How to Stand Out as a Freelancer: Your Ultimate Guide to Freelancing Success

How to Stand Out as a Freelancer: Your Ultimate Guide to Freelancing Success

New to Freelancing? This guide is for you!

Are you a new freelancer eager to make your mark in the competitive world of freelancing? Whether you’re a graphic designer, writer, web developer, or consultant, standing out from the crowd is essential to attract clients and build a successful freelance career.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore three fundamental steps to help you differentiate yourself and thrive as a freelancer I’ve learned from the great mentors in the industry and the experiences I’ve had all these years.

How to Stand Out as a Freelancer: Your Ultimate Guide to Success with photo of Syed Qassim Acabo

Step 1: Identify Your Niche

Freelancing is a huge landscape. Finding your niche is crucial to your success. Instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, focus on a specific skill, industry, or service that you excel in. By narrowing your focus, you position yourself as a specialist rather than a generalist, making it easier for potential clients to find and hire you.

Why is Finding Your Niche Important as a Freelancer?

1. Becoming a Specialist

When you identify your niche, you become an expert in a particular area, allowing you to offer specialized services that cater to the specific needs of your target audience. Whether it’s designing logos for tech startups or writing blog content for the healthcare industry, specializing in a niche makes you more valuable to potential clients.

2. Standing Out from the Competition

In a crowded marketplace, differentiation is key. By focusing on a niche, you distinguish yourself from other freelancers who offer a broader range of services. Potential clients are more likely to choose you over your competitors because of your specialized expertise and understanding of their industry.

3. Commanding Higher Rates

Specialists command higher rates than generalists. When you position yourself as an expert in your niche, you can justify charging premium prices for your services. Clients are willing to pay more for specialized expertise and the assurance that they’re working with a knowledgeable professional.

How to Find Your Niche

Assess Your Skills and Interests

Start by evaluating your skills, interests, and passions. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Identify areas where you have expertise or a strong interest, as these will form the foundation of your niche.

Research the Market

Once you’ve identified potential niches, research the market to assess demand and competition. Look for underserved or emerging markets where you can carve out a niche for yourself. Consider factors such as industry trends, client needs, and competitor analysis.

Test and Refine

Don’t be afraid to experiment and test different niches to see what resonates with you and your target audience. Be open to feedback and adjust your niche based on market response and client feedback.

Commit and Specialize

Once you’ve found your niche, commit to it wholeheartedly. Invest time and effort into developing your expertise and building your brand within your niche. Become known as the go-to expert in your field, and watch as clients come knocking at your door.

📣 Related Reading: 7 Reasons Why New Freelancers Need to Learn Canva Today

photo image og Syed Qassim acabo

Step 2: Highlight Your Uniqueness

Now that you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to differentiate yourself from the competition by highlighting your uniqueness. What sets you apart from other freelancers offering similar services? Communicating your distinct perspective and approach is essential to attracting clients and winning projects.

Why is Highlighting Your Uniqueness Important?

1. Building Credibility and Trust

When you highlight your uniqueness, you demonstrate to potential clients that you have something special to offer. Whether it’s your creative flair, problem-solving skills, or innovative solutions, showcasing your unique qualities builds credibility and trust.

2. Attracting Ideal Clients

By showcasing what makes you unique, you attract clients who resonate with your style and approach. Rather than trying to appeal to everyone, focus on attracting your ideal clients—the ones who appreciate and value what you bring to the table.

3. Standing Out in a Crowded Marketplace

In a crowded marketplace, differentiation is key to success. Highlighting your uniqueness sets you apart from the competition and makes you more memorable to potential clients. When they think of hiring a freelancer for their project, your name will be at the top of their list.

How to Highlight Your Uniqueness

Define Your Brand Identity

Start by defining your brand identity—what you stand for, what you believe in, and what sets you apart from others in your niche. Your brand identity should reflect your personality, values, and unique selling proposition (USP).

Showcase Your Portfolio

Your portfolio is your opportunity to showcase your unique talents and abilities. Highlight your best work and projects that demonstrate your expertise and creativity. Include case studies, testimonials, and client feedback to provide social proof of your skills and capabilities.

