Case Study

Her Hack Made It Possible To Charge $5,800 For A Single Project

Most freelancers have a hard time charging premium fees.

They think they should charge less since the cost of living is low compared to other countries.


What if you found out you could charge clients premium fees even if you’re in the Philippines?


What if you can charge MORE than what freelancers in other countries do?

And you can do this without changing skills.

All with the help of one surprising hack.

Read on to discover how this mom closed a $5,800 deal with a simple pricing strategy.

Meet Donna.

A 34-year old wife and hands-on mom to her son Lucas.

After graduating from college, she tried applying at the biggest brewery in the Philippines.

And luckily, she got accepted.

While working, she thought of taking the board exam.

However, she realized she couldn’t do both.

“Aalis ako ng bahay ng 6am. Makakauwi ako mga 8-9pm. So wala na akong time na magreview.”

Donna had to choose.

Looking at her options…

She decided to quit her job and pursue the board exam, even if her father disagreed.

A few months after taking the review, Donna passed the licensure exam.

With her new license, she started looking for a new job.

Since there was a recession back then, it took her months.

But the story doesn’t end there.

After 6 months, Donna resigned because she didn’t see herself doing sales in the long run.

The next stop in her journey lasted longer.

She was hired as a chemical engineer by a big electronics company where she stayed for three and a half years.

She then moved on to one of the big three in the fuel industry. This time as a process data engineer. She stayed with them for another three and a half years.

“Pero kahit noon pa, parang di ko nakikita sarili ko na sobrang sipag magtrabaho. Parang pumapasok lang ako kasi kailangan ko ng work. Hindi ko nakikita yung sarili ko na after ng ilang years, mapunta sa managerial position. Kasi parang naexposed ako masyado sa environment na masyadong competitive at may crab mentality.”

One thing was clear — Donna didn’t want to retire in the corporate world.

And it’s because of this one significant individual.

So significant, she didn’t think twice resigning from a job that came with excellent health benefits.

It was Lucas, her son.

At first, Donna thought she could leave him to a nanny.

That’s why after her maternity leave, she went back to work.

But after a few weeks, she realized she couldn’t be away from Lucas.

She wanted to witness his milestones.

So Donna thought of ways to stay with Lucas while replacing her existing income source.

“What I did before I resigned was I researched about work online. Habang nasa isang mommy group ako para maghanap ng baby carrier ni Lucas, may mga nakikita ako dun na mga moms na work from home. So na-curious ako.”

The moms gave suggestions where aspiring work-from-home (WFH) moms can apply. They even taught how to find jobs on FB groups and freelancing sites.

Donna followed their lead and joined these FB groups.

Eventually, she found an opportunity posted inside a private FB group.

It was from an agency owner looking for a virtual assistant (VA).

She applied for the job.

The CEO interviewed her and was impressed with her bachelor’s degree.

Donna was offered the position.

She worked as a VA trainer 2 hours/night for $3.25/hour.

That was P2,000 per week as additional income.

Once Donna felt her online job was stable, she finally handed her 30-day resignation notice to her corporate employer.

After 30 days, she became a full-fledged freelancer.

“So, what I did was I asked my client to give me more work hours to earn more. The agency agreed to give me clients so that I can bill more work hours to them. I maintained my VA trainer position for a year, and then I was transferred to handle social media management for 6 months.”

Part of the lessons she learned in the agency was how to look for clients or prospecting.

Donna learned how to communicate, attract, and build relationships with potential clients.

She resigned from the agency a few months later.

Her next move was for the same role. She was hired as a VA by a UK-based coach at $3.50 per hour.

Then in July 2017, Donna saw a post by John about 7-figure freelancing.

“Nung nakita ko yung ad, naisip ko na gusto kong matutunan yung ituturo niya. Kasi may idea na ako sa process since nalaman ko na yung importance ng mindset before dahil sa client kong coach. Kumbaga, alam ko na possible yung success na sinasabi niya.” 

Even though John was a complete stranger, Donna didn’t doubt the teachings and concepts John talked about in the video.

She trusted what John was teaching about freelancing right off the bat. It also helped that the said video post had over 12,000+ likes and several hundred comments.

She thought of John as an authority in what he does.

Looking back, Donna recounted her 3 biggest struggles as a freelancer.


“Gusto ko talaga mag earn ng malaki. May nakikita nga akong post about earning 6-figures online. Inisip ko kung paano ko ma-achieve yun. Kasi as a VA, ang na-earn ko palang was $5. So pag tinuos mo yun in a month, nasa P40K. So iniisip ko, pano ko ma-achieve yung 6 figure. Yun yung problema ko.”


Since her skill leans towards aesthetics, she couldn’t clearly connect the dots between her branding and design skills to how a business earns money.

In other words, how can branding and design bring in more sales?

