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I have a startup outsourcing company and I got my client through a friend reference. My client has hired three developers in my company so he is paying me for his three projects.

He has hired our company for long term, let's say five years. He is transferring monthly invoice into my bank account directly.

Now my question is:

  1. Should I ask my client to put project on UpWork.com so that I can Bid and he gives this project to my company?

Reason is I can build my UpWork/Elance profile and hours , Projects shows up there . This Profile will help me in Getting more Projects and this will show to World that Yes this company is existing from long and has worked with this Client for last 5 Years. Also hours I worked will be shown.

  1. Invoice payment: If I use Step 1 and start Hourly Payment on UpWork they will deduct 10% of my Invoice as client will not pay this 10% extra to me.

IS THIS BENEFICIAL THAT I PAY 10% TO UPWORK TO BUILD MY PROFILE WHICH WILL SHOW HOURS, PROJECT MY COMPANY IS DOING ?

MY Main issue is: If I am working for this Client for next 5 years and after 5 years I have no Profile anywhere (Upwork/Elance) then how will I prove that I am working from last 5 years?

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    It's good idea if you plan to gather clients over Upwork. If not, you are paying them for nothing. Do you really need Upwork? Will you expand so that Upwork may help? And note, Upwork is charging 10% from the total, in reality you will be charged 11.11%. – Peter MV Jul 20 '15 at 12:53
  • Yes Peter i think in future i will be needing UpWork to get Clients but not for next 2-3 years .. We are an Outsourcing company but got First Client by my friends refrence . So later on i will have to get clients from Upwork . But they charege too much .. its like for three developers for each i will be paying 10% . So it goes to 30% of my Invoice ... – CodeSync Jul 20 '15 at 13:16
  • Let 1 work. It's still a lot of work hours in 1 year. – Peter MV Jul 20 '15 at 15:00
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    You can change your Upwork profile to indicate that you have taken this work on, and perhaps you can offer a small discount to your client for you to use their name and project details, either on your profile or in your website, as a case study. You can always ask your client to post the job on Upwork, but this is an inconvenience they can probably do without, and in any case you probably don't want to draw attention to your lack of portfolio. – halfer Jul 21 '15 at 20:26
  • Thanks halfer .. i will look over your suggestion and will get back to you . – CodeSync Jul 23 '15 at 10:05
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If I am working for this Client for next 5 years and after 5 years I have no Profile anywhere (Upwork/Elance) then how will I prove that I am working from last 5 years?

Use your clients as references. Not every company or freelancer uses sites like Upwork. There are a few ways to validate work completed.

  • Put your clients on your website. You can have a testimonials section, a "people we work with" section, etc.
  • Ask your clients if you can use them as a referral to future clients
  • Have your clients recommend you on LinkedIn

Think of your resume. You can say you worked for company X for 5 years but you don't have to supply your timesheets to prove you worked there. The hiring manager can call the company, cross reference your social media accounts, etc.

Like @peterMV said,

It's good idea if you plan to gather clients over Upwork. If not, you are paying them for nothing.

Based on your reply, you do seem determined to use Upwork in the future so yes it's a good idea to start building your profile on Upwork. The best way to do so, from experience, is to take on some small projects and start generating some reviews. Note that Upworks fees have changed since this post

  • 20% will be taken from the freelancer until a project makes $500
  • 10% up to $10,000
  • 5% for $10,000+

This is for each project. Fees have also been added for clients meaning it will now cost them more to hire you via Upwork.

References:

New freelancer fees | New client fees

Should I ask my client to put project on UpWork.com so that I can Bid and he gives this project to my company?

Upwork allows for clients to "Bring their own freelancer" or hire a company/freelancer directly without having to post a job ad to the public.

Reason is I can build my UpWork/Elance profile and hours , Projects shows up there . This Profile will help me in Getting more Projects and this will show to World that Yes this company is existing from long and has worked with this Client for last 5 Years. Also hours I worked will be shown.

This is true as long as Upwork is still relevant. What is your plan if Upwork ends up going under and you no longer have access to your profile? I suggest also having a website & social media in which you can connect to your current/past clients. The longevity of your business shouldn't rely on the longevity of a 3rd party (Upwork).

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No, it's not worth the extra 10% to put all of your work on upwork.

10% of your income for 3 developers over 5 years is a significant amount of money. It's not worth it for an experienced profile.

Say, for example, you have 3 developers working $10/hour (this is low, but the numbers work out nicely for $10 and it scales well)

$30/hour x 40hours/week x 52 weeks/year x 5 years = $312 000
So 10% of that is $31 200 

So, is a profile with experience worth 31k? No way!

So what is it worth?

If you want to work out how much the profile would cost for various configurations, it's as follows, more or less:

$200 * developer hourly rate * developers * years on odesk = profile cost.
$200 * 10 * 3 * 5 = 30k

Even 1 developer for 6 months:

$200 * 10 * 1 * 0.5 = 1k

It's up to you to decide how much a profile is worth. 1k even?

My recommendation: use it for what it's intended

Upwork is specifically there to help find new work.

Is your company going to be 100% busy for the entire 5 years? Probably not. Why not look for a couple of small jobs on upwork on the side? It'll widen your client base (not good to put all your eggs in one basket), bring you a bit of extra income, and a number of smaller jobs over 5 years or so will absolutely build you a very decent profile.

This way, you can keep the majority of your income outside of upwork, but still build a bit of a profile on the side. It'll take some time to get the first few jobs, but that's fine considering you already have work.

And finally: No client should care where all your time goes

A client isn't going to wonder what you're doing for the rest of your week. There is no need to substantiate all your working hours on upwork. If they ask, say that you are busy with clients that aren't on upwork. This is a really good thing to be able to say because it indicates that:

  1. you're in demand and
  2. that you're working on this business full time (so it's not just a hobby on the side).

It is possible to put these projects manually on upwork (Under the portfolio section) which will allow you to indicate what your experience is off upwork and substantiate where your time is going if you want to.

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