Freelancers’ Questions About Taxation, Answered!

I have seen a shift in the mindset of a lot of freelancers (for this working online and for those rendering offline services). Back in 2013, when we at Manila Workshops started to create learning events for Freelancers and aspiring freelancers, we saw that most of them were in that realm of trying things out. Some of the freelancers that we encountered were starting a freelancing career and most of them were still thinking of starting. Four years after, we see that now, a lot of them want to make this their full time profession. They want to make this a career and their main source of income.

Since they will make this their primary source of income, a lot of questions on legitimising and registration with the government come up. As you know, as a freelancer, you need to fix and do everything (as an employee, people in HR do it for you). Registering as a freelancer in the Philippines is actually quite easy. I kid you not! You just need resources (like this article) to guide you.

Do I need to pay taxes even if I earn only a little from Freelancing?

Yes, you need to pay taxes, and it’s clearly stated in Section 74 in the Philippine Tax Code. It says that for as long as you receive income, regardless of the source (even from international entities), you are required to pay taxes. Again, we are seeing more freelancers pay taxes because of their need for a proof of their income which they will use to get VISAs, loans, health cards or HMO plans, etc.

So, I’m now earning a small amount of money from my freelancing career, but I am also employed. How do I declare my income to the Bureau of Internal Revenue?

First, you have to register as a non-PRC Licensed professional. You may opt not to have a DTI Certificate of Registration. In DTI you reserve the name of your business, which is something that is not really that important if you’re registering as an individual. As a freelancer, you NEED NOT go to the municipal hall to register for a barangay business permit. Just go straight to the BIR. Although, some BIR Revenue District Offices (RDOs) may require you to get an Occupational Tax Receipt issued by the Local Government Unit (LGU).

What are the instances when I need to get a barangay business permit and clearance?

For example, you are a yoga teacher that is commissioned by different yoga studios, you need not get a barangay permit. Once you open your own studio though, this becomes a sole proprietor/business that you will need to register. You will need to go to DTI and the Municipal Hall, and of course, BIR. If you don’t have employees, you need not go to SSS, Philhealth and Pagibig, since you will just have to pay for your own SSS/PHIC/Pag-ibig contributions under your own identification number as a voluntary contributor.

For employees, they have to option to opt for “substituted filing”, which means they are exempted from filing an income tax returns on their own. To qualify, one should have only worked for one employer during a calendar year and has no other sources of income. This can be availed by signing off on the Form 2316 (proof of remittance of payroll tax) provided by employers after the end of the year, or after an employee has moved on. The Form 2316 will then be submitted by the employer (or ex-employer) to the BIR.

If one has worked for more than one employer during a calendar year, he or she would have to file for either of the following:

Form 1700 – use this form if one has no other sources of income other than employment income, and add all employment income and deduct all payroll taxes withheld by employer(s), and pay remaining tax due (if any)

Form 1701* – use this form if one has other sources of income in addition to employment income, or earning purely business income; use this form to report all sources of income (employment, business, others)

*Self-employed freelancers, professionals and sole-proprietors are required to also file quarterly income tax forms (Form 1701Q) in addition to the annual Form 1701. However, employment income are not required to be included in the quarterly tax returns as these are to be reported only at year-end.

Self-employed freelancers, professionals and sole-proprietors are also required to pay monthly “sales” tax. Depending on their classification (see section below), they will need to file either:

Percentage taxes (Form 2551M) – gross revenues x 3%

VAT (Forms 2550M and 2550Q) – gross revenues x 12%, less the VAT charged by VAT-registered vendors/suppliers

But before going to taxation, what are the requirements to register as a freelancer in BIR?

First of all, you have to decide on a business address. The city where your business address will be should match the Revenue District Office of the BIR that your TIN will be attached to. If you previously worked in Makati, and have decided to use your home address in Pasig as your business address, be sure to transfer your TIN from the Revenue District in Makati to the Revenue District in Pasig. Just fill up the form 1905 (Download Form 1905) then submit it at the current Revenue District Office. Wait for at least a week before going to the new RDO to register as a freelancer.;

The list of the BIR Revenue District Offices is here: https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/contact-us/directory/revenue-district-offices.html

Once I have transferred my RDO, what should I do?

You should fill out the form 1901 (download Form 1901). You can get it from the Officer of the day or from the guard from the entrance of the RDO.

