Agent Writing

How Pearl De Guzman Earned $100K from Upwork at 28 Age( Detail Insight)

I have recently trying to know how people are getting success in their specific field of work so that I can inspire myself also. I think it will also help my audience. So, after taking interview, I am sharing that with you. Hope you will also get benefit from this. As I am directly connected with each interview, you can also comment here to know more about Pearl De Guzman.

First, I have taken a short interview of her ( in written). Let’s know what she said about her journey.

In This Article

Interview Between Al Jovayer Khndakar and Pearl De Guzman

1. Jovayer: Please introduce yourself to our audience 

Pearl: Hi, I’m Pearl De Guzman, I started on Upwork in 2017 at a time when remote work isn’t that popular yet. I started as a Virtual Assistant and transcriptionist. Eventually, I focused on doing SEO and copywriting. 

2. Jovayer: How did you get started in freelancing, and what motivated you to pursue it as a career?

I started a business around 2016. However, it failed. So, at that time I was looking for other sources of income that wouldn’t require much capital and I saw an ad in a magazine about remote working. 

I figured that it would be best to render my services as a freelancer since I had 0 to start with. So with little savings that I have, I bought a laptop and the rest is history. 

3. Jovayer: What was your first freelancing project, and how did you land it?

Pearl: I actually got my first client from a different platform. It was a remote work platform for Filipinos. My first job was to transcribe audio recordings from career coaches. And then I got my next gig as a Virtual Assistant where I managed a podcast and helped out with putting out episode summaries.

I am still actually working for here right now, but today, it is more of my way of thanking her for giving me the opportunity to work for her even without any experience. 

4. Jovayer: What challenges did you face early in your freelancing career, and how did you overcome them?

Perhaps, one of the biggest challenges in transitioning to a freelancing career is getting clients, especially if you want to switch to a niche that you don’t have extensive experience yet. 

For me, I was both lucky and persistent enough to keep sending cold emails/proposals. And since, there weren’t much competition yet, it was easier to get noticed by potential clients. 

5. Jovayer: Can you share some key milestones in your freelancing career that contributed to your success?

One of the key milestones that really helped me to pivot my freelancing career was learning new skills. I first learned about SEO from my client and he was also nice enough to give me the opportunity and time to learn it and apply it to his business. 

When I learned how to do SEO, it really opened up other work opportunities for me. 

Other important milestones are “Top Rated ” and “Top Rated Plus” badges from Upwork. Top rated badge helps me to get more clients from upwork as this badge shows that I am one of the top 3% freelancers in my category. So, it helped me to prove myself to my clients as competent freelancer.

6. Jovayer: What strategies do you use to consistently attract new clients and projects?

Pearl: Referrals are one of the most underrated yet effective ways to close a deal. My principle is to never cut ties and if I must, I need to always exit with grace. I keep my line open for both my old and new clients and always keep the communication line open.

This allowed me to maintain good relationships with different people and in turn, they would refer new clients to and put in a good word for me both online and offline.

I also keep my profile updated and add my latest portfolios to my profile.

7. Jovayer: How important is networking in freelancing, and how do you approach it?

Pearl:  In freelancing, networking is very important. Honestly, not all the time you can expect a client to knock on your door. And during times like this, sometimes your good relationship with past clients can help save your bottom line.

I would reconnect with them and ask them if they have any project or if they know anyone who might need my help. And usually, they would refer me to a friend or colleague. 

Jovayer: Yes, I also do this. I am also connected with my local people in different FB groups and pages. I also get some work from them. I have got some work from the Quora network also. People love reading my answers in quora and they refer me to some people.

8. Jovayer: Can you share any tips for creating a standout freelancer profile on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr?

Pearl: Complete your profile and showcase your experience and portfolio. Back then, videos were not much of a thing. But today, it would help to have a short clip where you introduce yourself and say a few things about your background and how you can help. 

