Upwork determines each freelancer’s Job Success Score based on an average of how work performance is ranked by employers. The Job Success Score is updated every two weeks, but it analyzes your performance over a 24-month period. The goal is to keep your score above 90%; scores that fall below 70% could lead to the possibility of an account suspension.
Several factors help determine your score, including:
- feedback/complaints from clients
- work completed successfully
- long-term relationships with clients
- jobs that ended without you receiving payment (or with a full refund)
Perfection 100% of the time is impossible, but you should have a history of good performance. The more successful you are, the more you will be recommended for positions. If you have issues meeting deadlines or completing jobs fully, don’t continue that downward trend. Take the time to follow through, and your score will continue to improve. Major negative trends could lead to a review of your account.
Upwork takes freelancer performance very seriously because it reflects the marketplace as a whole. The Job Success Score offers you a way to ensure that you are meeting Upwork’s quality standards with your work. Clients are also monitored, and their history is considered when their input is calculated into your score.
- Focus on the client’s SPECIFIC needs. Read each job description carefully, and take a mental note of exactly what the client wants. You need to pay attention to the details of what the client is asking for in their job description, and make your proposal about that. That keeps you from sounding like everyone else, and shows the client you care about helping them win, which is what they really want.
- Overcome objections. There are always barriers that can potentially keep clients from hiring you. Some clients may consider you as expensive so in your proposal you should talking about the importance of investing in business. Get them into that mindset of, ‘Okay, this isn’t cheap, but it’s important.’ Also mention the fact that you will edit the work until they’re happy with it. That eliminates the fear of what will happen if your first draft isn’t perfect. You can use this approach to remove any objection. The key is knowing what your ideal client is most concerned about, then using that information to make them feel comfortable. And you can do this right in your proposal.
- Start a conversation. Proposals should serve one purpose: To get a response from the client. That’s it. The goal is to get the client interested enough to write back. From there, try and move them to a voice call, either by phone or Skype. Once we’re talking, we can get a better understanding of how we can help them, and if we are even the right person to help them. And then we have a much better chance of closing the deal if it’s a good fit. There’s no replacement for that human connection of just talking with someone.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. It can be tempting to promise clients the moon in the hopes of getting their attention. Especially if you’ve sent out a bunch of proposals and haven’t heard anything back. Don’t do it! Stick to realistic timelines, and don’t promise anything you can’t deliver. Good clients are smart. If your proposal sounds ‘too good to be true,’ you’ll come across as desperate. Smart clients will sniff that out and it’s a turnoff to them. It’s better to be more low key in your proposal, and then impress the client by delivering your work better and sooner than they expected. That makes them feel like, ‘wow, this freelancer did a really great job.’
- Be consistent. You won’t always get a response to your proposals right away. Clients get busy, and it can take them a few days or even weeks to respond. And not every response will turn into a job. So it’s important to keep sending out those proposals. Pick a number to send out every week, or every day, and stick to it. That way you’ll always have plenty of irons in the fire at any given time. That’s what leads to success on Upwork.
- In the absence of any Upwork hours, bank on your corporate or university experience to win clients.
- Create a custom and hard to resist Cover Letter that will highlight your skills and why you are fit for the job. Watch out for hidden requirements like catch phrases you need to include on your application.
- If you’re not confident with your skills, then learn a new one. There are tons of resources, blogs and webinars online. Or if you are already working as a freelancer, keep updated and enhance your skills. Never stop learning.
- Once you get a client, maintain a good track record to gain great feedback that will highlight your profile.
