Upwork is a freelancing platform that connects buyers to sellers of services they need. This means that if someone posts a job on the site, such as "I'm looking for a lead generation specialist" (which is what I do), the lead gen specialist's information will be displayed to anyone who needs that service.
This makes Upwork a great place for people like me looking to find new clients! The best part about the platform is that every day there are a few lead gen jobs posted to Upwork, and as I build my profile, customers will be able to specifically request me.
Aren't Upwork clients "cheap"?
When I first started prospecting on Upwork, I was worried about pricing. A lead gen specialist's time is a valuable commodity, so it would be hard to justify giving someone a fee for just one job with a "cheap" client.
Yes, the first few clients were lower-paying contracts than I was used to, but after getting a few gigs under my belt, I was able to get more clients with higher rates.
Nowadays, it's not uncommon for me to get into a few conversations and at least one call with a prospect per day. And it doesn't take weeks to see a result. I closed my first high-paying client within the first week! So, do I think that every single lead will lead to a successful client? No, but the volume of leads that I'm able to get on Upwork has more than made up for my initial fears about pricing.
How to get started:
First, you want to sign up on Upwork. Once you're signed up, create your profile and spend some time on each section. Unlike other platforms, your profile on the platform WILL be one of the most important aspects to winning more contracts.
A few key sections to focus on:
-Profile picture: A clear headshot of your face.
- Headline. Keep it concise and easy to read for the reader, as this will be one of the first things they see before reading your profile description. For example, "Marketing Agency Owner Looking for Clients."
- Summary Section. This is a chance to tell leads what you offer in more detail and how you can help them.
-Portfolio. Upload at least one of your best pieces of past work to show potential clients.
-Recommendations and Ratings. This is a chance for past leads/clients to speak about how great you are, so make sure it's updated with some recent reviews if possible!
Now that we've got our profile set up, the next step will be finding projects to bid on.
How to find jobs on Upwork:
When you first log in to search for a job, you might feel overwhelmed. There are so many different types of jobs posted, and it can be hard to find the one that best suits your skillset.
To make things easier, you can filter for specific categories like these:
- Marketing & Advertising (these lead gen opportunities happen all the time!)
- Web development
-Professional services (accounting, for example, is huge)
Carefully read each job description before applying. Make sure it's something you're interested in and that it aligns with your skillset, as well as the hours of availability you have.
Next, look at reviews from past freelancers.
Just like with lead gen, you want to make sure that the people who have worked on this job in the past are excited about it. And if they're not happy with their experience, take note of what they complain about and try to avoid these issues when bidding for jobs yourself.
Now for how to apply! The first thing is to make sure all fields are filled out correctly and highlight your past work with similar clients or projects. Once complete selecting how much you are willing to charge for the hour OR the project.
Provide a video testimonial or reference to make your bid stand out from others. You could also mention the type of campaign that's currently going on and how they would help these clients solve their problems.
It takes time!
Your first proposal might not lead to a client, but that doesn't mean you should give up. There's always hope in Upwork, and it might take some time before your first lead becomes an actual client. Make sure to view each proposal as a lesson on what to do and what not to do.
What is your favorite part about using Upwork as a marketing agency lead-gen strategy?
Consistency. As a business owner, I hate not knowing where my next client will come from. And I'm not alone. In fact, the majority of business owners say that lead-gen is their number one concern (according to HubSpot). But when you're using Upwork as a lead generation strategy for your business, contracts come in every day, and they last anywhere from two weeks to four months. That consistent flow has been a lifesaver!
Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!