SUCCEED! A GUIDE FOR ALL ASPIRING FREELANCERS
And How to be The Best Virtual Assistant!
The World of Freelancing
Although there are number of restraining factors that we still face in today’s time towards pursuing happiness and stability in the form of success especially in our career lives, history has proven that on the greener side, this present period offers better, more accessible, and potential-packed opportunities to each and every one who desires and act sufficiently for and towards it.
Parallel to the design of what we call as “free market”, not only those who are rich right from the start has now the ability to stay or be one and primarily this is because of the less set limitations for those who has the skills, passion, and dream but may not have educational degrees as well as sky-high startups, that for a long period of time in the past, has restricted a lot of people from getting what they want, who they wanted to be, and what change they want to input in the world.
Connected to what we have previously stated, this is mainly because, despite the fact that technology aims to serve first world countries first, the unstoppable development of this tool has also paved way for providing the means of access and involvement for developing countries, which then is through resourcing different job and even business opportunities online. At present, we now have innumerable freelancing and online business websites.
To eliminate any arising confusion, let us first identify and be clear on what is freelancing and understand its nature that led the formation of its domineering power over any system of job opportunities that the world has ever witnessed.
What is Freelancing and Why it Rocks!
Debitoor Dictionary defines a freelancer as someone self-employed, offers services to and are not restricted to what company or client he or she might be serving. A freelancer earns through a per-job system that is ruled by a rate either per hour, per day, or per project that is usually settled by both parties right from the start of the project. From this, we can see how flexible and free, yet at the same time, high-need-for-discipline implying this working form can be.
Putting freelancing in the context as we will be using it, the type of freelancing that we are talking about here entails the kind that specifically is internet-mediated. That which simply covers freelancing jobs that could be found online (although this is a bit ironic because everything is almost transacted through the internet, it won’t hurt if we will be clear, right?).
There are a lot of (if not all) industries that could be found in the online freelancing grounds. Starting from copywriting to more actively interactive services such as being a virtual assistant, the stage is open to all who are looking for someone who wants to get the job done and someone who is searching for means to make use of their skill while at home, sitting comfortably at their couch or even at their bed, but earning real money on the side. Truly, freelancing is just as financially promising as liberating as it is!
Wrapping up this part, it must be noted that everyone shall understand why freelancing is on the hot-list of the present generation when the concern is about building not only their career as well as their financial life and skill-development: First, because it isn’t discriminating and is not rigid concerning to only who can take the job. As long as one has the considerable (or maybe dazzling, if that’s what you have) skill, a passion that needs not to be overflowing but sufficient leastwise, and a goal that meets that of his or her client. Secondly, because wherever you are, you can search for a job and even work on a present project. Just remind yourself to keep your working laptop with you and you’re all good to go! The last point is that it is an outright ignorance to deny that the freelancing field is filled with opportunities that you might never find when you’re on a contract with a single company or a 9-5 job, spending the day at front of that desk! What makes this last claim true is a composition of all the great things that are best if left behind this hint, because what’s better than finding the best things in life on your own, right?
Clue: Be ready, it’s not an easy road Brenda (because nothing that comes easy could ever be considered worthy as much than those birthed from hard work, patience, and persistence, right?), but it’s thrilling and worth it for sure!
Understanding How Freelancing Works:
Freelancing business just as stated is as varied as you could imagine it to be, as it emphasizes not only a liberating control of your own time, different jobs that could be found here also reflects several skills that would be impossible for one not to identify himself having.
To specify the wide domain of works that freelancing business offers, let us identify some of the “sell like hot cake” ones and see if what fits best with your skillset:
If you are fond of using technology and have artistic blood flowing in your veins, a 3D Artist career would not only be fun but as well as, a well-paying one for you! 3D artists are classified as among the highest in-demand category in the freelancing industry, which simply means that you would surely be paid in a competitive measure and more importantly, you do not have to sell yourself less nor need be that early bird just to land on a worthwhile project.
One more amazing thing about this job is that your value won’t be based on that certificate or diploma of yours, rather on how dazzling your portfolio is. Hence, you should make sure that you would get the chance to work with the influential ones in this field, as well as you should aim to always do what’s laid down on the agreement. This also means that those that are only beginning in this field should not feel hopeless in any manner, because as long as you have the former part of your portfolio as stated, there will always be people willing to give you that chance.
