Many freelancers look only at the job description and if it fits their expertise, they start preparing proposals for it. They leave out the small but important step of checking the client’s history. Let’s see why a client’s Upwork history is important.
Upwork is an online marketplace where everyone can signup and access the platform. As with any other platform., Upwork has its fair share of scammers. To Upwork’s credit, they have set up a great system that protects freelancers as best as it can. Despite all that, freelancers need to be careful. And the first thing they need to do is see if a client fulfills some basic requirements.
Before we dive into what details you should be looking at, let us first look at where you can find such info.
As you can see in the image above, there are three main areas that list information about the client.
- The area in the right sidebar mentions the client’s general record on Upwork.
- The ‘Activity on this Job’ section tells us what the client has been doing as far as this particular job posting is concerned. Here you can see how many people have already applied to this job, when the client last viewed the job posting and how many people he has interviewed so far.
- The ‘Client’s recent history’ section shows the feedback he has given to and received from the people he has employed previously. For a client who hasn’t hired anyone yet on the platform, this section will be empty.
- The section below that is also interesting. It lists the current job openings the client has posted on Upwork. This can give us a lot of information about what the client is looking for
Let’s now take a look at each of these sections in detail.
About the Client
As is evident from the title, this section gives us information about the client. Here is how it typically looks like:
We will now go over each information in detail.
Upwork Plus Clients
So what exactly Is a ‘Plus’ client? It is a client who opts for a paid membership to be able to access features that normal Upwork clients cannot. These include features such as access to 24/7 customer support and project tools among many other benefits.
If you are a client, you can read more about it in our post: Is Upwork Plus client membership worth it?
If you are a freelancer, there is one major thing this tells you: The client is serious in hiring people because he has already paid money to have the privilege to do so. Such a client, therefore, is more reliable.
Payment method verified
This is one of the most important things to look at when deciding to submit a proposal.
As you can see in the image above, this client’s payment method isn’t verified yet. This is clearly a red flag. A client whose payment method is not yet verified won’t be able to pay you any money.
However, we must also consider the fact that this particular client has already paid for a Plus membership. So he must be serious in hiring people, right? Personally, I would consider him reliable and submit a proposal.
Note: Sometimes it takes a while before Upwork verifies a client’s payment method. If the client joined the platform on the same day he posted the job, it is quite likely that he is still a genuine client. That is because the verification process involves a couple of transactions from the client’s credit card and it can take some time till the client sees those transactions on this credit card and verifies them on Upwork. You can learn more about the exact process in the article How to add a billing method to Upwork.
In the past, I have applied for jobs with unverified payment methods and ended up winning the job. So this is sort of a gray area on Upwork.
At the end of the day, you should go with your gut feeling.
This section tells you which country the client is from, along with his current time. This information is useful in knowing what time zone the client is in.
If a client expects you to work when he is online, or stay in constant touch during his working hours, you will need to work out whether you can fulfill that commitment while being in your own time zone.
Total Jobs Posted
This information gives you an idea of the client’s history with posting jobs. The hire rate is important. A higher hire rate means the client posts jobs he intends to hire for. And actually does the hiring too. A very low hire rate is a red flag. It is quite possible that such a client takes its freelancers outside Upwork or simply posts jobs to collect information such as how a freelancer would go about solving a certain problem.
This tells us when the client signup on Upwork. You can’t read too much into it, to be honest. Sometimes clients have been on the platform for years but have only posted a handful of jobs. Sometimes they have been a member for a few weeks yet boast many projects. I guess it just comes down to the individual job post and the freelancer to see if he can gain anything useful out of this information.
Activity on This Job
Next up is the ‘Activity on This Job’ section, which is visible below the job posting, right after the interview questions(if there are any). Here is how it looks like:
This section tells us how many people have already submitted a proposal on the job. I tend to ignore jobs where there are already 20+ proposals on the job.
In the interviewing section, you can see how many freelancers the client is interviewing. This is useful. Whenever I receive a response from a client, I go back to the job posting to see if he is interviewing more people or just me. If it’s just me, I put in a lot of effort answering whatever questions he has. If he is interviewing more people, I tend to guess my standing among other freelancers. That is not to say I don’t take it seriously if the client is interviewing multiple people. I just love it when I am the only one(or the first one) he interviews.
‘Invites sent’ is an area I look at when I get an invitation to a job. If the client has invited 10 or more freelancers, I know he just spam-invited the ones that Upwork recommended. But I still submit a proposal because it’s free!
I am not sure what to make of the unanswered invites information. I tend to ignore it.
Client’s Recent History
Here is how the client’s recent history section looks like:
This gives you an idea of what feedback score the client has received on his previous job postings. Sometimes this section also gives you an idea of what budget to quote for the project. For instance, if the client is asking you to edit a YouTube video, you may be able to see from his job history how much he has paid for such edits in the past. This will help you place an appropriate bid that is more likely to win. Of course, this trick won’t always work but it’s worth looking at.
The feedback the client has received from freelancers will give you an indication of what to expect from the client. Stay away from clients that have a history of paying low rates coupled with bad feedback.
In the example above, two of the freelancers have mentioned that they received clear instructions and guidelines. This clearly shows the client knows what he wants and has a set of guidelines to achieve that.
Other Open Jobs by this Client
This section is somewhere at the bottom of the job posting page and looks something like this:
As you can see, this particular client has 5 other job postings open. We know from this particular person’s ‘About the Client’ section that he has paid over $60k to date. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that he has more than one job posting open at one time.
The above just shows how actively this guy hires on Upwork. You shouldn’t have any issues applying for a job with such a client.
In this article, we looked at how one can find out information about a client from the job posting page. Using this information, you can easily decide whether the client is worth working with or not.
If you would like to add any other useful information that freelancers may find useful, don’t forget to comment below. We also love receiving personal experiences from freelancers so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Tata!