Locked

I am a seasoned VA. I am looking for a long term client. AskMeAnything #AMA

Jerome Cenia
Nov 13, 2017

I have been to freelancing for more than 2 years and my experience ranges from data entry to all-around personal support. I also do transcription jobs and customer support through CRM tools. I've been taking seasonal projects since then and I believe it's just about time to engage myself in a long term commitment with a client. Finding a good client and landing to an awesome job can be a major undertaking and I look forward to finding the client who's willing to work with me together for countless years.

Comments are locked

Conversation (47)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

What was your dream job?

Nov 15, 4:33PM EST0

Do you have a linkedin profile?

Nov 12, 7:26AM EST1

Thanks for asking Adrian!

Yes, I do have a LinkedIn profile. Kindly check it out by clicking this link:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerome-cenia-0a59219a/

Nov 12, 7:53AM EST0

Do you have a blog?

Nov 10, 2:35AM EST1

Hi there! Thanks for your question.

Currently I'm working with a close friend of mind to put up a blog dedicated for Virtual Assistance and Customer Service. I wil be sure to keep you posted once the blog is available :)

Nov 10, 10:04PM EST0

How did you get your first few clients?

Nov 9, 10:35AM EST1

Good question there!

I started my freelancing career using the Upwork platform which you can check here (upwork.com). I applied to several clients and landed on the very first job  which is audio transcription. After that, there have been a lot of offers coming in.

Hope this answers your question :)

Nov 10, 10:05PM EST0

What do you do when you don't know the answer to a question?

Nov 9, 9:26AM EST1

Great question!

It's simple.  I don't pretend that I am a "know all" person. During the course of work there will be a time when you stumble upon a situation that is hard to solve. If you don't know, ask. Don't be afraid to ask and clarify things. It'll save you time and your job by not putting an extreme risk of failure.

Hope it helps.

Nov 10, 10:08PM EST0

How do you work long hours and avoid burnout?

Nov 9, 6:00AM EST1

Good question!

Those who work long hours are really prone to burnouts! I've been there before. That was when I didn't have much choice but apply for the job due to financial issues. However, right now, even if I work longer that 12 hours, I still can smile and go on with the day with ease. How did I do it? Simple. I always choose the job I love to do. In freelancing world, you have the luxury to show off your profile on the things you are capable of. That means, if you have a lot of skills and experiences to write on your CV, then you also have a great chance to find a job you love. In considering working on a project, always put this on your mind as a freelancer that you should work on the job you love to do the most.

Well, if you ran out choice and took the job available, think of the things that keeps you inspired and relaxed. During hectic days and busy weeks, I always give myself an hour to relax. You can either take a power nap or listen to music. Hydrate yourself enough.

Lastly, always take a day of your week to spend with people you really care for. Sometimes it only takes a dose of inspiration to shake off those stress hanging around.

Hope this helps :)

Nov 10, 10:08PM EST0

Have you ever assisted in resolving a dispute between others?

Nov 9, 5:24AM EST1

Great question.

My answer is no. As much as possible, when things can still be avoided, I don't put myself in such a situation.

Nov 10, 10:10PM EST0

Who can become a freelancer?

Nov 9, 1:49AM EST1

Awesome question there!

It doesn't take too much to become a freelancer. As a matter of fact, everyone can be a freelancer as long as he or she has the time, skills, and dedication to work. At first, I really thought that freelancing is a thing that doesn't fit for me. But when I worked on the first project, everything turned out to be so great!

There are requirements that are specific to technology being used and also skills that are specific to a task you might consider working on. Basically, if you have a service to offer, you can be a freelancer.

This page is not enough to write down all the possible jobs a freelancer can do. To sum it all, anyone can be a freelancer as long as he wants to and as long as he is capable of meeting client's standards and giving out the very best on his/her skills.

Nov 10, 10:11PM EST0

What tools do you use?

Nov 8, 11:19AM EST1

Great question!

Currently I am using the following tools:

  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Basecamp
  • Freshdesk
  • Google Drive
  • Tsheets (tracker for my part time job)
  • Upwork Tracker
Nov 10, 10:13PM EST0

How do you communicate effectively with long-distance clients?

Nov 8, 11:02AM EST1

Good question!

In order to effectively communicate with my clients I ensure the following things below:

  • Stable internet connection - it is very necessary as mostly of the tools and apps used for communication rely on internet.
  • Set time properly- always make sure you'll meet in between your timezones. Always ask for the client's available time to speak. Convert that into your timezone that way you can adjust when to raise a concern.
  • Always set goals and expectations properly- some clients want constant communication. Always pace with your client and set goals and expectations on tasks.
Nov 10, 10:18PM EST0

Are you a team player?

Nov 8, 1:22AM EST1

Nice question Katerina!

Yes, I am. In freelancing, it is imperative that you're a team player. The freelancing world is very dynamic and you play  a big role in bringing change to your client's business. Make use of the responsibility and be a productive agent by becoming a team player.

Nov 10, 10:20PM EST0

Would you rather get more clients, or make more money off existing clients?

Nov 7, 8:47PM EST1

Nice question Jesa!

To become a freelancer doesn't mean like having a lot of clients. One can have multiple clients under same scope of responsibilty, too. But it would be a challenge serving 2 or more clients at once.

