January 24

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The Definitive Guide to Upwork.com in 2024

By Eric

January 24, 2024


By Eric Horwitz, CEO of Net Profit King

How much is your time worth?

I spoke with a good friend of mine at a swanky steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona called Maple and Ash. We were both on a health kick and were eating clean for the new year: virgin cocktails, steak with two sides of veggies and no dessert. She runs a business providing high-end photography for luxury real estate. I was trying to show her the math and convince her to HIRE one operation and one sales rep that were remote. I had already proven the model with my company LIFT Enrichment, where we’ve got a team of 25 remote offshore staff, $3+ million in annual revenue and with 60%+ net profit margins. I was trying to show her the light.

“I can’t afford it!” She said.

“How much did you make last year?” I asked.

“$700,000 in revenue.” she replied.

“And your profit on that?” I asked.

“About $250k,” she said.

“If the average person works about 2,000 hours a year, that means your time is worth about $125 an hour. And you’ve been telling me that you NEED someone to be on the phone when inquiries come up, or followup with brokers you’re trying to partner with, and do all the scheduling for your staff. That position will cost you $15 an hour…and if you hire one for operations and one for sales that’s $30 an hour. You’re still keeping $95 per hour and your team is freeing up your time to hunt for big clients…and you’ve delegated all the work you don’t want to do but needs to get done.” I replied.

She paused…. Processing it all.

“Damn it,” she said, “you’re right! Why do you have to be right all the time?” she said with a cheeky grin.

“I’m just trying to help.” I said, with a smile.

And that’s the truth…that YOUR time is so valuable as an entrepreneur. So start hiring!

The Main Place I Use To Hire Remote Offshore Talent: Upwork.com

Upwork.com is just a job posting website that used to be called Elance.com

It’s a gold mine for talented, offshore remote staff who can increase your sales reps so you NEVER take a sales meeting ever again…or provide operation leaders that recruit, manage, write SOPs and provide great customer support.

Trust me, I’ve been using the site for years and currently my first business LIFT Enrichment has a staff of 25+ remote offshore talent and I only have to work a couple hours a week to maintain it. We’ve got all types of leaders to include: a President, Operations Director, Sales Director, HR Manager and Account Manages that each have teams of 2-6 staff.

Here Are The Basics of Upwork.com

To get started: you, the employer, need to setup a simple company profile.

Then you put up a job posting (which is free) and freelancers can apply.

You can hire any type of professional such as

  • Pipedrive experts, which helps me setup our CRM
  • Web designers
  • Marketing managers (to post to all our channels and improve our funnel)
  • Appointment setters
  • Recruiters
  • And more!

I’ve had a lot of success including
– Tim, a Philippines-based appointment setter, who has been working with me for nearly 2 years
– Andre, our current sales director, who is an American ex-pat based in El Salvador
– Georgia, our operations coordinator for Net Profit King based in Texas who does hiring, onboarding and project management.

We spend 5-figures a month on upwork for LIFT Enrichment…but that’s a steal because those same positions if I hired W2 staff would be 4-5x a month in a major American city.

When you’re posting to Upwork know that:

You can:
– Add automatic screening questions for every candidates
– See a candidate’s full resume
– Look at their profile pic
– See reviews left by other employers (including their hourly rate)

You can’t:
– Share an outside link on your job posting. This is lame because you can’t say “look at my website” or “read this newsletter”
– Hire them off of upwork (there are some things you can do…but we’ll get to that later. It’s not recommended)

Fees:
– You can pay $25 for unlimited “outbound” invites, which is up to 70 per day across all job postings. (It’s worth it)
– 5% automatic fee for employers for all people hired
– 10% automatic fee for all of your contractors you’ve hired.

