Fail-Proof Guide to Upwork Account Approval

With over ten million registered freelancers and over five million registered clients (and growing), Upwork has become an increasingly crowded marketplace for freelancers.

Their solution to this crisis is to control who gets in the platform.

So yes, unfortunately, not everyone can become a freelancer on Upwork.

When creating a freelancer account on Upwork, you will have to submit your profile for review, and if Upwork determines that there is little opportunity for you in the platform, they'll reject your application.

Good news: you may resubmit your profile for review.

Bad news: if you make too many attempts, Upwork will permanently suspend you from the platform.

It sucks, I know. And this is exactly why I wrote this article. Read on.

The best way to get in is to understand the application process. #easypeasy

Remember the main reason why Upwork rejects profiles?

It's when they "determine that there is little opportunity for you in the platform."

Little opportunity? What?!

This just means your skills are not a good match for the skills in demand.

"Why would Upwork do that though?!"

As much as they'd like to allow everyone to freelance on Upwork, they're also looking out for already-registered freelancers and clients.

Imagine these scenarios...

  • You're an experienced freelancer competing with hundreds of new freelancers who bid 90% cheaper than you. You're going to have a bad time.
  • You're a client looking to outsource an urgent task sorting through a sea of ridiculous applications. Yup, NOT fun!

"Okay, whatever. So how do I get in?!"

Well, before we even get there, let me talk about a big mistake new freelancers make when creating an Upwork account: They want to start freelancing but they have no marketable skills.

Yup! I see so many newbie freelancers wanting to jumpstart their freelancing career by creating a freelancer account on Upwork, even though they don't have any marketable skills.

You absolutely need to have marketable skills first before you should start freelancing because it's the core of your service-based business.

A second mistake new freelancers make is that they pick a skill or niche based solely on demand or what's trending. I see a lot of people wanting to start as a VA (virtual assistant) and I can't seem to figure out why!

Is it because people have the narrow perception that virtual assistance IS freelancing? Hmm, that's for a completely different blog post.

While there's completely nothing wrong with starting out as a VA (heck, I was once a VA myself), if you're not passionate about it, don't do it! Money can only get you so far. Instead...

Start with what your existing knowledge, interests, and skills, and package it so that it directly affects your client's business.

This way, you set yourself up for profitability from the get-go.

Also, other than the market is too crowded for VAs, the reason why most freelancers can't enter Upwork as a VA is because virtual assistance is a generalist niche.

VAs do so many things: bookkeeping, data entry, research, article writing, social media management, SEO optimization... the list goes on and on (and on).

AND the VA role evolves over time...

You get hired for data entry, and the next thing you know, you're scheduling the next vacation of your client's family.

So instead of being a generalist VA, be a specialist {insert VA sub skill}!

Doing this gives you a much greater chance of getting into Upwork + you put yourself in a better position to demand better rates. 

The tips here should help you get started on Upwork, but I recommend you check this additional post on account rejections.

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