App development is about creating and designing mobile applications for different operating systems (but usually on Apple of Android only). Hence, a freelance app developer is required to have a sufficient if not advanced software programming fluency, as well as additional skills obtained through training programs made for developers who want to master or further specialize their craft.
That’s why, if you are currently in this field of study or you feel like you have no problem with obtaining knowledge under this area of interest, then surely not even a need for a degree could hinder you. There are a lot of reliable and utmost important, recognized apps developing courses that you can find online. Also, you could take that in a much shorter period than how long it normally takes in the academy.
What does this mean then? Should you prevent yourself from taking this opportunity because you are held back by the assumption that you do not have it enough? Well, if you are this person, this is what I would be leaving to you, if you have a laptop, time, and utmost especial, a keen interest in creating something that would be useful to people or maybe just something that they would love to have- something that could add up if not wholly give joy to their daily life, then there’s nothing that should ever stop you from doing what you want and earning a lot on behalf.
Being a computer-aided design (CAD) designer mainly involves an academic certification such as for entry-level, a 2-year degree in drafting. Since CAD designing is a fast-growing industry, as various demands related to technology is always on inflating curve of need as time passes by, with innumerable job prospects being added up on the list significantly as per daily basis, you could tap up your competitiveness by attending a higher degree of study or by acquiring both skills and certifications from various Bootcamp programs and short-term courses.
If in case you are already studying under this field, maybe you would want to take it up to another level by owning your master’s degree! Although all of what’s previously stated would mean nothing without your passion and earned needed skills for this industry, considering them would, of course, be of help. Nonetheless, as stated before, you should not limit yourself by lacking what you can make up for.
This genre of designing involves model creation and drafting drawings as specified by the client. The specific skills that you must have include knowledge in using CAD software which could either be SolidWorks, Autodesk, etc., depending on what your client might specifically require. This means that you should be pretty flexible in using both. In addition to that, it would be of help if you have the hots with 2D and 3D designs, which clients would already assume. Also, this kind of work is most fruitful and fulfilling to those that do not have any problem if not better efficient in working by themselves. Most importantly, remember not to stay stuck on a single aspect of your work that you would have no time left for the many left parts of the project. In other words, use your time wisely and consider speed! All the discussed details are expected to result in a beneficial if a not lasting relationship with your client.
Copywriting revolves around the task of developing fresh ideas while at the same time, being able to adhere to somehow standard technicalities sustained for the nature of the expected work from you to be as appealing as it is could be.
This is what makes a copywriter’s work considered as most successful if it involves the balance between creativity and utilizing “where the money goes”. For some, especially if you are a liberal arts major, copywriting can be seen as limiting but you should remember that despite the “proven format” that you are suggested to follow, all you really need is to be flexible and adaptable enough to ensure that your style of artistry won’t be forsaken for the sake of money.
Alongside managing deadlines and details, you should keep in mind that it would be best to work on improving your style of writing spontaneously and develop a network of clients alongside, because just as how “learnable” copywriting can be, this also means that almost everyone has the potential to be very good at this field, in short, there is a bulk of competitors that are waiting in line. Hence, if you can’t create a reliable network, although keeping a stable and growing stream of money wouldn’t be necessary that difficult with it, work-life as a copywriter would undoubtedly be way easier.
Although computer programming usually requires associate if not bachelor’s degree, it is important to know that what shapes your success in this field is based on how honed or are you willing to develop the skills including analytical, concentration, close attention to detail and attentiveness, utmost important, the patience and persistence that goes along with troubleshooting.
Despite the varying difference in the duty between a generalist and specialist, what’s identified as common denominator in the line of duty of all freelance programmers entails the process of creating a “program” that allows the software designs and development be able to synchronize its functionalities in a way that a computer, its very medium, is able to understand. That is simply done through the ‘not so simple’ process coding. After this, the programmer assures that everything is working just fine through the process of debugging them, in any case, that an issue arises, they make sure that these are given the proper corresponding actions. These stated expected tasks boil down to the need for acquisition of the skills that are stated in the previous paragraph. Hence, it must be noted that in this kind of field, discipline in what must be done alongside applying all the skills needed must always be prioritized.
Freelance programming, because of, somehow, the knowledge that is beyond the grasp of someone who generally do not have such fluency as required, the volume of work in comparison to the available freelance programmers in the market contains a significant gap; making it an indeed well-paying job, may it be one’s part-time or full-time.
