I sound so crazy saying that. You might be wondering, who actually promises to be better at one’s profession or one’s job even.
Well, that’s the entire point. Only a few of us commit to be better at what we do.
When creating goals for this year, most of us write down financial goals, weight loss goals, travel goals, etc. Hardly do we take the time out to create action steps on how we might better our freelancing profession, how we run a company or a business or even how we work in the office. We only think about improving our profession, business or career when the going gets tough, when ratings are involved or when we’re trying to get a promotion.
I think this year is the year that we push ourselves into COMMITTING to do better in what we do. Since I’m a freelancer / entrepreneur, I commit to be better at both these things. I have listed down things that I will commit to.
I will commit to seeing my worth.
Last year, I have been scared of losing. I have been scared of losing a lot of deals with clients, losing relationships and losing opportunities. I agreed to some projects that have lowered my worth as a freelancer. This year, I commit to being braver, to seeing my strengths and to valuing myself. I commit to dealing with people who see the value that I can give them. I will constantly remind myself that I am worth every penny, because I deliver great value.
I will commit to deliver exceptional work.
I will commit to not only deliver projects ask of me, but deliver exceptional work. I will help my client with their objectives and contribute ideas and more than the scope of work given to me. I will continue to provide more value to brands that I trust and love.
I will commit to tracking my finances better.
I will commit to logging my income and expenses dutifully. I will commit to continuously using frequently-used-apps like PayPal, Taxumo, GCASH and UnionBank Mobile Banking and to use my not-so-frequently used apps like Wally, 52 Weeks and other apps that I have downloaded an paid for. I know that these will help me, but lazy me takes over! Haha! So I will commit to fixing my finances better this 2019.
I will commit to writing, blogging and vlogging more consistently.
I commit to creating better content — content that is from the heart and more purposeful. I promise that I will b/vlog about the things that my readers will be interested in and that they will learn from. I promise to be consistent, too. I will not let the week pass without creating content.
I promise to learn more about “other” things this year.
I usually come across things that I use for my craft, but I know that I need to learn or at least read about other things that are not related to what I do. I commit to read more, listen to people, meet new people and create new relationships with people. I commit to widening my network, since I know that this is how I’ll be able to learn more.
That’s about it. These are the things that I commit to as a freelancer.
How about you? Let’s start an accountability thread. Tell me about what you COMMIT to as a freelancer, entrepreneur, employee, profesional, parent, etc. I’d love to hear about it!
Money is a difficult subject to talk about. But with the right financial tools, anyone can learn to manage their expenses and stay away from financial troubles later on.
Those who know me would know that I like automation. And, I also like looking for financial tools that can make my life easier and my business run smoothly.
Today, I’d like to share three financial tools that can help freelancers manage their finances better. I’ve personally used these, and I can attest that they definitely work.
Financial Tool #1 – Wally for Expense Tracking
I’ve been a fan of Wally for almost two years now and I’ve been using it to tracking and managing finances.
What I love about it is that it lets me compare my income versus expenses. It also gives me insights on my spending habits.
One of my guilty pleasures is online shopping. I just can’t help it! I get curious about a lot of stuff, especially when it comes to beauty products and Zeeka’s things. I’m also into checking out local brands. Just check out my Instagram and you’d know what I mean.
And sometimes, I can’t help but be a bit impulsive.
But with Wally, I get to see the expenses I’ve made and categorize them according to their purpose. It lets you create your own budget, add tags and categories, and even the location of your purchase.
It also lets you add reminders for recurring payments, attach images and pictures of receipts, and even keep track of all financial accounts in one place. You also even set goals for savings and investments.
Wally also has a feature where you can track the loans you’ve made and strategize on payments to avoid incurring penalties.
The most awesome thing about the app? It’s absolutely FREE!
I have used PayPal ever since I started writing for a living. And being a recognisable brand all over the world, Paypal made it easier for local and international clients to trust me with their business.
