You’re determined to become a freelancer. You are ready to give it everything you have. You apply for so many jobs like crazy…then sit back, relax, and wait for a response.
Three days later, there’s no response.
You decide to go back to the sites you had sent your applications but unfortunately, you discover that most awarded applicants are native English speakers!
But you don’t give up, you apply again, but days turn to weeks and there’s still no response.
You keep seeing job ads specifically looking to hire ‘‘native English speakers’’ and they say it right on to your face, ‘‘non-natives, please do not apply.”
The fact is, if English isn’t your first language, finding work as a freelancer, especially for writers, can be much harder. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Over the years, I’ve helped non-native freelancers upskill, get direct clients, and establish solid freelance businesses.
With a share from both worlds—having worked with international clients and outsourced work to non-native freelancers, I created Source Smart to share my experience and teach other freelancers how to properly work with international clients like myself.
I help non-native freelancers who are serious about building full-time freelance businesses/agencies make more money online by teaching them the dos and don’ts of working with international clients. Thereby, helping them get more clients, raise prices, and manage their freelance businesses effectively. You attract serious clients when you are serious about what you do.
How Did I Get Here?
After working for 25 years in marketing, having started in the corporate world and then running my own businesses I started working directly with clients as a marketing consultant. In 2011, I set up Charm Marketing and have since outsourced over $250,000 USD of work on Upwork (previously Odesk & Elance) and direct to freelancers.
I started outsourcing offshore not only because it was affordable for my startup, but also because different freelancers have specific skills that I could hire on a project basis.
It was while working with these freelancers that I realised that their English was not that good. They could not understand me verbally only written and even then it drove me crazy when they did not read the brief. The breakdown in communication often resulted in numerousous unnecessary mistakes which frustrated me a lot because they were truly talented, we just couldn’t communicate.
I also realised that the freelancers were just trying to make quick money and not thinking about building a business or building long term relationships.
Over the years, I’ve seen all the mistakes that non-native English speaking freelancers make and continue to make when working with International Clients. This baffled me because these are simple mistakes that can easily be fixed by simply speaking the language of the client. It’s all about communication. If you’re good at communicating, you will be good at creating an online career. Communication is paramount in building rapport and a good working relationship with international clients who demand high-level communication skills. It is great to have technical or creative skills but without the communication techniques in the language the client speaks, you will remain stuck.
As an agency owner, I work with clients as well as freelancers. Therefore, I understand the struggle the freelancer faces with the client. I also understand what gets the client frustrated with the freelancer having experienced both sides myself.
With this experience, coupled with over 20 years of traveling the world, I have developed a method to teach you the skills you need to create the freelancing business you have always wanted—working with high-value international clients and earning USD.
But why non-native English speakers?
Because I believe that they have a lot of talent that’s not being tapped into. They are intelligent, the majority have a degree, and they are highly skilled. They simply lack experience speaking with or working side by side with native English speakers. And that’s where they fall over. Their confidence goes down, they make mistakes, and work is not up to standard.
Fortunately, these are problems that can easily be solved with the right training. You simply need to do it as the natives do. If you want to work with international clients, then learn from an international client and earn the skills that you need to compete at a global level.
I am obsessed with helping talented, creative people become professional freelancers, earn good money, and change their lives. This has led me to work with over 100 freelancers through my business, Charmed Marketing.
Besides being a citizen of the world I love traveling. I have lived and worked in Japan, London, Spain, and Vietnam. I’ve done business in India, Malaysia, UK, USA, Vietnam, and Australia. I’ve been traveling for 20 years and some of the places I’ve been to include: Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Dubai, Singapore, Bali, Fiji, LA, New York, Vegas, Texas, Miami, Holland, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, France and all over Australia.
It’s through my travels that I have come to understand the struggles that non-native freelancers face when seeking work from international clients.
In addition, I take pride in seeking raw talent and turning it into gold. In the past, I have enabled my freelancers to get certified in world-class courses such as Digital Marketer’s Marketing Certifications. What I love most is taking, building, and watching people that I team with grow. I enjoy seeing the success stories coming through.
Currently, my assistant of seven months is a very capable and professional Kenyan, who I trained from being a general virtual assistant, to now a marketing assistant.
The only mission I have now is to show people that it’s possible to make money as a non-native freelancer and to help them discover financial freedom by choosing a career in freelancing. Because when you have regular money coming in, you can take care of your family, you can invest in yourself, and live the life that you’ve always dreamed of. This world opens up to you.
I’m constantly growing and challenging myself. I hope you are too.
The best investments I have ever made have been in myself. I hope you’ll choose to invest in yourself and join Source Smart.