The online marketing ecosystem is becoming more crowded each day. As an entrepreneur, working with an SEO services company can help your brand get the attention it deserves.
An SEO service provider applies the practice of search engine optimization to make a brand’s website more visible in the digital space. This type of agency offers a wide range of website optimization services. They provide expert advice, recommendations, and strategies to improve a website’s rank in the search results and get more valuable visitors online that can convert into sales.
SEO is vital nowadays, yet it’s a challenging craft to master. But for Romela Ortega, it is one of her core strengths.
Romela is a seasoned SEO consultant with over ten years of experience under her belt. She has worked with different startups and companies in various fields, including Real Estate, E-commerce, News, and Digital Advertising.
She’s also the co-founder of GetSomeCola, a creative design agency. Together with her awesome team, she helps businesses thrive through SEO online marketing, e-commerce solutions, and e-learning development.
Offline, Romela selflessly shares her expertise to the local freelancing community where she gives online courses, workshops, and useful tips through the Facebook group Pinoy Online Professionals.
Check out our interview with the SEO expert, Romela de Leon.
Q: Can you tell us more about what you do as a freelancer?
I work as an SEO Consultant for various businesses. I also take on the role of Marketing Chief of our little startup, GetSomeCola. I teach SEO courses for beginners as well.
Q: What made you decide to go into freelancing, and was it something you wanted to do?
I have always been a freelancer ever since my college days. I seem to be attracted to the opportunity to use my skills to earn on the side.
I started working from home in 2013 with a Canadian employer while freelancing. Then I launched my own business in November 2016. That’s when I became a full-time freelancer/entrepreneur.
Q: What do you love most about freelancing?
I love the limitless opportunities it presents you. You’re not boxed into 1 role, plus you have freedom of time and location. Not to mention, you’re not limited to a fixed income.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you faced as a freelancer? How did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was to make my freelancing career legitimate in the Philippines. That means registering as a business.
I did not have much exposure to the ins and outs of government processes, so we faced a bit of a bumpy road.
It’s a good thing Taxumo was there to aid us in filing our taxes. That was the hack we chose in order to overcome the challenge of legitimacy.
I think it’s very important for freelancers to not just stay with their current status. The goal should be to become a legitimate business owner so you have some accountability to your team, as well as the ability to project a more professional persona to clients you dream to work with.
Q: What do you think is your best trait that contributed largely to your success?
Whenever I present SEO campaigns to potential clients, they say they appreciate that I am able to discuss it at their level – in layman’s terms.
Brands need to understand what you’re selling them before they opt-in. So I think that’s my best asset – the ability to explain SEO and how it can work for their business.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge in the freelancing industry in the Philippines?
I think our skillset as a nation of freelancers still needs to be upgraded or improved.
Most of the people on my team are corporate people. They have the professionalism, team experience, and technical knowledge that are present in corporate departments.
Filipino Freelancers can have a greater potential for success if there are more technical training available to them. Also, we have to encourage them to work and collaborate as a team instead of just running a one-man show.
Q: What book greatly influenced your freelancing career?
“The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice” by Todd Henry. Funny thing is, I wasn’t able to completely finish the book. After a few chapters, it has already set me in action.
Q: What do you think makes Filipinos great as freelancers?
Filipino Freelancers are naturally hardworking. Maybe because it’s our culture that teaches us to be always striving. Filipinos are the best in English in Asia too.
Q: What piece of advice can you give to aspiring freelancers, especially to those who are struggling to get a gig?
Number one: Do not give up even after several rejections. Just keep going and the universe will conspire to make your dreams come true.
Number two: Do not stop learning. Be humble and choose to learn. No one is too smart.
Number three: The goal is not to be popular in the freelancing industry. It’s to be able to get the right clients who pay. Here are some of my time-tested strategies.
- Connect with your network (past and present) and tell them what you do now and what you can offer them. Referrals are the lifeblood of any business!
- Start some online presence. Create a website, a social media account, or an email list. It’s never too early to build an email list.
- Prepare your portfolio (can be just a PDF or PPT file) so you’re ready when someone asks for it. If you’re starting out as a freelancer, collate all the projects that you have done during your corporate stint – even your personal projects. Those still count as a portfolio of work.
- Collaborate with complementary businesses. If you’re a web designer, connect with a web copywriter or an SEO, or a branding expert. Offer them collaboration. You will have a solid pipeline of clients from these non-compete businesses or freelancers.
- Offer something of value. Teach if you can. Release digital products that will help your community. That way, you get some PR leverage.
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