How This Tenacious Filipino Freelancer Got His First Client

Written by
Lou Zarcal
Published on
December 20, 2023
How This Tenacious Filipino Freelancer Got His First Client

Get ready to dive into an incredible journey of passion, persistence, and versatility. Today, we're spotlighting Nate – a marketing maestro who's been shaping his unique path in the freelancing world for nearly a decade. From the bustling streets of Manila to the dynamic hubs of Dubai and beyond, Nate's story isn't just about building a career; it's about crafting a lifestyle that resonates with creativity and freedom.

Ten years in the game, Nate's repertoire is nothing short of impressive. Starting with brand design, he's mastered the art of adapting and evolving – plunging into website copywriting, video editing, and even event production. But it's not the diversity of his skills that's most striking; it's his approach to freelancing – a blend of curiosity, relentless learning, and a knack for seizing opportunities.

So, whether you're just starting out or looking to level up your freelancing game, Nate's insights are a treasure trove of inspiration. His journey reminds us that freelancing is more than a job – it's a canvas for our passions, a gateway to endless possibilities, and a testament to the power of self-belief and hard work.

Let's unravel Nate's story and discover how each chapter of his freelancing saga can light up your path to success!

Q: Tell us about yourself and where you find yourself in your freelancing journey today.
A: I'm Nate, and I'd like to say I've got some solid experience under my belt doing marketing work for nearly 10 years. I've worked with companies and clients from the Philippines, Dubai, Singapore, USA, and Spain. I started doing brand design, and I've since tried my hand at website copywriting, video editing, cold email outreach, messaging strategy, content creation, event production, SEO, and a slew of other marketing-related fields.

Q: What first inspired you to try freelancing?
A: It wasn't really freelancing that I wanted to try per se. I was really passionate about graphic design at the time—logo design, poster design, visual identity, brand strategy, etc. So while in my first years at university, I started watching YouTube videos on how to design logos, and began learning how to use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch in my free time.

Q: And then, how did you get started freelancing?
A: The content creators whose tutorials I watched all made their money from direct clients. So I tried getting my own direct clients too. I had a small portfolio of graphic design work (all personal projects), and posted my work in my university's Facebook group. I offered to do any graphic design work that anyone needed, in exchange for an hourly rate. I know, it wasn't a very specific list of services.

Q: How did you get your first client then?
A: Luckily, the logo work I posted in my portfolio attracted a small business owner. He messaged me on Facebook saying he was looking for a logo designer for his next business—a small pastry stall that sold homemade brownies.

Q: Do you still have the logo?
A: Unfortunately no hahaha. But one thing I remember is that my rates were super low. I was charging about $10 per logo in 2014 as a student. I know Fiverr has brought the price of templated logo design down to $5-10 at this point, but back then, I was spending hours on that one logo.

Q: Do you regret charging such a low rate?
A: Not really. The client became a repeat client, and we ended up doing several projects together. I eventually raised my rates, but I think the low rates when I was just starting out helped me get my first clients. I'm lucky that all my first clients were kind and fair. My mindset was to do work for low rates for a few months, learn the industry, learn how to talk to clients, learn how to do excellent work, and then eventually raise my rates to what my colleagues were charging. It felt like doing a paid internship, in that I was getting lots of experience and learning a lot, and getting paid for it! It's all about perspective sometimes.

Q: That's a pretty solid mindset. How did you start to expand your freelancing business?
A: Logo design extends into brand identity design. And brand identity design extends into brand strategy. So I simply started including more services on my rate card, and offering clients more than just the logo design. I told them that there's huge value in making sure that their business cards, websites, social media pages, and email signatures all communicate the same feeling. Consistency helps with brand recall.

Q: And how do you keep your months booked with direct clients?
A: I still don't know how to answer that, honestly hahaha. I just consider myself lucky that I keep getting referred by past clients to other clients. I think it's because business owners tend to have pretty extensive networks of other business owners, and so when those business owners are starting new businesses, they refer me to help set up a brand identity. One tip I can give though is that it's super important to maintain trust with the client. Make sure they're always, absolutely, 100% sure that you'll be able to provide reliable and excellent work, on time, and consistently. When they know that you bring value, they won't hesitate to call you when they think you're a good fit.

And there you have it – a glimpse into Nate's extraordinary freelancing journey. From his humble beginnings to becoming a sought-after name in the freelancing world, Nate's story is a testament to the power of passion, resilience, and continuous learning. His experiences remind us that in the world of freelancing, every challenge is an opportunity, and every skill learned is a step towards greater success.

For all the aspiring and seasoned freelancers out there, Nate's journey underscores a vital truth: your freelancing career is not just about the work you do, but also about the smart choices you make. Speaking of smart choices, let's talk about getting paid – a crucial aspect of your freelancing journey.

Enter Parallax – the ultimate payment platform tailor-made for Filipino freelancers. We understand that your hard-earned money matters, and that's why Parallax is here to ensure you keep more of it. Say goodbye to hefty fees and hello to the cheapest and fastest way to receive USD payments. With Parallax, converting your earnings to PHP and transferring them to local Philippine banks and e-wallets is a breeze. It's time to experience financial freedom and convenience like never before.

So, as you chart your own path in the freelancing world, remember that success is a mix of your talent, your decisions, and the tools you use. With Parallax, you're not just earning; you're maximizing your earnings. Empower your freelancing journey today with Parallax – where your growth and convenience are our top priority.

Keep pushing boundaries, keep exploring new horizons, and above all, keep believing in the power of your dreams. Your freelancing adventure is just beginning, and the sky's the limit!

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