Have you been scared away from using Upwork by rumors of low pay, high fees,  and difficult clients? Me too! 

I’m so excited to hear what Laura Briggs has to teach us about how she created a six-figure business using Upwork. If you’ve shied away from Upwork, or tried it and had a bad experience, I encourage you to listen to this whole episode, because Laura has some amazing advice and insider knowledge about how to make Upwork really work for you. 

Laura has her own writing business, she helps other freelancers learn how to scale their business, and has one book out with another on the way. She is such a wealth of knowledge and it’s an honor to have her on the podcast today.

Value Bombs:

 

  • What Upwork is and who it’s for 
  • How to build your reputation and get testimonials 
  • How much Upwork costs and how to include those fees in your bids 
  • How Laura has used Upwork to get a client on retainer for four years on a $26,000 a year contract, as well as a $50,000 ghostwriting gig 
  • Which services are and are not going to perform well on Upwork
  • How to use Upwork’s feedback features to your advantage 
  • How to get onto Upwork if you’re brand new and haven’t had any clients 
  • The value of using video to connect with potential clients 
  • What clients really care about when they’re considering hiring you 
  • How to beat someone in a pitch that you can’t beat in price 
  • Why you shouldn’t take all job postings at face value 
  • Action steps for someone who wants to try out Upwork

 

Before talking to Laura, I really didn’t know anything about Upwork, and now I’m wondering if I’ve been missing out! I hope you’ve learned something new, and maybe even have a different perspective too, whether you plan on using Upwork or not. 

I would love for you to reach out to Laura, tell her any aha moment’s you had, and connect with her. And then if you’re trying out Upwork, let me know in a DM!  You can find me over at @brandimowles. Snap a picture of this and let me know if you’re going to try Upwork or not! I can’t wait to chat with you. 

 

Resources Mentioned: 

Upwork

 

Connect with Laura:

www.betterbizacademy.com

Mastering Your Freelance Life with Laura Facebook Group

Episode 106 on the Advanced Freelancing Podcast

 

Additional Resources:

Don’t forget to sign up for my free training >> How to Scale to Consistent 10K Months Without Hiring a Team 

Subscribe to the Podcast

Follow Brandi on Instagram 

Follow Brandi on Facebook

Read Full Transcript

Brandi Mowles: Today, we have on Laura. Laura is incredible freelancer who has built a writing business. And she has a book. She has another book on the way. She is just such a wealth of knowledge. And today we're talking about Upwork. Yep. It's a platform I do not know anything about. But we're diving into it. But here's one thing. If you've had about experience with Upwork or you tried to work there before, I encourage you to stay through this whole episode because Laura has mastered it and created six-figure business using Upwork. So don't discount it until after you listen to this episode. So let's jump on it.

Brandi Mowles: Welcome to the Serve Scale Soar podcast. The podcast dedicated to helping service based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five figure months so they can soar into six figure years. Your host Brandi is a wife mom. And in less than one year created a six figure business. And now she is spilling all her secrets. So you can to.

Brandi Mowles: Serve Scale Soar family. I am so excited for you all because today I have a special guest, Laura, on the podcast. And Laura is not only a member of Serve Scale Soar conversions for clients and soaring inner circle mastermind. She's in all my programs, but she is also an incredible business owner. That also helps freelancers learn how to scale their business. She has an amazing book coming out and so many fun things. But I am so excited to have you today on the podcast, Laura. So how about you just tell my audience a little bit about who you are as a person and as a business owner?

Laura Briggs: Sure. So I've been in business since 2012. I did my freelance business as a side hustle for the first 13 months and then I went full time. I'm a military spouse, so I've moved all over the country with my husband and freelancing was a big part of that, needing to have a flexible career. But I'm also really glad that I quit my job being an inner city middle school teacher, because business ownership is much better suited to my personality and a lot more flexible, too. And so it's opened a lot of doors. I've done two TEDx talks about freelancing and I'm working on. I just finished the edits on my second book with Entrepreneur Press, and then the third one is due in seven months. And so all those doors went into open. If I tried to follow the traditional educational path and then on the personal front, I love animals. My husband and I are huge horror fans. We have a significant autograph collection. We've met and kind of stocked a lot of famous people to get sick and stuff.

