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Upwork Account Approval Hacks
Written by Nick Tubis
How Anyone Can Get Their Upwork Profile Approved Step By Step:

Recently I spent over 6 months learning the ins and outs of Upwork from some of the highest paid freelancers in the world. 20 of these freelancers I've learned from have earned over seven million dollars combined on just Upwork alone.

The first step to having a successful career on Upwork is having the ability to get your account approved. Upwork utilizes an algorithm that vets potential profiles typically between 12 and 24 hours after you submit your profile. Part of the reason why it can be challenging to get your account approved is because Upwork gets over 10,000 applications per day according to their CEO.

I know some of you who are having trouble getting your Upwork account approved are probably super irratated and annoyed by this, so what I've decided to do is share some of the secrets I've learned from some of the Upwork ninja's I work with.

One thing to keep in mind is that its actually great that Upwork has strict vetting rules because then you can join their exclusive club where there will be less competition and have the opportunity to earn a great deal of money doing what you love.

What Upwork really is, is a search engine that connects businesses with freelancers. In a way its kind of like Google. Similarly to other search engines Upwork utilizes an alogrith which acts as a security measure to ensure the best experience possible.

However there are actually ways that you can work around their algorithm and get your account approved if you follow these steps.

It Ain't Over:

To give you some peace of mind, even if your Upwork account doesn't get approved it doesn't mean its over and you won't be able to be a freelancer on Upwork. You can simply make a few adjustments to your profile and try two, three, even four times if you want to.

Position Yourself Professionally:

If you're going to be freelancing on Upwork, your essentially becoming an entrepreneur. Upwork wants members who look and act the part and there some small things you can do to help with your positioning. For instance right when your signing up for Upwork it will ask you to submit your email address. If you look closely it will ask you if you have a “work email address”. This isn't mandatory but it can definitely give you an edge over the competition.
Its super easy to set up a business email address and you can set one up for just a few dollars month through gmail.

The Number One Way To Get Your Account Approved:

If you think about it, Upwork is a business and what do businesses want? To make money. So a big priority for Upwork is to establish a good supply of freelancers who skill set is in high demand. I explain how to find a high demand skill in detail in this free training.

One thing to keep in mind is that Upwork wants its freelancers to make as much money as possible because they get up to a 20% cut of a project. So the jobs that are “high value” that charge more Upwork likes because they can make more money. Make sense?

What Upwork doesn't want is to have to big of supply for the same type skill set because then there isn't a balance between supply and demand. So this is something that Upwork's algorithm looks out for. It monitors how many freelancers have a certain type of skill and provide a particular type of service. So if there are to many freelancers who provide a particular type of service than you might not get your account approved.

Profile Hacks To Get Approved

However there is a way around this, when filling out your profile explain all of the different types of services that you can provide and all of the different skills you have. The more the better. Here is an example of a freelancer that I work with who has a great profile that shows all of the different potential services he can provide.

Do you see how much detail Morgan has in his profile? He is literally explaining everything possible service that he could provide.

Make Your Subcategory of Work Broad:

When you fill out an Upwork account it will as you to fill out a sub category of the work you provide. This could be for example within sales and marketing that you provide

You want to make sure that you fill out all 4 types of work. If you run out of options, you can simply select other.
Always Choose 10 Skills

Upwork will ask you what your core skills are allow you to select up to 10. You should always select 10 if you can because it increases your chances of getting your profile approved because it proves to Upwork that you can provide a variety of different services.

Another way to figure out what skills to choose is to model freelancers who have a similar skillset to you. You can see their profiles if you set up a free client account. I go into detail into this in my free training here.

Position Yourself As An Authority:

Upwork gives preferential treatment to freelancers who are an expert or have an intermediate skill level. I personally recommend you select your skill set to be an expert, but if you don't think you are one choose intermediate. Believe it or not there are actually more jobs on Upwork for experts than there are for beginners.

Even if though you may be brand new to freelancing, it doesn't mean that your brand new to the services you can provide. This is a common mistake that a lot of people make when they join Upwork.

Let Upwork Help You Figure Out What To Charge:

Another obstacle that freelancers run into on Upwork is their hourly rate. They aren't sure how much they should charge on Upwork and they are overcomplicating this. Based on the skills and services that you provide Upwork will give you a range on how much you should charge per hour. Now hourly rate recommendations differ depending on what skill you have and the services you provide.

You can charge much more than this or less than this if you want. For example there are some freelancers who charge hundreds of dollars per hour on Upwork. On the other hand you can charge way less than this because that can help give you an edge to win your first few client quickly and build some credibility. But in the case of just getting your account approved I would suggest you follow Upwork's range that they suggest.

The reason I would follow Upwork's tips when submitting your account is because Upwork is a business remember. They want to achieve more with less work. So if your a freelancer who is charging higher hourly rates, its attractive to their algorithm.

Use A Skill Based Headline:

When setting up a headline you want to have your core skills and services in them. Your headline is one of the most important aspects of your Upwork profile and can help you rank really high in their search engine. One thing you can do that works well is rank order from left to right as the top 4 services or skills that you have in the headline. If you look at the screenshot from Mogan above he does this. Another freelancer who I work with Vlad does this and he's made over three million dollars on Upwork himself.
Leave No Stone Unturned In Your Profile:

A huge reason why people's Upwork accounts don't get approved is because they don't completely fill out their profile. You want to write a detailed profile overview that explains all of the services that you can provide. You should build out of portfolio of work that shows examples of work that you've done. You should fill out your employment history and include any certifications you might have as well. If you don't have any work samples, then all you have to do is create some. For example a lot of writers will write articles from scratch and post them under their portfolio section of their portfolio.
Here is an example from a freelancer that I work with who has mastered this.

Take Skill Tests:

You need to go beyond the minimum and do the maximum to get your account approved with certainty. You can take skill tests on Upwork that. You will want to take tests that are related to your skills as well as the Upwork readiness test as well. Upwork's algorithm likes this because it proves to them that you understand their rules.

Ninja Hacks:

Now if you try this and for some reason you still have trouble getting your account approved. Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you can an account approved.

If you have had a profile in the past and you've lost the password. Make it a priority to find your password and leverage that account. Upwork doesn't like when a freelancer has multiple accounts linked to them.

Typically the number one reason why freelancers can't get their account approved is because if the skills that you possess are common by Upwork freelancers they can tend to not want to bring on new freelancers with those same skills because they will have to much supply.

When this happens you will want to base your skillset around services where there is a less amount of people so that your account will be accepted, and then later on you can just change your profile and move to any skills you want. One tip that you can use if your skillset has a lot of freelancers with similar skills is to niche down your services. So for example if you specialize in SEO, niche down your services to a component of SEO thats in demand.

For example do you see how Jim has carved out a little niche here with Whitepapers. This is a sub niche of graphic design and by doing this now there is less competition.
You can model other freelancers who have skills that are less common on Upwork and then once your account is approved change them back to the core skills you have. 

Nick Tubis

Nick Tubis helps people start and grow profitable freelance businesses. He is a Forbes strategist and freelance chief marketing officer. Nick has started and scaled several successful B2B businesses.If you're interested in starting your own freelance business or scaling yours up then definitely reach out and request a free private today.
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