What's Her Secret Sauce to Becoming a Social Media Extraordinaire? – Interview with Janelle Oriola
Did you know that 500,000 new users are being added to Facebook every single day? In the US, almost 80% of all online adults use Facebook, and the average user spends at least 35 minutes on it everyday.
But Facebook is just one of many platforms for online networking, and while more and more businesses are using the power of social media to connect with their existing clients and expand their customer base, the demand for highly-skilled social media managers and marketers continue to rise.
So how do you stand out? And how do you win your client's trust in this very competitive field? What does it take to become a successful social media expert?
Meet Janelle Oriola – a former HR & Admin assistant who has been an online freelancer for three years. She first learned about online job opportunities from her own mom, and now, they are working together as partners in building their freelancing business.
How did she overcome her hesitations about leaving a stable job in the corporate world? And how did she find her place in the vast world of online freelancing?
Discover the tools that she is using in her line of work and learn some tips on you can become a better executive assistant and social media manager.
- Actually, the reason why I like training videos? Kasi there are times na parang siyempre, lubog ka na dun sa other work mo eh. So, pagka kunyare ito gawin mo, tapos “Paano ko na nga ba nagawa yun? Go back to the video”. So parang “Ah. Ok, Sige”. I a-apply ko na siya. So, I enjoy yung mga videos.
- What kept me going was? In one of your videos, you mention na it's not easy. Talagang mahirap siya~ to find clients but may magye-yes din sa'yo.
- Na-ban ako sa Upwork. Sabi ko, “Paano ako maghahanap ng trabaho?” Hanggang sa naghanap na ako ng ibang platform. Dun ako nakakahanap ng client. And also naghahanap din ako ng client sa Facebook.
- Kasi parang feeling ko I'm still not an expert or baka I choose to see it that way din, kasi parang it pushes me to continue on learning.
- And mind you, I don't like studying, when I started freelancing, dun lang ako… Parang pagkakunyare, may hinain sa aking bagong software… I share din in my profile 2 weeks ago, na parang pag si client nagbigay ng application and you don't know how to use it, wala kang choice. Kailangan mo siyang pag-aralan.
- Freelancing has taught me na studying never stops.
- I always have to keep investing in myself… in my skills. Para at least yung skills and services na na po-provide ko to my clients are alam mo yun, no. 1.
- One of my goals is to prove them wrong. Na hindi lahat naman ng freelancers are like that. There are good people who actually does the work. You'll get your money's worth.
- It doesn’t mean that it took that long it meant that I was being dishonest and I was taking advantage of you.
- It just means that we are not a good fit. And being a freelancer means, my foundation is trust and honesty.
- So, if that's your opinion, hindi tayo fit. Hindi ko naman isi-siksik yung sarili ko.
- I wanted to make sure na yung ipapasa ko dun sa kanilang application maski hindi sila mag “yes” sa akin basta at least I know I did yung research ko properly. Tama yung wordings ko. Na-match ko yung skills ko dun sa kailangan nila.
- I think kasi with social media. It's continuous learning. Kasi palaging may bagong trend. Palaging may bago kay Facebook. Palaging may bago kay Instagram. Yung algorithm nila nagbabago.
- I try to, as much as possible, keep up sa mga bagong trends. Nag su-subscribe ako sa mga social media gurus. Naka-subscribe ako kay Neil Patel. Naka-subscribe ako kay Hubspot kasi they always come up with newsletters.
- I find ways. Nakakatawa kasi ayokong mag-aral. Ngayon ako na yung naghahanap kung ano pag-aaralan ko.
- I really didn't want to study. Kung may choice ako, nag-dropout ako sa high school. But since yung mindset is you have to be a college graduate to have good work, good pay. So tinapos ko siya. Pero I never loved studying until freelancing.
- Kailangan madami akong matutunan para I can do my job properly.
- Always present a solution. Huwag kang matatakot na magsabi kung ano tingin mo yung solution.
- Bago ko layasan yung isang client, kailangan may kapalit na ako.
- You just have to stand your ground and know yung worth ng services na ibibigay mo sa kanila.