Laura Briggs: So it's been really fun to do that together.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. That's so fun. OK. So for anyone wondering what we're gonna chat about today, we're going to chat about Upwork. This is something I will be 100 percent honest with all of your listeners.

Brandi Mowles: I know nothing about Upwork. My preconceived notions coming in to the business was Upworkpwork was like super cheap labor. You're not going to be paid more. And so I always stayed away from it because I just didn't know how to use the platform. Laura has the remotest six figure business using Upwork. So I thought this would be a great conversation and one that I cannot wait to see where this goes, because literally I know nothing about the platform. I've never even logged in.

Brandi Mowles: So, Laura, what is Upwork and who is that work for?

Laura Briggs: Well, I like to say that Upwork is like a four letter word in the freelance community because people either feel one of two ways about it. They hate it or they love it. And there is no in between. So I'm actually glad that you don't know much about it because you don't have to try to convince you that there can be decent jobs found on Upwork.

Laura Briggs: And so clients post jobs on Upwork and then freelancers on the platform will essentially reply with bids. And I think that's one of the misconceptions around the site, is that you're competing on price alone. Really, that's much like a sales call. You're like opening the conversation with a client. Like, here's my experience. And you're also asking questions because most clients put like three sentences like, hey, I'm hiring someone for Facebook ads. I own a fitness business. It's like, great, I have no information to help you. Like, what is your budget? Have you run ads before? Like, there's lots of questions that you have to ask. And so it works really well for certain people. It's not a good fit for everybody. And so I think that's where the misconception lies. And there are lots of low quality jobs on the site or simply unclear clients that don't know what they want. So because you have to spend your time bidding on these jobs and not 100 percent knowing if they're going to go anywhere. A lot of freelancers get frustrated and quit. A lot of them quit way too soon. They'll send like 10 pitches and be like, well, I didn't get any business and and leave and and like, you wouldn't think that same thing if you were recalled pitching clients or using LinkedIn, like it takes time to figure out a system. So I view it as at least one tool that you should have in your tool belt when you're looking at marketing methods for freelance. It's something to consider. And you get feedback from your clients on the site, too. So when you do a job, you'll open it, the client will fund escrow or you'll work on an hourly basis and then you'll get paid through the site there, much like a middle man or third party there.

Laura Briggs: And then the client leaves you feedback and you leave the client feedback. So if you know how to use Upwork the right way, it's a great way to build your reputation and have an extra place for clients to be leaving testimonials.

Brandi Mowles: Ok. So I love this because, I mean, the same thing is true with the Facebook group. You know, like there could be someone that posts I need a Pinterest manager and 50 people post on that. And then people are like, this space is too crowded when, you know, I built my business using Facebook groups and LinkedIn. So I think it's very similar. But I'm wondering if because of the preconceived notions around Upwork, they quit too soon instead of like looking at it like a Facebook group or LinkedIn like, you have to get your feet, like, get in there. Know the strategies. So I love that.

Brandi Mowles: And then it feels very much like Air BnB where you're like, OK, I'm going to leave you a review. You're going to give me a review. And so I like that. That's really cool, because then you get that instant feedback. But you said that there's a middle man, so Upwork is the middle man. So when you do a job, what does that look like in terms of how much are they taking?

Laura Briggs: Yeah. And this is another point of contention with a lot of people. They're like, I don't want to be paying anything to Upwork while we Paypal fees. We pay software fees for our invoicing. We pay for Dubsado every month. These are the cost of doing business expenses is how I view it. So as of right now, when we're recording the first five hundred dollars of any job that you do with the client, Upwork is going to take 20 percent of that. A lot of freelancers go, oh, that's huge. That's a ton of money. Great charge the client, that 20 percent I tell clients in my bid, this bid includes the Upwork fee so that they are very clear that if we're under five hundred dollars, I'm up charging them that 20 percent to cover for the fact that that's going to Upwork before I ever even see the money. So don't get too hung up on that. Clients are well aware that you're paying something on the freelance end. So I think that often gets very confusing for people trying to figure out, you know, is the site worth it for me? The bigger the job, the lower the percentage you pay to the clients. So obviously, the site is geared towards rewarding freelancers who do big jobs or recurring work. It drops to like 10 percent after five hundred dollars. And then I think it's either five or ten thousand dollars, it drops down to five percent. So if you're working on a really big project, you could theoretically hit that and have a reduced percentage. I just charge it as a cost of doing business to my clients. And then if you have a pro membership to work, I pay fifteen dollars a month.

