OK, so this is a BIG deal for me! When I first created my profile on Upwork (Elance back then) in 2013, I had no clue what to do, what makes for a good profile and just felt lost among the thousands of profiles that looked way better than mine! And becoming a ‘Top Rated’ freelancer on Upwork wasn’t even on my radar back then!
On the one hand, I would be competing with talent across the globe with some freelancers charging ridiculously low hourly rates and on the other extreme end, there would be people with skill-sets and portfolio so strong that I felt I had absolutely no chance whatsoever at bagging any decent projects. I had serious doubts about finding success here and if someone had told me I would become Top Rated just couple of years down the line, I would probably have laughed it off. But here I am, sitting on the same laptop that I was on four years back, looking at this message from Upwork and I cant help but feel a sense of achievement and happiness!
But let’s first understand what being ‘Top Rated’ on Upwork signify? So, here you go….
A current Job Success Score of 90% or higher. Maintained Rising Talent status or a Job Success Score of at least 90% for at least 13 of the last 16 weeks. A 100% complete profile (90% for those who brought their profiles over from Elance) 12-month earnings of at least $1,000.
Let me also take a step back and reflect upon what worked in my favor, what is it that helped me stand apart from the crowd and carve a niche in the freelancing work-space….
What Sets You Apart as a Freelancer
1. Honesty and Integrity – I understood from the very beginning that hiring someone remotely comes with its own set of misgivings and apprehensions. I have had my clients’ login details to their websites, social media accounts and even their personal email id’s in one or two cases! I have always been honest, upfront and very professional in the way I interacted with my clients, giving them a clear picture of my expertise and setting realistic goals for the project.
2. Taking Up Work As Per My Capability – I have never tried to bite more than I could chew! Initially, when I started out, I did feel like applying to any and every job that came my way. But I quickly realized that even one bad review, especially when you are a beginner can really mar your reputation. This thought has stuck with me ever since and I only go after work that I am confident of performing well and bring in results.
3. Sticking To Deadlines – This is something that I never faulted upon. I try to be really disciplined about my work schedule and have never ever given my clients any reason to complain about on this front.
4. Asking For Feedback and Reviews – This is so important for any freelancer or for matter any online entrepreneur. Word of mouth and client referrals are the two main pillars of your online reputation and stepping stones for building a strong personal brand. I’ve always asked for feedback and recommendations at the end of each project and it’s really worked well for me till now…
So, let me rejoice in this small, yet powerful milestone in my freelancing journey. Will keep you posted!