How to Price Your Services as a Freelancer

How to Price Your Services as a Freelancer

As a freelancer, we can set our prices to what we want. It is a free market! The problem is, a free market doesn’t readily accept what you demand. You need to find someone who will pay you happily for the value you can give.

For most aspiring freelancers, what is that value? What is the proper amount to charge your prospective clients? 

 

Agencies vs. Freelancing

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Agencies vs. Freelancing

Before tackling this, you must understand one other option. If you don’t know what to charge and you’re afraid to set a figure, an agency might be a proper fit for you. Reputable remote working agencies will offer you a decent amount of money based on your market value in the geographical area you’re in.

For example, you are staying in Manila as an SEO expert. You can expect to have an offer for similar jobs in Manila. Don’t expect Canadian rates or Australian rates. But at least, you are fairly compensated in your geographical location.

 

The Movement to Insourcing

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The Movement to Insourcing

In freelancing, it’s different. You can charge as much as you want, even the international rates. 

But be wary. Some people charge high amounts, but they can’t deliver the job worth that price. That’s why some international companies are moving to “insourcing.”

If you are not familiar, a country (for example, Australia) has different wages per region. The salaries vary if you employ in Sydney compared to Hobart. 

Insourcing means that instead of outsourcing in other countries like the Philippines, they opt to get talent inside Australia but in a different region. In this case, a Sydney-based company might get from Hobart rather than Sydney. Mainly because of their bad experiences with incompetent talent abroad. 

 

Giving Value to Your Clients

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Giving Value to Your Clients

We don’t want that to taint the freelance market we are enjoying. Therefore, it all boils down to what value you can give. 

Are you listening to what your clients really want, not what they are just saying? Do you understand the effort involved in reaching that goal? This is the mindset you should have when pricing your services. 

  • Know what they want. 
  • Know what needs to be done and how long to finish it. 
  • Know the value it can give to their business.

For example, someone might be paying you $500 to get leads that can give $10,000 in sales. It’s a no brainer. 

 

Check the Market

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Check the Market

With the clients in mind, you need to have a ballpark figure on the average prices of the services you can give. 

You can check online job boards for similar services and how it’s priced. It’s also good to know trusted people in the industry to guide you in pricing. Find FB groups in your niche. Look for mentors that have experience already. 

You can use that as a starting point to charge your prices. 

 

The Worth of Your Time

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The Worth of Your Time

Next, you need to know how much you are worth per hour. This is a subjective question that can be answered in multiple ways. You can start by identifying the total amount of your average expenses and your desired savings. 

Using that figure, divide it by the number of hours you are realistically willing to work. That’s your desired rate. And then, compare the rate with the market rate you found from your peers or on the job boards. 

Your desired rate might be higher than what you are currently valued in the market. Don’t be hopeless. At least, you know now the things you need to work on to achieve your desired rate.

Our worth increases with the number of problems we can solve. Instead of moping, learn new things and have the confidence to take on bigger problems to get higher rates.

Likewise, there will also come a time when you will have an influx of clients. Your time is worth more because of the demand. You can now dictate your prices for projects that are worth your time and extra effort. 

 

Charge Per Project, Not Per Hour

For freelancing gigs, it might be best to charge per project, not per hour. Roughly, you should know how much time it would take to finish a project. Why should you be constricted with hours if you can finish it faster?

If it would take you 3 days to finish a $1000 project, would it matter if your daily price is $100? Your quality work at the amount of time you spend will still be worth $1000 to the client who will take advantage of it.

Charge per project to have more flexibility with your time.

 

Ask their Budget

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Ask their Budget

Sometimes, the answer is right in front of you. It’s good to ask your prospective clients, “what is the scope of your project, and what is your budget?”

With your knowledge of the pricing of your services in mind, you will know if the budget is fair for you. Sometimes, it might even be higher compared to your expectations.

 

Check the Value It Can Give to You

What if you don’t get the price you want? You can still negotiate if you can. But sometimes, you should look at what the project can give to you. If you see that it’s:

  • a doorway to more opportunities
  • a cause you want to support
  • an interesting project you will enjoy

By all means, take it even if the payment is not that high. After all, our long term goals and happiness come first, right? With that, good luck with your freelancing career!

 

Top 10 Freelancers You Should Follow This 2020

Top 10 Freelancers You Should Follow This 2020

The freelancing industry is booming in the Philippines, especially for the past year. In fact, at 35% growth, we are ranked number 6 in the world for the fastest growing country in terms of freelancing income. 

You might ask: if the PH freelancing community is generally increasing income, why are you earning roughly the same pay? Or better yet, why have you not started your freelancing journey?

There are multiple factors, but one solution can definitely help you succeed. It’s modeling success from people who have made it. By imitating their beliefs and teachings, you can increase your chances of making it in your career.

And for this year, we want to share our list of top 10 freelancers you should follow this 2020.

 

Raisa Lydelie Sarah Santos

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Facebook

Raisa Lydelie Sarah Santos

Selling is the lifeblood of every company. If you don’t have a product or service that sells, soon enough, you won’t have a business anymore. 

