Camilo Zuluaga Farkas is a creative visual artist based in Medellín, Colombia.
He has been actively selling on Fiverr since 2016 and has since become a full-time design and web development freelancer. Camilo is versatile in his work and will design anything from letterheads and logos to business cards and entire websites.
He is also proud to serve his local community in Colombia as a Fiverr leader and enjoys offering advice and sharing his experiences with other freelancers looking to expand their portfolio.
Times have been tough for the global economy since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, even for the online freelance world. Despite the challenges, Camilo has been very successful working as a graphic designer using Fiverr. As a leader in the community, we thought he could offer some insight on how to stay successful during the COVID-19.
Here are his thoughts:
Fiverr: To start, tell us how the Fiverr platform has helped you branch out and improve your skills to become more successful.
In my four years of experience on Fiverr, I have had all types of challenges. I think the platform and specifically my customers have taught me a lot in how to approach design. This experience has opened my mind to different possibilities on how to share and improve my talents day by day.
Fiverr: How are you managing your clients with COVID-19 happening right now?
A month or two ago, the number of clients and orders started decreasing for me, I think, because of the economic uncertainty that was happening around the world. Once COVID-19 arrived in my city, I took a couple of free days to prepare for quarantine and adapt to the situation.
In the last two weeks, the work has been slowly increasing. Most of the clients I am currently working with are entrepreneurs that want to take advantage of the extra time they have right now to work on their ideas and launch new projects once the situation in the world gets better.
Fiverr: We know you are pretty familiar with remote work, but is the increased isolation affecting your mental health? If so, what are you doing to stay connected or balanced?
We, freelancers, are used to frequently working at home.
When I am not traveling, I usually balance time working at different coffee shops around the city, working at home and local co-working spaces.
Since the quarantine, I started working full time at home. I was a bit anxious not because of the isolation but because of the uncertainty. I began having symptoms of anxiety that are similar to the COVID-19 symptoms, so I took a couple of days to adapt to the situation with a positive attitude.
I am grateful to be able to enjoy time with my family at home and to be able to keep working remotely with Fiverr. I feel amazing right now, and I have hope that this situation will end soon and the world and we, as humans beings, will improve in different aspects.
Fiverr: What tools or resources have you found to be the most helpful? These could be anything from virtual events, apps, or content you enjoy. Please feel free to share your favorite or most useful.
Virtual meditation, journaling, and creativity exercises, mostly. I think these are excellent tools to power up your mental health and help you focus on goals and daily tasks.
With my family at home all day, my little brother wants to play with me, and I am trying to help with the house cleaning and cooking, too. It is easy to get distracted.
There is a lot of work to get done, and you need to have discipline and be a bit strict with your timing. So, any calendar, to-do lists, and time block apps that work for you would help to be able to get things done and to better balance your time.
Fiverr: Are there any podcasts or types of music that are your go-to right now?
I listen to different local educational and spiritual podcasts, avoiding the fake news tsunami that is currently around. And of course, some music to keep the good vibes and positivism. I recommend J Balvin, who is a Reggaetón artist from my city, and Hillsong United.
Fiverr: Is there anything else you have used as a resource or have learned in the last few weeks about staying successful during this quarantine?
I think the most important thing I have learned in this time is to be grateful for the everyday things that happen that we usually take for granted and now miss so much.
Also, I have stayed organized with finances and always have savings and emergency funds for 6-12 months.
As a remote worker and a digital nomad, I am glad that many companies are working with their team online. Companies realize that people can be, in some cases, more productive working remotely than going to an office every day at the same start and end time.
Fiverr: If work has been slow in the past few weeks, how have you been spending your downtime?
As freelancers, we are used to having a variable income monthly. I think we are experts in managing ups and downs. If the work is slow, I take the extra time to improve my artistic and design skills. I take online courses on platforms like Fiverr Learn, organizing my tools, budgets, finances and launching new gigs in my service category.
Fiverr: What advice would you share with other freelancers at this time?
Working as a successful freelancer is a process. You need to work hard first to build a good reputation, and that takes time. You also need to be patient. We tend to get desperate in moments like this.
Still, necessity makes us creative, and we need to take advantage of that creativity to convert our talents into services. We can do this by under-promising, overdelivering, being patient, and working hard.
If you are interested in hiring Camilo on Fiverr for his graphic design services, here is the link to his Fiverr profile: https://www.fiverr.com/camilozuluagaf