How to get your first online freelancing assignment

Getting your first online freelancing assignment is not that easy. In general, there is lots of competition but most of all the established professional on the particular online platform will take most of the bids. That makes it really difficult for new sign ups to win any of the bids as they haven’t built any reputation within that platform. Online freelancing platforms such as Upwork, allow the freelancers or contractors to create a profile – more like an online resume – plus all the feedback and ratings they have received from the employers on the particular platform. So when a new assigned is posted, the employers will in nearly all cases look for someone who has been rated well and that doesn’t give new comers any chance.

Here are some of the tips you can use to improve your chances of getting your first bid, as that is really crucial whether you will make it in a particular freelancing platform or not. If you have a presence in several freelancing sites, your ratings and feedback don’t get transferred to other sites, which means you have to start from scratch to prove your worth.

Let us get to the tips –

1. Be patient, be patient, be patient – it takes time, landing your first assignment is tough but once you get it and your employers leaves you a good feedback with a high rating, upcoming bids become a lot easier. This could take weeks or even months for some folks.

2. Do not overcharge – In fact, I would say set your rate way below the average for your particular area of work. Look at the other bidders, and make sure you get noticed for your much lower fees. Remember, at this point your highest priority is not money, it is the feedback and rating. You will have plenty of time to hike your fees later 🙂

3. Read the job description carefully – Since most of the bids get lots of bidders, the way the employers try to narrow down the candidates is by picking the ones who follow the instructions. The employer will put some information in the job description, such as respond with “the text XYZ” at the top of your response email. Anyone who doesn’t follow the instruction will not get a chance. Besides, reading the job description carefully will help you figure out whether this task is the right one for you or not.

4. Bid to an assignment that you know you will accomplish it really well – remember this is your first task, pick it carefully. You have to be confident that you can accomplish this task really well and get a good feedback. You will pick and choose later, don’t be picky now.

5. Create a stellar profile – as a newbie freelancer for this particular freelancing site, most potential employers won’t look at your profile, they filter out candidates based on how long they have been on the site, how many ratings they have, total number of assignments they worked on etc. But if for some reason an employer decides to give you a chance, you better make sure they find all the information they need in your profile.

6. Respond fast to emails/text from potential employers – show them that you won’t vanish when an urgent assignment comes in! Most of the employers have to report to someone too, and they will ask for your progress status etc. Make sure that they can reach out to you in a predictable manner. Let them know your working hours, and how long it might take you to respond and the communication channel that they can reach you, whether it is through messaging service provided by the freelancing site, skype, gmail etc.

7. Don’t burn bridges – it is a small world, make sure you leave on good terms.

8. Research the employers – There are good and bad employers in the online freelancing world, make sure to research the employers as well. Look at their profile in the platform, check how other candidates rated them. Especially pay attention to how many jobs they posted and how many hires they actually made, this ratio is very important.

9. Don’t sound needy or desperate – I know you really want to get your first assignment, and I am sure you will get it with enough perseverance. But don’t be too needy in your communication with potential employers. Be confident and use language which shows that you are familiar with the task and that you will deliver.

10. Watch out for impostors – some will try to get answers without signing a contract, some might try to blackmail you knowing that this is your first assignment and how desperate you are to get a good feedback and rating from them. So make sure to research the employers as well.

I hope this list of tips helps, Good luck with winning your first bid!

List of some freelancing sites –

Other relevant tips –