Case Study

How A Rejected Employee Landed A $2,500 Retainer Deal In Just Under 1 Year

Most aspiring freelancers get into the freelancing bandwagon, thinking they need to know step-by-step how to do the job they’re applying for before they can land the spot.

That’s good because you’ll be able to adapt to the new job almost effortlessly since you’re working in a familiar space.

It’s ideal to be an expert in what you do, so you can get the job done faster and make you more effective when approaching your tasks.

Plus, you’ll have the confidence to give the results the client wanted since you “know” what you’re doing (even when your eyes’ closed.).

Not only that, you can gain the trust of your clients for you to handle bigger responsibilities since you’re capable of giving them the results they’ve wanted.

But what if you’re just starting out, how can you become an expert?

You could read books about the skill you want to learn.

You could watch Youtube videos.

You could take courses, either online or through live events.

But then again, almost all employers are looking for freelancers who have experience with the job?

How is one without an experience get experience if they can’t work with clients who are requiring experience?

Isn’t that a bit confusing?

This is a classic chicken and egg scenario.

And inside the Tribe, we could care less if you want the chicken or the egg.

Either case, members we’re able to get clients even if they have zero experience or required skill for the job.

Even better, charge premium fees while they’re at it.And I’m about to show you an actual story to prove that.

Meet Jungie.

A 25-year-old Bulakenyo who currently lives in Mandaluyong.

He’s the youngest of 5 children. [add 2 more description]

His father was a security guard while his mother is a housewife.

And he also works as a financial advisor who’s passionate in educating Filipinos about insurance, investment and how to save with sense.

After he graduated as a Mass Communication student, he worked as a marketing specialist for an events business.

Even though there’s Marketing 101 as part of his college units, that’s not enough to equip him with what he needed for the job. He still needed to learn the rope.

Most people got a job totally unrelated from the course they’ve taken way back in college.

And that’s how the world works.

Due to the nature of his work, he only lasted for 3 months.

Then, he worked as a brand manager in a licensing company, where he happened to report directly with the VP for Marketing. 

They handled brands like Pokemon, One Piece, and World of WarCraft.

After a few months, his boss (VP for marketing) resigned to pursue digital marketing and build her own agency business.

“People come and go sa company, so knowing she resigned as VP for marketing was not a surprise. But what made me curious is to where she’s going – digital marketing space. From there, I knew that is something I want to learn as well.”

He got curious about his boss having a high-level position in the company, earning substantial amounts of money (more than most Filipinos make sometimes, in a year), still resigned from her job to pursue a business which he has zero idea.

What’s with digital marketing strong enough for a boss like her, to made a jump to an unfamiliar ground.

That became a big question mark for him.

And that even cemented his decision to resign as well. Plus, the fact that…

“I’ve been waiting for the big break sa company for 3 years. It never happened 🙂 So that time,  leaving was the best choice."

As if destiny took its course… And that event led to another.

Since the VP resigned, he was tasked to attend a digital marketing seminar.

“Natuwa ako sa digital marketing kasi parang bagong learning. Ang A-HA moment ko kasi yung nadiscover ko yung SEO. Na-curious ako sa SEO. Wala kasi akong idea kung ano yun during that time. At na-amaze ako na may ganon pala.”

Armed with newfound passion and determination…

Jungie decided to apply to a digital marketing agency.

And 3 months later…

He was fired.

His boss claimed tardiness as the ground of his termination.

“But then, one of my friends inside the agency told me a totally story: “Tinanggal ka daw (talaga) kasi hindi ka magaling.”

He felt worthless and helpless.

“Nakakaiyak! Tulala… Kasi wala akong source of income. Di ako prepared. Kasi that day din, nung natanggal ako. Parang sinabi din sa akin na: “Ito na yung last day, so mag turnover ka na.”

He was shocked, dumb-founded, and clueless on what he’ll do next.

With a limited budget, he needed to act… FAST.

“Hindi ako pwedeng mawalan ng kita kasi may sinusuportahan akong pamilya. Yung nanay ko walang trabaho, tapos yung Papa ko, security guard. So parang kailangan huminto ng mga kapatid ko para una akong makapag aral.

…Yung mga kapatid ko tumigil ng pag aaral para makapag aral ako. Dumating din sa point yung kinailangan mangutang ng parents ko, makapasok lang ako.”

There was even a point when they needed to sell their belongings just to make ends meet.

“Then, there’s one time na kinailangan namin ibenta yung TV namin, kasi marami kaming babayaran tapos wala na kaming pera. Parang 1 year kaming walang TV noon. Nabenta yun ng P3,500.”

Fast forward a few months after, Jungie discovered freelancing by searching for jobs online.

He created an account on a freelancing platform.

He applied, got interviewed. And BOOM!

He got hired.

“Dati, kahit ako, hindi nag expect na di ako kikita ng ganon kalaki. Parang nag expect lang ako magwork sa office, yung kita okay-okay.”

