work from home

Freelancer Toolkit: 10 Tools and Apps to Learn to Get Ahead

Starting a freelancing journey is exciting, but mastering it requires more than just talent. Freelancing is more than just a job – it’s a business venture where you are the CEO, marketer, and service provider all at once. Managing every aspect, from finding leads to delivering the final product, can be overwhelming and may lead to burnout, affecting both the quality of your work and your passion for it. Apart from this, you also need to master the top virtual assistant tools to get ahead with the competition. In order to excel in the progressive world of freelancing, staying ahead is essential. This means equipping yourself with the right resources that not only save you from unnecessary hard work but also enhance your efficiency. Here’s a comprehensive list of 10 top virtual assistant tools and apps covering everything from project management to password management. All of which are designed to elevate your freelancing game. Whether you’re a seasoned freelancer or just starting, these tools promise to equip you with the essentials needed to carve your path to success in the competitive world of freelancing. 1. Asana Asana is a user-friendly project management tool designed to assist freelancers in staying organized and managing their workload effectively. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: Asana is ideal for freelancers juggling multiple projects and clients. It aids in staying on top of the workload, collaborating with team members, and meeting deadlines effectively. 2. Zoom Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing tool that allows users to hold meetings and collaborate remotely, especially when in-person meetings aren’t feasible. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: Using Zoom, freelancers can efficiently connect with clients and colleagues regardless of geographical barriers, facilitating effective collaboration and communication. The platform’s versatile features enhance productivity and flexibility by allowing its users to conduct meetings, webinars, and presentations with ease. 3. Grammarly Enhance your writing and maintain a professional image with Grammarly, an intelligent writing assistant. This tool not only fixes grammar but also helps you spot errors, suggests improvements to sentence structure, and ensures your content is error-free and polished. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: Grammarly is an essential tool for freelancers, offering time-saving benefits by catching spelling and grammar errors, checking for plagiarism, and providing suggestions for enhancing writing style. Whether you’re a freelance writer, editor, or content marketer, Grammarly helps produce high-quality written content that reflects professionalism and expertise. If you’re starting as a freelance writer, Grammarly is a must-have tool! 4. Mailchimp Mailchimp is a helpful tool for freelancers seeking to expand their business through email marketing. With its versatile features, it caters to both individual and client-based projects, making it indispensable for freelancers in various fields. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: This tool helps freelancers stand out and attract clients by creating impressive email newsletters that showcase their skills. Plus, it offers ways to make money from these emails, helping freelancers grow their business. 5. Canva Another popular addition to this list of virtual assistant tools is Canva. This drag-and-drop graphic design tool makes it easy to create stunning graphics, presentations, and social media posts, even if you’re not a graphic designer. This user-friendly design tool provides a vast library of templates, images, and fonts, allowing freelancers to produce visually captivating content effortlessly. As one of the best tools for freelancers in 2024, Canva is a graphic design tool that helps freelancers create beautiful designs for their businesses without the need for extensive design skills or software. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: With Canva, freelancers can easily create social media posts, presentations, marketing materials, and more, all with professional-looking templates and easy-to-use design tools. 6. Slack  Slack is a fantastic tool for freelancers to collaborate and communicate effectively with clients and fellow freelancers. This widely used team communication platform keeps conversations organized, allows seamless sharing of files, and integrates with other tools to make your work easier. It’s considered one of the best tools for freelancers to communicate, offering real-time messaging and collaboration. Key Features:   Benefits for Freelancers: Instead of endless emails, freelancers can use Slack to streamline communication and stay on top of projects, improving overall efficiency. 7. Dropbox Dropbox is an excellent tool for freelancers, providing a secure way to store and share files with clients and collaborators. This cloud storage platform ensures your files are accessible from anywhere while prioritizing data security. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: Freelancers benefit greatly from Dropbox by keeping their work organized, accessing files easily from anywhere, and collaborating seamlessly with clients and team members. 8. Loom Loom is a handy tool that lets you create short video messages to express your thoughts, ideas, and feedback in a personal and engaging way. It’s a perfect choice for freelancers working remotely, aiming to enhance collaboration with clients and team members. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: Loom is a significant time-saver for both freelancers and clients, allowing for effective communication without the need for unnecessary meetings or video calls. 9. Calendly  Calendly makes scheduling easy, removing the need for endless email exchanges. This helpful tool lets you share when you’re available, allowing clients to book appointments directly, saving you time and hassle. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: Calendly streamlines appointment scheduling, reducing headaches and allowing freelancers to focus on their most important work. 10. LastPass LastPass helps keep your online life secure and makes managing passwords a breeze. This tool securely stores your login details, creates strong passwords, and allows easy sharing with clients or team members. Key Features: Benefits for Freelancers: LastPass simplifies password management, allowing freelancers to securely store, generate, and share passwords, ensuring a high level of online security. In the world of freelancing, having the right tools is important. These tools offer features to make your work easier, help you collaborate, and advance your career. Each tool presents unique benefits, so take the time to find the perfect fit for your needs.  Staying ahead means constantly learning and adjusting to changes. That’s why at Stellar Freelancing Academy, we