One proven way to sell is through highly converting landing pages. And Raisa Lydelie Sarah Santos can help you do just that. Known as the Funnel Queen, Raisa helps businesses double their sales in just 60 days by using well-designed Click funnels and video campaigns, such as webinars. She even created a copy that converted $100,000 in less than 24 hours.

Imagine if you can do even half of that,  how would your career change? Heck, even 5% of that would make a huge impact. Raisa is definitely a must-follow for 2020.

 

Niel-Reichl

Niel Reichl

As much as possible, you have to service your clients the earliest they ask. But it’s not easy to be online 100% of the time. Also, some potential clients just need to have that special subtle push to buy your product, but can you be there all the time to do it?

It is the reason why chatbots are becoming a trend in digital marketing for 2020. A chatbot allows a company to answer simple questions as soon as they are asked. Furthermore, a well-programmed chatbot can sell effectively for you, 24/7.

The best authority in the Philippines for chatbots is no other than Niel Reichl. Niel is the Head of Marketing for Bottbott industries, and they help businesses get at least 20% more sales from automated sales funnels.

Those are big numbers considering they service clients with at least $3M businesses! Definitely follow him to learn more about the potential of Chatbots. For starters, you can check our exclusive interview with him last Working Remote 2019.

 

Raf Marabut

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Facebook

Raf Marabut

We can use the most expensive platform possible, but there is no replacement for a good copy. There is power in our words. And we need to know how to formulate the right headlines and content to make our clients buy our products or services. 

There is an art in persuading people to buy willingly. Interested? 

That’s why copywriting sensei Raf Marabut is a must-follow for 2020. Raf has worked with hundreds of 6-figure and 7-figure businesses and boosted their sales through his copy.

Right now, he devotes most of his time in honing the skills of other Filipinos to a lucrative copywriting career through his FB page Copywriting Dojo, Inner Circle programs, and mentorships. 

Upgrade your copywriting skills by following him this 2020.

 

Allan Ngo

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Youtube

Allan Ngo

With all the digital tools right now, you might think email marketing is outdated.

That’s not true. Email marketing is still effective in 2020. It’s still a cost-effective way to reach out to your consumers. You just need to know the email copy that works. 

Following Allan Ngo will help you in that craft. He is the founder of the “Truly Rich Club blog” and the president of Digital Solopreneur, which helps Filipinos run a one-person online business that gets you paid. He teaches skills in email marketing, list building, and sales conversion.

Follow him to have a thriving business even if your only employee is yourself.

 

Joel Quebral

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Xing.com

Joel Quebral 

Where do you find premium clients? Why is it rare in freelancing boards?! Do you need to be born into an influential family?! Do you need to be the top 1 of your industry? Why are you shouting so much?! No.

Your search is over. One of the best ways is through LinkedIn Prospecting. There are countless times where Filipinos get their high-paying clients by going directly to businesses on LinkedIn, even if they are not the “best,” as some may say.

But it’s not that easy. Joel Quebral can mentor you on how to approach prospective clients even if you don’t have the years of experience. 

He is the founder of VA Blueprint Academy. He teaches how to become a virtual assistant while finding premium clients on LinkedIn. Follow him to take advantage of the opportunities.

 

Anna Soriano

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VA Bootcamp

Anna Soriano 

Becoming a virtual assistant is an accessible way to enter the remote workforce. A lot of clients need to delegate certain tasks to virtual assistants to free-up their time for important ones. But how do you start becoming one?

Anna Soriano can help you achieve that. As a core member of VA Bootcamp, she embodies what VA Bootcamp teaches. She is currently a top-rated Upwork freelancer. And she hosts the “JAS Success” and “FLIP chat and chill” under the VA Bootcamp’s FB page. Follow her in her webinars to get additional skills for your freelancing practice.

 

Jan Briones

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Quora.com

Jan Briones

Another aspect of sales is gathering leads. Where can you find the right people to sell to? Jan Briones has an answer to your qualms. 

Jan is a Lead Generation specialist and online business consultant that helps businesses get quality leads from LinkedIn and social media. She founded JB & Associates PH (a BPO training firm) and Connected by Humans (a lead generation specialist firm).

If you need to learn the how-tos of lead generation, she is the perfect person to follow. 

 

AJ-Dimarucot

AJ Dimarucot

Have you ever wondered how it feels to design for top brands like Nike and Adidas? Would you like to be in that position yourself?

If you want the guidance, AJ Dimarucot is the guy to follow. He has designed for international clothing lines, athletes for the NFL, MLB, and iconic brands like Coca-cola, Star Wars, and Marvel. How cool is that?

Right now, he started the group “Filipinomads Creative Network” to help fellow Filipino creatives have the same opportunities in graphic design and more. It’s the place where you can find tips, resources, and freelancing gigs for your career.

 

Ce Mojica-Mercado

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Ce Mojica-Mercado 

The era of podcasts is coming to us. As people are becoming busier, they might not have the time to watch video content as they want to. Podcasts now grew because you can listen to insightful ideas while doing some other tasks. 

Not to mention, it produces high engagement rates compared to Facebook. Would you not want that additional skill in your arsenal? 

Ce Mojica-Mercado is one of the people to follow for podcasting. She is a podcast manager who helps brands tell their story. If you want to learn how to manage podcasts, properly polish episodes, and SEO-optimize your podcasts, she is the person to listen to *pun intended*.  

