UpWork Top Rated Freelancer Tips! (Top 5)

UpWork Top Rated Freelancer Tips! (Top 5)

– What’s up, everyone? Welcome to Josh Burns Tech. Are you interested in freelancing? Be able to work on the
schedule that you want from wherever you want
on challenging projects around the work that you love? Well, if so, then stick around. In this video I’m gonna
give you five tips for freelancing on Upwork that
have personally helped me become a top-rated
freelancer on the platform. Coming right up. (Christmas music bells chiming) So listen, if it’s your first time here, make sure you hit that
Subscribe button to stay up-to-date on all the videos
coming to the channel. I focus on tech how-to videos
and tech reviews, as well. So let’s go ahead and jump into the video. So, if you’re not familiar with Upwork, they are the largest global freelancing website where freelancers earn money by providing companies with over 5,000 skills across various different
categories of work. Upwork makes it fast,
simple, and cost effective to find, hire, work with, and pay the best professionals anywhere at any time. I began my journey on
Upwork as a freelancer in around May of 2016, and since then, I’ve made close to $400,000
total, worked over 5,300 hours, across 70 different client
projects focusing on SQL Server and business
intelligence related jobs. Upwork has given me the
opportunity to work with some amazing clients across
numerous different industries. Recently working with
Stanford.edu on a project, and I was also recently
selected as the top freelancer in the IT and networking
category on Upwork, as well. The five tips I’m about
to cover are tips that would have been really
valuable for me when I first began my journey on
Upwork as a freelancer, and they’re definitely tips
that will benefit you, as well. So, let’s go ahead and jump into step one, which is create an attractive profile. On Upwork, there are
millions of registered users, which makes it immensely important to not only have a complete profile, but to have one that’s
attractive and makes you stand out among other users that are also going to be applying to the same jobs. How do you create an attractive profile that stands out to clients? For this first tip, we’re
gonna go through my profile, which has helped me
obtain jobs from numerous clients to the point
now where I rarely have to actually bid on jobs because I’m getting invites from Upwork employers for me to bid on their jobs, they’re finding my
profile through searches, through suggested freelancers for them, and it’s to the point now
where I actually rarely have to bid on jobs because I’m
getting a lot of offers. With that being said, let’s
start going through my profile. The first obvious thing that
you need is a high-quality headshot of yourself, and
I do emphasize headshot. You don’t want a photo
with other people in it, things that are distracting. Your profile photo is
one of the first things that employers are gonna see
when you bid on their jobs. You need it to give them
a sense of yourself. Friendly, professional, something that’s gonna be attractive for them. If you don’t have a headshot of yourself, I recommend having one
taken and, like I said, it’s gonna be one of the
most important things on your profile because it’s the first
thing that employers see, not only with when they
come to your profile, but also when they get the preview of your proposal among all the other proposals, your photo is gonna be one of the most important things there, so you need it to be
professional and high quality. Next, use a great and concise title that explains what you do. For mine I use SQL
Server DBA and developer, business intelligence developer. So this describes all three different type of areas that I work in myself, which is database administration,
database development, and business intelligence development. So whatever field you’re in, whatever jobs that you
plan on applying for, gear your title around
it, but make it concise so that your title isn’t
too long or confusing. Next, and one of the very most important areas of your profile, is the overview. This is your chance to sell yourself and your skills to your clients, and you need to gear your
overview in that regard. Be sure to describe your
skills, your experience, and why you would be a good
asset for them as a freelancer. Taking a look at my
overview you can see that first off I describe how
I’m a top-rated consultant, and this will come after you complete some jobs successfully, you get some under your belt,
you get some good reviews. Top rated will come if you stay focused on getting good reviews. We’re gonna cover that
her in a little bit. But anyway, the first thing I described is that I’m top rated, which is something that
once you hit that mark you’ll want to put in
your profile, as well. It’s already gonna be there,
but this is just kind of a little add-in addition that
I put into my job overview. I describe that I’m top rated. I go through and describe
my experience working with SQL Server and business
intelligence, the versioning. Then I go through and describe first off, part of my title, it kinda ties into it, I go through and describe
my database administration and development skills in this
first little paragraph here. Next off, I move down and start describing business intelligence, goes in the second part
of my title for the jobs that I’m applying for
based on my experience. I go through and describe my business intelligence skills and experience. And then, lastly, sell
yourself to your clients. You can see what I use. I’m eager to work for