Share Your Freelancer Story

Your personal story is a powerful tool for connecting with potential clients on a deeper level. Share your journey, experiences, and lessons learned along the way. Be authentic and transparent, and let your personality shine through in your communication.

Demonstrate Your Expertise

Position yourself as an authority in your niche by sharing valuable content, insights, and tips related to your industry. Write blog posts, create videos, or host webinars that showcase your expertise and provide value to your audience.

with zaprollah mangondato and syed qassim acabo

Step 3: Provide Exceptional Value

The final step in standing out as a freelancer is to provide exceptional value to your clients. Going above and beyond their expectations and delivering outstanding service not only delights your clients but also keeps them coming back for more and referring others to your services.

Why is Providing Exceptional Value Important?

1. Building Long-Term Relationships

Exceptional value is the cornerstone of building long-term relationships with your clients. When you consistently deliver high-quality work and exceed their expectations, you earn their trust and loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals.

2. Generating Positive Word-of-Mouth

Happy clients are your best advocates. When you provide exceptional value, they’re more likely to sing your praises to others and recommend your services. Positive word-of-mouth referrals are invaluable for growing your freelance business and attracting new clients.

3. Differentiating Yourself from Competitors

In a competitive market, providing exceptional value sets you apart from the competition. While other freelancers may offer similar services, your commitment to delivering exceptional value distinguishes you as a top performer and preferred choice for clients.

How to Provide Exceptional Value – Freelancer

Understand Your Client’s Needs

Start by understanding your client’s needs and expectations. Take the time to listen to their requirements, ask clarifying questions, and ensure you have a clear understanding of what they’re looking for.

Set Realistic Expectations

Be upfront and transparent about what you can deliver and set realistic expectations with your clients. Avoid overpromising and underdelivering, as this can damage your reputation and credibility.

Go Above and Beyond

To provide exceptional value, go above and beyond what is expected of you. Anticipate your client’s needs, offer proactive solutions, and deliver more value than they paid for. Whether it’s delivering ahead of schedule, providing additional revisions, or offering bonus services, exceeding your client’s expectations sets you apart from the competition.

Seek Feedback and Continuously Improve

Finally, seek feedback from your clients on your performance and use it as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Act on constructive feedback to refine your processes, enhance your skills, and deliver an even better experience for your clients in the future.

Stand Out and Succeed as a Freelancer

As an end note, standing out as a freelancer requires a strategic approach and a commitment to excellence. By identifying your niche, highlighting your uniqueness, and providing exceptional value to your clients, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and build a successful freelance career.

Remember, success doesn’t happen overnight, but with perseverance, dedication, and a focus on delivering exceptional value, you can achieve your goals and thrive as a freelancer in today’s competitive marketplace. So go forth, embrace your uniqueness, and make your mark on the world of freelancing!

Want to start freelancing but you don’t know how?

I am offering a free one-on-one coaching program intended for people who want to venture out in the freelancing world. In this program we will assess and hone your skills, build your portfolio, and help you land your first dream client. Interested?



Why It’s Best to Hire Filipino Social Media Managers in the Philippines

Why It’s Best to Hire Filipino Social Media Managers in the Philippines

The Philippines is home to 1.5 million digital nomads who work as “freelancers” serving local and international clients. Most of these home-based talents are deployed in the Social Media marketing industry, thus, Filipino Social Media managers. Like most job seekers in the corporate world, the home-based jobs industry is a serious business.

According to Upwork, one of the leading platforms for online jobs, out of the 8 million virtual assistants on its platform, one million are from the Philippines. This is just for the VA positions alone.

5 reasons why you need a website for your small business

It comes as no surprise since Filipinos are among the best nationalities who can write business English. The country also holds the highest literacy rate in Southeast Asia at 96.2%.

Why Hire Filipino Social Media Managers

If you’re a business owner who is considering hiring a Filipino Social Media Manager or Virtual Assistant, we have listed below some of the best reasons to help you decide to put your business into a good investment.