For the Taxpayer Type, as a freelancer, choose professional – In General. (It’s best though to ask the Officer of the Day on how they classify Freelancers).

Be sure also that you start as a Non-Vat entity. Vat Entities are those that earn Php 1.919 Million a year. Be sure also that you say that you still don’t have employees, if you’re working alone. Check the form, and ASK QUESTIONS before signing and submitting the form.

Each form is only at Php 500 which you can pay at the Authorized Agent Banks (AABs) near the RDO using form 0605. There will also be a certification fee and you also have to pay for Documentary Stamps. These will be around Php 30 to Php 50. You will get the Certificate of Registration a week or two weeks after.

Before leaving the Revenue District Office though, you can order for you Official Receipt booklet. Some of the accredited suppliers are in the BIR premises. If you don’t see them, just ask the BIR Officer the details of the supplier that you may contact. One order is normally 10 booklets at the minimum. This may cost 1000 to 2000 pesos for 10 booklets (depends on the design and if duplicate or in triplicate).

When you go back for the Certificate of Registration, you will also receive the following: ATP or Authority to Print and your books of accounts. The BIR will stamp your books of accounts (journal/ledger/subsidiary professional income book and subsidiary purchases/expenses book) and also your official receipts.

You will know if you are registered when you have your Certificate of Registration. Once you have your COR or form 2303, you SHOULD already start filing and paying for your taxes. Be sure to file even if you haven’t earned anything for the month.

Here is the schedule for the tax deadlines for a Non-Vat Entity

Percentage Tax (Form 2551M) – BIR Deadline is on the 20th of every month
Quarterly Income Tax (Form 1701Q) – Q1 is on April 15 / Q2 is on August 15 / Q3 is on November 15 / Annual Income Tax Return is on April 15 of the following year

Once you have your Certificate of Registration, this is where Taxumo, an online web application service can help you file and pay for your taxes. All you need to do is:

  • Copy the details in your Certificate of Registration to your Taxumo Profile
  • Fill in your income and expenses tabs
  • Click on the tax cost to submit your tax filing
  • Payment can be done online, too! Just go to Taxumo.com
  • Taxumo will save your BIR confirmation and the payment confirmation in your dashboard as proof of payment.

YOU’RE DONE! It’s so simple. Please view this video if you need more information.

I hope this article helps!

Love lots,

Ginger

P.S.

These are other links to some other articles that can help you:
http://www.freelancing.ph/bir-requirements-every-filipino-freelancer-should-know/
https://www.rappler.com/business/53578-self-employed-how-to-register-bir

P.P.S.

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/

 

Freelancing Tools: Proposals for you to win the job quickly

As a freelancer, you will be required to create tons of proposals to win a client. Instead of a job interview or resume, your proposal is vital in getting clients so how do you make your proposal stand out from the hundreds that also want to land the job?

You can get your potential clients’ attention by creating visually enticing templates with some of these freelancing tools that you can use to create a proposal!

Qwilr

This is one of the tools that I personally love and use. This site has ready-to-use templates for different kinds of projects. I love that you don’t need to think about the sections of the proposal or what goes into a proposal. You just need to edit and alter. It’s so much easier to create proposals for AdWords, Branding, Real Estate, Event Planning. Marketing Research and even Android Apps!

They offer a free 30-day trial and have 3 plans you can choose from: Pro, Business and Enterprise.

What I love about it is that it’s so sleek and so simple to use! What makes it stand-out really is the way you can layout your proposal. It just really looks impressive when you send out proposals using this.

Hello Bonsai

If you want to create proposals and send contracts all in one platform then Hello Bonsai is the right freelancing tool for you. It can help you create template proposals and let you know once your proposal is read. Your client can approve the proposal online and you can easily send them a contract to get their e-signature for a closed deal quickly!

Here are the features of Hello Bonsai. You can create proposals and contracts. You can use if for time tracking, create projects, monitor expenses and create invoice and payments. It also has great reporting capabilities.

 

They offer a free plan with limited functionalities where you can create only 3 projects per year or you can sign up with them for $19 a month for a complete suite which can help you effectively run your freelancing business.

What I like about Hello Bonsai is the fact that there are a lot of things that you can do using the platform. It’s also really affordable, too, if you’re a freelancer.

Bidsketch

Aside from creating proposals, this freelancing tool allows you to turn 18% of your leads to clients because it allows you to create landing pages, which clients can download into a .pdf file. Its analytics also allows you to find out how interested your clients are by giving data of how long they viewed the proposal, if they exported it and from which email it came from.

