interviews, I handle them completely via messaging. I don’t take any time for video calls. I don’t bother around with phone calls or Skype or any of that stuff. I ask very focused and targeted questions and I follow up on the answers to questions people give and often we can get ready and get on the same page for the job directly in the messaging and those that aren’t very interested or that I don’t want to work with will tend to fall off in messaging response. Thus, I like to just go back and forth for several days or a week in messages before actually hire someone because those that are just churning and burning to do a bunch of applications not caring, they will fall off and provide quick responses. Whereas, those that are enthusiastic specifically about my job will keep making good replies keep giving me good answers. And by the time I’m ready to hire someone, we are all ready to start immediately.
For example, on the transcription job, as soon as I hired people I had asked enough questions and talked enough in the messages beforehand. I had their email address already to get added to my WordPress Website. They had the YouTube videos showing how to do it and as soon as I hired them, I added them to the website, made the hire and everything was ready to start as soon as I made the hiring offer which then made it easier to go forward from there. As you go forward, you can just judge the quality of the work, judge the hours available, judge their responsiveness of the freelancer and that way you can do your survival of the fittest. Hire often 2 or 3 times as many people as you think you should need to hire. Let people weed themselves out and here’s the key thing for exiting in a situation like this.
With the strategy I’m suggesting is going to be a lot of exits where you hire someone and they do a worse job for 3 times the cost as someone else does. In this case, you want to immediately stop the contract. The biggest mistake I’d say I made on Upwork, I’ve made 2 of them. Hiring a bunch of freelancers to try and sell something I couldn’t sell myself. I hired like a hundred freelancers to try and sell some service and none of them sold. It was a huge waste of time and a huge waste of money.
Another mistake I made is not stopping a contract as soon as it’s clearly falling below the threshold of good enough. Spending thousands and thousands of dollars to pay somebody to make something that I didn’t even feel good enough to release. I could have stopped that after a few hundred dollars but I kept going. Thus, for this process you will need to be good at nicely exiting a contract and here’s how you nicely exit a contract. Understand that it’s not anyone’s fault and the best thing you can do is figure out if you are going to be able to work together or not right away. If it only costs you $100 to figure out whether you’re going to work well with someone, count that as a win. You can be happy you didn’t just hire them and you can be happy you now know what not to do.
I count it as a win on my jobs if it only cost me a few hundred dollars to figure out it won’t work with someone I hired because the people I do hire that do well tend to produce huge value like all these transcribers on my blog. I imagine at least one of these animators will do the same. You want to make sure that you cut as in the gardening that you prune. Get rid of people as fast as possible and here’s how to do it nicely.
Realize when you’re leaving a review that you do genuinely want to help them in their profile. It can be tempting when someone’s done a poor job and you’ve just paid them hundreds and sometimes thousands. This is a real case study for me almost ten thousand dollars to make something that sucks. I still left a good review in that situation because I realized the quality of what was produced as a function of who I asked to produce that. I asked and I started paying someone and I kept paying someone to make something that wasn’t good. That doesn’t reflect completely on the freelancer. That reflects at least half on me and that’s why I’ve got so many good reviews. It’s because I respect other people when I’m leaving feedback.
Now someone did an awful job and their profile promised perfect service. I’m not going to leave a perfect five-star review. What I will do though is, leave something like a four-ish star review still I don’t trash any other freelancers profiles with one-star reviews because I don’t want that done to mine and that’s why I’ve got a 4.98 rating because I don’t trash other people’s profiles. I don’t go off on people about how terrible the job they did and how much money I spent. I hired him that’s on me. Thus, I try to find the very best about every freelancer I’ve hired. “Hey, the work you have produced is terrible”. I don’t say this but in my mind, they produce work that is worthless.
However, maybe if they’d have been trained more, it would have been good. I assume the best about what’s possible and I assume the worst for their life situation. Maybe, they’re on drugs or they just went through a breakup and this is the best they can do right now. That doesn’t mean it’s the best they’re going to be able to do forever. Thus, I will generally leave 5 stars across a profile except in any of the very worst areas where I might drop down to 4 stars. Even if I’ve worked with somebody, I assume they can improve. I trust that other clients will take a look at less than perfect reviews and consider those and there are enough other clients on Upwork as you can see by looking at people’s profiles, who are willing to drop a 1-star when they don’t have a good experience and often it’s not even the freelancer’s fault. It’s the client’s fault completely or nearly all. Thus, I think I’ve discussed in detail about all the different angles you could want to know about hiring the best on Upwork.
If you want to get the very best experience with me, I trust to go to jerry.tips/partner because that’s my mastermind where I work with people one-on-one, in weekly group coaching calls and a private Facebook group. That’s the real best way to get to know me and that’s also the best way to get hired by me in the Partner Program. Thus, you’ve got to the end of the post. I really appreciate it. I trust if you want to see my videos as well, you will smash that Subscribe button and join the Jerry Banfield family and turn those notifications on so that you can see every video. Check your subscriber feed because that’s where you’ll see the videos all the time. I do 3 new videos a day on YouTube. I also put them on Facebook. Hit that follow button and turn see first on or notifications if you want to make sure never to miss any of the amazing videos I do. You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Thank you for making it to the end of this. I appreciate every minute you’ve spent here and I’ immediately starting to work on the next post for you.