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Freelancing from abroad but advertising myself as English?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Buswell, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. Buswell

    Buswell New Member

    Hi all,

    Have been searching on the internet for a bit without much luck so thought I would post my question up here on what looks like a great active forum.

    I'm 28 years old and have about 5 years experience in programming/web design (good CV, work for investment banks in London, 1st in my degree, etc). After a year of backpacking in South America I'm now in Lima and don't really want to return to the UK. A friend of mine has offered me part time work for his web design company and now I'm looking at extra things to do.

    Just wondering which of the online freelancing sites would be best for me to explain
    "YES THE FLAG SHOWS PERU BUT I'M ACTUALLY FROM THE UK!"
    After a year and a half of speaking Spanish everyday I've realised that the difference between "speaking" a language (what does that mean anyway) and being able to conduct business in that language is massive. Absolutely massive.

    Essentially I'll be able to charge rates of a Fiver an hour, and that would be a comfortable salary here. The time difference is only 6 hours as well.

    So far I'm thinking of signing up for PeoplePerHour and my options would be
    - Have the flag set as Peru (because they have my IP address) but write like "UK EXPAT"
    - login into PPH through a proxy so it looks like I'm in the UK (sounds dodgy!)
    - sent proof of my latest UK bank statements to PPH

    Really though I would want people to see where I am so they can understand my pricing, while knowing that if they call me I will understand them completely (both in language terms and culturally!).

    Also I've enough money saved that I could really not earn anything for the next 2 years and still jump on a flight back to the UK.

    Nice one everyone!
    Buswell
     
  2. Road2Sale

    Road2Sale New Member

    Hi, don't use a proxy because first it is a lie and you don't want to lie to your customers and second PPH may block your profile.
    Just explain to your customers your case and if your work is good they probably will not mind.
    Also, from my experience web design does not require a lot of micro management so you should be fine. Just ask lots of questions about the client's requirements and also ask for a full spec.
     
  3. Buswell

    Buswell New Member

    Cheers for that advice. I've actually been doing quite well doing remote/freelance work since I wrote this message and, while having a profile on PPH, haven't actually got round to using it yet! Downside is that as I haven't had any feedback as I haven't done anything, they now want 10 quid a month to keep my profile open.

    Your experience of web design is exactly what I've found. Mostly email with the odd phone call here and there, no problem to do from almost anywhere in the world!
     
  4. Opus

    Opus Member

    If you're targeting UK clients I'd think you'd be better to charge UK prices. You can afford to drop them a little in order to be competitive but £5 per hour will just attract low grade clients whilst putting off the more preferable ones. You can then pick and choose your jobs - you don't need to win everyone of them in order to make a more than good living. Basically, be the one to benefit from your local cost of living - don't hand that benefit over to your clients.

    Regardless of where you are I'd also think it's best to be honest. Don't trick people into thinking you're UK based - let them know the situation.
     
  5. Buswell

    Buswell New Member

    Hi Opus,

    Yeah that definitely makes sense. I've learnt a lot about doing this since my original post and completely see where you're coming from with not passing all the saving on and definitely not tricking anyone!
     
  6. Multitasker

    Multitasker New Member

    There are many freelancers on PPH who in their profile state native English presently residing in ..... So you have no problem there.
     
  7. Buswell

    Buswell New Member

    Cheers multitasker - I'll have a quick google to find profiles with that wording so I've something to base it on!
     
  8. AlexMorrison

    AlexMorrison New Member

    Agree with this. Honesty is the best policy. Simply state that you're an expat and focus on delivering high quality work. Let your work speak for itself.
     
  9. Dougmorrison

    Dougmorrison Member

    What else do I say to those good posts. Honesty is the best policy and I agree if you have a good portfolio and you charge really cheap rates (I know you don't need much money) but people think that you pay for what you get.

    I have worked with some amazing designers and they are not based in the UK and have had some great experiences. So I don't think it maters about being in the UK don't true and be somewhere you are not.

    Things like, VOIP and Skype, Google Chat make the world a smaller place anyway.

    Good Luck with it.
     
  10. Brett Golding

    Brett Golding New Member

    Dude if you are English, you set your profile as English. As a previous poster said, just because you're not living in England doesn't mean your profile should change.

    It is actually the perfect way to pick up clients in my experience. They get to work with someone from England but for lower rates, because you have a lower cost of living. That is your pitch right there! I've had great success with that.

    I am British and living in Thailand by the way. It's a great place for working online and you can follow me and find out more on my YouTube Channel if you so wish :)
     

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