And by “okay-okay” he meant more than 6 figures per month…

"Bago ako mag join ng Tribe; I’m already earning 6-figure per month doing social media marketing and graphic design."

So why still join the Tribe?

“Hustle talaga ko. Kasi madami akong clients that time. Tapos ang average kita ko sa kanila normally $400/month lang. So kahit okay yung kita, parang di pa rin masaya kasi ang ayaw ko yung naghu-hustle talaga.”

This is where most freelancers are trapped.

They escape the office cubicle only to do the same thing at home.

They earn six-figures, yet they have to work ungodly hours everyday.

They earn six figures, yet they don’t have time to spend it.

They earn six-figures, yet they don’t have time to spend more time with their family — even if they’re at home.

Just like Jungie who was working a total of more than 16 hours per day!

"Napaisip ako pano ko mapapagkakasya yun sa isang araw? Kakayanin ko pa ba?"

He’s worried that 16 hours per day is way too much to handle.

Yet, he didn’t want to lose those 4 clients because that will mean a change in his lifestyle — which he’s not prepared to have. He didn’t want to.

Especially when the financial responsibility of taking care of his parents was passed on to him when his siblings got married….

“Then, yung kapatid kong isa, tinutulungan ko din pag aralin. Tapos, separate pa ako namumuhay sa parents ko. Sila nasa Bulacan, ako nasa Manila. Then, regular din akong nagtatravel. Kasi gustong gusto ko talaga nagtatravel. The farthest was Korea.”

For a 25-year-old who can afford to travel to Korea from his own money is something unusual for his age.

“Nung time din na yun, naka enroll ako sa isang membership course worth $500 monthly, which was paid by one of my clients. So nung na-compare ko yung course ni John, mas mababa. So, parang no brainer talaga siya.”


He got a raise.

His client enrolled him to a paid membership to learn FB ads worth $500 monthly.

And he’s earning 6-figures for 4 clients.

Those are reasons to celebrate, right?

Yet, just when he thought things were finally falling in place, that’s when his dreams started to crumble.

His past started haunting him again.

"My accountant-client told me that they’re regrouping and would not be needing my service."

He even saw the actual message which discusses that major change.

“He’s not efficient and has been committing mistakes.”

So as expected, after a week from that incident, he received an email saying that it’s his last day that very same day.


For the second time, he’s been told he’s not good enough. And for Jungie, it’s harrowing.

"Again, I was devastated. To top it off, I’ll be losing my access to the $500 per month course he’s given me."

“So, what I did, I studied every module I can learn. I even record the remaining videos I was not able to study, just so I can access it when I need them.”

Then, one time, he saw a video about a particular guy who wants to teach Filipinos a different way of freelancing.

“I remember may video siya nun circulating since 2017, na magco-comment ka ng ‘YES’ to receive a free resource. Nag-comment ako ng ‘YES.’ Kaya ayun, nasa inbox ko na si John noon pa. Continuous ko lang nakikita yung content niya.”

He wanted to know if this tattooed guy is the real deal.

Then, who better to ask for advice other than his former boss, the VP for Marketing, who left a stable job to pursue digital marketing.

“Sabi niya, enrolled na siya. Kaya nag enroll na lang din ako. Napapagod na kasi ako nun. Nakakapagod na yung ginagawa ko. Baka pag nag enroll ako, mapataas ko pa yung rate ko.”

He discovered that other freelancers are easily charging $25/hour.

He thought, if he enrolled in the Tribe, he’d be able to charge the same rate as them (or even more) confidently.

And John is the one and only coach who made him realize that “enough is enough.” I can’t figure it out on my own and that I NEEDED HELP.

So he did what he thought was the best thing to do…

“So, after the accountant-client fired me, I enrolled in JOHN’s Tribe.”

Here’s the caveat…

He’s still learning FB ads and has no actual experience yet. 

So, he started small… this time, using the ‘discovery call’ script that diagnose the business of the prospects he’s planning to work with.

And it enabled him to close projects ranging from $300-$600.

“Kaso hindi din ganon kagaganda yung results. Yung results ko very poor. Parang minsan nga, binabangungot na ko kasi wala pang benta yung FB ads ko. Magigising ako ng madaling araw, iche-check ko.”

Obviously, the client ends up letting go of Jungie because of negative ROI — return on investment.

“Pero that time, hindi na ako masyado nasasaktan. Hahanap na lang ako ulit. Kasi confident na ako na makakahanap na ako ulit ng client. Narealized ko na may mga mali lang ako ginagawa when it comes to the expectations nila sa akin, which is hindi ko nilalatag agad. Minsan din, parang di pa ready yung setup nila for FB ads, pero kinukuha ko pa din.”

That’s the thing with freelancers.

We think that it’s our fault when what we did for our client doesn’t work…

When in fact, the client doesn’t have enough foundation in the business itself resulting in freelancers being unable to match the client’s expectation.