Once someone is hired you offer them a “Contract” which will include

  • An hourly rate or per project rate
  • Maximum hours someone can work per week
  • Optional: start and end times

Pros of Upwork.com include how the site:
– Has access to talented people from ALL over the world (Americans and foreigners)
– Takes care of all of the finances: tracking their hours, pay them every other week (through your credit card on file)
– Takes screenshots randomly so you can see they’re actually doing work.
– Helps YOU from not getting sued because all you do is setup a contract with Upwork and pay them directly. Upwork takes care of all of the tax paperwork.
– Saves you money on payroll taxes!
– Allows you to terminate contracts very easily. As long as they are unwound on your end, you can just press a couple of buttons and it’s over. Good luck trying to do that while firing someone in a state like California…
– Reduces your operational costs so you can increase your net profit (like I did from 22% to 60%)

Cons of Upwork.com include how the site:
– Constantly changes its fee structure. (there was no 5% employer fee a year ago)
– Doesn’t allow you to “show” your brand that well. You can’t link to your main site, or social pages or anything. All you can do is include a job post with text and a few pictures.
– Is hard for NEW employers because if you haven’t paid other people through upwork before…you’re not that appealing in the beginning and won’t get as many applicants.
– Initially swarms you with tons of applicants from the Philippines. I’ve had some success but prefer to hire staff (particularly sales reps) from South America
– Has a pretty mediocre messaging platform… but once you hire them you can communicate with them through email, basecamp,Whatsapp, whatever
– Allows only 70 outbound invites per day…Why???? I’d like to do more sometimes 🙂

When You’re Posting A Job

While I can’t divulge the job postings we use, which we save for our clients, I can give you some pointers.
This company, Net Profit King, only works with dentists to increase their sales, operations and net profit using remote offshore talent so they make an extra $100k in net profit. (book a meeting with our team here to see how we can help)

My points

  • Talk to your applicant like you’re a friend. Be chummy, relaxed and inviting to attract good people.
  • Don’t be SUPER technical…otherwise you’ll lose a lot of applicants.
  • Have a fun and inspiring company vision and mission.
  • Advertise that there is room for growth and advancement.
  • Promise a guaranteed amount of hours (i.e. 25 per week, or 30…I don’t recommend 40 until there’s been a long track record of success)
  • Add Pictures
  • Put an hourly that is within about $5. (I.e. $10-$15 for an admin or $13-$18 for an experienced sales rep)

Common Question: Why am I not getting any applicants?
Answer: Your job posting isn’t appealing. Also you have no employer reviews or evidence that you’ve hired others from upwork…so people don’t know if you’re legit or not.

HIRE your first person a bit quickly…and even at a higher rate, just to get some traction.

Also your hourly rate might not be appealing for the quality you seek. If you want good people, $5 an hour won’t get you anywhere.

Q: Can I take someone off of upwork?
A: Yes you can, but I’d only recommend doing this once you’ve had several months of experience with them. Also be sure they invoice every month with a paper trail.

Q: Can’t I just use an agency to hire and someone to do this for me?
A: Yea…but I’ve never had success. I’ve worked with four different agencies:

  1. One was a Ukrainian-based hiring agency and I got lucky with one person who ascended up the rank and is now president of LIFT Enrichment…but we talked to 20+ other candidates that weren’t good enough to our standard.
  2. One that specialized in Philippine hires. The candidates that were presented didn’t have very good English and their camera setup was awful. Ironically, the person who was our “account manager” had great English and excellent zoom etiquette
  3. Another Philippine-hiring agency that didn’t work out
  4. One that specialized in hiring staff in South America…but we couldn’t find any good sales people

The problem with agencies is that:
– They keep 50%! If you’re paying them $15 an hour…then they’re hiring people that earn about half that. I’d rather just hire really good people that KNOW their worth is $10-$15+ an hour.
– Sales people are HARD to find. Operations people are easier, for sure.
– They don’t screen well for applicants. Typically they just send a resume…and don’t take the time to do a zoo interview before they send them to clients. (Note: some agencies…do this but I haven’t had much personal success)

In my next post I’ll go over my 7 pro tips to hiring remote staff…because we’ve just scratched the surface!

If you’re a dental practice who would like to
– Delegate more operations
– Have more customer support by phone
– Improve your sales so you FOLLOW up with leads
– Close more prospects
– Recruit more (and better staff)
– Free up your time
– And make an extra $100,000 in net profit

Then book a 15-minute call with my team so we can show you how we can bring our expert consulting experience so you have an amazing practice. Click here to book a call

Also we GUARANTEE you’ll make an extra $100,000 of net profit after a year of consulting with us, or we’ll work with you forever. Talk to us at this link

 

Eric Horwitz

Eric Horwitz

CEO And Founder

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