Donna found it challenging to quantify business revenue based on the designs she does for clients.


Donna valued her time.

“Kasi kung mag-VA ako, mahi-hit ko yung 6 figures, pero yung time ko naman yung maco-compromise.

Due to mishandling of finances, Donna and her husband had to take out loans.

Her initial goal was to pay off all their loans. She thought earnings 6-figures per month will solve their debt problem.

But the thing was, her real challenge was how to get premium clients.

Whenever Donna saw FB posts that looked for a designer, she would haggle down her rates.

Donna would justify her rate with her actual output.

She committed a mistake many freelancers do.

She didn’t see the ‘value’ of her help.

And because of that, there were periods when her income was too low for comfort.

Donna had no support system.

No one to guide her.

She didn’t have a mentor who can teach a better and more effective way to land premium projects.

“Tapos, dati, di ko pa alam na pwede mo pala singilin yung client ng bi-monthly. Ang mga proposal ko nun by phase. So pag natapos na yung phase 1 ng project, yun pa lang yung time na babayaran ako.

May mga time na pag na-stop yung project, wala ka ding work. So wala ka ding income kasi di ko pa naman natapos yung phase na to. So mahirap. Saka di pa ako ganon ka-confident na makipag-usap sa mga business owners.”

Back then, all she wanted was to please her clients.

She settled working with them even if they’re not ideal to work with.

Donna felt she didn’t have a choice.

That’s why when John promoted a paid course on Facebook, The Freelance Movement Masterclass…

Donna decided to enroll right away. To her, the enrolment fee was a low-risk investment.

She immediately dived in the course, taking down notes.

One of the strategies was how to look for clients on FB.

So Donna joined a FB group for coaches and she came across a post that went:

“Can someone help me with branding?”

When she saw the post, she sent it to a friend who was a branding expert.

But her friend said…

“Tapos na ko mag-work for the day. Baka para sayo yan. Ikaw na magreply dyan.”

That’s when Donna took over.

She messaged the prospect to ask how she can help her with her branding.

The client replied.

They set up a call.

She even messaged John to ask for advice on how she can improve her proposal.

After a few suggestions, Donna sent the proposal to her client.

“Inaccept niya naman. She paid $1,700 for the project upfront, even I mentioned in the proposal na 50% upfront fee lang ang needed. (Parang walang pera yung client. Hahaha!)”

When Donna asked the client why she chose the highest package…

“I’m a diamond type of girl!”

As it turned out, Donna presented her packages into categories based on price. She named it Bronze (basic), Gold (Donna’s preferred choice) and Diamond (the most expensive package).

This Kim-Kardashian-look-alike client chose based on how she perceived herself.

Lesson: Clients may decide based on their perception of themselves and not based on your offers

The project lasted for a month yet Donna only worked on this project for 10 hours.

“Sabi pa nya, “I’m very picky when it comes to design, but I love what you did.”

In just two months after joining the masterclass, Donna got her first win.

But it hasn’t always been a walk in the park for this freelancing mom.

A few months after, she lost her vision for herself and her freelancing business.

Donna’s momentum dwindled after the masterclass ended.

She wasn’t able to implement the strategies consistently.

She was back to square one.

Donna admitted there were months she thought of quitting.

That’s why when John posted on his timeline about opening The Freelance Movement Tribe for the very first time, Donna immediately enrolled.

“Hindi ko na binasa yung sales page, diretso ako sa buy button. Kasi nung time na yun, nag-crash yung system dahil sa dami ng nag-e-enroll. Dahil dun, nakasama pa ako sa nabigyan ng fast-action bonus, which is one-on-one coaching sessions with John.”

After a few weeks, Donna applied for a job posted on a freelance service site. The job was for a part-time funnel designer.

The client asked Donna to do a paid trial which she obliged.

She found out the role required 4-6 hours of work per day with a monthly rate of $1,000.

The client liked her work and wanted to work with her. Yet, Donna politely declined.

Since enrolling in the Tribe, Donna realized she can charge more without the need to work 4-6 hours per day.

She knows she can get premium clients.

That she can free up her time and do things that matter more to her.

With the Tribe, she can lessen her time working while earning more.

That’s why she politely declined the CEO’s offer. She didn’t want to work anymore on an hourly basis.

This move made her more valuable to this client.

The $1,000 offer became a $2,800 retainer deal to work full time with a flexible schedule designing funnels.

Donna stood firm about her price and how she does business with clients. And the CEO agreed.

Lesson: If you believe in your value as a freelancer, clients will see your value even more.

Remember the “Diamond” client?

She reached out again to Donna to ask for help with her website and course launches.

Donna became top of mind since she did a great job previously.

Can you guess how much she charged for it?


A premium fee for a “diamond” kind of client.

The highest project she’s closed so far as a member of the Tribe.

