Hi! Thanks for taking the time to get to know more about me 🙂 My name is Thomas.
So how exactly did I get into freelancing?
I’ve been a freelancer for over 7 years now. I do SEO with a background in web development. What does that mean? I optimize websites to appear on page 1 (or at least in the top 3 results) for any query that a person might search for to find that website. So if a person searches for “print services manila”and you own a print shop, hopefully your website shows up somewhere at the top of page 1 on Google. Oftentimes, a background in web development helps because SEO gets very technical.
I was born and raised in the US. Moved to the Philippines in December of 2010 with my parents. All this time, I was doing freelance jobs on the side. I am now a full-time freelancer whose source of income comes from my clients, but I also am working on a startup, CollegeConnect.ph, which focuses on helping people find the best college anywhere in the Philippines…..sort of like an AirBnB or TripAdvisor for colleges and universities.
I fully believe that freelancing and entrepreneurship gives you the freedom to live your life to the fullest and not be limited by 4 walls in an office, permission to do certain things, obligation to policies, and security (no disrespect to my fellow office worker friends). Freelancing isn’t for everyone, but I love it and I try to help others go into freelancing and succeed as well. Anyone can have a good income and work wherever they want, however way they want, and whenever they want. It just depends on how hard are you willing to work.
So anyways, lets go back to where it all started….
It goes back to 2007. I had no idea what freelancing was. Back then, I called it “work-from-home” or “home-based” job. The only job site I knew for home-based jobs was Craigslist at the time. I was in high school and I loved playing MMORPGs on my computer everyday. The game I was most committed to was an anime-based MMORPG called Fiesta Online. I played it for probably 4 years even when it launched into beta testing. As I played the game and saw myself growing closer to it and engaging with the community online, I decided to create a website to help everyone who needed help playing the game. During this time, it fascinated me so much how information online could be so helpful and seeing people engage with one another. I decided to create my own online community….or at least try to.
So while everyone else was playing the game, I was working hard to make a great website and resource for them….while also playing the game. I wanted the website to be the best in the community (even if it really wasn’t). I got to know the community leaders as well as the Project Managers of the game as I started reaching out and asking to put detailed information on my website.
Doing all of this work for a long time, I eventually got the attention of a top executive at the company who oversaw and managed the company’s marketing, user acquisition, and advertising. I was introduced to him via Private Message on the forums of the official game’s website. This led to a lot of back-and-forth emailing. Fast forward to July of 2008, this is the email I received:
I ended up working for Outspark for 2 months that summer and again as a marketing consultant the year after that.
This was in 2008. Fast forward to now, 9 years later…I’m still freelancing.
What did I learn from Outspark?
They never posted up any remote job listings on their website nor did they post up any internship opportunities. I simply created an opportunity for myself. They saw me as an asset to their company and offered me a job I happily accepted.
- Don’t wait for the opportunity. Create it.
- Be persistent but also patient. Opportunities may come to you quick. Some may take a while.
- Don’t hesitate. You never know who is watching you or finding someone with your skills. Put yourself out there. Get noticed.
- Don’t complain about doing things for free when you first start. Focus on what you are great at, become great at it, spend time on it, and you will be rewarded.
- Spend time networking with other people in your niche when you have the chance. You never know what opportunities will arise.
I ended up creating relationships with other gaming sites while doing work for Outspark which led to more opportunities with other gaming companies.
It’s hard to get virtual jobs at gaming companies nowadays. Things have changed, but opportunities still exist in other niches outside gaming.
I’m always open to new opportunities and collaborations so if you’d like to contact me about anything, feel free to send me a message!