When you’re new to Upwork, gaining credibility can sometimes feel like you’re in a catch-22 situation.
You need clients to build credibility, and you need credibility to win clients. Annoying, I know.
But Upwork can throw you lifeline.
You can use Upwork’s “Rising Talent Badge” as a fast-track ticket to credibility with little experience. And it’s easier to get than you might think.
In this post, I'll show you how to improve your chances of obtaining the “Rising Talent” badge and quickly boost your credibility on the platform.
(Even if you’ve never had a single job on Upwork.)
Rising Talent Status (And Why It Matters)
The rising talent program is run by Upwork, and it awards new freelancers who show early promise.
If you qualify, you’ll receive a number of benefits:
This matters because you’re marked with a “Rising Talent Badge” that clients will be able to see on your profile and proposals:
The badge instantly offers you credibility as clients have no way of gauging your reputation when you’re new to the platform.
This status is a good alternative until you receive your job success score, which can take several months to obtain.
Lewis's Pro Tip
90% of freelancers won’t get their job success score until they’ve completed 5 projects.
How To Earn It FAST
Personally, I earned the “Rising Talent” very quickly on Upwork; it only took me a few weeks and one completed project.
Let’s take a look at Upworks requirements:
You too can acquire it quickly, if you hit the right notes...
The Key Ingredient
Upwork states, "even new freelancers who have yet to complete any projects on Upwork can be admitted into the Rising Talent program."
Surprised? Yeah, so was I...
And it’s why I believe your profile strength is the key ingredient to earning your “Rising Talent Badge” quickly.
You can take these steps to ensure you’ve optimized your profile:
- Make sure your profile is 100% complete
- Upload a professional looking photo (not at your family BBQ)
- Take 2-3 relevant Upwork tests
- Don’t price yourself too low (read this)
- Be thorough with ALL the sections (overview, experience, education, portfolio, etc.)
Aside from that, make sure your profile is focused.
Focusing your profile means you should only be offering ONE service. And I'm convinced this is crucial to earning your badge quickly.
It just makes sense.
High-level freelancers generally don’t offer a mixed service.
A professional video editor wouldn't be offering logo design at the same time. It would just dilute the impression of expertise.
How To Further Improve Your Odds
To improve your odds of being accepted into the program, start by getting a couple jobs under your belt.
If you're really struggling with this, check out my Mind Map Method to layer on some additional credibility.
When you’re applying for jobs, consider the statistics Upwork keeps on you:
Aim to keep these ratios as high as possible because low statistics will send low-quality signals to Upwork about you.
The logic behind this is simple...
- 50 proposals yields 1 reply = low-quality signal
- 10 replies results in 0 contracts = low-quality signal
- 100 profile views results in 0 invitations = low-quality signal
To help keep these ratios high, don’t get trigger happy with your proposals. Be picky, and really concentrate on nailing your proposals for job adverts you’re confident you can do successfully.
And when you do win a job…
Give your client the experience of a lifetime. Blow them away by communicating well and efficiently, meeting or beating deadlines, and offering to do revisions when necessary.
It’s not hard, and I promise you, doing these three things will put you ahead of most other freelancers on Upwork.
Once you’ve completed a job, you’ll want to make sure your client leaves a nice review. What’s likely to happen, is that they’ll end the contract and Upwork will ask them to leave feedback.
So if you’ve given your client a world-class experience then you shouldn’t have any worries.
But, if you want to make doubly sure you’ll get an awesome review, you could send something like when you submit your work:
I’d recommend you say something along the lines of...
“Hi [clients name],
I’ve attached [completed work]. I’ve really enjoyed working with you, so let me know if you’re not 100% happy with anything and I’ll get to work on it right away.
If you’re happy with project, please could you end the contract and leave some nice feedback? My success on this platform depends on my feedback so I’d really appreciate a good rating.
They’d have to be a real sour grape to leave a bad review after that message.
Lewis's Pro Tip
Occasionally, a client will forget to end the contract. If that's the case, you can end the contract yourself, then be the first to leave an awesome review.
After that, simply copy and paste it it to them and politely ask for one in return. Doing it this way taps into the law of reciprocity, so they're much more likely to do it.
And On That Note
Building your credibility on Upwork doesn’t have to feel like an uphill slog.
Upworks “Rising Talent Badge” is a perfect for quickly gaining credibility when you’re new to the platform.
...all you need to do is follow the tips we’ve discussed to speed up your process.
And once you’ve earned the badge, clients will find it much easier to trust you. You’ll get more work which leads to more credibility.
So use it to your advantage, optimize your profile.