RISE OF THE FREE: Freelance Professionals for the Win!

I have much to say about the Freelancing community in the Philippines, and most of these things come from actual experiences and close contact with people in this community.

Not a Raket Anymore

There have been a lot of misconceptions about being a freelancer, one of which is that freelancing is merely a side business that you do, and since it’s something that you do in your FREE time, freelancers don’t take their work seriously. Another misconception is that Freelancers should be cheaper or FREE. And a common one is that Freelancers have so much FREE time, since they don’t really do anything.

Now being with freelancers for the past 7 years of my life, I’d like to share my experiences of dealing and being a freelancer. For the first point, most freelancers really take their work seriously, and most of them get into freelancing doing the “thing” that they love doing. For what I have seen, even when these freelancers still have day jobs, they enjoy the time that they spend doing these extra jobs, because it is where they find fulfilment.

Next, freelancers may be cheaper than other alternatives, since they don’t have much overhead expenses to pay for, but they definitely are not free. Yes, they may give exceptions especially when they are building a portfolio, but let’s not abuse them. And if companies and brands want to stay competitive, it may even be advisable to hire freelancers to bring down your overhead expenses as well. Monitoring work and payments from them is not an issue, too, because these freelancers use tools that monitor the delivery of project, hours of work spent on a project and even send online invoices via PayPal to charge for the work rendered.

Lastly, when you become a freelancer, you will notice that you actually spend more time now working. What used to be 8-10 hours of working in a corporate environment, now extends to 18 hours of work. What freelancers love though about being a freelancer is the flexibility of time spent working. Freelancers can choose to wake up later than everyone else, but they work to deliver results. Results is top of mind and not time spent working on a project. They make sure they deliver!

Part of a Strong Community with a Deep Faith in Humanity

*Picture taken by George Buid

Last week, I visited one of the schools that I have been eyeing for my daughter. My daughter is 4 years old, and she’ll need to go to “big school” next year. The administration officer left my husband and I inside the classroom of 4-6 year olds to observe. It was a school that allowed each child to explore — to see what they found interesting in the room, to tinker with it, to feel things, to hear things, to really “get into it”. Some were intensely building a tower using bricks. Some were counting beads on a chain. Some were pretending to have a tea party with another friend. Another child was mopping the floor out of whim. Some of them were writing words on a piece of paper, and one was just staring at a fish in the aquarium. And in this kind of environment, the children were happily wandering and wondering. It was, at least for me, the perfect environment for growth and learning.

While thinking of what to share with you, this was the kind of environment that crossed my mind. This is the kind of environment and community that we, at Manila Workshops, envisioned to help build for our country’s freelancers. We want to help build an environment where freelancers and solopreneurs will discover more about themselves, discover passions and discover talents that they never knew existed. It will be an environment that they can always run to, their safe haven where they feel safe & secure as they grow as individuals.

*Picture taken by George Buid

For the past years, we have seen this ecosystem grow stronger, bigger and better. And personally, I believe that the reasons may lie in our deep faith in humanity. Now this may sound so “super-heroish” or like a line from a sci-fi movie, but this is what I think. Let’s go back to what humanity or being humane means (according to Merriam Webster online!). Humanity is the quality or state of being human joined by their common attributes and qualities. Being humane is being compassionate, sympathetic, exhibiting generous behavior and disposition.

If you take a closer look at what is happening in the freelancing community, you’ll see that freelancers naturally flock together. They look for people with common interests, and most especially, the same way of thinking. This is what drew me personally into being part of this community. The generosity, kindness, support and patience knows no bounds. You feel that you can quickly leap from being a novice freelancer to a successful one in no time at all just by the cheers and the rah-rah-rahs of your fellow freelancers.

Professionalizing Freelancing

Because of these things and the relentless support which is so evident in this community, people now are seeing freelancing as something that one should consider looking into, as a source of livelihood. They also see freelancing as a way to efficiently operate a business or even as a source of inspiration for our country, where talented and highly skilled people live.

*Picture taken by George Buid

And as freelancers continue to build and cultivate relationships, they become stronger and more confident. In these relationships lie the strength that freelancers need to continue to grow and persevere. Let’s help everyone be better versions of themselves.