Laura Briggs: They give you what they call Connects. Those are essentially tools that you use to bid on these different projects. And so you do get a set number of Connects every month and you want to be smart about how you apply them. You're going to apply to some jobs that are duds. You're going to apply to jobs that you think I'm perfect for this and the client will never hire anyone or they'll hire somebody else. That's part of the process. And I think one thing that freelancers need to keep in mind is this is not something you spend six hours a day doing. I look it up, work 20 minutes a day, and I use search terms to figure out is there anything new? Is there a gem hidden here that I need to apply for? And then I get off of the site like I don't spend my time there. I think a lot of people are like, well, I was on there for 10 hours yesterday and I applied to twenty five jobs. That's not how you use the sites. You've got to be strategic about it. There are amazing clients on there. I've had one of my clients stayed with me on retainer for four years on a twenty six thousand dollar a year contract is from Upwork. I had a fifty thousand dollar ghostwriting gig from Upwork And after two years, you can take your client off the platform. So, again, rewarding you for that long term relationship. And I do that to all my clients, like we worked together two years. I don't want to pay the Upwork fee anymore. Let's move off the platform.

Brandi Mowles: Ok. I love what you're saying, because, one, this would be part of your marketing minutes, which I talk about all the time and marketing minutes. This is a very active marketing minute activity. It's not passive. So I like that. I think it's cool that they reward you and that you're setting that fee in there because that's what it's just like anywhere. If you're not price walling off, like we have taxes to pay, we have merchant fees to pay, things like that. And so it's the same thing with Upwork is just making sure that we're pricing accordingly. So you said it's not for everyone. So take me back to that. Like what freelancers should be on there. Which services probably aren't going to perform that well on Upwork?

Laura Briggs: Yeah, the surprising thing to a lot of people is that there are some categories that are oversaturated and really competitive. So I am active in the writing category on Upwork. It is far and away the hardest one to be in and to get on the platform with. If you apply as a writer and you don't show that you are like top tier in the writing category. It's gotten so much more competitive since I joined in 2012. And so that bar has continued to rise. What up or does is they look at all of the people on the platform and the number of clients posting jobs in that category, and they're striking a balance. So they don't want to have 500 writers and only two clients that post writing gigs because those clients will get overwhelmed in the pool, just doesn't match up well. So if you're going to go into a category that is not oversaturated but pretty full, you'll need to think about, is there an alternative skill that I can apply to get on the platform with if I get denied the first time? So Facebook ads, marketing strategy, those are great inroads into Upwork because not a lot of people on the platform do that in comparison to virtual assistant work or writing. The other thing to view is I post jobs as a client on work all the time just to make sure that the advice I'm giving about the platform is accurate. You will sign in and see like, oh, this job already has 20 to 50 proposals.

Laura Briggs: 80 percent of those are absolute crap. I get them all the time that say, Dear sir, they have nothing to do with what I said in the job description. They clearly didn't read it. They have no experience doing the skill that I've asked for. So don't feel like you have to avoid those clients enough or are looking for the best person. To do their job at that point in time. And so that's your job when you're pitching to shut out all the other noise from other freelancers? What I found with Upwork clients is when they see the person they want to work with, they will move fast. They will just be like, hey, can we talk on the phone tomorrow? And they'll hire you later that week. One of the changes that's coming on the platform, though, that is very controversial is that I believe it's active. Like as of now, you cannot have a phone or ZoomeZoom conversation with a client before they have hired you. So you have to use Upwork video messaging software, which is sketchy at best right now if you need to have that conversation before they hire you. So we'll see if that lasts. I've given direct feedback to the Upwork product team about the challenges with that and how freelancers feel about it. So I will say that is one thing in their favor. They do listen. I put together like a 15 minute video of why this was a terrible idea. And someone in Upwork reached out to me it was like, would you like to talk to our product team? And I was like, sure, I will ring all the feedback from the freelancers that I know. So just something to be aware of there. But there are ways to kind of like make that work in your favor.

