Not such a long time back (8 months to be precise), I was struggling. Not that I didn’t have a job or was academically flawed. But being a rebel from I don’t know when, things around me were irritating. The security in a job seemed like shackles to me and the value I created for my peers was not reflected in the compensation I received. In a nutshell, I was depressed. I knew about freelance but hadn’t tried it yet. I knew I could write. I had been writing since the age of three. I was blogging at the time on Hubpages which was a source of passive income for me.
Today, I am the founder of a Content Marketing and Business Development Firm, NetWorthy Inc. I generate six figure revenues a month and help freelancers across India realise their potential and create a self-worth which is not undermining in value. I am not saying that I am super-rich. No I am not. But I am better off than a 10 to 6 job. I am happy, self-independent, do what I want, when I want and the way I want it. I am not answerable to some stranger who doesn’t care about the value I create. And as I say this, I realise that this is the crux of successful freelance.
Why Do I say Successful Freelance?
There are a number of freelancers out there. They are doing well too! On Truelancer alone, there are over 55000 Indian freelancers with various professional skills. I have met other freelancers from India and interacted with freelancers from countries like USA and Australia. There is a stark difference in the lives of people who freelance from India and those from these developed regions. The fact that I noted this difference and worked on it was the basic stride which led to NetWorthy Inc. In most Indian cases I noticed people taking freelance as just another part time gig to get something extra. May be they are satisfied with that. I wasn’t. I wanted to build a business out of it.
Therefore when it came to full time freelance for me, I Improvised
I started in October last year. My first project was given to be by Chitraparna Sinha, one of the pioneers in India for professional content marketing. It was an INR 200 project. Her feedback led to another project. I started writing for Truelancer blog. It was a WordPress blog, which I knew nothing about. But I didn’t say no. I learnt it initially from the wonderful Truelancer crew who trusted my writing and gave me a worthy shot. Dipesh, Yajendra and Raj Shekhar helped me in learning WordPress and related stuff about basic SEO and SMM.
Things soon started rolling and I started following the works of digital superstars like Neil Patel and Pat Flynn. My past stints with BBA, Engineering and Actuarial Science helped me learn stuff fast and all the more apply it to what I did. After meeting Jitendra Vaswani, I started working full time. In a matter of months, Google started to know who I was and so did other people. But if it seems like a dream to you, then frankly folks it wasn’t. I have had 24 hour workdays where I wrote 20000 words just to complete a deadline! But in the end it was all worth it. I don’t do that on a regular basis though. I advise that you also should not!
Let me share with you some key things which have kept me going so far in Freelance
For successful freelance, you need to be aware of the opportunities around you. Following people who are leaders in your field is a sure shot way to do that. I generally follow up leaders in online marketing and business development on their blogs, their twitter profiles and facebook pages. It gives you an idea of what kind of things clients are looking for so that you can tap better into your opportunities. Remember Batman Begins: Always Be Mindful of Your Surroundings. It’s quintessential.
Unless you do not take your freelance career seriously, it won’t work out pretty well. You have to exactly know how much you can do and what quality can you offer. Only then can you upgrade. Do not go in thinking that you will win everything. It doesn’t happen that way. It is always a step by step process and that is why your focus and will are important attributes for realising your freelance dreams.
- Give more than expected
I do not mean write 1000 words when you are told to write 500. No, that is pure foolishness. Give your clients precisely what they need coupled with great communication and punctuality. When you finish and deliver a project on time, you leave a good mark on your client which is bound to reflect in your feedback. I personally follow deadlines like religion. I also create work sheets with details about projects, rates and billing and also send formal invoices to my clients. They love it. Skills like Organizational Behaviour, Professionalism and Communication are some things which can be learned quickly and applied to make your freelance career a real business.
I always like meeting people. Not all of them (Let me be frank) but like minded ones. I go to startup events and blogging meets on a regular basis and find clients who want what I have to deliver: creativity and value which makes their business better. Networking is important if you running your own business.
- Learn to say no
I personally handle not more than 2 projects at a time. Do not be greedy. If you have a brand then use it to get all the work you can but do not do it all by yourself. Now only will you compromise on the quality of service but hurt yourself emotionally and physically. You can outsource the project to someone good and instead give something back. It will polish your reputation all the more. I have 8-10 projects each month of which I outsource at least seven. Well, I am nice like that.
Freelance has been an adventurous journey for me. But I have to tell you, it has been the happiest one so far. There is huge potential in the market today for Indian and Global freelance. Opportunities are open to those who are aware, strong-willed and looking to break the shackles and live the way humans are meant to: independent and full of self-worth.
If you need any assistance about freelance then you can get in touch with me anytime on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. I will be present in the Payoneer Entrepreneurship Meet on Saturday. Hope to see you there! Till then, keep freelancing.