Upwork Consulting - Get paid to share your design skills?

Upwork Consulting - Get paid to share your design skills?

Warning: If you hate Upwork you can stop reading now. I know so many of you hate Upwork because they take all of our hard-earned money but Upwork has been such a great source of leads and paying clients for me, I personally ❤🔥 the platform.

Now that I got that out of the way....do you ever dream of doing design work without staring at a screen?  Or how about getting paid for telling people what you think about their designs? What if I told you people are willing to pay you a high hourly rate to show them how to do something in Figma/Photoshop/Illustrator/Tool of your choice?

Upwork is launching a new feature that I think is a great option for designers who want to create additional streams of revenue without being chained to your desk all day. You already provide your services by creating designs for clients, right? Now, you can provide your services by offering design consultations as well.  Maybe even consultations by phone. Without even BEING at your desk?! Am I the only one who is excited by this????

I signed up for this as soon as I received the email from Upwork and it took about 5 minutes. I'm lazy, so I didn't add a custom graphic or video, but if you're smart, you will. I plan to add one later :).

You can set your own rates and availability. Once a client books a slot from your calendar, you can cancel up to 24 hours before the meeting if you review the requirements and realize you’re not the best fit. And since your time is valuable, you still get paid if the client cancels within 24 hours. 

Of course, you’re going to offer killer ideas, so providing consultations is another way to meet more clients and build up that long-term work. It’s the perfect way to assign a monetary value to the experience and training that you’ve worked so hard to gain.

So yes, may still be ‘doing design work’ while you ‘stare at a screen.’ But this is such a different avenue, a way to share the knowledge you’ve built up and have personal interactions through a Zoom call!  Or maybe, the client just wants to bounce ideas off of you while you sit on the beach or take go for a hike!

The consultation feature was launched on Upwork recently. In the meantime, you can get your project catalog ready so you hit the ground running when it’s time. It never hurts to test the waters and see just how much you love (or hate) offering a new service. 

Below are some tips for optimizing the success of consultations.

  1. Send a message to the client within 24 hours of their order. Clients have told us that receiving a personal confirmation gives them peace of mind. This can be as simple as, “Thanks for purchasing my consultation. I’ll review your materials and let you know if I have questions.” Or something more detailed like, “I reviewed your information and I have a few questions. Can you tell me…” This is also your opportunity to let the client know if you can’t help them. Maybe the client didn’t completely understand what they were buying or are new to this line of work. You can send a kind message like, “Thanks for purchasing my consultation. Unfortunately, this is outside of my scope so I won’t be able to offer the guidance you need.”
  2. Prepare an agenda and share it with the client in advance of the consultation. Planning the discussion and giving the client a heads up on what to expect–and what they may need to prepare–can help maximize your time with the client. 
  3. When creating the consultation offering, leverage the "Custom Topics" field to add skills related to your niche in order to differentiate your consultation from others. It's not about the number of topics supported, but rather offering a unique combination of topics that represent your niche specialization with a detailed description of guidance only you can provide. 
  4. Keep your availability up to date or link your primary calendar to the scheduling tool. Make sure clients can only see times you’re free by keeping your available hours up to date and selecting when you prefer to meet.
  5. Set a realistic delivery date for when you can deliver the client’s documents. To qualify for payment protection, you need to send at least one document type to the client afterward. If you need a few days to write those materials, make sure you give yourself that time.
  6. Use the requirements to get the info you need from the client upfront. In the requirements section, you can ask for any info that will help you plan for the consultation. This could include their website, their goals, their technology requirements, or anything else you need. Consider updating this section if you're finding yourself asking for a lot of information after they order.
  7. Make sure you read through and understand the policies. You and the client will be held to the policies for offering consultations.

Guidelines for Consultation Projects

To help consultations go smoothly for both you and your clients, we’ve developed some specific policies to guide the process:

Requirements to offer consultations

To create a consultation in any category, you’ll need to be Rising Talent, Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, or Expert-Vetted. You can create up to three consultations total, and they can be in any work category available.

Confirmation policy

You have 24 hours to send a message to the client after they submit their requirements to confirm the consultation or clarify their requirements. If you don’t send a message, it will impact your responsiveness score.

Canceling a consultation

You can cancel any time before the consultation. If you cancel more than 24 hours before the consultation, the client will get their money back and they won’t be able to leave you feedback.

If you cancel within 24 hours of the consultation, the client can leave you feedback which may impact your Job Success Score.

If the client cancels more than 24 hours before the consultation, they’ll get a full refund. If they cancel within 24 hours, they won’t get a refund and you’ll get paid.

Late policy

While we encourage you to be on time, we understand things come up. You or the client can be up to 5 minutes late for your scheduled consultation.

No-show policy

If the client doesn't show up, you’ll still get paid. If you don’t show up or are more than 5 minutes late, the client can file a dispute and ask for their money back.

If something happened or you had an emergency, we’re happy to talk with you about your options. Please reach out to customer support.

Payment Protection

We provide Payment Protection for consultations if the following eligibility requirements are met:
  • The client canceled the consultation less than 24 hours prior to the start time, or,
  • You are less than 5 minutes late for the consultation and you send the documents you agreed to provide to the client within your set delivery time, which might include a project plan, time and cost estimate, or meeting summary, or the client opts out of receiving documents after the consultation and chooses to approve and pay without receiving them.

Harassment policy

We won’t tolerate harassment or violence toward other Upwork users. You can report harassment or violence by reaching out to customer support or using the report flag throughout the site. You can review all prohibited behaviors, including our prohibition on harassment and violence, in our Terms of Use.

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