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Why client selection is most important thing, especially on Upwork?

While working as a freelancer, keeping clients happy and satisfied is an important, yet challenging part, and working with a difficult person is a nightmare. I love Upwork as it gives me the control to choose my clients, which is not the case in Fiverr (This is one of the reasons why I hate Fiverr, we will talk about it later).

I know you might be wondering and Saying, Wajeeh clients always select us (the Freelancers) we don’t select them!

Wrong, Actually You select the client, the clients don’t select you.

Whenever you bid on the project, you are showing a willingness to work with the client and then they choose the most suitable one. If you’re mostly focused on just high-value projects, here is why you should change the focus to the client selection as well.

Why You should focus on clients, not just on projects to earn more?

If you got a client that is easy to work with, the chances are you will get good feedback; I have experienced that clients provided positive feedback to the freelancer even they were not able to provide the desired results. Good feedback means more work as you will get good JSS and based on the JSS you get Badges and Ranking.

Most of the time bad JSS is due to the difficult client or clients who do not bother to share feedback, (Thank God!! Upwork has changed the JSS calculation), or they did not rate your services in a positive way and also hit you in the private Feedback, So be careful!

My Tips to new Freelancers on how to spot and avoid difficult clients

Here is my process to select the client before submitting the proposal.

After reading and understanding the client’s requirements, give yourself a minute and check the client’s basic info.

Here are the things we have to consider :

  • Client Location: I do not prefer to work with clients from low currency rates countries, first they usually pay low hourly rates and they are so demanding.
  • Client Rating: Try not to work with a client who doesn’t have a rating, usually they are new to the platform. If they have already hired and completed the jobs on the platform, and they don’t have or low rating, then NEVER EVER work with them. This is a clear indication of a difficult client, as they might going to drag the project and might end up without or bad feedback.
  • Hire Rate: This is also a considerable thing, as this shows the patterns of client hiring against the posted jobs. So higher the number means a better chance of getting hired by the client.
  • Average Hourly Rate: This is not always true, but if it is around or above your hourly rate, that is a good sign.

Now it is time to explore things further in the Client Recent History Section at the bottom of the posted job.

  • Feedbacks: Check the completed project of the client and have a look at the feedbacks of both parties (Client and the Freelancer). Trust me you’ll learn a lot about your clients.
  • Missing Feedback for Client: This is an indication that clients mostly keep projects active a long time after their completion, if they have provided the Freelancer a 5-star review then this is fine otherwise STAY AWAY.
  • Missing Feedback for Freelancer: STAY AWAY FROM THIS CLIENT! This is another example of that freelancer was forced to end the contract after completing the project, as the client just paid the milestone and don’t even bother to share a few words.
  • Low rating to most Freelancers: NEVER EVER WORK with such clients! If they do not rate, the freelancers or they rated most of the freelancers with less than 5 stars. This is a clear indication of a difficult client.
  • Paid Amount: Also, check how much usually pay to the freelancer based on the various task this indicates the quality of clients.
  • Re-hire Trend: If the client is rehiring the same freelancers to different tasks, that clearly indicates that the client is easy to work with and an expected long-term partnership, GO FOR IT and submit a masterpiece proposal.

If you adopt these practices from start, Upwork will learn about your patterns and will recommend you to great clients, so we have to teach the system what we want and we will use the power of the system to dominate the platform.

What if, you already stuck with such kind of client!

You can minimize the chances but the odds are you will still stuck in such kind of situation (I faced the same issue twice) and sadly, if stuck then we don’t have many options in our favor, here is what best we can do in this situation.

  • Listen Carefully: Most of the time things get worst only due to not paying attention to the client requirements, which lead to a difficult position for both client and freelancers. So, listen carefully.
  • Stay Calm and be careful: Staying calm is the most important thing in this situation and be careful what you do or say, things will be irreversible If you act wrongly.
  • Try to find what is Wrong: In a difficult situation try to find the reasons, which might be causing the problems. Address them, if a client is not happy with something just fix it rather than insisting on it, even you’re right.
  • The client is Always the Boss: I think we all need to keep that in mind that CLIENT IS THE BOSS, and do exactly as you are told to.
  • Offer a Deal: If things got worse, then try to offer a Deal which is better for both of You, you might get, what matters most to you and the client will give what important to them. For a freelancer I think the feedback is most important, try to offer a refund in exchange.
  • Walk Away: The last resort to end any bad situation is that you should know when to walk away. Do not complicate things further in this situation.
  • Open Dispute: If you’re sure that you delivered what was agreed (based on the written communication on the platform) and you can prove it, then submitting the dispute is an option, but you should keep in mind that, you’ll sacrifice the feedback but you may save what you got.

Always carefully check to go through the requirements before accepting the client’s offer, if there is anything that is bothering you, or you not sure about, communicate that up front. I usually accept the client’s offers after delivering the demo to the clients (I do not recommend doing that but this will give you an extra layer of security), so you both be on the same page in terms of work.


Hope this will help you to start your career as a freelancer, Please let me know what do you think about these tips.

Please Note:

I am not a native English speaker or a professional Writer, I just want to help others by sharing my knowledge, I personally used these strategies to start and grow my freelancing career, even in the middle of the hardest time to survive in freelancing.

Comment and Share your tips in order to help others, if you think I deserve it, show your Love and Appreciation by sharing the post with others. Also seeking your valuable feedback to improve my position as well.