9. Jovayer: How do you manage your time effectively to handle multiple projects? 

Pearl: For me, it’s always about time management and understanding the scope of your projects. If you’re taking hourly projects, then make sure that you actually have enough time to perform and deliver well. That means as much and as tempting it is to book all of your hours, you still need to make sure that you allot time for yourself to rest and recuperate so you can always perform at your best.

You can still take other projects, but learn to accept output-driven projects. These are milestone projects where you don’t need to check in and you only need to deliver the output at a specified time. This will lift the pressure off of you, without sacrificing a potential deal.

10. Jovayer: How do you establish and maintain good relationships with your clients?

Maintaining client relationship

Pearl: Always be honest about what you can and cannot deliver. This includes being realistic with deadlines and letting them know if the demands of the project are unreasonable or out of your capacity at the moment. BUT when you do say no, always say it politely or offer an alternative that you are certain that you can deliver. 

11. Jovayer: How do you handle pricing and negotiations with clients? And what is your advice to new freelancers? 

Pearl: Only settle at a price that you are comfortable with. If under any circumstance, you agree to a project that is below your rate, explain it politely to a client why you can no longer work at that price point.

If they insist, adjust your services to their budget but always give them a heads up that with that budget, you can only do *this, this, and this. BUT also make sure that you understand what you bring to the table and that you are confident to deliver what is asked of you.  

12. Jovayer: How do you handle disagreements or difficult clients?    

Answer: Like I said, I always exit with grace. No matter how unreasonable a client is, I always keep my cool and ensure that I still make logical decisions. For instance, I had a client recently who had no idea what he wanted for his new website. He gave me an outline but ended up asking me to revise the initial draft. I only allow 2-3 revisions, but he was insistent on asking me to be more flexible. So I told him the max number of revisions I can do for him is 4 given that he also wanted it so urgently.

So I made it clear to him that I have already extended my capacity just so we can get his copy done in the shortest time possible and I can no longer accommodate any other requests. If he wants to, he can adjust the budget or the timeline so I can prioritize him as it would be a disservice to all my other clients if I prioritize him when other people have sent their projects ahead of time. 

13. Jovayer: What is your highest payment rate you have charged to client for 1000 words or per hours

Answer: $20/hr or $80 per 1000-word article

14. Jovayer: How do you balance work and personal life as a freelancer?

Pearl: Being a freelancer can be both rewarding (in terms of finances/compensation) and exhausting. If you overbook yourself, remember that you also lose time for your personal life. And for me, I’ve learned this the hard way. I “was” a workaholic. I used to only take 5-6 hours of sleep and then I go back to working again even during weekends. 

But remember that time is also a commodity. You can’t get it back but you can always earn the money again. When my boyfriend passed away early this year to heart attack, I realized how valuable it is to set your working hours. It was 12 midnight when it happened and I was supposed to check in on him early that night, but since I had some issues with a project I was working on during that time, I wasn’t able to call him until it was too late. 

Jovayer: Sorry to hear about this. But I sometimes break deadline for my sickness or any important family matter. was the project very important and urgent?

Pearl: Yeah, it was urgent. But after that incident I couldn’t bring myself to work for that client again.

So my advice to people in the same industry as me is to set healthy boundaries even with your clients. You need to let them know your working hours and you should also learn to respect and keep that boundary for yourself. 

When you’re offline, enjoy your time with your friends and family and just see to it that you have a schedule that works for you and your clients. 

15. Jovayer: AI is booming in all sectors, should we depend on our existing skills or should we learn new skills? If yes, what is your plan for the future? 

Pearl: AI is surely affecting every sectors including copywriting. In my experience, yes, AI is definitely affecting copywriters too. In fact, the rates now are lower as compared to before because clients argue that AI makes the work easier for us. Personally, while AI is there, copywriters like us are still needed to make sure that the copy is in line with the brand values, the tone, and to also make sure that it is 100% original and not plagiarized. 

