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If you want to make a change in your life as a Filipino freelancer – create systems, automate your workload and get clients consistently, enroll in our Super Freelancers Course from the A&D Creative Lab.

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5 Reasons Why Working For Free and Exposure Can Kill Your Freelancing Career

When starting out a career as a freelancer, exposure is one of the hardest things to acquire. In a profession that relies heavily on a good portfolio to land jobs, newbies looking to establish themselves as credible freelancers often find it hard to break into the market.

Due to this, the temptation to work for free — in order to gain exposure and have the credits to build a portfolio — is prevalent. Many freelancers make the mistake of thinking that working for free in the beginning is beneficial to their careers. This could not be further from the truth.

In this article, we have compiled the 5 reasons why working for free as a freelancer (even if just starting out) can actually be detrimental to your career:

1. People Don’t Value Free Things

Anywhere in the market, if something is free or acquired for cheap, it’s likely of poor quality and little value. As a freelancer, whether it be writing, graphics design, or photography, your service must be seen as something of great market value.

The product of your efforts and time need to justify their price and that wont be easy if you’ve marketed yourself as a newcomer willing to work for free. The idea is to work to get paid and you can only do that if you offer something of value, not by offering freebies.

2. You Might Be Exploited

There are many employers out there who are more than willing to exploit novices with the promise of future jobs and payment. You will end up spending hours and energy into a gig that will end up being either rejected or plagiarized.

You bear the brunt of the costs by working with no pay and the commissioner would have gotten the finished product for free.

3. Your Reputation Suffers

Reputation is just as good as a portfolio when freelancing. When you prove yourself as capable of delivering quality work that justifies payment, your reputation improves.

People will come to know you as the dependable Filipino freelancer you are and will know who to go to when work of your kind is needed. There are very little to no reputational benefits to you by working for free.

As stated above, people don’t associate quality and value with things that are given for free.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

4. It’s A Waste Of Time

Productivity and time-management are the name of the game with freelancing. How much time, work, and dedication you put in your chosen field will set you apart from the many others who tried to freelance full-time but failed.

Once you know this, you will understand the value of your work. This is why you should always think twice on spending time on pro bono gigs. This only means you are wasting scarce resources that you can never recover on work with no definite return on investment.

5. Its Just Bad Business

When you begin to freelance you are essentially starting your own micro-business. Businesses operate to generate and maximize profit by marketing and selling products of value.

With freelancing, you are both the owner and employee of this business and what you are selling is your services. If businesses market their products to the masses in order the gain traction in the market and drive up sales, in freelancing you are marketing yourself.

Instead of offering up your services for free in the hopes of future paid work, think more like an entrepreneur and focus your energy on maximizing your time, marketing yourself, and building a good relationship with paying clients. It may take longer but is definitely more rewarding and sustainable.

In Conclusion:

We hope that this article helped you in learning about the negative impacts of working for free. Freelancing is not an easy thing to do — everyone has different experiences regarding the difficulty of finding your footing in this highly competitive market, and mistakes can be frequent. But with some determination and a good amount of research, you can certainly etch out a great and profitable future for yourself.


A&D Creative lab is Article & Design’s specialised unit which strives to help everyone (digital business owners or freelancers alike) who wants to upgrade their skills and expertise to the next level through our courses and workshops.

A&D Creative Lab is made by freelancers for freelancers. <3 

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10 In-Demand Skills for Filipino Freelancers

If you want to listen to the audio version of this article, please click below.



Or subscribe to our Podcast – Super Freelancers PH.

How to start working from home as a Filipino freelancer? Obviously, you will need to have some freelancer skills if you want to make a change. There are so many online jobs that you can do these days. You may already possess some highly-paid skills right now so make the most out of it.

If you already have enough experience from working online or even if you’re still just starting, you can check out these in-demand skills for filipino freelancers so that you can decide which way to go.

1. Translation Services

All you need to have this skill is to be knowledgeable or fluent in other languages aside from your mother tongue. You can do translation from Spanish to English, Tagalog to English, French to English, etc. or vice versa. Translation services prices can range from $5-$500.

2. Social Media Management

If you’re good about the social media platform and highly organized, this is the best job for you. This role has a high demand as of this writing since businesses are making sure to have an online presence nowadays.

3. Graphic Design

To become a Graphic designer, you need to have a great eye with design. It’s a very highly paid skill that can make you earn from $25-150 per hour as a filipino freelancer. If you have this skill, then go ahead and start applying online now.

4. Designing Landing Pages

If you’re good with design, then you also try designing landing pages for bloggers or affiliate marketers. It’s their strategy to earn with their business so you need to have the ability to create some catchy landing pages for them. Website builders such as WordPress, Clickfunnels and Builderall are in-demand these days. If you have skills or experience designing using the above tools, then you now have your freelancing gig!

5. English Online Tutor

Great command in the English language and the patience to teach a non-English speaking student are the key skills you need to be a successful tutor. You need to have an ESL certification as well to start with this career if the company requires for it.

6. Video Editor

Video editing is also another freelancer skill that you should have if you want to go in this direction. Your clients can mostly be Youtubers who needs help with their channel or other businesses that need to have videos for their websites.

7. Photo Editing

Being a Photo Editor can be a rewarding career especially if you’re also into photography. Many companies need someone or even a team of photo editors to help them with their advertising campaigns.

Photo by Negative Space from Pexels

8. Paid Ads Management

Paid ads management is a highly paid skill to have to help businesses with their advertising concerns. Your role is to manage paid ads campaigns for the client so you will also need to have some online marketing skills.

9. Virtual Assistant

Being a Virtual Assistant means that you have to be reliable and have multiple freelancer skills since you will need to assist your client with their business directly. You need to have administrative skills and good organizational skills for this role. Filipino freelancers are known to be one of the best VAs globally.

10. Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Specialist

An SEO specialist needs to have analytical skills as well as the knowledge to optimize in search engines. You also need to know how to write an article since most of the clients hire candidates with both of these skills.


A&D Creative lab is Article & Design’s specialised unit which strives to help everyone (digital business owners or freelancers alike) who wants to upgrade their skills and expertise to the next level through our courses and workshops.

A&D Creative Lab is made by freelancers for freelancers. <3 

Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Get inside our Free Newsletter for The SuperFreelancer’s Tips!