 

Daisy Virtudazo

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Youtube

Daisy Virtudazo

There are times when we get overwhelmed with all the responsibilities in our business. As we grow our operations, we are buried with more and more tasks at hand. It’s time to streamline our business operations. After all, freelancing is also a business.

With Daisy Virtudazo, she can help you in clearing out the inefficiencies in your business systems so that you can have more time for the important things. Follow her on to get some ideas to better your workflow.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Jennette-Cajucom

Jennette Cajucom

The freelancing market is opening to more and more players worldwide. With that influx of talent, is the market saturated? How can you differentiate yourself from the rest? 

Branding comes to mind. And Jennette Cajucom can help you with that. Jennette is currently the editor for Marketing in Asia Philippines and a TEDx Speaker that advocates on human-centered branding.

Often times, marketing has been all flair; the human element is slowly fading from the mix. If you want to differentiate yourself, you need to incorporate your REAL personality and STORY in your narrative. Follow Jennette to have that human edge over the rest.

Check out our exclusive interview with her last Working Remote 2019.

 

Rhea Agnes

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LinkedIn

Rhea Agnes 

Being a mother might be the best thing that happened in your life. But taking care of your kids as often might not be possible when you work an office job. Traffic alone consumes 3 hours of your life. Is there another option to have the time?

Yes! Remote working allowed countless Filipino Moms to earn income while giving them time to their kids, especially in their growing years. How can you do it also?

Follow Rhea Agnes, the head of FHMoms Online University, to guide you in transitioning to your remote working career. On top of that, she is a project manager for different clients and a mompreneur as well. 

Have time for your family while providing a sizable income with remote working. 

 

Chris Acebu

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LinkedIn

Chris Acebu 

It’s hard to find the right customers. Moreso, getting them to buy your product or service. But worry not, Chris Acebu can aid you in your endeavors.

Chris can teach you how to apply clarity, personality, and resonance in your sales copy. Get your clients to buy your product happily with Chris Acebu’s guidance! Follow him!

 

Yuri Aquino

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LinkedIn

Yuri Aquino

Now that we know how to get leads for ourselves, the next question is, how do you get leads from LinkedIn for your clients? Yuri Aquino has the answer for your troubling questions.

Yuri Aquino is a Linked in Marketer helping businesses get consistent quality leads by getting your messaging write. Check out her profile to learn more.

 

Nica Valdeavilla

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LinkedIn

Nica Valdeavilla 

Another tool to find the best leads is Facebook. With over 2.45 Billion users, tapping just a portion of that market will spell thousands of sales. But it’s not that easy.

There are certain strategies you need to use to have an effective FB ad campaign. And Nica Valdeavilla can show you how. She is an FB Ads Strategist helping businesses create 3 to 7 times Facebook Return on Ad Spend. 

Learn more FB strategies when you follow her!

Conclusion

There you have it! These are people you can model for 2020 to achieve the results you’ve always wanted. With that, let’s have a productive 2020! Good luck!

 

6 Practical Tips to Make Your Awesome CV for your Remote Working Career

6 Practical Tips to Make Your Awesome CV for your Remote Working Career

If you want to get your dream remote work, you should be able to market yourself as someone who can get things done. Out of all the freelancers out there, why will they choose you? You need to stand out in the screening process. 

Your clients may not have the time to get to know all the applicants one by one. Usually, the first thing the clients will see is your curriculum vitae (CV). In Latin, Curriculum Vitae means “the course of my life.” It encompasses the academic and career achievements we received in our life. 

How to make one, you ask? Do we just list everything we have done? Well, the answer would depend. Creating an impressive CV is not that simple. 

Worry not, though. We will help you create a stunning CV to land your desired remote work. Here are 6 tips to make your awesome CV for your remote working career.

 

Have The Right Mindset

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Have The Right Mindset

Your CV is a tool to market yourself to your prospective clients. And in marketing, your mindset should be to contribute. How can you help the client get what they want? 

Think about it. In your client’s shoes, what kind of remote worker do they want to hire for the job? You can find clues in their job posting. Keep this in mind when writing your CV. It will help you choose what to include and not to add.

 

Tailor Fit Your CV to the Position You're Applying For

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Tailor Fit Your CV to the Position You’re Applying For

Yes, you don’t have to include everything in your CV. Your recruiters don’t have the time to read your autobiography. Basically, your CV should consist of the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact Number
  • Email Address
  • Home Address
  • Summary of Qualifications
  • Skills/Technical Expertise
  • Work Experience (Detailed job responsibilities and accomplishments)
  • Educational Background
  • Character Reference

Remember, if you are applying for an accounting gig, only add accounting relevant entries. If it’s for a telemarketing posting, only include your experience and skills relevant in telemarketing.

I know you are good at cooking. But I don’t think it would matter when you’re proving your telemarketing skills. In certain instances, you can also include your previous work or sample portfolios. If applicable, certifications can also add credibility to your application as well.

 

Highlight the Most Relevant Information

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Highlight the Most Relevant Information

Again, your target client will just skim through a lot of applicant’s CVs. When drafting your CV, you should highlight the essential details first. Let it stand out from the rest.