Brandi Mowles: And I'm guessing they're doing that because people are getting on the phone and then hiring outside of the platform. So no one is attached to the platform.

Laura Briggs: Exactly. And that's called circumvention and it's against their terms of service. And I don't think they know, like, the exact the exact extent to which that's happening. But they're making educated guesses that it's a lot. Staying on Upwork and on the platform and following their rules does have a lot of benefits. I think especially for newer freelancers, because one of the worst things for me was when I first got started chasing down money, like even if it was five hundred dollars, I was like, can this client just send this chocker editor? Like, why won't they pay their PayPal invoice? What I like about Upwork is as soon as the job is activated, the client has to fund the milestone. So, you know, the money is already sitting there. Their credit cards are not going to be declined. Like they're not going to ghost you for three weeks. The money is there. It's just a matter of you submitting the work and releasing it. And I think using that feedback feature can be really powerful, too. I have a lot of people who Google my name and see my Upwork profile and the feedback and videos there, and they're not posting jobs on their work. So they'll find me on LinkedIn and be like, hey, your Upwork profile was the best one for book marketing work or whenever it is. And so I see. That's why I see my Upwork profile as so versatile in my business. It only helps me to have 400 clients that have left five star reviews on that platform, even if they're not hiring me through that platform.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. So I want to backtrack a little bit because you talked about one thing and first it's the application process. So what is that look like to apply? Like, is it a long waiting game? Is there any, like, advice on getting in there besides maybe picking a niche that isn't so saturated? But what does that process look like?

Laura Briggs: Yeah. You have to apply and kind of talk about your experience doing the type of freelance service that you're applying with. I encourage you to be as unique value proposition minded as possible. If you have certifications, if you've been doing this for 15 years. Another thing that Upwork loves to see is if they think you might bring your own clients onto the platform, you're going to have a leg up. Right. Because they're like, hey, that's more chances for us to make money. If you're highly niched in something that they're seeing more and more demand for, you can Google and see what Upwork is saying. Are the most in demand jobs? A lot of them are in web development and web design. But copywriting is always a big one. And not every writer has copywriting skills or once to learn copywriting. So I've tried to be creative, spend time on it like you might think, hey, I've been freelancing five years. This should take me 30 minutes Upwork doesn't know who you are. So you have to make the case of yes, you should let me be one of the freelancers on your platform. I'm going to be active on the platform. And here's how we're gonna go about it. And also to if you do get rejected, it happens. I've been rejected from many platforms, including Fiverr.

Laura Briggs: They wouldn't pick me up. I was like, what I've been doing is for eight years. What are you talking about? Don't take it personally. Just apply again and see. Is there a different category I can go and you don't have to say I'm going to do Google AD PPC work and I'm committing to only apply to Google AD PPC, where you can apply to any job on the platform. Once you're on it. So you might just have to get a little creative about how you get on the platform and then look at some of those other jobs to bid on.

Brandi Mowles: Ok. So if it's based on kind of like how long you've been doing this, what you're doing. What if you're brand new and you haven't had any clients?

Laura Briggs: I would say the easiest thing to do is to try. If you're if you really want to build your business on Upwork, try to find someone who will hire you and pay you through Upwork like a private client that you're going to bring on. I was working with a freelancer several months ago and he's like Laura. I have applied and applied and applied every job, enough work. And I was like, you know what? I could actually use you to give me feedback on my six figure freelancer book outline. Why don't I hire you through Upwork to do that? So you get paid. You get the feedback. You get the experience. Because when he applied, he was like, oh, I'm bringing a client who's ready to hire me or I'm bringing a client onto the platform. They're much more likely to do it that way. It is hardest for newbies because you might not have that refined pitch yet. And that's one of the core components of Upwork you are competing against other freelancers.

