Want to work as a freelancer? I have some tips!

Today, I've written down some tips and advice for people who want to start working as a freelancer. I will shove some ideas down your throat, oh and yes, you're welcome.

As some of you may know, I worked as a freelancer before opening up my online business. I thought of just making a table of pros and cons but I don't want to be labeled as a lazy fuck so here you go:

1.) TAKE TIME TO DO AND EDIT YOUR PROFILE - Upon signing up on freelance websites (Elance, PPH, Freelancer, Fiverr, Odesk, etc) you'll be so eager to start bidding on projects and get overwhelmed by the number of opportunities that's in front of you. Well not so fast, sister. You may bid on a shit load of projects but guess what? No one will even bother to respond to your bid. If you were the employer, would you even consider someone who didn't bother listing down their educational background, skills, and portfolio? Exactly.

2.) BUILD YOUR CREDIBILITY - Bid on simple projects first! New freelancers with no feedback at all are most likely to be hired by employers who offer easy jobs. You can easily find those types of jobs by looking at the cheapest projects. After getting some positive feedbacks, you can work your way through the bigger ones.

  • Design - If you're a freelance artist, it's obvious that you need to let everyone see your work! Be careful though, there are LOTS of people who will rip off your work (even big companies do that... blame their lazy staff) I suggest that you place watermarks on your work, you can also place a copyright notice in your portfolio - make sure it's visible. 
  • Writing - If you're a writer, you can upload at least 2 of your articles to let people know the quality of your work. I would suggest uploading it via image, not text, as some people who claim to be freelance writers may also steal your work.
  • Web Design - Easy! Send the links to your previous work. If you've never done one before, I would suggest making a Blogger Design and just make a pre-made template. It's free to host and your potential employers will also see the quality of your work.

4.) GET YOUR PRICING RIGHT - Most freelancers sell themselves low, myself included (well, used to) and that won't help you in the long run! You need to think about the number of hours that it will take you to finish a particular project, since we're talking about intangible products here. Say for example, you're a designer/illustrator who creates logos, headers, and other graphics for websites. Consider this: How much time will you spend working on an illustration? Include all factors such as brainstorming, sketches, communication time between you and the client, number of revisions, time to illustrate, time to render it on photoshop, etc. Remember, time is money, bitches!

Another thing, if you sell your services too low, people will absolutely doubt the quality of your work. Here's an example: You come across a designer's portfolio and browse through her work (and you find them really unique and wonderful too) In most cases, you'll have a fair idea on how much the designer will charge without looking at the rates. Then, after looking at the prices, you found out that a design costs only $20. Yes, some people may find this as a great bargain, but most people (especially big time businesses!) will feel a bit unsure with the overall quality of your work. So get your pricing right, it will benefit you in the long run.

5.) BE PROFESSIONAL - It is a given fact that you will encounter clients who will either try to make you work for free or make the project really hard for you. Believe me, I've been there. If you make yourself appear as someone who has a heart as soft as a muffin, they will take advantage of you. Before signing an online contract, tell your client your terms and conditions. If you only allow 3 revisions per design, tell them right away. If they need to purchase copyright (this applies when you're dealing with people who will place your work on e-commerce sites) tell them before the work commences. This will protect you from shitheads who will try to cheat their way out and get something for free.

6.) TELL THEM WHY THEY SHOULD HIRE YOU - I do this every single time I'm bidding on a project, because I want them to notice me. There are a lot of freelancers who are also lining up for the job, so make yourself stand out. I notice that most freelancers don't even read the description, they just bid right away! Don't do that, when sending them a message, reassure them that you read the project thoroughly and that you can confidently do it. Tell them your previous experience, provide samples, and other advantages that you possess (example: Native English speaker, degree, etc)

7.) FOLLOW-UP - This is very important, especially when you're dealing with business people. It is very important to know how they're doing, if they enjoy the finished product, and letting them know that you are open for more collaborations. This will show them that you truly care about your clients and that you value your work. Like business, freelancing is all about making your customers come back.