How AI is affecting copywriting

Nonetheless, I would advise people to also expand their skills and learn to adapt to emerging industries and/or job roles. Since the tech industry is constantly changing, I advise people to not just stick to learning one skill. For instance, I am a copywriter but I also know how to do SEO because this allows me not only to price my services higher, but also to make sure that I stay relevant. 

16. Jovayer: Freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr have been very competitive sites for new freelancers. Do you have any suggestions for any other platforms where people can work as a beginner? 

Answer:  I actually started at Onlinejobs.ph but that is specifically for Filipinos. I haven’t tried other job platforms where I would say my journey was as successful as I did on Upwork but I can say that what helped me to maintain a steady flow of clients is putting up an online portfolio. 

Today, you can now also join various communities and groups where you can score freelance jobs for beginners and even Linkedin also has a feature for job seekers, so utilize them.

17. Jovayer: You are Off-Page SEO Specialist, can you tell me which type of backlinks are most effective for SEO in 2023? 

At least in my experience, HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is the most effective but also probably the most difficult to get as it takes time and effort to get noticed by journalists. But once you do get noticed, you’re sure to get high-quality backlinks from reputable sites with large amounts of traffic.

However, if you are trying to increase the number of your backlinks, you can still do guest posts, link roundups, and link inserts/mentions from relatively average sites.

18. Jovayer: Can you tell me how to get HARO links / any strategies to get them? 

This is HARO: https://www.helpareporter.com/ 

You sign up for a plan and indicate the type of links/categories you’re looking for and they will send you queries everyday. Queries are topics that journalists are looking for a panelist or a person that they can interview for their article/s. In turn, you get a mention and a link to your website. 

19. Jovayer: What advice do you have for someone just starting their freelancing career in SEO and copywriting?

Pearl: Both these industries are constantly changing. There are always new updates and new technologies. So if you want to succeed in this field, always be on the lookout for news and be open to learning. For example, Google always does an update sometimes even twice a month so you need to always check out when they did the update and what are the changes that come with this update. 

As for copywriting, learn how to use various copywriting tools especially in the context of AI. 

20. What are your future goals as a freelancer, and how do you plan to achieve them? People say not to keep all eggs in one jar. So, do you have other income sources except UPwork? If yes, what are those? 

Pearl: Personally, I want to finish my own website. I have an agency where we offer SEO packages and content writing services so I use that to expand my clientele and get more projects. However, we’re revamping it right now so it’s not yet online. 

I do have other income sources; I invest in my brother’s business and I also invest in real estate.

Jovayer: That’s great, Pearl. I always need Plan B.

21. Do you have team for your work? when you get more work, how you manage them? 

Yes, I have remote team members. They work per project so they handle separate projects and I oversee the entire operation and make sure the quality is up to our standards and everything is sent on time. 

22. Is there anything else you’d like to share with aspiring freelancers or any final thoughts?

My advice to aspiring freelancers is to constantly improve their skills and always be open to learning new things. The industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. Lastly, always prioritize your mental and physical well-being and make time for your personal life.

Remember that work is important, but so is having a healthy balance between work and personal life.  So don’t forget to take breaks, spend time with loved ones, and do things that make you happy outside of work.  Freelancing can be a fulfilling career, but it’s important to establish boundaries and not let work consume your entire life. With the right mindset and approach, freelancing can provide a great opportunity for personal growth and success.

Good luck on your freelancing journey!  Keep learning, keep growing, and always remember to prioritize your well-being. Happy freelancing!

Note: I have tried to cover all related questions to get insight. I you want to know more about her and her work style, please comment here. We will try to give the best insightful information. 
Al Jovayer Khandakar

Hey, I am Al Jovayer Khandakar. I am passionate about writing and my profession is also writing. I am a content writer and have gained a "Top Rated Plus " badge from Upwork. I have also a writing agency named "Agent Writing".

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