Make the most of your time and expertise on Upwork to 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.

If you are eligible to offer consultations, you'll find the option to create one on the My Project Dashboard page, under the Find Work dropdown menu.

You can create up to three consultations total, and they can be in any work category available. You’re in control as you set your availability: providing options for clients to schedule to meet later or to request to meet now when you’re online (beta).

Set up a consultation


Get started

If consultations are available to you, you'll find the option to create one on the My Project Dashboard page, under the Find Work dropdown menu.

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. 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.

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:

You can add the option for clients to request to meet now at the end of this process.

Set 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

Add an introduction video so clients can learn more about you. Learn how to make a great introduction video.

In addition, you can add multiple images, a video, and two PDFs to the gallery. These should represent your work and will help promote your consultation. Learn more about how you can make your gallery amazing.

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 consultation in search.

Introduction and gallery video files need to be in MP4 format, no bigger than 100MB, and up to 90 seconds in length, 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.

Review policies

Review and agree to policies and terms of service to continue. Learn more about how to manage your consultations and the guidelines.

Online for a consultation now (beta)

Note

Access to this beta feature is available to Top Rated or Top Rated Plus freelancers that have previously sold a consultation.

You may want to allow clients to meet with you right away, without scheduling in advance. If you’re online, you can let clients know you’re available to have a consultation instantly.

After you set up your consultation, here’s how to show you’re online and available to receive consultation requests:

Desktop

  1. Go to Find Work and select the Preferences dropdown menu
  2. Select Online for a consultation now setting and choose the edit icon (pencil)
  3. Decide how many hours you want to be online and select Save
  4. Receive consultation requests from clients
  5. Meet with clients within minutes

Mobile

  1. Navigate to your profile page
  2. Select the Edit icon under Consultations
  3. Decide how many hours you want to be online and select Save

When someone requests to meet now, you’ll be notified and have one minute to accept or decline the request. If you don’t respond or message the client within a minute, we’ll turn off your availability to meet now.

When your set working hours are over, your consultations won't have the option to meet now.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can create a consultation?

Rising Talent, Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, and Expert-Vetted talent are able to create up to three total consultations in any category. Consultations are also available to a limited number of freelancers who have a Job Success Score of 95% and above, verified badges from external sites, or Upwork Skill Certifications. Learn more about certifications here.

How does the Online for a consultation feature work?

To show you’re online and ready to start receiving consultation requests:

  1. Turn on the Online for a consultation option in the side panel of the Find Work page
  2. Decide how many hours you want to be online
  3. Receive consultation requests from clients
  4. Meet with clients within minutes

When someone requests to meet now, you'll be notified and have one minute to accept, decline, or message the client. If you don’t respond or message the client within a minute, we’ll turn off your availability to meet now.

What video tools are available for the consultation?

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

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 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.

Can I change the title of my consultation?

Consultations are titled “[Category name] consultation.” For example, if you offer consultations for sales and marketing, your consultation will have the title “Sales & Marketing consultation.”

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 minutes? Per 60 minutes?

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 offer a free consultation for my clients?

No, you will need to enter a price per 30 minutes and provide work deliverables as part of the consultation.

Do consultations go through a review process?

Yes, we review consultations before they are published.

How many separate consultations can I create at once?

You can create up to three total consultations.

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.

What are the consultation policies that freelancers are expected to follow?
Can clients see I’m available for consultations now?

If you offer instant consultations, your profile will be shown with the phrase “Next consultation time: now.”

Why did my availability to meet now turn off?

When someone requests to meet now, you'll be notified and have one minute to accept, decline, or message the client. If you don’t respond or message the client within a minute, we’ll turn off your availability to meet now.

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