How to become Expert-Vetted on UpWork

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Here’s my story on how I, Ross Jenkins, and my Digital Agency, DigitalME became Expert-Vetted on UpWork. 

This is currently the highest tier you can reach with the platform. 

A whooping 1% of 1% of freelancers and agencies are currently in this tier.

UpWork has the following different tiers:

All the tiers have their own perks, the higher you get, the more you receive. 

If you’re still reading, you’ll want to know how we achieved the top tier, Expert Vetted on UpWork and how you can get this on this tier as well. 

It’s simple, we ran a business and agency instead of being a solo freelancer. I received my email to be interviewed for Expert Vetted on June 23rd 2020 and by June the 30th I was given the Expert Vetted badge and was ready to roll and given a new account manager. 

The Rising Talent badge highlights some of the best new members in the Upwork marketplace!

As Rising Talent, new freelancers and agencies can quickly get started, grow their client base, and establish their freelance reputation on our platform.

Benefits 

The dedicated Rising Talent badge will display on your profile and proposals. You’ll also get the following benefits.

  • Reduced fees (starting at 10%) on Featured Jobs

  • A one-time bonus of 30 free Connects for you to submit more proposals to clients

  • Access to chat and ticket support from a specialized customer support team

Once you have enough work history on Upwork, your Rising Talent status will automatically be replaced by a Job Success Score (JSS). Once you earn a Job Success Score, you can start working toward Top Rated status.

Become Rising Talent

Rising Talent freelancers are highlighted for having great potential. They usually have strong backgrounds in their fields and early success with Upwork clients. Rising Talent agencies are new agencies that either have strong backgrounds in their industries or were an agency started by Top Rated freelancers.

New freelancers who qualify to become Rising Talent are invited via email.

If you received an invite, you can follow the link in your email to take the Upwork Readiness Test and get your badge.

Criteria

To qualify for a Rising Talent badge, you must:

  • Pass the Upwork Readiness Test

  • Complete projects on time and as promised to clients

  • Maintain a 100% complete profile with accurate skills and genuine work

  • Keep your availability status up-to-date

  • Regularly submit proposals to projects that match your skill set

  • Adhere to the Upwork Terms of Service

  • Have been active in the past 90 days or joined in the past 30 days

In addition, agencies must also have:

  • 2 or more team members

  • Maintain a 100% complete agency profile

  • Maintain a 100% complete agency owner profile

  • Maintain a 60% or higher average profile completeness across the agency

Remember, many factors contribute to a Rising Talent badge. This includes client feedback, the overall strength of your profile, prior experience and skills, your educational background, and the opportunities available in the market. Even new freelancers who have yet to complete any Upwork projects can become Rising Talent.

Please note that it may take up to 48 hours to see the Rising Talent badge on your profile after meeting the qualifications.

Benefits

As a Top Rated freelancer or agency, you’ll have a dedicated badge on your freelancer, agency, or agency member’s profile and proposals that displays to all clients. You’ll also get the following benefits.

  • Reduced fees (starting at 10%) on Featured Jobs
  • More control over your Job Success Score
  • Invitations to submit proposals to jobs assisted by Talent Specialists 
  • Job Digest email to make it easier for you to find jobs that are a great match
  • Faster payments on hourly contracts
  • Premium customer support, including phone and chat

Note: If agency members have enough history to have a Job Success Score, their badge will display as a Top Rated badge. If they do not yet have enough history, it will be a Rising Talent badge as long as their profiles are at least 60% complete.

Become Top Rated

You earn a Top Rated badge by building an impressive reputation on Upwork. You must have a proven history of success with multiple clients, delight your clients with your work every time, and contribute to a safe and vibrant marketplace by knowing and following the Upwork Terms of Service.

Top Rated status helps outstanding freelancers and agencies grow their businesses and become even more successful in the Upwork marketplace.

Criteria

Manage your success on Upwork by tracking your Job Success Score, 12-month earnings, and more on your My Stats page. To become Top Rated, you must have the following qualifications.

Top Rated Plus highlights freelancers and agencies who consistently perform on large contracts at the highest level. They stand out by delivering premium quality on high-budget or long-term jobs.

This talent offers Top Rated quality with some of Upwork’s largest contracts in their given field.

Top Rated Plus freelancers and agencies work in a wide range of categories around the world.

Benefits

As a Top Rated freelancer or agency, you’ll have a dedicated badge on your freelancer, agency, or agency member’s profile and proposals that displays to Upwork clients on a paid plan (Enterprise, Business, and some Plus clients). You’ll also get the following benefits.

Benefits

As a Top Rated freelancer or agency, you’ll have a dedicated badge on your freelancer, agency, or agency member’s profile and proposals that displays to Upwork clients on a paid plan (Enterprise, Business, and some Plus clients). You’ll also get the following benefits.

