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What Are Upwork Direct Contracts?

No affiliate links here, just information.



What is Upwork


Upwork is a work platform for connecting freelancers and potential clients. It is free to create a basic account for freelancers and it's free to post a job and hire as a client.


So how does Upwork make money? They deduct a service fee from a freelancer's earnings. This is one of the main discrepancies that freelancers have with Upwork. However, others see more pros than cons to working on Upwork and have made quite a success of it.


Some of the pros of working on Upwork include:

  • Increased probability of timely payment

  • A wide pool of jobs to choose from in one place

  • The opportunity to receive reviews that can boost your professional reputation

  • Flexibility to work where and how you want

  • Flexibility to earn as little or as much as you want

  • The opportunity to expand your skills by working on a variety of projects


I started working with Upwork when they were under the name Elance and have continued to complete projects on Upwork to this day. Not all of my clients have been on Upwork, but utilizing Upwork along with working with external clients has been instrumental in allowing me to have a flexible schedule, more work satisfaction, and to live in different countries over the years. It has been instrumental in helping me to grow my virtual assisting services.


Upwork offers a service called Direct Contracts. What is this and how can it benefit you as a virtual assistant?


What Are Direct Contracts and How They Can Benefit You

Direct Contracts are a way for you to bring clients into Upwork who do not have an Upwork account. You're probably thinking, why would I want this?


For the sake of saving time and ensuring payment


One thing that some freelancers do like about Upwork is that clients deposit money in Escrow before a project starts. This greatly minimizes non-payment. Plus with Direct Contracts, you're only paying the processing fee, and not the usual Freelancer Service Fees. That processing fee is 3.4% of the total contract amount. Additional things that Direct Contracts offer include:

  • No 5 day waiting period to access your funds after work is approved.

  • Your client won't need to create an Upwork account.

  • Your client won't pay anything other than the amount of your contract.

Note, however, that in order to enact a Direct Contract the client must not already have an account on Upwork. Otherwise, you'll be charged freelancer services fees instead of just the 3.4% processing fee.


For more information on Direct Contracts, you can refer to the information below. I recommend reading this before deciding if this is the best option for you.


Direct Contracts With Clients


Direct Contracts offer a way for you to quickly get paid, minimize the work that comes with invoicing, and a simplified way to manage contracts. Which means time is saved!


Getting Started On Upwork As A New Virtual Assistant

Are you a new virtual assistant who is looking to get started on Upwork? Are you confused about where to start, how to set up your profile to be seen, or how to find relevant jobs? I invite you to contact me here with your questions. I will respond!


Until then,

Wishing you a lovely day


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