- Expand your network to get more referrals. Apart from keeping a good relationship with your old clients, make it a habit to network with your co-freelancers. Both are great sources of client referral.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, a pair of researchers share 13 subtle signs, narrowed from a list of 116, which was itself culled from more than 900 “tells” gathered from interviews with hundreds of employees and managers. Those 13 signs are:
- Their work productivity has decreased more than usual
- They have acted less like a team player than usual
- They have been doing the minimum amount of work more frequently than usual
- They have been less interested in pleasing their manager than usual
- They have been less willing to commit to long-term timelines than usual
- They have exhibited a negative change in attitude
- They have exhibited less effort and work motivation than usual
- They have exhibited less focus on job-related matters than usual
- They have expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual
- They have expressed dissatisfaction with their supervisor more frequently than usual
- They have left early from work more frequently than usual
- They have lost enthusiasm for the mission of the organization
- They have shown less interest in working with customers than usual
Science of Us
- Get up 15 minutes earlier
- Prepare for the morning the night before
- Avoid tight fitting clothes
- Avoid relying on chemical aids
- Set appointments ahead
- Don’t rely on your memory write it down
- Practice preventive maintenance
- Make duplicate keys
- Say "no" more often
- Set priorities in your life
- Avoid negative people
- Use time wisely
- Simplify meal times
- Always make copies of important papers
- Anticipate your needs
- Repair anything that doesn’t work properly
- Ask for help with the jobs you dislike
- Break large tasks into bite size portions
- Look at problems as challenges
- Look at challenges differently
- Unclutter your life
- Be prepared for rain
- Tickle a baby
- Pet a friendly dog/cat
- Don’t know all the answers
- Look for a silver lining
- Say something nice to someone
- Teach a kid to fly a kite
- Walk in the rain
- Schedule play time into every day
- Take a bubble bath
- Be aware of the decisions you make
- Believe in yourself
- Stop saying negative things to yourself
- Visualize yourself winning
- Develop your sense of humor
- Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today
- Have goals for yourself
- Dance a jig
- Say "hello" to a stranger
- Ask a friend for a hug
- Look up at the stars
- Practice breathing slowly
- Learn to whistle a tune
- Read a poem
- Listen to a symphony
- Watch a ballet
- Read a story curled up in bed
- Do a brand new thing
- Stop a bad habit
- Buy yourself a flower
- Take time to smell the flowers
- Find support from others
- Ask someone to be your "vent-partner"
- Do it today
- Work at being cheerful and optimistic
- Put safety first
- Do everything in moderation
- Pay attention to your appearance
- Strive for Excellence NOT perfection
- Stretch your limits a little each day
- Look at a work of art
- Hum a jingle
- Maintain your weight
- Plant a tree
- Feed the birds
- Practice grace under pressure
- Stand up and stretch
- Always have a plan "B"
- Learn a new doodle
- Memorize a joke
- Be responsible for your feelings
- Learn to meet your own needs
- Become a better listener
- Know your limitations and let others know them, too
- Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin
- Throw a paper airplane
- Exercise every day
- Learn the words to a new song
- Get to work early
- Clean out one closet
- Play patty cake with a toddler
- Go on a picnic
- Take a different route to work
- Leave work early (with permission)
- Put air freshener in your car
- Watch a movie and eat popcorn
- Write a note to a faraway friend
- Go to a ball game and scream
- Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight
- Recognize the importance of unconditional love
- Remember that stress is an attitude
- Keep a journal
- Practice a monster smile
- Remember you always have options
- Have a support network of people, places and things
- Quit trying to fix other people
- Get enough sleep
- Talk less and listen more
- Freely praise other people
BONUS: Relax, take each day at a time you have the rest of your life to live!
If you have trouble prioritizing the tsunami of email in your inbox, Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman has a trick: divide your inbox up into three simple categories: Inbox, CC, and External.
Scott uses filters to send incoming emails into three different inboxes: one for external emails (anyone outside his company), another for any emails he’s CC’d on, and a last one for all internal company emails sent directly to Scott.
- Inbox - CC
- Inbox - External
This is a really good way to manage the time and energy you put into processing emails, because you can prioritize external emails if you want to (as Scott does) without wasting time looking for them in your inbox - or getting distracted by internal emails instead.
Whether you’re writing to complain to customer service, or just want to hear back from a coworker at the office, these six email rules will increase your chances of hearing back.
- Use shorter sentences with simpler words. A 3rd grade reading level works best.
- Include 1-3 questions in your email.
- Make sure you include a subject line! Aim for 3-4 words.
- Use a slightly positive or slightly negative tone. Both outperform a completely neutral tone.
- Take a stand! Opinionated messages see higher response rates than objective ones.
- Write enough, but not too much. Try to keep messages between 50-125 words.