1. Filipinos have a high level of English Proficiency

As mentioned earlier, the Philippines holds the highest literacy rate in Southeast Asia with a staggering 96.2%. This means that most Filipinos are fluent in speaking and writing the English language.

A Business English Index study conducted by the California-based Global Education Corporation revealed that out of 76 countries, the Philippines attained a score of 7.11.

2. Filipinos are heavy Social Media Users

As of April 2022, the Global Web Index surveyed where people spend most and least time on social media and the Philippines ranked second in the result, next to Nigeria.

This means that Filipinos have familiarized themselves and have an innate understanding of how a social media platform works. Social Media has become a culture for Filipinos, though Social Media Managers are professionally trained and have extensive years of experience in the industry.

3. Filipinos are known for their Quality Work and Reliable Professionalism

Hiring Filipinos don’t just lessen the burden in communication because they are fluent in English, no. They are highly reliable professionals and are known by most foreign employers for rendering amazing results and excellent work ethics.

4. Filipinos are hardworking and have excellent common sense

Common sense plays a crucial role in cognition and decision-making. At work, we always encounter such situations where we don’t need a Ph.D. degree to solve common day-to-day problems.

Hiring people without “common sense” can put your business at stake. The key element in common sense on the job is the ability to see the big picture. In most jobs, the big picture isn’t getting a handle on next year’s earnings or figuring out the company’s Internet policy – although some jobs do require that kind of outlook.

No, the bigger picture usually entails seeing where your work fits into the purpose and objective of your particular piece of the organization.

5. Filipinos are respectful and trustworthy

I’ve been in the freelance industry for more than a decade already and I have encountered different types of employers and clients from different specific industries. Most of the time, especially those clients who are new to hiring virtual workers, they are hesitant to give out 100% trust to their new employees.

For example, I had a client before who didn’t want to give his Instagram password because he was afraid that maybe I will ruin his account or whatsoever. This is normal. Of course, how could you trust your business to someone you just met virtually without any idea who they are.

But because I am a Filipino and after he read reviews and blogs of other companies who have hired Filipinos, he was confident that his business is in good hands.

6. Filipinos are highly trainable and can easily adapt to your company culture

Because Filipino culture is highly influenced by Americanism historically, there is no surprise that Filipino workers can easily adapt to the culture of their foreign employers. This, however, is not just limited to the American employers. Filipinos are behaviorally flexible and can easily fit into anyone’s shoes – personally and professionally.

Most Filipino social media managers who seek opportunities online aren’t “just” employees. They are professionals who have extensive years of training in their field before they decided to go full-time freelancers online, especially during the pandemic.

7. Filipino Social Media managers are not expensive

This is the number reason why a lot of foreign companies hire Filipino social media managers so they can save a lot of money.

The average salary for social media managers in the US is $71,177/year or roughly $5,931.42/month. While in the Philippines, the average salary for social media managers is $7,293.28/year or around $600/month.

One month’s salary for a social media manager in the US is already one full year’s salary if you hire someone from the Philippines – the basic salary.

However, there are some talents that you can’t pay this low. Many Filipino freelancers are earning higher depending on experience and level of expertise.

8. Filipinos are born creative and resourceful

Creativity and resourcefulness are particularly in-demand in the field of Social Media management. Hiring employees with these skills is crucial because the internet is bombarded with gazillions of content every day and it’s important that yours excel in the eyes of your target audience.

With a good Filipino social media manager who has a keen eye for creativity, your company is a step higher than your competitors.

Top view of a desk with laptop and a hand. filipino social media managers

How to find the best Filipino Social Media Managers from the Philippines

The following is the list of online platforms where the best of the bests social media managers in the Philippines are lurking for their next social media gig.

Hire your next Rockstar

Social Media Manager today!

With Acabo CC, your next hire is guaranteed. Why spend more money on hiring an in-house Social Media Manager when you can hire an excellent one without needing them to report in the office?

If you need help in finding the best Social Media Manager from the Philippines to work on your social media projects, you can use the “Contact” button above. I will respond to you once your message is received.

