I used Upwork as a freelancer and as a client. I want to share a few things:
- Please read the job description and read it well. Send a proposal tailored to that job. Answer any questions if they exist.
- Try to explain how you can help and give an example.
- Please don't send a general proposal. It will be much easier to get notified with these simple things; I have been on the client-side, and most are non-related and generic. Few are the ones who send a specific letter to what I have posted.
- When a client sets an hourly rate of $40, don't bid for ten or $5.
- Don't work for free.
- Save money as you go to have a backup for the dark days. It's not always okay, and being stressful is too bad for work and creativity.
- And, of course, investing part of that money is the next step to grow it.
- Please pay well and pay on time and don't ask for free work. If you can't afford it now, wait for some time till you can.
- I ask the people I work with to charge me for the chat/communication time. If the job exceeds the agreed time in hourly work, I will pay for these extra few hours. They will be happy to work and deliver well. They feel appreciated.
- Please don't capitalize your words (YOU, MUST, NOW). It makes people nervous. I once fired a client because of this. Be nice.
- Try to be specific and know what you want, and if you don't, please ask for suggestions, and people will be happy to help. But please don't start every day with new changes and requirements that are entirely different.
Of course, these are not exclusive to Upwork but with any channel between an independent and a client.