After deciding to leave your corporate job to become a freelancer, you may be wondering how you can establish your freelancing career in the digital age.
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 would be dealing with a lot of things when I flew solo on the freelancing career path. What came with freedom in managing my time also demanded discipline. My new-found career 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.
You can 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 IN BIR
It took a few months before I had the chance to register as a freelancer. I was too reluctant to spend my small savings to pay for the registration when I didn’t have any projects at that time. I must prove that I can get an online job 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 at your city of residence as a self-employed. If it happens to be in a different city from your previous employment, then you must first transfer your BIR registration using the 1905 BIR form. Fill up the form and submit it to your new RDO. It will take about five to seven business days to complete the transfer.
STEP 2: USE AN ONLINE MARKETPLACE TO WIN PROJECTS
There are many ways to win online projects. I used ‘win’ because I started with freelancing through competing with other freelancers and agencies to get projects through bidding. This method is popular to many freelancing sites. A project owner or a client will post a project on a freelancing website, and other freelancers like myself would pitch their idea on how to tackle the project. In most cases, the freelancer will also provide a brief introduction of their experience working on the same project. If the client is convinced with the proposal, you will be awarded the project, and a client-freelancer collaboration begins. But this method comes with a fee. Freelance websites deduct a fee from using their services. It’s a reasonable fee for those newbie freelancers that has strong background looking for online freelance jobs. It’s also a way to establish a freelancer’s credibility while protecting you 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 steps helped you jumpstart your career as a freelancer, so you can start building your portfolio in no time.
Stay tuned for my next entry, How to Establish Your Career as a Freelancer in 2019