Meet more clients through one-on-one paid consultations. Make the most of your time and expertise on Upwork so you can increase earnings, build a network of clients, and boost your reputation. Choose when you’re available to meet and set your rate, then clients can come to you.

To offer consultations, you’ll need to be Rising Talent, Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, or Expert-Vetted. (If you lose your badge, you’ll still be able to offer your existing consultations, but you won’t be able to create new ones.)

You can create up to three consultations total, and they can be in any work category available. Here are the steps to set up your consultation project:

Set up a consultation project

Getting started

How do I set up a consultation?

If consultation projects are available to you, you’ll see an invitation to create a consultation in the announcement banner on your Find Work Home page. Choose the Set Up a Consultation button to begin. You may also receive an email with this invitation. You can also choose the Set Up a Consultation option on your project dashboard.

Project overview

Choose the areas of expertise that you can offer advice and guidance in during a live consultation. You can offer multiple categories, and you can add your own custom ones.

Set your price and scope

Choose whether to offer 30- or 60-minute consultations, or both, and list your price per 30 minutes.

Then describe your service. Explain the kind of guidance you can provide and the kind of questions you can answer.

Next, choose the deliverables that you’ll provide to the client after the consultation. You can choose a project plan, time and cost estimate, meeting summary, or a combination of those.

Finally, choose the time frame for sending the deliverables after the consultation. Remember that you’ll need to send it within this promised time to qualify for Upwork Payment Protection. So give yourself enough time.

Set your availability

You can show your availability to clients in one of two ways — by using the availability feature or by connecting to your own Google or Microsoft calendar through the meeting scheduler feature when you create your consultation project.

If you’re already using the calendar feature in Upwork, the same calendar will be synced everywhere you use calendars in Upwork. You won’t have to link it again, and changes you make will apply universally.

With the availability feature, you can show the days and times you’re available and your time zone. You can let clients know how far in advance they can book appointments and how much time in advance you need, which we refer to as your minimum booking notice.

Your client will only be able to schedule according to your minimum booking notice time, and it will apply to you if you need to reschedule. For example, if your minimum booking notice is 3 days, you'll only see times before that 3 day window. The lowest minimum booking notice you can choose is one hour.

(Note: If you already have activities on your linked calendar, those times won’t be available for meetings. The system automatically makes those times unavailable, even if you mark them available on Upwork.)

Requirements and FAQ

You can ask clients for any information you’ll need to prepare for the consultation and mark any necessary requirements as mandatory.

Clients will also be able to choose specific topics from the categories you offer and ask you questions in this section. You can provide FAQ for questions that clients frequently ask you to help your clients prepare.

Create a gallery

You can add multiple images, a video, and two PDFs that represent your project. These will help promote your project in Project Catalog.

For images, you can use jpeg or png images that are under 10 MB and under 4000 pixels. You’ll be able to crop your images, but you’ll want to make sure that nothing important gets cropped or distorted. (The final ratio will be 4:3). Depending on what category you work in, we may ask you to add tags to those images to help promote your project in search.

Your video can be up to 100 MB in size, in mp4 format. It can be up to 90 seconds, but for best results we recommend less than 60 seconds. PDFs can be up to 2 MB and only the first 3 pages of the document will show on Project Catalog.

Learn more about how you can make your gallery amazing here.

Review policies

Review and agree to policies and terms of service for projects to continue. Learn more about the guidelines for consultations here.

Let clients come to you

Once you set up your consultation, you can let clients come to you. You’ll get a message when a client books a consultation with you. We’ll also message you if the client reschedules or cancels and send a reminder the day before the meeting.

If you need to reschedule, you should send a message to the client first to propose a new date and time that works for both of you. You’ll only be able to choose times that fall after your minimum booking notice. Then you can reschedule in the Overview tab of your project using the availability feature or by connecting to your calendar.

On Upwork, you'll find real projects, real companies, and real people who respect your work and your time. For interactive information and resources that will help you maximize your talent, check out Upwork Academy.

Following up after a consultation

After a consultation, you may have a clearer understanding of your client’s needs and whether you want to keep working together. Following up with them can help you move forward to complete the work and continue building your relationship.

To keep working together

If you’re available and interested in the work the client needs, you can propose a contract directly from the contract workroom by following the steps below:

  1. Go to My Jobs > My Jobs
  2. Select the consultations contract
  3. If you see a blue banner that says, “What’s Next?”, select Keep working together. Then you’ll have the option to either Propose a new contract or Schedule a follow up message for later.
  4. If you do not see the blue banner, look for the Order Details section and choose Propose New Contract

Note that the blue banner and schedule message option are test features that may not be available to everyone yet. However, you can still message the client later manually.

Messaging later can be a good way to follow up if the client doesn’t need more help right now or isn’t ready to start the work. If you have the option to schedule a message for later, you can select the date, time, and content, then choose Schedule.

You’ll see any pending contracts or scheduled messages on your My Jobs page. You can edit or cancel a scheduled message by selecting the Edit button.

Provide feedback to your client

You can also provide feedback to the client by choosing Leave Feedback in the Order Details section. Feedback can help clients understand how well they’re working and communicating with freelancers, and it can give other freelancers insight into how the client works.

