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With Upwork, since they're an intermediary and marketplace and hirers are the ones who are paying and providing supply, it's in their interest to offer services that cater to them like time logging and charging connection fees, even if it's unfriendly for freelancers.

Your best best is to take matters in your own hands, and proactively email people you know you can help with your services. This way, there's no intermediary controlling your relationship with your client and you don't have to play the waiting game either (waiting for referrals or networking to pay off, waiting for people to find your website, etc.)

This may seem hard at first glance but let's the take the example of data science work. You can reach out to startups who recently raised a sizable investment round (sign they have the budget and bigger growth goals) and share a few interesting ways you can help them uncover user behavior patterns that would them hit their next milestones.

Further reading:

[1] https://artofemails.com/get-new-clients

[2] https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-guest-post-pitch-exa...

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