I think it has to do with 3 factors. People, budgets, and time.
Who have you worked with? Not their names, but their personality types. How many different types of directors, how many different types of producers? How many different directors and producers from different geographic regions from your country? How many other countries? Most importantly, how many of them came back specifically to work with you and not just “at the studio where you worked”?
Basic people skills, understanding cultural subtleties, and story telling psychology are all more important than how many credits of “sound designer” you have garnered.
How many different budget ranges have you been involved with directly? How many budgets have you prepared for a client and then had to determine if you could still afford to pay your friend to work with you? How many “impossible deadlined” budgets have you succeeded at?
How many times have you worked on this type of “design” project, once, a hundred times? How many other types of projects have you designed? How many people will vouch for you and send you contracts as said designer? Turn off your internet, other than your immediate editorial colleagues, who can you actually call right now to have a physical voice on the phone vouching for you?
There are many other parameters to consider as well, but this is just my 3 cents here today, I hope it helps…