3 Best Lessons I’ve Learned Working from Home

3 Best Lessons I’ve Learned Working from Home

My odd coffee routine changes the way I see life. A work-from-home coffee journal that makes me realize life’s biggest wonders. Working from home gives a lot of advantages to almost every employed individual around. It doesn’t just give a luxury of time for yourself but it gives you some sort of comfort —  the commute hassles, the tardiness fears, the boss’ pressures, and a lot more stressors are somehow lessen or, luckily, crashed out.

I kind of developed a certain pattern working from home for about half a year now. My coffee routine dramatically changed.

cereal in a bowl place in bed. working from home.
Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash.

The casual waking-up coffee sess now an afternoon break

Usually, I would have my coffee right after fajr (Islamic morning prayer), and it’s normally around 4:30 am. That’s on normal working days — well, before the pandemic. It’s the time I read my favorite book and sometimes writes a few lines of poetry for my Instagram or a short journal, like this.

That routine changed when I started working from home. And maybe because I also moved back to my home country, the Philippines, where I live in a different time zone that I used to clock for several years — I just came home eight months ago from the Middle East.

Now that my sleeping routine has changed, so did my coffee. Even on a humid afternoon in the metro, when I wake up at 11:30 am, coffee is waving.

Here are the the 3 Best Lessons I’ve Learned Working from Home:

1.) It helped me become more creatively productive

As a creative person, I tend to be more focused and more sound when I am left alone. Unlike in the office environment that I have to attend to other unnecessary tasks that are sometimes out of my responsibilities.

Another factor that adds up to my productivity is that I can cook and eat fresh food at any weird time I want. Plus, you got to share it with your loved ones.

2.) Flexibility is key

When you have the idea in your mind that your schedule is flexible, it gives more room to your brain on digesting other functions. I believed it’s a contributing factor to becoming more comfortable in terms of measuring the bar on your daily productivity.

What’s best is that you don’t have to worry about heavy traffic and missed your workout routine.

To me, flexibility is a huge deal because, in the office setting, I can’t just easily walk out whenever it’s prayer time. As a Muslim, my day is set to have a five-times-prayer on my to-do list.

3) Working from home is not for everyone

Of course, working from home is a great positive deal. But it doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice. No — not for everyone.

Many of my friends still prefer to work in the office than in their pajamas. I asked them ‘why’ and here are some of what they have to say:

“I always prefer working from the office because I tend to be more acquainted with my tasks on my office desk than on my laptop.”

—Marie Claire, Office Clerk.

“I miss having coffee with my workmates after office. That kind of moment makes me more feel in love with my work and become more productive.”

 — Patrick, Designer

My close friend Zaprollah who was just recently hired and currently onboarding training at home for a BPO company, says:

“I prefer having training in the office than on laptop because all my training mates are new and unfamiliar to me, specially the trainer. It’s always great to be talking to someone fact-to-face so I can easily understand and comprehend them based on their facial expressions.”

How did this pandemic affects your work routine?

Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data, recorded an unprecedented scale of people losing their jobs. The recent data shows the global record of around 114 million jobs were lost in 2020.

Fortunately, while tens of millions of people are losing their jobs, thousands of people are also taking advantage of the pandemic by starting up their own small businesses.

If you’re one of those affected by the pandemic, or maybe you’re tired of working from home for other people and are wondering if you can also work on your own, maybe it’s about time to really fasten your seatbelt. It’s not really that hard as you think.

I know a lot of people who used the advantage of this pandemic and turned their frustrations into a profitable business. Like for example this one great story of a milk tea aficionado who turned her cafephilia into her own cafe house. Yes, you’re right. She created the milk tea business right in the wake of this pandemic.

Read more about this story: How Milk Tea Addiction Turned to a Sought-After Local Café in the Northern Mindanao

Do you want to start a business but don’t know how, where to start?

So that’s it! I hope I have helped you clear out your mind on something that’s bothering you at the moment, your work or your business. You, how are you dealing with this pandemic and what are the lessons you’ve learned so far?

Share your thoughts in the comments and let’s see what others have to say. In the meantime, I am sending you my warmest congratulations for you have come this really far even in this great adversity. Life is indeed a beautiful thing to have when we know how to handle it with passion and love. No matter what challenges would come, we’re resilient enough to conquer the world.

