Your friend said he made millions from Upwork last month. Next, you pick up your phone to create an Upwork freelancer account after about three weeks of not landing a single job. The job is not as easy as you did expect. Getting a job is not easy on Upwork. You begin to question your ability. You start asking why you can’t do the same thing your friend did: self-doubt and the question of being destined to fail to start growing in your mind.

After several failed attempts and when the whole seems to be falling, you might be lucky to finally ask yourself: How do I get my first Upwork client?

What is my friend doing right that am not doing?

Most people, especially freelancers, have been a victim of these circumstances. They heard someone talking about a business that yielded millions. So they jumped right into it without asking the right questions or looking for the correct information—information is key to everything in life.

Upwork is no different. People say they’ve made millions on Upwork, and you jump into it immediately, thinking it is simple. It would be best if you had asked how long it took to get the first client or the number of failed proposals they had to deal with before reaching the first client.

Getting the first client is simple but not easy; as you will know after reading how I get my first Upwork client?

That first client is the most important. You not only get motivated to put in more effort, but you also stand the opportunity of getting reviews which will further ease the process of getting future clients.

To keep things straight, here is the breakdown of what this piece, how do I get my first Upwork client will cover.

Why it is difficult for new freelancers to get a first client on Upwork

Suppose you are a client and need a freelancer to design your soon-to-be-launched company logo. For example, a friend referred you to Upwork, after which you picked up your phone to log in. You succeeded in posting your logo design job, and proposals have started pouring in.

You will consider the following factors before or while going through the mountain of proposals. These factors will influence your decision to arrive at a suitable freelancer. The factors would guide you, but a new freelancer will call them factors preventing clients from going for new freelancers.

Factors preventing clients from going for new freelancers

No reviews

A client would want someone with a proven track record.

Not just any track record but that of quality work.

A track record tells a client what they stand to get from hiring a particular freelancer.

These track records come in the form of client reviews.

Reviews are what clients see.

These are feedback from your previous clients showing client satisfaction, but in your case, you’ve got nothing to offer as a new freelancer.

Getting the job becomes very difficult because all a client cares about is how to get the value of money paid.

This is what you cannot guarantee a client. Getting the deal of their hard-earned money is the primary concern.

Besides, you might end up doing a poor job.

They don’t trust you—no reviews from previous jobs and nothing to substantiate what you claim. So you are totally out of the game if you do not have a convincing profile.

You have no reviews but a lousy profile. Chasing after jobs for years might be your case but wait! You are reading how do I get my first Upwork client to change this narrative.

Low Job Success Score

Some clients can be very annoying if a job description has no less than a 90% job success score included. This is an automatic disqualification for a new freelancer. You are already disqualified even before getting started. How painful this can be. Unfair to new freelancers.

Job success score is another way of showing client satisfaction over time. A high job success score means a freelancer has delivered work to which clients cannot help but admit how happy they are with the job.

As you can see, this is another way of ensuring clients get the value of the money they pay. Clients’ satisfaction is the number one priority on Upwork, but you don’t have any. Not having a single client means you don’t have a job success score.

 Don’t forget that getting your first Upwork client in order to get a good job success score is why your eyes are buried in this article. Stay tight as you will soon get to know how to fix this problem

No portfolio of successfully completed work

All the odds of landing a job are against a new freelancer. Not having a portfolio to show the client is another big problem.

Clients believe in what they see, not what they are told.

They don’t want to give money to a crappy new freelancer like you.

All they care about is themselves—nothing more, nothing less.

This is why being a freelancer is not always easy.

So forget how often you’ve heard people say they made millions in previous years.

If you know how much effort went into making those millions, you will say they deserved it.

A portfolio can be a huge advantage to a freelancer looking to grab a first client.

The problem is, you are still a newbie.

You don’t have a portfolio of completed projects on Upwork. You’ve got nothing to show or give your clients but your word.

Clients don’t believe in words. Words mean nothing in the world of freelancing.

How do you then over come this obstacle?

How do you get your first freelance client without a portfolio of successfully completed work?

