If you want to quickly get a freelance job or increased freelance rate, one of the best strategies is to ensure that you reach and maintain the Top Rated Status in Upwork.
In my previous post, I shared when Upwork surprised me with a Top Rated Badge (Advantages of Having Upwork Top-Rated Badge and Why Freelancers Should Aim For It). As promised, I would like to continue section 2 which is about the steps of becoming a Top-Rated freelancer.
1. Passion, Trust and Optimism
This piece of advice comes from my long-time friend and trusted freelancer, Jan Evan Dominic La Rosa. When I was a newbie, he was a mentor who helped me in a lot of ways. He’s also a Top Rated freelancer with an impressive profile, so I asked him to share his advice. He said:
Well i think its about passion talaga dahil kung wala ka neto, d k tatagal sa freelance world, secondly, trust and optimism about u and ur work. kung wala k neto, mas lalong d k tatagal tlga sa freelance world, dahil ma eexperience mo tlga hirap maghanap ng work, last but not the lease, building great reputation online, pag meron k netong tatlo bilang baguhan na freelancer, i guarantee u, mas lalo mo yayakapin ang pagiging freelancer ? just like me…
He also shares helpful insights for freelancers in his FB profile. See Jan Evan’s Profile.
2. Build an Impressive Reputation
As stated in Upwork’s page and previous blog, reputation is everything. Whether in the offline and online world, we need to build a good reputation. It takes time, effort, patience and energy- but when you have build a reputation (also known as brand, identity, reputation or authority), your pioneering hardwork will soon pay-off.
Starting out is never easy. After I posted the previous post, I received many inquiries on how to start freelance career. After sharing much of what I know, this point reminds us that it’s the same in all of life. If you want to be a good engineer, a good doctor, a good salesman or a good teacher, it does not come fast and easy- it may take years. Mine took 7 years (2010-2017) before I was able to experience that certain identification- and I believe that’s what all of life is.
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.- Proverbs 12:11
Clients, especially Western Upwork clients, do not like dishonesty. It’s better to be honest about your inability and unavailability than tampering truthfulness and reality. More trust leads to speed of transactions. Less trust leads to slower speed of transactions.
3. Maintain a Job Success Score of 90% and above
According to Upwork, “We don’t reveal the exact calculation for your score. Doing so would make it easier for some users to artificially boost their scores. We need to maintain some privacy with this metric to ensure fairness and accuracy.” But here are some checklists to ensure a higher JSS:
- Your Job Success Score (JSS) is a combination of your clients’ satisfaction, long-term contracts and feedback. Beware or avoid contracts with no activity and excessive lack of feedback.
- If you won’t have long-term contracts, it won’t count against you.
- Upwork excludes clients who have history of unreasonable feedbacks from freelancers.
- Check your My Stats page time to time so you can be aware of your Market Reputation.
- For more information, see it here.
4. A 12-month earnings of $1,000
To compute, $1000 / 12 months = at least $84 per month or $21 per week. This is attainable even to the lowest determined rate of Upwork. It just makes sure that you are generating some freelance service consistently.
5. An account in good standing with no recent account holds.
You must avoid this at all costs. Here are some important things you need to ensure:
- Do not accept payments outside Upwork. Long time ago, I unconsciously accepted a PayPal payment from a client which resulted to a temporary suspension of my account. I worked on appealing the judgment and was granted pardon with a warning that if ever I would repeat such offense, my account may receive permanent suspension. So I would like to share this solemn warning to all.
- Do not work on accounts which are not yours. There may be some freelancers who work on multiple accounts, but I think Upwork is adapting and learning new technologies to raise the standard of the workplace and this could hold your account and lead to your suspension of Top Rated status.
- Send quality applications. In the forums, freelancers share that they were suspended because of lack of responses from clients whom they apply to. I guess Upwork is checking or measure the quality of the application- because the lower the quality, the less the responses. So a lesson here would be is:
- Make sure that you send well-crafted applications that suits your possible employer’s needs.
- It’s a sign of honor, and ultimately, of loving your neighbor to send personalized applications and not mindless copy-pasted ones.
Sending well-written Job Application is a way to practice the command “you shall love your neighbor…” and ultimately manifesting the fleshing-in of the principle “love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength….”
6. Activity on the platform (proposal, accepted invitation, or earnings) in the past 90 days.
For proposal, make sure to apply jobs time to time if you have no current one.
For invitation, make sure you set your availability to part-time or full-time, not no time.
For earnings, make sure you have or at least a minimal one instead of none for a long period.
7. Optimize your Profile by Searching Top Rated Freelancers in Your Niche
Look at their strengths, portfolio and styles and see how you can adapt- not plagiarize- some of them to yours. More of Mandy’s advices here.