How I made over $20,000 on Upwork.

Many freelancers think that it is not really possible to make money by working for clients signed on Upwork. I regularly use Upwork as part of my business creation effort and have found it a fairly useful tool. With over $20,000 as earnings, I figured I could offer some advice on how others could leverage its power.

1. Create an Effective Profile-

It is important for you to showcase your skills well so that the prospective clients know what exactly it is that you offer. It is therefore imperative that you create a profile that highlights what it is that you bring to the table. You may also want to upload a video introduction, considering that clients often want to see who they are hiring. If they see you make your case clearly and forcefully, they may become inclined to hire you.

2. Don’t Focus Too Much on the Rates Initially-

If you are just starting off on Upwork, you will need to prove your worth by successfully completing a few projects first. For a beginner, it makes eminent sense to not focus too much on what you are being paid, so as to start building a reputation of a dependable freelancer who is rated well by his or her clients. You may start as low as $8 an hour to start with. This will ensure that you get the initial few gigs that will help you find your feet.

Once you have completed a fair number of assignments and proved your worth as somebody who is an expert at what you do, you can hike your charges to as high as $30 an hour or more.

3. Always Leave a Positive Feedback for Your Clients-

Make it a point to leave a great feedback for your clients, even if you are not entirely happy with the way that the client conducted himself or herself. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, your chances of obtaining a great feedback from a client increases when you do that. Secondly giving vent to your frustrations with a client by giving them a poor feedback will not only invite a retaliation from the client, but it will also make other prospective clients wary of hiring you.

4. Sign Up For Both Hourly and Fixed Price Projects-

You may initially want to sign up for more hourly projects, as the payment is automatically credited to your name on a weekly basis and you don’t have to fret about delays. Once you have a few hourly projects under your belt, you could consider fixed priced projects as well. These offer you greater flexibility of time and you are not constrained to work certain fixed hours. If you are a bit chary about getting your payment after you have completed and submitted the payment, you can choose to set milestones. This also allows you to ask for an advance.

5. Try and Make It To The Top Rated Ranking-

Earning a top rated ranking, displayed as a badge on your profile page is a status you should try and obtain at the earliest. You can earn this by signing multiple clients and delivering top notch work and always complying with the Upwork terms of service. Once you have achieved this status you will find it easier and easier to bag bigger and more lucrative assignments. You will also start getting job invites from Upwork on account of your top rated status.

6. Choose the Right Jobs- 

Prospective clients are most attracted to those Upwork freelancers who have specialist skills. You should endeavor to take up more of a certain type of assignments that would portray you as someone who specializes in that field. For instance a writer may specialize in writing white papers and research reports while a technology specialist might want to focus on a certain skill like Node JS.

There is no point in applying to random jobs you may not be very good at and sullying your fair name. You should also be wary of working for clients who don’t appear to be above board. It makes sense for you to always study the profile of the clients before applying. Look at the volume of payments they have made and the kind of rating they have received from the people they employed to work for them.


7. Make a Killer Proposal-

The kind of proposal you make and send to prospective clients can make or mar your chances of landing an assignment. Spend some time in understanding the client’s requirements and showcase your skills in a manner that perfectly gel with the client’s expectations for the job.

Make sure to attach samples of prior work that can buttress the claims that you made in your proposal. Above all never use a common template when applying for job assignments.

Investment In The Run Up To The U.S. Presidential Elections 2020

As one approaches what is undoubtedly going to be a bitterly contested and cantankerous American election, what is the stock market’s take going to be? Every four years, the impending approach of the presidential election sets off speculation and tongues wagging about all sorts of matters including which way the investor sentiment is going to swing during the competing political campaigns.

What do past trends show?

Interestingly, when you study the S&P 500 Index for election years since 1928 years, there have been three occasions when investments have shown a negative return. The returns obtained in an election year closely mimic those of the S&P 500 long term returns.

The S&P 500 return during the election years between 1928 to 2013 has averaged 11.2%. While this trend is indicative of a pattern, it is not something that would be playing on an investor’s mind while making decisions about where to invest in an election year.

Should the election year have any bearing on investment decisions?

The election year is a time when emotions run high, especially in these digital times. Should one get swayed by the euphoria expressed by some or dismal doomsday pictures presented by others and temper one’s investment decisions accordingly? Well, not really, as any decision, especially one involving investment should be based upon what one’s long term goals are and one’s ability to bear the risk.

This holds notwithstanding which candidate one supports for President and who ends up in the White House after the election.

Impact of election year on industry

One cannot deny the possibility of the impact of election-year uncertainty on industry and this is especially true of commercial real estate. Investors in this segment are inclined to adopt a wait and watch attitude in this period in time and are therefore not too keen on making any substantial investment commitments.

That being stated, the primary presidential candidates can influence the economy in the election year, in that their purported policy statements can impact the stock market and liquidity. Investors do get affected by the kind of news that they get to see or hear about what directions these candidates want to point public policy in. 

