How To Get 5-Star Reviews on Upwork: A Simple Trick From a $600K Freelancer

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If you’re like me, you often get fed up with the plethora of generic Upwork articles out there about “how to get more reviews on Upwork”.

Usually these articles are full of obvious and unhelpful advice like: be professional, meet your deadlines and focus on a great customer experience.

And while those things are all very true – after all if you aren’t already doing those things you’ve got bigger problems on your hands than worrying about how to get 5-star reviews – those articles fail to include the most important piece of advice.

I’ve personally earned over $600,000 on Upwork over the course of four years and have learned several “hacks” to not only getting more reviews but also finding more clients. 

Read More: Can you make good money on Upwork? How I made $600,000 in 5 years

And I am going to share my biggest secret with you in this article. 

It’s so simple you’re going to think to yourself: “Why didn’t I think of that?”

In fact, if you keep reading, at the end I even have a bonus tip for you. 

Yes that’s right, there are actually two things you need to be doing at the end of every Upwork contract.

But first, let me answer one frequently asked question and address the elephant in the room.

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Can you fake reviews on Upwork?

There’s a difference between things we “can” do and things we “should” do. 

Sure, you could create a second Upwork account, hire and review yourself or ask a friend to do it for you. But you’ll also risk getting caught and permanently banned from the platform because violates Upwork’s Terms of Service.

I can promise you, no fake review is worth a lifetime ban.

If you’re dead set on getting some “home grown” reviews to start, consider asking your off-site clients to hire you and work with you via Upwork for your next project. 

I once hired a real-life friend on Upwork to create some headshots for me. I communicated with her through the platform, paid her through the platform and rewarded her with a 5-star review.

Bottom line, if you want help from your real-life connections to get those first few reviews on the board, keep the entire transaction on the “up and up”. 

Perform real work, exchange real money and keep the entire transaction on the platform. 

The secret to getting more 5-star reviews on Upwork

Now it’s time for the secret that will change your Upworking life. 

At the end of every transaction, you need to ask for a 5-star review.

Yes, that’s the life-changing advice: You need to ask for what you want in this world.

By simply asking for a review at the end of each contract, and explaining to your client how important a glowing review is to your ability to win jobs on the platform, you instantly 3x your odds of receiving one. 

If you’re not sure how to ask, let me offer a simple one-liner suggestion:

When you close the contract, don’t forget to leave me a thoughtful review here on Upwork– reviews are vital to my ability to secure more work.”

In my personal experience, that simple line increases my odds of getting a 5-star review by three-fold. 

What if they still don’t leave a review?

After a few days have passed, don’t be afraid to ask again. 

Look, we all get busy. It’s possible it slipped your client’s mind. Just politely ask again after a few days have passed. 

Remain kind and professional and never hound your client with multiple requests. I find one initial ask and one followup gets the job done 90% of the time.

Anything else I should be doing at the end of every contract?

Yes, there is one more thing you should be doing at the end of every contract! 

Also, kudos to making it this far into the article, most people tend to just skim for the “one simple trick” and move on. But since you kept scrolling I shall now reward you with a bonus trick.

In addition to asking each client for a review, you should also be asking your clients to keep you in mind for future work and for referrals.

I personally find that the best clients come to me via referrals. 

Referrals require very little marketing effort on your part, no Upwork Connects and are the quickest way to grow your business.

It’s like marketing on autopilot.

Plus, referrals produce the best quality clients – it’s scientifically proven!

In a study published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Inc., researchers found that having a third party sing one’s praises consistently resulted in a more favorable perception of the professional in question, along with higher pay recommendations, increased likability, and an increased perception of competence.

Isn’t science nifty?

Remembering to ask for these three things (reviews, future work and referrals) at the end of every single Upwork contract is the secret recipe for catapulting talented freelancers into the Upwork stratosphere. 

Do you ask your clients for reviews? Did you find this advice helpful? Let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to connect with me on social media using the links below.

PS: If you’ve found this article helpful, and you feel so inclined – buy me a coffee (leave a tip) on Kofi!

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Morgan Overholt

Morgan has almost 20 years of professional experience in graphic design and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Her successful freelance business has been featured in articles that have appeared on, Refinery29 and Business Insider Prime.

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