- Upwork is a marketplace that connects freelancers with clients looking to hire contractors.
- The platform attracts clientele from all sectors and levels, from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
- Insider spoke to freelancers who started on Upwork and grew their businesses to earn seven figures.
Upwork is a platform where freelancers can find work and connect with potential clients, from a startup in need of a pitch deck to a Fortune 500 company outsourcing its marketing.
Throughout the pandemic, more Americans have quit their jobs to become their own bosses. This rise in solopreneurs and freelancers is, in part, due to a newfound ease and access to entrepreneurship — in many cases, all you need to start a business is a website and an internet connection.
Freelancers on Upwork set up a profile and search for job postings based on their expertise. Then they send proposals for the gigs they want. If they land the job, they complete it in the time they agreed upon with the client, and get paid for their services. Upwork charges a service fee of between 5% and 20% for each payment.
Usually, freelancers start their prices lower than the market rate to attract their first clients. Once they have completed enough gigs and earned good reviews, they can slowly increase their rates over time.
Insider spoke to four freelancers who have mastered Upwork to build seven-figure businesses. They gave their tips for getting started, establishing a loyal clientele, and working with major companies like Coca-Cola and Microsoft.
Jaime Hollander is a copywriter and entrepreneur based in Glen Head, New York. In 2020, after 17 years of working for media companies such as Condé Nast, Meredith Corporation, and Time Out, Hollander quit her job and made her freelance side hustle her full-time career.
Since 2012, she’s earned more than $1.5 million through freelancing on Upwork. Today, she runs her own marketing agency and booked six figures in revenue last year, which Insider verified with documentation.
Read her story here.
After his employer laid him off from his sales-engineer job in 2017, Ryan Clark started freelancing on Upwork. He launched a business — Mr. SharePoint — to help firms with digital-process and workflow automation.
While he’s based in Chicago, he has the freedom to travel, set his own hours, and work from anywhere in the world. Clark earned more than $1 million in payments in the past five years on Upwork, which Insider verified with documentation.
Read his story here.