Feature image: Local freelancers at an Upwork Huddle in Melbourne, Australia
Photo by: Kate Egan
We live in a digital world where it has become the norm to e-meet people. However, is digital interaction through emails and chats as valuable and satisfying as talking to people face-to-face?
Despite a more introverted nature that enjoys a quiet and solitary lifestyle, Alex Paris thinks real eye contact and free-flowing real-time dialogue about complex freelancing topics can’t be replaced by digital communication. Kate Egan agrees: She enjoys talking to new people and feels working from home can be quite isolating. She thinks meeting other freelancers can be a good reason to get out of the house and out of your comfort zone.
Both residents of Melbourne, Australia, Paris and Egan didn’t know each other until they co-hosted their first Upwork Huddle — an independently organized meetup that is hosted by experienced Top Rated freelancers for the local Upwork freelancer community.
“You never know how valuable a Huddle is unless you experience one (or two and three and four).”
— Alex Paris, Melbourne
Paris started his freelancing journey by working on small projects to test the waters. One thing led to another and he found himself on the freelancing superhighway. His expertise is everything about video: Editing, production, and consulting with other businesses who want to create videos. Egan’s journey started differently. She was laid off by her previous employer and decided to look at it as an opportunity to do something on her own. Her research brought her to Upwork where she’s built a business doing content writing and marketing, copywriting, graphic design, small business management, and social media marketing.
Since then, neither one has looked back, drawn to the flexibility and rewards of their freelancing lifestyle. Paris appreciates being able to spend more time with his children and having the opportunity to experience a change in lifestyle to make an informed decision if it’s the right choice for you at your point in time. Egan loves to work around other priorities in her life; being her own boss, constantly learning new things, and the sense of achievement by completing excellent work for her clients.
“It has honestly taken me 9-12 month to become established and successful on Upwork. It can be slow, frustrating and you may get knocked down a few times, however it is definitely worth sticking to it. Once you get yourself into a routine and discover your capabilities, everything else will follow. Good luck!”
— Kate Egan, Melbourne
Here are some tips that helped Paris and Egan achieve success on Upwork:
- Be prepared to work hard and go the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction
- Manage client expectations at the start
- Communicate well and respond to offers and client communications
- Provide quick turnarounds for all revisions
- Welcome client thoughts, comments, and feedback
Communicating with like-minded people
Huddles provide a great opportunity for sharing freelancing best practices and personal experiences. “[I met] great people I never knew existed and [felt] an overwhelming sense of serendipity on how many things we have in common,” Paris said.
Egan says her favorite part of hosting the Upwork Huddle was the networking: “talking to new people, sharing stories about our common interests—Upwork and freelancing—and keeping connected to like-minded people.”
Interested in meeting with fellow freelancers in your city, too?
Upwork has a network of dynamic Upwork Huddle hosts all around the world. Becoming a host is a great way to expand your network, connect with other freelancers in person, and have fun!
To learn more about Upwork Huddles and how you can become a host, check out this help article. Please note that becoming a Huddle host is a perk for freelancers who have obtained Top Rated status.
Thanks to all Upwork Huddle hosts and attendees for helping to develop local Upwork freelancer communities. Watch for an upcoming Huddle in your community and follow the buzz online: #upworkhuddle on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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