- Kailangan mo lang talaga tatagan yung sarili mo, kasi minsan nakakatakot or naka-intimidate sila client.
- Ako, I try to be one or two steps ahead of them.
- Maski I'm in the Philippines, I know I can provide value.
- Hindi ako pwede magreklamo kay client na palitan niyo yung project management system niyo kasi ayoko sa kanya. No. Cannot. So I have to learn.
Janelle’s Journey to Freelancing:
- She started off as a recruitment assistant for an agency that sends workers to KSA. She did admin tasks (paperwork). She stayed there for 3 years.
- She wanted to do something more so she transferred to a brokerage firm. She worked as a listing specialist.
- She got laid-off after her company declared bankruptcy.
- After that, she worked as an HR Staff in a Marketing Agency.
- She had some complications with her perfectionist boss so she ended up leaving the company.
- Her mom that time works as an Executive Director for a Property Management Company. Tired of the corporate life, her mom tried her luck online.
- Her mom convinced her to go freelancing, as well.
- She came across the VA Bootcamp ads around January 2017.
- She felt it was really helpful because she's losing hope.
- Luckily, a Kiwi client took a chance with her. That time she only knew how to do admin tasks.
- She got an offer with the same Venture Capital company to go abroad but it was too risky. She declined.
- Currently, she has 3 long-term clients. She's loving and learning a lot from them.
- With Social Media, she works for 2 foreign systems coaches. She also works for a local client, her friend.
- Right now, she's up for a promotion.
Na-curious lang ako. What made you enroll pa rin sa Bootcamp even though you had your mom personally training you?
Kasi yung path niya is different. Since I've mentioned director na yung mom ko before when she was working in corporate. Yung skills niya more advanced as compared to mine. So I felt that I needed to start at the bottom. Kasi it's difficult naman na mag ju-jump ako into a task na I don't know the basics. Paano if the client needs something, na “I don't know how to do it properly”. Yung time na yun, nag-invest talaga ako. Sabi ko “I really need this”. I know naman she's teaching me. Nakatulong din yung tinuro niya sa akin. Pero I really wanted to make sure that my foundations are strong.
Right now, can you say it is worth it ba? Yung pinagdaanan mo?
Oo naman. As I said earlier, buti na lang I started 2 years ago. Yung freelance career ko. At least now, hindi ako nag sa-scramble for time to spend with my grandmother. I get to spend time also with my mother. When I was younger, we didn't have a really good relationship. Through freelancing mas um-okay na kami. Siyempre tumanda na ako. Nawala yung teenage angst ko. Pero mas na-strengthen siya.
Dahil sa freelancing?
Oo. Siyempre kaming dalawa na lang. So pagka-kunyare there are frustrating clients~ maiinis ka siyempre. Parang siya yung ka-officemate ko. Yung parang “nakakainis si ganito”… So, I get to vent out also. Same din yung mom ko.
How long did it take for you to get your first client?
Including na ung pag aaral ko, siguro 6-8 months.
What would be the worst thing to happen if we apply for at least 80 unique online job posts a day? What would you say Janelle?
Kasi ako I try 2-3 applications a day. For somebody siguro na starting kaya siguro 80 yung comment. But when I was trying to apply, I tried to limit it kasi I wanted to make my cover letter powerful. Na mapansin nila ako. Siguro 5 na ung pinakamadami a day. Because Upwork is strict.
Can you walk us through what you do? I guess on a daily or weekly basis? Whatever routine you have? So our audience can also get an idea of what it is to be a social media manager?
When I was working sa two coaches na yun, kasi ayaw nila na ako gagawa ng content. Gusto nila yung spontaneous. Every time na magpo-post sila sa Facebook, I have to transfer it immediately sa Instagram. Ako na bahala dun kung paano ko ipo-post sa stories nila. Including kung may bago silang ipo-post sa wall nila. I have to make sure na gagawa ako dun sa stories nila ng ‘new post o kaya ‘swipe up'. I normally spend at least an hour or two to make sure na lahat ng comments, lahat ng pede kong i-like, mali-like ko. Pag nag-live sila. I have to download the live video and then transfer naman sa Instagram ng IGTV nila. Medyo primitive pa yung pag-try ko ng transferring kasi hindi pa ako makahanap ng application kay google na ma e-edit ko siya properly the way that I want it. I find it easier ‘pag sa phone ko kasi siya ginagawa compared pag sa extensions ni google.