you to provide reliable, consistent, high-level solutions to your design and development challenges. Please contact me so we
can discuss how we can work together to fully
meet your business needs. This last part, you need to
sell yourself to your clients. Put something in there that’s
gonna attract them to you, that’s gonna make them feel like you’re gonna over-deliver and
provide them a value to complete their projects and jobs. Next, set your availability
and make it clear to employers when you’re available. So if you take a look at mine, I’m currently set to
as-needed, open offers, less than 24 hours response time. So, if I click to modify it, you can see the different
options that exist. You can either be
available or not available, that’s gonna depend on your workload. If you have a lot of projects, you need to be unavailable
for awhile, you can change it. Also, list your hours. You can either be available
more than 30 hours a week, less than 30 hours a week, or as needed. Mine’s as needed, so I’m
willing to look at offers, see what the client needs,
and I can check my schedule to schedule that in and let them know the hours I’m gonna be available. But if you have more of a concrete amount of hours that you’re aware of, you can either go with the above 30 or more or you can do less than 30. You can also add an introduction video to make your profile
stand out and increase your chances of getting
noticed by employers, as well. What I did is I linked in
one of my YouTube videos so a client can
specifically go to my page, click on play video, then they
can play my YouTube video, which I discuss the top three
features in SQL Server 2019, as well as do a demo of PolyBase external tables with Azure Data Studio. It’s directly related to work that I do, the types of jobs that I bid on. This will enhance my profile and stand out to customers where they
can actually click on play and play this video
directly from here. It gives them a sense of my overall skills and for yourself, I
linked in a YouTube video, what you can do is you can just do a brief introduction of yourself, you can discuss your skills,
maybe do kind of like an overview of some
maybe past projects and things that you’ve completed related to the type of jobs you’re bidding on. I would highly recommend
creating an introduction video to give you another
way to position yourself above other freelancers bidding
on the same projects as you. Next, set your hourly rate. One of the biggest mistakes
you can make initially is setting an hourly rate that’s too high. When you first start out, you
don’t have the client reviews, you don’t have the reputation built up, you don’t have a way to
justify a high rate no matter what type of value that you’re bringing. If you feel like you’re
bringing a high value to a customer and you
want your hourly rate to meet that you can’t use that initially, or, I mean, you can use it initially, but you’re gonna get less
jobs because of that. You need to build your
reputation up first, and then you can make your
rate justify your value once you have the reputation
and reviews built up. On my profile you can see that my hourly rate is set to 85 an hour. I know that I’m providing
my clients with added value. They know it, and that’s
why they’re willing to pay me $85 an hour to
work on their projects. Initially, I didn’t
start out at $85 an hour. I started out, I believe,
at around 30, $35 an hour, completing projects,
getting some under my belt, building up the five-star high reviews. After I was able to get some of those, I was able to increase my rate
to what I’m actually worth. So first, like I said,
if you don’t have the reputation built up, you
have to start out lower. That’s one of the competitive advantages that you can use to get projects is price. Price yourself lower than
most other freelancers are pricing themselves on the projects that you’re bidding on. That’s gonna help you get
some projects initially, get some good reviews under your belt, build up your reputation
to work your way up to getting paid what you’re worth. My profile shows my hourly rate, which I can update at any time by clicking on this button right here. Again, start out lower,
get some initial jobs under your belt and get
the reviews you need to build your way up to whatever
rate that you’re worth. You can update that at any time. It also shows how much
that you’ve earned total, so mine right now is updating every hundred thousand dollars, so when I hit $400,000
earned, it’ll update. Initially, it changes
at different increments, but right now that’s when
mine will update next. It will depict that on your profile. It will also show your number of jobs, which is a combination of
in-progress and completed jobs. And then lastly, it
shows how many hours that you’ve worked across all
of your different jobs. Now we’re gonna scroll
past the work history and feedback section to
get to the portfolio. In the portfolio section
you can highlight and showcase previous examples
of jobs you’ve completed directly related to new ones
you’re gonna be bidding on. If you look at my profile,
in my portfolio you can see that I’ve highlighted
database administration. I’ll list some different jobs in there and what I did to complete those. Same for replications specifically related to the type of job that I’ve completed and what I went through to complete it. Also listed, my personal website, so if I click on it, you can see it. I’ll list out what I did
to develop my website. I’ll list out links to it within it so that a client can come to this, they can click on my website, and they can see the
