6 Tips to Get Started as a Freelancer: Online Jobs for Beginners
Working from home seems to be more and more attractive when you consider the stress and unproductive time lost to Manila traffic. But before you dive headfirst into the wonderful world of online jobs, here are 6 things you should know on how to be a freelancer:
1. Choose a craft
One of the most common reasons why people are unsure of going into freelance is because they haven’t fully decided on what kind of service they want to offer.
Some people have competencies in multiple roles so they get overwhelmed when deciding on their area of expertise. The important thing is that you pick one craft that you’d be comfortable doing with minimal supervision.
Don’t worry about expanding services right now. Just get the ball rolling.
Also, whether it’s writing, programming, designing, SEO, analytics, or any other skill, don’t worry if you’re not at “expert level” right from the bat. You’d be surprised at how little experience you need to get started with smaller jobs.
2. Start while you’re employed
While we’re on the subject of smaller jobs, remember to start small while you have a full-time job. Unless you have at least 6 months’ worth of living plus incidental expenses tucked away, you’re going to want to dip your toes in freelancing first so you can get a feel for it. (Read: How to Build an Emergency Fund)
Doing small part-time or contractual gigs here and there lets you experience the entire process of looking for clients, doing the work, revisions, payment delays, and other typical freelance experiences without having to bank on a single gig to get you by for the month.
Once you find your footing, then you can move to bigger and longer contracts.
3. Set up payment accounts
The first thing you need to do is to set up a payment account! While your bank account may be sufficient for some local work, you’re going to want to set up online accounts like PayPal or Coins.ph for other clients.
Tip: Use your Coins.ph Wallet to receive and request payments from your freelance clients. You can request for payment straight from your Coins.ph app, and your clients can send you money from their Coins.ph Wallet or through 7-Eleven, M Lhuillier, or Cebuana Lhuillier.
4. Build an online portfolio
After your first few gigs, it’s time to create an online brand and portfolio. If you’re not ready for a personal website yet, you can always sign up for free portfolio sites online.
This way, you can have your best work plus client testimonials in one place, ready for viewing for the next client. If you want to take it a notch further, start a social media page specifically for work.
Trust us, done right, it makes a big difference.
5. Contact everyone you know
While looking for clients online seems to be the way to go, you’d be surprised at just how many of your existing connections might just need your service. If not them, then they might just be able to connect you with people who would need your services.
6. Decide when to go full time
Once you start earning, it can get tempting to go full time right then and there. But going at it without a plan is inadvisable. The first thing you need to figure out is what is a comfortable living wage is for you. You also need to allocate funds for incidental expenses. (Read: 5 Budgeting Tricks for Freelancers)
Once you’ve got a few months of earning at least that amount, then you can start considering when it’s time to drop everything else and focus on freelancing full time.
Remember that, while the point of freelancing is the freedom of time and money that it affords, it doesn’t happen overnight. Make realistic plans and goals for yourself. Follow through those plans, revise as necessary, and before you know it you’ll be freelancing full time.
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