Getting started on Upwork can Upwork Rising Talentbe overwhelming for new workers.

For companies hiring on Upwork, it can be an equally frustrating process.

Feedback from the freelancing and outsourcing communities has led Upwork to develop its new “Rising Talent” program, which delivers a boost to experienced freelancers who are new to the site. This provides an excellent opportunity to build trust, expedite the creation of new business relationships, and help clients find better workers (faster).

In this post, I’m taking a look at how the Rising Talent program works and what it means for your business.

What is Upwork’s “Rising Talent” Program?

The Rising Talent program is available to experienced freelancers with healthy work histories, in particular those who receive positive feedback from early clients on Upwork. Freelancers who meet these qualifications (and those bulleted below), but don’t yet have a Job Success score, are being invited to join the program.

Rising Talent freelancers must:

  • Have a completed profile that includes professional accreditations and endorsements
  • Keep their availability status current
  • Deliver great work for clients
  • Finish projects within deadlines and as discussed with clients
  • Follow Upwork’s Terms of Service
  • Submit proposals for work that matches their skillsets

What’s the Benefit?

Freelancers who earn “Rising Talent” distinction can be identified by the blue badge listed at the top of this blog post. Once freelancers build enough Upwork history, the Rising Talent badge will be replaced by a Job Success score (for example, 80%, 90%, etc.).

Rising Talent freelancers also receive 30 bonus Connects, which allow them to submit a greater number of proposals to potential clients. They’ll also receive special customer support and helpful, customized tips for improving their profiles. The Rising Talent program allows new Upwork freelancers to have a fighting chance of building solid reputations. Competition can be steep, so this provides a way to even the playing field for freelancers who have already demonstrated success in their fields.

For those companies looking for the preverbal “under valued stock,” recruiting “Rising Talent” seems like an obvious opportunity. If your budget cannot support a highly paid freelancer, hire someone with less experience but who has started to show potential via the Rising Talent program. In doing so, you can reduce your risk of making a bad hire and save some money along the way.

What Does Rising Talent Mean to You?

Will the Rising Talent program change the way you search for freelancers in the marketplace? If you’re a freelancer, what is your perspective about this program? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and

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