February 20, 2023
To be honest, I haven't had enough experience with the platform, but the little I had made me give up on it. This is my perspective as a freelancer, let me know in the comments how is your experience with the platform as a business owner.
TLDR: It's the user experience, duh! I didn't have a good one, hence I give up on the platform. Inconsistent design, combined with fresh visuals but bad functionality and logic. Very fresh example: I am now, editing my article before publishing it. I click on my profile picture to go to settings, but instead of viewing the settings, I have to re-enter my password. Thanks to the auto-fill function on Chrome lessens my immediate frustration.
Where do I start? When I created my profile a year and a half ago or at least started to fill it out, I had a difficult time as I remember setting up my profile picture because of the requirements and upload restrictions. The whole user experience with the platform was underwhelming from setting up the profile to searching for jobs.
The part that frustrates most the users is probably the fact that they implemented a scheme, where freelancers to get to higher positions of bidding for a job, have to have/buy connects (that's what they are called) as currency.
You get them monthly as a certain amount from the platform (for free) but when your connects expire and you want to apply for more jobs or specific job postings (quantity and quality dilemma) and have a much higher bidding range, well then you have to buy the extra.
Also, another thing is that freelancers can't communicate with their clients, or at least depending on the level you have as a freelancer. Or if it is set up as a rule that the clients initiate the messaging after they review your Cover Letter (I know, sounds stupid).
I have heard stories from clients searching for freelancers on Upwork and being straight-up scammed because they can't know if the freelancers are those they represent themselves to be. On Fiverr, another platform/market for freelancers, there is a chat option and a video call option available without even stating a project together.
Let's not forget that freelancers can get scammed as well by clients that don't intend to complete or pay for a project. And we all know who those platforms favour more, right? Although they charge every freelancer 20% or more for every single gig or job, they also charge buyers smaller fees as well.
Example: For changing your bank account number also can you guess how long it takes to finalise the process? For ridiculous "security" reasons it takes 3 days to be activated. Also each Direct to Local Bank withdrawal costs USD 0.99. I bet that if I try to learn or use more the platform there will be a ridiculous amount of details that will frustrate me.
All in all, I had only one job through the platform and communication with the client was extremely slow. I have also attended multiple workshops of theirs about how to be a successful freelancer and all of them were giving interesting insights but, then again it comes to that if the buyer has actually read your submission.
Ah, yes, almost forgot! They show on my profile the wrong location and timezone! Because for some reason is more important where I am from not where I am. As you can see the location is chosen from Upwork for my home residency (I think upon providing ID details), but the time zone is the one I am currently residing in, which of course is different from my place of origin. Confusing I know.
Overall I find the platform useless at the moment for the amount of effort both sides have to provide to make collaboration first happen and then be a smooth and easy process.
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You are also in luck! I am currently available for collaborations.