What You Need to Start Your Freelancing Career

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately on how I started my freelancing career. If you need motivation (or to burst your bubble), let me share with you my story.

Exactly 9 months ago I left my job as a team leader in the company where I’ve been working for almost 10 years. I thought I was happy and that I was exactly where I needed to be. Until one day I realized that I want to do something else. I no longer want to burn 4 hours of my day just to travel to work and back home. I hated the fact that I spend more time in EDSA instead of relaxing at home. And that I need to trade family time with sleep because I can’t afford to be late at work. Imagine, having to choose between these two almost every effin day for a decade.

So, I took the giant leap with eyes closed. Using the money I got from my 13th-month pay, I bought a laptop. Then I enrolled on a course offered by my friend who’s now my mentor, Natasha Rivera. From January until March of 2018 there are only three things I did:

  1. Watch videos at the Work from Home Be Awesome portal
  2. Edit my Upwork profile until it got approved (on my 10th attempt)
  3. Send 5 proposals every day until I got my first client

When you get into freelancing, do not expect the journey to be easy. No, it’s way more difficult than working on a full-time job in a typical setup. But the stress and worries are all worth it. These negative emotions will fuel your fire in pushing yourself to assess your own work and to learn more.

Since you’ll be working on your own most of the time, you will need a support system. I connected to Work from Home Be Awesome where Natasha thought us about web design, podcasting, creating funnels, etc. Wait .. I did not learn all of them because I decided not to. I focused with one and that is podcasting.  Every day, I would go to Natasha’s house and observe how she works on her projects. This is on top of the time I spent watching her online tutorials and attending her webinars.

In her class, I met other freelancers who also became my mentors. Connecting yourself to a group like WFHBA will not only teach you skills, it will also help you get acquainted with people who will eventually become part of your support system.

Apart from the skills, you also need a platform where to source your clients. This is similar to Jobstreet; a place where you can go to find job vacancies and submit an application. I chose to create a profile in Upwork. Getting in their arena is not easy. You need to create a portfolio which requires approval before you can start applying for jobs. It took me 10 tries before my profile got approved.

I can’t recommend a trick or a formula on how to get accepted in Upwork. But there are three things which I think will help. First, your skills must be aligned with what you stated in your profile description. Second, attach samples of your work (this may also help in getting clients). I attached a PDF of a transcribed document for a video which I got from Youtube. And lastly, keep on trying. Be persistent. If you don’t get approved on your first or second try, give it another shot. Remember, it took me 10 attempts. 🙂

Once you’re in, here comes another challenge. How to get your first client! It will be easier for you to get hired by another BPO than to book your first client in Upwork (based on my experience).  But then again, nothing beats persistence. I set a goal of sending 5 proposals every day. I critically chose the jobs that I applied to because there’s a limit on how many applications you can send in a month (You’re given 60 connects. 2 connects = 1 proposal/application). Every day I take my time to revise my proposal. I analyze why it isn’t appealing enough for a client to ignore it. Until another mentor shared her magic formula – the bull’s eye approach.

The bull’s eye approach highlights the importance of comprehending what kind of help the client needs so you can position yourself as an expert who can solve their dilemma. The bull’s eye proposal has three important parts – the area where the client needs help, your expertise, and the gameplan. I’ll discuss this in the future once I get the permission to share it. 🙂

That’s it! I hope this entry gave you an idea on how or where to start. Our bottom line here is simple. More than the laptop or a stable internet connection, the first thing you will need to start your freelancing career is PERSISTENCE. Expect the worst and be surprised with the blessings you’ll get!

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Acnetrex Helped Me Get Rid of My Pimples

Growing up, I was prone to having pimples on both my face and my back because of oily skin. This became a huge problem because it affected my confidence a lot. Hence, I started visiting facial clinics and trying outrageous recommendations I see on TV and read online.

I’ve tried using water and alcohol-based facial wash, sulfur soaps, Eskinol with Clindamycin, lipstick on acne, honey and egg, astringent, and a lot of other topical products. I’ve even washed my face with water that was used to rinse rice and took pills as advised by my OB-Gyne. Yes, I got overly desperate. Like I said, I’ve tried almost everything that I’ve heard and researched.

I’ve seen a lot of dermatologists just so I could get rid of my pimples. Until a friend told me about Acnetrex and his experience while taking it. Listening to his story made me fear its side effects. According to him, I might experience muscle pain, bleeding gums, depression, and in case I get pregnant, the baby might have imperfections or illness.

Without a second thought, I rejected the idea of taking Acnetrex. Years have passed and I was still suffering from acne and they got worst. There came a point when I felt like the person I’m talking to is just focusing on my zits and trying to make constellations out of it. My confidence went down the drain and I was on this state for too long.

Finally, I spoke to a very encouraging dermatologist from Medical City, Dra. Lopez-Usi. I felt her genuine concern in helping me get rid of my acne and in winning back my self-esteem. She took her time to explain why Acnetrex is not that scary and why it is the best option for me to take. So I trusted her and had gone through a series of tests which includes blood, urine, sugar, and the other test which I can no longer remember.

On the first two months, I had to take 2 tabs a day. This was calculated based on my body weight. During this time, I already noticed the good effects on my skin. My face is no longer as oily as it used to and there were just one to two zits showing up. However, my scalp and lips started to dry too.  I also felt minor joint pains but I didn’t mind these side effects because I was happy with the result on my face.

I was under this medication for eight months including the withdrawal phase. For maintenance, Dra. Lopez-Usi had me use Clyndamicin for a few months and now I’m on Retinoic Acid. I’ve been Acnetrex free for 1 year and 8 months and I’m happy that I decided to try it. There are still times when a few pimples would pop up but I think this is happening because I’m not consistent in applying the topical maintenance.

P.S. If you’re still doubting this medication, I suggest you see your dermatologist or Dra. Lopez-Usi to further discuss this drug. She’s at Medical City Gateway every Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday from 10 AM to 1 PM (in case her schedule has not changed).

P.P.S. I’m still thinking if I should post a before and after photo. If you want to see how much my face has improved, go check my Facebook. 🙂

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My First Job As An Upwork Freelancer

When I started my career as a freelancer I had a hard time figuring out what kind of job I’ll apply to. I thought you need to be tech-savvy in order to get hired but this was not the case on Upwork. They offer tons of jobs to choose from and all I had to do was assess myself for me to see where I am good at and what kind of service I’ll offer.

I worked as a team leader and a quality analyst for several years and one of the few skills that I mastered is listening to phone calls so I thought I could be a transcriber. This job is not complicated and it only requires good listening and writing skills. I could also handle data entry work or I could be a virtual assistant.

So I started sending out two proposals per day which increased to five because I was not getting hired. I had to revise my cover letter almost every day to see what I could be doing wrong. Fortunately, on the 10th or 15th letter that I sent two people responded back. One hired me as a data encoder but I didn’t start working with him at least after two months while the other gave me a transcribing job.

The client sent me five videos which are 6 to 7 minutes long and I finished writing them after almost four hours. Yes, it took me this long because I had to double and triple check my work. I think this is the usual case when we’re working on our first project, we’re excited and paranoid at the same time.

I got $45 from this work with an additional $5 bonus. Not bad for a first gig, right? It’s actually more than what I expected.

TIP: For you to get that first project, assess what kind of service you can offer, something that you know you can deliver with pride. From there, customize your proposal and highlight the value that you can give to your client.

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