For example, you might have experienced servicing 25 clients for the past 2 years. But you don’t need to include each and every one of them. Only include the ones that are similar to the clients you are targeting. It just shows that you have experience handling problems in the same industry.

You don’t want them to miss crucial information about you just because you cluttered your CV with unnecessary stuff. Again, think about what they want and adjust accordingly.

 

Be Creative with Your CV's format

Be Creative with Your CV’s format

One way to make a striking first impression is a uniquely designed CV. With free software today like Canva, you can create a CV that is visually pleasing enough to stand out from the rest. Here are some examples:

 

Sample 1 Sample 2

 

If you are not creative enough to design one, here is a resume builder complete with templates you can tinker on. You can also check out this video tutorial to guide you in creating your resumes.

 

Check Your CV for Errors

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Check Your CV for Errors

We are not perfect. We can overlook some parts of our CV. But as much as possible, our CV should be spotless from grammatical and design errors. 

Triple-check your work. Some recruiters might disregard your application just because of a simple error, such as “you’re and your.” And you don’t want that.

You can let someone proofread your application or use apps like Grammarly to check for things you might have missed.

 

Be Honest

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Be Honest!

Remote work revolves around trust. There should be a standard of confidence that you can do your job without their supervision because you are not physically working with them. 

Imagine what they would think if you lied on your application? 

If you didn’t graduate that course or you didn’t do that service for a client, do not fake it! Do not include qualifications that aren’t true in your CV. Please be honest!

The remote working community is a closely-knit one. You don’t want to be branded a fraud or be blacklisted in your future applications.

 

It’s Now Time to Create Your CV

Remember, there is no single perfect CV. Just always think of your prospective clients first. How can you help them with their goals? 

If you’re applying through a reputable remote working agency, most will help you edit your CV to fit your client’s qualifications perfectly. You can visit this link for reputable agencies you can start with. 

With that, I hope you can prepare the best CV to get accepted! Good luck!

 

How to Register in the BIR as a Freelancer?

How to Register in the BIR as a Freelancer?

Freelancing is growing in the Philippines. More and more Filipinos choose the time and location flexibility over traditional work setups. It might be for more time for the family or passion projects. After all, you only live once. Might as well live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

But as this sector grows, not all Filipinos register their professions. Why should you, when you will lose your hard-earned money? It might be true, but there are advantages when you register your practice.

For one, you can use your income tax returns for financial applications like loans, visas for travel, credit cards, and more. Also, you can issue receipts for more prominent clients in the Philippines. And it’s quite easy to register. Here is how to register in the BIR as a Freelancer.

 

Things to Bring

Before we start, here are the necessary documents and items you need to prepare before going to the BIR.

  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Contract (if married)
  • NSO Birth Certificate of Dependents (if you have dependents)
  • Community Tax Certificate (commonly known as Cedula)
  • Billing Statement with Address
  • Philippine-issued valid ID (here is a list you can check)
  • Occupational Tax Receipt or Professional Tax Receipt
  • Books of Accounts (General Journal, General Ledger, Cash Receipts Journal, Cash Disbursements Journal)

 

What if Your NEW RDO is not the same as the OLD one_

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Trepup

Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) or Occupational Tax Receipt (OTR)

If you haven’t heard about this, this is the tax professionals pay per year to the local government. 

The PTR or OTR is like your business permit to practice your profession. PTR is for licensed professionals (such as doctors, accountants, etc.) and OTR is for non-licensed professionals (such as Graphic Designers, Writers, etc.)

Just go to your city hall or municipal hall to get one. You are required to bring your Community Tax Certificate. The amount you have to pay varies. But usually, it’s around 150 PHP to 300 PHP.

 

Look for your Revenue District Office

The first step is finding your Revenue District Office (RDO). The BIR has a lot of branches in the Philippines. Your TIN Number (Tax Identification Number) should be registered in the area you are working in. 

So if you live in Quezon City, you should be registered in the RDO your address is located in. The easiest way is to contact the BIR hotline for the exact RDO you should go to. Hotline Numbers:

  • 981-7003 
  • 981-7020 
  • 981-7040
  • 981-7046

 

Do You Have a TIN_

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Tough Nickel

Do You Have a TIN?

After finding your RDO, the next question is, do you have a TIN? If you don’t have, you need to apply for one. You need to fill in:

  • Form 1901 (1 & 2)(For first-time registrants for Self-Employed Individuals)
  • Form 0605 (Payment Form for the Registration)

You just need to submit this and pay for a P500 registration fee. Afterwards, you will be given your Certificate of Registration (COR), and you need to schedule a BIR seminar.

 

If Yes, Is it Registered in Your New RDO?

If you already have a TIN, you just have to update your information. First, check if you are registered in your current RDO. If yes, you just need to update your profession to include your new freelancing profession. You need:

  • Form 1905 (Update of Registration for those with an existing TIN)
  • Form 0605 (Payment Form for the Registration)

After submitting the requirements and paying for the registration, you will receive your Certificate of Registration (COR), and you need to schedule a seminar for BIR.

 

What if Your NEW RDO is not the same as the OLD one?

Sometimes, we may have a TIN, but then we are registered in the RDO of our previous company, which most likely is not your area of residence/practice.