What I love about Paypal is its flexibility. I can send and receive funds from my clients without the fuss. I can also integrate other apps and automate processes like recurring payments with ease.
I have always prioritized automation in running my projects and businesses. As an entrepreneur, it’s important for me to free my time so I could focus on the tasks I need to do. And Paypal has given me the option to do just that.
Paypal has come in handy for online payment options, especially for Manila Workshops and Taxumo.
Those who avail of our workshops find it easier to make seat reservations through our website. It also gives them easier access to ongoing promotions and deals with just a click of a button. Taxumo users also get to enjoy seamless payments when they use their Paypal to pay for our services.
This service from Paypal is an awesome tool you can use for your freelance business. You can use it to get direct payments from anywhere in the world transferred to your local bank account.
You can also add it to your website and other profiles for clients to make payments any time.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can also add a Paypal button to your website:
Financial Tool #3 – GCash
I’m such a fan of GCash because it’s so convenient. Ever since I started using it, I didn’t have to carry as much cash anymore.
GCash is perfect for freelancers, especially those who don’t have time for long queues just to pay their bills. With just a tap of a button, you can get your phone bills, credit card bills, and other utilities paid at your convenience.
Here’s a cool feature from GCash. Did you know that you can just scan your electricity bill to pay it on your GCash app?
Yep, I used to type in the reference numbers when I started paying our electricity bill through the app. This process is a bit tedious and is prone to errors, but it definitely beats standing in line at the payment centers or banks.
Thankfully, GCash now added a feature where you can scan the code at the bottom of the bill and saves you from all the effort.
GCash also has other features that freelancers can take advantage of. There’s GCredit, where you can use it as a credit card for online payments. And there’s also GInvest, where you can start investing your hard earned cash and get access to various investment funds.
Freelancing can be difficult, especially if you’re starting out or if you don’t have a steady stream of clients. That’s why it’s important for every freelancer to learn how to manage their finances well.
Good thing that there are financial tools available today that can help you stay out of debt and financial troubles.
What tools do you use to manage your finances? Share your finance-related tips with us below.
Yesterday, I was talking with a friend and we were talking about how the industry has changed over just a few years. It’s good that freelancing has provided Filipinos jobs, not only for people in Metro Manila but also in provincial areas. But, as the number of freelancers grow, the more competitive this landscape will be. Consider that there is a rapidly increasing number of gig workers all over the world.
To upgrade your freelancing career, you can’t just stay in your comfort zone. What do I mean by that? It means that you should be looking for ways to be relevant to your clientele. You should look for ways to stand out and at least attract a certain niche.
As a freelancer, there are two ways to “earn more”: 1) get more clients at the same price point or 2) increase your price and get quality clients. If you choose the second, understand that an increase in price should be equated to an increase in your brand value.
To increase your value though, you need to have skills that are in demand. You need to have a specific set of skills that not a lot of freelancers can offer.
As years go by, never stop evolving. Why? Because this fast paced world requires you to. As a freelancer, you need to catch up. You need to know what’s happening. The field of work along with the expertise in need changes every single day. What might be in trend today might be forgotten tomorrow.
Learn new skills that are required in your chosen vertical, but also be on the look-out, study and research on new technologies and new things that are being introduced in the market.
Life-long learning should be a priority. You need to be able to adapt to the changing needs of your clients and the world. Doing so will assure you of any job no matter what happens.
Today, I will be sharing with you some awesome tips on how to level up your freelancing journey. Some are absolutely free, while other strategies may need some investment. But all of them will contribute to your success as a freelancer.
Take Online Courses, Webinars, and Events
There are tons of free courses and webinars you can attend. Be careful though in choosing which ones to take.
While most experts launch courses to help others succeed, there are still those who do it for personal gain. It’s best to get to know the credentials of the person conducting the training. Also, look for practitioners. There is value in learning from another’s experiences (especially in this field). Doing so will help you learn and acquire new skills that you can use to level up your game.
