This feature is being rolled out gradually. To get started, we released the consultations feature to a sample of freelancers in four categories—Web, Mobile, & Software Development, Digital Marketing, Legal, and Accounting. If you are included in the sample you can start building your consultation offering now. We’ll open this feature to more people and add more categories in 2022.

We’ll make consultations available for purchase to a few clients in January and plan to roll it out to all clients in March 2022. This gives you a chance to develop your offerings.

What are consultations?, Consultations Project

Clients may already seek out your subject-matter expertise and recommendations for developing larger projects. Now, you can get paid to share your knowledge with a consultation project in Project Catalog.

Consultations can help you meet more clients, develop more powerful relationships, and build your reputation as a trusted advisor. Setting them up on Upwork lets you set your rate and availability, request information from clients, and book meetings all in one convenient location.

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 connect your own calendar if you are using Google or Microsoft calendars, through the meeting scheduler feature. 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 give the days and times you’re available and your time zone. You can also let clients know how much notice you need and how far in advance they can book appointments.

(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.


Frequently Asked Questions

When can I create a consultation project?

Starting December 13, freelancers in the Web, Mobile, & Software Development, Digital Marketing, Legal and Accounting categories will be able to set up a consultation offering through Project Catalog that supports those topics. We plan to support all categories and topics in 2022.

When will my consultation project be available to clients?

We will make consultations available to a small percentage of clients starting in January 2022. We plan to increase availability to all clients by March 2022.

What if I need to reschedule a consultation?

You'll need to work with the client to see if they can accommodate another time. It will be up to them to reschedule the meeting.

How can I offer my consultation to clients on my profile before March 2022?

If you would like to opt-in to offering consultations right now, please fill out this form and we will get back to you if we can provide early access. We look forward to getting your feedback!

What if I’m already doing consultations through Upwork?

If you’ve been offering consultations as a project, fixed-price milestone, or hourly contract, this will not affect your current project or contract right now. Eventually consultations in Project Catalog will be moved into this project feature, but fixed-price and hourly contracts will not be affected. However, we encourage you to consider creating a consultation project. We designed the features of this project type specifically for consultations and to make it easier for you to offer them.

What video format do I use to have the consultation?

You can complete consultations by using the Zoom feature in Upwork Messages. Learn more about using Zoom in Upwork here.

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.

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

Please see this support article for guidelines.

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