With this, you just need to update your information with

Form 1905 (Update of Registration for those with an existing TIN)

  1. Fill out section 4E for “Change in Registered Address.”
  2. Put a check on “Transfer of Home RDO.”
  3. Fill out Your New RDO
  4. Fill out Your New Address

Submit the form to your OLD RDO. The request will be processed after one week. Return to your NEW RDO and do the steps above to register your freelancing practice.

 

Registering Your Book of Accounts

After registering your practice, don’t go yet. You need to register a couple of things more before you live. One is your book of accounts. BIR requires us to bring record our transactions along the way. And these books need to be registered in the BIR. The books you need are:

  • General Journal
  • General Ledger
  • Cash Receipts Journal
  • Cash Disbursements Journal

 

Registering Your “Authority to Print” for Receipts

The last thing you need is an “authority to print” for your receipts. It is a document that authorizes you to print receipts for transactions.

After getting this document, you can have your receipts printed from accredited printers. You can get the list of accredited companies in the RDO. These receipts are valid for five years of use.

 

Ask the Officer of the Day

If you are overwhelmed with all the information, every RDO has an officer of the day. You can just ask them for the processes you don’t understand so that you’ll be guided accordingly.

With that, congratulations! You are now registered as a freelancer!!

 

Is Remote Working Right For Your Personality?

Is Remote Working Right For Your Personality?

Not all careers are for everyone. There are certain skill sets and personalities that are perfect for every job. The same is true with remote work. Wondering what personality traits can be ideal for remote working? Here are some:

 

Independent

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Independent

You will be working alone when remote working. You have to be independent to take care of your own needs. You should have the capability to do the tasks alone and without much supervision — your internet, your equipment, and, most importantly, your productivity. You are accountable for everything.

 

Self-Disciplined

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Self-Disciplined

Remote workers don’t have a boss looking at your every move. So you have to boss yourself around. 

The problem with new remote workers is that they tend to slack off because no one is watching them. 

At first, you may find it challenging to do so. You can use a tracker or a Pomodoro timer to help you gauge your productivity. Or use a planner for your tasks. 

The bottom line is you have to be self-disciplined enough to work on your hours. 

 

Structured and Organized

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Structured and Organized

And speaking of working hours, remote workers might have irregular working timetables. Most can work anytime they want. 

But you need to be structured and organized with the time you have. It’s common for remote workers to procrastinate until you don’t have enough time to finish your daily tasks. Structure your day with specific hours of working time. 

 

Proactive

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Proactive

Alongside being independent, you should be proactive with your career. Plan ahead. 

Anticipate what needs to be done to improve your team’s productivity. What are the tasks that things that need improvements? Your proactive can be the difference between a mediocre or a flourishing freelancing career.

 

Can Communicate Well

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Can Communicate Well

To foster good working relationships, you should know how to communicate your ideas well. The problem with remote working is that you don’t communicate face-to-face. You don’t see non-verbal cues. And people might misunderstand you. 

Communication is a crucial trait for every remote worker. By practicing proper communication, you can avoid these misunderstandings and head collaborative work effectively.

 

Personality Types Great for Remote Work

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Personality Types Great for Remote Work

As to personality types, the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can be a way to find if you can be for remote work. The MBTI is a psychological test that is theorized by Carl Jung. He explains that people usually experience the world with the parameters: Sensation, Intuition, Feeling, and Thinking.

The results of the test will give you a combination of four letters that roughly represents your personality.

Take note, though, that human personalities are complicated. And this is pseudoscience. The results may not reflect your exact personality. But then, it can roughly give you an idea of what your personality might be. You can take the test here

Based on these combinations, the best MBTI personalities for remote working are:

If you check their profiles, these personalities can usually work alone well and don’t adhere to the norm. 

 

What If I Don’t have These Traits and Personalities_

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What If I Don’t Have These Traits and Personalities?

Remember that not having these qualities or specific personalities doesn’t hinder you from becoming a successful remote worker. 

Yes, these are advantages if you have them, but some of these traits can be learned along the way. Don’t get discouraged. The worst thing is being afraid to try and not knowing if you actually can do it. 

So go on and try out remote working. You’ll never know. It might be the best decision you’ll ever make in your life.

 

7 New Year Goals for Your Freelancing Career 

7 New Year Goals for Your Freelancing Career 

It’s the time of the year again where we try to start anew and be better people in general. How was your new year’s resolution last year? Did you hit any milestones? Chances are, you haven’t.

In fact, there is a study by Strava that found out people quit their New Year’s resolution as early as the  12th day of the year. Even if you start with the Gregorian Calendar January 1 New Year or a much later Chinese New Year, you would not have made it through the entire year.

 

Set Goals, Not Resolutions

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Set Goals, Not Resolutions

That’s understandable. Resolutions hold a lot of weight and pressure on us. It’s firmly reforming ourselves to an ideal self, which is usually all or nothing. And it adds that we try to resolve something we hate in ourselves. 

It might work for some (around 8% keep their resolutions), but we tend to hate ourselves more if we don’t hit it. It’s a never-ending cycle of self-hate and disappointment.

