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Re: Show clients you’re available to work right now with the availability badge (Beta test)

hannahskurnik
Upwork Staff
Hannah S Upwork Staff Member Since: Dec 15, 2017
1 of 110

We’d like to share that we will be testing out a new availability badge as a beta feature that will be released to a small group of users. Depending on the outcome of the test and feedback we receive, we may expand this more broadly in the coming months. If you are a freelancer that’s frequently invited by clients to apply to jobs, are currently open to more invitations and ready to start work right away, we expect this badge will be a good tool to help you control your workflow and manage your time when you’re ready to take on new clients.

 

 

What is the availability badge?

 

The availability badge is designed to provide talent with greater control over their invitation flow and ability to more easily communicate to potential clients that you are available for projects right now. You can choose to add an availability badge to your profile using Connects to more accurately signal when you become more or less available for new work.

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-13 at 4.12.10 PM.png

The availability badge helps you to actively advertise your availability and helps clients start projects faster by seeing which pros are ready to take on more work. 



Why is this feature being introduced?

 

The availability badge was created to help talent better communicate their availability and allow clients to quickly see which freelancers have indicated in real-time that they’re ready to take on more work. The goal is to enable everyone on the platform to save time and get projects going faster so everyone can get more work done efficiently. 

 

 

How it works

 

To add the blue availability badge, you’ll use Connects. The goal of charging Connects is to ensure the badge is used only when talent is truly open to taking on new projects and clients. This way, both talent and clients are able to take more control over their workflows. Some key features:

 

  • Turn the badge on and off as needed to better control communication about when you’re ready to take on new projects and clients. 
  • Only pay for the badge as long as you have it turned on. If you turn off the badge, you will no longer be charged Connects. Likewise if your Connects balance runs out, the badge will also turn off.
  • Set the maximum number of Connects per week you’d like to use on the badge. This allows you to take control over when the badge should be turned off automatically by our system. Tell us the maximum number of Connects you’re willing to pay to display the availability badge, and if the market price for the badge exceeds your maximum, our system will automatically turn off your badge. If the badge price drops below your stated maximum and you want to have the badge on, you will need to go back to your profile settings and turn the badge on. 
  • During testing, the price will not change more than once per week.

 

The price of the badge may fluctuate as the feature is more broadly released, based in part on the demand for the badge:

 

  • If more freelancers add the badge, more Connects will be required to turn the badge on and keep it on. If fewer freelancers are using it, fewer Connects will be needed. 
  • The fluctuation is to ensure that market demand drives the cost. While you have the badge on, 1 Connect will be deducted from your balance at a time. Depending on the weekly price of the badge, the frequency of these 1-Connect charges will vary. 
  • If the weekly price of the badge goes above your max price, then the badge will automatically turn off and you will stop being charged. If the weekly price of the badge does not go above your max price, you will be charged the new price until your weekly maximum is reached or you turn off the badge. Visit our Help article for pricing examples.

Screen Shot 2021-07-14 at 2.02.37 PM.png

 

 

How is this different from the existing availability setting?

 

Turning on the availability badge is a way to use your Connects to get more work when you need it. Unlike current availability settings, which only allow talent to set their hours of availability, when you have the availability badge turned on:

 

Clients will see your availability badge in search results, recommendations, and on your profile, and will know you’re ready for new work (see image below). Think of it as a way to help market yourself through search results! 

 

                                          Screen Shot 2021-07-14 at 2.01.48 PM.png  Screen Shot 2021-07-14 at 2.02.00 PM.png

 

While the availability badge will be visible in search results, it will not, however, improve your rank results. Because of this, it is currently recommended for freelancers who are frequently asked by clients to apply to jobs, are currently open to more invitations, and are ready to work right now.



To turn the availability badge on: 

  1. Go to Profile Settings > Edit Profile > Click the icon next to “Availability badge”. 
  2. Set your maximum amount of Connects you want to spend in one week to keep the badge on (if the price changes to exceed this number, we will turn the badge off for you).
  3. Click “Turn on”



For more information, please visit our Help article.

 

Please share your feedback with us as we continue testing so we can understand your experience, expectations, and ideas and help you get more work in the marketplace.

2a05aa63
Community Guru
Viacheslav K Member Since: Sep 9, 2015
2 of 110

It's a VERY confusing feature. Seems more like a desperation meter for who will bet more to have the badge. And it doesn't really guarantee for the freelancer to be online during that time since it doesn't seem to have adjustable hours.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
3 of 110

Hi Viacheslav and Audrey,

 

The badge signals availability to receive more invites now. Our recommendation currently is to turn the badge on when you really want more invites, and to turn it off when you’re at capacity. We appreciate feedback about availability being different depending on the type of project and we’ll be taking it into consideration as we continue to test and improve.

~ Valeria
Upwork
audrey1111
Ace Contributor
Audrey S Member Since: Sep 26, 2020
4 of 110

Weird.

 

This kind of gamification makes Upwork seem much less appealing and professional to me as a freelancer. We're not Uber drivers.

