Part of the “How can I start working online?” question is the question, “Where should I start working online?”
Great question! Most Filipino Online Freelancers out there would give you one answer: Upwork. I, on the other hand, would not give you this answer. Why? Because Upwork is not the only platform in the Online Freelancing space and there are a lot of platforms out there that upcoming freelancers can use and check out. Yes, it is the most popular platform and yes, admittedly, I started in Upwork too back when it was still called Odesk.
A little bit of a background about me…before I went full time working online, I was already doing it part time. A friend of mine connected me to his former boss and we were doing property management. So, on top of my 8-5 job, I was also clocking in 4 hours a day for this gig and that was outside any platform. I then eventually went full time and started working on both Elance and Odesk. And the rest, lets just say is history.
Let me tell you why I don’t believe that online freelancers should only start in Upwork:
1. Upwork is not the only online jobs platform in the universe. There are a lot of platforms out there where you can also get clients. Here are some of them:
2. A lot of clients are not in Upwork. Yes, there are a lot of clients and jobs registered in Upwork but the reality is, there are also a lot of clients that are not in Upwork. Let’s face it, not everyone uses Upwork so if you limit your profile to just one platform, then how are you going to reach those potential clients that are not in Upwork?
3. You have to set yourself up for success. If in the beginning, you would box yourself to just one platform and stick to it, how would you be able to grow as compared to really putting yourself out there and making profiles in different platforms and creating your online profile in different sites? The more online profiles you have – the rate of you landing your first online job increases because you will have better exposure as compared to only having one profile in just one site.
I created my own website 3 months into working online. Why? Because I realized that I might have clients that do not have an Odesk or an Elance account and how would I be able to reach them or how would they be able to reach me if I don’t have a website. So, I created my own website – I scheduled a photoshoot with a good friend so I will have good pictures to put and then I researched on a site where I would not need to have any coding or html knowledge. Clients started coming in after that.
4. You should not let fear guide you in this business. Other online freelancers would tell you that Upwork will offer you more pay security as you will be assured that you will get paid. Thing is, the freelancing industry is already a risky business, it’s just totally up to you how you can gauge your clients if they are the paying kind or not. If you let fear guide you into this, you will not go far.
Now that we have established why I think you should not only start in Upwork, let me tell give you some tips on how you can put yourself out there without breaking the bank:
- Create a LinkedIn Page. LinkedIn is a good space to tell people about yourself and what you do. It is like your online curriculum vitae where you can put your work history, what you are currently doing, your experiences, your certifications etc. This will also make you a little bit “Google-able” so clients can google you out and they can find you online.
- Create an About.Me page. About. Me is a simple profile website where you can put a short bio about you, a good profile picture and social media links. This is a good way to tell clients about you and just give them a link that they can click on so they can check you out and know who you are. Here is my link for your reference: https://about.me/reayadao
- Create a website in wix.com or weebly.com. Here is another fact – you can create your own website without spending a lot of money. There are online platforms out there that offer a free account where you can create a free website even if you do not any anything about HTML or CSS.
- Create a Facebook Business Page. This is also free and everybody has Facebook so you might as well join the bandwagon and use this for business. This is also a good way to showcase who you are and what you do since people can search you on Facebook and they will find your business page.
Your online profile is your digital representation in the world wide web so make sure it counts and make sure it represents you – who you are, what you do and what you can offer.
I am always cheering up for your success and do let me know if you have any questions. 🙂