That's all I can think of right now but I am sure there are still heaps to keep in mind! If you have any questions, I am always available to help via email/comment/twitter :) Hope this helped!

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Clothing Loves - My Wish list!

Since Christmas is coming,  I compiled my wish list (clothes, accessories, and jewelleries) and hope that I can get my hands on all of them. Every single item on my list is so nice! 

Clothingloves.net is a great place to do some online shopping, I spent hours browsing through their website, their items are so adorable yet affordable! Here are some of the items that I really love and keeping an eye out ;)

From left to right:

From left to right:

For me, these stuff are a great bargain. All the clothes I've chosen are below $25! I used to spend $80 for just one blouse, I think I just found the answer to my shopping problem - great variety with great prices!

They also provide outfits for special occasions, I think I might add a little more to my list because it's summer in here which means... party and clubbing! ;) All the clubbing dresses that I see here in Auckland are hella expensive - nothing below $50! I may have just scored myself another bargain for this summer.

Oh don't worry, I know that the other side of the world is in a total opposite season right now. They also carry a lot of winter clothes. We all know that winter stuff are the most expensive. I always cry a little inside whenever I see those gorgeous coats from Zara that I still can't afford. Well ladies, they also carry a whole lot of affordable coats and sweaters. Most of the coats are below $40. I'm a big fan of winter clothes since they're so comfy and whatnot, I'm controlling myself not to buy any winter stuff until the right time!

Did I also mention that they ship worldwide? Cheap cost as well! Bargain weekend may be over but hey, here's another chance to grab more items. I know you want to. 

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First Person I Met in Real Life (girl from the internet!)

Let me tell you about my good friend, Luiza.

I met her online (she used to live in windy Wellington but the good bitch decided that Auckland's way better so she moved here) but we were not really close so we never met up.

Here's the thing, Luiza ALWAYS bombards my Facebook wall with witty comments and funny posts. We have this weird humour that only the two of us understand and appreciate. We even share the same taste in men (actually, only Han Solo) and wet our panties every time we watch Star Wars (oops, TMI)

So anyway, my friend Jacob noticed her and was like "can you introduce me to your friend? She looks so hot!" I told Jacob that I haven't actually met her yet but I gave him Luiza's number anyway. After 1 week, they decided to meet up.

I was at my friend's house, taking photos of myself (hey i felt really pretty that day ok) when suddenly, some loud bitch screamed "HURRY UP SLUT!"

I could not believe it. Luiza was outside my friend's house, throwing her shoes at the window and screaming like a woman who just got anal-ed by a huge horse. 

And the rest was history, we became really good friends.

I received this txt because I drunk txted her and wanted to make fun of me the next day... and she succeeded.

  • She took me once to an adult store. The salesman was urging us to try on those kinky outfits but we were there for the dildos. I was hoping he would get the hint. 
  • We also went to this tattoo shop. She was supposed to ask for the procedure, rates, etc. but NO, she flirted with the goddamn attractive tattooist. 
  • She brought a lot of strangers during my 18th, and those strangers ate all the chicken.
  • We bought knickers (same ones!!!) because there was a massive sale and at the end of the day, we swore that we will never date the same guys because WHAT IF THEY REALISE THAT WE HAVE THE SAME UNDERWEAR

This was our first meal together omg how special.

This was when she randomly went to my house and used my laptop. Do you know how many followers I gained that day.

She moved to the tundra about 10 months ago... but she made me a promise which I will never forget...

I am so looking forward to that.

Have you met up with someone from the internet? How did it go?

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My Weekend So Far + Ad Sale

Hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend so far! Auckland weather's great, had a nice day out!

I'm also offering a 10% discount on my ads (use the code: BLACKFRIDAY), the feature spot is only $15. (excluding the discount!) If you want to grow your blog, I can help you! :) Head over to the sponsor page for more details. If you have any questions or would like a different sponsoring experience, email me :)

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Some Announcement + Post Birthday

I would just like to tell you guys that custom illustration orders will be sent to you by the second week of December; other services such as essay writing and virtual assistance are still available. We will also be taking a break during the holidays so if you're after a custom illustration or simple web design, email us now so we can secure your spot! Last day to order is on December 15! Grab 'em now, they make perfect gifts for anyone! We will resume business on January 2.

