This article is about referring another freelancer who already has an Upwork account for a specific posted job if you are declining an offer. If Upwork has invited you to refer freelancers who are not yet on Upwork to encourage them to join the platform, please refer to the email or notification you received for more details. Referring freelancers who are not already on Upwork is by invitation only.

Are you overwhelmed by invitations? Got an invite from a client you would love to help but are too busy? Or their project is almost a match for your skills but not quite?

Can I share another freelancer's profile to a client?, Can I recommend another freelancer to a client?, How to refer another freelancer to a client

When you decline an invitation, you can help the client and other talent at the same time by referring another freelancer for the project.

By giving referrals, you help build professional relationships on Upwork.

How to Give a Referral

When you decline a project, you’ll see the option to refer another freelancer. Simply copy and paste their profile URL. Then, write a message to the client explaining why you are referring someone else.

You can only refer one freelancer per project, so choose carefully. You also cannot invite a freelancer who has:

  • Submitted a proposal on their own. 
  • Been referred by someone else.
  • Been invited or hired by the client.

Note: You cannot refer for a project that the client has set as private (by invitation only.) 

What Happens Next?

We will send an email to the freelancer you referred and to the client, letting them both know that you made the referral.

The freelancer can accept or decline the invite just like any other job invitation. They can see the referral you gave in Proposals > Referrals. You will also be able to see it in your own Proposals > Referrals.

The client will see whether they invited a freelancer directly or that you gave a referral for the freelancer in the Proposal Manager.

Receiving a Referral Email

Congratulations! Other freelancers are noticing your profile and referring you for jobs. 

If you get a referral email, that means another freelancer got an invite that they couldn’t accept. They may have been too busy, or the project may not be a perfect fit for their skills.

To help the client and other freelancers, they chose to refer you to the client as a possible match for the project.

You can choose to accept or decline the referral invitation just as you would for any other invite. You can also track referred jobs in Proposals > Referrals.


How do I refer another freelancer?
When you decline a job invite, you will have the option to refer another freelancer on Upwork. To refer a freelancer, simply paste their profile URL or the email address that is associated with their account. If the email is not associated with an Upwork account, they will not receive the referral.
Do I have to know the freelancer I refer?
No, you don’t have to personally know the freelancer you refer. If you know someone, that's great! Otherwise, you will have the option to search for a freelancer if you’d like to do so — or you can choose not to refer anyone. Tip: You can only refer one person per job, so make sure they're a good fit. You can also leave a message for the client to explain why you're recommending a freelancer
Do I earn any perks by inviting a freelancer?
Referring a freelancer does not include a monetary reward, but referrals can be helpful to both freelancers and clients: It helps a fellow freelancer find work. It helps a client find the right fit for their job. These both make Upwork a better place for all!
Can I invite someone who isn’t on Upwork?
For now, you can only refer freelancers on Upwork to a job invite.
What if the client is unhappy with the freelancer I refer? Does that impact me?
If the client is unhappy with the work performed by the freelancer you refer, this will not impact you or your Upwork profile.

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