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Top Freelance Jobs for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide [2023]

It can be overwhelming to begin a freelancing career, but it does not have to be. You may be asking yourself questions such as how do I start a freelance job? Why would I want to freelance?  You can have complete control over your work schedule when you freelance. Moreover, you will have the freedom to work from anywhere, at any time as a freelancer. These enticing benefits are fueling the rise of the freelancing business. Furthermore, there are many freelance jobs for beginners that you can find online. Which freelancing job is best for beginners? The best way to start freelancing is to find gigs online. Many websites list freelance jobs for beginners. When looking for a basic freelance job, it is essential to find a job that matches your skills and experience. If you are a beginner, it may be best to start with a job that is easy to do and does not require a lot of experience.  One thing you can explore is Upwork jobs for beginners, it is an excellent platform for finding freelance work. The best part is that you can start with simple jobs and work your way up. If you try hard enough, you can find the best freelance jobs for beginners with no experience necessary. Let’s explore how to get jobs for beginners. Virtual assistant A virtual assistant is a remote worker who provides various services to businesses and entrepreneurs. Your job will be to complete administrative tasks, such as customer service, data entry, bookkeeping, social media management, and website maintenance. In addition, virtual assistants are in high demand and the average rate is $7 per hour. Writer One of the best freelance jobs for beginners is writing. As a writer, you can create articles, blog posts, and website content. You don’t need a lot of experience if you want to be a writer. Moreover, writing jobs for beginners are easy to find online. A computer or laptop and access to the Internet are all you need. The average pay for a writer is $7 per hour, which is a respectable wage. Graphic designer Another great job for beginners is graphic design. As a graphic designer, you can create logos, illustrations, and infographics. You can even create banners, icons, and ad images. Like writing, you don’t need a lot of experience to start as a graphic designer. The average pay for a graphic designer is $9 per hour. Web developer Web development is another excellent option for beginners. As a web developer, you can create and design websites for clients. Like writing and graphic design, you don’t need a lot of experience to start as a web developer. The average pay for a web developer is $9 per hour. Social media marketer Social media marketing is another excellent option for beginners. As a social media marketer, you can create and manage social media campaigns for clients. Moreover, as a social media marketer, you can also provide consulting services and help businesses with their social media strategy. The average pay for a social media marketer is $7 per hour. Data entry worker A data entry job involves transcribing data from one source to another. As a data entry worker, you will be responsible for transferring data from paper documents into digital files or from one application to another. Data entry is a great job for beginners because it is relatively easy to do and does not require any experience. The average hourly rate for data entry is $5 per hour. Email marketer An email marketer is responsible for sending promotional emails on behalf of a company. As an email marketer, you will be responsible for creating email campaigns and managing a company’s email list. In addition, you will also be responsible for measuring the success of email campaigns and reporting your findings to your clients. The average hourly rate for email marketing is $9 per hour. Video editor A video editor is responsible for editing videos and adding special effects to them. As a video editor, you will be responsible for cutting out footage that is not needed, adding transitions and graphics, and making sure that the final product is of high quality. The average hourly rate for video editing is $9 per hour. Transcriptionist A transcriptionist is responsible for transcribing audio files into written documents.  Transcriptionists listen to audio recordings and type out what they hear. The average hourly rate for transcription is $7 per hour. Content editor A  content editor is responsible for editing and proofreading written content.  As a content editor, you will be responsible for ensuring that the grammar,  punctuation,  and spelling of a piece of writing are all correct. In addition, you will also be responsible for making sure that the content is well-written and easy to understand. The average hourly rate for content editing is $22 per hour. Frequently asked questions How to get hired as a beginner? The best way to find beginner-friendly jobs is to search for them online. Many websites list freelance jobs, such as Upwork,  Fiverr,  and  PeoplePerHour. When searching for a job, it is important to be specific about what you are looking for. For example, if you are a beginner writer, then you should search for  “writer jobs for beginners”  or  “entry-level writing jobs.” How can I start freelance with no experience? There are many ways to start a freelance with no experience. One way to start is to target small businesses and individuals who need writing services. How can I learn freelance at home? There are many ways to learn freelance work from home. The best way to learn is by doing. Many websites offer “jobs for beginners” or “entry-level jobs.” These types of jobs are a great way to get your feet wet and learn the ropes of freelancing. In addition, many online courses can teach you the basics of freelancing. Finally, many books have been written on the subject of freelancing. Takeaway Now that you know