This is Qassim and have a great day everyone. Please take care. Always!

Coronavirus: 3 Practical Ways to Be Productive Online

Coronavirus: 3 Practical Ways to Be Productive Online

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. Because this virus is highly contagious, people needs to isolate at home. Some, no work no pay. If you are one of those people affected by this tragedy and is looking for new ways to earn money, please read on.

Globally, as of 2:00am CEST, 14 April 2020, there have been 1,848,439 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 117,217 deaths, reported to WHO.

Visit WHO’s realtime updates about Coronavirus pandemic, here.

The world has been warned. Confirmed cases of the virus infection is still rising worldwide. Hence a total lock-down for almost every country. No doubt jobs of all types of industries are affected as people are required to stay at home.

Because of the lock-down, thousands have lost their jobs, many companies shut down, and for those lucky ones, forced to work from home. The pandemic has made working from home a new normal. But for those who lost their jobs, the virus is not the real threat – the food is.

Adapting the real
pandemic (not the coronavirus)

Since thousands of companies have shut their operations down because people are forced to stay at home for quarantine, the viral pandemic is not the real threat especially for the low-wage earners.

Luckily if you’re someone who is stuck at home and is finding a new way to sustain your expenses while being quarantined, I’m hoping this post can help you. I’ll be sharing easy-to-follow actionable ways on how to become productive when you’re stuck at home locked-down. All you need is just an internet connection and a computer or a laptop. Please follow the specific guide below.

Disclaimer: Acabo CC is not in any way related/affiliated to the links provided in this posts. If for instance, some links suggested herein offer purchase/s, Acabo CC won’t earn any commission, whatsoever. Links provided are for reference and educational purpose only.

5 Actionable Ways on How To Become Productive During Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic Lock-down

1. Create an Upwork profile

Upwork is one of the world’s best leading freelancing platforms. It’s free and easy to join. Thousands of jobs are posted on Upwork from almost all types of industries around the globe.

How to create an effective Upwork profile:

  • #1. Complete your profile
    with all the necessary information about you and your professional background. Include a professional looking profile photo, preferably a clear colored frontal headshot. Please don’t use selfie. Employees don’t hire people with no personalities attached on their profiles. Like hey, who wants to talk with ta ghost?
  • #2. Showcase you special skill.
    Upwork has a feature where you can create a special page on your profile that showcases your best skillset. Example: Graphic Design. In this page you can write compelling paragraphs that highlight what sets you apart from other job seekers about Graphic Design jobs. You can also specify an amount you charge per job done.
  • #3. Verify your Upwork profile.
    Earn that magic “blue tick” next to your name. When your a verified Upwork freelancer, companies will not hesitate to contact you and ask for proposals. Sometimes a verified profile saves you a lot of ‘connects.’ Connects are virtual tokens on Upwork used by freelancers to submit proposals. To verify your profile just follow the instructions under settings. Upwork will asks you personal documents that prove your identity. Then a one-on-one video call from one of Upwork’s representative.
  • #4. Upload a compelling portfolio.
    But, I tell you, if you’re worried because you are just starting out and you don’t have a portfolio yet, don’t be sad. You are not required to create one. Just be honest on your profile. Tell the world why you don’t have a portfolio.

2. Join free training and workshops by Google

Jumpstart you career by getting certified at Google. If you’re someone looking to expand or learn more about earning a sweet spot in digital world, Google offers free training and workshop for those people who are interested not just about digital marketing but a wide range of digital courses – the Learn with Google program by Google.

To join is easy and courses are offered in modules. So you have the freewill to choose your convenient time. Good thing is, after completion you’ll get a certificate from a monster tech company – Google.

What are the free courses offered by Google:

  • Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Basic to Advanced E-commerce
  • Understanding the basic of Machine Learning
  • Improving online business security
  • Effective networking
  • Intro to digital well-being
  • Public speaking
  • Social psychology
  • Learning Google cloud technology
  • Online advertising
  • Elements of Artificial Intelligence
  • Customer segmentation and prospecting
  • Fundamentals of Graphic Design
  • Business writing
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • and many more…

Please note that some of these courses are offered for free but certificates are paid. To check paid certificate courses, please visit here. For courses with free certificates, please redirect here.