Dun sa second, I always do hashtag research. Para nag i-iba yung hashtag niya. Tsaka kung ano yung mas madaming postings na makakapansin sa hashtag na yun.
And then for my local client naman, kasi very simple. Kasi yung comments gusto niya siya ang gumawa and yung mga messages. So pag may nagme-message sa Instagram or Facebook nila, may template na ako. Pero yung management ng postings nila ako yung nag co-come up. I normally do it. I pass 1 month ahead.
Certified ka na email marketing?
Malapit na ako matapos pero konti nalang. Actually nakapila na siya sa akin kung ano yung pag a-aralan ko. Lilipat muna ako kay Facebook Blueprint.
How do you handle negative feedback from clients?
Kasi I always ask for feedback. Ok lang sa akin kung positive, negative. Pag negative, I always try to find a way on how I can resolve the problem. Itatanong ko na kung akong gusto nila.
Sige. Yung isa ko kasing work dun sa systems coach is transcription. Nagka-problem kasi with the software na gamit namin. Si Temi. Kung ano yung nadinig niya sa audio tina-transcribe na niya. But there are funny words that aren't supposed to be there. I have to edit it. Nagloloko siya for a couple of weeks. Ang dami kong backlogs nung transcription. My client was already panicking. Sabi ko, “Sige what we can do is ~I can work on the newer audio transcripts”. Para the clients won't have a problem going back to it.
Always present a solution. Huwag kang matatakot na magsabi kung ano tingin mo yung solution.
You mentioned earlier na na-ban ka sa Upwork. You also mentioned another platform? What platform did you use?
Talent Hubstaff. May back-up din ako na Onlinejobs.ph. Pero I try to find yung mga clients na negotiable yung amount. Kasi Onlinejobs is also known na maliit lang yung binibigay sa Filipino freelancers.
What would you say our best practices in knowing your worth in negotiating rates?
Kunyare yung current work ko is social media manager. Yung basic lang. I do muna the task yung rate na gusto nila. Then ‘pag na -exceed ko na yung KPI's. Na-exceed ko na yung expectations nila that’s the time I would ask for a raise. Saying, “Ito yung na-accomplish ko”. Pag vibes naman kayo ni client, y
ou can just ask them. There are clients who want na direct yung VA nila.
What's a reasonable rate daw for Social Media Manager position?
I started off as 8 dollars for one platform. Kasi tinuro din sa akin na 5 dollars will not cut all the other stuff they want you to do. Kasi minsan nami-mix nila client ang social media manager sa social media marketer.
Slowly pag nakakuha ako ng bagong client tinataasan ko siya. Ginagawa ko siyang ten hanggang sa umabot ng 20.. 30.
What do you usually reply to clients kung medyo you’re not knowledgeable about the task na ibinigay sa iyo?
Yung isang coach na client ko she wanted me to do graphics design pero hanggang Canva lang yung talent ko. I tell them straight. Especially yung mga ganung technical tasks. I don't give them the hope na kaya ko siyang gawin. Kasi yung end product, hindi ikaw ang expert dun eh. Sabi ko, “Look for a graphic artist because it's not my expertise”.
What piece of advice can you leave with our viewers ~ whether they’re newbies or aspiring freelancers or existing freelancers?
Just keep going. I enjoy yung image na naghuhukay yung sa top na tumigil tapos yung sa baba naghuhukay pa din siya hanggang sa makahanap siya ng gold or gem. Ako, I always think “Onting kembot na lang, dadating na si client. Onting kembot na lang, matataas ko na naman yung rate ko”. I set small goals for myself. Mahirap talaga ang freelancing if you want to think it's difficult. Pag nagpa-ano ka sa negativities, it's really gonna be difficult for you. Know the basics.
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.