It is a fact that India is the second largest home for freelancers across the world after the US. It is clear that the scope for freelancers in India is very high. Freelancing in India has come to become one of the most sought after career choices with businesses looking out to work with freelancers for a various number of reasons. Some of these reasons may include more flexibility in terms of work or simply because they want to keep costs low.
Firstly, what is a freelancer?
As described in my previous article on freelance digital marketing in India, a freelancer as described by wikipedia is a ‘term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.’ Freelancers basically work on a project basis and charge based on it as well in contrast to a company that may work differently.
With India being one of the countries with the highest number of freelancers across the world, there is no doubt that it is not one of the clever career options today. With the rise in freelancer jobs in India, the need for freelancers is also increasing with every passing day.
So to answer your questions, how do you go about becoming a freelancer?
There is no step by step process for this, but there are a few prerequisites that you need to fulfil to help you out on your freelancer journey. Firstly, ask yourself the following questions;
What are you going to freelance for?
Are you motivated enough to work independently on timeless and deadlines?
Do you have the expertise required to do what you want to do?
Do you have a portfolio or website that tells your clients about yourself and showcases your work?
Will you be able to thrive without a fixed salary every month?
Finally, how much competition is there for the particular niche you picked?
Once you answer the questions above, and have decided to quit your full time job or begin your journey as a freelancer, you need to get working!
Step 1: Pick your niche
There are freelance jobs everywhere, but what is important is to pick your niche based on the skills and expertise you have. You may do 10 different things, but you need to asses these based on various factors like demand and competition. It is always a good option to pick your niche and focus on it instead of trying to be the jack of all trades.
Step 2: Build your portfolio
The next step to becoming a freelancer, is to build your portfolio. This makes it easier for clients to assess your skills and pick you as their freelancer. Your portfolio can be either a document with your previous works or a simple one page website that describes you and the work you have been doing in the past. The idea is to be able to present and impress the clients you are pitching to.
As freelancers, you do not have a company or brand name that everyone is going to know about, it is going to be your work and expertise that will speak volumes for you. So, one of your main focuses needs to be on creating a bank of work, whether as a portfolio or as a website. There are various online tools and websites that help you do so in a very simple manner. The idea is to make use of these.
Step 3: Finding clients
After you have made a deck or portfolio for yourself, the next step is to go out there and find work. Finding work as a freelancer can be a task since clients can be unsure about whether they should trust you. Here is where your portfolio will speak for you.
With the rise of social media and various freelance portals available today, it is very simple to create a profile for yourself and promote the same across mediums. These portals do take a cut from your payment but they serve a great purpose in helping you find clients in the first place. However, it is important that you do a background check of these portals and websites before you go ahead and pick any of them.
Another great way is to make yourself social media accounts and promote your website. With the rise in facebook groups and linked in jobs, getting freelance work across this medium can be a great idea as well!
Lastly, direct communication is one of the best ways to get yourself some clients in the beginning. Use whatsapp, phone calls and leisure meetings to your benefit and talk about what you do and offer as a freelancer. This will help get you clients as people will register you in their minds and think of you when they do need a freelancer.
Step 4: Follow schedules and deadlines
Becoming a freelancer requires a certain amount of discipline. It is important to be able to make a schedule for yourself and stick by it so as to be able to meet deadlines. Your clients are your everything and they are going to be your voice in the future. Hence, doing the best you can in terms of service is very crucial. There are various online tools available for you to be able to track your work and also set reminders to meet deadlines. The idea is to make use of it and make the most out of your freelancer journey. Very often, without a particular schedule in place, people lose motivation to work and slack.
Here are some tips for you to follow:
- Don’t take on more than you can do
- Follow deadlines and schedules
- Promote yourself where you can
- Use technology and social media to your benefit
- Keep your financial records in place
- Save your income for months you do not have enough work
- Keep yourself motivated
Some of the freelancer website in India are: Freelance india, Upwork, Truelancer, 99designs, Freelancer.com, Toptal, Guru, etc. You can find plenty others online.
Hope this article helped you in undertanding and going about picking freelancing as a career. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or mail us on email@example.com!
Thank you for reading!