If the remarkable turnout in every event, the constant increase in members of different freelancing groups and increased engagement in different communities and the increase in revenue from foreign clients coursed through PayPal are indications, my fearless forecast is that a LOT more FIlipinos will turn to freelancing inspired by you – pioneers of this continuously growing field of expertise. Its proponents unencumbered by the conventions of a bygone era of strict work hours and boss-driven development. Soon we will truly be witness to the RISE OF THE FREE.

*Note: This is the longer version of my speech during The Freelancer Fair

Where to hire a freelancer?

Do you feel like you are doing everything for your business and need an extra hand with tasks, but don’t think your ready to hire an extra head count just yet? Hire a Freelancer!

As a small business owner, there are times when you need an extra hand to do chores that are not your expertise (such as graphic design or accounting tasks) for a quick project. Some of these tasks don’t necessarily require a business owner to hire someone permanently that’s why its such a relief that the freelancing industry is now growing and its so much easier to find a freelancer that can fit your job requirement and get things done right away!

For those of you who want to understand what freelancing is, here is a web episode of RISE OF THE FREE. Rise of the Free is a web series that give you information about the freelancing industry and how it is to be a freelancer.

There are so many freelancing sites today and to make it easier for you, we’ve listed the top 5 sites for you to kick-start your search for the best staff fit for your requirements.

Upwork

Widely known in the Freelancing industry in the Philippines and in the world! Upwork has established their reputation of getting quality freelancers since 2003. They have their own tracking application that makes it easier for both boss and client to have transparency when working.

Freelancer

Freelancer is one of the leading freelancing sites since 2009. It has the same functions as Upwork.com though its interface may seem more complicated to use for first timers. It has a unique chatting option when used via desktop. It also has a wide array of job categories that makes it easier for you to find the proper staff.

Onlinejobs.ph

A Filipino freelancing site with over 250,000 resumes where you can easily search for the right person fit for the job, interview them then offer them a job and negotiate salary. This is a website for those who want to hire only Filipinos for their tasks.

RareJob.com.ph

RareJob is the top English school in Japan and it aims to encourage 10,000 Japanese to speak fluent English. They started in 2007 and focuses on solely teaching English to Japanese students. It has no other job categories offered and application seems easy. All you need is to register, undergo an assessment and open lesson slots where your future students can book classes with you.

Bizmates

Bizmates is the number one online Business English School in Japan catering to Japanese professionals. Their goal is to help their clients succeed in global business by enhancing their communication skills.

199Jobs.com

199Jobs.com is platform where you can hire freelancers for as low as Php 199 pesos. Although, price may go up depending on the work that you will outsource.

Fiverr.com

Fiverr is an Israeli company where you can get jobs down for as low as $5. Here is a link that will show what Fiverr is all about: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1456762414351137/

Do you have experiences with any of these sites? Which one would you recommend to a client looking for a freelancer? How about for a newbie freelancer?

How to Maximize your Time at The Freelancer Fair

First of all, thank you, thank you! Thank you for your overwhelming response for this year’s The Freelancer Fair that will be held on September 2 at the Bayanihan Center, Pioneer, from 8 am to 5pm. I hope that you are as excited as I am! I hope that you learn a lot, meet more co-freelancers and aspiring freelancers, meet new clients and people you can collaborate with, be inspired to be one (if you aren’t already) and get to see if the freelancing life is for you! For my readers who have just heard about this event, it’s not too late. This long post will tell you what it is about and at the same time, give advice to those who have already purchased a ticket on how to maximize your time at the The Freelancer Fair.

What is the Freelancer Fair?

In the Philippines, we have around 1.5M freelancers who are working online. Most of these freelancers are virtual assistants, graphic artists, programmers, marketers, animators, etc. This number does not include the freelancers who are working “offline”, such as photographers, videographers, make-up artists, fitness coaches, consultants, etc.

Both of these numbers are growing, as the “gig economy” is now being widely accepted as a viable option for a career or a profession. Manila Workshops has always believed that we have talented people in the Philippines and we want to make it widely known that being a freelancer is a legit profession. The successful people who have made it in this industry took it to heart to always be ahead of the curve by learning new skills and by adapting to the changes happening.

