If you had 20 good references and you have a bad week and get a bad one – your reputation is still in tack. How no references and getting your first one can be super hard – so when you do get it – 100% makes sure it’s going to be good. Or it’s all over. Sell yourself, but never lie: Add a load of fake references, say you can build a house when you have no clue and this will get you nowhere. One bad review saying you are a fake will kill your chances of getting more work. Add in all the skills you want to get experience in and be honest with the host that you have not done it before, but are REALLY keen to learn and will work double hard to get the experience and a good reference. If you have no experience, go and do a tuff job but somebody has to do it locally before you leave on your travels and get them to write you a review. It shows you are willing to do anything to get the experience you want.
Hosts all started somewhere. They will see your keenness and honesty and they will do all they can to help you on your way. Lie, and they will destroy you in one review and it’s all over. So sell yourself, but be honest, set low expectations and over-deliver and your first 5 references will all be 10/10.