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Don’t Fall For These Schemes: Top 7 Online Job Scams and How to Avoid Them

With the sudden influx of online applicants also made them a target of online job scams. The most vulnerable are beginner freelancers and those desperate to find jobs fast. Don’t fall for any of these schemes! It’s important to be proactive and learn about them before they try to scam you. Top Online Job Scams Below is a list of the most common online scams that mostly target new freelancers: 1. Security fees You went through the application process and finally got hired. Everything seems legitimate, from the job post, the company website, to the screening process, except for one thing. During the onboarding, they inform you that you must pay a ‘refundable’ security fee before starting your work. Many freelancer scams will bait you through the whole job application process. In desperation to get a job and start working, you pay the security fee, still relying on their validation that you have already passed the screening. After which, they suddenly block you from all communications, and you have no way of refunding the fees. 2. Identity theft The usual scenario for identity theft is that the scammer will ask for a copy of a valid ID, birthdate, selfie, and other personal information. They will tell you it is standard onboarding procedures for banking, salary, and tax requirements. Once they obtain your information, they stop replying and block you from all communication. They use this personal information to create fake accounts or access online banking. 3. PDF to MS word These prevalent job posts attract applicants with a promise of a high salary and the easy task of converting PDF files to MS Word documents. People get scammed because the files sent to them often have malware or a link to a phishing site that gains access to their system and personal account login information. 4. Crypto scam There are different types of crypto scams, such as fake crypto businesses swindling you into fake transactions, pyramid schemes, and those asking you to sign up to a crypto site using their link. They intend to gain access to your digital wallet or use you to create fake transactions. 5. Unpaid sample work Employers will often give you a sample task to gauge your technical skills if you are applying as a writer, graphics designer, or video editor. This requirement is acceptable but only to a certain extent. If the task is simple and will only take you a few minutes as part of the application process, it’s okay to oblige and show them how you work. However, it may be a freelancing scam if the task is too tedious and will take several hours of your time without payment. They do this to make a profit from the free work you provided as an applicant. As a rule of thumb, always ask for a fee if they want you to submit complete sample work or ask if you can show them your portfolio of previous work done instead. A legitimate employer knows the value of the time they are asking from you and will pay you for your work, even if it’s part of the application process, with no assurance of hiring. 6. Unusually high salary The easiest way to entice applicants to apply for a job post is a high salary. It is one of the first things job seekers consider when applying for a job. If you’re a seasoned freelancer, you already know the going rate of many freelancing jobs. Anything unusually high, especially for an entry-level position, is considered an online scam. 7. FB Marketplace jobs Scammers hire you to post ads on Facebook Marketplace, promising a weekly payout. You post their ads, you get flooded with messages related to those ads, and Facebook flags your account, banning you from FB Marketplace. These scammers use other people’s accounts to flood FB Marketplace with their ads and scam people who respond to those ads. How do I know if a freelancer project is legit? If you see a job post online, make sure it discloses the company’s name. Do deep research about the company, and if you don’t find too much information, you can ask around in online job forums if they’ve heard of it. Being meticulous about employer details is how to avoid freelancer scams. How do I protect myself as a freelancer? If you’re a beginner freelancer, you should stick to legitimate freelancing platforms and job sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, LinkedIn, and 99designs. These platforms are well-established, screen both employers and employees, establish rules, and provide a safe payment platform. Scam jobs often have a less meticulous screening process and don’t conduct video interviews. Most only use phones and chats for interviews and screening. It’s essential to be cautious about the information you provide online and ensure you give your contact details to legitimate employers who will maintain confidentiality about your personal information.  Takeaway Avoid suspicious job posts on social media platforms, and always be vigilant about the links you are clicking to avoid identity theft. If you feel something is wrong with the job post, chances are, you are right. Now that you know the top red flags to avoid, be sure to avoid these offers at all costs. Want to be guided by experts in online job applications? Enroll in one of our in-depth online courses and we will guide you all throughout the way — even after you’re hired.

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How to Create a Project Proposal/Pricing for Freelancers

After gaining the required skills and establishing their range of services, the next challenge for new freelancers is how to create a project proposal for the services they offer. Especially with the tough competition and cluelessness, it’s quite hard to come up with a concrete pricing scheme that’s just right for your skill level and services offered. Things to consider when creating your pricing for freelance projects There are ten things to take into account when pricing your online services. These are: Below is a quick tutorial on how to create a project proposal, set your rates, and present them aesthetically through a rate card.

