Upwork’s New Connect Policy, What’s The Future for Freelancers?
Freelancing is gradually taking over the workforce. I mean, it has now being speculated that freelancing will in no time take up 50% of the workforce. We can be sure that freelancing is not just some gig stuff anymore, it’s here to say. It took me some really good length of time to take in the fact that freelancers brought home an estimated total of $1 trillion in annual earnings in 2016. How do you relate to this notable growth in freelancing? Fascinating, right?
Are you already a freelancer? Or are you still a newbie in the gig world? How about one of those fascinated at the no doubt uplifting remarks about freelancing, and somehow hoping to be one of those to get a reasonable piece of that trillion dollar and more this year? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then I want to use this medium to wish you the very best.
The internet is the major reason behind the devilish growth of freelancing. And speaking of freelancing platforms on the internet, Upwork is regarded as one of or even the best platform for freelancers. Thus, for our interested buddies, is Upwork the platform you aspire to work with as a freelancer? Well, that’s not bad, after all, Upwork has endeavored to live up to its name and have a lot to show for it. But you might want to reconsider. Wondering why?
Our newbie and old-timers in the freelancing world, working with Upwork will most definitely not be surprised at my statement since they must have been updated on Upwork’s new connect policy. This newly launched connect policy, impacts an estimated total of 10 million freelancers and 3 million clients presently operating on Upwork. How so? To know how, let’s get the details of this ‘BIG DEAL CONNECT POLICY’, and then do a brief comparison afterward.
To get a detailed understanding of this new Connect policy as desired, let’s break the word, ‘connects’, for the sake of our newbie freelancers and interested ones as well. Connects as regards freelancing, are virtual tokens you use to submit proposals for jobs as a freelancer. The only case where you would not be needing connects is when a client initiates contact by inviting you to bid or by sending you an offer – according to the Use connects – Upwork help center.
Now, back to the details, Upwork’s connect policy was scheduled to be updated, starting May 2019. Below are some essential contents of Upwork’s new connects policy.
- Submitting proposals can require anywhere from one to five connects, depending on the factors such as the size and type of project.
- If a job has been removed by Upworks for a Term of Service violation, the Connects used on that proposal will be returned for you to reuse. Additionally, withdrawing your proposals will not refund your connect.
- Connects are sold in bundles of 5 or more.
- The maximum number of Connects you can have at one time is limited to five times your monthly allotment (350 for freelancer Plus plans 400 for Agency Plus plans)
- The rollover limit is lower than the purchase limit. If you exceed the rollover limit, surplus Connects will expire at your next billing cycle date.
‘ROLLOVER’, does that term sound strange? I’ve got you covered. In Upwork’s new connect policy; it is regarded as one of the perks of the Plus plan. They are unused connects of freelancers, kept for future use.
Having covered the major part of Upwork’s new Connect policy, it is absolutely reasonable to conclude that this drastic change might be a ‘BIG DEAL’ for some of the 10 million freelancers working on Upwork. Leaving them with only two choices, to continue with Upwork or discontinue. Merely contemplating the significant difference between the previous and new Connect policy could pose a big threat to their stay on Upwork.
So, “What’s the future for freelancers, especially those working on Upwork?” The movement from 60 connects at the beginning of every month to ‘0’ free connects at the start of the month is simply indigestible.
The future for freelancers might look rough, but as soon as we understand that our freelance business shouldn’t be tied to any online marketplace, things should start falling in place.
Having your own website and selling your services directly to customers is a more long-term project, but in the meantime, you can sell your services on other online marketplaces. For some of us who are top rated freelancers on Upwork, we can try to stomach the fees while trying new options, but for newer freelancers, I’d just advice that you try out other options.
Fiverr, Freelancer, PeopleperHour and Toptal are some of the best Upwork alternatives out there, so you can register accounts and start offering your services on those websites.
Upwork isn’t the future of the freelance economy, and while we look for great alternatives that will support longer-term projects and see freelancers as being important to the growth of these companies, freelancers just have to take the bull by the horn and control their future in the meantime.
Author: John Adebimitan
Bio: John is a top rate freelancer on upwork. He writes for some of the top brands in Africa and is always happy to help new freelancers get a footing in the market.