Do you want to quit your corporate job and start working from home?
Let me share with you how freelancing works. Read on and take action later!
1 – Where To Find Job Opportunities
There are a lot of ways to find job opportunities. Let’s be clear that I mean online job opportunities. First off we have Facebook groups, that more for online group communities for Freelancers, like for example if you search for online job groups, or online Filipino freelancers, you will find multiple groups that can assist you with your job hunt. I’m most active in two groups where I communicate with freelancers and reply to comments. One of them is the FHMoms group, and the other one is “Online Filipino Freelancers”. That community is very active, so if you’re an aspiring freelancer or a new freelancer and you’re unsure with the steps or you have questions with working with clients or tasks or application process, join the group and ask away, and you will get help. And aside from that, within those Facebook groups there are also people posting job opportunities, they mention the position, the work you’re going to do and the rates they offer.
So I mentioned Facebook group, and of course I’m sure you’ve heard of certain job platforms, such as onlinejobs.ph, Upwork, Freeup, Fiverr, etc., and there are still a lot more. If you search in Google for online job platforms, there will be a lot of results, but the top 4 I mentioned, these are the most known to Filipino Freelancers. You can also search through Google, but the difference in doing that compared to utilizing Facebook groups or job platforms, is that you know it’s more legitimate, because through Google there are a lot of job opportunities that are scams, so always take care when you apply.
So how will we know if it’s a scam? I won’t mention all indications, but mostly it’s a scam if the employer requires you to pay for a certain fee, no matter how big or small, for the job application. You should never pay for anything like that, unless it’s for the platform, but for the employer you’re applying for, you won’t have to pay anything. Secondly, it’s mostly a scam if they make you do trial work for one week with no pay. Do not get into those kinds of opportunities. Most important you must know is that, there are employers that say that as part of the onboarding, you will have to give your bank account details such as login and password, do not give anything.
You may also look for online job opportunities in LinkedIn, there are people posting there as well.
Instagram, I heard that there are now also a lot of job opportunities you can find there. However, I’m not entirely sure of the process, because I haven’t attempted yet, but for sure you attempt to connect to your target clients, that’s how it will probably start.
I also learned in the last few weeks that you may also find job opportunities on Twitter. There is a freelancer that was able to grab a client there. It’s possible that they exchanged conversations there and that’s how it started. Or it could be someone posted on Twitter, and the freelancer responded and applied. So there are a lot of ways.
2 – Application Process
How do you apply for work online as a freelancer? So I mentioned previously that we have job platforms, facebook groups and other platforms, but let’s say for example you find a job opportunity on a Facebook group, there are details there listed there how you can apply. An example would be, the post will say what the position is, what you’re going to do, then it will mention if you want to apply send your resume, or your portfolio at this certain email address, and that’s it, that’s usually the first step. Others would require you to fill up a form, among others.
If you’re on a job platform, like if you have a Facebook profile, and inside Facebook, you will find many job posts, and it will state what positions they are looking for, then there is a button you click to apply. So you no need to create a separate email and apply, you apply within the platform.
Also, the question that is asked mostly is, what is the process? Because usually in corporate, you send your resume, and they will contact you for an interview, and so on. In online freelancing it’s a little different for each work you may apply, depending on the type of work you’re applying for. For example, I applied as an online English teacher, the process that time was long. There was an interview, then a demonstration, I had to prepare props, then they will mostly tell you they’ll update you next week if you’re going to proceed to the next step. Next week comes and I get a call letting me know what the responsibilities are of the position I applied for, then negotiation of the rate, then discuss when to start.
Others, you would send your application, some may require for a personality test, or a sample work just so they can observe your skills to see if it’s related to the work you’re applying for, and afterwards, they will decide if you pass or not for the interview. Sometimes it’s the other way around. The interview comes first, before asking you to give your sample work, and so on.
There are also others, especially on job platforms, where the clients find you and send you an invitation to work, and once you accept it, that’s it, you start immediately. Mostly it’s like that at the Upwork platform. The others there are some clients who don’t want to show their face or identity. I previously had a client like that three years ago when I was part-timing as a VA. He sent a proposal and we chatted through email if I’m available to work at this amount of hours and sample tasks, rates, etc. And once everything was settled, he sent the job offer through the platform, and got started to work. So it all depends on the client and type of work you’re applying for.
3 – Working with a Client
As a freelancer, there are different types of setups. We have something called direct hire, working with a client through a job platform, and working with a client through an agency. So let’s start with direct hire.