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13+ Best Freelancing Platforms of 2023

Congratulations on establishing your brand-new freelancing business! You might be all geared up to face the challenges of this industry but not sure which freelancing platforms to use to showcase your talent. One of the most common struggles beginners face is finding the best platform for freelance jobs. Sure, there are tons of results if you Google “top freelancing sites” or “best freelancer sites for beginners”, but how do you know which one is legit? Say no more because we have compiled the top freelancing platforms for freelancers this 2022. Note that we have thoroughly checked and verified each site to make sure they are allowing Filipinos to become part of their pool of candidates. Upwork Upwork is by far the most popular and one of the best freelancing platforms to date. With its wide array of offers, this California-based company has pioneered an online job marketplace that allows clients and talents to meet, negotiate, and exchange services and payments all in a single platform. On average, there are 10,000 jobs posted on Upwork daily, including vacancies for content writers, graphic designers, social media managers, virtual assistants, and the list goes on. Pros Cons Freelancer.com Much like Upwork, Freelancer.com is an online marketplace for professionals all over the world. Garnering a user base of 25 million, it enables businesses to find candidates from an extensive pool of competent freelancers. Pros Cons Onlinejobs.ph OnlineJobs.ph caters exclusively to remote online work opportunities and of the best freelancing platforms for beginners. It was created in 2009 by Utah-based entrepreneur John Jonas as a way to connect the affordable Filipino workforce with business owners in North America and around the world. Pros Cons Fiverr Fiverr has a large community of freelancers who sell their services on the site. All you have to do is browse through the website, where you will find numerous freelancers in various areas of graphic design, programming, and other fields. Below are some of the things to consider before joining this platform. Pros Cons PeoplePerHour PeoplePerHour is a high-quality and trustworthy freelance website. You can select remote outsourcers and workers in your local area. Use the site as a source for extra income if you are looking to apply your skills or hire help with a project. Pros Cons LinkedIn LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your colleagues, find new job opportunities, and build up your professional profile. Pros Cons Truelancer Truelancer is a global community of trusted freelancers. Freelancers provide their services in areas like web development, blogging, SEO, SEM, and many more. Truelancer has helped a lot of beginners in freelancing to get their work done conveniently. Pros Cons Flexjobs Flexjobs is a jobs marketplace that was launched in 2014. All companies listed on the site must be pre-screened, which makes it a good platform for those who want to avoid scam jobs. Pros Cons Toptal Toptal is a freelance website that connects highly qualified freelance industry experts with top companies. Freelancers on this site can be hired on a project or full-time basis. It also has a community where you can connect with developers, designers, product managers, and other talents and exchange knowledge with them. Pros Cons Remote Staff Remote Staff can help you find a job that allows you to work from home, it’s a PEZA accredited BPO company specializing in building trust, strong, and productive remote working relationships between companies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. Pros Cons Guru Guru is a website that connects freelancers and employers to work on projects together. An employer can access a directory and portfolios of a large pool of independent freelancing workers to recruit for certain tasks. Pros Cons 24Task 24Task is a reputable remote service and client that links freelancers with companies searching for high-quality employees to work with remotely. It boasts a global network of skilled freelancers who are experts in over 4000 talents and can assist organizations with project requirements in over 350 categories. Pros Cons Freeup.net FreeUp is an online platform with pre-vetted freelancing professionals. Before joining the platform, you will be screened by Freeup’s team. Once you pass the 3-step screening process, you will be contacted via email if a job matches your qualifications. Pros Cons Bonus: Freelancing Platforms for Every Niche Graphic Designers Digital Marketers Programmers & Web Devs 3D & CAD Designers SEO Specialists 99designs Contently WPHired GrabCAD Monster Backlinks Grab Jobs Ebyline Authentic Jobs CAD Crowd SEO Clerks DesignCrowd Mayple Codeable TurboSquid Legiit Virtual Staff GrowTal WordPress Jobs Workhoppers Dribble Hireable ESL Teachers Transcriptionists Data Entry Specialists Content Writers Chat Support Rarejob Rev Picoworkers WriterAccess Monster Backlinks Acadsoc Verbit Microworkers Compose.ly SEO Clerks 51talk GoTranscript 2ndOffice Contena Legiit Engoo Tutor Speechpad Problogger SiteStaff Chat Bizmates Way With Words iWriter Arise

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How to Apply as an Amazon Virtual Assistant

Now that being a VA has been helping a lot of freelancers recently due to its flexibility along with the benefits and competitive salary, people are asking how to apply as an Amazon virtual assistant? Being an Amazon virtual assistant is one of the most lucrative niches now in freelancing. In fact, you can earn starting from $5 to $10/hour once hired as an Amazon VA. Aside from learning the ins and outs of Amazon Seller Central, you need to learn how to apply as an Amazon virtual assistant to be able to get clients and maximize your earning opportunity. In addition, you need to know the different types of Amazon VAs in order to make your job applications more targeted and effective as you go along. Here’s how to become an Amazon virtual assistant, along with valuable tips on how to make it in the industry. Looking for more in-depth training?​ Check out our in-depth online courses now!

