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Building a Strong Client Base: How to Find Jobs on Fiverr and Upwork for Long-Term Success

Jan 15, 2023
(updated: Jan 16, 2023)
Max 5 min read

As a freelancer, building a strong client base is essential for long-term success. Job boards such as Upwork and Fiverr can be a great way to find new clients and grow your business. However, it is important to approach these platforms with a strategic mindset in order to maximize your chances of success.

Introduction to Fiverr and Upwork

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is a leading online marketplace that allows freelancers to offer their services, or "gigs," to buyers around the world. With a range of categories, including writing, graphic design, video editing, and social media marketing, Fiverr offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to make money online or are in need of specific services, Fiverr has you covered.

Fiverr homepage

To get started on Fiverr, simply create a Fiverr account and set up your gig. Gig images and a compelling gig title can help attract buyers to your services. You can also browse the buyer request section to see if there are any specific services that clients are looking for. Once you've found a buyer, the Fiverr app makes it easy to communicate and complete the job.

While Fiverr is a great platform for freelancers to find work, it is also a competitive marketplace. In order to stand out, it's important to have a strong portfolio and to be responsive to buyer inquiries. By offering value to your clients and delivering high-quality work, you can build a strong reputation on Fiverr and attract repeat business.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or new to the world of freelancing, Fiverr is a great platform to consider. With a range of services and a global audience, Fiverr offers endless opportunities for freelancers to grow their businesses and make money online.

What is Upwork?

Upwork is a leading online marketplace that connects businesses with freelancers for a variety of project needs. From writing and design to video editing and social media marketing, Upwork offers a range of categories to choose from. Whether you're a freelancer looking for work or a business in need of specific services, Upwork has something for everyone.

Upwork homepage

To get started on Upwork, simply create an account and set up your profile. A strong profile with a clear overview of your skills and experience can help attract potential clients. You can also browse job listings and submit proposals for projects that align with your expertise. Upwork's messaging system makes it easy to communicate with clients and discuss project details.

While Upwork is a great platform for freelancers to find work, it is also a competitive marketplace. In order to stand out, it's important to have a strong portfolio and to be responsive to client inquiries. By offering value to your clients and delivering high-quality work, you can build a strong reputation on Upwork and attract repeat business.


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How to win Fiverr gigs and Upwork projects

To attract high-paying clients and expand your client base, it is important for freelancers to specialize in a specific area and position themselves as experts in their field. A strong portfolio and personal brand, as well as leveraging connections and staying up to date with industry trends, can help differentiate you from other freelancers. Additionally, offering related services or package deals can provide value to clients and increase your income.

For more information on these topics, read on to learn more about each of these strategies in depth.

Specialize in a specific area

By specializing in a particular industry or type of work, you can differentiate yourself from other freelancers and position yourself as an expert in that field. For example, if you specialize in social media marketing, you can attract clients who are looking for someone with specific knowledge and experience in that area.

Build a strong portfolio

Having a strong portfolio that showcases your past work and accomplishments can help you stand out from other freelancers and demonstrate the value you can bring to potential clients. A well-crafted portfolio can also help you attract higher-paying clients and increase your income.

Build a strong portfolio

Leverage your connections

Networking and building relationships within your industry can be a powerful way to find new clients. Don't be afraid to reach out to past clients and ask for referrals or to industry contacts for leads on potential work. Utilizing your connections can help you tap into new opportunities and expand your client base.

Consider creating a personal brand

Developing a strong personal brand can help you establish yourself as an authority in your field and make you more attractive to potential clients. A personal brand can also help you differentiate yourself from other freelancers and increase your credibility and visibility in your industry.

Offer additional services

Consider offering related services or package deals to your clients. This can help you upsell and increase your income while also providing value to your clients. For example, if you're a freelance writer, you could offer editing and proofreading services in addition to your writing services.

Stay up to date with industry trends

Keeping up with the latest trends and developments in your industry can help you stay competitive and attract clients who are looking for someone with current knowledge and skills. Staying up to date can also help you offer new and relevant services to your clients and increase your value as a freelancer.

Stay up to date with industry trends

Why you should build your client base away from a Fiverr gig or an Upwork project

There are several advantages to transitioning clients from job boards like Upwork and Fiverr to working with freelancers independently.

One advantage is the ability to establish longer-term relationships with clients. When working on a job board, the freelancer and client are often only connected for the duration of a single project. By moving to independent work, the freelancer has the opportunity to build a more sustained and meaningful relationship with the client. This can lead to more consistent work and a stronger sense of trust and collaboration between the freelancer and the client.

Another advantage is the potential for increased income. While job boards often take a percentage of the freelancer's earnings as a commission, working independently allows the freelancer to retain a larger portion of their income. In addition, the freelancer may have the opportunity to negotiate higher rates or offer additional services to the client, further increasing their income.