work I did to completed. This would be great for
someone in web development. They could use the portfolio section to showcase different
websites they developed, showcase different parts
of websites they developed. They could create different
portfolio items for those to showcase them to Upwork employers
who come to their profile. And then, personally,
I’ll also showcase my YouTube channel so an
employer can click on my YouTube channel portfolio item, they can see the
description of my channel, the type of content that
I provide on my channel. Then there’s also a link where they can go directly to my
YouTube channel, as well. So again, the portfolio
section gives you another way to showcase yourself
to clients and position yourself above other freelancers, as well. Now we’re gonna move down past the portfolio section to the skills section. In the skills section
you can list a minimum of five skills and a maximum of 10 skills, and these skills need to
be directly related to the types of jobs you’re gonna
be applying for because they’re gonna show up in
recommended jobs for you, and they need to be
directly related to the type of jobs you’re gonna be applying for. So like I said, you can have
a minimum of five skills, but if you have 10
skills that are gonna be directly related to the work you’re doing, add as many as possible,
which would be 10. Next, we have the test section. In the test section there are thousands of different skill-based tests on Upwork which you can take related
to the type of jobs you’re applying for so that
when you apply for them, Upwork employers can come to your profile, see that you’ve completed
these type of tests, and that’ll give them a
sense of verification that you can complete their
project and deliver. On my profile, you can
see that I completed various different SQL
Server related tests. In data structures tests, it
lists my score out of five and also the percentile that
I fell within in all of the different freelancers on
Upwork for those type of tests. Then it also gives me the time
it took me to complete it. And then, if I want to
display it on my profile. So, don’t be afraid to
take the Upwork tests. You have the option to click no, so if you didn’t get the score that you wanted or the percentile, you can simply click no to
not have it on your profile, and it will not be
displayed to any employers when they come visit your profile. But if you completed in
a percentile that you wanted and got a score that you wanted, you can simply click yes,
and it will display on your profile and be there
when people come to it. Next, in the employment history section list and describe your employment history. If you take a look at my profile, you can see the different IT jobs that I’ve had in my career. I list those. List the dates that I worked within those, and then give a brief
description, as well, regarding those different jobs. So just like a resume, employers need to see your work history. Be sure to list out all
your related work history, describe it well, make sure it’s clear and concise for employers. In the education section list
any education that you have. On mine you can see I listed
out my bachelor’s degree. And then, you could also include any information related to your degree. I included my GPA. Things like the student club
I was involved in, et cetera. You can also list those, as well. Lastly, when creating an
attractive profile in Upwork you have the other experiences section. In this section you can list out any other experiences that you have. Specifically, on my
profile, I listed out three different certifications that I hold that weren’t available in the
certification section. I skipped over that section, which is why you haven’t heard of it. I skipped it because
Upwork has preapproved certifications within the certifications section that you can search for. I searched for mine. They didn’t exist in the
certifications section. You can request for them
to be added, which I did, but they’re still not in
there, so as an alternative, you can list those in
the other experiences section to get them on your profile. So again, you can use
this section for any other work-related experiences that you’ve had or if there’s certifications that you hold that weren’t available in
the certifications section, I recommend adding those into this. Now we’re gonna move on to tip number two, which is create attractive job proposals. Whenever you bid on a job,
the way that you orchestrate your proposal is immensely important, specifically, the cover letter. The cover letter is where
you’re going to sell your skills and yourself
to the client to persuade them to hire you and select
you over a lot of other freelancers who are also
bidding on the project. If you want to know what
has worked great for me in getting a lot of new
clients and having my proposals selected above other freelancers who also bid on the same projects, I’m gonna cover that now. To create great proposals
and be able to apply to a lot of different types of
jobs quickly, efficiently, and make sure that they
stand out and they’re great, what I’ve done is I’ve created different templates and saved those in .txt files. These cover letter
templates are specifically geared towards certain
jobs that I apply to, so if you look at the screen now you’ll see the first one is a basic, general, overall Upwork job proposal. The next is specifically geared
towards high availability, SQL development, Azure SQL,
data warehousing, et cetera. So, I’ll specifically show you the data warehousing template that I use. I insert this into the cover letter, and then I modify it