Now, I know you're tired of hearing about it but this is the last post about my 19th! I noticed that I branded this blog as a "personal" and "lifestyle" one but I haven't really posted much photos about my daily life. I blame myself for sticking with my good ol' N95 phone that I bought for NZD$10 from a garage sale. It's pretty hard to bring my dSLR everywhere; hence, the lack of photos on this blog. But since it was my "special day" everyone else took the photos for me and I am forever grateful! I swear, I'll invest on a decent phone soon (aka iPhone 5... hopefully!)

Birthday Dinner

Kitty Cat cake

Another yummy cake!

One of my fave gifts! :) My record player is soooo happy!

Birthday cards :) sometimes, I question our friendship (jokes, I love you Remus!)

Me and my friend, Guilian. My eyebags look really terrible, must get more sleep.

  • Had lunch at Noodle Canteen with the ladies! Honey Chicken with fried rice = heaven!!!
  • Watched Breaking Dawn Part 2, it was amazing :) I'm so glad that I stayed for the credits, I loved the new version of 'A Thousand Years'
    • Met up with other people at the food court. Did some serious catching up since I haven't seen them for like a month! (well, most of them)
    • Went to different shops... ended up asking if they have job openings as well :P
    • Decided to play pool at Highland Park. I just watched them since I don't want to lie to myself that  I can play well!
    • Miguel randomly texted and asked me where I was. A few minutes later, he arrived and invited me to go to Balmoral to try out this super nice Chinese place. I never say no to food!
    • Whilst we were in the car, I was doing all the talking (he likes it when I talk and laugh while he's driving, idk why!) when suddenly, he blurted out "DID YOU JUST FART?"
    • The windows were rolled down so I guess, the smell was from outside. But he still accused me of farting omg.
    • Arrived at the chinese place, the place was full so we ordered takeaway instead.
    • Went back to the car and ate our dinner. It was hella delicious, chef boy didn't lie!
    • We passed by the exact place where we smelled the oh-so unpleasant smell again . Before he could even react, I quickly said "I TOLD YOU, I DID NOT FART. WE CAN SMELL IT AGAIN AT THE SAME PLACE. DON'T TELL ME YOU'RE GONNA ACCUSE ME OF FARTING AGAIN?!" and he just laughed.
    • Home sweet home. Sweet boyfriend chatted me on Facebook - he usually goes to bed at 10pm due to his hectic and tiring schedule at work but he stayed up that night to greet me at exactly 12 am :) I think he worked from 7:00 AM til 8:30PM that day but he stayed up anyway. He has done this for 4 birthdays already (yes, I was 16)

    Then on Tuesday, I went out with my other friends and had heaps of fun :) Birthday dinner afterwards and I can happily say that I am truly lucky to have such wonderful people in my life! :)

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    What I'm Thankful For

    Cat cake for cat woman! Meow meow :3

    Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I read every tweet/comment/email that you guys sent, I'll definitely send the replies by the end of today :) I had the best birthday yet and I'm SO GLAD that it's the perfect time to list down all the things that I'm thankful for!

    • For having a great family who supports me even though I tend to make the wrong decisions most of the time. I have loving parents who will always guide me and siblings who will always have my back. I cannot imagine life without them.
    • True friends who never fail to make me smile and laugh. I met a lot of amazing people this year and I am forever grateful for having them. 
    • My boyfriend who helped me get through the roughest days of my life. We've had each other for almost 4 years and I'm so thankful that I still have him despite of my constant mood swings and other several issues. Just the simple things like staying up late even though he worked for 13 hours just to greet me at 12am sharp on my birthday (4 birthdays in a row!)  makes me incredibly happy :)
    • All those trials and other "negative" stuff that helped me become stronger and wiser. I believe that I've grown so much this year, and I'm beyond thankful for that.
    • Swiss Miss hot chocolate drink for always being in the kitchen. You seriously get me through the cold winter nights. I love you.
    • Songs in my iPod, I can't survive the long bus rides without you. You're my lifesaver. You even help me make big decisions by randomly picking a song and analysing the song's lyrics and base my final decisions on that. Example: "Should I go to uni today?" Now playing: "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars.
    • My lipgloss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My lips are so fucked up, I cannot imagine my existence without you. You make my lips still look kissable, I love you so much - with all my heart and soul.
    • Horror movies that get me through the dull days, you make my life so much interesting. 
    • This blog - Lovely Serendipity gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people who share the same interests as I do! I also learnt a lot of things in the blogosphere that I may have never learnt in real life.
    • All the books that made a great impact on me and also served as inspirations, really thankful that I picked up those books and spent my precious time reading them.