Finally, working independently allows freelancers to have more control over their work environment and schedule. When working on a job board, the freelancer may have less control over the types of projects they work on and may be subjected to the platform's terms of service. By transitioning to independent work, the freelancer has more autonomy and can choose the projects and clients that align with their goals and values.

In conclusion, transitioning clients from job boards like Upwork and Fiverr to independent work can offer a number of advantages for freelancers. Building longer-term relationships, increasing income, and having more control over the work environment and schedule are all benefits that can come from this transition. While it may be challenging to make the move from job board work to independent work, the rewards can be significant for those who are able to successfully navigate this transition.

Challenges of moving clients away from job sites

Once you start working on Upwork and Fiverr, it can be hard to leave. Both sites have terms and conditions that try to prevent prospective buyers and freelancers from leaving their platforms. How does Fiverr prevent this? How does Upwork stop someone from making money by taking clients away?

Let's take a quick look at why it may not be a good idea to start selling your services elsewhere.

Challenges of leaving Upwork

There are a few reasons why it may be difficult to transition from working for a client on Upwork to working with them independently:

  • Upwork's terms of service: Upwork's terms of service prohibit users from "circumventing" the platform, which includes using Upwork to find clients and then working with them outside of the platform. If a freelancer is found to be in violation of this policy, their account may be suspended or terminated.
  • Client relationships: Some clients may be hesitant to work with a freelancer independently, especially if they are unfamiliar with the freelancer's work outside of Upwork. It may be necessary to build trust and establish a relationship with the client before they are willing to work with you independently.
  • Payment and invoicing: When working on Upwork, the platform handles the payment and invoicing for the freelancer. If the freelancer transitions to working with the client independently, they will need to handle these tasks themselves, which can be a burden for some freelancers.

Overall, transitioning from working for a client on Upwork to working with them independently can be a complex process that requires navigating Upwork's terms of service, building trust with the client, and handling payment and invoicing. It may not always be possible to make this transition and earn money independently, depending on the specific circumstances.

Grow your client base

Getting beyond the Fiverr gig: The challenges

It is generally not a good idea to work for clients on Fiverr and then work with them independently. Like Upwork, Fiverr has terms of service that prohibit users from "circumventing" the platform, which includes using Fiverr to find clients and then working with them outside of the platform. If a freelancer is found to be in violation of this policy, their Fiverr account may be suspended or terminated.

Additionally, transitioning from working for a client on Fiverr to working with them independently can be complex and may require building trust with the client, handling payment and invoicing, and navigating any legal or contractual issues. It is generally best to adhere to the terms of service of platforms like Fiverr and Upwork and work within the framework they provide. This will help you keep the Fiverr earnings rolling in.

How to create long-term clients

It is possible for clients to build long-term relationships with freelancers on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, but it is not necessarily common. These platforms are designed to facilitate short-term project work rather than long-term relationships. However, if a freelancer is able to deliver high-quality work and provide value to a client, it is possible that the client may be interested in working with them on an ongoing basis.

That being said, it is generally more common for clients to use these platforms to find freelancers for one-off projects or short-term contracts rather than build long-term relationships. Freelancers who are looking to build long-term relationships with clients may be better served by networking and building their own client base outside of these platforms.

To help you, let's look at some specific things you can do to make sure your services stand out and lead to long-term relationships with clients.

As a freelancer whose project is coming to an end with a client found on a job board, there are a few things you could do to try and make this client a long-term client:

  • Ask for feedback: At the end of the project, ask the client for feedback on your work and how you can improve in the future. This shows that you value their input and are committed to delivering high-quality work.
  • Offer additional services: Consider offering additional services or package deals to your client. This can help you upsell and increase your income while also providing value to your client.
  • Stay in touch: After the project is complete, make an effort to stay in touch with the client. You could send them periodic updates on your work or industry news that might be of interest to them. This can help you stay top of mind and build a long-term relationship with the client.

Let's dig into each one of these and give you some solid strategies for making them happen.

Ask for feedback

One way to continue with a client and keep them away from the freelancer search bar is to ask for feedback. This is a natural part of the process on both Fiverr and Upwork. But you can take things further and make your work stand out. Here's how:

  • Email: Send an email to your client thanking them for the opportunity to work together and asking if they have any feedback or suggestions for improvement. You could include specific questions such as "What did you like most about working with me?" and "Is there anything I could have done differently to make the process smoother?"
  • Survey: Create a short survey using a tool like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey and send it to your client. The survey could include questions about your performance, communication, and overall satisfaction with the project.
  • In-person or virtual meeting: Schedule an in-person or virtual meeting with your client to discuss the project and ask for feedback. This can be a more personal and interactive way to gather feedback and can also provide an opportunity for further discussion and clarification.

Ultimately, you can use this feedback to continue the conversation with your client. You can also start collecting customer testimonials and building case studies. These will help you win other gigs.

