It’s essential to recognize that clients are looking for a solution to a problem the same way we look for answers whenever we have a question. And of course, thanks to the internet and the digital world, everyone now has the freedom to look for all the answers and solutions online.
The internet is a vast place where we just don’t look for typical answers regarding our common questions. Nowadays, it’s also a place where we can find employment and services from other people.
This is where freelancing takes place. It’s an incredible opportunity to control the way that you work. As a freelancer, you have the freedom to work from anywhere, at any time.
I’ve recently started doing a freelance side job online which mostly just requires writing, a skill which also landed me on my main job as the Managing Editor of Palawan Daily.
Thanks to wireless technology, we are no longer bound by desks and brick-and-mortar offices, we now have the ability and flexibility to work from wherever we choose to, whenever we wish to, with whoever we choose, wherever they are.
Taking advantage of growing overseas opportunities, 1.5M Filipinos are now registered in international online platforms for freelancing services, according to international financial services firm Payoneer’s report on the state of the national gig economy released in August 2022. And the number keeps on growing.
Payoneer added that the Philippines also ranks sixth among countries with the fastest-growing market for freelancers.
The ability to control your own time, work at the expense of your own home and the competitive salary which is paid in USD, many call center agents are now attracted to switch into being a freelancer.
The flexibility that comes along with being a freelancer is appealing to many, but it also carries significant obligations and administrative burdens. Still, whether it’s to supplement their income from a full-time job or the entirety of their livelihood, many Filipinos find freelancing an attractive option for making ends meet.
Filipinos’ customer service orientation and English language skills help them thrive in the highly competitive freelance industry. Nevertheless, how does one become a freelancer?
Before I recommend tips on how to get there, let’s tackle some factors to consider before you say goodbye on being a BPO baby;
1) A good freelancer must possess marketable skills to demonstrate
2) You must have decent, if not, strong communication skills
3) A tremendous amount of patient to persist and build through
4) Determine if you want to make more money or be a successful freelancer and let the money flow
5) Understand that freelancing is competitive like any other jobs
I started freelancing because I wanted to make more money on my skills from a job that I can just attend to whenever I have a spare time. I mostly work on it during weekends during my off. Plus, I enjoy writing, so why not take the opportunity?
So for freshers, those who are looking for a side hustle, unemployed and those who are currently employed in the BPO industry but is thinking to switch into the world of freelancing, here’s my pro-tips;
1) Identify your skills and expertise; Determine what you can offer as a freelancer. This will help you target the right clients and market yourself effectively.
2) Build a good portfolio. Showcase your work and skills through an online portfolio website, social media and other online platforms. The best websites and apps to do it would be Indeed, Upwork, LinkedIn, and Jobstreet in general. All the good opportunities lie there.
3) Find relevant jobs that are aligned on the skill you are good at and start applying. We tend to underrate our skills in communication as Filipinos, but the truth is, we do have an above average capability and comprehension compared to other countries in South East Asia. Use it as an advantage.
4) Rejection is a normal process, especially for beginners. Don’t take it personal. I’ve been through the worst before I got hired by a client. It’s understandable since clients tend to look for tenured freelancers so they won’t have to hassle themselves in training for a newbie.
5) Set parameters. You should always set up the boundaries within which you’ll be working. Don’t outsmart yourself. Stay on your skills and focus on it, it’ll get you going in the long run.
6) Be professional. Always deliver high-quality work on time and communicate effectively with clients.
7) Lastly, keep on learning. Keep learning new skills, updated with the latest trends, and continue to improve your services to stay competitive.
The best part of freelancing is it frees you from the boundaries of religion, race, age and everything else. A freelancer in the Philippines can earn as much as a freelancer in the USA, if given the right break and if he/she really works hard, is smart and talented.
Freelancing is not just a way of work, it’s a way of living. It has emerged as one of the best ways of earning a living especially among millenials and Gen Z and above all, it offers the liberty of desire.