to gear it specifically to the client’s job to
make it more attractive. So, let’s take a look. In this specific data
warehousing cover letter template that I use you’ll see that I’ll start out by addressing my experience modeling and architecting data warehouses. And then, I try to give a specific example of a project that I recently completed. If you take a look at the screen now, you’ll see that I
described that I recently completed a data warehousing project for one of my long-term clients, and then I go into some of
the details of that project. It’s great to have something
specific that you’ve done before to give them
an idea of the work that you’ve completed, and
then if they ask about it, you can even point them
to that specific project on your profile so they
will be able to see if you have other jobs in progress related to the one you’re applying for or if you’ve completed one of those
previously and have a review for it that they
can take a look at. Once you start completing jobs, building up those great reviews, what you can do is include
that in your template, as well. What I do is I describe how
I’m in the top three global SQL Server and business
intelligence consultants on Upwork. I’ll list the amount of
hours that I’ve worked as well as the amount of
money that I’ve earned across my different client projects. Next, I inform the client to
take a look at my profile to see all the different five-star
reviews that I’ve received, as well as my 100% job success
score to give them a sense of affirmation that I can complete
their job successfully. I then explain to the client
that if they choose me, they’re gonna be getting high quality work and someone that’s gonna complete
their project successfully the first time and not have
to go back in to fix things. Then last, and most important, I give the client a call to action. I request that they give
me a time when they would be available for a 15 to 30 minute call, free of charge, so that
we can discuss their project in more detail and identify how my skill set will benefit them
in completing their job. This will not only allow
you to create great orchestrated cover letters,
but it will also save you time, allowing you to quickly bid
on new projects by copying and pasting your templates
and then modifying them when you would normally have
to retype a lot of the same stuff for each
different cover letter. This is something that I did not start doing initially because
I didn’t think of it, but once I started to apply
for a bunch of different jobs I came up with the idea
of just creating templates so that I can modify those around
to save myself time from having to type some of the
same stuff over and over. Now we’re gonna move
on to tip number three, build your reputation,
which is your job success score and your client reviews. In my opinion, your job
success score and your client reviews are the two most important aspects of your Upwork
presence and your profile. On Upwork always keep the mindset that reviews and job success score are more important than the money that I’m making. That may be a difficult
transition for you to make, and I completely understand that. Trust me, I am really
focused on the amount of money that I’m making on Upwork, however, I fully 100% believe that
my reviews and job success score matter way more than
the money that I make. I fully believe, and I have the job history to back it up, as well, that having a lot of
five-star reviews and keeping your job success score
between 90 and 100% lead to making more money on Upwork. Let’s first take a look
at the job success score. If you take a look at the screen right now you can see that mine is at 100%. I’ve had it at 100% for a long time, and I do my best to keep it there. This is calculated in a
certain way by Upwork, which we’re gonna go over real quick. Your job success score
is calculated based on successful contract
outcomes minus negative contract outcomes divided
by total contract outcomes. So, this is essentially your
positive feedback minus your negative feedback divided
by all of your feedback. One other thing to keep in mind is that if you look on the image on the screen and take a look at the bottom right, contracts without activity,
excessive lack of feedback. That will factor in to your
total job success score. If you have some clients that
you completed a job for them, they’re not giving you feedback, that’s gonna factor in to
your total job success score, so it’s really important to get your clients to leave you feedback. Trust me, from experience,
there are clients, no matter how good of a job that you do, they’re not gonna give you feedback when the job’s completed. What I recommend doing is
simply just message that client, explain to them how it
factors into your job success score and makes
your profile stand out, and a lot of them have been willing to leave me feedback after I’ve done that. And then, next, and most importantly, your work history and feedback. If you take a look at my
work history and feedback, this is something I really
push myself to maintain. You can see that I have
all five-star reviews, and most of the clients
that I’ve worked with have left me really detailed feedback, which is extremely
generous, and that’s one of the best aspects of working on Upwork. You get to work with some amazing people, and it’s really been just an overall blessing for me to be able to do that. But if you go through
and take a look at ’em, you can see a lot of five-star reviews and really good feedback. Here’s how I view my feedback