Asking for a feedback

Offer additional services in the same or different job categories

Consider offering additional services or package deals to your client. This can help you upsell and increase your income while also providing value to your client. For example, if you're a freelance writer, you could offer editing and proofreading services in addition to your writing services. 

Alternatively, you could create package deals that bundle together several of your services at a discounted rate. This can be a win-win for both you and your client, as they get access to a wider range of services at a discounted price, and you get the opportunity to earn more income and build a stronger relationship with your client.

Here are three strategies for selling more of your services to potential buyers:

  • Repeat past work: Offering to repeat past work for a client can be a good way to build a long-term relationship and ensure a steady stream of income. When proposing repeat work, be sure to clearly outline the scope of the project and any changes or updates that will be included. You could also consider offering a discount to incentivize the client to work with you again.
  • Adjacent services: Expanding your offerings to include services that are related to or similar to the work you have already completed for a client can help you upsell and increase your income. For example, if you're a web developer, you could offer search engine optimization (SEO) services or website maintenance to your clients.
  • Progressive work: Offering work that is progressive and part of the next step in the client's business process can help you build a long-term relationship and demonstrate your value as a partner. This could include services such as market research, business planning, or strategic consulting. Be sure to clearly communicate the benefits and value of the services you are proposing and how they will support the client's business goals.

Win more gigs from current clients by selling them on a new gig that is similar to your first gig. That's a lot of gigs! But that's what you want if you want to turn your side gig into your main gig.

Stay in touch to gain similar gigs from your clients

Even if you finished a single project with a client, it's still a good idea to stay in touch with them. You can do this in a few ways, and all of them are good.

  • Create a newsletter or email list: After the project is complete, consider creating a newsletter or email list to stay in touch with your clients. You could include updates on your work, industry news, or resources that you think might be of interest to your clients. This can help you stay connected and demonstrate your value as a resource to your clients.
  • Connect on social media: Invite the client to connect with you on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter. This can be a good way to keep in touch with clients on a more casual basis and stay connected.
  • Set up an online seminar: Consider hosting an online seminar for current and previous clients a couple of times per year. This can be a good way to inform your clients about industry changes and updates, and demonstrate your expertise and value as a resource. You could use platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet to host the seminar and invite clients to participate.
  • Schedule check-ins: Consider scheduling periodic check-ins with your clients to touch base and see if they have any new projects or needs. These can be done via phone, email, or video call and can help you maintain a relationship with your clients and stay informed about potential new work opportunities.

Alternatives to Fiverr and Upwork

Upwork and Fiverr are not alone. There are dozens of different job board sites. If you can't make Fiverr work for you or you struggle to stand out when buyers search on Upwork, you could try one of these.

  1. PeoplePerHour - A UK-based freelancing platform that allows businesses to find and hire freelancers for various projects.
  2. Freelancer - A global freelancing platform that offers a range of services, including web development, writing, and graphic design.
  3. Toptal - A high-end freelancing platform that offers a curated selection of top-tier freelancers in fields such as design, development, and finance.
  4. Guru - A global freelancing platform that allows businesses to find and hire freelancers for various projects.
  5. 99designs - A platform that connects businesses with graphic designers for logo, web, and other design projects.
  6. iFreelance - A freelance job board that allows freelancers to find and apply for various projects.
  7. SimplyHired - A job search platform that includes listings for freelance and contract work.
  8. FlexJobs - A job search platform that focuses on remote and flexible work, including freelance and contract opportunities.
  9. Remote.co - A job search platform for remote work, including freelance and contract positions.
  10. We Work Remotely - A job board for remote work, including freelance and contract positions.

How Indy can help

Indy homepage

When you are ready to offer services directly to clients, Indy can help you gain more sales and make good money. Here's what Indy offers:

  1. Indy can provide tools to streamline the freelance business process, such as proposals, contracts, invoicing, and project management, which can be especially helpful for freelancers who are transitioning from job sites to independent work.
  2. Indy offers integration with Zapier and Google Calendar, which can help freelancers automate certain tasks and streamline their workflows.
  3. Indy provides integrated online payment options through PayPal and Stripe, which can make it easier for freelancers to receive payment from clients and manage their finances.

Indy is very affordable, so every freelancer can take a big step forward with Indy. Its core tools are free forever with the freemium plan. And automation, Zapier integrations, and cross-tools functionality are available in the Pro plan for $9/month or just $6.75/month when paid yearly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, transitioning clients from job boards like Upwork and Fiverr to independent work can offer a number of advantages for freelancers. Building longer-term relationships, increasing income, and having more control over work environment and schedule are all benefits that can come from this transition. While it may be challenging to make the move from job board work to independent work, the rewards can be significant for those who are able to successfully navigate this transition.

If you’re interested in getting more freelance work with Upwork, check out how to write a winning Upwork proposal that’ll help you land more clients.

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