This is the second part of Derek and Leah’s discussion about Upwork. In the second part, they will talk about the evolution of Upwork as a platform.
- According to Leah, oDesk, Elance before are very different from Upwork now. The competition is getting tougher these days. Contractors have also become pickier over time that even Leah finds it hard to win jobs.
- One thing that hasn’t changed though according to Leah is that there are still contractors who would say that only Filipinos can apply because of the very low pay.
- Some platforms would sometimes mismatch your skills with what the client is really looking for, like with what happened with Leah in one platform.
- Some business owners start outsourcing and they hire someone and they expect that one person to be able to do everything which is not the reality. Even in their home country, it would be difficult to find a generalist.
- According to Leah, a lot of people in the Philippines would like to lead the same path which is freelancing.
- Leah’s next goal is to build a team in Upwork.
- The salary of freelancers really depends on their employers. Some pay as much as $25/ hour for programming. Some pay below the average salary.
- Leah’s areas of specialty are web design, web content management, and virtual assistance.
- Some business owners start outsourcing and they hire one freelancer and they expect that one person to be able to do everything which is not the reality.
- More and more people nowadays are trying out freelancing because of its benefits and because of the possibility of a better pay.
- Upwork is a very powerful and useful platform, you just need to know how to leverage yourself and continue to upskill for better career opportunities.
- [email protected]
Hi and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator Podcast. This is episode 69 and this is part two of a two-part chat with Leah Katrina. Leah works on the Upwork platform, She’s based in Manila Philippines here and she has been working on Upwork or similar platforms for as long as 15 years ago. She actually started on Craigslist. So really good insight. And today we talk about the evolution of the Upwork platform and how she’s finding it. So, enjoy this episode if you want to get in touch with Leah or know any more about anything we mentioned. Go to the show notes that is an outsourceaccelerator.com/69.
Derek: So. Leah, you have been working for many years for Upwork now and it was oDesk and Elance and you’ve seen the evolution of this when you joined these platforms there were very few people on the platforms. And it was easy working there. You’re saying people are upskilling a lot of people are. There’s more competition out there. How have you seen it change over the 10-15 years you’ve been involved in.
Leah: Well. The changes really. How do you say that, it’s huge. It’s like even I now. I find it hard to get a job now on Upwork. And like, I still get some jobs. But most of them are from my previous clients already. But new jobs like say like for the same skills that I’ve been doing with oDesk before. It’s different now. It’s too much competition. I would say like we get applications for one job, there’ll be like 200 applications. You see it there.
Derek: So, there is obviously a lot of contractors but are there not as many people posting jobs.
Leah: There are still but they’re very picky now. And one thing that hasn’t changed that I’ve seen from oDesk up until now is that sometimes they would say Filipinos only can apply because they are paying $1 an hour or something like that. So that’s the downside of it.
Derek: You see that more now.
Leah: Yes. And of course, since I’ve been with them for years and years I have already put my rate up. Like even not even like $10. I advertised myself for $10 an hour. But you could get more depending on your client what they have for you.
Derek: Of course. Because you’ve earned that. I imagine in Upwork you have a very good profile, you have a lot of reviews. You have a lot of billed work.
Derek: And still you find it quite hard to win jobs.
Leah: Yes, yes, yes. So yeah because some they don’t want to pay that much for a client or for a contractor.
Derek: But do you know any Upworkers, is there a community here in the Philippines. Are you noticing more Filipinos jumping onto the platform?
Leah: No. I have friends that I’ve worked with before for my other clients but I don’t really know a community. I actually stay away from those. But, yeah, I think they have communities here they have they meet ups and stuff. But there’s also another other platform that I’ve joined. And sometimes it’s not easy as well with them even. Sometimes, one time they found me a client. So, it was they were like oh check, check, check, check all these skills check, check, check, check. So okay, you’re almost hired and then they get back to me and the client was like so do you have strong video editing skills. I’m like what? That’s like a totally different job for another person. You know but they want to squeeze in everything for you, I’m like. So, I had to turn down.