    What are you thankful for?

    Rouge & Whimsy

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    19th Birthday!

    I'm actually off to town right now to celebrate my 19th birthday! I've been MIA lately since the workload is crazy (in a good way!) and I also have lots of commitments to do! I'll be back with updates  (had the best week yet!) but for now, I'll just leave you with a few stuff:

    Lovely Serendipity now offers sponsorship! I love promoting other blogs so hope to hear from you soon! Head over to the sponsor page for more info.

    Do I really need to explain this one? 

    I already commissioned someone to post flyers in universities (Canada!) If you're keen to print and post my flyers too, please email me :) Doesn't matter where you live!

    Be back soon! xx

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    2 beautiful ladies that I would like you to meet!

    Happy Saturday guys! (although I'm pretty sure that it's still Friday on the other side of the world. New Zealand is pretty advance huh) I'll keep this brief and short since my blog will be taken over by 2 stunning ladies. I personally enjoy reading through their blogs so visit them and say hello! Want something from my shop? Continue reading to find out how ;)

    Well hello Lovely Serendipity readers. I'm Laurie Brotherton, the Mrs. over at The Brotherton's. I started this blog to record my new family's life together. I mostly write about things that inspire me, my ramblings & thoughts, obviously my pups, & occasionally the love for my main squeeze. Here at the brotherton hub I'm considered many things, a new wife, morning, afternoon & evening tea drinker, obsessive crock-potter, severely anti-domestic {still learning}, lover of thrift stores & weekends, the OCD picture taker but most importantly a mommy of two furry babies. Oh, & we are new to this thing they call the blogosphere, so we really LOVE meeting new bloggers. 

    How I Dwell Now is a fashion and lifestyle blog cataloging the interests, style obsessions, photography, and adventures of a twenty-two year old traveler named Chelsea Lenae. My blog consists of whatever strikes my fancy, be that my personal style photos, celebrity style critiques, movie reviews or favorites features. I love interacting with other bloggers around the world and I thrive on the thrill of living on the go. I am completely obsessed with anything Tim Burton or Harry Potter related. A few random facts: I pretty much collect oversized sweaters. I shower to ADELE every day (what? It's the best shower music!) and I live for October weather in New York.

    *Want a $10 credit to my shop? Head over to both blogs, leave them a comment, and tell me! (via Twitter or email)

    Have a lovely weekend, guys!!!

    I can be a tad bit crazy sometimes... well most of the time.

    I am back with a special treat! I've been babbling about my friend, Martin since I started this blog and I just realised that I haven't posted much personal photos. I know how much you guys like visual stuff so I'll finally let you see a glimpse of my every adventure with le friends (especially Martin) Keep the volume down, and please don't hate me! :)) 

    We asked our tutor if we could stay in the room to study for the exams, he said yes! (I think he likes Martin hehehe) I bought some lunch so we could feel "energized" and whatnot for our study session. Turns out, too much sugar is really really bad for us.

    I hope I haven't turned you off yet!

    Next, can I just bombard you with a few photos of myself because some of my readers said that they have no idea how I "really" look like! They come with captions and a lil' bit of stories ;)

    It was my birthday party and I can't believe I'm not in the photo. I mean HELLO I'M THE CELEBRANT! So I photoshopped myself (that sexy catwoman up there) and my oh so lovely friend, Luiza. I think this is one of my fave photo. I still miss that night!!!