and how you should, as well. If I go to Amazon I’ll
search for a product. If it has a lot of five-star reviews, I’m more than likely
gonna buy that product because I know it’s gonna be high quality. If it has a lot of four-star reviews, I’m still likely gonna buy the product, but I’m gonna go through the reviews and see what customers are saying about it. If it has a lot of
three-star reviews or less, I’m more than likely not gonna buy it because I know it’s gonna be low quality and not worth the money that I’m paying. That’s 100% how I view my feedback. If a client comes to
my profile and they see that I have a lot of five-star reviews, really good feedback, they
know that I’m gonna deliver. They can trust me to complete
their project successfully. Getting a lot of great
feedback is going to take time, and you just need to be
resilient in how you approach it because when someone
comes to your profile, you want them to see this. You want them to see a lot of five-star reviews and great feedback, which is gonna lead to them
trusting you and hiring you over other freelancers who are
also bidding on the same jobs. So again, be resilient and make sure that you are over-delivering on your client’s expectations to earn
that five-star review. Now we’re moving on to tip number four, communication is key. Maintaining great communication with your clients is vitally
important to your success and reputation on Upwork as a freelancer. You need to reply to messages from your clients as soon as possible, and when you get invited to
bid on client’s jobs you need to reply to that invitation
as soon as possible, as well. If you take a look at the screen now you can see that I’ve received 28 invitations to bid on jobs in the last 90 days. Out of those 28 invitations I’ve applied to every single one of them, mostly replying in less than 24 hours. You can see that I’m getting
close to the always side. My goal is to have both of these all the way over on always to 100%. Similar to job success score and feedback, I view my communication like this. If I were an Upwork employer
and I created a project and then I hired a freelancer
to do a specific job for me, if days went by, I didn’t hear any type of update from the freelancer, I probably would be pretty
dissatisfied with their service. If I were an Upwork
employer and I was investing my time and my money into a freelancer to complete a job for me and they weren’t keeping communication open and consistent, then I would definitely be
dissatisfied with their service. So strive to keep
communication open, consistent. Keep your clients up-to-date on your status for their projects, and do that by using the
messaging feature within Upwork, as well as give your phone
number out to your clients. I always do that. I use the messaging feature
probably 90% of the time with my clients, but I also
give them my phone number. If they need to reach me immediately, I give them my phone number to do that, and you need to be open to doing that. It will give them a sense
of comfort that they can rely on you and they
can effectively contact you if they need to in urgent times. So keep communication
clear, open, and consistent, and earn your client’s trust, respect, and build your reputation
on Upwork as a freelancer. And lastly, for tip number five, be patient and outwork everyone. I’ll scroll down in my feedback to show you some older projects. So you can see, this one was $36 an hour, $34 an hour, fixed price of $250. This was an exception
where I made a lot more on this specific project
for a fixed price, $250. Like I said, you’re gonna start out lower. You gotta start out with your price being your competitive advantage
over other freelancers. Start out slow, keep building your way up. You have to be resilient,
but also be patient. Being one of the top
freelancers on Upwork does not happen overnight and it’s
gonna take a lot of time. You have to be willing
to outwork everyone else. So when you’re applying to
a ton of jobs initially, you’re not getting
responses from any of ’em, and that will happen, it happened to me. Stay resilient. You’re gonna end up getting
those types of jobs. You gotta think of different ways to get your client’s attention,
whether it be with a price, whether it be with how
you construct yourself and display yourself within your cover letter, keep thinking of ways
to grab their attention, but don’t give up, because
your mindset has to be that other freelancers are
gonna give up before you. You’re gonna outwork them. You’re gonna bid on more jobs than them. You’re gonna go above and
beyond what they’re doing. So, when other freelancers
are watching every episode of Lost or some
other type of TV show, you’re gonna be putting in the time, putting yourself ahead of them and getting the jobs that they’re not gonna get because you’re outworking them. Incorporating that mindset, along with the other tips that I gave you, is gonna lead to getting long-term clients like some of these. Some of these that I’ve been working with consistently for a very long time, they’re some of my longest term clients, they’re great people to work with, and they continually use
me to work on their jobs. I hope that these tips provided value for you and will benefit your career immensely on Upwork as a freelancer. So again, my channel focuses
on tech how-to videos, tech reviews, and I’m
also going to be adding videos on Upwork tips for
freelancing and advice, as well. So on this end screen, be sure to hit that Subscribe button for more
videos just like this. Until next time. (Christmas music bells chiming)