But more than a profession, we also want to educate people on how Freelancing is the door to many more possibilities you can do with your life whether it’s simply having more time with your family, or finally getting started with that business or passion you’ve always dreamed of.

With this year’s theme Cultivating Relationships, the event promises to give you a full day of learning through a series of talks, panel discussions and networking with freelancers, industry experts and businesses.

What are the Official Hashtags?

The official hashtags are #RiseOfTheFree and #TheFreelancerFair. Kindly use these hashtags when posting. Also, please follow and like the new page that we have created on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefreelancerfair/

Where and what time is The Freelancer Fair?

The Freelancer Fair will be held at the Bayanihan Center. It’s along Pioneer. Please CLICK HERE for the map details. There is FREE parking beside the venue that can accommodate a lot of cars! 🙂 The event will start at 9:00 am, but registration will open at 8:00 am. Please come during this period (from 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning). This is to avoid long lines in the registration area.

Registration and Entering the Venue Proper

Please wear comfortable clothing, but please no shorts and slippers please. There will be different lines at the registration area. We will have the following lines:

a. Paid online – Surname or Last Name starts with A to L
b. Paid online – Surname or Last Name starts with M to Z
c. Walk-ins – Surname or Last Name starts with A to L
d. Walk-ins – Surname or Last Name starts with M to Z
e. VIPS / Sponsors (including Booth Sponsors) / Media

Children 17 years old and younger can enter the venue for free. Kindly present a proof of their age/birthday at the registration area. Please attend though to your children at all times. Also, let’s be respectful of other people’s intent to listen and learn. Any behaviour that is not conducive to learning is highly discouraged. 🙂 Hope you understand!

Upon signing up, you will be given an ID, which you need to wear at all times (since Bayanihan security is strict). At the back of your ID will be a copy of the program. You will also be given a loot bag, which you will use to keep all of your belongings and all the freebies that you will get from our partner brands and sponsors. It will also contain the Booth Stamping Game Sheet / Feedback Form. IF YOU PRE-ORDERED FOOD AND DRINKS, be sure also that you get the food stubs from the registration area.

PRE-ORDER FOOD AND DRINKS

The venue does not allow cash transactions for food and drinks inside the venue. If you want to order food and drinks, please PRE-ORDER from our partner merchants. This is highly recommended as restaurants, cafes, etc. are across the street. The time spent to buy and line up may have been time spent networking! 🙂

Here is the list of the partner food and beverage merchants:

BEVERAGE PARTNERS

ORDER COFFEE FROM BLACK BRIDGE: http://bit.ly/BlackBridgeTFF2017

ORDER MILK TEA FROM NITRO 7: http://bit.ly/Nitro7TFF2017

FOOD ORDERS

For those who asked, yes, you can bring water jugs, too, and it is advisable to bring water.

For those who are breastfeeding, please do let anyone from Manila Workshops know. They will direct you to the room where you can breastfeed if you need privacy.

BRING CALLING CARDS OR COPIES OF YOUR WORK (JUST IN CASE)

You’ll never know if a someone in the fair would be interested to avail of your service. It’s good to be prepared and ready to network. Be sure to use the hashtags when posting, since a lot of the attendees will follow the event by searching for the hashtags. Also, update your Facebook, Linked-In, and other profiles prior to The Freelancer Fair.

There will be different communities that will be present. They will have booths during the event. Be sure to network and get to know people in these booths! The community leaders and members will be there to help answer any questions that you may have and will be open to welcome you with open arms into this industry! 🙂

BE SURE TO INTERACT WITH THE SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS!

We have an interesting line-up of speakers, and these people are very open and willing to help you jumpstart your freelancing career. Don’t be shy to approach them!