Luckily, we have a lot of experts in the local industry that offers free online courses. There are also live events, like the PayPal Freelancer Community Workshops, you can attend to help you be a better freelancer.
I recently finished a workshop hosted by PayPal where I discussed how to become an “official” freelancer.
As freelancers, you should take advantage of these complementary events. Speakers in attendance are experts in their own rights. And they also have a lot of things to share that will help you upgrade your skills.
To know more about Paypal’s upcoming events, you can follow their Facebook page for details.
Maximize Online Quizzes and Worksheets
I’m a sucker for lists, worksheets and templates. I subscribe to newsletters just because they have a list or template that I’d love to have. The value though that you get from these online template, quizzes, worksheets, etc. is ONLY IF you actually use them.
Want to improve your social media marketing skills? Here are some downloadable worksheets to help you manage and plan your social media marketing strategies.
You can always go to Google and look for relevant quizzes and worksheets to test your conceptual knowledge of the topic or the skill.
Check out and use Web and Mobile Applications
Technology enables us to do whatever we want at the tip of our fingertips. When you put structure to what you do using technology, you will be more efficient. When you are more efficient, you never miss on any commitments that you have made to your client. You then become more trustworthy and credible.
One way you can professionalize your career is to prepare the needed documents of a client and submit it on time. Have proposals, contracts, project timelines, and invoices ready to be sent out. For invoices, create an online invoice already using your PayPal account. You can customize your invoices using your PayPal account / dashboard.
As freelancers, these documents are very important when it comes to winning a client. The more you inject professionalism in handling your freelancing business, the more clients will gravitate towards you.
What’s important is you keep up to date with the times and learn about the important updates related to your freelance business.
Here is a video on how to use the invoicing feature of PayPal.
Enroll in an Actual School or Class Setting
If you’re seriously considering to upgrade your skills, enrolling in a school or class setting would be the best to go.
Enrolling in a specialized course can give you all you need to get the proper training you need. But make sure that you will get the best out of it. After all, it’s your time that’s on the line.
Attend to all your classes and be punctual with your schedule. It’s also vital to do all the assignments and pass all the subjects. All of your efforts will be rewarded with a certificate that will signify your successful completion of the course.
This will also strengthen your expertise as a freelancer. It will also be beneficial for your career, since it will give you the credentials you need. It will also help you get better deals and better pricing for future projects.
Put Everything You Learn into Practice
As the famous Gary Vee says, “Ideas are sh*t without execution.”
This is so true! Learning about theories is good, but without practice, it wouldn’t mean anything. Those theories and concepts will just be put to waste if you don’t use it, and come up with concrete outputs.
Make sure to try out the things you learn. You don’t have to be an expert to get results. Plus, you get to learn more things when you start doing them.
In the vast world of freelancing where workers are coming from all over the world, what makes a freelancer successful most of the time is that he/she just starts acting on plans that they create.
Stop overthinking and start doing.
So, are you ready to upgrade your freelancing career?
The thing about how to price freelance services is that it is so complicated. How do you price your own time, effort and expertise? How do we price fairly so as not to devalue ourselves or over-charge our clients?
I honestly think that I don’t have the “right” answer to this question, but what I can share with you today is how I do it for my own freelancing services.
The Basics of Pricing
One of the most common questions is, “What should I consider in pricing my freelancing gig?” The answer to this depends on the (1) services you provide, (2) the market or customers that you want to attract, and (3) your target duration for the engagement or for how long you will do it.
As a freelancer, you can consider two approaches: B2C and the B2B approach. The B2C approach is the business to consumer approach where you offer your services to individuals. The other approach is the business to business or B2B approach where you offer your services to businesses and large corporations (sometimes called “enterprise” services / offerings).
These two approaches matter, because of the costs per conversion (for this specific article, a conversion is a client that avails your services) will certainly be different for each approach.
4 Things to Consider on How to Price Freelance Services
#1 Check on what method you’d like to use after identifying your customer or the market that you want to tap.
