The Freelancer Fair by Manila Workshops

The biggest gathering of work-at-home individuals and freelancers, the Freelancer Fair, happened last Saturday, November 19, 2016. I was blessed to be one of the chosen bloggers to cover the event. It was held at The Tent and Casa Real, both inside Acacia Estates, Taguig City.

I was able to listen to the event’s premium talks mainly the Marketing Track, Content Track and Design Track. As a content creator, I believe that coming to events like these help stimulate my creativity and refuels my passion to write more compelling posts for my readers.

MARKETING TRACK

 Marketing Track Freelancer Fair

I find Zarangola Media founder Rey Baguio’s talk on Digital Marketing very helpful and relevant. Here is one of his lines that I would never forget:

Content is King, Engagement is Queen

In this digital world, it is really important that brands engage to their audience. It’s not about the number of likes anymore. Now, you really have to reach out to your audience and make them feel that you are a human being. Hey, I suddenly remembered when Christian Ingebrigsten of A1 actually replied to my comment on his Facebook post. This is a digital marketing winner move at its finest!

A1 Christian Digital Marketing

CONTENT TRACK

 Content Track Freelancer Fair

The Content Writing talk was given by Ana P. Santos of Writer’s Block Philippines. She is a brave woman who left the stability of her banking career to pursue her passion in writing. Of course, I am instantly drawn to her. I am like that, I have so much respect for people who goes after their dreams despite all the odds. It’s my second time listening to Ana Santos, I joined Writer’s Block’s “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career” some time ago last year, if I am not mistaken. But despite being this my second time, I was still in awe of the authority and wit of this woman.

While listening to Ms. Ana during the Freelancer Fair, I realized that in this digital world dominated by website rankings, sometimes, content becomes insignificant. In my line of work as an SEO writer, for example, the articles that I make are solely used for backlinks to extract SEO juice from websites. Nobody reads them, they’re only for search engines since they are off-page contents.

To be able to succeed in writing, I have to get my byline out there. And that is one reason why I have this blog. It’s my medium to showcase my creativity outside the very specific template of SEO contents.

The bottom line is, I just have to continue writing for whatever purpose. Writing is a skill that should be practiced. Cheers!

DESIGN TRACK

Here, we were taught by On-Off Design & Technology Director Philip Smithson the basics of designing solutions with regards to user experience. I particularly liked the activity where we were asked to come up with a solution for a person who needs help in learning the Filipino language.

We actually interviewed foreigners and got first-hand insights on the challenges they face in learning Filipino. I learned through the Freelancer Fair that because we Filipinos are such great English speakers, foreigners became lax in learning the language, because it isn’t really that necessary. And that, is one of their biggest challenges LOL. Amazing discovery, right?

In this design activity, my team came up with an app that could connect people who would like to learn the language and those who’d like to teach it. It’s like Tinder, but at a more wholesome level *wink

Design Track Freelancer Fair

THINGS TO IMPROVE ON:

The Freelancer Fair is an event where talks and an expo of different brands happened simultaneously. It was held in two different but adjacent venues. While the premium talks (mentioned above) were undoubtedly great, I found attending this fair challenging because of the following points:

1. Venue. Acacia Estates is extremely inaccessible. I had to ride a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) to get there and had to take Uber on my way out. Acacia Estates is an executive village and public transportation is scarce. The commute was expensive and stressful.

2. Registration Pricing. Registration for the Freelancer Fair was PHP 500 for the expo and short talks at the tent. The premium talks were PHP 1500 each, but can be availed at PHP 3000 for all three premium talks.

I personally find this very expensive. This is considering that lunch nor snacks were not included. I did not pay for the registration as I am a blogger, but I would never attend it if I had to pay. Most freelancers are keeping tabs on their budgets and so PHP 3,000 is really unacceptable. I was able to talk to one participant who paid the price in full and she was disappointed with where her money went.

Above all else, I truly believe that we shouldn’t stop learning. I am particularly keen on learning more about online marketing as I believe that the future lies there. Learning more in this industry will surely make me an even more effective content creator. For me, webinars just aren’t effective, I like to talk to real people, ask questions, and get answers in real time. At least I was able to get all these at the Freelancer Fair.

How about you, have you been to any seminars lately? How was it?