Laura Briggs: So one of the common mistakes I see people make is they'll put in their profile like I'm good at X service. Like, don't say that. That's implied. Like if you're a B.A.. People assume that you're organized and detail oriented. Like you don't need to say it. Right. You need to talk about why you over other people. So you've got to pull any clues you can from that job description that the client posted and spin that around to the client as like, hey, you know, I read X, Y and Z. You're frustrated that you've hired other freelancers before and been burned. I love working with people and I'm known for being extremely reliable. So look for those clues to where you can stand out, because a lot of people are just copying and pasting things. So see if there isn't someone, even if it's literally a friend and they're paying you 20 bucks to do some little task. That's a great way to get on the platform.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. Such a great tip. OK. So it's just like what I teach. You have to add value if you want to stand out in the crowd, it doesn't matter what platform. So I teach like using video a lot to like stand out in the crowd. Is it some of them? Or if you're putting in a job pitch or something that you could like, create a video on your phone and be like, hey, and then post that part of your pitch.

Laura Briggs: Yes. I encourage you to keep it short. I do this all the time with my clients. I will make a one minute video on Loom in response to that individual job ad. So they already know I didn't just copy and paste something and I will tell them, hey, this video is forty seven seconds. I mean it just for you. So I'm telling them like this is not my fancy produced video. It's 20 minutes long about all the services I offer. I read your job description. I made a quick video response. And I think that's that's actually one of the things that I was recommending to my freelancers when they made this change about having to communicate only through their platform until you're hired. The person on the other end of this is still essentially hiring a stranger on the Internet. So anything you can do to break down that barrier and show that you're a human being, do it. No one does video. I'm telling you, even if the person doesn't hire you, they will probably write you back if you like. I loved your video and they get a sense of who you are. So they want to open that conversation with you if you say the right thing. So just keep it short and sweet. Tell them that you did that. Put that in your marketing minutes. If you have 30 minutes, like spend 20 minutes scanning and maybe you submit 10 video bids and that's it. And a short, quick end to the point. And you can test to like do my text written pitches do better. Do my videos convert better. You can pull the data from that.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. OK. And then you talk about being specific like on what you do. So if you're a Facebook manager, I love that because of course the scale was simplicity framework. The very first thing I say is like, you have to get clear on who you serve and how you serve them. So you're saying that it's better if you come in not just saying, like, I'm a virtual assistant, but I do Google ads, Facebook, ASM, Pinterest manager. I'm a graphic designer. That is the best way to go when it comes to getting jobs on Upwork and even applying to get on the platform.

Laura Briggs: Yes. And then when you're bidding on jobs that are posted, clients care about you only to the extent that they think you're qualified. So one sentence about you and then talk about the client experience. Oh, I'm a Google ad manager. I've been doing this five years. My primary driver is turning in excellent reports at the end of the month. You know exactly where everything stands and we can make changes as needed. The reason for that is because the client starts imagining the process of working with you already. You're like, that sounds awesome. Reports every month. She's gonna change things up as needed. So it's about the experience the client has. So don't just say, like, I can do the thing. Of course you can do the skill. Like you wouldn't call yourself that type of freelancer if you put it. But how is that going to make their lives better? How is it going to make them more money? How is it going to help them solve whatever their problem is? So, like, I literally do like one sentence about myself. And then I immediately go into, like, my average client retention rate is 28 months. Clients love working with me because I'm extremely dependable. My content is guaranteed original. Like, it gets them starting to think about things they might not have even realized in the process. Wait, I could hire a writer who doesn't turn in original work like that kind of shuts out all the noise from everyone else who applies. So, yes, get specific as soon as you can and be client focused. They're self-centered people just like the rest of us.

Brandi Mowles: That's what I say in my LinkedIn training. I'm like, do not make your LinkedIn bio about you. It's not about you. People don't care about you. Your mom does. Your husband does. No one else does is they want to know what you're going to do for them. And I love that you were like, I'm going to turn in original work because. And then you circled back around to that because that was the first thing. When you said that I was like, wait, people don't do original work? And so. So good. I would think about like from a Facebook ad standpoint, even saying, like, I create the copy, I create the graphics and you get your custom reports, like, that's so big because a lot of people don't do all that. They're just managing the ads.

