After deciding to leave your corporate job to become a freelancer, you may be wondering how you can establish your freelancing career. It’s one of the many things that I went through when I left the corporate world a few years ago. I knew that I will be dealing with a lot of things when I flew solo on the freelancing career path. What came with lots of freedom in managing my own time also demanded a huge amount of discipline and tested not just my skills but also my work ethic. But you as an aspiring freelancer, or just someone thinking about working as a freelancer, wouldn’t have to get lost in the whole process of establishing yourself in this career path. You can simply follow the steps that I took to get everything in place so you could start working and earning your income in no time.
STEP 1: REGISTER AS A FREELANCER AT THE BIR
It took me a few months before I had the chance to complete the process of registering as a freelancer in BIR because for one, I was too reluctant to spend my small savings to pay for the registration while I wasn’t getting any projects yet. I thought I must prove that I can get projects and earn from it first before paying for any registration. But this thinking only made my journey a little slower into establishing my new career. For 500 Php you can register yourself as self-employed to your city of residence. If it happens to be in a different city from the last company you’ve worked with, then you must first transfer your BIR registration using the 1905 BIR form. Simply fill up the form and submit it to the RDO of your previous company and wait for five to seven business days to complete the RDO transfer.
STEP 2: USE AN ONLINE MARKETPLACE TO WIN PROJECTS
There are many ways to win projects. I used ‘win’ because I started with freelancing through competing with other freelancers and agencies to get projects by means of bidding. This method is popular to many freelancing sites that I have used in the beginning. A project owner or a client will post a project on this freelancing site and other freelancers like myself would explain a brief or in some cases through a proposal on how to tackle the project. If the client is convinced with your proposal you will be awarded that project and you can start working together. But this method comes with a fee from using their website’s services. Others deduct a fee from using their freelancing website, which was fine with me since I needed some guidance in setting up credibility as a freelancer while protecting myself from fake projects and difficult clients.
STEP 3: SET UP YOUR PAYMENT PORTAL
One of the benefits of using the service of an online freelancing marketplace is someone will handle payment request along with a record of client payments. But unfortunately, direct money transfer to your bank is not part of the service. You must create and link a PayPal account to your freelancing website and a local bank. In my cases, I created the PayPal account first and went to a local bank to get a MasterCard debit card. And then I enrolled my MasterCard debit card to my PayPal account and used it to verify a payment method on the freelancing website. I know it’s a lot of work so I’ll be writing an updated instruction here soon.
I hope these three steps helped you understand the first few steps that you need to take as a newbie in freelancing, so you can start building your reputation as a freelancer in no time.
Do you want to know how I established my career as a freelancer? Stay tuned for my next entry, How to Establish Your Career as a Freelancer.