All About the New Upwork Badges

The new Upwork badges are creating a lot of questions for Freelancers. In this video I outline exactly what you need to know about the Top Rate Plus Badge and the Expert Vetted badge.

Raw Transcript

Hi guys Mike Volkin here with another Freelancer masterclass video and podcast. Today we’re doing a two for one. For those of you who don’t watch the podcast or listen to the podcast, but watch the YouTube videos, be sure to listen to our podcast at freelancers school, everywhere podcasts are available. iTunes, for example, Google Play, that’s called Freelancer school. But for those of you who are on the video on the YouTube channel right now, you can watch the visuals as I described new Upwork badges everybody is so into Upwork if you’re a freelancer, especially full time Upwork is where you should be getting at least a few jobs a year. And they just came up with some new important badges that will help you a lot if you qualify. So I want to explain what they are, how you qualify for them, and then how you benefit from each one. There’s two different badges we’re going to be talking about today. Okay, so first of all, the top rated plus batch and for those of you who are watching the video, if you want to see what it looks like, here’s a view of my project.

file. And I’m actually a recipient of the top rated plus badge. But basically it is for people with a proven track record of excelling on large or long term contracts.

Those contracts should be at least seven months in length. So if you want to get a top rated badge and you don’t have one yet, they’re starting to roll these out slowly. Right now, as I’m filming this, it is September of 2020. So if you don’t have one yet, don’t worry it even if you think you qualify, because they haven’t just blasted it out to everyone who qualifies. It’s a slow rollout. But if you do want it, you should consider having contracts that lasts at least seven months. If you are a freelancer or an agency it will apply to you. And it is specifically designed to attract clients for long term, large projects, all right.

If you have earned more than 100,000 you would also qualify for top rated plus


That is four times as much as top rated talent for those of you who are who are interested in keeping stats. So you should have at least $100,000 on average give or take to to be qualified for the top rated plus badge. And for those of you who are used to seeing the top rated badge and other top rated plus,

that is four times as much. So that’s a lot.

Now, in terms of the benefits of the top rated plus badge, priority access to work with

up work, enterprise and business clients, for those of you who know those are people who are either enterprise clients or larger companies, not so much startups, but they also have business clients that prioritize for this badge as well. And those are people who have a long, great history, hiring freelancers and agencies on Upwork.

Now, one of the other benefits is that you can get found easily in clients

And the talent service teams will prioritize invites to invite only jobs. So if you are familiar with what a talent service team is, you probably don’t need an explanation of what an invite only job is. But typically, if you haven’t been contacted by a talent service team, this is what it looks like. You get an email that says, Hi, I’m so and so at the Upwork talent service team. And I’d like to personally invite you to a job from an enterprise client and then describes the job.

Now, what this talent service team does is they do searches for the actual enterprise clients, because a lot of times they are super busy like everyone, but they’re usually HR reps or owners of large companies, and they just asked Upwork to just take care of it for him, bring him five or six or whatever, number, freelancers that would qualify for the job they’re looking for. And then you get that personal invite from the talent talent service rep at Upwork, not at the company. So when you reply and apply for the job, you actually apply to the test.

service rep. And then they will pass off your resume and your your proposal rather to the the client. Okay. So obviously the last benefit listed here, if you’re looking at the video is the ballot, the badges displayed on the profile. So if someone is an enterprise up or a client or a business client, they will see your profile or your badge on your profile, okay?

Now, the minimum requirements for the top rated plus badge as a freelancer is you have to earn at least $10,000 in total earnings, and that’s including all your contracts in that is in the past 12 months, not year to date. That’s a big question I get from a lot of my Freelancer students is that’s year today, right? I said no, that’s 12 trailing months, so if it’s August right now, going back August 12 months, the previous year, okay.

Also, you have to have worked on one or more larger projects in the last year.

12 months, and I’ll describe what is considered large in just a second. But another requirement is that you have to maintain a top rated status. Remember, we’re talking about top rated plus status here. So if you can’t maintain top rated status, you certainly aren’t going to get a top rated plus status badge, okay? And you have to also make sure that you’re not an exclusive agency contractor. Alright, so now what is considered a large project?

