To help you establish strong relationships with freelancers, we let Upwork Enterprise members and other eligible clients reach out to freelancers with Direct Messages.

All clients who meet eligibility requirements can message talent directly. Here’s how to qualify:

  • Have a current verified billing method
  • Have an Upwork account in good standing (not on hold)

    And either:
  • Spent a total of $1,000 or more in the past 12 months OR
  • Made a payment more than 90 days ago

You can make up to 5 new connections via direct message per day.

What are Direct Messages?

Direct Messages allow you to reach out directly to a limited number of freelancers with whom you haven’t yet interacted on previous contracts.

These messages provide a way to learn more about a freelancer’s availability, expertise, or rate details before sending a job invite. It’s also a way to discuss a project that may not have been posted yet.

Send a Direct Message

Reach out to new freelancers in three steps.

1. Search for talent

Find professionals with the experience or skills your project needs.

Search for professionals

2. Choose “Message”

You can send a message directly from search or from the freelancer's profile.

Send message to a freelancer

3. Compose your message

Freelancers often request details about how their skills can support your project, or why you think they’d be a good match.

Write a message to a freelancer


If you need to contact many freelancers about the same project, it’s faster to post a job and invite freelancers to submit proposals.

Contract proposals in Direct Messages

Freelancers can also propose a new contract for you via Direct Messages. You can learn more about how to review a contract proposal here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a freelancer required to respond?

No, it’s always their choice to respond. Direct message replies or non-replies do not affect their responsiveness ratings or Job Success Score.

How can freelancers learn more about me as a client?

Freelancers will see a Client profile dropdown in the message’s sidebar that they can open to learn more about you.

How do I start work?

You can send an offer by selecting Hire Now at the top of your conversation in Messages.

What information do freelancers see about me when I message them?
  • Your star rating with a link to your reviews to see details
  • Your total spent, average rate paid, total number of hires and jobs posted on Upwork
  • Your city and country location and time zone
  • Whether your billing method has been verified
  • If you’re an Enterprise client
  • How long you’ve been on Upwork

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