This is, like, the most delayed response you'll ever see, so I apologise for that. This post completely slipped my mind
1) How impactful is having a profile video on Upwork? Do you know anyone personally who can help people create stellar videos?
Honestly, this is something I haven’t even experimented with, mostly because I haven’t needed to. That said, it is on my to-do list and I can only imagine it would help improve conversions.
One thing to note about this, though, is that the video link is not very prominent on your profile, and you may actually be better off directly linking to your video from within your cover letter. This would be made even more powerful if it was a custom video, specifically made for that client.
2) Did you notice big changes on Upwork once you acquired rising talent and top-rated badges?
I acquired my Rising Talent status very early on, after only 1 job (If I remember correctly). And soon after, I had the Top Rated status which means I didn’t have much to compare in terms of badge vs no badge.
I did see a slight improvement when going from Rising Talent to Top Rated, but that could have been attributed to me getting better at understanding the platform, writing cover letters, etc.
Having these statuses will give you some added credibility, but what you say and how you present yourself is significantly more important.
3) What are your thoughts on agencies vs individual freelancers on Upwork? Are their benefits of joining forces with 2-4 other highly related freelancers to form an Upwork agency?
I’ve never worked as part of agency on Upwork, but I do often exclude them during my own hiring process whenever I post a job —simply because I prefer to work with an individual. Again, this is something I need to explore a little more, but my instinct says you’re better off working solo.
4) Do you know of any 3rd party platforms that can help you A/B test your proposals?
It’s actually impossible to properly A/B test your proposals since they will almost always be different, depending on the job. And, of course, you can’t send 2 variations of a proposal to the same client.
This is more of an iterative process that you just get a sense for over time. I have come up with a formula that I find works really well, and it’s something I share with email subscribers, but there’s still an element of “figuring it out” that, unfortunately, can’t be avoided.
5) When you write proposals, how long does it take you on average to put together a high quality proposal for a typical job?
When I first started out, I’d spend anywhere from 30-45 minutes per cover letter, and I’d make them SUPER personalised. Nowadays, I spend closer to 10 minutes per cover letter (you get faster over time) and I no longer personalise all of it — there’s really no need.
Hope that answers your questions, and again, sorry for the ridiculously late reply.