    Idk what the fuck was happening here. Too much sugar again, me thinks

    1st photo: I changed my FB profile photo into that and liked/commented on everyone's post. Needless to say, I really branded myself as a spammer. 

    2nd photo: That is my photo on our yearbook. Everyone should know that I am really a Jedi.

    My friend Zoe just randomly posted this on my Facebook and a lot of people commented (including my bf!) Until today, I can't believe we talked about crabs and whatnot. My relatives can stalk my FB any time, I hope they're not too shocked about the things they read and see there

    My heart still longs for the day when I'll finally be Jack's beloved Rose (start playing "My Heart Will Go On")

    Now, I hope this post gave you cancer another idea on how I "really" look like. I still have a lot to share but I don't want to ruin your day any further. Still, wishing you another great day my friends!!! xx

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    Who wants a free pair of sunnies or glasses? You?

    Firmoo asked me if I wanted to do a review for one of their products. I looked at the selection and I was thrilled to see that they carry a whole lot of variety to choose from, so I said yes! I'm a big sucker for pink so I picked this simple, pink glasses.

    Before I continue, I have good news for YOU! You can get a FREE PAIR OF GLASSES/SUNGLASSES today! All you have to do is choose which one you like and pay for the shipping. Head over to Firmoo.com right now to get a stunning pair of glasses :) (scroll down and look for 'Free Glasses' under the 'Additional Resources' category)

    Now for the main part, for a free pair of glasses, I sure do love it. The case is nice and sturdy, it also comes with a cute pouch. The glasses itself is also great, it feels so comfortable and I really do like it!  Shipping was pretty fast, the item arrived within a week. Order processing was also hassle free, the website guides you in every step - especially when you want to buy a prescription glasses! Next time, I'll try their sunglasses (another pink one of course!!!)

    It's YOUR TURN now to try it on! They have a virtual app which allows you to upload your photo and see which pair suits you best! I'm warning you though, you might have a hard time picking because there are just too many great selections ;) 

    Overall, I greatly recommend Firmoo. Play around with the virtual app and order your free pair now! :)

    *This is a sponsored post but opinions stated in this blog are 100% genuine and not compensated in any way.

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    So, You Have a Secret? - A Recap.

    Happy Monday, guys! First of all, I am really thankful for all the thoughtful comments and emails that I received regarding my previous post. It went better than expected but I'm still in the process of tackling a few issues and whatnot. Anyway, my post for today is somehow related to my previous one - keeping it raw and real.

    I've been following Erin who blogs over at Living in Yellow for about a month and I was absolutely thrilled when she posted about "Secrets Anonymous" - loyal readers, daily stalkers, and whoever come across her blog are welcome to post their secrets without revealing their identities. I loved the idea right away because I have been browsing through Blogsecret for about 3 years and the thought of having an entire post dedicated to fellow bloggers' secrets is just really awesome. I wasn't expecting any specific type of secret, I just refreshed the page every now and then to see what they've been up to and lurk into people's thoughts. 

    I'm not even gonna lie, I did not expect to see a handful confessions about shitting in their pants. It never happened to me before (at least after I started puberty) and I couldn't believe that it's still possible to happen to anyone, regardless of age!

    Well okay, I'll stop babbling about shitting now. If you have a spare time... well no actually, if you want a good laugh and an eye opener, you should head over to Erin's post now and read the comments. Yes, an eye opener. In the blogosphere, most of us tend to share the great things about our lives - relationships, jobs, babies, and many other wonderful things. Personally, I follow several people whom I really admire and somehow wish that I'm living their lives instead. Others have super awesome jobs, great partners, live in fab places, and I often forget that people just talk about the good stuff. When I read those confessions on Erin's blog, I realised that there's more to other people's lives than the amazing stuff. We all have our ups and downs but only through that post were some people able to let it all out and share the negative stuff too. It was amazing how people suddenly revealed a part of the not-so-good issue that they have by ticking the anonymous box. Only then were some people brave enough to say "I'm not happy with my marriage at all." or "I dislike Christian blogs" and so on. 

