At the beginning of my work at home journey, there were many instances when I turned a blind eye to helpful things. I thought they were undesirable and unnecessary. But, I was wrong. So, written below were some of my learnings which can be your guide.
The decision to become a freelancer came out when I started listening to myself more. During my last year in the corporate world, I always found myself wishing to manipulate my 24 hours in a day. You know the feeling that in a day, eight hours is allotted for work, eight hours for sleep, and in between are lunches, travel periods, social and spiritual interactions. Your day went just as you presumed, and you know what's going to be like tomorrow and the next few days.
While that works for the others, it didn't work for me. I longed for the freedom of time- a privilege enjoyed by virtual workforce professionals. I want to spend my time on what matters to me the most without the need for asking for an excuse.
Doing what I want while earning and attending church activities without constraints were my signs of becoming a freelancer.
In my case, writing. The memories in my younger years would show I was into writing. It is my hobby I know many people like business owners would pay for it either because they have no time or they don't like doing it.
A few more reasons why companies employ remote virtual assistants are that they want to focus on what they do best. Freelancers handle their mundane tasks like administrative functions and repetitive activities. Some also are visual workers, so they hire a virtual assistant who has good attention to detail.
With that, recapture your younger self and examine your abilities. Think of what other people compliment you for, ask you to do, or request your inputs. It will expose your capabilities and the service you can offer in the freelancing world. What's that thing you find as easy as pie because you love doing it and for which business people are willing to compensate?
Do you love talking to people? Consider becoming a virtual real estate assistant, sales, or call center agent. Are you a detailed worker? Try out data entry tasks or VA for e-commerce stores. Are you a fast typer? Be a transcriber. Are you conversant but socially awkward? Non-voice or chat support is for you. Artistic? Graphic and web designing welcome you. Photographer? Sell stock images or become a food artist. There are multiple things you can do on the internet, trust me.
Relating to how freelancing meant in the olden times, freelancers now are those digital-nomads who offer services offshore from the comfort of their homes. Sometimes, they do it from the coffee shops they love. Whether direct to a client or through an agency, they are self-employed individuals who pay their taxes and are compensated per job, per task, per project short term, or long term.
This article lists some of the basic skills you might already have to chase the hustle that fits your passion. The skills mentioned are easy to learn. And the truth is, if you are adept at surfing the internet, navigating the interface, having mastered the Microsoft offices, Google sheets, and Google documents, you're ready to go.
People plan but later withdraw from the idea of freelancing, saying they don't have the skills to do it. They'll tell you they know nothing about graphic designing, social media management, Search Engine Optimization, remote real estate virtual assistant tasks, etc. The thing is, it is the high-end skills they reject themselves for. But, all they need to jumpstart a freelancing career are basic skills because eventually, they'll learn the other skills in the process.
I did: Hubspot articles, youtube videos of well-known freelancers/ influencers, and some free courses of edX are my go-to resources. As you can notice, I liked to DIY and fed on free stuff. After all, I'm afraid of getting scammed.
I wish I did: You spend more time searching than learning when looking for free lessons. But when you're enrolled in legit online academies, you'll spend more time learning than searching because they already offer tried and tested, chronologically ordered lessons. Thus, I should have enrolled in the paid courses from sites like:
Just this now, virtual transaction coordinators are among the sought-after freelancers because real-estate is booming in the United States. Udemy offers a paid course for it. Hence, like this job? Invest in paid learnings.
I did: Because there are sites that connect writers and clients needing help in their research and thesis, I applied to each. I had seven rejections before I got in at one. From there, academic writing was my first freelance hustle.
There are also agencies as such for remote virtual assistant assistant services. Examples are 20four7VA, Hellorache for medical professionals, Outsourceworkers.com.au, cyberbacker.ph, etc., which hire aspiring virtual assistants even if they have no experience. They are the direct contacts of the clients for a task, project, or job. Once they decide to outsource, the agencies will delegate the tasks to a pool of remote freelancers inside their platform.
I wish I did: Other freelancers' testimonies are different. They got a direct client by cold mailing or sending email to their prospects. To do that, you have to create a list of website emails you want to work for, hit your inbox, and introduce yourself. In your email, attach your CV, portfolio, and work samples.
Some said they deliver free services for honest feedback. You can find such arrangements on Facebook groups of freelancers. Post what you're willing to do and the favor in exchange. After that, compile your reviews and flaunt them on your social media platforms or Linked In account, and voila! A client will contact you.
The minute I started making the tough decision to leave the corporate world and enter freelancing, my life began. The moment I took the risk, even if having not much likelihood of success, that's when I experience life. Getting out of my comfort zone and defying other people's expectations, that's when I started meeting myself.
If you find yourself in the same position I was, start listening to yourself and acknowledge what your heart says. What is the passion you want to apply in the freelance industry?