A certification is a great way to make your CV shine. It shows you’ve got genuine digital skills, and that you are motivated to learn: two essential qualities in today’s business world.

3. Start an E-commerce store on Shopify
(dropshipping business)

You might have heard about dropshipping, right? Coronavirus does not infect dropshippers. (Kidding). And maybe, you think it’s hard and it needs a lot of money to start with. If you think that way, you are wrong. You don’t need to have a lot of money to start a dropshipping business online. All you need is just an internet and heart for your business. Money is important, but you don’t need a lot. 100 – 150$ is enough.

Easy steps to start a dropshipping business on Shopify:

  • #1. Find winning products
    It’s important to choose products that are highly salable online. Products that people are mostly interested with. Products that people can’t easily find in local stores, especially now that most of the stores are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. To do that, I recommend checking Amazon’s best seller page. This way, you’ll be able to understand what products people are usually buying online.

    Other platforms to check what products are highly sold online are: Alibaba, AliExpress, Wish, and Ecomhunt. Choose at least five or more products. After choosing products, check if that product you chose is trending online. Check it by typing keywords related to that product on Google Trends. This way, you’ll know which products people are searching online. Choose products are reserve this for later.
  • #2. Choose a unique name for your store
    Choosing a name for your store is crucial as it affects your marketing in the future. Store names that are name appropriately can make a long way for your e-commerce success. Choose a name for your store that relates to the product you are selling. It should be unique and easy to remember.

    Example, if you are selling kitchen gadgets, create a name that when people read it, they’ll know what you are selling even if they don’t see your products – say, KitchenKits or simply Kitchen Gadgets. Remember that your store name will also be the your website address if you choose to have an own domain. Let’s say
  • #3. Create a Shopify account
    Creating a Shopify account is basic as elementary. Just go to Shopify website and create your account. From there, get familiarize how to configure your store and start creating. There hundreds of helpful videos on Youtube for you to go with.
  • #4. Import your products from AliExpress
    Now, take the product list that you’ve done in step 1. Go to Apps on Shopify and install Oberlo. From Oberlo, go to AliExpress and search your products. This part is tricky as you have to choose products from good suppliers. Tip: Select products that have high numbers of order. You can see it under product description on AliExpress.

    After choosing your products, start importing it to your Shopify store. On Shopify store, configure your design. Don’t worry Shopify is very easy to design. You don’t need an experience in web design and development here as long as you know how to read.
  • #5. Launch your store and start selling!
    After you finished choosing and importing your products to your Shopify store, it’s now time to buy your domain name. This time, you need money for the domain and hosting for using the Shopify platform. Domain registration on Shopify is only 16$. For hosting they offer a minimum fee of 29$ per month. As of now, due to Covid19 pandemic, you can use Shopify platform FREE for 3 months.

As you can see, there are hundreds of ways on how to be productive during coronavirus lock-down. Don’t get this pandemic fool you. It’s just a virus and you are human. You have the internet and you are stuck there ranting nonsense.

Feels so overwhelmed
with too much information?

At this very moment, you might be feeling so overloaded with what you have just read. I got you. Starting an online business or looking for opportunities online is not an easy step to take. It needs a lot of thinking and it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. For that reason why I am writing this is I want to help you get started.

Do you want to find jobs online and work at home?

Are you planning to start an e-commerce business?

Do you have an online business but it’s not really taking off?

Hopefully, this coronavirus lockdown will soon be over. Whatever you have, a business, a plan to work at home, I’m willing to help you figure out how and where you can start. If you have Facebook, just message me on our page, Acabo CC, and there we will talk. Or, you can fill-in this simple form and just tick the “General Consultation” button so I know you’re this super excited person who wants to take a leap in life. Or! And, you can also drop a comment below. Let’s see how far we can go. See you there, and let’s get this rock on!

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