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.

If you don’t have a PayPal account yet, you can click on this link to sign up: http://bit.ly/GA_O_PayPalSignUp

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.

Here is how you pull reports on PayPal:

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.


Advertisement

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.

 

  1.    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.

And this is not an easy task.

 

  1.  Technological Limitations are real.

A recent article from Cosmo.PH says that the Philippines is one of the worst places in the world for freelancers. The factors they used to measure this included average internet connection speed, free Wi-Fi, and the average cost of a cup of coffee.

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.

 

  1.    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.

 

  1.  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 GroupWe can all share our challenges and our triumphs in this group, as well as be updated on the latest workshops when they’re announced!

 

  1.  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.

 

  1.    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.

 

  1.    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.

Check out how you can create and send an invoice:

If you don’t have a PayPal account yet, you can sign up here: http://bit.ly/GA_O_PayPalSignUp

 

  1.    You need to have Clerical Skills, too!

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.

 

  1.    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.

 

  1.    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.

 

  1.    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.

 

  1.   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.

 

  1.    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.

 

  1.    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.

 

  1.    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.

First of all, I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who have attended The Freelancer Fair. I am deeply moved by your support. I hope that The Freelancer Fair will be a milestone in your freelancing journey. As I’m excited to write about the fair, I found myself thinking about the industry and things that stop freelancers from achieving their dreams. I’ll probably write about the fair in the days to come. I decided to download all of my thoughts into this blogpost.

I’ve seen this industry grow and thrive since 2010. This was the year I started my own freelancing journey. The freelancing industry is definitely a colorful industry. This is what I find most appealing about it. There are a lot of things happening, a lot of events and workshops, a lot of online courses being offered and a lot of live videos, and a lot of inspiration. There’s enough variety to make someone from the outside curious about what’s happening on the inside.

In this industry, there are people willing and able to help you start freelancing. They will help you when you’re stuck in a rut and don’t know what to do. There are big brands, like PayPal, who support you every step of the way (BTW, if you don’t have a PayPal account yet, you can click on this link: PayPal). We have more than 20 communities in the Philippines. Each of these communities have their own advocacies and each one captures their own segment of the industry. All of these support are readily available for anyone interested to be a freelancer.

So I still wonder why there are still aspiring freelancers who are scared to get into this fun-filled, super caring and supportive industry? Why can’t they start their freelancing journey? Why is one disheartened (after a few months or a year) to continue freelancing? Why do some people fail while others succeed?

A big factor is FEAR. We are scared of a lot of things.

I talked to a lot of long-time freelancers and those who are thinking of jumping into this industry and I have grouped the “fears” that they have encountered into 6 FEARS.

Fear #1: Lack of skills
Being new to this industry, we hear things like Virtual Assistance, Online Business Manager, Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Artificial Intelligence, Media Buying, etc. Most of these things are words that we haven’t heard before. We often feel that we may not be able to grasp and fully understand any of these things. We think that we may not have any place in this freelancing world, but this is not true!

IMHO: There will always a place for you in this industry IF you REALLY, REALLY want to be part of it. You just need to discover your own strengths and weaknesses. After which, focus on your strengths and develop skills that are aligned with these strengths. Note that if you discover in the future that what you really love is not in this industry, there is nothing wrong with that. The most important thing is that you live a life doing the things that you love.

Also, we need constantly be curious about different things. We always need to strive to learn something new every day!

Do you feel like you’re not spending enough time with family?

Fear #2: Lack of Time Management Skills

A lot of people who start in this industry juggled family life, maintaining a day job and doing side projects. With this, some people feel like they will fail because they don’t have time management skills.

IMHO: The way to face feeling this way is to accept that you will never have the perfect balance of time spent for each aspect in your life. I, too, still feel guilty that I don’t spend time with my family as often as I want to. On other days, I feel useless for some projects that I’m involved with. And in other days, I feel guilty that I could have done better in a freelance work that I delivered to a Client.

But this is not how I feel each and every single day. In days that I feel guilty about not spending time with family, those are the day that I excelled in my freelancing career, and vice versa. So no matter how good your time management skills are, juggling all of these is a fact of life so there is no need to fear it — just be ready for this kind of life.

Do you feel like your missing out on the things that your friends have?

Fear #3: Fear of Missing Out on Corporate Success

Jumping into a new territory always makes us feel like we’re missing out on the world that we left behind. I remember the first time I went full-on freelancing. During the first three months of my freelancing journey, there wasn’t a day when I wanted to go back and work again. I felt bored, depressed, and discouraged. I felt that I was missing out on a lot of things. My friends were going up the corporate ladder, while I was starting from scratch. I had nothing. All I had was my dream and my skills and talent.

IMHO: You don’t need to be scared that you’ll miss out on things that your friends are experiencing. You have your own journey. Each one of us have our own mission in life and our purpose to accomplish. Stop comparing. You’ll miss out on a lot of things when you spend time comparing and sulking. Focus on growing, achieving and helping!

Fear #4: Fear of not having Income stability

Fear #5: Understanding Taxation

Fear #6: Lack of Client Projects or Lack of Skill in Handling Clients

I have much to say about the last three fears. These are the ones that came up more often when I interviewed aspiring freelancers. I will discuss these three during the workshop that I will have with PayPal (Take the Dare: Fear-Proof Your Freelancing Journey). This will be the 10th PayPal Freelancer Community Workshop on September 8, 2018!