Web developer’s demand is pretty much on the same if not higher level as of those programmers and 3D developers, which simply means that there’s a demand enough for each freelance developer to have a satisfying if a not lucrative job on the couch.
Being a web developer includes working on a code that could and would serve as a reliable language between the website you are building and the presumed functionalities of it. This usually requires working on it all from scratch. Finally, perhaps the most thrilling part of this is the process of creating, executing, and testing the website.
Being a freelance writer, it is more recommended for you to specialize and that starts through finding your niche. On every project, you need to keep in mind that this must be in line with that goal to create your brand, to keep your ratings on a commendable degree, and to treat any of the projects you’re working on as a means of further improving yourself.
A freelance digital marketer’s responsibilities, in a nutshell, include creating a gainful email service that’s crafted to give what the target audience needs in as personalized degree as possible. For this to be possible, the following skill set is required: fluency on data analysis, effective writing skills that require SEO considerations and regular adjustments that are spontaneously based on the target market of your client. In addition to that, since we are now fed with almost all of the information that we do need for the day through social media sites, the engagement that occurs through the said platforms must also be utilized, specifically, this might require for you to involve yourself with what is called as paid social media advertisements. In concern to the latter stated, it is a must to consider that one should be well-aware of how these paid ads work, first before actually delving into utilizing it.
Humans are visual individuals, our attentions are caught and sustained better through the use of images which makes graphic designing as a means of capitalizing on that human nature, or the other hand, we could see this in light of giving to people what fits their nature more.
As a graphic designer, you need to communicate not through just texts, but of course, through images. It must be understood that these images do consist of interrelated context-bearing elements carried by your choice of color, line, shapes, and even every icon you have utilized. This ability to communicate images effectively primarily stands in the ground of one’s act of giving himself in creativity and a proven behavioral basis.
Well, here goes the main part of our discussion, the ever “fits-all” type of freelance job that’s as economically profitable as it is enjoyable! That’s why a comprehensive discussion will be allotted to this part and that extensive and all-in explanation starts here.
Virtual Assistant Basic Duties and Responsibilities
Being a freelance virtual assistant (VA) duties ranges from simple researching to administrative and secretarial functions. Obviously, alongside requirements include secondary must-haves such as time discipline and a reliable internet connection. Well, thanks to the continuous increase in the potential of the freelancing world which attracts companies and clients to source out their admin duties more, this job is but one of the most sought after directly because of its provided sea of opportunities.
Furthermore, a freelance VA is assigned with managing emails, scheduling appointments, arranging travels, and even doing some basic data entry jobs. Also, for the more exciting part, there are some specific duties that a VA can be assigned with, based on his or her skill set. Hence, it gives way to online researching, bookkeeping, and presentation-making utilizing a given data jobs- which literally, anyone can do.
A freelance VA is a very independent job by nature, you can work anywhere you want, and you can work from a lot of companies and clients all at the same time. Yet, it is a must-note that freelance VAs should be reminded that they are doing the same duty that an office-guy would do, hence should involve the same professionalism despite sitting comfortably at the sofa and wearing tees they most probably won’t even wear outside. What’s important, and I think the most rewarding of all, is the ability to do it without your boss breathing in your back and your supposedly workmates doing their dirty talk behind you. It’s a win-win and very liberating set-up if you’d ask me!
Tips for Aspiring Virtual Assistant
In the world of VAs, selling yourself doesn’t significantly count that much. What matters more is how others- your former clients, refer and talk about you. Sure, putting an attractive list of “what I can do” might catch a few eyes but how far would it go? Obviously, not that far compared to those with great reviews from their previous clients. But how could you make this a possibility? All of the following tips are linked to that! So, read up till the end and take what you think is best for you! They are but as guidelines, after all.
- Before letting your future potential clients what your skills are, ask yourself first that same inquiry- and be honest! Putting skills that do not meet your reality will just bring unnecessary hardships, if not complete disaster. Attracting clients can be hard but working with a client that expects more than what you can provide is way more difficult. Sure, fake it until you make it is a great motto, but not in this case- never. Here are some of the basic skills you can utilize for that list of yours: Typing speed, operating systems that you’re used to working with, web and remote email skills, utilizing the Internet and search engines, knowledge on the basics of social media marketing, and lastly organization and scheduling skills.
