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Freelancing Roadmap: How to Get Started Working From Home in 2021

August 5, 2021
by Jason Dulay 
Jason is the founder and CEO of Work from Home Roadmap and VA Bootcamp. Aside from teaching Filipinos how to succeed working from home, he likes traveling, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

According to PayPal’s 2018 Global Freelancer Insights Report, around 2% of the Philippines’ population is said to be freelancers.

This means that our country has an estimated 1.5 million freelancers. And it’s expected to increase even more, especially during these times where we’ve seen a rise in remote work.

No wonder more people want to embark on the freelancing journey and start working from home. However, many of them don’t know how to start.

Are you one of them?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

This guide for YOU.

Below, I’ll give you 5 steps to help you set your foot in the freelancing world.

Let’s dive in.

1. Define your WHY.

1.  Define your WHY.

Before you start doing anything, it’s important to know your WHY.

“Why do you want to work from home?”

  • To earn extra on the side?
  • To take care of your kids while still making money?
  • To take control of when and where to work?

Knowing why you’re doing this in the first place will help you keep going when challenges start coming in.

It will also serve as your north star to guide your way. It will help you assess whether or not you are successful.

2. Prepare your equipment.

Prepare your equipment.

Basically, you need a laptop or a desktop computer and a stable Internet connection to start.

We recommend getting a desktop/laptop with at least 4GB of RAM, 128GB of disk space and with either an i3, i5, or i7 processor (or equivalent). Some clients do a system check as part of their hiring process.

If you don’t have both of these, don’t lose hope.

We have a student who started with no laptop and is now reaping the fruits of her labor. And just recently, we’ve partnered with iRentMo to help aspiring freelancers start their journey by availing rent to own computers.

Though others were able to get started even without Internet, we recommend at least a 5Mbps connection but some people also get by with a 3Mbps connection or sometimes even pocket wifi (though not recommended).

With the advancement in smartphone technology, some freelance work can even be done with just a smartphone

So, if you’re really serious about working online, a computer (or in some cases, a smartphone) and Internet connection would do the trick.

3. Choose a skill.

choose a skill.

According to Paypal’s report, some of the many types of work Filipino freelancers are engaged in are data entry/internet research (34 percent), virtual assistance (13 percent) and customer service (eight percent).

Whether you decide to become a full time or part time freelancer, your business will be built around the unique skills you have to offer. Those skills are your greatest asset.

It can be as simple as transcribing a podcast or something advanced like developing a mobile app. The key to winning is to find a skill that you’re good at and has enough demand in the marketplace.

If you’re a techie kind of person, there are essential tech skills that can get you started in online freelancing.

Important thing to remember. Everything can be learned and you don’t necessarily need to have an experience before you start freelancing.

4. Create a portfolio.

Create a portfolio.

It doesn’t matter if you have a college degree or years of experience. If you can’t prove to clients that you’re skilled at what you do, they will never hire you.

Clients need a reason to trust you. So you need to BUILD that trust.

The best way to build trust with a new client when you start a freelance business is by showing examples of past work that are similar to the work they are considering hiring you for.

So make sure you build a portfolio to showcase your work. And you don’t need to be hired first before you can do this.

Do some free work at first if you have to. If you’re an aspiring blog writer, reach out to blogs that accept guest posts. If you’re a graphic designer, you can create a portfolio page on a site like Behance to show off all your designs.

That way, when you’re reaching out to a client, you can simply give them the link to your portfolio to check out your skills.

5. Apply

Apply

Once you’ve identified your big why and have your tools, skills and portfolio ready, it’s time to apply and find your first client.

There are a lot of freelance jobs websites which make finding new clients very easy when you start freelancing. In fact, they are built to connect as many freelancers to paying projects as possible – and fast.

For a long time, the most popular freelance jobs website has been Upwork. In fact, it was formed as a merger between two former freelance jobs websites: Elance and Odesk.

But there are many other alternatives right now, such as Fiverr, Flexjobs, SimplyHired and Freelancer.com.

NOTE: According to the 2018 Global Freelancer Insights Report, the Philippines ranks fourth among over 200 countries on the global freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace platform Freelancer.com,  in terms of users, both freelancers and employers, on the site.

If you prefer to find and work with direct clients, like what others do, you can try using LinkedIn.

So there you go!

You’re now ready to start working from home.

To recap, here are the 5 steps we’ve covered.

  1. Define your WHY.
  2. Prepare your equipment.
  3. Choose a skill.
  4. Create a portfolio.
  5. Apply

I really don’t want to make it complicated for you. Freelancing is not easy but it’s something you can start doing right away. To support you on your journey, you can join our community here. Our free course might also help you out.

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by Jason Dulay 
Jason is the founder and CEO of Work from Home Roadmap and VA Bootcamp. Aside from teaching Filipinos how to succeed working from home, he likes traveling, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

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