This post is also available in: Spanish
Being a freelancer, like most jobs, is already hard, regardless of your geographical location. However, if you’ve already started working remotely or are thinking about being a freelancer in Central and South America, there are certain things that may be different than what freelancers from other areas in the world deal with on a regular basis.
On this post, we’ll be sharing useful tips and sharing wisdom about what being a freelancer in this part of the continent is like, all while adding some humor into the mix. Scroll down to discover what is like to be a freelancer in both South and Central America.
A guide to being a freelancer in Central and South America
The first thing you need to know is that, although the idea of working from home sounds lovely, you don’t become a top freelancer right away. In fact, it takes a considerable amount of time to start making real money as a freelancer, if you ever do. You must understand that, initially, you can’t charge that much for your services because you want to build a reputation for yourself, and there’s a lot of competition that you will be facing in the different platforms for freelancers.
Argentina and Brazil are the countries that most easily adapted its platform and where the highest quantity of users registered fastest. Following are Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru, respectively. pulsosocial.com
Pushing through the competition
What a lot of beginners do is to start working for a while part-time as a freelancer, learning more and more about the industry and how they can improve their services. For example, some freelancers at the beginning stage of their career do jobs for reputation or testimonials, something that for a few months is something really valuable for upcoming clients, see it as a way to gain trust and experience.
If you decide to start your journey in a freelance platform then you have to offer great quality products and services at a low price, so you can gain positive reviews and loyal customers from the start.
Furthermore, you need to keep in mind that (sadly) Central and South American freelancers have a reputation for delivering average to bad quality work in areas such as writing, designing and translating. Make sure that you break the stigma and prove that it’s not all about the money!
How to receive payments being a Central American / South American Freelancer?
Speaking of money, choosing your payment method is another important aspect of being a freelancer. If your bank account is not compatible, you could pick between payment platforms such as Paypal and Payoneer, both of which offer different benefits.
Payoneer, for example, comes with a Mastercard debit card that you can use in most countries in Central and South America. The card’s shipping is free, but you have to pay a yearly fee of 30$ to keep using it at ATMs or to shop online.
On the other hand, PayPal doesn’t come with a fancy card, but the commissions for each transaction is lower and you can also use it on sites such as eBay for online purchases. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences, but you can learn more about the differences between PayPal and Payoneer here.
Another thing you should take into account is that there are tons of different platforms for freelancers, all with pros and cons. Among the most popular platforms are UpWork and Fiverr, so let’s discuss them for a little bit.
Freelancer Platforms with job boards
UpWork is very gig-centered. You’ll have to create a profile filling up the kind of services you can provide for clients in different areas and if you’re accepted by the platform (since it’s gotten a little exclusive), you’ll need to apply for the jobs you are interested in. You won’t be able to see other freelancer’s cover letters, so you’ll have to do research about the kind of services you offer and how much they normally cost. Explain everything you will do for a client and offer them a good price, all while sounding professional but easy to understand.
Fiverr, on the other hand, focuses more on the freelancers. You’ll create a profile that gathers every gig or service you can offer, each with three packages (normally named basic, standard and premium), all with different prices.
Let’s say that you offer English to Spanish translations, you could sell three packages in Fiverr: One for 500 words, one for 800 words and one for 1000 words, increasing the price and the words, simultaneously.
You could alternate between both platforms and constantly either post or apply for gigs on a regular basis. Things may take some time to pick up the pace, but you need to keep trying and be patient.
Remember although it takes time and effort to become a successful freelancer in Central or South America, it’s worth it. Being your own boss and living comfortably can be an amazing benefit for you when getting enough gigs.
Don’t lose your mind trying to make everything work in short-term, this for us takes a little more time and effort due to lack of information out there about working remotely as a freelancer, have confidence in yourself and keep pushing.
Please, make sure that you take your freelance gigs seriously. Create a workspace at your house or apartment that feels like a sanctuary to inspire you. And most importantly have fun, learn and share your knowledge. Help your clients by creating for them a safe place where they can trust in the work that you deliver.
Are you ready to start your freelancer career after reading this article? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!