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Opinions on Upwork or 99 designs?

I have not had any luck finding freelance clients for close to four months now and I am getting frustrated. I live in a rural area in Colorado and have had a lot of people interested in a new website or logo but no clients have actually taken the plunge. I have setup a profile on Upwork but don't know if the work people are asking for is even worth the money. I also considered 99designs but the whole concept seems unstable at best and illegal at its worst(do most of the designers on there even get paid?).

Any suggestions, summer is coming soon so business should be picking up. In addition to my freelance business I also work full time so I am not strapped for cash, I just want to make the transition to freelancing full time. I already watched the "how to freelance" a while back learned a lot, but feel like I am missing something. I am just feeling frustrated right now.

I also have my own freelance business https://www.facebook.com/makeascenedesign/

1 Answer

Richard Skinner
Richard Skinner
5,839 Points

I never did dev work on Upwork, but I have written several ebooks for various clients. You asked for an opinion and mine is scathing: Upwork is a race to the bottom. I'd avoid like the plague.

No offense to our Indian and Bangladeshi brothers and Sisters overseas, but due to really low costs of living and such, they are able to command much lower prices for the work needed and a reasonable invoice in the US is outrageously expensive in those parts. So, who do contractors want the work from?

So, especially if you're in the US, you're competing with absolute lowest bidders. Look elsewhere, build relationships with local people, network. I think this is the best way to do it.

Thanks! I live in a very rural area and working retail is beginning to drive me crazy. There are literally no design or development companies so freelancing is my only real option when it comes to building a design career. I am just going to take your advice and keep networking and talking to people. I am shy so it's tough, but I am realizing there is no possible way for me to even make money on upwork or 99 designs. It's been just over a week and already I feel as though I am wasting time.