I started my freelancing 3 months after giving birth to my son in 2014. At first, I didn’t know how freelancing works, all I want is to work from home and make money online to help my family’s needs. I found my first job through Google and searched “Junior Programmer”, I sent my application in the morning, and that same day, I started working.
Here are the challenges and 4 points I would love to share as an experienced freelancer.
1. Knowledge about Freelancing
Back then, there were no support groups tackling about freelancing, compared to now where you can find a lot of support groups that can help you land your freelancing or work from home job.
Make Google as your best friend in searching.
As we all know, through this platform, you can search for everything you need from looking for a job, to finding different links to tutorials, etc.
If you’re serious about your freelancing or work from home job, it’s better you start creating your profile in different job platforms just like what I did when I was starting. Clients usually check your profile first, learn more about you and your experiences and how your skills can contribute to the company.
Facebook groups are really helpful.
Nowadays, through these groups, you’ll know and learn about how freelancing works, like how to handle clients, how to settle payments, what are the tasks, etc.
It’s very important to know what your skills are because this is the first thing a client is going to look for.
“It’s very important to match your skills, whether you have experience in working in a corporate job, or like me, not have any experience working in an office setup. What I did was, I assess my skills first”
Assess your knowledge and skills because this is your foundation in landing your job.
If you want to gain your skills, you may learn new skills using online materials through google, YouTube, articles, Facebook groups, etc.
“Should I be fluent in English in communicating with the clients? This is one of the major questions freelancers asked. The answer is no, as long as you can understand what your client is talking about. As long as you can say what you want to say to your client properly and you can express your thoughts, and as long as both of you can understand each other then that’s fine.”
As we all know, Communications is challenging to most freelancers, even I back then.
How did I overcome it?
Back then radio shows were still a hit, so I observed how they converse in English because through this it can help you on how to properly communicate with your client. You can also practice with your child, your friends and family.
Another way I practised my communications skills is when I landed a job as an ESL Teacher back in 2017. I was teaching kids who want to learn English and at the same time, it enhanced my skills in communication and boosted my confidence.
“It was a challenge for me because there are types of work online that requires heavy specs in your laptop or computer. Like when I started using Photoshop, and other software, it made my laptop laggy.”
Some other freelancers, when they were starting, they go to computer shops just to work.
That’s why it’s very important to invest in a good working computer or laptop, accessories like headset or earphone because you will definitely use this, especially during client meetings.
Here are other challenges most freelancers experienced.
One of the challenges freelancers experienced is explaining your work with your family.
Not everyone is aware that, for example sometimes if they see that you’re on Facebook, it doesn’t mean that you’re just there scrolling, but in fact, you’re managing your client’s Facebook account. Some can understand, but sometimes it’s so hard to explain what your work is.
Managing time is one of the struggles most freelancers experienced especially if you’re a mom or a dad and you have kids to take care of.
Internet Connection is very important as a freelancer and as much as possible, we don’t want to experience any interruption, especially when you’re in the middle of a meeting, or you’re doing your tasks, etc.
What are the challenges that you had when you were just starting to freelance?
Share your struggles and stories below and how you overcome them.
Referenced in the Show
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If you’ve got a question about this interview or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at [email protected]. Or, you can always find Hazel hanging out in her awesome community, the Freelance to Thrive: Mastermind Group for Filipino Freelancers.
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