Its plans start at $23 if you want to will only have 1 user and $47 if you have a team of 3. They also offer a 14-day trial for first time users.

Are there freelancing tools that can help create great proposals that you know of? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

Do you want to be a Freelancer?

If you are scared to take the leap into entrepreneurship, I suggest that you try out FREELANCING first. To those who don’t know, I was a content writer in ODESK (now Upwork) way back in 2010. I got a lot of foreign clients, and actually learned from my experience as a content writer. Starting this Friday, before The Freelancer Fair 2017, which will be held on Sept. 2, 2017, I will be writing a lot about freelancing, how to start freelancing, what you need to do to sustain a freelancing career, etc.

The ultimate benefit for me when I went into freelancing was really to learn more about the industry and to see if it was actually for me. I love writing, so the immediate thought for me was, why not earn from my passion? But honestly, the ultimate benefit of having a freelancing career is to be flexible enough to manage your time and to have no cap in terms of the pay that you get. If you want to earn more, you can manage yourself (your time, your resources, your rates) effectively so that you can achieve the dreams that you have.

Freelancing offers flexibility in all aspects. If you are a mom like me and you want to be there for your children, you can fix your freelancing schedule to allow that. You can earn for your family, while being able to be present during your child’s milestones. Also, freelancing can allow you to pursue your passion and to earn from them. You will be able to work whenever, wherever and even choose tasks where you can apply your skills and take on roles that interest you.

So what jobs or tasks can you actually take on? You can choose from countless jobs available online today such as teaching English to foreign students, clerical work, social media management, writing, customer service responders and more! If you want to explore the world of freelancing and the opportunities you can get to earn while staying at home with your family, here are a few jobs you may want to try out.

Virtual Assistant
If you enjoy organizing schedules, emails and taking care of your client’s day-to-day tasks then this job may be the best fit for you! Virtual assistants have a fixed schedule or work at the time given by their client. You can work at the comforts of your home while having a client/boss via Skype or other messaging platform giving you instructions on what they need to be done.

Teaching English or other subjects
There are students from around the world who are looking for English tutors from different websites. There are numerous sites here in the Philippines such as RareJob or 51talk.

Transcriptionist
If you enjoy typing and are actually great at it, then you can earn from using that skill! There are clients who need transcribing in different kinds of fields such as medical or legal fields. As a transcriptionist, you can get paid per word, per line or each audio minute you transcribe. This job doesn’t require a fixed time schedule so you can choose to work anytime you want.

Writing
If you’re more on the creative side and enjoy writing then you will also be able to find different kinds of tasks from blog writing, copywriting, business writing. There will always be a need for this skill. You’ll just have to find clients at the right websites or get referrals from your own connections. You can be paid per word or per article, and usually this does not require a fixed schedule from you but would have deadlines instead.

There are a lot of other things that you can do, and a lot of tasks that people outsource. Think of any process or any tasks in a business, and i’m sure it can be something that a freelancer can do.

If you want to learn more about FREELANCING, you can attend the annual event called The Freelancer Fair (http://manilaworkshops.com/events/thefreelancerfair2017).

What are you passionate about? What are your skills, your strengths? After identifying these, which job do you think is the best fit for you? Share your thoughts with us and let us know which you think are the best freelancing jobs out there for Moms like me!

Understanding Influencer Marketing

I have always been fascinated about how one becomes a key opinion leader (KOL) or an influencer. I had this short conversation with a friend who wants to start a blog, so that she can be a KOL. But is being an influencer that simple? Is it just about starting a blog and writing content or posting pretty pictures on Instagram or Facebook?

Before I answer that, based on my own observations and opinion, let’s look at Influencer Marketing and understand where this new marketing phenomenon (if you want to call it a phenomenon) came to be.

The Evolution of Marketing

Marketing has greatly evolved from a decade ago. I remember that 10-15 years ago, the concept of customer-centric marketing came to be. From a product-centric perspective, marketers realised that they needed to truly understand the customer in order to stay ahead of competition. Customers became more entrenched in their own decision making process (researching, asking people about their experience with a certain product) since they wanted to get what they deserve with the money that they spend. Thus, marketers chose a specific niche to give value to, to focus efforts and to spread clear messages about what their proposition was.

