Consultations are now available in all work categories on Project Catalog!

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.

To offer consultations, you’ll need to be Rising Talent, Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, or Expert-Vetted. 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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