Once you set up your consultation, you can let clients come to you. You’ll have the opportunity to build a network of clients and boost your reputation.

You’ll be notified when:

  • A client books a consultation with you
  • A client reschedules or cancels
  • The day before the meeting, as a reminder
  • A client requests to meet now (beta)

You can manage each consultation through My Jobs.

Reschedule a consultation


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 consultation using the availability feature or by connecting to your calendar.

Change your availability


You can change the calendar that determines your availability, or set specific hours for consultations.

  1. Go to Find Work > My Project Dashboard
  2. Select the consultation
  3. Choose Edit
  4. Select the availability section
  5. Update the calendar that was added or change your available hours

Add an option to meet now (beta)


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. In the Consultations section, locate the Online for a consultation now setting and click 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
  4. Receive consultation requests from clients
  5. 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.

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

Follow 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.

Keep working together


If you want to keep working with this client, 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. Go to the Order Details section and choose Propose New Contract

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.

Learn more about feedback.

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.

Policies for consultations


To help consultations go smoothly for both you and your clients, we’ve developed some specific policies to guide the process.

Requirements to offer consultations

To create a consultation in any category, 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.

Reschedule

If you need to reschedule a consultation, you should send a message to the client first to propose a new date and time that works for both of you. Then you can reschedule in the Overview tab of your consultation using the availability feature or by connecting to your calendar.

Your client can also reschedule a consultation if they need to do so. They can do so by selecting another available time on your calendar. We’ll message you if the client reschedules and send you a reminder the day before the meeting.

The new time that you or your client chooses must fall after your minimum booking notice.

Cancellation policy

You can cancel any time before the consultation. If you cancel more than 24 hours before the consultation, the client will get their money back and they won’t be able to leave you feedback.

If you cancel within 24 hours of the consultation, the client can leave you feedback which may impact your Job Success Score.

If the client cancels more than 24 hours before the consultation, they’ll get a full refund. If they cancel within 24 hours, they won’t get a refund and you’ll get paid.

Late policy

While we encourage you to be on time, we understand things come up. You or the client can be up to 5 minutes late for your scheduled consultation.

No-show policy

If the client doesn't show up, you’ll still get paid. If you don’t show up or are more than 5 minutes late, the client can file a dispute and ask for their money back.

If something happened or you had an emergency, we’re happy to talk with you about your options. Please reach out to customer support.

Payment Protection

We provide Payment Protection for consultations if the following eligibility requirements are met:

  • The client canceled the consultation less than 24 hours prior to the start time, or,
  • You are less than 5 minutes late for the consultation and you send the documents you agreed to provide to the client within your set delivery time, which might include a project plan, time and cost estimate, or meeting summary, or the client opts out of receiving documents after the consultation and chooses to approve and pay without receiving them.
Harassment policy

We won’t tolerate harassment or violence toward other Upwork users. You can report harassment or violence by reaching out to customer support or using the report flag report-flag-Upwork.png throughout the site. You can review all prohibited behaviors, including our prohibition on harassment and violence, in our Terms of Use.

Policies and guidelines for clients

Clients and freelancers are protected similarly.

  • Cancellation: If a client cancels 24 hours before the consultation, they’ll get a full refund. Cancellations less than 24 hours before the scheduled time won’t get a refund and we will release the payment to the consultant.
  • Reschedule: Clients can reschedule as long as it meets the consultant’s minimum booking notice.
  • Late policy: Clients and consultants can be up to 5 minutes late for the consultation. After 5 minutes, it is considered a no-show.
  • No-show policy: If a client doesn’t show up, payment is released to the consultant.
  • Payment Protection: We provide Payment Protection if clients meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • They cancel the consultation more than 24 hours before your scheduled meeting time, or
    • They are less than 5 minutes late for the consultation, and
    • They don’t receive the documents (e.g., meeting summary, project plan, time, and cost estimate) they purchased as part of the consultation.
  • Harassment policy: We won’t tolerate harassment or violence toward other Upwork users. You can report harassment or violence by reaching out to customer service or using the report flag throughout the site. You can review all prohibited behaviors, including our prohibition on harassment and violence, in our Terms of Use.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 and select your contract. This will open your 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 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. We recommend taking those steps before extending the time to make sure you get paid for the extra work.

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 request payment and write that the client was a no show in the text box.

What happens if I accept a request to meet now and miss a meeting?

If you accept a request to meet now and miss a meeting, the client can leave feedback, which may impact your JSS.

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 guidelines and policies that clients are expected to follow?
  • Cancellation: If a client cancels 24 hours before the consultation, they’ll get a full refund. Cancellations less than 24 hours before the scheduled time won’t get a refund and we will release the payment to the consultant.
  • Reschedule: Clients can reschedule as long as it meets the consultant’s minimum booking notice.
  • Late policy: Clients and consultants can be up to 5 minutes late for the consultation. After 5 minutes, it is considered a no-show.
  • No-show policy: If a client doesn’t show up, payment is released to the consultant.
  • Payment Protection: We provide Payment Protection if clients meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • They cancel the consultation more than 24 hours before your scheduled meeting time, or
    • They are less than 5 minutes late for the consultation, and
    • They don’t receive the documents (e.g., meeting summary, project plan, time, and cost estimate) they purchased as part of the consultation.
  • Harassment policy: We won’t tolerate harassment or violence toward other Upwork users. You can report harassment or violence by reaching out to customer service or using the report flag throughout the site. You can review all prohibited behaviors, including our prohibition on harassment and violence, in our Terms of Use.
Can I set my profile to private while my consultation is posted publicly?

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

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.

How does the meet now beta feature work?

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

  1. Turn on the option to Meet now
    1. Desktop - Find Work Preferences dropdown Edit (pencil icon) under Consultations
    2. Mobile - Navigate to your profile, select the Edit icon under Consultations
  2. Decide how many hours you want to be online and select Save
  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.

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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