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How to Create a Freelancer Portfolio

Want to build a freelancer portfolio that is guaranteed to get you some work? Here’s a quick guide on how to create a freelancer portfolio that meets your goals and gets you more clients. A portfolio is a collection of materials that exemplifies your skills, qualifications, education, training, and experiences. It is an absolute must-have for a freelancer so that they will have something to demonstrate and use as proof of their skills and experience during job applications. However, most new freelancers don’t have portfolio items and they don’t have any idea what to put in it just yet. If you are one of them, no worries. The answer to your question “How to Create a Freelancer Portfolio” will be seen in the video under In this video guide, we have enumerated the materials that you can collate when preparing your portfolio. In addition, we have added the top platforms for uploading the items and included some valuable tips so you, too, can create an impressive portfolio that will wow your prospective clients. Looking for more in-depth training?​ Check out our in-depth online courses now!

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How to Set Up a Workstation as a Freelancer

For freelancers, learning how to set up a workstation is as important as acquiring the skills you need to start offering online services. To start, you need a reliable computer, internet, headset, and microphone. In addition, you also need a computer table and comfortable office chair since you will be sitting down for long hours each day. But apart from these, what other things do you need to consider when setting up your workstation? Check out our detailed tutorial below. Looking for more in-depth training?​ Check out our in-depth online courses now!

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How to Apply to Online and Win Jobs

Many people lost their jobs over the past 2 years, in these times that we are required to stay at home we still find ways to have an income. As you will get deeper in reading, you will learn how to apply to online jobs efficiently. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the online world is more competitive than ever. These days, more and more career seekers are looking for online jobs as their main source of income. To keep up with the competition, you need to learn how to apply to online jobs in the most efficient way possible. In addition, you also need to learn the tricks of the trade in order to get more opportunities and maximize your efforts. Here, we have compiled the necessary steps you need to take so you can land a job online in no time. Check out our useful video guides below. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Looking for more in-depth training?​ Check out our in-depth online courses now!

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How to Optimize Your Upwork Profile

Do you already have your Upwork profile but still having trouble getting some clients? Now, we can help you with how to optimize your Upwork profile for a higher chance of making your client have a second look at your profile. Upwork is by far the most popular freelancing platform to date. Every day, there are about 10,000 jobs posted in this online job marketplace, which proves that creating a freelancer profile here is a must. However, having an approved Upwork profile is not all that it takes to make it on the platform successfully. Apart from the necessary skills, you need to have a well-optimized profile to attract clients and make your profile more searchable. So how exactly do you optimize a profile on Upwork? Here are the steps you need to do: Maximize the use of every part of your profile Your profile is broken up into several sections, including a title section, an overview section, and a summary section. Use these areas to help potential employers understand exactly what you can do for them and why they should choose you over other freelancers on Upwork. Select a professional profile picture This is one of the most important parts of your profile—and it doesn’t have to be fancy! Choose a photo that shows off your skills and personality while still being professional (think: no selfies or party photos). You want prospective clients to focus on what you can do for them, not how good you look in a selfie. Use a concise title and a keyword-rich overview section When you’re writing your title and overview sections, make sure they’re clear and concise so that employers can quickly get an idea about what kind of work you’re capable of doing. And make sure they contain keywords related to the kind of work you’re applying for. Include your certifications If you have a certification in a specific field, be sure to include it in your Upwork profile. This will help clients know what kind of experience they can expect from hiring you. Add your employment history You don’t have to list every job you’ve ever had, but including at least one or two relevant positions will give clients an idea of what kinds of projects you’ve worked on in the past and whether or not this particular job is within the scope of your expertise. If possible, try to include jobs that were similar enough to what they’re looking for so that they see how much experience you already have in this area; if not, try adding as much detail as possible about how each position relates back to their needs (or lack thereof). Review your profile carefully Chances are good that there are still some details missing or things that could be improved upon; keep working until it feels like everything is perfect before posting anything publicly! Want a hands-on demo of Upwork profile optimization? Watch this short video: Looking for more in-depth training?​ Check out our in-depth online courses now!

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