There are two kinds of pricing methods that you can use:
One is the cost-plus pricing.
In this process, you will first try to figure out the basic or the total cost of your service while considering your time and the amount or weight of work. Then, after having a total cost price, you may now add a certain percentage which will serve as your profit.
I personally look at the total variable costs and top up a percentage on the total variable costs. Then, I come up with a floor price and a ceiling price for reference.
Most of the tools that we use as freelancers are online, Software-as-a-Service products. I usually use my PayPal account to pay for these services. This allows me to conveniently track my online expenses. This helps me collate all of my costs easily.
Usually, for the B2B approach, you can use a more value-based pricing strategy. This means that you need to look at the value that you can give to the customer, and then without forgetting your costs, come up with a price that you feel best “quantifies” the value that you can give.
No matter what strategy you use, what matters most is that you give justice to whatever the client is paying for you to do.
Consider your monthly budget and try to figure out how many hours you will have to work to achieve that budget. By doing this, you can avoid overpricing.
#2 Check on the current Market Price for services like yours.
Surf the net and research on the price of your competitor’s services.
It would be much better if you will come up with a spreadsheet and list down all the freelancers, services and prices you’ve seen. From there, try to identify the value or set of values that you can give that your competitors can’t (unique value proposition). Check on how much value this can give the customer, try to again “quantify” it, and then see what an appropriate price will be given its uniqueness.
Pro tip: You may charge higher or lower than your competitors and it’s perfectly fine! Your pricing will depend on the value that you bring and on how efficiently you run your freelancing business.
#3 There’s no harm in asking your Client for a Budget
You can also ask the client about his/her allotted budget if you’re unsure of how to price freelance services. Then, go through the steps I indicated above.
See if that budget is something that you can work with. Also, money is not the only thing that matters. If you see that servicing this customer will get you more clients in the future, or if you think this will be a good addition to your portfolio, then go ahead and grab the deal.
#4 Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate
As a freelancer, you need to learn how to face and deal with clients. This career entails you mastering the art of negotiation, and also, knowing how to deal with rejection.
There will also be some clients who will ask for lower rates. Some may even ask you why you’re charging higher when your previous work required much less pay.
You need to know your worth for you to come up with a fair price for you and your client. And to do that, you need to have an estimated target income. This way, you can estimate how many clients you need to achieve that goal.
Instead of becoming defensive or triggered, it is best to focus on creating a relationship with your client first. Make sure you make them feel that you’re genuinely interested in their business and enthusiastic about working with them.
In closing for How to Price Freelance Services…
Remember, it’s the quality of clients that count more than the quantity. So focus on the positive and keep on connecting with potential clients.
Also, always have a clear view of your cash flow. At the end of the day, your net income will be based on how much you earn less how much you spend.
Paypal also has a feature that gives you valuable insights on your income and expenses. With Reports, you get to see your average monthly income and other financial reports. This will help you keep track of your earnings and see if you’re reaching your target amounts.
Tracking your financial reports will also give you a glimpse of which acquisition strategies to use. If you’re doing the same thing and getting the same results, then it’s time to up the ante and change strategies. Then take note of which strategies work and then bank on them.
Learning how to price freelance services can be tricky at first.
But trust me, once you’ve learned and implemented the process and the strategies above, it will be a ride in the park. Good luck in coming up with prices for your services and if you need anything from me, just let me know in the comments section below.
After knowing how to “fear-proof” your freelancing journey, I think it’s about time that we talk about the realities of freelancing. Obviously, this article was not written to scare you (or was it? Haha! Just kidding!). But, I really thought about writing this, because more and more people are interested to try out freelancing in the Philippines.
More companies are also open to hiring independent contractors. Also, a lot of people have been asking me about freelancing tips, especially from those who are thinking of shifting careers.