On the other hand, goals are just guiding targets that we hit to be focused on our efforts. Proper goals are specific and challenging enough to stretch us. But not so hard that it discourages us from attaining it. With that said, here are 7 New Year goals for your freelancing career.

 

Career Development and Personal Growth

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Career Development and Personal Growth

You have to be upskilling to remain relevant in your freelancing career. What you know now might not be the most effective practice in the future. Assess yourself. What needs to be improved in your skillset for the next year? (You can check out this link for sample self-assessment test.)

Make sure to be informed by taking classes and attending seminars related to your field and personal growth.

 

Be Active in Communities

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Be Active in Communities

Another way to upskill is to be active in freelancing communities. Communities (such as the FFAC group) contribute insights and updates in the industry. Sometimes, it also has free webinars you can consume to enhance your craft.

 

Network with People

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Network with People

More than the learnings, it’s also a way to network with people in your field. In business, it’s not what you know but who you know that counts. And freelancing should be treated as a business.

With the wider network, you can gain more reach for potential clients. If you do your craft well, you can get referred by your friends. But don’t do this for the sake of money. Just genuinely be interested in meeting new people. Forge new relationships. Regardless if you get monetary compensation or not, you might have found a lifelong friend in the process.

 

Reconnect With People

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Reconnect With People

New and old relationships should be nurtured. Being a freelancer is a lonely road. You don’t get to meet a lot of people. And most of our friends don’t experience the lifestyle we do have. That’s why for this year, aim to reconnect with your friends.

Why not chat with them over video or a messaging app just to catch-up or banter. Also, you can set the time for a reunion. These relationships are priceless. So aim to cultivate them further.

 

Protect Your Mental Health

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Protect Your Mental Health

It’s the year to finally think about your mental health. Freelancers experience not only loneliness but also burnout, especially if you are juggling many clients. 

It’s time to step aside and relax. Meditate. Spend time for vacations.

You might think that you are wasting your billable time with these activities. I did so too. But, the healing you get from this respite will boost your productivity more than you can imagine. 

 

Raise Your Prices and Delegate

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Raise Your Prices and Delegate

Last year was a productive year. You learned a lot and gained new clients. And you get referred by a lot of people nowadays.

The problem is, you may not have the time to cater to all possible clients next year. Time to exclaim the proverbial: “Sana all.” Kidding aside, this truly happens when you do the right things. 

If you can’t manage all the opportunities, it might be time to raise your prices. Yes, ask for an increase. And when you’re at it, check for tasks and projects that can be delegated to other freelancers. With your supervision, you can have more income this coming year.

 

Register your Freelancing Business

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Remit Australia

Register your Freelancing Business

If you haven’t already, legalize your profession. It’s time to register as a freelancer in the Philippines. You may not be nationalistic to “help your country by paying taxes.”

But think about it. When you register, you can now offer your services to more prominent corporations. You finally have a receipt!

You can also use your tax returns for different purposes, like visa and loan applications. It might be an added expense, but it can definitely benefit you.

 

Conclusion

There are a lot of goals that we can set for next year. With these 7 in mind, I hope you reach newer heights in your freelancing career. Good luck!

 

6 Ways to Spot Freelancing Scams Online

6 Ways to Spot Freelancing Scams Online

The freelancing market brought opportunities to Filipinos like never before. Right now, you can earn a decent (or even higher) income while staying at home (or wherever you want). You currently have more time and location flexibility for things that matter the most.  It even has career growth.

Who doesn’t want that, right?

But then, some unscrupulous people prey on the hopes of others. Instead of being a productive citizen, they scam aspiring freelancers who are looking for remote work. And when we are scammed, it’s hard to get back the time and the money taken from us.

We should be vigilant and guard ourselves against possible deceit. Here are 6 ways to spot freelancing scams online.

 

Research about the Company and Your Contact Person

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Research about the Company and Your Contact Person

When you are applying, or someone approached you, it’s your job to check the legitimacy of the company. Research about the possible business you are working for. Check their website. Google their company name for scams or scandals they have been into. 

Also, check your contact person. Try googling his name or asking for social media accounts like a LinkedIn profile to check if he really represents the company he is hiring for.

 

Check the Project Scope

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Check the Project Scope

Some scammers give out a very vague project scope so that they can milk you more when you start working.

Ask them what exactly they need from you. For example, you are doing digital marketing for them. What are the social media platforms they would be using? What marketing collaterals do they need for the project? 

The last thing you want is you would be overwork above your pay because they relayed very vague project details.

 

Is the Offer to Good to be True_

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Is the Offer to Good to be True?

A lot of offers out there may sound easy, but it’s a scam. One example is money laundering in Paypal.

Did you get a job offer where they will send you money, and then you will send it back to them through your personal Paypal to another Paypal account? For every cash transfer, you will get a $5 commission for such an easy task. Remote working is such an easy thing!

NO! You, my friend, just became a money laundering mule. I mean. Why do they have to send it to your account when they can send it directly to the person themselves? It’s because they want you to take the fall. Paypal will target you for investigation. 

If the offer is too good to be true, like $5000 for a simple encoding task, most probably is a scam.

 

You Need to Pay Them Before Getting Hired

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You Need to Pay Them Before Getting Hired

Another scam is asking you to pay them before you get hired. As an example, one client is asking you to pay for a “software or hardware” that you need for the job. They will send it to you after you wire-transferred your payment.

