Upwork’s new pricing model for bidding on projects will affect new Pakistani freelancers
Upwork, a global freelancing giant has recently announced that it is “revamping the structure and pricing of Connects” in its move to support professional freelancers or agencies to win more contracts. Freelancers will now have to pay for each bid proposal.
The revamped pricing structure of Connects will be changed for existing users between May and June. Whereas, new users will see this change by the end of this month.
So what exactly is Connects?
Connects are virtual tokens which are used by freelancers to submit proposals for jobs. Submitting a proposal for a job in Upwork requires the freelancer or the agency to spend a specific amount in form of Connects, that could be between 1 to 6 Connects. The platform offers a bidding portal where various freelancers send their proposal for a specific job and hence, they must have enough Connects in their account to bid for a job. If any job violates Upwork’s Term of Service and has been removed by the company, the Connects you spent for that particular proposal would be refunded.
According to the Upwork’s new policy, the cost per connect will be $0.15 and the platform will no longer provide 60 free Connects to the freelancers or 80 free Connects in case of agencies on monthly bases. Notably, a user will have to spend 1 to 6 Connects to submit a proposal which was previously done in 0 to 2 Connects, depending on the job’s nature. However, proposals submitted to invites from clients will remain free. As Upwork’s Community Manager states in a blog post;
“We will calculate the number of Connects needed to submit a proposal based on the projected job value. This is determined using the estimated duration and budget amount for the job, as well as marketplace demand. Essentially, a longer-term job with a high budget will require more Connects than a small short-term, entry-level project.”
The revamped version of Connects’ pricing for submitting a proposal is shared below;
It must also be noted that Upwork is planning to sell Connects in bundles. This means that 10 Connects will cost $1.50, 20 Connects for $3, 40 Connects will cost $6, 60 for $9 and 80 for $12. Freelancers would apparently spend $5 or less on monthly bases on average to use Connects.
This sounds like a positive change for experienced freelancers from every perspective for fixed price jobs. Meanwhile, professional freelancers have also observed that newer or inexperienced freelancers saturate or spam clients with irrelevant proposals, which creates distrust on the platform.
On the other hand, for those new freelancers working from emerging markets like Pakistan, who already oppose Upwork’s expensive sliding commission model, it will be even more difficult to add the hefty amount in their Upwork’s account to spend on Connects for jobs’ proposals.