Filipino Freelancing: Why Pricing Your Services Matter

I was reading through a freelancer post earlier and I read that 12 USD per article is an extremely low price for a well-researched, well-written article. Sadly, that’s what I am charging my clients. I never thought it was too low, until I realized how much other writers are charging their clients.

Well, come to think of it, perhaps they are way better than me; they are way more experienced than I am. This is the same thinking that Filipino freelancers have. That, it is better to get a low salary than not to get anything at all. The thing is, I have a hard time valuing myself or the work that I offer. I always think that someone out there is better than I am, so I have no right to price my writing too much than what it is worth, as I see it.

This is a common perception among freelancers in the Philippines. Sadly at least 60% of both the new and experienced freelancers in the country, no matter what service they are offering, have this same line of thinking. It is painful to see even the highly skilled ones to settle for low payment and end up juggling several clients all at the same time just to make ends meet.

Why Filipino Freelancers Price Themselves Low

Afraid that we will not be hired if we price our services higher, we often put our competence on the line. We usually think that it is better than nothing. What’s the disadvantage of all this? Clients who are looking for serious freelancers often find it easier to trust someone who know their capacity and are willing to vouch for the quality of their work through an amicable price that defines such value.

It was actually surprising for me to know that there are freelancers who are actually getting paid at least 25 to 30 USD per hour when I usually say “yes” to a 3USD per hour rate. Well, this is because I feel that for a Filipino, this is already a good offer- just right for a regular worker in the Philippines. Right? But the thing is, freelancers who I connected with said that offering this type of low-priced services identifies the general picture of Filipino freelancing culture in the country. Because of this, clients from other countries would view this as the average payment that Filipinos- skilled or not, deserve to receive.

One veteran Filipino freelancer said that freelancing in the Philippines should be considered as a community.

How one values himself will largely affect how the whole community of freelancers would likely be valued by clients around the globe. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Surely, you would want to be able to work for a company or a client who knows how to value your work right? Instead of catching up with your time, and losing sleep as you work for three to four clients just to make good money out of freelancing, how would you feel working for one who knows how to price the real value of your skills?

Finding a Better Options Takes Learning the Filipino Freelancing Truths

The truth is, there is something great about being able to price your services properly and getting the right clients who also know how to value you and your skills accordingly.

While I do write about this, like many others, I am seriously not able to go around this issue successfully yet up to now. The truth is, there are a lot of fellow Filipino clients who offer even lower rates just because they know that their fellow Filipinos are often “kapit sa patalim” which means they will take any opportunity just so to earn something. It breaks my heart but I also have some experience on this- and for many months, I endured controlling authority of Filipino bosses while being paid 200 pesos for 1000 words. And an even sadder truth is that I was not the only one. There were at least ten of us in the pool. There is more than one Filipino client who does this to their fellow countrymen. Instead of bringing up their fellow Filipinos, they find different ways to take advantage of frustrated individuals who are willing to work for low price just to have something to feed their family with.

Okay, enough ranting. I am still on my way to understanding my real value. It’s actually quite refreshing to know that one of my clients know my worth. I will never forget what he said: “you keep on making your clients rich as a ghostwriter. You have no idea how much your books actually sell- but of course you cannot take pride on them because these books are not under your name and you have signed a contract that you are not allowed to disclose the connection you have with your client whose name appears as the author of the book- are you not planning to write for your own? Why don’t you monetize your skill for yourself?”

Find Your Right Value and Thrive Better

I loved hearing those words. Nonetheless, my confidence is the real problem in this. I would love to write, but there are issues that I am not sure I can publish a book under my own name. Well, I guess, that is for a completely different post.

So, in concluding this post, I would like to encourage you to find a way to redefine your pricing and the way you value yourself and the skills you offer. The first thing to do though is how you can better identify the confidence you have in yourself. Check the next post, I hope it could help you build your confidence better and improve your pricing attitude better. With all these in mind, I do hope you find a client who would be willing to pay for what you offer, not because you are frustrated to get a job but because they know they can trust the service that you offer and they know the real value of your work.

Let’s go through this better freelancing journey together and update each other of the progress we make. Let’s be more confident and more improved freelances serious about our success not as individual freelancers but as a community of Filipinos who work remotely with dignity and excellence.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Virgil says:

    Another issue here is whether you want to get paid by the hour or per article. My take: creativity doesn’t just happen at will. Oftentimes, it takes hours or even days before you meet your muse. Writing an article is not a fast-food kind of thing. Thus, I naturally go for the per-word, per-article payment.


    1. Ruth Serrano says:

      Hello Virgil.. Thanks so much for your comment. I agree with you. No matter what they say, or how easy it may seem, creating written content is no walk in the park, and writing services should be paid for accordingly


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