Answering all Upwork Connects questions like how Upwork Connects works, how many Connects can one have, how many connects one needs? How to buy connects?
Upwork is a freelancing marketplace where people share their requirements. Freelancers from all over the world can apply for those jobs on an outsourcing basis. Upwork Connects are virtual tokens for freelancers to be able to submit proposals for jobs.
Before May 2019, Upwork had a limit to the number of jobs one can apply. So there was a limit to the number of connects available per month. From May of 2019, Upwork will charge $0.15 for a connect with no free Connects to offer.
The step is to make sure freelancers apply to less but more related projects which they think is the most relevant to their subject matter of expertise. It is, to an extent, a way to control the copy-paste proposals from freelancers.
How Upwork Connects works?
Let us understand how Upwork connects works.
All proposals require connects to apply. The number can vary from one to five connects, depending on the size and type of project. The most common number of connects needed for a proposal is two, but it typically varies from 1 to 6.
There is an exception where if a client invites a freelancer, he or she can submit the proposal without a connect. In every other case, a “connect” is a must to submit the proposal.
If the client cancels a project without hiring any freelancer, the connects used in the proposal returns to all freelancers for reuse.
Upwork Connects Pre May 2019?
To know how many connect one can have, we have to look at three types of freelancing accounts offered by Upwork. The rules for the maximum number of connects is different.
- Freelancer Basic Account (For Individuals) – Can have only 60 connects each month and unused “connects” expire at the end of each month. Can’t roll over unused connects nor can buy extra connects.
- Freelancer Plus Account (For Individuals) – Starts with 70 connects per month and can rollover unused connects up to 140 connects. Has an option to buy extra connects. Even if you buy extra connects, a maximum number of connects a freelancer plus account can have is 350 which is five times its monthly allotment limit.
- Agency Membership (For companies) – Membership starts with 80 connects per month and can rollover unused connects up to 160 connects. Has an option to buy extra connects. Even if one buys extra connects a maximum number of connects an agency account can have is 400, which is five times its monthly allotment limit.
As a Freelancer Plus or Agency membership account, it is never advisable to be buying too many connect if you aren’t going to use them. Because the leftover connects will expire.
Does Upwork Still Give Free Connects?
In May 2019, Upwork changed the way connects work. They have stopped sharing free connects each month.
They offered a one time 60 connects to every top-rated freelancer. They added it to the past connects in the accounts remaining.
Once those connect, expire, every freelancer has to purchase connects to bid on projects.
So now Upwork doesn’t offer any free connect each month. Moreover, Upwork isn’t free for any new freelancer starting today. They have to purchase connects and then apply to projects.
Here is my step by step article on How to Get Your First (or Next) Client on Upwork?
How Many Connects Do I Need?
Each Upwork Connect has a price, which is $0.15. Typically, an individual freelancer shouldn’t require more than 140 connects for sure.
With 140 connects, one can apply to a maximum of 140 projects. Most of the projects need two connects per the proposal, and so one can use anywhere between to 70 jobs in a 30 day time period, which is more than a couple of proposals in a day.
Applying to ~70 jobs in a month can mean you should have a lot of work as an individual. If you don’t see an excellent response to your proposal, having more connects will not help either. So it may be time to rework the proposal template, or structure Upwork profile or even move over to some other higher-paid freelancing skills.
I seldom use my allocated connects. Often it expires because I apply to very few jobs. The reason I apply to fewer jobs is I have an excellent conversion ratio of my proposals. Apart from having a good conversion, I get invites to jobs that don’t require me to use connects.
So if you wish to get more clients on Upwork, try writing better proposals than to writing more proposals.