Laura Briggs: To you it's obvious, to the client it's not. And it's actually they're totally new to this. They don't know what they don't know. So you have to tell them. I never thought I would have to put that in any pitch that I sent. I was like, yeah, obviously the content is 100 percent unique and not plagiarized. But I took that from the words of my actual clients who would post jobs on Upwork or have phone conversations with me and go, yeah, I hired somebody before. And now my Web site is blacklisted on Google because it's duplicate content and it's stolen from someone else's Web site. And so for me, I when I hear that multiple times, that's a pain point. And so I'm just gonna put you at ease about it from day one. That's not something you have to worry about with me. And when you're looking at someone who's saying, here's all the things I do and here's the things that I guarantee and how easy the processes and you're up against other up freelancers. We're just saying I'm a V.A. I've been a V.A. for five years. I love being organized like it's a no brainer for who the client is going to open the conversation with, because you thought of things that were much more specific and were tailored around the client's needs, not talking about yourself.

Brandi Mowles: Hey, I love this because you're such a writer, because you pick up on those words where this is not from them. That originally came naturally to me, but I make sure that this is something I focus on and we can all focus on this. If you see people posting in groups and they're like, oh, I'm so sick of getting to like work late or they're complaining about their service provider or anything and you continuously. The big thing for me, I always see people say I want someone who actually communicates because a lot of online entrepreneurs, service providers, they don't communicate enough with their clients. And I know that that's a big pain point. So I always lead with we'll communicate as much or as little as you want during these hours until we get to know each other and you feel comfortable. And so when you are picking up those common pain points, it's so good to use in your marketing, just like you're saying. It doesn't matter what platform. But that is something that will definitely make you stand out. So I love that you do that.

Laura Briggs: Yeah. And I think that even if you're listening to this episode and you're like, it doesn't sound like Upwork is for me if you're new or if you're branching out into a new service area, scam the jobs on Upwork. Listen to how your prospective clients talk about their pain points. They're their problems, their frustrations with outsourcing in the past, because you can weave that into all of your sales pages. You can weave that into how you open discovery calls with clients. You can put that in your LinkedIn profile so that as a research project, even if you never sign up for Upwork, go there and see how clients are describing their Facebook ads project or their web development project, because you can turn things around in their words. And that's when someone is reading your pitch and goes, wow, she gets me. She is literate. Like, that's literally what was in my brain. The questions to ask, the concerns I had and she kind of like proactively said all of that. So it's amazing for research. That's actually all I got started on Upwork. I could not figure out why everyone else was winning jobs and I wasn't.

Laura Briggs: So I signed on as a client, created a job and invited all of my competition to apply so I could see what they were doing differently. And I would go, OK. Can't be that person on price. So how can I beat them in my pitch saying something unique? And it helps you to see, like, what else is out there because you might be surprised and go, hey, these pitches aren't that great. I can easily see how I can position myself differently.

Brandi Mowles: Ok, so I love that you said you couldn't beat them in price, but you could beat them in the pitch. So let's circle back and talk about price, because my thoughts about Upwork just from what I've heard like is that I've never been on the platform is this is somewhere where people are like paying like five dollars an hour. That kind of thing. Is that actually true? And how do you get around, like, actually getting, you know, like working for a real rate.

Laura Briggs: Yeah, there's some great data on up work if the person has been a client on the platform before. Remember, we leave feedback for them, too. So when someone posts a job, if they're not new to the platform, so they've been on it for a while, you can see what pass freelancers have had to say about them. You can see how much money they've spent on the platform. They will even give you a percentage of f the jobs that this client posted. How many of them did they actually fill on Upwork? You can use some of that data to figure out, is this worth it? Another one is they'll break down. If the client has mostly hired someone on an hourly basis, they will show you the average hourly rate they've paid across all freelancers. So if I open a job, it seems amazing. And it says average hourly rate paid is fifteen dollars. I don't even waste my time because even if they were hiring people for data entry at ten dollars an hour, that average is not high enough for me to feel like they're going to see the value in paying for a high quality freelancer. You can also do search functions to check that you're wanting to work with clients who are looking for an expert. So they categorize it in three ways on up work, beginner, intermediate and expert.

