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Make Money On Upwork

How To Compete With Cheap Freelancers

“How am I supposed to make money on Upwork when there are so many cheap freelancers on there competing with me?”

I receive emails like this all the time.

Seems a lot of people struggle to make money on Upwork because there’s just too much competition out there, especially from countries like India and the Philippines where folks are willing to work for much less money than you.

But I’m here to tell you that all that competition doesn’t matter.

Here’s why…

First off, let’s acknowledge that yes, there is a lot of competition on Upwork.

More and more freelancers and remote workers are joining every day, and many of them are indeed willing to work for less money than you.

But what’s easy to forget is that it’s not just more and more people LOOKING for work who are joining Upwork every day.

There are also more and more people OFFERING work joining every day.

Every single day you have new clients creating accounts and posting jobs on Upwork, eager to pay someone to help them out.

Above: a typical new client on Upwork

At this point you might be thinking:

Yeah, sure, there are loads of clients on Upwork, but why would they hire me when they can hire someone from India or the Philippines who charges only $1.50/hour?

And my response to that is: Whole Foods.

Whole Foods is an expensive grocery store chain in the United States, but plenty of people still shop there, despite having the option to shop at much cheaper places nearby.

Like Walmart.

You can surely think of an example in your own life where you happily spend more to buy a product or service from a certain store, or a certain website, or a certain person, even though you could get something similar for cheaper elsewhere.

For example:

  • When you go shopping for jeans, do you always buy the cheapest pair?
  • When you go to a restaurant, do you always order the cheapest thing on the menu?
  • When you’re traveling, do you always stay at the cheapest hotel?

No, of course not!

Price isn’t the only thing you take into consideration.

Well, actually… I don’t know, maybe you are a massive cheapskate and you DO always opt for the cheapest of everything.

But thankfully, most people aren’t like that.

In fact, for many people, a cheap price suggests poor quality, and they instinctively back away. Whereas they automatically associate a higher price with better service.

And there are plenty of people online like that, people looking to pay someone like you a fair price to do some work for them online.

They’re not looking for CHEAP. They’re looking for VALUE.

And those are two very different things.

So don’t worry about your competition charging $1.50 an hour on Upwork.

Let them be Walmart, and you be Whole Foods.

You compete by offering a better class of service, to a higher class of client.

In the comments below…

Tell me:

  • What is an example of a more expensive product or service that spent money on in the past?
  • Why did you choose that over a cheaper alternative?

Here’s my own example:

Last year I was looking to hire a business coach. I had multiple trial sessions with several different coaches. Some charged a few hundred dollars per month, while the most expensive was $15,000 for six months.

I ended up hiring the latter.


Numerous reasons, but what’s interesting is that the high price added a weight to his service that was hard to match. I was looking to make a big investment in myself and in my business, and a small price didn’t align with that.

Go ahead and share you own example in the comments below.

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  1. Well done video, basically I agree except for the fact that sometimes it’s a problem to get accepted to jobs on Upwork because of lack of testimonials.
    And therefore the freelancer feels that if he wants to get a foot in the door
    he’ll work for less much less at times.

  2. The price should be nominal. But I agree with your point that. If someone is looking for some work to be done, he 90 percent of the time would go for high quality.

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