You can trace my freelance journey way back in 2016. Where I and my partner Joy decided to set-up this website, to write our journey as a couple.
Learning the basics
Way back 2016, I came across a certain Youtube video that teaches how to build a website using WordPress.
The content of that video tutorial is not really complicated. It is all about building a simple WordPress site. No coding required.
I was amazed at how easy the step by step procedure. I found that video tutorial mind-blowing. Yung feeling na I just discovered fire.
That is the time I learned how to set-up this explore with joy blog site. Which is the main reason why I am searching for tutorials online.
Amazed by this newfound skill, I immediately think of ways how could I make money out of it.
I do not have any web dev background, nor any experience in this world of website building. And I did not realize back then that what I learned is simply the basics of all the basics.
At that time, I only think of the money I can make if I find the right client. Parang tanga lang ano?
It did not take long before I found my first client. A friend of mine who works as sales in the publishing company refers me to his contact.
He is the author of a book and wants to set-up his own website. A simple WordPress website with few pages and a few articles in it. Ang sabi niya, if there’s a picture of him and contact details… ok na siya doon.
It took me a couple of weeks to complete the website and charge him $200 or around Php10K for my service.
I do not even know how much to charge or the right value of such service at that time. Basta na isip ko lang na I am going to charge him $200 and he accepted the rate.
After that first client, I had two more clients with a similar project, build a simple WordPress site.
But this time, the service fee is very minimal.
From the second client, I only earn $50. And the third… it is free. Toinks!
It was May 2016, me and my friends are about to launch our food kiosk business. To focus on the food business, I decided to stop my freelancing.
Because of the pandemic this year (2020) the entire Cebu city was in lockdown. There was one period that we have the strictest lockdown measure in the Philippines.
With so much free time inside my room, I decided to watch again some tutorial videos to learn new skills. I learned how to build beautiful pages using Elementor. So now, I have these two newbie skills. Basic WordPress to install themes and plugins, and Elementor to build beautiful pages.
Mid of June 2020, I started sending proposals to prospective clients. I use 3 freelance platforms, namely Upwork, OnlineJobs, Hubstaff.
After 3 weeks of constantly sending 3 proposals every day, 1 proposal in Upwork, 1 in OnlineJobs, and 1 in Hubstaff Talent, I finally have a client.
I start with the rate of $4-$5 per hour or a fixed amount of $80 to $100 per project. I know it is not that much, but the rate was reasonable for a beginner and inexperienced like me.
Back in my mind, this is a good way to practice what I learned. Like what the old saying goes. Earn while you learn.
Full Time Super Duper Basic WordPress Builder
After a few days, I submitted the test project. Thank God, the client was happy and satisfied with my work.
After the success of the test project. The client sends me two more projects to set-up. I must admit, these real projects serve a venue where I first practice what I’ve learned in Youtube about site builder Elementor.
At first, I am worried that I might not be able to deliver and meet the client’s expectations. I’m worried that my knowledge is not enough to complete this task. I am worried that if in the middle of each project, there will be an internet outage that usually lasts more than a week.
Too many worries and I cannot blame myself. Those were all legit.
Good thing I was able to push myself to just start and do it anyway.
This pandemic and crisis have taught me that there is no perfect time to start. There will always be a problem and challenges.
I have been planning to go back to freelancing since the start of the lockdown last March. But I only start looking for clients in the middle of June. 3 months wasted because of too many fear and worries.
My first client gave me 3 projects all in all, including the test project.
Here’s what he said when I deliver the 3rd project.
Even though I am working on a few projects with my first client, I keep on sending 3 proposals every day.
And true enough, 2 weeks after I met my first client, there comes the 2nd.
I got an additional role this time. Aside from setting up a new WordPress site, I am also tasked to manage and maintain existing sites. Kind of a long term deal.
For now, I have 42 websites lined up to be set-up.
What about you what is your freelance story? Let me know in the comment.