After this focus on the customer and making customers happy, marketers found that they can use the entire experience to make the entire product experience memorable. This was then the birth of experiential marketing. With experiential marketing, word-of-mouth became the main objective of marketers. They needed people to talk about the product and tell other people about their personal experience with the brand or product.

With the advent of social media, anyone can now actually share their experience with products that they purchase and with experiences that they had with a service. Way back in 2000, Malcolm Gladwell published a book called the Tipping Point, that talked about three archetypes: the salesperson, the connector and the maven. This is how Gladwell described Mavens.

A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests … they like to be helpers in the marketplace. They distribute coupons. They take you shopping. They go shopping for you … This is the person who connects people to the marketplace and has the inside scoop on the marketplace.

I thought that his description was a great prelude to what we know key opinion leaders or influencers to be. As early as the year 2000, or even before that (no one knows), the concept of influencer marketing (I believe) was already being practiced but in small circles. Social Media paved the way for KOLs/Influencers to reach more people, once geographically impossible to reach.

What is Influencer Marketing?
As I’ve mentioned, I have this weird fascination for Influencer Marketing. I’ve always wondered how people become influencers. Influencer Marketing is using people with influence to talk about and sell your product and services. They say that for every $1 that you spend on an influencer, it comes back 20x in terms of revenue / sales. I don’t have exact figures for influencer marketing in the Philippines, but it may be true!

In the process of observing celebrity influencers, tier 1 influencers (yes, there are levels!), and other influencers no matter what level, I have come to realize these things about Influencer Marketing.

Who they are?
In terms of personality, I have seen that the effective influencers don’t wear any masks. They don’t pretend to be someone that they’re not. They tell it as it is. This is the reason why influencers come in all shapes, forms, sizes, etc. Banish all judgement on how you think influencers “should be or look like” because a template does not exist. They can be introverts or extroverts. It doesn’t matter. They are very authentic people, and honest about who they are and how they feel. This authenticity builds trust. This trust makes everything they say believable. It makes everything that they do aspirational, and all of the things that they do commands respect.

What they say?
They are known and are effective when it comes to talking or spreading the word about a particular topic. And usually, these are topics that they are truly passionate about! They “talk”, “write”, “vlog”, “draw” with so much passion that the energy is felt by their audience. There is a certain charisma (I actually don’t know if it’s the right term) that draws people to stop, look and listen to this person.

What did they do?
Consistency is something you’ll notice they have. I’m not sure though if this stems from the being passionate about something that they believe in or something that they love doing. So if it’s blogging, they always have new and relevant content that contains experiences that resonates with their audience. If it’s posting in social media, they constantly post Instagram stories or status that slowly builds and tells a “story” about their life or about who they are as real people. They deeply engage with brands that they love, that help their “cause or advocacy”, and are proactive with reaching out to them.  They also engage only with brands that they authentically love!

Obviously, as an influencer, it took quite some time to get to that status, and it takes hard work and constant reiteration of what you believe in and what you stand for. And that “reiteration” is not a blatant, hard-sell kind of a thing. Since everything is authentic, the “message” is intertwined with the influencers lifestyle. It’s almost impossible to distinguish what is “sponsored” and what isn’t.

These are my thoughts on Influencer Marketing. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this? Think of an influencer that you know and tell me what makes you gravitate towards that person (leave your thoughts on the comment section below). Why do you think what he / she says and does makes a huge impact or resonates with you?

Together, let’s analyze how influencers become influencers! 🙂

How to start Freelancing? Where do I begin?

I’m really grateful that almost 60 people signed up for the Freelancing for Beginners workshop last Saturday. And after observing the questions from the crowd, it seemed that 90% of the crowd was really there to learn more about what freelancing is and how do you actually start “freelancing”. We hope that you really learned a lot! We also got to read the suggestions, and most of you were asking for more time to discuss more topics and to network. Awww, thank you for actually mentioning networking, since support is crucial in this type of career.

A freelancer offers his/her services to different Clients. If you can do something for someone else, like create a video, look and build a list for a client, handle social media accounts for them, create business strategies, do their accounting and legal work, create a design for their office, create marketing campaigns, etc., you are a freelancer. Now I mentioned that there is a blurry line between being a freelancer and an entrepreneur, because for example, if a yoga teacher then decides to hold classes in her home and convert it into a studio (is she now a freelancer or an entrepreneur?). There are numerous examples that will make you think of the difference, but I think the main difference (as best said by my marketing idol, Seth Godin in this interview) will come when the freelancer decides and starts creating a plan to make systems work for him/her to earn money rather then use his or her own time, skills and effort to earn money.

