Upwork is a freelancing marketplace where people share their requirements and 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.
Upwork has put a limit to the number of jobs one can apply and so there is a limit to the number of connects available per month. This makes freelancers to only apply to jobs and projects which they think is the most relevant to their subject matter of expertise. This to an extent is a solution 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 and 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.
There is an exception where if client invites a freelancer, he or she can submit the proposal without any connects. In every other case, a connect is need to submit a proposal.
If a project is canceled by the client without hiring any freelancer, the connects used in the proposal will be returned back to all freelancers for reuse.
How many Upwork Connects can one have?
To know how many connects one can have, we have to look at three type of freelancing accounts offered by Upwork where the rules for a 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, 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 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 connects if you aren’t going to use them because leftover connects will expire.
Should I Upgrade Membership for connects?
If you need more connects, there are no other alternatives but to upgrade membership because as a freelancer basic account, you have a limit of 60 connects per month and you don’t have an option to buy extra connects but …
With a freelancer plus account, you pay $10 per month and get 10 extra connects (free basic account has 60 and plus account has 70) which I think is too little a benefit from connects point of view. Again if you wish to buy more connects, they are priced at $1 per connect. So each proposal beyond the free connects criteria of 60 can cost anyway between $1 to $5.
60 connects per month means one can apply to a maximum of 60 jobs per month. Most of the jobs need 2 connects per proposal and so with basic membership one can apply to 30 jobs in a 30 day time period or 1 proposal a day.
Applying to 30 jobs in a month can mean you can have lot of work as an individual but if you aren’t seeing good 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 have a Freelancer Basic because I seldom use 60 connects and often my connects expire because I apply to very few jobs. The reason I apply to few jobs is I have a very good conversion ratio of my proposals. Apart from having good conversion, I am often invited to jobs that don’t require me to use connects.
So if you wish to upgrade membership only for connects, it may not be a wise decision but if you wish to be using other benefits, it can be considered.