Laura Briggs: I always look for clients who are looking for an expert. That doesn't mean they are always willing to pay expert rates. They are definitely willing to consider it More than the beginners, and you have to search for those jobs. You'll be surprised sometimes the client posts three sentences and you're like, I'm not even sure why I'm bidding on this. It's probably going nowhere. And it could end up being a great client. So I always push clients to either answer the questions that I have. Like, I'll put a random placeholder bid in there and say I have three questions before I can even quote this, where we need to talk on the phone, because I feel like I have a much better chance of closing them over the phone. So don't feel like you are limited to just text based communication. The phone is where you show value, right. And if they're only looking at all these different text based pitches and you can get them on the phone and say, well, here's my process for Facebook as we start by doing this, it's like a mini intensive and then you complete this questionnaire. That's where they might be sold more on paying more than the person who quoted fifteen dollars an hour. So you do have to sift through a lot of low paying jobs.

Laura Briggs: When I wore this, I give this tip all the time to people on upward. I have complained about it like twenty five times Upwork. So Upwork. If you're hearing this again, please still fix this. There used to be a feature when Upwork was Ilan's back in the day where you could put that your budget was. You're not sure what it is. Clients now have to enter a numerical value, which is problematic because I might just put five dollars because I don't know how much it costs to design a whole Web site. And so freelancers see that go five bucks. No, absolutely not. So don't take those numbers at face value. Even if they put an hourly range up, work is prompting them like they'll say, like the average hourly range for jobs hired on our platform with this service. Is this do you want to select that? That doesn't mean that's necessarily what the client is willing to pay. And it's the same as all clients from all places. There will always be people that you are too expensive for. So just don't stress out about that. Just be quick to catch that on the call. And if they're like you, my budget is twenty five dollars an hour. Great. We're not a fit. I wish you luck. Have a great day. Done.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. I love that. So many ninja tents. This has been so guide. So before we jump into the Rapid Fire, I would love to ask you, what action steps do you have for someone who wants to try out Upwork?

Laura Briggs: Go see if there's actual demand for your service area. So sign on the platform. You can sign up as a client to and then you can sign up as a freelancer. And what you want to do is scan the platform with the search terms that you would use to describe your service area and see if those jobs are popping up. So if you're super, super niched and only one job a month is posted on Upwork for that thing, I really wouldn't even waste your time. Right. You're probably better off going the route of contacting clients one on one yourself. So see what's out there. That's a really good place to start. And then if you feel like there's enough demand and you see that these clients could be decent clients, that's when you'd start to put together your package to apply to be on the platform.

Brandi Mowles: Love it. Love it. Love it. OK, so I love action steps. So now let's jump into some rapid fire. This is not have to be the first words you say or think of, but like the first phrase, are you ready?

Laura Briggs: Yes, I'm ready.

Brandi Mowles: What's your favorite part of your business?

Laura Briggs: I really love helping people and just watching them grow their business to love it.

Brandi Mowles: All right. What is your favorite software or tool that you couldn't do your business without?

Laura Briggs: It's gotta be Voxer. I hate my email inbox and so I don't force my whole team. But when I hire people, I'm like, are you going to communicate with me on Voxer because E-mail is not the place. So for me, I'm a talker. Even as I write all day. So anything I can do to save my wrist from carpal tunnel. So Voxer is huge and I love it.

Brandi Mowles: So I'm a Voxer girl. I want to talk. I do not want to text anything out. And we just move the whole team from Voxer to Slack and they are all much happier with me. And the only reason that they were able to keep me over there is because they set up gifs. So now I can send gifs and because we integrated it with click up so you can make that like task fire from Slack to click up, which made me happy. But they're much happier now. I'm kind of like. And so they still catch me on Voxer, but we didn't just make them move back to Slack. OK. What is the best conference you've ever been to? Virtual or live.

Laura Briggs: Oh my gosh. That's a good one. So one of the self publishing companies that I work with is Carryover Runners Company. And he puts on an annual conference called Igniting Souls. And as an author and someone who loves book marketing is just really helpful to attend that conference because he talks all about like the latest and greatest in book marketing. And there's lots of time to interact with people. So it is a super awesome conference. And I kind of accidentally ended up at and I'll be there every year from now on.