- Deliver your work assignments and projects right on time! That is why knowing what you can give alongside how long it will take you to work on it is a very much needed part of this job.
- Aligned with the previous advice, it is a must that you know how to schedule and you must have a general schedule that you can follow. Please take a very good note of the word “can”, do not overemphasize your ability as a virtual assistant and a freelancer, yet do not let this be interpreted as a call for mediocracy. Knowing when to give something to your work and knowing when it should be a me-time will always be your path to a more meaningful success ins such a job. Find what time of the day you function the most efficient! After finding that work hours and days, set it up and make sure to stick to it. Let things be way easier by putting them up in the habit zone.
- The next thing that you should be concerned about after identifying what time your best function is your “no one can disturb me” place. That, of course, exempts your cat if you want to- and if it’s not the kind to sit on your keyboard and snuggle on your screen type of felon. But not work-related phone calls, kids running around, and the neighborhood noises are a big no-no. Whether it’s a small room or your well-decorated house office, what you cannot miss is a “workable”- effective and engaging workplace that will serve as an add up to your asset and not as a liability.
- Work on both a short and long-term plan. Having a plan which you can look forward to does not only charges you up when the lazy days come but also, gives your work life more meaning, organization, and essence to your well-being. Upon creating that, you should know what your priorities are, how will you use your earned money to bring out the best in them, and until when do you want to stay in this line of job. It’s all up to you. Whatever your future will be, how bright and worthy it will be, it’s all up to you now.
- All things have its opposite and contradictory edges, and so does working alone. As much as it is freeing in a general sense, it could also be a trap. Hence, just as what the Spiderman movie- whatever version it is, do always leaves us with, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Now that your working hours and place is all on you, you should act as responsibly as you can by knowing how to motivate and pull yourself up during the most boring or difficult part of the job. Remember why you’re here and every day, find ways how to learn to love your work more.
- As much as being a generalist VA is essential, it will always serve as a better option to level up your game by specializing on a skill that you know you can serve your client best through. This specialization does not only make you outstand others but also, will make your pay higher than those that can only do that specialized skill of yours “on average”. This uniqueness as stated can come through various notable forms such as being a mail marketing expert, affiliate and e-commerce site creation, and the most appealing one, as a social media guru, Look at yourself, not as an employee below your client but a partner, find what you can best give that person and work on it well that they can’t resist but happily give you the top pay you deserve!
As your final takeaway, in this time where people do just as they are paid, dare to go beyond expectations, provide excellent results and make sure that it is always an output full of quality, if not always your best, that you’ll give your clients. Be professional enough but more importantly, do not miss the opportunity of being a better day by day by putting yourself in a chamber of limitations. You can always do more, be more- then why not choose to do and be so?
Cadcrowd.com. (2019). How to Become a Freelance 3D Modeler or 3D Artist and Find Remote Work | Cad Crowd. [online] Available at: https://www.cadcrowd.com/blog/how-to-become-a-freelance-3d-modeler-or-3d-artist-and-find-remote-work/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
Developer, H. (2019). Ways to Become a Mobile App Developer. [online] Business News Daily. Available at: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10756-how-to-become-a-mobile-app-developer.html [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
Scan2CAD. (2019). Freelance CAD – Everything You Need To Know | Scan2CAD. [online] Available at: https://www.scan2cad.com/cad/freelance-cad-everything-you-need-to-know/#whatdoesfreelanceinvolve [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
Viscato. (2019). Things you should know before becoming the 3D Artist. [online] Available at: https://www.viscato.com/things-you-should-know-before-becoming-the-3d-artist/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
Truity. (2019). Computer Programmer. [online] Available at: https://www.truity.com/career-profile/computer-programmer [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
Pineda, A. (2019). 6 Proven Ways to Make Money Online in the Philippines – Grit PH. [online] Grit PH. Available at: https://grit.ph/make-money-online/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
Digital Marketing Institute. (2019). 7 Essential Skills Every Digital Marketer Should Know. [online] Available at: https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/2018-04-19-7-essential-skills-every-digital-marketer-should-know [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
The Balance Careers. (2019). Use These Skill Words When Applying for a Graphic Design Job. [online] Available at: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/graphic-design-skills-list-2062400 [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].
Waterman, M. (2019). How to Be A Successful Freelance Programmer – Simple Programmer. [online] Simple Programmer. Available at: https://simpleprogrammer.com/successful-freelance-programmer/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2019].