If there a great time in history to fulfill our dreams of “becoming our own boss”, perhaps this is the best time of all!
With the rise of the Internet, so does our income opportunities. One of the many ways to earn money online is by freelancing – this is especially a good option if you want to rise within your chosen field, which in this case, is UI design.
Freelancing is also good whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional. Even if you only possess a basic skill, you can already work and make money – and grow your skill from there!
One perk of being a freelancer is the flexibility of working with clients. You can find and choose which clients you want to work for.
But if you don’t know where to find these clients, you can start with freelancing websites – websites that help clients and freelancers find each other. One of the best freelancing websites around is Upwork – with many clients going there, you’re sure to get one that needs your skills! By this time, you may even know now what Upwork is!
Finding a job in Upwork is not as intimidating as it seems, though you certainly need to put in the time and effort (as with anything else) and expect to fail from time to time. But if you know what to do, and you simply put in the effort, you will succeed in time!
So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to get a UI job in Upwork. This applies even for beginners (and to “no-experience” designers) and for most skill types.
1) Create a professional profile
Many freelancers don’t even spend time in building their profiles, and they wonder why nobody hires them!Invest in building your profile. Upload a professional portrait photo (does not need to be formal, but a casual and decent one works for starters).
No experience to show in your body’s description? Don’t worry, show your skills and how they will help your clients. You can also write which clients you primarily intend to spend – for example, do you intend to serve small business websites, blogs or corporate websites?
And hey, you may not have professional experience, but you certainly have experiences – otherwise, how will you learn your skills? If you volunteered to use your UI skills for an organization, you can write that in your description. Did you help a friend build his/her website’s UI design? You can show that off as well (and even use your friend’s website as a sample portfolio).
Don’t worry about the Portfolio section, you can leave that blank if you don’t have many portfolios to show.
A good photo and description (and don’t forget your name, of course!) is a good start in creating a professional profile.
2) Don’t focus on resumes and CVs, focus on what you can do for YOUR client
Here’s a little secret: most clients don’t really care about portfolios, experiences, etc. Yes, this is mostly true even if they ask for it!
Do you know what clients need? Someone who will help them with what they need to work on. Most of your clients aren’t pro into UI design – unless your client is a UI pro him/herself.
This means, instead of bombarding them with resumes and CVs (as what most prospecting freelancers before you would do), show them what you can do to help them with their problem/need. Anyway, you can send a resume and CV if they really ask for it.
Offer them a solution (and of course you’re the one who’ll do it). Teach them a thing or two about their situation – this shows that you’re knowledgeable and you care about their needs.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll separate yourself from the rest and you may even be recognized because of this.
And by the way, if you observe, the word “your” is capitalized on this header. There’s a reason for that: approach your clients individually, not generically.
The problem with portfolio and resume submission? They’re too generic, you won’t stand out, and mostly the client won’t even care about you (unless you’re the first to submit).
Send a proposal message based on your client’s needs. This means you carefully read their job description, taking their “pain points” in, and finding ways on how to help them.
Then, that’s what you’ll basically put in your proposal message – a personalized proposal message.
Don’t write a generic message which you’ll just copy-paste to your message. Your clients will know it, and it’s a poor way to reach your clients. A personalized message signals that you care about them.
3) Send to job ads that you actually CARE about
One common mistake freelancers do: sending as many proposal messages to as many job ads.
Problem? They get a low success rate, poor jobs (if they ever win it) and hence, less satisfaction for both them and their client.
Take the time to find job ads that you really care about. When you work on a job that’s really interesting to you, it’s easier to create a winning, personalized message – after all, you’re eager to win that job!
And if you do win that job, you’re more likely to do your best, hence generate the best results – a win-win for both you and your client.
Take the time to find the job that you want. It’s better to send out 3 proposals to clients you really want to help than sending 10 to clients whose job ad you barely read.
4) Be persistent in winning jobs
You’ll probably not win a job the first time you sign in to Upwork, let’s be clear on that. For sure, it will take time before you win a job.
But don’t be discouraged, and never stop giving your best messages (no to generic, copy-paste message, right?) In time, you will find a client, and you can start from there!
5) Update your profile as you grow
Update the Portfolio section and your description as you grow in your chosen field. And because you’ve gained a good track record, it’s easier to find clients – as clients are the ones who will find you!
Finding a good job, whether in Upwork or a regular job, takes time. But it should not be as intimidating as you may think. It’s really just the same as finding a regular job – just remove the commute part!
If you persist enough and followed our advice, I guarantee you’ll get your first (and second, and third) clients in no time!
Check out the other articles that we made for you!