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How to Start Freelancing with No Experience

A recent survey showed that 20% of current Filipino employees now want to know how to start freelancing.

Are you a part of this? 

Do you also want to know how to start freelancing but have no idea where to start?

Or perhaps you’re curious and just want to open yourself to possibilities? 

Currently, we are working with the Philippines’ most talented freelance workers and we’ve noted some of their best recommendations when starting your freelancing journey. 

But let’s get this out of the way first: Just because you are new to freelance work doesn’t mean you’re new to the industry. This is great news because it means you don’t have to start again 🙂 

The beauty of becoming a freelancer at this point is that you already have multiple transferable skills that you can use for the job. In fact, we’ve employed Filipino virtual assistants who used to work in BPOs, advertising, educational institutions and even travel agencies. 

And the truth is, your employer doesn’t care about your past work experiences. They only care about your present skills and work ethics.

Apart from that, the secret to become a freelancer is simply determination and enthusiasm. Nothing more, nothing less. 

But with more than 110,000 virtual assistants entering the workforce every year on average, the question now is – how do you stand out and land your first freelance client? Let’s get started.

study to become a freelancer

Gear Up with the Right Freelancing Technology and Equipment

Whilst some companies provide equipment to their freelance workers, this is often not the case. To get that unfair advantage when applying, invest not only in your skills but also in equipment and technology. The non-negotiables? 

  • Desktop or laptop (at least 8GB of RAM, SSD) 
  • Headset with microphone (noise-cancelling if you are taking client calls)
  • High-speed internet connection (minimum speed of 10MBPS) 

Remember, the internet is your equaliser. We cannot emphasise this more. Nothing is worse than not being able to show up because of dodgy internet. And whilst your employer might be happy to accommodate temporary internet slumps, at the end of the day, they still run a business. Staying connected and being online is non-negotiable. 

And when it comes to budget, you should allot around PHP 50,000-75,000 (USD 900-1300) on gadgets and technology to become a freelancer and kickstart your journey. And the ROI? You can get it in less than six months, on average. 

Sounds good, doesn’t it?     

What I’ve learned from most freelancers and virtual assistants is that they wear their entrepreneurial hats and consider technology as an investment instead of an expense. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about being efficient, so choose the right gadget for the type of freelance work you want to venture in. 

Find the Right Niche, Know Where You Belong

There are multiple ways to start freelancing and niche down. First, you can just continue your profession. Say you’re an accountant – you can transition to become a freelancer specialising in bookkeeping and auditing. This is a more logical approach as there will be only minimal adjustments. It also pays a huge sum of money because employers pay more for virtual assistants with specific skills.  

But if you’re starting out again and wishing to have a career change, you probably don’t know what you like,and that is fine. Many freelancers started off as general virtual assistants so they have training and exposure to different tasks and find what they actually love. The key is not to be afraid of trying different things, even if it is out of your comfort zone. As you try to discover your niche, embrace all the learning and use it to your advantage. 

To give you an idea which skill sets are in demand, here are the top freelance jobs clients are hiring:  

  • Virtual executive assistants  (for top-level management)
  • Content creation (freelance copywriter and freelance graphic designer) 
  • Social media management  
  • Email marketing  
  • Freelance bookkeeping

freelance branding graphic designer

Ignite it with Passion

As cliché as this may sound, it’s not all about the salary. To stay happy on your freelance journey, you must be passionate about what you are doing. Combining this passion with the in-demand skill sets, and you’re set for life!  

Now here’s the thing, the lucky ones already know their passion right off the bat. But for many, it’s not as easy as ABC. If you resonate with this, we say feed your curiosity and ask yourself the following:

  • What’s the common thing that people say about you? 
  • What are your natural skills? 
  • What are the usual things that people ask you for help? 
  • If money isn’t an issue, what would you be doing? 
  • What’s an activity that causes you to lose track of time? 
  • What’s that moment that you felt overly-confident?

Final Words

If you stumble on roadblocks along the way, remember this, “Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy.”

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