As a way of thanking her client, Donna sent her a bouquet of flowers to her doorstep.

The thoughtful gesture earned Donna a referral from her client.

Later on, her client signed a monthly retainer arrangement after the course launch project.

Since then, Donna has been doing regular work for her.

Donna’s paid a fixed monthly rate with flexible hours.

Donna did an excellent job delivering the project, meeting the client’s expectations, and giving a premium experience throughout.

And because of these, it’s no surprise Donna’s currently working with 9 different clients handling funnels and automation:

Under a Monthly Retainer Arrangement:

  • A high-ticket E-commerce coach from Virginia USA
  • A certified coach and NLP trainer from Florida, USA
  • A coach for creative entrepreneurs from the US
  • A famous celebrity and brand expert from Miami, Florida

Project-based Deals:

  • A business coach from Georgia
  • A business coach for auto-dealers from Los Angeles, California
  • An intuitive coach from San Diego, California
  • A coach in the cannabis industry from Los Angeles, California
  • An Amazon coach from the Philippines

The Tribe and its accountability calls was a game-changer for Donna.

Whenever a member asks questions, Donna also gets to learn from the answers by John, the Tribe Coaches, and fellow Tribe members.

Before, Donna had no one to talk to.

She was all alone in her freelancing journey.

There was no one to ask for guidance.

Now, Donna has a strong support system to help keep her moving forward.

“Ang pinaka-AHA moment ko talaga is kung pano ni John i-lead yung Tribe. Saka iba yung atmosphere sa loob ng group. Alam mo yung feeling na bawat isa happy sa na-achieve ng ka-Tribe mo. Yun yung vina-value ko sa loob ng Tribe, yung pagiging supportive ng bawat isa sa fellow Tribe member.”

In short, it’s the vibe inside the Tribe.

For example, members can have their proposal reviewed before sending it to the client.

This is just one of the many ways the Tribe supports its members.

Ultimately, Donna gained her confidence when she joined the Tribe.

Now she believes there are endless opportunities and strategies on how to get clients and earn more income.

Donna shared she’s humbled to be lined up with successful freelancers in their respective fields.

She treats Tribe members like family.

“For me, ang pinakaeffective na lesson sa Tribe is yung mindset training. Kasi feeling ko, lahat ng struggle na pinagdadaanan natin, malaki yung effect ng mindset. Hindi siya skill problem or marketing problem — mindset problem siya.”

For Donna, many things have changed since becoming a Tribe member.

Aside from paying off all their loans, they now have savings for their future.

They’re able to travel, going to places like Japan, Bohol, and Davao.

They even have staycations every now and then.

In short, their lifestyle has changed significantly.

“And at the same time, nakakapag bigay ako sa parents ko.”

She even treated her parents to a 5-day trip to Davao, Singapore and Thailand.

It’s the first time she surprised them on an all-expense-paid trip since she started working.

Plus, Donna was able to buy a new Ford Territory in CASH.

The money came solely from her freelancing income.

Donna has also been sharing her blessings by supporting missionaries anonymously.

Now, Donna has peace of mind knowing she no longer needs to worry about money.

It’s the reason why wins are pouring into her life.

“Ang next plan ko is to scale. Build my team. And consistently na pataasin yung income every month.”

Ideally, she hopes to bring in four funnel builders and web designers.

Also, it’s in her plans to make her husband resign from his job and do freelancing with her.

Donna’s advice to those skeptical about joining the Tribe:

“Always try bago ka mag-decide na di totoo to or scam to. Check yung results na nakuha ng ibang tao. Do your homework. Mag-research ka bago mo i-try. Kasi hindi naman natin sila mapipilit kung ayaw nila.

Kung tingin mo, may maitutulong yung Tribe para i-improve yung life mo, you owe it to yourself at sa mga loved ones mo na i-improve yung current situation mo.”

Living in the Philippines shouldn’t prevent you from charging premium fees.

Like Donna, you don’t need a high pile of portfolios or a decade of experience.

Because at the end of the day, it’s how you position yourself and do these three things:

  1. Do an excellent job of delivering the project on time.
  2. Meet the client’s expectations.
  3. Give a premium experience before, during, and after the work is done.

Premium experience doesn’t have to be grand.

Sending flowers…

Or simply delivering the project based on their expectation and on time could mean the world to them.

Treat your client the way you want to be treated.

In doing so, you become a world-class freelancer earning premium fees while working less.

If you want to become part of a movement of world-class freelancers and start attracting premium clients who love your work…

Then apply to become part of the Freelance Movement Tribe by clicking the button below.

Neri Marcos

Neri Marcos

Neri is a copywriter who is passionate about courses and product launches. She helps course creators and experts get 6 to 7 figure sales on their launches by providing persuasive sales copy and conversion-focused case studies. You can check her website or connect with her on Linkedin.