Number one,

it depends on what skill or category and so let’s talk about the first one design and creative engineering and architecture if you’re in the legal or the translation, or even the writing industry, writing alone accounts for I don’t know the exact stats, but I guess 20% of the overall freelancers on Upwork but you have to have at least 5000 $5,000 project under your belt. Okay. Now $10,000 would apply if you’re in accounting, admin data science, analytics it and networking or

Anything in sales and marketing, that’s my Field Sales and Marketing. So I’ve closed at least 110 thousand dollar contract.

And now it gets even bigger if you’re into web, mobile and software development, that’s $15,000. And then the huge one is customer support, which is $20,000. Not sure why honestly, Upwork chose customer service that a largest. But there must be a reason, especially if you’re dealing with enterprise clients, because often they have long term projects

for customer service reps. Now, how do you apply for top rated status? Or how do you get top rated plus status as an agency? Well, instead of 10,000? as a freelancer, you’re looking at $20,000. Now in total earnings, all right, you worked on one or more large products in the last 12 months, and no more than 10% of the contracts have negative outcomes. It’s very important. What is considered negative. I’m not sure we’d have to find out from Upwork but it My guess is is probably three and a half stars or less. Okay? On average

to less than 10% of your contracts, you have to maintain of course a top rated status that’s given if you’re going for top rated plus status. And then also, you have to be considered in order to be considered for large projects, you have to have the following minimum requirements, and design and creative engineering and architecture legal and translation writing. It’s 10,000 as an agency instead of 5000. as a freelancer, accounting consultant admin, consumer service or customer service rather, data science and analytics it sales and marketing 20,000 this time, remember agencies usually bring on larger projects, that’s why is usually double what you would see on a freelancers requirement. Okay, now $30,000 for web, mobile and software noted how Upwork had reversed Customer service is now down to 20,000. As in the second category, as opposed to being in the top most expensive category as a freelancer. But now the most expensive categories and agency is web and mobile and so

Word depth. That’s because larger enterprise clients have very large projects for web mobile and software depth. So you need at least 30,000 there. Okay.

Now, the other badge is the expert vetted badge. Now this is isn’t so much better or higher in status than the top rated plus, but it does have some differences. Okay.

First of all, it’s specifically designed for talent that has deep experience in their field on or off up work. They have to participate in a rigorous pre screening process, and the talent has a strong combination of expertise and soft skills.

Now, some of you might be asking, What is a soft skill? So there’s lots of different skills that aren’t easy to measure? Time management, networking, teamwork, creative thinking, conflict resolution. Okay, so those are some examples of some soft skills. Now an expert vetted badge is prioritized for clients and Upwork enterprise and the business plan who’s

Average project value is over $8,000. All right. So the benefits of having this badges you easily Stand Out Of course, and find qualified work with top clients on upwards enterprise in business plans. And you also have priority access to work with clients and Upwork enterprise and business plans. And you’ll develop a personal relationship with an Upwork talent manager who helps match you to opportunities aligned with your goals, that can be a big benefit and knowing an upper count manager on a first name basis, will get you a lot of work. Okay, so the minimum requirements First of all, you can only be invited

to the I’m sorry, to the expert vetted badge.

So you will specifically get an email from Upwork as I did for the expert, vetted badge and I’m already a top rated plus, but I guess they’re going to switch me out to an expert Vantage expert vetted. Again, one isn’t higher than the other, I don’t think but at the very least I did get an email

Saying that I have been invited to the expert vetted program.

You do have to pass a rigorous pre screening process, which may include a portfolio review, if you’re a coder, some kind of coding test, you have to go through an interview, which I’m assuming will test some of your soft skills, which is somewhat arbitrary. I don’t think it’s really a hard way to measure that. But I’m sure there’s a panel that will evaluate you. And other steps relevant to your area of expertise will be tested as well. Okay. So hey, expert vetted, top rated plus whichever one you get is going to be awesome for your career as a freelancer and a consultant. I hope this this cleared up some of the confusion around the new badges, especially the one the questions that I’ve been getting lately on it. And if you haven’t subscribed yet to this YouTube channel, be sure to go ahead and do so we always put out some great content here for freelancers and be sure to put in the comment box what your thoughts are on this video and any suggestions you have for future videos. Thanks again. Good luck.

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