Here is the list of speakers:

PROGRAM & SPEAKER SCHEDULE: 

Hosts: Marv de Leon and Jieneb Kho

◊ Part 1: FREELANCING: AN OVERVIEW
9:00 am to 9:15 am: Opening Remarks: Cultivating Relationships w/ Ginger Arboleda, CEO of Manila Workshops
9:15 am to 9:35 am: The Freelancing Industry in the Philippines w/  Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim, Director of Department of Information Communications & Technology (DICT)
9:40 am to 10:00 am: Freelancing Association: Introduction of DCAP w/ Genesis Reonico, Founder of OnlineJobsUniversity.com and President of the Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines

◊ Part 2: FREELANCING AS A PROFESSION: SUPPORT & SERVICES 
10:00 am to 10:20 am: Business Registration and Taxation w/ Dandy Victa, President of Manila Civil Service Review & Mark Ong, CFO of Taxumo
10:20 am to 11:00 am: Freelancers’ Funds Flow w/ Paolo Baltao, EON & Miguel Warren, PAYONEER
11:00 am to 11:20 am: Freelancers: Finding Your Purpose w/ Jackie Cañiza, Founder of Haraya Coaching
11:00 am to 11:40 am: Talk from Facebook with Paolo Lacuna, SMB Business Development Lead, PH at Facebook
11:40 am to 12:15 pm: Freelancing Opportunities and Tools w/ Lory Desuasido (Bizmates.ph), Fitz Villafuerte, Founder of 199jobs.com and Julia Jamie Madrazo, OnlineJobs.ph
12:15 pm to 1:00 pm: Lunch Break

◊ Part 3: ONLINE FREELANCING
1:00 pm to 1:20 pm: Building Relationship Through Email w/ Allan Ngo, Founder of Digital Solopreneur
1:20 pm to 2:00 pm: Building a Brand and Relationships as Freelancers (Panel) w/ Nix Eniego, Marketing Head of Sprout Solutions & CJ Maturino, Founder of Online Freelance Community, together with successful & seasoned freelancers – Allie Pasag, John Pagulayan, Nina Mendoza & Liberty Baldovino
2:20 pm to 2:40pm: Fitness Freelancing Opportunities and Tips (Panel) with Rach Bonifacio of Treehouse Yoga, Toni Nicolas (Yoga / Zumba Instructor) & Allan Enriquez, Fitness Blogger

◊ Part 4: SOFTWARE & SERVICE FREELANCING
3:00 pm to 3:15 pm: Financial Freelancing w/ Bong Fajardo, Jr., Regional Sales Manager of SunLife Financial Philippines
3:15 pm to 3:30 pm: Real Estate Freelancing w/ Icel Dy of Spectrum Investments

◊ Part 5: CREATIVE DESIGN & FREELANCING
4:00 pm to 4:20 pm: Creative and Design Freelancing w/ Francis Miranda, CEO of Tagline Communications Inc.
4:20 pm to 4:45 pm: Creative Freelancing: Opportunities and Tips (Panel) w/ Ria Lu, CEO of Komikasi Games Charlie Aquino, Managing Director of SophieCreatives; Dennis Abad, Co-founder of SHOOT! Practical Videography School
5:00 pm: Closing Remarks

JOIN THE BOOTH STAMPING GAME (RAFFLE)!

There will be some raffle prizes from some of our sponsors. To join the raffle, you will need to join the booth stamping game (BSG). The BSG sheet will be your raffle entry. All you need to do is to interact with 20 other people (ideally, people whom you have just met at this event!). 🙂 Come on people… no cheating! This will be to your advantage! Once completed, fill out the feedback form at the back of the sheet and write your name. Submit your sheet to any of the Manila Workshops event directors at the reception area.

Please visit the booths of our sponsors, too! They have mini surprises at their booths, so go and visit them, too!

KEEP A SOUVENIR! ORDER OUR LIMITED EDITION RISE OF THE FREE SHIRTS!

 

To order these nice shirts, please fill out this form: http://bit.ly/2wMcYtl

This day is about learning a few things about being a freelancer in today’s times. It’s also a day of cultivating relationships. Won’t it be more fun and exciting if you go on this journey with other people? I’ve been a freelancer since 2008 and let me tell you that I have made friends and these friends have been with me, supporting me through the “thick and thins” of my freelancing and entrepreneurship career!

Let’s show the world the power of the Filipino Freelancer. Get ready for the Rise of the Free!

Love,

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

P.S. For those who haven’t bought a ticket yet, you still have time! Please visit this link: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/thefreelancerfair2017 Online registrations will close on August 30, but we will accept walk-ins. ONLY PREPAID ATTENDEES THOUGH WILL GET LOOTBAGS 🙂 🙂 See you!

P.P.S. Please join our newly created The Freelancer Fair Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thefreelancerfair/