What happens when there is no outright presidential front-runner

In the above scenario, one can probably look at market volatility. A sitting president not looking likely to get reelected can cause some amount of uncertainty in the capital market. That happens on account of the possibility of a break in government policies. Some 40% of investors made changes to their investment portfolio in light of the run-up to the 2020 presidential elections as per the RBC Capital Markets Survey report released back in April.

That being stated investors seem pretty inured to political goings-on. This is evidenced by the stock market shrugging off reports of the whistleblowing complaint against Trump or even the possibility of impeachment proceedings being initiated against the president. Investors are if anything hard-nosed realists who look beyond the charged atmosphere and din surrounding a presidential election.

Conclusion

Every four years there is a great deal of excitement surrounding the run-up to the presidential elections and the stock market is no exception. While past trends may have shown an 11.2% rate of return during the year of a presidential election, this is not going to weigh heavily on the minds of investors.

All the hoopla surrounding the presidential elections shouldn’t have any profound bearing on one’s investment decisions, given that these are always based upon a sound long term strategy and the capacity to bear the risk. One cannot deny an impact on industries like commercial real estate where an abundant sense of caution is witnessed during the presidential election year.

There may be some impact on account of concerns regarding continuity in policy, particularly if the sitting president is not sure to be reelected, but overall investors are not given to rocking the boat unless something really dramatic happens. All in all, there may be a bit of a kerfuffle from time to time, but not much drama on the U.S. stock markets on account of the presidential election.

The Direction That IOT Is Going to Take

 

Group Hand Fist Bump The term IoT or Internet of Things is no longer tech-speak in the latter half of 2019. It has acquired a social dimension to itself with more and more people, not all of them necessarily technically very savvy, beginning to realize that IoT is going to play an increasingly important part in their daily lives.
They are even beginning to rue its presence a little as evidenced by the many funny anecdotes we hear about the various digital assistants performing in very unintended ways. From Alexa creepily laughing for no apparent reason at all to it sending people’s recorded private conversation to some other user, there have been questions raised about their very desirability.
That being stated, there seems to be a gradual realization that IoT and the various devices it empowers are soon going to be as ubiquitous as smartphones. Let us take a look at the various uses to which IoT is going to be put soon:
 Industrial Applications
High-Angle Photo of RobotIoT is largely talked about in the context of how it impacts us personally what with all that talk about autonomous smart homes taking decisions for us. But it is in its industrial application that IoT might show its true worth. A digitally connected factory, for instance, can use IoT to transmit real-time operations information to an operations manager at another location. This will lead to a far more efficient monitoring and resolution of operations-related issues than is currently possible.
 Inventory can similarly be globally tracked right across the entire supply chain. Another area of use would be smart packaging. Products embedded with sensors can transmit data about their condition while in transit. This will one to improve and enhance the quality of the product and its packaging.
 There is a buzz developing around IoRT or the Internet of Robotic Things that will empower one to measure a robot’s performance over an industrial cycle. Enabling advanced robotic capabilities by the linking of robotic things (sic) is achieved by leveraging the power of communication technologies like cloud computing and cloud storage. This allows the robots to have access to powerful computation resources, which does away with the necessity of costly updates and maintenance. This imparts tremendous flexibility to networked robotics to ideally apportion shared computational resources and enhance their output exponentially.
Smart Cities Galore
Aerial Photo of Buildings and RoadsGoing forward, it won’t just be people and industries that will increasingly rely on IoT devices to enhance efficiency and make things easy for themselves- whole cities will turn to it to make things run better. Cities will be able to collect, collate and leverage data with the help of cabs, public kiosks, surveillance video cameras, and any other form of gadgetry with a public interface.
This will help towns and cities optimally deploy and utilize resources and be able to reach vital services to people in the best possible manner. This will effectively solve many of the typical problems faced by urban centers around the world-traffic snarls, power shortages, poor access to educations and healthcare centers and so on.
5G Networks to Power IoT
 With more and more nations making the rollout of 5G telecom networks, the IoT will truly come into its own. This is because the greater speed provided by these networks will make it possible to connect devices across the board like never before.
Faster internet speed will make it possible for the data collected by the myriad devices to be interpreted faster and better. This will provide a fillip to the creation of new and innovative IoT products that will increasingly find their way into our daily lives.
Auto Industry Reboot
Person Using White Tablet Computer Displaying Location Text IoT deployment aided by lightning-fast 5G networks will revolutionize the auto industry as we know it today. Driverless vehicles aided by greater interconnectedness  will come into their own in the coming years. People will come to believe in the concept like never before and driver-less automobiles will become increasingly ubiquitous.
The Way IoT is Headed
 One can gauge future trends concerning the universal adoption of IoT by the following facts:
1.    The number of IoT enabled devices in the world will touch a whopping 20 billion by 2020.
2.    Total investment by business in IoT by 2021 is estimated at a gargantuan $6 trillion by 2021.
3.    By some estimates, one can look forward to an addition of $15 trillion