It is a common scam.

With remote working, you just need a laptop/computer and a reliable internet connection. Don’t part ways with your hard-earned money because you weren’t aware.

 

Do They Need Speculative Work_

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Do They Need Speculative Work?

Before hiring, some clients may need to test your work if you are a fit for the role. It is fine, but some crooks take advantage of it.

They “hire” you to do some tasks ( let’s say for two weeks or more) without pay. And after, they tell you don’t qualify for the role. But all your output was used for their marketing campaigns, etc. You were actually producing quality output for them.

I tell you most trial work is with pay. Unless you really trust your soon-to-be client, better stay away from free speculative work.

 

Revenue Sharing Schemes

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Revenue Sharing Schemes

We all want our clients to reach success. After all, if they succeed, we also possibly get more projects from them.

But then, you need to be wary. Some clients may offer “revenue sharing schemes” in exchange for your services. They promise a share in the future profits because of the potential exponential growth of the company. 

It might be true in the future. But can you gamble your livelihood? And how can you be sure that they will uphold their promise?

There are a lot of opportunities out there. Better spend your time wisely.

 

Conclusion

There you have it! Freelancing is a lucrative career you can venture on. But it might be scary to look for jobs when scammers loom around. With this guide, I hope you can pursue your remote working journey with added safeguards. Good luck with your career!

 

4 Crucial Things You Should Consider Before Transitioning from Corporate to Freelancing

4 Crucial Things You Should Consider Before Transitioning from Corporate to Freelancing

So you’re about to make a major career change, and you’re thinking about going freelancing. It’s nerve-wracking yet exciting at the same time. And it’s normal to feel that way. After all, it might be your most important life-changing decision yet. 

So how do you actually transition? These are 4 crucial things you should consider before transitioning from corporate to freelancing.

 

Why Have You Decided to Change_

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Why Have You Decided to Change Careers?

You need to think deep and hard and ask yourself, “Why am I making this change?” Is it for the time flexibility and location independence? Is it because you are not enjoying work anymore?

List down what are the benefits you would get if you make the career change. For example, you will have more time for your family.

On the other hand, you should also list the disadvantages. Will your salary be the same? Do you know where to get the clients? How can you learn the skills?  

 

List the Possible Freelancing Career You Can Do

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List the Possible Freelancing Careers You Can Do

If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, it’s time to shortlist what work you can do remotely. Start with your skills. Better choose a career close to your interest and current competence. 

For example, you were working in marketing. Did you acquire any skills that can be provided online? Here are just some careers you can look into:

  • Content Writer
  • Facebook Marketer
  • Instagram Marketer
  • Web Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Virtual Assistant
  • English Teacher
  • SEO Specialist

Don’t worry if you don’t have the experience yet. Everything can be learned. You can check these legitimate freelancing courses to acquire the skills needed. You just need to set aside a specific schedule after your work to eventually get the ropes of it.

 

Are You Financially Prepared for the Change_

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Are You Financially Prepared for the Change?

If you found your target career, should you quit your job now? I say not yet. You want to mitigate your gamble. Ask yourself, are you financially prepared for the change?

Do you have emergency funds as of the moment? It is an untouchable fund you set aside for emergencies. Generally, it’s around 6 months of your monthly expenses.

On top of your emergency fund, you can save up an additional 3 months “transitional fund” to cover the expenses while you are starting your career.

If you don’t have both funds, don’t quit your job. You don’t want to be stressed with your financial obligations while building your freelancing portfolio. 

 

Direct Client or Agency_

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Direct Client or Agency?

If you can comfortably start your freelancing career with your current finances, the next question is, do you look for clients directly or through an agency.

The main difference is the pay. With a direct client, you will have the full amount for the fees they will pay. But you do have to find them. For some, this might be too much work.

With agencies, your salary will be lower. But they will do all the sourcing of client for you. And with their extensive connections, you might get a client asap. Check out this list of legitimate freelancing agencies.

 

What to Do If You’re Not Yet Financially Prepared?

Your finances are not a hindrance to starting a freelancing career. But I suggest, do it part-time first if you can’t afford to quit your job. As you progress and get more clients, it’s up to you to decide if you want to do it full time.

With these tips, you’ll find it easier to navigate in transitioning from your corporate job to freelancing. Good luck!

6 Soft Skills that Can Improve Your Freelancing Career

6 Soft Skills that Can Improve Your Freelancing Career

It’s not all about technical and hard skills. You might be an ultra-talented individual or a genius, but if you don’t have certain personal qualities, it might limit your chances to prosper. Soft skills are necessary to set you apart from the rest.

Soft skills are interpersonal skills and personality traits that are a foundation for good personal relationships. These are intangible and quite difficult to measure. 

The good thing is, it’s easy to acquire. If you want to upgrade your freelancing practice, these are 6 soft skills that can improve your career further.

 

Teamwork

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Teamwork

When you get a client, most likely, you will be working with other people in the team. After all, most big businesses can’t be run alone. And you don’t have all the time to function as every aspect of a business. 

Sometimes, you need output from your teammates. It can be a problem with different time zones and deadlines. Are you patient enough to work with a team?