I’m sure you’re at that point in your life if you’re reading this article today. It’s either you’re in the process of becoming a freelancer or creating some changes in your freelancing career. Or maybe, you’re just curious about what freelancing really is or you want to get into freelancing, but you’re feeling a bit lost and unsure of how to start.
Whatever the reason is, I’d like to share 15 things about freelancing that you should know about. I’ll talk about the harsh realities and all the exciting things that make freelancing such a thrilling career option.
It takes a brave and courageous heart to be a freelancer.
Some people say online freelancing is easy. All you have to do is sit back and do things your own way.
But the truth is, it takes a brave heart and a courageous soul to be a freelancer!
It requires dealing with people coming from different countries, societies, and cultural backgrounds. Yet as a freelancer, you have to surpass all of those barriers and differences to do you work and deliver world-class work.
This is sad and true. You would hear a lot of freelancers complain about their internet service providers and the speed that they’re getting. There are also co-working spaces and good coffee places where you can get work done, but a freelancer’s budget is limited.
As freelancers, we rely a lot on these things. If internet drops intermittently, then it’s game over for us. If any of your gadgets break down, like your laptop, all else will. With this, you always need to come up with a back-up plan in case these things happen while you’re working.
Avoid possible miscommunication between you and your clients.
You and your clients may have different beliefs and ideas. When you have clients from other countries, this is more likely to happen since you come from different countries and are brought up with different sets of values and grew up in different cultures.
Miscommunication may also happen because of differences in perception and intention (as I mentioned during my PayPal Freelancer Community Workshop). It can also be due to the differences in intonation or the words that you chose when communicating with a client.
So, as much as possible, try to keep this in mind and seek clarity with everything that you do for the client to avoid miscommunication. Write down how you understood the task and document everything. Send minutes of the meeting to your client so everyone is aligned.
We may feel that we’re alone (most of the time).
All freelancers would agree that they spend more time facing the computer than meeting an actual human being around them.
They barely go out because they are busily working at home. They don’t have co-workers to speak of, but if they do, these co-workers are all virtual co-workers. So, oftentimes, they feel alone.
But this feeling is something that can be addressed. There are a lot of meet-ups, workshops, and training sessions that you can attend. If you really need someone to talk to, join “offline” activities like the PayPal Freelancer Community Workshops. If you’re online, you can also get some support and reassurance by interacting with other freelancers in the PayPal Philippines Freelancer Community Group. We can all share our challenges and our triumphs in this group, as well as be updated on the latest workshops when they’re announced!
Contracts end and clients move on.
One thing to expect is that change is a reality. At any moment, the person or company you’re working for may end your contract or close down. If the client would like to try another service provider, you do not have the right to complain (legally) unless you have a contract that says so. In this kind of work, there is no such thing as “employment contract” that guarantees tenure or at least a 30 day notice from either party.
You client can end your contract any time — if they feel that they have no need for a freelancer. You have to live with it and move on.
What you can do about this is to plan ahead. Look for ways where you will have a steady stream of clients. Continue to build your net worth, so that you can charge and demand a higher rate. This will help you manage your finances well (you will need fewer higher paying clients than getting a lot of low paying clients). You can keep and build relationships with higher paying clients.
Hone your Time-management skills
Clients are coming from all over the world. Because of this, you would need to track timelines and deadlines based on their location. This way you won’t miss any deadline or fail to comply with the client’s requirements. Make sure that as a freelancer, you have the “world clock” working on your phone most of the time.
You also need to learn how to manage your time effectively.
Working from home or remotely may mean that you also need to do housework or take care of the kids. You also need to have your ‘me time’ to keep your sanity in check.
There are free online tools you can use to maximize your time. One of the tools that you can use is called Tomighty, a free online pomodoro app that lets you do tasks in 25-minute intervals.
Practice being Organized!
As a freelancer, it is necessary for you to learn how to organize things around you. Organize your desk (a clean desk brings clarity of thinking!). List the things or duties that you have to do. I have seen that “To-do-lists” work especially well.