Become Top Rated

You earn Top Rated Plus status by building an impressive reputation on Upwork with large and long-term contracts. As with Top Rated status, you must have a proven history of success with multiple clients, delight your clients with your work every time, and contribute to a safe and vibrant marketplace by knowing and following the Upwork Terms of Service.

PRO TIP

If you’ve already earned Top Rated status and want to learn more about becoming Top Rated Plus, check My Stats to find a breakdown of your progress so far!

Criteria

In addition to earning and maintaining Top Rated status, Top Rated Plus must have the following qualifications:

  •  Total earnings over $10,000 in the past 12 months
  • Agencies have total earnings over $20,000 in the past 12 months
  • Worked or working on one or more large* contracts in the past 12 months without negative outcomes (<10% for agencies)
  • Freelancer must not be an Exclusive Agency contractor

All Expert-Vetted freelancers and agencies are fully pre-screened to ensure high-quality and professionalism.

Expert-Vetted is currently by invitation only, and is limited to certain skills.

Benefits

As an Expert-Vetted freelancer, you’ll have a dedicated badge on your profile and proposals that displays to Upwork Enterprise and Business clients. You’ll also get the following benefits.

  • A dedicated Talent Manager who understands your strengths and helps match them to the right clients
  • A premium profile design visible to Upwork Enterprise and Business clients

Expert-Vetted has a unique perk that no other talent in the Upwork community enjoys: a dedicated Talent Manager. Talent Managers build personal relationships with every Expert-Vetted freelancer to understand their strengths and help match them to the right clients, including some of the world’s top companies.

Expert-Vetted status helps top-skilled talent stand out, make critical connections, and find the right projects.

Become Expert-Vetted

Expert-Vetted is available by invitation only. Once invited, you must qualify based on a series of individual tests and interviews. Our Talent Managers conduct a rigorous pre-screening process that includes an evaluation of both hard and soft skills.

  • Hard skill vetting with professional Talent Managers to ensure the highest technical competence
  • Expertise in your domain
  • Soft skill assessment, including reliable execution and excellent communication
  • Personal interview

Expert-Vetted is available for Web, Mobile, Software Development; Design & Creative; and Sales & Marketing freelancers and agencies.

All the tiers have their own perks, the higher you get, the more you receive.

If you’re still reading, you’ll want to know how we achieved the top tier, Expert Vetted on UpWork, and how you can get this on this tier as well. 

It’s simple, we ran a business and agency instead of being a solo freelancer. I received my email to be interviewed for Expert Vetted on June 23rd, 2020 and by June the 30th I was given the Expert Vetted badge and was ready to roll and given a new account manager. 

What’s the goal for Expert-Vetted?

Upwork’s goal is to attract large enterprises and Fortune 500 contract opportunities, by providing top talent, and building relationships for a more digital future.

The Expert-Vetted badge can only be seen by the Freelancer and Enterprise Fortune 500 companies currently.

What’s the key to growing on UpWork?

For me, over the past 3 years, as an agency and freelancer, we have turned over more than $500,000 USD and have worked on over 130 jobs. 

These jobs range from:

  • Web design & Development
  • App creation and maintenance
  • Digital Marketing
  • CRM & Email marketing setup
  • Subscription site creation (Memberium)

Our customer support is beyond comparison to any other freelancer we’ve ever worked with (we’re also a client on UpWork so we know the struggle of being a client and hiring non-communicative freelancers). We always tell our clients, even when the project is completed, we’re always one message away.

We grow mainly by word of mouth, but also ratio based view vs. engagement, which I’ll touch upon more in the next section.More eyes to the profile equals a higher chance of a contract.

When I was 18, I worked in door-to-door sales, and doing it in England felt even worse. Imagine constant rain and being dropped in the middle of a low-income residential area in the hope of selling. We would knock on around 600 doors. I’d work out a ratio: knock on 100 doors and 2 will answer and will likely buy. It’s the same with UpWork, the more times I apply for a job, the higher chance I’ll have of getting a contract.

So in conclusion, how do I become expert-vetted?

Know your numbers, be positive, and most importantly, do the grind. Freelancing and owning an agency isn’t a 9 to 5 work. If you want to grow you will need to put in the time. And remember, UpWork’s clients are more likely to pay higher rates for your services, which means they will expect higher quality work, concise communication, and exceptional attention to detail.



Share this post with your friends

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Ross Jenkins

Ross Jenkins

Ross Jenkins is the founder of DigitalME and is an ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant. He is ranked #1 on UpWork for his proficiency in digital marketing. DigitalME offers targeted digital solutions and is perfect for anyone who wants to increase leads, sales, and productivity through automation.