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2021 at Upwork: Grow Your Independent Business With New Products and Stronger Connections
2021 at Upwork: Grow Your Independent Business With New Products and Stronger Connections


2021 at Upwork: Grow Your Independent Business With New Products and Stronger Connections

In 2021, we released numerous updates and innovations to help you feel confident and supported as you build your business on your own terms, from new products designed to help you expand your client list to platform performance improvements that can help your business run more smoothly. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to!

Help finding new clients and repeat business on Upwork

The Talent Marketplace™ has long been the starting point for building successful client relationships on Upwork. But you told us you want more options. So this year, we launched a number of new ways for you to connect with businesses that need your help.

Project Catalog™ 

Project Catalog helps you showcase your most in-demand services to new clients through projects that you define, price, and promote with a catalog listing. It’s a model that appeals to clients because it means no surprises: They can search, compare, customize, and start their next project with just a few clicks.

New features added since launch help make your projects easier to find and let you effortlessly share them with your network and prospective clients. Learn more about these and other enhancements to Project Catalog.

And we’re not done yet. We’re gradually rolling out a new consultations feature, which allows clients to purchase time with you to get your subject-matter expertise.

Talent Scout™

With Talent Scout, highly skilled independent talent get exclusive access to rewarding opportunities from top-paying clients. Pre-vetted experts who specialize in development and IT, design and creative, and marketing can apply for Talent Scout and hear from recruiters when the right opportunity arises. Even better: It’s free for those who qualify. In the new year, watch for more enhancements including more skill categories and an improved, faster vetting process. Learn more about Talent Scout and how you can apply.

Virtual Talent Bench™

Virtual Talent Bench helps clients build and organize their network on Upwork, so they can easily work with professionals they know and trust again and again. For you, this creates a stronger opportunity for repeat business, which can help you spend less time looking for new clients and more time doing the work you love. Learn more about how Virtual Talent Bench works.

New ad products to help you land projects

We’re constantly looking at new tools and capabilities that will help you drive more positive outcomes for your business on our work marketplace. To this end, we’re experimenting with new advertising products that give you the ability to signal your availability to clients and help your proposals stand out, thus increasing your chances of getting hired. Stay tuned as we test and fine-tune these exciting products!

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Friction-free verification process

We’ve reduced the time it takes to verify your ID—in fact, it’s nearly instantaneous now. Gone are the days of having to take part in a video interview every time. Today, you just need a selfie. And we’ve automated the verification process when you change your profile photo.

Military and diversity badges

Upwork’s military and diversity-certified badges help you stand out for clients who seek to build a more inclusive workforce. Global talent can add their military service to their profile. U.S.-based freelancers can also add the following designations:

  • Minority-owned business
  • Woman-owned business
  • U.S. veteran-owned business
  • Disability-owned business
  • LGBTQ+-owned business

Tools and integrations to help you collaborate

The best client relationships are built on good communication. So we’ve added enhancements and integrations across our platform to make it easier for you to collaborate and share information.

Schedule a meeting

Avoid the flurry of back-and-forth messages and navigating timezones when you’re trying to set up a meeting. Just sync your personal calendar with Upwork to share your availability with potential clients. They can then book or reschedule a meeting, and your calendar will automatically update.

Faster, more personalized search & recommendations

The search and recommendations experiences have been upgraded for improved usability, performance, and stronger results. For instance, results are now personalized based on the work you’ve won in the past and there are more ways to customize your feeds.

Send job referrals to other professionals

When you decline a job invite, you now have the option to refer another independent professional on Upwork—a quick action that helps you build your network and share opportunities.

Record with Loom

Loom is an app that allows you to share your thoughts via video and screen recordings so you can communicate rich information asynchronously (i.e., without doing it live). By using Loom right within Messages on Upwork, you can explain project deliverables, ask questions, and collaborate more effectively across time zones.

Share larger files

Based on feedback from the Upwork Community, we’ve increased the size of supported attachments from 95MB to 1GB.

More powerful search

We’ve more than doubled the size of our knowledge graph of work, making it much easier to connect a client’s needs with your skills and experience. Now you can also filter for jobs by hourly rate or look specifically for projects that require multiple professionals.

Connect with non-Upwork clients

With Direct Contracts, you can safely, securely, and easily invoice and bill clients that don’t haven’t Upwork for hourly work before. As part of this feature, we’ve also added the ability for you to showcase your Upwork profile on other sites, giving you more flexibility when it comes to attracting new clients.

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Streamlined features to help you work from anywhere

We’ve made numerous improvements to help Upwork’s applications fit more seamlessly with the rest of your day-to-day hustle.

Work Diary updates

We’ve modernized the design of the Work Diary for better stability and an improved experience on mobile devices. You’ll still log hours as you’ve done before; the changes affect how the Work Diary looks and improve its responsiveness. Read about all the changes in the Upwork Community announcement.

Project Catalog pages load even faster

Project Catalog pages can now load in less than a second when clients browse on a mobile device, making it even easier for them to purchase projects and connect with you.

Biometric authentication

You can now log in to the Upwork app quickly and securely using your device’s biometric authentication—Face ID, Touch ID, Fingerprint ID, or similar—on your iOS or Android phone.

Improvements to mobile messaging

These updates make it easier to read, respond, and interact with messages on your mobile device:

  • Now when you receive an email for a new message, clicking the email will take you directly to the message in the Upwork mobile app.
  • It used to be difficult to preview files on our Android app. Now it’s easy to open them in any application and save them in your Downloads directory.
  • You can now expand the compose screen to full-screen orientation, making it much easier to write long messages.

More messaging composition options

Add bold font, italics, code blocks, and other formatting to your messages—a more user-friendly way to write status updates, outline requirements, or provide detailed feedback.

Source: Upwork

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