The key topics that I will talk about for the Fear-proof your Freelancing Journey are the following:

– What are the challenges to income security and how to overcome it?
– Why it’s important to pay taxes and how it can benefit you and your business
– How to deal with tough clients and strictly manage projects

This is an outline of what I will cover.

Fear #1: Income stability

– Know how to secure finances even when projects are pending or hard to find
– Budget management
– Managing monthly projects and gross revenue

Fear #2: Taxation

– Get acquainted with taxation processes that you have to comply with as a Freelancer
– Know the business benefits and perks of paying taxes

Fear #3: Client projects

– Discover strategies and tactics for finding and pitching to clients for new projects
– Managing deadlines and pressures
– How to deal with hard clients
– How to confront rejection from a failed presentation
– Setting up an invoice system for recurring payments

If you have time to join me, please do sign up using this link: https://bit.ly/10thPayPalFreelancerWorkshop

There is a $100 surprise for a lucky attendee!


Having a PayPal account will really make things easier. PayPal is a trusted payment service by Clients from any country. This will make collecting payments easier for us, freelancers. Sign up for a PayPal account HERE!.

I’d really love to get to know you and let’s see how we can jointly overcome your fears and fear-proof your freelancing journey!

Now you’ve probably already made your new year’s resolution list, and I hope you’ve started to make some progress when it comes to realizing each of your goals. But if you’re still looking for a little direction, I thought I’d come up with a few things to start or update yourself on this year to make sure that by the end of it, you’re happier, healthier, and wealthier!

Amp up your graphics game.
Learn to use graphics apps and services like those offered by Canva.com. I’m not a very artsy person, but Canva has made my life wonderful! Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a professional, you’ll find this skill useful for social media promotions and ads, poster-making, sprucing up presentations, and so on. Even if you’re not using this for business, you can prettify your personal messages and posts, add personalized graphics to your blog, and more.

CANVA BASIC TUTORIAL

Open an online payment account.
If you’re not already using PayPal or a similar online payment gateway, this year’s the year to do it. It’s getting more and more convenient to buy and sell online, and this is one way to keep your credit card information secure. Plus, you can use this to send money to loved ones anywhere, anytime.

Transition to online shopping.
Like I’ve mentioned, online shopping is becoming more and more popular and convenient. Whether you get home, fashion, tech and more from Lazada, makeup and skincare from BeautyMNL, restaurant food and groceries from HonestBee, or whatever else you shop for online (and these are just a few of the local options), you have to admit that online ordering and delivery is one way to beat the traffic and save hours on your shopping trips.

Use transport networks.
Ride services like Uber and Grab have been around for years, but if you haven’t been using these too much, now’s the time to embrace them. And before you start thinking using them regularly is too expensive, perhaps you should also count the cost of parking, gasoline, car maintenance, and either wages for a driver or your own driving stress. Plus, there are ways to save, by sharing a ride with officemates who live close to you or with neighbors who work in the same area as you, by creating a “carpool” system so your kids can share a car with schoolmates from the same area, and so on.

Start or grow your rainy day fund.
This is one of those things that makes just about everyone’s new year’s resolutions list, but rarely gets resolved to your satisfaction. It’s understandable—expenses pile up, and temptations to spend are everywhere. But this year, start thinking about a sustainable way to save money. Better yet, look into investments that will grow your money instead of simply saving it.

Schedule regular date nights with your partner—and your gal pals.
It’s so easy for life to get in the way of romance, so make sure you and your partner take time out to rekindle that flame. Add it to your weekly schedule so you never forget to spend some quality time together.

On a related note, your monthly schedule should also include time with your BFFs. One study I read about has shown that, for women, spending time with your best friends can help your body fight stress and create more serotonin, which is a mood-balancing hormone essential to staving off depression. And another study mentioned we are more likely to live longer if we maintain a large network of friends as we get older.

Maintain a skin care regimen.
Time and aging only move forward, never backward, so it’s never too early or too late to start taking care of your skin. This doesn’t just mean slapping on some facial wash and moisturizer each morning and night. Pamper your skin and it’ll keep you looking and feeling fresher and younger. Plus, you’ll need less makeup if the canvas you have to work on—your face—already has a healthy glow to it. Check out this 10 Step Korean routine video that I created using Nivea products!

Explore freelancing and entrepreneurship possibilities.
Whether you’re already a freelancer or entrepreneur or you are working a corporate job, it’s always a good idea to diversify your income stream. And who would say no to making a little (or even a lot of) extra money? Explore ways to supplement your current income, and if you need a little help doing that, check out the events we have planned for this year at ManilaWorkshops.com.

Start journaling.
Bullet journaling and similar practices can help with your efficiency and productivity, so I’d definitely recommend this. But what I really would suggest doing this year is journaling for your state of mind. Here are some ideas for your journal. go over the events of your day to put things into perspective and clear things for the next day, make a list of things to be happy about and grateful for, have a daily goal and write about what you did to achieve it. You’ll find yourself happier and healthier just for having picked up the pen more regularly.

Manage your taxes.
There are a lot of changes related to taxation coming in 2018. Make sure these things don’t take you by surprise. Plus, if you aren’t filing your taxes properly, now’s the time to make sure you do that. After all, you don’t want to risk heavy penalties from BIR for failing to file the right taxes at the right time! And to make things easier for you, make sure you check out Taxumo and the services we offer, which are ideal for freelancers, entrepreneurs and mixed-income professionals.

Do you have a recommended must-do for 2018 I didn’t get to list? I’d love it if you’d share in a comment. We all have our personal goals this year, and it would be great if we could work toward them together!

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.
Advertisement

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