Provide a referral

If you’re not the right fit for your client’s needs or don’t have the time to complete the work, you may consider referring them to another freelancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can create a consultation project?

Rising Talent, Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, and Expert-Vetted talent are able to create up to three total consultations in any category.

If you lose your badge, you’ll still be able to offer your existing consultations, but you won’t be able to create new ones.

What if I need to reschedule a consultation?

First, you should send a message to the client to propose a new date and time that works for both of you. You’ll only be able to choose times that fall after your minimum booking notice. Once you and your client have agreed, you can reschedule by following these steps:

  1. From your home page, go to My Jobs > My Jobs and select your contract. This will open your project’s contract workroom.
  2. In the Overview tab, find the Project Timeline > Consultation section and select the Reschedule button
  3. You’ll see a message reminding you to talk to your client. If you’ve already done so, choose Continue
  4. A Schedule your consultation box will appear, and you can select your new consultation date and time
  5. Select the Confirm button to save your selections
What if I’m already doing consultations through Upwork?

If you’ve been offering consultations in Project Catalog outside of this consultations feature, your project will soon become unavailable. We encourage you to set it up as a consultation project using this feature. We designed consultations to make it easier for you to offer these services conveniently. You’ll be notified through email if your project is impacted.

What video format is available for the consultation?

You can complete consultations by using the Zoom feature provided in the consultation workroom.

What if the client wants to extend the consultation for a longer period of time after we get started?

You and your client can agree to extend the time. However, to be paid for the extended time, you will need to send the client an hourly contract or the client will need to purchase another consultation project. We recommend taking those steps before extending the time to make sure you get paid for the extra work.

Why did Upwork cancel my consultation project?

If your client doesn’t send you mandatory requirements within 24 hours of purchasing your project, we automatically cancel the project.

How does Upwork handle no-shows?

If you don’t show up, we’ll handle it through our current dispute and refund process. If the client doesn’t show up, you’ll need to submit for payment and write that the client was a no show in the text box.

How does Upwork handle disputes? For example, what happens if the client feels they got no value from the meeting and asks for a refund?

We don’t record what’s discussed during your consultation, so our dispute team will take a look at the documents you sent to the client afterward. We’ll check to make sure they were sent on time. If the client opts out of receiving documents after the consultation and approves and pays without receiving them, they won’t be able to file a dispute.

What are the consultation policies that freelancers and clients are expected to follow?

Please see this support article for guidelines.

How is this different from other projects in Project Catalog? Why would I do this instead of creating a standard project?

Offering consultations as a specific feature makes them easier for clients to find. We've also tailored the experience so it's easier for you to manage your availability.

Can I change the project name? Or will it always say “Consultation?”

For now, consultations will be titled “Consultation with [Freelancer’s Name]”.

Can I offer both 30- and 60-minute consultations, or do I have to choose one?

You can choose whether to offer 30- or 60-minute consultations, or both. The price is listed per 30 minutes.

What does the client see for pricing? Price per 30 min? Per 60 min?

The client will see the price per 30 minutes and per 60 minutes separately on the project details if you offer both. They won’t need to do the math.

Can I set my profile to private while my consultation is posted publicly?

Yes, but it will limit how clients can find your consultation project from search.

Do consultation projects go through a review process?

Yes, we review consultation projects before they are published.

How many separate consultation projects can I create at once?

You can create up to three total consultation projects.

Can I offer a free consultation for my clients using a consultation project?
No, you will need to enter a price per 30 minutes and provide work deliverables as part of the consultation project. While we know some freelancers are comfortable offering free consultations, others have let us know that they want to be paid for consulting with clients. This feature is for freelancers who want to spend time advising clients and creating project plans and receive value for their time.
My category is changing in a project I already set up. Why?

Now that consultations are available in all categories for Project Catalog, we want to make sure your project can continue to be found by the right clients and is set up for success. That involved switching how we categorize them. If your project is impacted, we’ll notify you through email and you’ll be able to update your category without requiring re-review.

My consultation client wants me to create a contract so that we can keep working together instead of posting the job themselves — can I do that?
Absolutely! You can create a contract proposal directly from the contract workroom. Just select Propose New Contract from the Order Details section of the workroom page OR if you see a blue “What’s Next?” banner, select Keep working together and then choose Propose a new contract.
I don’t have time to take on larger projects for my consultations clients — how can I help them find someone?
If you know a freelancer on the Upwork platform who would be a great fit for your client, you can refer them to your client. You can also guide clients toward the service that you think might best meet their needs, whether it’s encouraging them to post a job on the marketplace or browse for a project on Project Catalog.
My project was archived and that category is no longer available. Why?

Now that consultations are available in all categories for Project Catalog, we are eliminating consultation as a category for projects that were not set up through the consultations feature.

If your project is impacted, we’ll notify you through email, and your project will be archived. If you would like to set up a new consultation project, you can learn more about consultations here.

Do I have to link my calendar to allow clients to schedule consultations?

No, you can use the availability feature to manually set the times that you are available and let clients know your time zone and how far in advance they need to schedule.

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