The freelance life is not for the faint-hearted. Among other things, it requires you to be (1) proactive about finding the right projects and clients. Along the way, you learn how to (2) manage your time (or how many projects you can reasonably manage without collapsing in exhaustion). Or (3) how much to charge. Or (4) the skills you need to hone to improve your services.

For this post, I’m focusing on the first goal. 

Finding an online job is like exercising your risk-taking muscle: you’ll have to send quite a number of applications.

If you’re checking only a few sites, you’re limiting the number of potential clients you can find and who can find you. 

Aside from UpWork and, for Filipinos, Onlinejobs.ph, you can also try the following online job sites: 

  • FreeeUp 
  • LinkedIn 
  • Facebook groups

1. FreeeUp

Just like Upwork, FreeeUp is an international platform that links clients with experienced freelancers and agencies around the globe. 

To be able to join FreeeUp, freelancers need to fill out an online application, go through an interview, and then pass FreeeUp’s best practices and terms of use test.

Once you’re in, you can create your profile, browse available projects, and send applications.

Other things I love about the platform are:

1. The platform allows you to set a price for your skill level (basic, mid-level, expert). 

Let’s be honest: We all have bills to pay. Some of us may have gone through jobs where even if we pour our best efforts and upgrade our skills, our earnings could barely cover our expenses. 

If you have enough experience and expertise under your belt, I hope you try to find opportunities where the earnings and demands can match your personal priorities. The added income will free up your time–time you can spend for people and things you care about.  

It will also allow you to increase your savings. You will also be able to enroll in trainings, so you can grow your skills and offer even better services. You really don’t need to keep hoping someone out there will invest in you and send you to an all-expense-paid training. You can–you must–invest in yourself. 

2. There are different skills you can offer. 

What is it that you do well? Is it writing, research, design, web development, video editing, advertising, project management, administrative support, accounting, translation, sales support, social media marketing, ecommerce, course creation, translation?

What fields have you worked in–market research, digital marketing, real estate, psychology, health, book publishing, gardening, ecommerce? 

Whatever it is, chances are, someone in the world is looking for exactly what you can offer. 

Don’t feel discouraged if, once you’re in the platform, you don’t immediately find jobs that suit your skills or the client chooses someone else. It’s just the way life rolls.

Regularly check the job board. At times, FreeeUp’s team will message you if there are open projects that fit your skillset. (This proactive approach is also something I love about the platform.)

3. Automatic billing and payments.

One trend I have noticed is that clients who care about the people who work for them will make an effort to pay them on time. (And should problems arise, they will notify you at once.)

And this is another thing I love about FreeeUp’s system. As in other platforms, you can track your hours. (You can also set a fixed rate.) There’s no need to think about billing and invoices. You will be asked to confirm the amount you will receive, and FreeeUp makes sure you get paid on schedule.

And in case you have questions, you can email FreeeUp’s Accounting. So far, their staff has been responding promptly to queries and providing very helpful suggestions.

4. Possible passive income through referrals.

FreeeUp has a referral program for both clients and freelancers. This is actually how I learned about the platform. A high school friend (who runs Leadgineers) mentioned FreeeUp during an activity organized by JB & Associates. 

5. I learned a lot from the get-go. 

I may not be new to online work and freelancing, but I know there’s still more I need to learn. 

That’s why I valued FreeeUp’s onboarding process. I see what else I can improve on especially when communicating with potential and current clients. 

You bring in your knowledge, your skill set, your experience. And then FreeeUp gives you tools to step it up even further. 

2. LinkedIn

Having an updated LinkedIn account is another way for clients to find you. LinkedIn also gives you many ways to showcase your work. You can attach sample works and provide links to your websites/blogs, social media accounts, or even publish an article. 

LinkedIn even allows you to specify if you are open to working remotely. Just go to Jobs >> Career Interests >> scroll down to the questions about your next job’s location, and click “Yes” beside “I’m open to working remotely.”

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You can also indicate if you want to work full-time or part-time.

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3. Facebook Groups

There are lots of groups for online/remote workers. Some members will post jobs, while others will offer tips and even quick lessons. Once, I’ve seen moderators/more seasoned online workers cautioning members when several applied for a job with an unreasonably low rate. 

This is the kind of community you would appreciate especially if you are new to freelancing/virtual jobs–groups where members help each other succeed. Some of the Facebook groups I really appreciate are WorCognition and Philippine Home-Based Virtual Assistants.

I’m pretty sure there are more groups and online job sites out there that can help you find a good client. I hope you can find time to be part of such an online community, and someday be among those who help others grow their online careers.

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