Saturday, April 19, 2014

Organize Your Daily Freelance Life With These 5 Practical Apps

A busy freelance career has no room for boredom routine. Most of the time, if not all the time, freelancers find something to get busy. During busy days, our hands are tied with one to couple or more projects. During lean season , we try to catch up with reading or learning about our industry, business trends and upgrading our skills.

A freelancer's schedule looks like he/she is busy all the time, which is actually the reason why most freelancers stick to their career--we simply love to get busy or productive. And, we are passionate in helping our clients, we love to earn (yeah, of course, we love to earn $$$), and we like build to our reputation in the business.

Here's a scenario:

8:00 am                 Wake up [yawning], start the day!
8:05 - 8:35 am       Stretching / 15 minute walking or exercise
8:35 - 9:00 am       Shower and little me-time
9:00 - 9:30 am       Breakfast while writing your to-do list
9:45 - 12:00 nn      Work on Client X's project (not taking phone calls)
12:00 - 12:30 pm   Lunch break/coffee break/eye rest
12:30 - 2:00 pm     Work on Client X's project (not taking phone calls)
2:00 - 3:15 pm       Check and answering emails (personal or business)
3:15 - 4:15 pm       Working with your own business (having coffee), answering phone calls
4:15 - 4:30 pm       House chores/errands (need to move some muscles)
4:30 - 7:00 pm       Work on Client Z's project
7:00 - 7:30 pm       Dinner
7:30 - 10:30 pm     Work on Client Y's project
10:30 - 12:30 pm   Little tired but need to do social media and update blogs


Familiar?

The schedule above looks organized to me. But in real life, here's what happens:


9:45 - 12:00 nn   Work on Client X's project (not taking phone calls)

             [phone rang! You pick up. A client ask for a quote, he wants it immediately]
             [call supplier, discuss pricing]
             [you have to email the client]
             [it took more an hour to finish everything]

1:00 - 1:30 pm  (You are hungry, no food, you need to buy)

1:30 - 2:00 pm  Work on Client X's project again (not taking phone calls! Seriously!) 

            [Client X wanted you to finish something and need 2 more hours of work]

2:00 - 4:00  Work on Client X's project (not taking phone calls)
           
           [re-arranged your schedule]
           [had dinner at 10:00 pm]
           [you end up sleeping at 3:30am]

      .................

Every day, we have to deal with distractions. It can be a little crazy. If we don't set a priority tasks for the day, we might lose track on what we need to do. We feel so busy and overwhelm and yet we don't feel we accomplished anything.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Infographics: Working from home. Is It The Future?

We are so lucky to witness the revolution of the employment landscape. No longer do we consider "work" as a place but it is an activity that we do in no specific time at a place we are comfortable with. Work from home opportunities or remote work arrangements allow us to enjoy the lifestyle we want. It also gives us the freedom to choose the jobs that we truly love.

Remote workers enjoy not waking up very early to catch the morning bus or train, not spending too much time on the road or getting stuck on a traffic jam, not interrupted by nosy office workers, not spending for lunch out, and  having the flexibility in the working schedule.

However, despite of the growing interest of working from home, there are also many who simply disapprove it. Among the many reasons why some people frown on working at home is because productivity could suffer (well, if a person lacks time management skills, then it surely does) and it could potentially lose the work and personal life's balance.

Staff.com shares this latest infographic about working from home. It is interesting to know that Aetna cut utility cost by $78 million a year just by having some of their workers work from home.


Working From Home -- Is It The Future? by Staff.com
Staff.com – Connecting Great Companies with Global Talent


If you like this post, feel free to share to your friends. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PressRelease: Top e-Commerce Advocate DigitalFilipino Lauds Freelancer.com as Leading Job Marketplace in 2014 WebAwards

Work is no longer a place where we stay for 8 hours from 8am to 5pm. Work is a time when we are productive regardless of the place and time. With the internet, common Filipinos like us are given equal opportunity to work with international clients. And what is good about it is, we can do it at our own time if we wish to.

Freelancer.com has provided Filipino freelancers the platform to showcase our skills and services, and to make online jobs accessible to everyone.

Just this March, Freelancer.com received an award in the DigitalFilipino WebAwards. Read the Press Release below.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SYNDEY, March 7, 2014: Coinciding with the celebration of the 20th year of the internet in the Philippines, Freelancer.com was applauded for its efforts of empowering Filipino professionals, during the DigitalFilipino WebAwards 2014. 

In the awards ceremony held on March 5, 2014, at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business Amphitheater, Rockwell Drive, Makati City, Freelancer.com won the Specialist Marketplace (Emerging) Category. To take out this award, Freelancer beat its competitors in technical performance, search engine competitiveness, web traffic stickiness, and social media engagement.

Freelancer.com’s Regional Director for Continental Asia Jorge Azurin and Regional Director for Southeast Asia Evan Tan received the award handed by Janette Toral, an early internet advocate in the Philippines who took part in lobbying for the Philippine e-Commerce Law, passed in 2000.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Freelancing 101: Pricing Your Freelance Services

One of the many concerns of new freelancers on virtual marketplaces such as oDesk, Elance, and Freelancers is how to price their freelance services. As discussed on my previous post How to Reasonably Price Your Freelance Projects, freelancers should consider the following factors when setting their rates:
  • Skills, experience and expertise
  • Utility bills and other expenses
  • Cost of living and the average wage

Consider the competition

Aside from these, independent contractors should also take into consideration their competition. We must check what rates other freelancers of the same skill set, also of the same geography, have. Many freelancers may offer their services at lower rates but that does not mean you should lower yours too. Just keep your rates realistic and make sure that you can justify it with your skills, knowledge, experience, expertise, and professionalism. While there are many buyers/employers looking for the cheapest rates, there are also many who requires quality service over the rates.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Freelancing 101: Create A Great oDesk Profile

A common mistake among new freelancers are rushing to get their first contract that they spend less time in creating an oDesk profile.

A great-looking oDesk profile does not mean you have to use fancy words but it should contain the necessary information that your target clients (also called as employers or buyers) wanted to see.

Take your time in creating your freelancer profile. We should aim to stand out from the competition and the way to do that is to have a great oDesk profile.

Here is a sample oDesk profile I found on the web:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Grit For Freelance Success

It's just the first week of 2014. A lot of us are probably still on vacation mode. For some of us, this is the best part of the year to reflect on our successes and failures in the previous year and set our goals for the new year.

Let me focus on the successes and failures. The only way to determine that is to measure it against your goals. Were your actions and decisions moved you closer to your goals? If yes, then, great! You are successful in reaching your yearly goals. But if not, what are your plans for this year? Will you set different goals for this year or will you continue what you had started?

So, how do these relate to grit?

I watched an interesting TED Talk by Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth on Youtube about grit. IQ and EQ as she explained were not the determinants to success but it is the grit.

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