Again, this you will come to know.

But you will only know how to overcome this obstacle if you are patient in reading to the very end. So don’t skip any section. Just go with the flow.

Poorly crafted profile

The importance of having a good profile can never be overemphasized.

It should have come at the very beginning, but someone going into freelancing need not be told how having a good profile can make all the difference.

If you don’t have a good profile, you are not yet in the race.

What is a good profile? is a question that may arise

A good profile is complete. All the fields are filled with the required information. No blank spaces, as primarily found in new freelancers’ profiles. Everything about the profile is perfect. This is what is called a good profile.

If you check carefully, something might be missing in your profile.

That thing, as tiny and unnecessary as it may be to you, can be the simple reason why you are not getting those jobs on Upwork.

It can be the reason why you have so many failed proposals and can be the reason why there are no invitations for interviews on your dashboard.

Experience has shown that poorly crafted profiles result from impatience.

New freelancers often get excited when they hear about the potential of making money.

Their blood pressure skyrocket, and the adrenaline hormone becomes hyperactive.

They suddenly begin to imagine the fleets of cars they can buy, the luxury hotels to lodge, and the vacation they can take with their high-school sweethearts.

Still, they often ignore even the most basic necessity of getting clients: having a good profile.

Having aspirations and desires is not wrong.

You can dream big. You can aspire for different things but don’t let them get in your way.

Take your time while creating the profile.

Fill in the necessary details.

Nobody is rushing you.

You can take the whole day if you wish but don’t come on Upwork with a crappy profile holding a crappy profile picture with incomplete details.

Save yourself the stress by doing the needful. You will reap the dividends later.

Perhaps if by chance, you are still reading, something you don’t have or are not doing right must have appeared to you from the previous sections.

And if you have not come across why not getting clients on Upwork, go back and read again.

If you still cannot find your problem, maybe it’s not of this world.

So you can say the problem is spiritual. In that case, going back to the village would do the trick.

You’ve waited long enough. Now is the time to get your first Upwork client.

This you can achieve by doing some straightforward tasks.

How do I get my first upwork client?

Step #1: Create a killer profile

To a new freelancer with no reviews or client ratings, a profile is their most valuable asset.

Most freelancers don’t realize this. Instead, they rush to get things done quickly.

In the end, they have a piece of trash as a profile.

You don’t have any reviews yet.

No metric is attached to your profile.

You haven’t worked for a single client.

So why not take the time to create something that can give you an edge over the competition.

Rushing while filling in profile information is not a bad thing but filling in the wrong details or leaving unnecessary blank is very risky.

You are risking all the efforts you’ve put in.

If you pay someone to learn a course, it becomes more difficult.

Your time, money, and effort might go in vain because you are not taking the time to get the profile right.

Here are some things to consider while filling out the profile information

Use a business friendly photo as profile picture

Come on! This isn’t some photo content or beauty contest; you are not on a mission to show your muscles.

A simple business-friendly photo would do the trick. An image displaying your head, neck, and shoulders is enough.

Also, remember to put on a smile. A frowning face might scare away potential clients. It pays to smile. Smiling makes you look younger even when you are broke and unhappy.

Write a catchy keyword-rich title

If you are familiar with article writing, you must have heard use a catchy title to capture readers’ attention.

This applies to profile creation. Your title should be compelling. It should force the client to know more about you. Your title should make them go through your entire profile. Avoid using the vague and ambiguous title.

Your choice of keyword is another thing to consider. Keywords related to the skills you offer should go into the title.

If specific keywords don’t find themselves inside your title, the title or entire profile can be lost in search engines.

Search engines won’t remember to find a profile whose author forgot to include necessary keywords.

Introductory video

An introductory video on your profile would be awesome and will make you stand out. You become more professional with a video introducing you and what you do.

This will blow the client’s mind. You should consider trying if you don’t have one on your profile. You lose nothing to try.

Your skills should match the job you are seeking

Some profiles can be very confusing. For example, imagine a freelancer submitting a proposal for a job that requires a skill not listed on their profile information.