If we’re talking about direct hire, it means that there’s nothing in between, no middleman between you and the client. Both of you communicate directly with each other and it’s on your terms on how you will get paid, how often, payment method, hours of work, you and the client talk about it. There’s no one to intervene.
Next is the agency. So we do have VA agencies, meaning they hire virtual assistants and it depends on the agency if they give the VA that they’re hiring some training or not. Also, the clients go through the agency, and the agency will choose the virtual assistant to give to the specific client. So whatever the client needs, the agency will check the skills of the VA, then they will match them together. Also, when it comes to payments, it will go through the agency first, then the agency will manage the payments of the VA’s that they hired. There are also other agencies that are one-time payment that they get from the client, and after the payment is received from the client, the VA will can work directly with the client without an agency in between.
Next is working with a client through a job platform. So I’m sure you’ve heard of Upwork and FreeUp, those are the most known right now. So with Upwork you can create a profile as a freelancer, and you can create an account as an agency. So right now there are experienced freelancers that know the ins and outs of this business, so what they do is that they start an agency and start to manage where they get freelancers from Upwork, and the agency is the one communicating with potential clients. So the potential clients will pay the agency, and the agency will handle the payment for each freelancer.
So in Upwork as a freelancer, what you will do is apply for a job, and whatever your rate is, the platform has a certain cut with the amount you get paid. I’m not certain how big the cut is now these days. I wasn’t very successful in Upwork, but I have an account. However, there was a lot of competition, so I didn’t push much on it. I’m mostly working directly with clients.
And now we have FreeUp, where you create an account, upload your resume, your portfolio, information about you, your skills, and they will review your account before they approve you. Both Upwork and Freeup are the same. It’s not like onlinejobs.ph where it’s like you create a Facebook account. The moment you create, you have access to the platform, you can browse job posts where you want to apply, and it’s always updating every day. I actually grabbed two clients from onlinejobs.ph, because the good thing about onlinejobs.ph, you can have your client directly hire you. Unlike in Upwork, if you communicate with the client within the platform, Upwork detects if you decide to communicate outside the platform which they will not allow that kind of setup. So with onlinejobs.ph, create an account, fill up your information, set your rate and show your skills, then you can start applying immediately.
4 – Getting Paid
Initially this was my problem when I started as a Freelancer, because I didn’t have a bank account at the time, and I didn’t know about certain payments here and there. So right now the payment methods that are mostly utilized by clients is PayPal. So you just have to create a PayPal personal account and connect your bank account, etc. In order to receive your payment, you have to connect your bank account, because what the client will do is send the money to PayPal, and your funds will stay in PayPal until you decide which bank account to transfer to.
Apart from PayPal we also have Payoneer which is also very common, same process with PayPal.
There is also Transferwise, which is also similar to PayPal and Payoneer.
However, if you do not have any bank account, you can sign up for virtual wallets such as GCash and PayMaya, and get their prepaid cards, and you can use that as a virtual bank or wallet and you can transfer the funds from PayPal to GCash, sometimes I do that when I don’t want to transfer to the bank, I transfer to GCash.
You can also get a debit card that requires no maintaining balance. When I started, I got a card from BPI, they have an ATM only account with no maintaining balance and with very simple their requirements. Also we have Unionbank, you can create an account online, and within a few days, you can get their ATM card.
So apart from setting up to get the payment, let’s talk about getting paid now. Most questions freelancers ask is, is the payment the same like in corporate where you get paid on the 15th and end of the month? It all depends, but mostly these from what I have noticed is every week. So every end of the week you have funds. There are still others twice a month, but it still all depends on the conversation between you and your client. For example, you know for yourself that you do not need funds every single week, you can request to get paid twice from your client, and if he approves of that, then that’s it.
So I believe I covered everything, and I hope this helps you, because I know these are the questions that are mostly asked. If there are things that I haven’t discussed or explained enough, please feel free to comment. And if you have questions, please feel free to post your comment.
Also of course, if you feel that you really want to try to work from home, apply for work online, and you need guidance, please join my group. I’m just preparing things for next year, and there is no specific date, but next year we’re going to have mini-training. It is a guided training, I will be sharing my screen showing how I check job posts, what you can write in your cover letter or application so your potential client will notice you. A strategy as a new freelancer so you can land your first ever online freelancer client.
Hopefully I have helped you in your freelancing journey, and let me know when you get your first client. I’d love to celebrate with you!
Referenced in the Show
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