Use tools that you are comfortable in using. If you are comfortable with writing in a notepad or notebook, then do it. If you feel more comfortable using Google Calendar, then use that. Online tools like Google Docs recently integrated calendars, notes, and a to-do-list tracker so you could take control of your tasks all in one place. And guess what! This is absolutely FREE! All you need to have is a gmail account to get started.
Another thing that I often miss is to send invoices on time. Do you know that PayPal has an invoice creation functionality? You can easily create invoices and easily send these to your clients.
The administrative functions are tasks that we can’t do without. As a freelancer, we need to know how to send emails, collate data, do follow-ups, schedule events, and do all clerical tasks. You would also need to understand how to do basic accounting and bookkeeping in order to run your freelancing business.
You can use technology to make the most of your freelancing career.
Apps like Quickbooks and Freshbooks can help you track income and expenses easier. You can also use PayPal’s Report feature to keep track of your financial statements. This will give you insights, financial reports, and other information and help you create strategies to grow your funds, too.
Online Visibility Matters
As a freelancer, you need to have a strong online presence.
You need to learn how to market yourself and your services. You should be easily found by your potential clients.
You also need to be visible and available online. Your clients might contact you for different tasks at any time of the day. Remember, no client would like to send a message and receive a response the following day, except if it is a Sunday or an official holiday.
Based on experience, the more active you are online and the more you interact with others, the better it is when you’re still looking for clients.
Know how to market yourself and your services
As a freelancer, you are marketing your skills and the things that you can do.
The way you market yourself will be a testament to your marketing abilities as a freelancer. You are your own “portfolio”. Make sure that you let them know who you are, what you have done in the past, and what you are capable of doing. Continue to learn more about marketing.
Gain respect and trust.
Clients look at two things: your skills and expertise and your past performance. One way of looking at your previous performance is by looking at the posted feedback on your profile in different freelancing sites. Another way for them to see if you are a serious freelancer is if you take your craft seriously (if you are running a legit freelancing career with business documents, if you are using trusted payment methods like PayPal, etc.). I talked about this in a recent blog post. You can read this: https://mommyginger.com/mythbuster-why-you-need-to-pay-your-taxes-as-a-freelancer.html
You win respect and trust over time, so you need to be consistent in delivering amazing work.
Be Ready for Possible Stressors
Expect that as an online worker, you will most probably face a lot of stressors related to communication, internet connection, deadlines, and the like.
You need to learn how to adapt and manage things properly despite all the bumps along the way. A strong support system is also crucial. Surround yourself with people who understand and who will help you during these times.
Be cautious of scams
A lot of online predators nowadays are waiting for those people that they can scam. They would offer scam investments to try to get your hard-earned money. It is best to study every so-called opportunity before grabbing it. Protect yourself and your money by researching well and doing due-diligence before jumping into any “legit” investment or opportunity.
This is why contracts are important. It protects you from scams and other dubious deals. It’s also essential in ensuring your financial stability as a freelancer.
Never work on projects without having at least a 50% down payment. Even if you’re working with friends, it’s best to ask for down payment when dealing with projects.
PayPal has an option for creating invoices to make it easier for you to collect payment from clients. You can also set up invoices for recurring projects and even create templates for the services you offer.
Trial and error
We all make mistakes. If you lose a job, all you have to do is look for another. Learn from past mistakes to better your craft. Focus on the long game. Never lose hope and always aim to be better every day.
Keep the passion and the fire burning!
Remember that you’re doing something that gives time flexibility. Do things that you love doing! Money will come once you’ve found that sense of purpose.
In cases when you feel tired, just remember that we are all human. Obviously, we get tired at times. This does not mean though that it’s time to give up! Just think of why you’re in this kind of career and why you chose this. Remembering your purpose can help you realign your focus and meet your goals.
So that’s it! I hope all these freelancing tips helped you get more realistic view of what to expect when your start freelancing.
Do you have any questions about freelancing? Let me know in the comments section below.