Filipino Freelancers: You are meant to THRIVE

Filipino Freelancers: You are meant to THRIVE not just survive.

Everyone who has the passion, drive and is hardworking is meant to thrive and not just survive but I would like to target this blog post to filipino freelancers especially to ONLINE filipino freelancers and newbies.

Before we continue, early warning: This post is highly personal and opinionated. If you are simply looking for facts you may not find them here because what I share here is purely based on my ideals and what I feel as well as based on my experiences. Feel free to contact me to discuss, agree or disagree.

I am both an office based worker and a part time freelancer and being part of both industries I know and experience the struggles of both. I would like to address the hardships that online freelancers face most especially when they are just starting out in this blog.

Freelance work is not easy, although the internet has opened up a lot of opportunities for people to earn money online, it also opened up pit falls of people who want to take advantage of you. There are tons of online scams which victimize innocent internet users and online job scams are also continuing to increase so you must be vigilant.  Pricing is especially tricky, some people would say that it is okay to start low, especially if you are inexperienced but how low is low? How long will you stay in that “low” bracket and how will you rise from it?

People work in order to earn money and to buy the things they need. Some of the lucky ones gets to earn enough money doing what they love so even if it isn’t much it was fine with them as long as it was sustainable. Some workers who are tired of being chained down by office based job venture in freelancing to become their own boss and to gain freedom but if they can’t break even or even earn a profit from doing it what is the point?

That is why as a newbie you’d want to do your research and also reflect on yourself, know your needs, know your worth.

Plan for success. It is attainable. If you are currently a student, take a moment to write down what your favorite subject and activities are. Write down the things that you are doing related to this things. If you enjoy researching a lot in class and is a master of using google search then maybe being an online researcher can be for you. If you like researching and writing then you can be a blog writer.

If you are a college student specializing in the arts there are all kinds of clients looking to commission you, just practice and be good at what you do and you can get clients who will pay you fairly. If you are a communications student there are a lot of jobs involving communications and as long as you worked and study hard you do not need to underprice to find a client. Build a free portfolio and use Social Network to create your own portfolio. Create an FB page to showcase your copywriting skills.

If you are a call center agent looking to work from home, you aren’t a complete newbie if you have call center experience. You have already dealt with customer complaints as long as you handled them gracefully and you have the right attitude you definitely deserve to thrive and not just survive.

If you are a housewife with an experience managing a sari sari store (grocery store) and want to earn money online as a filipino freelancer then learn drop shipping, start an online store. If you know how to use a computer and can type, start with data entry jobs, if you’ve got a mother’s absolutely amazing managing skills apply to be a virtual or remote secretary.

This list can go on but the secret in all of this, the secret in growing yourself is in investing in yourself. Don’t jump into freelancing cluelessly, when you are clueless you are most vulnerable to being taken advantaged of and nobody likes that except the evil person who takes advantage of you.

To answer the question “how low is low?” My answer to that is for entry level, In the year 2018, if you are going to be a filipino freelancer paying for your own bills, health insurance, your own equipment, and other basic cost of living, then anything under $3 per hour is LOW. TRAIN Law has already been enacted, taxes for minimum wagers may have decreased but many basic grocery items has increased in price again, the cost of living has increased. Philippine Inflation is on the rise. Employers will try to say the Philippine minimum wage is only ₱512.00 for 8 hours of work daily but in my opinion, honestly Philippine minimum wage doesn’t do work from home justice because you pay for your equipment, you pay for your own electricity, you pay your own health insurance, your own social service and your other Government insurances.

This is going to sound idealistic but I want people to realize that the only reason the pricing got so low is because people are accepting the low rates.
 
Filipinos are competitive, just because we are currently called a “third world country” does it mean that we should be dirt cheap as well? Should we be proud when we hear “cheap” together with “filipino freelancers”?
None of the hourly rate from Payoneers’ Freelancers Income Report 2018 go below 2 digits.
From my discussion from other supposed experienced freelancer they said that this was an “unrealistic rate for filipino freelancers”. Then let’s base it on this data from 2017 Philippine State of Freelancing.
 There is nothing under $3 here. In fact the lowest rate is $5.30 dollars. Should we really be proud that we are offering good service for such a low price? Let’s assume people live 100 years and they spend 288,000 hours working at $1 per hour thats 50 pesos (but on some years 48 pesos lang) is our whole life only worth 14,400,000 (14Million) Well that is if you never ever become unemployed in 100 years and they also don’t take a break on weekends. Just because we are Filipino Freelancers?
 
Trust me as population and competition increases, at the current rate we are going if we don’t educate people to know their worth, the pricing will get lower and lower.
 
The conclusion of my opinion is that if you know you can complete tasks, don’t settle for less.
 
For newbies don’t jump into the freelancing world cluelessly, research, build a portfolio, find groups that will educate you.
Freelancing is not easy, that’s why you have to prepare, invest in yourselves, and continue to up skill. Continue to grow and evolve. Learn both soft skills and technical skills, Have a good attitude. I believe that our ability to grow, evolve and adapt is what makes humans have the upper hand versus Artificial Intelligence.

Maybe I am idealistic but I have hope that someday in this world, people realize that they don’t have to settle for less. That hard workers deserve more and that information will be widely available for those who are looking for it.

Speaking of information, I’ve just joined a new Facebook group that aims to help aspiring filipino freelancers. The group is called Shela’s Work At Home Geeks (#SWAHGTEAM). You can also view their FB Page here:  Work at Home Geeks. Currently it is free and the founder seems to be genuinely passionate.

Here is the original post:

So, today I would like to announce a movement called Support An Aspiring Freelancer Movement #SAAFMOVEMENT We know that there are thousands of clients looking for virtual assistants or online remote workers but there is a gap because most of the Filipino freelancers do not have enough skills and knowledge to support a business or how to support an entrepreneur. I would like to start a movement called Support An Aspiring Freelancer movement. This movement is all about collaboration and creating a loving community of Filipino virtual assistants or Filipino freelancers helping each other. I have observed that many of the freelancers are successful however I feel bad because they know the feeling of how it is to be a newbie or someone who is just starting and they see that there are so many people wanting to learn how to become a freelancer or a virtual assistant. Yet, they are just ignoring them and what’s the worst is they take advantage of them, or charge them with ludicrous unreasonable expensive courses that don’t really help them or doesn’t really point them to the right direction. They try to bring these fresh starters down. Instead of building them up so I want to step up and start a movement wherein professional freelancers or professional virtual assistants will adopt an aspiring freelancer or an aspiring virtual assistant so that they can teach them a specific niche or a specific skill that will help these fresh starters get a client or improve their work. For me successful freelancers are people who can build success out of desperation and scarcity or poverty. These are people who can create a life worth living. A life that is not dictated by a corporate schedule or hypocrite office managers or crab mentality, pulling people down kind of values. Instead, successful freelancers are intelligent and skilled professionals who are going against the flow. They have great value to offer and have a great heart to share with people. You can become a freelancer who has a great amount of income but the world doesn’t care… [Read full article on my FB Page. Link is on my Bio.]

A post shared by ❤ Shela Heramis ❤ (@shelaheramis) on

If you want to learn Social Media Marketing Here is also a list of groups you can join:

For Graphic Design, Graphic Artist Philippines on Facebook is a great community to join.

As I’ve mentioned in the first few paragraph, this is my opinion, but I am open for healthy discussions. Feel free to send me your message via my contact form here


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Original stock photo is from Pexel.