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    K TaVonne

    Great stuff on the portfolio section! And since I am in web development, I am going to follow your advice to the tee. I'm also going to take a couple of Upwork tests this weekend. Thanks for this!!!!!

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    Muhammad A.

    Great job Sir !! You're my main inspiration while working on Upwork. Followed your tips about landing the first job, and I got 3 jobs simultaneously instead of one. !! Great work

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    Tristan Rogers

    It took me almost 10 minutes into the video to realize your location in Lex, KY. Thats cool, I'm in Winchester. Might as well be in Lexington because I have to go there to do anything fun or eat anything good lol. Just a nearby, Inspiring free lancer!!

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    Qualitative Researcher

    Hi Josh, thanks for this great video. I just have a question about your "top rated consultant on Upwork" section – I didn't quite get whether this was added to your profile by upwork itself, or is it something you added manually because, in fact, you are one of the top rated freelancers? I am asking because, considering my reviews, rating, etc., I am technically "top rated", but I am not sure whether adding this kind of paragraph manually would be ok with Upwork

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    Linda Taylor

    Good information and content! (Were you an orchestra conductor in a previous life? TOO MUCH hand movement throughout.)

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    Momir Pupčević

    Hi Josh and thank you for this video. Can you please tell me what do you think about short proposals vs long? I mean I know the most important thing is quality but I really want to hear your opinion. Thanks!

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    AZ tonmoy

    You are great sir. Sir can you please check my profile and see if there any mistakes. my jss getting down day by day. not getting new clients like prior time. please help. https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/_~011a6eea7fb87746ce/

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    Harold Lowe

    Thanks for the great tips! This is by far the best content I've seen on freelancing on Up work. Greatly appreciated and I'm looking forward to applying these awesome tips. Keep the vids coming.

  20. Post

    Great Video man!! I have been doing what you are saying to maintain my top rated badge for years and looks like I'm ranked as one of the top freelancers on upwork. Thanks for the nice content!!

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    Varuna Eeriyaulla

    Hi Josh, I have a little question. I'm working as a web developer and recently got Top Rated status. My question is what I do when a client request my email to provide access to Cpanel, WordPress, Jira and so on.. If I send my email how it affect my Upwork account? Even like my[at] domain[dot] com

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    Xam Khan

    Hi josh

    Hope you are doing great.

    I am new on upwork . I have worked with a person on different projects such as customer support e.t.c but he didn't told me how to get jobs on upwork. Can you kindly help me in getting a job please.

    Kindly contact at my email [email protected]

    Please contact me.

    Your understanding is highly appreciated.

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    Josh Burns Tech

    Want to Become a Top Rated Freelancer? Checkout my Playlist! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2RRbYdV_lUSNdVlhv2euzZDYMK053bYB

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    samir samir

    Josh , frankly speaking , you can add a new skill on your profile as a MOTIVATOR . I've rarely seen such motivationnal (true) content , thanks Josh , just continu to motivate us to join Upwork as full time job preferly !

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    Karin Bara

    I am new to Upwork and this video is super helpful. Thank you, great content. One question- Do you pay for the monthly subscription? Thanks again, just subscribed to your channel and will binge watch when I can. Right now, I need to go bud on some Upwork jobs! Thanks again.

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    you nick

    hello sir…can you provide me good title for social media marketting (insta and fb) also are they trending services or nor…thanks

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