    I guess I have 4 reasons why I decided to make a recap about her post:

    1.) Note to self: No one has a perfect life, most people prefer to write only about the good stuff and that's absolutely fine. Don't judge others by just merely reading through their posts because there's more to it than what they intend to share. Bloggers are also ordinary people who share the same problems as you, and that is dealing with whatever shit that life gives us. We all have rainy and sunny days, but a lot of us would rather talk about the latter one.

    2.) I've mentioned it a couple of times in this post but let me just emphasise it again, I think it's absolutely fine to share the good stuff. I mean hey, we're just keeping a line between blogging and our personal lives, right? But wouldn't it be grand if from time to time, we keep our posts raw and real? Posts about success and happiness DO inspire me, but the ones that were written with such honesty and passion leave a much deeper impact on me. There's one post that I will never forget from the Single Dad Laughing blog which is about missing an ex-lover. Go ahead and read it, I'm sure you can somehow relate with that.. except if you're like 12.

    3.) It is really sad that some people abused the the main purpose of the post, and bashed other bloggers through anonymity instead. We all have our opinions but some of those comments were really uncalled for. We are all adults here, so let's all act like one. 

    4.) To those people who are struggling with depression, abuse, and other medical stuff, please seek help. There are professional people who can help you, just gotta let them know. 

    Now, this post seems longer than I expected it to be but I just really wanted to put my 2 cents about it. I'm keen to read about your recap about it so drop me the link when you've decided to make one as well. Have a good week!

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    Another giveaway! (and dealing with problems)

    I am terrible with oil pastels.
    Gosh, it's Friday again?! The week has gone by SO FAST! Not to mention that it's only a few days before my birthday ;) Anyway, I'm hosting another giveaway at The Wiegand's blog, check it out and you might just win those awesome prizes!

    I'm also gonna share with you what The Savvy Chics has done for the past few days! 2 awesome girls now have their custom illustrated portrait!

    Alycia from The Curious Pug

    Jesika from With Love, Jesika

    If YOU want a custom portrait as well, email me now! I have also partnered up with a very savvy blog designer, so if you want a custom illustrated header PLUS a brand spanking new blog design, we can do it for you for a very reasonable price! (Customers also get a free ad space on my blog for 30 days!) If you're after something else, feel free to visit my site at The Savvy Chics :)

    Okay, enough about business. I've been feeling a bit down these past few days, despite my desperate attempt of cheering myself up by writing that post about the best advice. Things are going really well with my business but my personal life is heading towards the opposite direction - not too good. Do you ever wonder why things suddenly change? Why your life suddenly diverted its direction, and you don't know what to do? I've spent the whole week figuring out why this is happening and I just can't get any answer. It's funny how I can't have 2 good things at once, they always take turns - and it sucks.

    I don't even know if I'm making any sense here or if I should even be blogging about it. I guess it's because I haven't told anyone about it, not even my bestfriend... but maybe I'll tell him later when I see him. The problem with me is that I WANT consistency; I don't wanna adapt to changes. If I get used to something, I expect it to be that way in the long run. Another problem that I have (and most people claim to have as well) is not asking anything because I'm afraid to know the answer. It's like subconsciously waiting for something to happen, waiting to hear IT without asking. I know that I need to overcome my fears and just deal with whatever it is but I'm a coward. 

    I did a lot of thinking last night and I decided to get over with this thing already. I'm so tired of refusing to deal with my emotions and people who are responsible for it. I NEED to let it all out, regardless of what might happen afterwards. I will sleep tonight without thinking the "what -ifs" because I'm over that. It may not go well but at least it's done.

    There, I said it! Now forgive me for this post. I promise I'll be a better blogger next week. Hope you'll have a great weekend. I'm still deciding whether I should attend my friend's costume party tonight but... we'll see. I don't even have a costume yet!

    PS: I lied about not having any exams anymore. I still have one more to ace later, wish me luck!

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