Derek: I actually, I find that a lot I actually provide a bit of commentary on this. People come over to the Philippines and look for outsourcing. And they want one person $300 US a month and they want them to be able to do everything.
Derek: Web maintenance, social media, video editing.
Derek: And it’s everything. And it would never happen. You would never find a good candidate to do that in your home country.
Leah: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.
Derek: In outsourcing, they want all of their problems solved.
Leah: Yeah, I’m like yeah sure I can do, I can edit videos. No problem. But like for Php 40,000. You want me to do everything. You know work 10 hours, 12 hours. And I had to turn down a lot of offers.
Derek: Right. So, as we become more aware maybe of outsourcing and how cheap it can be in inverted commerce. People may be there’s too many bargain hunters and actually they’re just not realistic because you need to pay good salary for a good job and result.
Leah: Yeah exactly.
Derek: And where do you see it going? Do you see more and more people outsourcing? Do you see more and more people jumping onto the platforms?
Leah: Oh yeah especially here in the Philippines. A lot of people that I know would want to go to that same path. But I have friends who also want to do like the regular career path in the corporate world.
Derek: This is your career.
Leah: Yeah. But I still see myself doing this for a while. But not like really like full time. Since I’ve already.
Derek: You’re branching out into other entrepreneurial.
Derek: Have you managed? Have you been able to leverage your involvement to not work? Do you hire teams? Because some people do of course hire teams and assistants so that you can expand.
Leah: Yeah. I have a team on Upwork but I’ve not had like a client that would hire my team to do that. But my team is just made for my personal.
Leah: Yeah. Yeah.
Derek: And how do you find them? Do you find them through Upwork? Or do you find them through your personal network?
Leah: Yeah, my personal network. Of course, yes but I know people who have teams on Upwork. Because my sisters they were already hired by one of these people. So they get clients like Web stores that needs customer service for example so they hire their team to do that. Like I have not touched that part of Upwork yet. Although, that’s my next goal with Upwork instead of doing like my personal career. I would put up a team instead.
Derek: Fantastic. And just to get people an insight. I don’t want to know your earnings. But if you have any insight into someone working full time on Upwork in the sort of Web and IT and social media areas. What kind of monthly income could they generate from that if they work the Upwork platform well?
Leah: It really depends. With Upwork. Sometimes it’s a game of luck with the clients. Because some clients would want to pay like. International rates like US rates or whatever. Some get twenty-two dollars per hour. Stuff like that. But most of them wouldn’t want to pay as much. They pay, they want to pay like below average even. So, it’s hard. It can be hard but most of them most of the clients there are like. They think that all these contractors are desperate for jobs. So. They pay less. But if you are really skilled I have team before with one of my clients. I had like a video editor, I have a programmer and stuff like that. And my client at the time he was paying good like for a programmer I think he was paying twenty-five dollars an hour. So, if even if he had to pay more for extra hours he didn’t mind. It really depends. It really depends.
Derek: I mean you have been working in the sector. In this industry it’s been for 15 years. And you work. What are your areas of specialty then.
Derek: You do web design.
Leah: I do web design, web content management especially if for example you already have a website with WordPress. I can just manage it and you know whatever. If you already have like your own theme for example but I’m not a programmer. So. That’s one thing I did not touch and photography and design.
Derek: And you also do virtual assistant roles?
Leah: Yes. Yes. Yes, I do.
Derek: And what is your going rate? What is a good rate?
Leah: For the Virtual Assistant I charge $10 an hour. But like my previous client he was paying me $15 an hour plus of course if you go over time and you know that’s one of the upside of Upwork because everything timed. So, they’re going to have to just to pay. You know, so.
Derek: Fantastic. And if people want to get in touch with you, how can they?
Leah: Yeah. So just email me at [email protected] or go to my website its leahkatrina.com.
Derek; Fantastic. I will put all of that in the show notes as well.
Leah: Yeah. Thank you so much Derek.
That was Leah Katrina. And if you want to get in touch with Leah then do so you can contact her directly or go to our show notes. And that is at outsourceaccelerator.com/69. There’s also the show notes the transcripts there and a summary. So, lots of information. And if you don’t ask us anything just e-mail us at [email protected].