How to become a Top Rated Freelancer on Upwork

 
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I have been a Top Freelancer on Upwork for many years now. It came naturally, but it took some time.

Being consistent, treating this platform as a place of business and putting the time and effort in to be professional paid off.

It took a couple of years and lots of hours with clients from Upwork.

Upwork looks at your activity in the last 90 days and decides if you are liable for being a Top Rated.

So, how can you become a Top Rate freelancer?

1. MAINTAIN A 90% OR HIGHER JOB SUCCESS SCORE FOR AT LEAST 13 OF THE LAST 16 WEEKS.

This is one of the hardest things you have to do, and it is not super easy to figure out how to do that either. Upwork gives some hints, but the whole process is not revealed. I will talk about this in my next article.

The job score is calculated based on an internal algorithm it mostly takes into consideration the successful contract outcomes, the negative contract outcomes and total outcomes. The formula looks like this:

successful contract outcomes - negative contract outcomes /total outcomes

2. YOUR FIRST CLIENT HIRED YOU MORE THAN 90 DAYS AGO

In other words, you must have some history on the platform and bring in some money in. Like any other good thing, it takes time and consistency.

3. FULLY COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE (SHOULD SHOW 100% FILLED)

Make sure your profile is filled in, and all the boxes were filled. Check out my article about how to set up your profile here.

4. MAKE AT LEAST $1,000 IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS

The money you bring in is super important. Bringing in less than $1,000 lowers your chances of becoming a Top Rated freelancer, and it is definitely an important element. If you make money, Upwork makes money and everybody is happy!

5. CHANGE UP YOUR AVAILABILITY BASED ON HOW MUCH FREE TIME YOU HAVE

Upwork has a tool that shows possible clients how available you are. You can choose from

  • More than 30 hrs/week

  • Less than 30 hrs/week

  • As needed - open to offers

This tool is beneficial because for instance, I have times when I need clients and I want more work, so I set up my availability to "more than 30h/week"

Sometimes, I have just a few hours left in my schedule, so I choose "Less than 30 hrs/week."

The third option comes in handy when my agenda is full, but I am still keeping an eye for cool projects or maybe long term clients.

6. MAKE SURE YOUR ACCOUNT WAS NOT PUT ON HOLD RECENTLY

Upwork reserves the right to put your account on hold for various reasons, but one of the most common is because freelancers might have violated the Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy. I never encountered this situation but from what I read on the forums, many freelancers are accepting payments outside Upwork, and they continue to work with clients outside Upwork. This is a big NO NO!

Make sure you read the Term and Conditions before you get on board!

7. BE ACTIVE ON THE PLATFORM

This means sending proposals, accepting invitations and earn some damn money in the past 90 days.

I use the Upwork platform every day. I make sure I apply to only jobs that fit my skills and make sure I am reaching my income goals every week.

Being active on the platform shows that you are serious about being a freelancer and you are interested in making money.

8. BE PROFESSIONAL AND POLITE

Let's say you received a bad review. Your first instinct might be to go nuts, but take a second and think about it from your client's perspective. What went wrong? Why did the client leave a bad review? Feel free to openly discuss with your client and see if there is something you can improve your rating for the future.

9. MAINTAIN YOUR PROFILE AND CHECK YOUR STATS

Take a look at the jobs you have active, but they are not actually active, meaning the money do not come in anymore. I had a few clients who just ghosted me, even after we worked so nicely together, so I expected that there would be more work, so I left the job opened even after the project was finalized. So go and clean up your profile from jobs that are no longer active. I know this can influence your Job Score. The client can always rehire you, which is actually much better for your Job Score.

Also, check your stats. Upwork shows how effective your marketing is, how good your client satisfaction is and how responsive you are.

10. RESPECT THE RULES

I was in a Facebook group the other day, and I read a comment from a freelancer who admitted that she only looks for leads on Upwork and took the projects outside Upwork. I think this is especially disrespectful and dangerous.

I believe it is dangerous mainly because there is no safe way to make sure you are paid and usually someone who is willing to break the rules once, might break the rules twice as well, and I do not want anything to do with them.

I hope this article helped you!

If you have any questions, let me know in comments below.