Finding quality clients can often feel like the search for the holy grail… but it's not just about finding a quality client, it's also about finding gigs that you actually want to do. And if you're just starting out or finding your feet as a freelancer, you're more than likely making your way to sites like

If you haven't heard, Upwork was formerly known as oDesk and is also combining with Elance. They are looking to dominate the freelancing/outsourcing market and this can be a good and bad thing for freelancers.

Related: Starting a Side Hustle

Before we talk about how to find good clients and great gigs, let's look at the good and bad of the new Upwork.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Upwork

Let's start with the good stuff:

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  • More streamlined interface, making it easier to setup your profiles and find what you need
  • Access to more potential clients, over 3.5 million clients are registered on Upwork
  • Access to more awesome jobs, with over 3 million posted in the last 12 months
  • Payment protection policies in place for both hourly and fixed-payment contracts


Here's the bad and the ugly:

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  • There are over 9 million freelancers registered with Upwork. That's a lot of people to be competing with…
  • Still a lot of teething issues with the merge between oDesk and Elance not due to complete until the end of 2015
  • More crappy jobs are appearing on a daily basis, making it difficult to find the good, high paying gigs


So there are a lot of good and bad things about the new Upwork, but once they fully merge with Elance, a lot of this will iron itself out.

I like to focus on the positive of things and there is a big opportunity to make yourself stand out in a sea of freelancers by ensuring you have a strong profile, and that you've completed as many of the Upwork tests as you can, depending on your skill set.

You can stand out by making sure your profile is 100% complete, and by ensuring that your overview area is focused on what you can provide the client rather than your own achievements. Step into the shoes of a potential client and think about what they would want to know and start writing.

Once you've got your profile looking H.O.T., you can then find great gigs and great clients…

How to Master Upwork & Find Awesome Clients

Below is a video I've recorded so that you can see how I go about finding great jobs and clients on Upwork. I've written about how to find awesome clients before, but sometimes seeing it in a video just makes far more sense. Enjoy!

If none of this makes sense, please leave a comment below and I'll do my best to answer you.

Finding awesome clients on Upwork doesn't have to be hard or difficult, it's just about finding the high paying, legitimate clients that you want to work with.

Remember, you don't have to work with everyone, so be choosy and go with clients that feel right to you.

I'd love to hear your comments, so leave your thoughts below!

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Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

    6 replies to "How to Find Quality Clients on Upwork"

    • Josh Slone

      Great video Lise!

      I just (finally) landed my first client on Upwork. It took around two weeks. I’m writing short copy for social media posts. Not a bad paying gig and should be indefinite work. My samples and cover letter helped me, but they had three sample images for the ‘interview’ which allowed me to stand out with my copy.

      Unfortunately, I’ve wasted a few of my points on shady jobs. Looking for ways to stand out has gotten me a few more active candidacies. I’m doing it for an experiment and curiosity (I’ve never found work on Elance, Odesk or Upwork until now). The results are promising and your video has helped. Thanks again!

      • Lise Cartwright

        Hey Josh, so glad that you’re having success on Upwork! Yeah, shady jobs tend to abound on sites like Upwork, which is why it’s important to be aware of the payment verification aspect! Thanks for letting me know the video was helpful!

    • […] How to Find Quality Clients on Upwork […]

    • meenakshi

      hello lise will you please help me how to find potential clients in upwork. i am a business development executive in an IT company and fresher in this field give me some tips. thanku

      • Lise Cartwright

        Hi there, I’d start by making sure you’ve got a completed profile set up on Upwork and then start searching for your specific type of work – keep applying for jobs making sure to always highlight how you can help the client more than providing them a list of your qualifications! Good luck

    • […] much did the same thing to increase my portfolio and add testimonials. It didn’t take long to get a client on Upwork from […]

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