Inside the Tribe, the pieces of that foundation are what we call “assets”.

The truth of the matter is…

You can only be as good as your client allows you to be.

For example, if you’re an email copywriter, even if you’re good at writing sales copy…

If your client’s email list has just 7 subscribers, then guess how many sales you’re getting? It would be zero.

If you’re a website designer, even if you have an eye for design, conversion and aesthetics…

If your client’s offer didn’t resonate with the target audience, then you would not see any enquiries from the website.

If you’re a FB ads marketer, even if you’re great at what you do…

If your targeting is not on point, your campaign will not yield any result.

Most of the time, it’s not the freelancer’s fault why things don’t work out the way as planned.

If only freelancers dig deep as to the actual details of the business and see if they’re a “fit” for the service you provide, then things will be different.

Jungie’s not qualifying clients coming his way. That’s why even if he gets clients, he’s not generating results.

He’s like a mechanic being asked to repair a Toyota Wigo and make it run at 200 kph like a Ferrari…

Even if you’re the best mechanic in the Philippines, you can never do that due to the fact that you don’t have the ‘assets’ needed — the engine, the brake, the clutch, etc.

And because of that realization, he’s now qualifying clients and not the other way around.

It’s a complete opposite of how he previously handled prospects and clients because…

“I have limiting beliefs. When asked about the rates of my service, I tend to price it between $400 – $600 because I believe this is the worth of my time. Baka hindi ako magaling? And baka eto lang dapat ang rate ko.”

Although he’s closing clients left and right and earning six-digits for 6 straight months, he STILL felt unhappy.

“The problem is, the more clients I close, the more stressed I get, and the less time I spend for leisure and family. I wanted to spend less time working and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I decided to join in the hope that the course will help me score premium clients so I can just focus on working on high paying clients.

…Gusto ko na rin kasing bitawan yung mga current clients ko that time, especially the lower budgeted clients who are very demanding.”

Inside the Tribe, he discovered how to reach out to his ideal clients, where to find them, and build relationships.

He also learned how to ask for a raise; how to present his service, which prospects will say YES to…

How he can position himself as an expert apart from other regular freelancers.

In a nutshell, he discovered not-so-usual strategies on how to get premium clients to pay premium fees, even if he’s still learning the skill and even without tangible experience.

“Going through the process, my patience is at my limit. Juggling client work + client prospecting is not an easy thing to do. Minsan, you’ve been connecting almost every day but still not landing a premium client. Time will come, and you question yourself if this will really work.

…But after all the effort and finally reaching my goal in joining the Tribe, I realize that nothing would go wrong if you trust the process.”

The result?

He experienced a total mindset shift. Everything changed as soon as he sees himself as an expert — no need for anyone’s validation.

“Prospects are coming in direct on my inbox (Ako na nag nagka-qualify ngayon.). And believing the value I can bring to a business, I can charge higher and work only with clients I want to work with.”

His monthly income is now close to 7-figures. He now works less and currently has 1 person in his team.

Now, he’s confident to put himself out there because he believes he can deliver. As of this writing, he now handles a $60K monthly budget for FB ads.

“Nakaclose ako ng $2,500 monthly for Facebook ads lang.”

Plus, another incoming client worth $2,500 a month, where he’ll work for his eco-business selling baby bottles.

He also works for a betrayal trauma coach as a lead generation expert for his high-ticket coaching (worth $8,000), where he earns $400/month + 10% for every client closed.

That’s $800 ‘pure’ commission for every client closed.

From his previous corporate job where he’s earning P35K gross, minus the taxes, and government contributions, which only nets at P18K…

From our last interview, he’s earning USD 16,000 or PHP 800K monthly.

And from the pace of his progress, it’ll not be a surprise if he earns a million pesos per month.

Life after TFMT?

"I don't have plans of leaving, so I can't imagine life after the Tribe yet."

Jungie’s next plan is to start his own social advertising agency and build a team of creative thinkers who will help him grow his business to the roof.

“My goal is to become one of the best social advertising strategists in the eCommerce space and empower more small businesses to become successful in their business.”

Plus, he wants to save more money while he’s young, become a good provider once he starts to build his own family, and retire at the age of 40.

“Being inside the Tribe, I see a different version of me. Someone who is an expert but still, di takot na magkamali because I know there’s a community to back me up from landing a premium client again — up to helping me even with client works.”

In freelancing…

You don’t need to learn everything for you to be considered valuable to clients.

You don’t need the experience to justify your premium fees.

You don’t need to have the skill right before you apply.

In fact, you can work with them while learning and implementing the skill.

All you need are these two things:

One, you need to position yourself properly by giving value right before you ask for the sale.

And second — have the right mindset.

Once you have these two, you’ll gain the confidence to choose the clients who you want to work with…

By qualifying them, instead of the other way around.

Would you like to qualify clients (instead of you chasing them) and charge premium fees, even if you’re still in the process of learning the skill or even without experience?

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.