This means they are searching and bidding for jobs that require skills they don’t have.

This you should avoid. Only go for jobs you can do. Your skills should determine the type of jobs you submit proposals for.

Don’t assume you can learn a skill overnight after getting the job, which is highly unlikely.

Instead, your portfolio should speak on your behalf. Clients believe what they see, not what they are told.

Upload relevant previous work samples

You’ve not had to work for any client. However, you don’t have any completed projects on Upwork. This means you don’t have work samples to show.

Do you believe you have no work samples?

You have. Maybe you just don’t know it.

The articles (if you are a writer) you’ve written in the past can come in handy. Compile and select those relevant to the particular job you want to bid for. The past articles can be for other blogs or any other good content you’ve written.

Include work experience and education

Again! You might be thinking you have no work experience. But hear this, every freelancer has some work experience. The little projects you built while learning a skill can serve as a work experience. The internship you enrolled in is another excellent work experience. You can include everything in the work-experience section.

Since coming from Harvard is considered prestigious, adding your education history might be advantageous.

Add a project

Where do I get the project to add?

The answer is simple. From the projects you built while learning a skill.

Step #2: Go for the right jobs

Some things to consider while searching for jobs

Be patient and selective

Patience is a virtue.

 You’ve heard this several times. Maybe you don’t know its importance.

Patience allows you to be selective. You look at things objectively. This makes you take rationale decisions.

Patience gives room for scrutiny. You can only scrutinized Jobs with a patient mind. A patient mind selects the best job suited for itself.

Focus on small paying jobs

The goal is to build your profile.

You aim to get as many ratings as possible. Money will come later, and in massive amounts, if you are patient enough.

Little jobs or small paying jobs will give you faster reviews. Besides, they are easier to get.

When you do a great job, you get a review. Your profile starts to grow. In a short period, the big clients start coming. This means more money in your pocket.

Aim for repeat clients

You are charged less for repeat clients than for new clients. However, Upwork wants clients to keep coming back for more. This aims to build a long-term business relationship between clients and freelancers.

This is what Upwork wants, this is what you should want also.

Go for clients that are likely to come back. You are charged less for jobs above $500 with repeat clients.

Submit a thrilling proposal

Here are the things to consider before you submit a proposal

Read and understand the job description

Freelancers make the mistake of using one cover letter for multiple jobs. They are either lazy writing cover letters or assume a single cover letter can work for different jobs with different descriptions.

Ensure to read the job description. This will enable you to tailor your cover letter to the job. In addition, each job should have its cover letter.

No room for laziness here.

If you can’t take the pain of writing a cover letter base on the job description, you will feel the pain of not getting clients, even though you’ve submitted several proposals.

Provide some proof

A link to a blog would be sufficient in this case. This should point directly to published content or an online portfolio. Relevant links to previous content can be included. This will show the client you have what it takes to get the job done

Be prepared to answer additional questions

Question are for clarity. Except the stupid ones.

Questions can arise. Clients can quickly get confused and in need of clarification. Your job is to provide that clarity.

How do I get my first Upwork client? Is the question you typed into the search bar of google. Your search brought you to this article. You were searching for answers on why you can’t get your first client on Upwork.

You search and you found.

This should be your Eureka moment.

Maybe for some reason, you still cannot find the missing puzzle. The dots don’t connect, and you still cannot find what you are looking for

The advice

Go back and start reading again!

Every time you read, something new comes to mind.

Like the break of a new dawn.

 You will definitely connect the dots after the third reading.

Reading this piece and finding a lasting solution on how to get your first Upwork client is a time well spent. How about dropping a comment on what to change on your profile to get the first client?

 Leave a comment in the comment section on new strategies to implement while submitting proposals.

When you land your first client, a thumbs up would be appreciated. This you can always come back to do.

How to help you make more money is the real deal, the main focus, and essence of how to get your first Upwork client. It’s all about you. It has and will always be about you.

Until next time, stay safe and bye for now.


I specialize in building, managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and optimizing WordPress Web Design/ or Elementor Pro and WooCommerce powered websites.


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