You should be. The ability to work together harmoniously is a valued soft skill in the virtual workplace.

 

Communications Skills

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Communications Skills

Having excellent communication skills is a desirable soft skill because no one wants to have miscommunication problems in the workplace. It facilitates smooth interaction with teammates to produce the best output.

It includes speaking concisely and listening intently. With this skill, your client and team leaders will know that you also can negotiate and reach the best deals.

That’s why it’s a top soft skill for today.

 

Interpersonal Skills

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Interpersonal Skills

Alongside with communication skills and teamwork, interpersonal skills play a significant role to thrive in the freelancing world. Not everyone can jive with all their colleagues.

It’s good to have this soft skill to build relationships that will last. It involves being respectful of others’ opinions, empathy, and the ability to receive constructive criticism from others.

 

Flexibility and Adaptability

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Flexibility and Adaptability  

Our plans don’t pan out the way we always wanted. Sometimes, there are unforeseen circumstances like a new competitor launching a new product or the economy inflating your currency.

The worst thing you can do is gloat in the corner and feel sorry for yourself. There is no room for blamers in business.

People who are flexible and can quickly adapt to changing environments is a good resource for the company. If something bad happens, pick yourself up and devise a plan to conquer it.

No wonder it’s a highly sought after soft skill for most clients.

 

Problem Solving Skills

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Problem Solving Skills

And speaking of finding solutions, problem-solving skills are also at the top rank. You want someone who can find a way to patch things up when the going gets rough — someone who thinks outside the box and devises strategies to reach the end goal.

 

Work Ethics

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Work Ethics

No one wants to work with unreliable people. And your work directly reflects your work ethic. 

Are you on time with your deadlines? How about skype meetings? It also includes how you manage your time well in juggling all your responsibilities.

Having great work ethics is paramount to success. It’s a soft skill required by all of your clients. No exceptions.

There you have it, 6 soft skills that can exponentially grow your freelancing career. How many do you currently have? Be sure to hone these skills so that you have the edge over others. Good luck with your career!

 

7 Ways Successful People Handle People They Don’t Like

7 Ways Successful People Handle People They Don’t Like

In freelancing, there are times when you have to deal with people who aren’t appealing to you. There are people we don’t like (or don’t like us as well).

But you can’t just let them disappear. Sometimes, you need to interact with them for work. Should you just quit? Not yet! 

Here are 7 ways successful people handle people they don’t like.

 

Accept That People are Different

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Accept That People are Different 

Yes, you need to accept that every single human being is unique. You have strengths and weaknesses. And your colleagues will have too. 

The foundation to tolerate people you don’t like is to accept that they are like that. You can’t change them. If your colleague likes to brag about everything under the sun, you need to understand that s/he just might need that validation (though annoying).

Take the higher ground. You don’t have to please everyone, so just make this world a better place by accepting that each person has quirks and personalities that differ from yours.

 

Be Compassionate

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Be Compassionate 

It’s good to have a heart and put yourself in other people’s shoes (even though you don’t like them or their shoes). Everyone is fighting a battle.

They may be struggling with a nagging problem that’s making them act all crazy and negative. It helps to understand the situation and where they’re coming from, especially if you have to interact with them often.

 

Be Genuinely Interested Find Something in Common

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Be Genuinely Interested: Find Something in Common 

Remember the adage “If you can’t beat them, join them?” It works even with difficult people. Just try to find common ground and then bond with them using that shared interest. Perhaps that person likes the same movies, hobbies, or music that you do.

I’m pretty sure something is interesting in everyone. If you get them talking about things that you both like, that person will no longer be that hard to mingle with. The key is to be genuinely interested.

Who knows, you might have just got off on the wrong foot.

 

10-Second Rule

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10-Second Rule

But it’s not all the time that we can take the higher ground. Some people are just too irritating to handle. Before you burst into anger, use the 10-second rule.

It’s just simple. Count for 10 seconds before you shout or act on your anger. Do not be controlled by your emotions. After counting, there is a higher chance that you are more composed and might be able to handle the situation more professionally.

 

Confront and Communicate

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Confront and Communicate

You don’t just ignore the problem or keep it all to yourself. Not all people can sense your dismay. You should communicate.

Confront them with your apprehensions. Most people are understanding enough to make amends. But be sure to remember the 10-second rule.

Express yourself in the most positive way possible and give that other person the benefit of the doubt.

 

Look at the Man (or Woman) in the Mirror

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Look at the Man (or Woman) in the Mirror 

Remember that no one is perfect. That also applies to you. Maybe the negative trait you’re irritated on that other person is one that you see in yourself. Maybe it triggers insecurity in your part. 

Reflect. Meditate. Get to know yourself. If you find that you are the root cause, it’s easier to change yourself. It might even lead to better relationships and friendships in the long run.

 

Let it Go

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Let it Go 

Yes, Elsa (from the movie Frozen) was right. You’ve got to let it go. 

There’s no way to control people you don’t like. If you can’t avoid mingling with them, then at least keep it to a minimum.

As a freelancer, you have to deal with different types of people. Still, there’s no way to avoid this situation. At the end of the day, you don’t have to go home with that person you dislike. So thank your lucky stars for that.

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