Brandi Mowles: I love it. I love it. Tell me the best piece of advice you've ever received.

Laura Briggs: When I was thinking about quitting my day job, I had I worked in my day job for 13 months before I went full time freelance and I was terrified to leave as twenties. Twenty five years old, I think. And my mom was like, You are young enough where if you totally fail and flame out and this is an epic disaster, you can still recover. And for whatever you said, that piece of advice was enough for me to be like, I'm quitting. Like, it made sense to me for that. Like, if this is bad, I can always recover. I don't have a mortgage and kids and all of the things that would make me question it. So I took that leap of faith because of her advice.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. And we never tell you I'm gonna ask this question. And now I usually ask, what's your favorite part of Serve Scale Soar? But you're in all the programs, so you can just tell me, like, which programs your favorite. And what do you love about it?

Laura Briggs: Oh, my gosh. Well, I feel like they're good for different things like that. So No. One, we're finally I have not had Dubsado in my business for the longest time and we have a V.A. who's setting up my Dubsado. And I was like, good lord, I have to create all these templates and my OBM, who is also in Serve Scale Soar. After we interviewed you on my podcast, she goes, Brandi has all that just downloaded give it to the V.A.. I was like, oh my. It seems so much time. Conversions for clients is so step by step. Huge help there. But I also love the mastermind because sometimes it's like you think you're going in for your things and the way you hear other people phrase their problems or solutions is super helpful, like the most recent training that we did with a productivity expert. It was actually other people asking her questions that helped me figure out what my roadblocks were. So I love all the programs and all for different reasons. So everyone should be in all that is amazing.

Brandi Mowles: Most of them are closed right now, but you get on the waitlist. We will link all of that up. And Laura. Where can my audience find you? Because this was such an amazing conversation.

Yeah. You can find me at betterbizacademy.com. And I have a Facebook group called Mastering Your Freelance Life with Laura. So we have lots of Upworkers in there and successful Upworkers. So you want to brainstorm with other people who are using the platform to their advantage. Check that out.

Brandi Mowles: And you have a podcast.

Laura Briggs: I do. And Brandi was recently on it. So I hosted the Advanced freelancing podcast. And we're now up to, I think, like episode one hundred and thirteen or something. I'm like Brandi I batch record. So I don't think I know where we're at like 20 episodes and then I let it roll. But we have lots of good tips on that as a free resource.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. And y'all need to go check. We'll link it up. I was just on Laura's podcast and I talked about retiring Austin and I'm pretty sure that was the first time I'd actually talked about it. So really good conversation. Loved having it and loved having you on here, Laura. So thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

Brandi Mowles: Y'all. Holy cow. I just learned so much about Upwork and now I'm tempted to go and jump on the platform and see what it's all about. I think there's a lot of opportunity on the platform when you use it correctly. It's a lot of what I've already talked about, adding value steaming out in the crowd and pricing your services correctly and niching down. It's pretty much everything I teach in scale with simplicity. My framework that how I run all my businesses even as a course creator. And so when we can add value. Focus on the things that matter most. Like those marketing minutes and show up very specific on who we serve and how we serve them. We can succeed on any platform. So what I would love for you to reach out to Laura, tell her any AHA's you had connect with her. But then if you're trying out Upwork, let me know in the DM so you can find me over at Brandi and Co.. Snap a picture of this and let me know. Are you going to try Upwork or not? I can't wait to chat with you all next week. So go out. Serve your clients, scale your business and soar into that six figure year you deserve.

Thanks again for tuning in to the Serve Scale Soar podcast with your host Brandi. If you loved our podcast, please be sure to leave a comment or review. And be sure to tune in next time.

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Meet Brandi

Brandi Mowles is the host of the Serve Scale Soar podcast which is a podcast dedicated to helping service-based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five-figure months so they can soar into six-figure years. Brandi is a wife, mom and in less than one year, created a six-figure business.   Now she is spilling all her secrets so you can too.

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