Since 2001, I've helped thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs from over 100 countries build and repair the online presence of their brands, products, and services. Please visit iPresence Business Solutions to learn more about my digital marketing business.
Since 2014, I've been helping thousands of Filipinos understand how stock investing works. Since 2014, I've been mentoring people on how to become an independent stock trader and investor through the Stock Signals Philippines.
Latest posts by Jaycee De Guzman (see all)
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Today, one of my clients in the Stock Signals asked me an interesting question on how to make money online. Perhaps you’re wondering why we’re talking about internet marketing and passive income generators as an online freelancer in the Stock Signals.
I’ve been marinating the minds of my clients with my investment psychology wherein strengthening of cash flow should not be neglected while investing in the stock market. After all, the stock market can only work on what you invest in it, right?
The more you invest in good stocks (through my Stock Signals), the higher is your potential profit. If you have a thin and pale source of cash flow, how can you invest regularly? I hope that makes sense on why I’ve been re-emphasizing to my clients why working on their cash flow must be their topmost priority. That’s the reason why my clients have an exclusive access to the Internet Marketing section of the the private forum. Without further ado, let me share with you the inquiry of my client and my response to her. Let’s call her “Len”.
I would like to get your opinion and recommendations regarding online jobs. Recently (last June 2015), my sisters and I closed our facial salon which we established since 2001, because it is not earning anymore and sales keep on sliding down. We have a hair salon which we established only October of last year, but so far we are just doing break-even. At present, I don’t have that much extra capital to start a new business and I’m not too keen on venturing into a new one. I want to explore the possibilities of having an online job, preferably home-based. I am also going to the US before the year ends if my Visa gets approved. However, my computer skills are limited to Word and Excel, and with this, I think my skills are limited to administrative jobs. When I google, I see numerous online jobs, but I’m afraid that most of them are just scams (like paid surveys, etc.). Any suggestion on how to start with online jobs? What are the sites which are legitimate? What are the risks involved? What should I expect from online job opportunities? Thanks in advance.
Thank you for sharing your story and for inquiring on how to find an online job or source of income that matches your passion and skills. Let me address this one question at a time.
Any suggestion on how to start with online jobs?
Do you have a stable and fast internet connection?
Aside from being able to go online on the agreed upon working period, your internet’s speed must be good enough to accomplish your task. If your internet’s speed is snail-like, you cannot expect your employer to re-hire or re-new your contract because he could easily get more tasks done in a shorter period of time from other freelancers who have a better internet connection than you. For example, all of my employees are freelancers. When I see one having problems with her internet connection, she has to settle that concern first before she can go back to work. No good internet connection, no schedule. No schedule, no work. No work, no pay.
Is your passion aligned with your skills?
I operate a digital marketing business. When a person applies as a writer, she should be on top of her English 101. From time to time, my HR department receives applications from enthusiastic candidates only to find out that they need heavy training on sentence construction. I can’t imagine talking to someone who is applying as a carpenter, and is expecting me to teach him how to use a hammer.
You said you had a facial salon and now you have a hair salon. To me, that means you know a lot about fashion. If you love writing, there are website owners who are looking for writers who have a first-hand experience in the fashion industry. Is that something that interests you?
How is your commitment level and attitude at work?
Commitment is everything in the online world. Nothing can be more frustrating than hiring someone who kept on nodding like a chicken yesterday, but is nowhere to be found today. If you have a commitment to deliver your work at 5PM, it has to be 5PM.
Also, you must be proactive in informing your employer about incidents or situations that may hinder you from delivering on the agreed upon date and time. Do not wait for your employer to castigate you. Never ever put yourself in a reactive mode. Personally, I don’t like dealing with reactive people.
Do not malinger.
Being in the online business for more than 13 years, I’ve heard all sorts of make-believe excuses from brownouts to a lost loved one. On the final interview, I tell the applicant that if she is not in the mood to work, just cut the chase and email me that she is not in the mood to work. There’s no need to invent stories. However, frequent excuses have a negative effect when it comes to incentives and promotions. We, employers, distance ourselves dishonest people. Some employers also tell their peers not to hire you should you be caught malingering. The old adage “honesty is the best policy” has never been rustic.
What are the legitimate outsourcing sites?
There are many, but here are the most famous ones.
- Upwork.com (former oDesk.com)
Visit each of these websites and read their FAQ page. Read anything and everything you’ll find on their website. There’s no replacement to reading. This article alone is a lengthy one. You have to genuinely love reading if you are dead serious in venturing to this online world. I intentionally did not write a description or introductory line for each outsourcing site. I want to leave that part as your homework (Teacher Mode: Activated).
What Are the Risks Involved and How to Avoid Them?
There’s too many to mention, but I’ll just mention the frequent one. I’ll give you advice on how to avoid it, too.
If you will get your first online job from those outsourcing sites, make sure you review the employer’s profile and reviews. If you see a lot of freelancers’ reviews about jobs not paid in full or contracts terminated without prior notice, just move to the next job post. Once you’ve found the right job that matches your passion and skills, ask if your employer agrees to pay in milestones.
How does that work? Let’s say the project is worth $1,000.00, and your employer requires a weekly delivery, which is every Friday. That project can be divided into 4 milestones – $250.00 each week. So, your employer should send you a fully-paid milestone-based contract. It’s fully-paid but that amount won’t be credited into your account just yet. That amount will be held by the outsourcing site that acts as the arbiter between employers and freelancers. This way, you’re assured that your employer has the money to pay and that he won’t run away upon receipt of your delivery. If he runs away, the arbiter will credit the money to you.
Also, in the event that you failed to meet your client’s requirements and you did not want to cooperate, your client is assured that you won’t just run away with his money because the money is not yet in your pocket but in the arbiter’s hands. Once proven that you failed to meet the requirements, the arbiter will return the money to your client. In other words, a milestone-based contract secures both the employer and the freelancer (you). That’s one way to avoid getting scammed whether you’re an employer or a freelancer.
On a final note
Avoid missed commitments. Do you think the negative effects of missed commitments or deliverables only go to employers? No. It can tarnish your online reputation, too. Remember, outsourcing sites allow employers to leave a review of their experience of your service. That review can be seen by everyone who views your profile.
If you’ve missed too many commitments and you still have the gall to be disrespectful when confronted, you don’t know how easy it is for an online employer to post his bad experience about you in forums, social media groups, Skype groups, or can-I-just-say-everywhere. Be professional and honest all the time. Many employers are reasonable. Keep in mind that employers are looking for their go-to freelancers. They are willing to work with you on a long-term basis. Believe it or not, they wish your success. Employers would like to work with freelancers who are apologetic and honest when they commit a mistake once in a while (not once every 30 minutes).
Len, I do hope you find my reply helpful. If you have follow-up questions, feel free to write them in the comments section below this article or in our private forum.