Dear Upwork Community,

Earlier this year, I shared our 2015 plan to make it easier for great freelancers to succeed. Many of these initiatives are well underway, and I’m excited to share the impact they are already having on freelancers and our workplace. I’ll also provide a preview of new initiatives to come.

Since the introduction of Connects in February, we’re finding freelancers are competing against a smaller, more relevant group of candidates.

Data shows that freelancers are submitting fewer proposals overall while still winning the same number of contracts.

  • With a significant increase in projects being posted on Upwork this year, programs like Connects that help the right freelancers and clients connect fast are more important than ever.

Programs to address unprofessional clients are ramping up.

On a large workplace like Upwork, we understand that it can be challenging for freelancers to effectively screen their clients. We want to make this easier and have already seen difficult clients responding to outreach. Clients that are consistently negative in their interactions with freelancers are contacted and if unable to improve, are no longer permitted to use Upwork.

The Job Success score is helping top freelancers win more contracts.

The My Stats dashboard shows your business metrics, which enable you to identify where your freelance business can improve to deliver higher quality results for your clients. The most prominent metric on My Stats is the Job Success score, which provides a snapshot of your overall client satisfaction. This score allows qualified and experienced freelancers to stand out more to potential clients in the marketplace.

  • In fact, twice as many contracts now go to top freelancers.
  • For some in the community, the benefits of this score are clear. For those with open questions, we’re going to share a more detailed look at the score soon.

If you deliver great results for your clients, we want to ensure we can deliver you access to great clients and work. The Job Success score helps make this happen. We’ll continue to make this metric more prominent on Upwork.

The Top Rated program is recognizing and rewarding excellent freelancers.

Top Rated status is earned by freelancers that consistently deliver great results for their clients. Freelancers in this group are now taking advantage of a badge on their profile, access to premium customer support, exclusive resources and select job invitations. Since the program launched, we’ve seen Top Rated freelancers stand out more and find it easier to win contracts.

And here’s a look at what’s to come…

This is just the beginning of initiatives geared toward helping great freelancers stand out and succeed.

  • Later this month we’ll conduct a pilot program to help highly skilled freelancers who are new to Upwork win their first contracts and grow their earnings quickly.
  • Upgrades to Identity and Phone Verification are also in testing.
  • The Top Rated program will continue to be enhanced, with a special community area launching soon along with access to exclusive workshops and resources.

As with many initiatives, the programs I’ve outlined help most great freelancers but are not designed to help everyone. We’ll continue to push for even more success with these programs through regular refinements and updates to cast a wider net.

I’ll be back to share more progress soon. In the meantime, I wish continued success to our great community of freelancers!


Elizabeth Tse
SVP, Operations