For me, I'd rather stay in one client because to me, freelancing is not only earning but helping someone or an organization to grow and I can only do that if I stay long with them.

Nov 10, 10:22PM EST0

What's the best marketing move you've ever made?

Nov 7, 8:45PM EST1

Good question!

Unfortunately I have only a few experience in marketing and mostly it involves retention and customer support. So, I can not give out an answer out from something  I don't have enough experience with.

Hope you understand. :)

Nov 10, 10:23PM EST1

What are the advantages of being a freelancer?

Nov 7, 6:35PM EST1

Nice question Joseph!

Freelancing job is perhaps one of the most common jobs nowadays especially that many freelancing platforms are popping up anywhere in the web.

Getting straight to the point, becoming a freelancer is awesome! There are lot of reasons why but I will tell you the most common reasons from freelancers like us why we choose it over physical office work.

  1. Time. You always own your time. Most clients in the freelancing community give you choices for your work shift. I mean, not all, but most commonly you don't have to convert time zones and change your sleeping patterns just to meet client's demand. Also, you can choose the length of the project and the number of hours per week you will work with.
  2. Convenience. Personally, I hate traffic. Well, who doesn't? When you are a freelancer, you have your own home office and you don't have to engage yourself into a bumper to bumper situation on the road. You can even work while you are on your bed!
  3. Flexibility. Most clients understand that freelancers are on the go. On my personal experience, since I work for 2 clients, they always give me flexibility on my work schedule. Also, requesting for leaves and time offs is very easy! No need to send lengthy papers. No need to wait for days for approval!
  4. Communication. This part is one of my favorites. In an office work, you can never have a direct communication with your boss. Most often, you have to speak first with your senior and your message will be relayed to the client. But in freelancing, you always have a direct communication with your client and you are free to give recommendations for the company and even suggest for raise! Believe me, I just did. Perhaps I'm the cheapest freelancer in the world as I only get paid $3/hour. But when I asked a raise. they gave me extra $2 for my hourly rate! That can even be more based on your job and on your performance!
  5. MORE MONEY. When you work offshore as a freelancer, you always get the opportunity to earn more compared to the local skilled workers in your country. Sharing my personal experience, I earn an extra $300 a month compared to a nurse or even a teacher here in my country.

There can be more, however these are my top 5 picks.

Nov 10, 10:24PM EST0

What fees does Freelancer charge?

Nov 7, 3:47PM EST1

That's a good question!

The fees freelancers charge is the services they offer to a client. These are the works or tasks being done successfuly based on the client's demand. Usually freelancers submit proposals to clients who are in need of people who could make things done. There are also times when clients do reach freelancers rather than wait for someone to submit a proposal. Since there has been a wide variety of services freelancers could offer, they are mostly paid for their expertise.

Freelancers receive either an hourly basis or fixed price payment, depending on the agreement between them.

Nov 10, 10:24PM EST0

What is mean VA?

Nov 7, 3:37PM EST1

Hi Adrian!

VA stands for Virtual Assistance if you're referring to a job and

Virtual Assistantif you're referring to a person.

Nov 10, 10:14PM EST0

What have you done to be a better freelance representative?

Nov 7, 10:31AM EST0

How much do you charge?

Nov 6, 9:07AM EST1

Thanks for your question Zoran!

I'm charging my clients less. I work mostly $5/hour depending on the task. Most of my clients negotiate between $4-$8 an hour.

Nov 6, 10:48AM EST0

Can you give an example of when you helped resolve a particularly difficult client issue?

Nov 6, 7:39AM EST1

Hi Giada thanks for your question!

So far, in my freelancing career, I haven't had any serious problems encountered with clients. In fact. all of my clients are very satisfied with my output and so am I with them. However, when I first started with Upwork, one client heppened to be Turkish hired me as his VA. That's a cheap fixed price of $50 a month! That cheap rate wasn't paid on time and the project was not funded until the next month which he supposed to pay me already a $100. I raised this concern to the Upwork Help Center but I haven't received any help at all. It turns that the client is fraud. After the long deliberation, I got paid but only $50. It's a terrible experience though. After that, I rarely accept fixed price jobs.

Nov 6, 7:10PM EST0

How has the way you do business or the services you're able to offer changed since you went out on your own?

Nov 6, 6:41AM EST1

Interesting question!

A lot of big changes came in since I decided to do freelancing. When I worked for a company before, I have to deal with heavy traffic and stressful office tasks and yet I only get a fixed price for a tons of work in a day. At first, I didn't find freelancing as promising as what I did see it today. I barely earn $1000 a month before but now I earn more than $1200. When it comes to services, I get to practice my skills very efficiently since I don't have to spend an hour or two in the road due to a bumper to bumper situation. Also, I get more  things done in a day. I've got many projects that can be done simultaneously, thanks to the wide variety of competent freelancers available for work.

To sum it all, freelancing brought a tremendous change in my career and in the services I offer to clients. I have more time for work and comfort at the same time. I can have the balance between family and work since I always work in my home.

Truly, freelancing is a thing, I think, a very good avenue if you can't find good job outside. :)

Last edited @ Nov 6, 7:20PM EST.
Nov 6, 7:15PM EST0