8 Methods: How To Get More Connects on Upwork

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If you’re new to Upwork, you’re probably wondering about how to get the most out of the Connects program.

On Upwork, Connects serve as a digital token or a virtual currency.

Freelancers earn free Connects by performing specific tasks on the platform. They may also choose to purchase extra Connects with real-world money.

Freelancers then spend Connects on things like proposal bids, proposal boosts, and special availability badges.

The system is fairly simple on its surface. But it can feel justifiably complex to a new freelancer, or at least a new Upwork freelancer.

This is why, as an established Upworker, who has earned over $600,000 on the platform, I thought it might be helpful to create this handy-dandy guide on how to earn Connects on Upwork.

Read Also: Can You Make Good Money on Upwork? How I Made $600,000 in 5 Years

But first …

Why I no longer use Connects

Before we get into the specifics, I wanted to remind you that it is quite unlikely that you will be dependent on Connects forever.

Weening off of Connects completely is the natural progression for pro freelancers on the Upwork platform.

This is due to the fact that Upworkers who are able to achieve and maintain Top Rated, Top Rated Plus and Expert Vetted status with a high Job Success Score regularly receive Job Invites.

And Job Invites require no Connects. Plus, they tend to reduce and eventually replace the need to apply for jobs on the feed over time.

In fact, today, 100% of my Upwork jobs come through Invites.

You also don’t need any Connects when:

  • A client sends you a direct offer
  • A client makes a purchase via your Project Catalog
  • You send a proposal to the Enterprise Talent Cloud

I haven’t used Upwork Connects in years and regularly let my entire monthly allotment expire.

So try to keep in mind, if you play the game right, Upwork Connects are only a temporary evil/expense.

Now let’s get to the goods. Below are the eight ways to get more Connects on Upwork.

Read Also: How to Avoid Upwork Fees: Ways to Reduce Fees from a $600k Freelancer

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1. Create an Upwork account

Freelancers receive their initial 40 Connects when they register for a new freelancer account on the platform.

2. Earn the Rising Talent Badge

Freelancers receive an additional 30 Connects when they earn the Rising Talent badge.

To earn this Upwork talent badge freelancers must:

  • Complete projects on time as promised to clients
  • Maintain a 100% complete profile with accurate skills and genuine work
  • Keep their availability up-to-date
  • Regularly submit proposals that match their skill sets
  • Adhere to the Upwork Terms of Service
  • Have been active in the past 90 days or joined in the past 30 days

3. Win and respond to interviews

Freelancers can also earn Connects by winning interviews with established clients.

An “interview” is the conversation that takes place when you receive a reply to your initial proposal.

The number of Connects a freelancer receives for responding to interviews varies on a variety of undisclosed factors. In the past, Upwork offered a set amount of 10 per invite, with a 50 per-week cap.

4. Complete an Upwork Skill Certification

Since Upwork nixed the unpopular Upwork Readiness Test, they are now offering a one-time free Connect bonus for completing an Upwork Skill Certification (currently offered by invitation only).

5. Collect free monthly Connects

By default, new Upwork freelancers are automatically subscribed to the Freelancer Basic program which includes 10 free Connects each month, issued on the first day of their billing cycle.

6. Subscribe to Freelancer Plus

Alternatively, freelancers may opt to upgrade to Freelancer Plus (currently $14.99 at the time of this writing) to receive an additional 70 free Connects each month on top of their default 10 for a total of 80 Connects monthly.

Other perks and benefits of Freelancer Plus accounts include:

  • The ability to view competitor bids on any job
  • Extended reports and functionality
  • The ability to keep Upwork earnings confidential
  • A custom profile URL
  • The ability to keep their profile visible even during phases of inactivity

To upgrade to Freelancer Plus, login to your Upwork freelancer account, click on your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and click Settings from the dropdown menu. Next, click Membership & Connects. Then, click on View or Edit Membership.

Note: If you upgrade to Freelancer Plus mid-billing cycle your bonus Connects will be pro-rated.

7. Purchase Connects by the bundle

Freelancers may also purchase additional Connects by the bundle.

To purchase Connects, login to your account and go to Settings > Membership & Connects > Buy More Connects.

Upwork Connects can be purchased for $0.15 each with a minimum purchase of 10.

The bundles will be charged directly to whatever primary billing method you have on file with Upwork. Upwork accepts most major credit cards and debit cards as well as PayPal.

At the time of this writing, there is no discount for buying in bulk (although I wish Upwork would consider adding a bulk discount option).

Read Also: Upwork Connects: Tips on Pricing, Bidding from a $600k Upworker

8. Redeem a Connects reward

Upwork also occasionally offers free Connects as part of a limited promotion like an event or a survey.

When this happens they typically issue a promo code which can be redeemed by going to Settings > Membership & Connects > Buy More Connects and entering the code in the promo code box.

Big Announcement: Upwork has changed its rollover and expiration policy

Finally, I have some big news for my fellow Upworkers: Upwork has finally changed its Upwork Connect rollover and expiration policy!

As of January 18, 2023, Connects now expire one year from the date of issue. And there is no longer a limit to the maximum amount of Connects you can hold.

This is a welcome upgrade from the original rollout in which unused Connects expired monthly and users were limited in the amount they could hold at one time.

Are you new to Upwork? Are you currently navigating the Upwork Connects system? How are you spending your Connects? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to connect with me (pun intended) on social media.

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 Upwork.com, Refinery29 and Business Insider Prime.

9 thoughts on “8 Methods: How To Get More Connects on Upwork”

  1. Hey ۔۔

    I am a pharmacist and medical content write as well as I can do medical transcription as well۔۔But after giving 23 purposals I didn’t got any work and almost I have lost all connects..how to get purposals accepted.please guide

  2. Hi Morgan,
    Thanks for the article. I’m a new “upworker” and I’ve exhausted my connects for the month, but no invites or job yet.
    I’m getting a bit frustrated because when I check the job feeds, I see jobs that I can do comfortably, but I can’t send any more proposal.
    I was thinking of a freelancing platform as one that earns when the freelancer earns, but Upwork seem to have a different business model.
    What would you advise I do in other to get invites to my proposals?

  3. That’s fairly par for the course sadly, most newbies will ultimately have to purchase a handful of Connects via the bundle to win their first job.

  4. Hey Samuel! I would suggest subscribing to my newsletter and going thru the Upwork Jumpstart Kit! All of my best advice is in that free digital download.

  5. I would suggest subscribing to my newsletter and going thru the Upwork Jumpstart Kit! All of my best advice is in that free digital download.

  6. I am new on upwork and I haven’t gotten any of my proposals accepted please how do I go about it? Help me

  7. Hi Morgan,

    Great post, I found it to be very useful. I’ve joined the Upwork platform a couple of months ago now.

    I’ve applied to about 50 or so jobs so far, most of which I felt I was entirely qualified for (I also happen to be a writer), but have not had any success to-date.

    Following the reading of your post, and the notes you’ve responded to in the comments section (above) I’ve signed up for your “Upwork Jumpstart Kit”.

    Should hopefully be receiving it in my inbox soon, and looking forward to reviewing it.

    If I have any questions, I’ll be sure to reach out and let you know!


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