If you have not seen and listened to video above, you need to! Another point that he stated, which I completely agree with, is that if you’re looking to be a freelancer, strive to be an extraordinary freelancer! This is the reason why my main goal is really to help freelancers learn more about their craft and strive to be better than what they were yesterday. I wish that each on would wake up and say that today they know MORE than what they did yesterday.

My Freelance Journey

Not a lot of people know that I after starting my blogging career way back in 2008, I started writing for different clients. I then joined Upwork (at that time Odesk) way back in 2010, as a freelance writer. I was an SEO/technical writer. I was hired to write articles for websites, and the articles that I wrote ranged from reviews of different vacuum cleaners to flooring for the home. I then became a writer for Philippine Online Chronicles (POC) for half a year. When I had to resign from my job from a bank, I created my own business called Manila Workshops, with the main intention to help people turn their entrepreneurial and freelancing dreams into a reality. I had to forego my freelancing gigs, but continued on applying my love for writing through my blogs. In blogging professionally, I continue to apply and hone my skills, and most importantly, I still manage to keep sane because of writing.

Your Freelance Journey

Your freelance journey may be different from mine, but regardless of WHAT you intend to do or WHEN you decide to freelance, it will be something that you will definitely learn from. So, what have I learned from my journey that I hope will help you in starting your freelancing career? Here is a list of a few things that I have personally learned:

The first step is really knowing yourself — know your skills, know what you are capable of and the limits to what you can do, know your strengths and your weaknesses and know your flaws and incompetencies. This “digging deeper” and reflection is not just for you to assess technical skills, but even your emotional capacity. What irks you? What motivates you? What inspires you to do your best and strive harder?

This is something that you alone can do. Clarity, in this aspect of your life, can only be achieved by you and you alone. And I say this even for those with spouses or significant others. Your partner can only give your bits and pieces to a jigsaw puzzle that you alone can build. Ultimately, deciding if you want to have a freelance career will be your choice. It’s good, however, to step out of the house, talk to people, gain insights from what other people are doing, and gain insights from other freelancers so that you see what’s out there. You’ll have a broader perspective of what can be in store for you in that potential life as a freelancer.

Next, after you have gained a little bit of clarity on what you want to do, build your portfolio. Create samples of your work. From the work that you have created, test and gain feedback from other people (especially from people from the market that you want to tap). For example, if your forte is writing about health, medicine, nutrition or anything that involves fitness and health, have people who are interested in these topics, brands who operate in this vertical or clients who have customers who would want to read these kinds of articles,  check your work and give feedback.

Since these are samples of your work, you can improve further and create more samples. I’m sure that for those of you who have corporate jobs, this will be something that you can do when you have spare time. Also, try to create something everyday that moves you a step further into freelancing (it doesn’t matter if it’s just one sentence or just a few strokes in a painting).

The other lesson that I’ve learned is that consistency is key. Just keep at what you’re doing, no matter how hard it is. You’ll reap the rewards later on. I just watched the Katy Perry Part of Me Documentary on Netflix, and I was amazed at how full of grit this lady was. For a lot of successful freelancers and entrepreneurs even, people just see the successful you. They fail to think about the journey that you went through. For most of the successful people that I know, or don’t know (like Katy Perry! haha!), it was a very hard and grueling journey to the where they are now. For example, when we have workshops, people only see the ‘event’ on the day itself. They don’t see the hard work and the effort that we put into making the workshop possible.

So there, my tip is really to just keep at it, no matter how down, worthless and unsuccessful you feel.

Always have someone to talk to, like a mentor, a friend who is already freelancing, or anyone who you know will understand what you’re going through. It always helps to have a friend who will listen to what you’re going through. They have probably gone through the same situation already and may be able to give tips on how they handled difficult situations.

For those in the corporate world who wants to try freelancing, go ahead and try it out. But, don’t let go of the job that you have until you have successfully 1) built enough funds that will last you at least 6 months 2) Even with that parachute fund, you need to have a good base of clients already that are paying you enough for the monthly expenses and for the debts (usually credit card debts) that you have 3) if you still don’t have that base, but really want to allot more time to freelancing, get a bridge job (a part time job that will give you more time for freelancing).

