Upwork, I would consider, is the best place for a Software/Web Development company based out of North Idaho to find new clients and jobs. If you are okay with a lot of rejection and getting your hopes up of finding the perfect client then it is the place for you.
Even if you have a great profile with 100% job satisfaction and great reviews, you can still find it hard to be able to get even a reply. Through my experience on Upwork, I have found a few tips that might be able to help you start to grow your profile and eventually find the perfect client.
The first thing would be to grow your profile. Even if you would consider yourself an expert in your field, when hiring freelancers in the past, I would ignore profiles that had no work history or very little. This means you will have to take some work below what you would like to charge in order for your profile to grow. Even having a few jobs with 100% satisfaction can mean the difference between getting an interview or being ignored. You might have to lose some money in order to boost your profile but in the long run, you will be able to get more interviews or even have jobs come to you with extensive work history.
Early Bird Catches the worm (Importance of being first)
The next most important thing would be to be one of the first people to apply to the job. I have set up a RSS feed to know right when a job is posted. Software is one of the most applied to job postings on Upwork and it is normal to see 20-50 proposals for one job within an hour. Other job postings for attorneys and others will have better luck since there aren’t as many searching for that kind of work on Upwork. Being first or within the first 10 will greatly increase your chances for an interview. With the RSS feed, don’t feel like you will see all the jobs for you. Some jobs are worded differently so searching Upwork often is a must as well. One potential large client worded her posting as a RFP for her website that she needed built and we were able to get an interview. This would have had over 50 proposals if it was worded better but it had under 10 from that one change.
Show don't Tell
The final point would be to show and not tell in your proposal. Saying you have built many websites and the years of experience is not impressive. Showing that you have built a specific website for them to view and the story behind it is more likely to get that interview. The more detail you can show and what you did for the client is key to impressing new ones. I always like to show what websites we have made, the story behind it, and tell the clients one of our biggest motivating factors is getting a new website to show off on our resume, which it is.
Don't Give Up
Just like in dating, you have to be able to handle the rejection and keep searching for that perfect client. Even when you are sure you have had the perfect interview and are confident that you have got the job only to find out it was stolen away, don’t give up. I have had old proposals return to us for work and there will be new ones. Keep searching and waiting for that RSS feed to notify you to your next potential client.