 

Also, "available now" is too binary a setting... one could be available for an hour-long immediate project, but not one that would take a week or a month, or vice versa. The current settings of 30+ hours, less than 30 hours, and not available are MUCH more useful.

geri_kol
Ace Contributor
Gergana K Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
5 of 110

This is such a gimmick. It looks, sounds, and smells like the classical "solution looking for a problem." But what is the "problem" this feature is aiming to fix? That freelancers by and large are too busy to accept new projects and therefore are turning down too many client invitations? Or that freelancers who rarely land any projects are asking for more bells and whistles on their profiles, thinking that having one more random adjustable setting will somehow magically help them get jobs? Who stands to gain anything from this, other than Upwork trying to get desperate FLs to purchase more connects? I don´t get it. 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 110

Hi Gergana,

 

A common problem we’re trying to address for clients is sending invites to talent who are not available to receive invites at that particular time, even though they keep their profile public. We’re also trying to provide talent with a better way to signal to clients that they are actively seeking new work. In general, we believe this badge may be most beneficial to freelancers who already catch the eye of clients because they have a history of doing great work on our site. So, for example, if you already receive invites on a regular basis, we anticipate this badge will be a good tool for you. Of course, testing will tell us more.

~ Valeria
Upwork
a_lipsey
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
7 of 110

Valeria K wrote:

Hi Gergana,

 

A common problem we’re trying to address for clients is sending invites to talent who are not available to receive invites at that particular time, even though they keep their profile public. We’re also trying to provide talent with a better way to signal to clients that they are actively seeking new work. In general, we believe this badge may be most beneficial to freelancers who already catch the eye of clients because they have a history of doing great work on our site. So, for example, if you already receive invites on a regular basis, we anticipate this badge will be a good tool for you. Of course, testing will tell us more.


Valeria, but the reason we may not be available at the time of invite is that the client wants a substantial amount of last minute work and we can't drop everything to do it. 

 

I juggle numerous projects at once. Almost all of the invites I have received in the last week had last minute turnaround times that I am not available for. However, for clients who have given their projects the appropriate amount of time to discuss and complete, I do have time for. 

 

The reasons we decline invites aren't always the whole truth. So now, I'd have to buy this badge to show a client I'm available, but I'm still going to decline invites from clients who want 40 hours of work done in 2 days.

wescowley
Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
8 of 110

Amanda L wrote:


Valeria, but the reason we may not be available at the time of invite is that the client wants a substantial amount of last minute work and we can't drop everything to do it. 

 

I juggle numerous projects at once. Almost all of the invites I have received in the last week had last minute turnaround times that I am not available for. However, for clients who have given their projects the appropriate amount of time to discuss and complete, I do have time for. 

 

The reasons we decline invites aren't always the whole truth. So now, I'd have to buy this badge to show a client I'm available, but I'm still going to decline invites from clients who want 40 hours of work done in 2 days.


Exactly. If this gets rolled out or I wind up in the test, I'll almost certainly have this on 100% of the time, because my availability for a specific project depends on what they're asking for and what their timeline is. I've turned down invitations when I had no work on my plate because while I could take the work, I couldn't deliver it in the timeframe they needed. And I accept invitations when I'm booked 3 or 4 weeks out because it's something I can squeeze in or the client has longer deadlines that will work out.

 

One size doesn't fit all here.  

 

a_lipsey
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
9 of 110

Wes C wrote:

Amanda L wrote:


Valeria, but the reason we may not be available at the time of invite is that the client wants a substantial amount of last minute work and we can't drop everything to do it. 

 

I juggle numerous projects at once. Almost all of the invites I have received in the last week had last minute turnaround times that I am not available for. However, for clients who have given their projects the appropriate amount of time to discuss and complete, I do have time for. 

 

The reasons we decline invites aren't always the whole truth. So now, I'd have to buy this badge to show a client I'm available, but I'm still going to decline invites from clients who want 40 hours of work done in 2 days.


Exactly. If this gets rolled out or I wind up in the test, I'll almost certainly have this on 100% of the time, because my availability for a specific project depends on what they're asking for and what their timeline is. I've turned down invitations when I had no work on my plate because while I could take the work, I couldn't deliver it in the timeframe they needed. And I accept invitations when I'm booked 3 or 4 weeks out because it's something I can squeeze in or the client has longer deadlines that will work out.

 

One size doesn't fit all here.  

 


Exactly, Wes. I am actually booked out through December 2021. But I still respond to invites that have the appropriate amount of lead time for me to work in as I do have capacity here and there if it's the RIGHT project. I decline a lot of projects saying I'm too busy because the project is clearly disorganized and a mess, and I don't have time or energy to deal with that. Whereas another project I may take on because the client has their act together. It seems to me that problem isn't freelancer availability, but client planning and disorganization. 

amt17
Community Guru
Annette E Member Since: Mar 17, 2018
10 of 110

Valeria K wrote:

 

A common problem we’re trying to address for clients is sending invites to talent who are not available to receive invites at that particular time.


If that is the problem you want to solve, then add a calendar where we can show availability.

 

It is hardly a competitive parameter to be "available now" (one could wonder how sought after you actually are if you're instantly available 24/7).

 

I assume that a lot of us plan our work weeks or at least days in advance to avoid non-earning gaps.

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