Create a clear visual plan of what you want to be and what goals do you have for yourself. I have a corkboard in my room that shows all the plans that I made for myself. I look at it every so often to be reminded of where I am and how far do I still need to go before I get to the goals that I set for myself.

Learn more about the skill that you want to build. Attend workshops, online courses, download ebooks, read up on the things that are related to the skill that you want to learn more about. The more you know, the more value you can give your clients. And learning doesn’t have to come from structured courses or classes. You can learn from talking to people. Set up meetings with people you want to learn from and just talk about any thing. Strive to be wiser everyday!

At the end of the day, it’s about priorities and making yourself happy. If you really need this and you really want to be a full time freelancing professional, then decide to make that happen, and work smart to make that happen. It will be hard work, but if this is what you want, then go for it.

For those who have been freelancing for year, hope you can give your own tips, too! 🙂 It will be great if you can share your experiences and comments in the comment section below! Read on, aspiring freelancers!

Love,

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you want are looking for support, you can check out these groups:

Freelancing Philippines

Online Filipino Freelancers

Work in freedom community for female freelancers & entrepreneurs

Freelancers in the Philippines

Social Media Managers

Freelance Blenders Group

Professional VAs

Upwork Freelancers in Philippines

Fivrr Success Philippines

Startup Marketing Philippines

Freelancers Hub Philippines

Boss Bellas

 

 

 

How to Squeeze in Exercise While Driving

If you think about it, it’s amazing how man continues to make discoveries that would make everyday things faster, easier, or more efficient. Before the birth of the automobile (now that we say car, this word sounds so “old” haha!), people mostly walked from Point A to Point B or relied on horses. What used to take months of travel by going on foot, can now be done in a few hours. However, modern conveniences like these have also made it difficult for some to find the time to establish a fitness routine. We tend to pack our schedules to fulfil all our obligations, that it becomes tricky to find that balance when everything in life seems to be happening at the same time.

This is especially true for moms, and for some who have already established a bond with their cars from driving the kids to and from school or running errands. Some moms have even partnered up with Uber to augment to the household income. They already drive around most of the day, so why not make money while on the road, right?

So how do you find the time to work out when you’re busy with…, well, life? Luckily, experts have proven that you don’t have to spend a straight hour at the gym just to get your fitness requirement done for the day. You can exercise while driving! Yup! You can break down that hour into more manageable chunks so you can squeeze in a couple of fitness moves while you go about your day. Yes, some of them can even be done while in your car! A word of caution: be sure not to be distracted while doing these moves. It would be best to do this routine while waiting for the stop light or while sitting in traffic (which tends to happen a lot in Metro Manila). Allow me to share some quick exercise hacks that you can do in your daily commute.

Deep breathing. I kid you not, breathing exercises are one of the easiest things you include in your commuting fitness regimen. Sitting in traffic can be stressful, so breathing can alleviate that restlessness. Take a slow, deep breath in and feel your diaphragm expand. Hold your breath for 3 seconds, then start to exhale slowly through your nose until you feel that all the air has been expelled from your chest. You can repeat the steps until you finish 1 song from your playlist. The purpose of this exercise is to make you more relaxed and calm. It is important to note that you should limit this routine for the duration of 1 song, or roughly 2 minutes. Prolonged deep breathing may make you too relaxed and sleepy. Remember that a sleepy driver is a dangerous driver!

Seated cat. You will quickly find that the car is a fun place to try all these modified yoga poses. This is a great way to work out your core, as we don’t get to work out that area while sitting down. Sit in the standard driving position and extend your arms to the steering wheel, putting your hands in the 10 o’ clock and 2 o’ clock positions. Slowly start to tighten your core and abdominal muscles as you inhale, curling inwards until your upper body is curved to a letter ‘C’. Slowly exhale and come back to the standard seating position but keep your abdominal muscles tight as you push your back into the seat. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds, and repeat. You can perform this move for the duration of 2 songs, resting for a few seconds in between songs.

Stretching. I love this move as it feels wonderful on my back when I have to drive for long hours. Simply reach your arms as high as you can toward the roof of your car while engaging your abs and back muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and come back to the standard seating position. You can do this move while the car is stopped in traffic. Do not attempt this move while in motion! It is important to keep your eyes on the road and keep your full focus on your surroundings while driving.

So simply put! There shouldn’t be any excuse for not staying in shape — driving around is definitely not an excuse anymore! haha! You can exercise while driving. Do you have other tips that you can share?