Freelancing has become the new fad in India, especially since COVID. Some people got so addicted to freelancing that they are moonlighting. If you’re a life long learner or a sole breadwinner, freelancing can take your career to a whole new level. Since most of the clients are from the West, your income will definitely be more than the average per capita income of the chosen sector in India.
Skills for Freelancing
Some of the most popular skills in gig economy include Web Development, Video Editing, Photo Editing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Virtual Assistant and Voice Overs. Even skills sets which reached maturity level (like MS Excel) also have their fair share on this platform.
But, to my knowledge people always get discouraged when starting their career with freelancing saying it’s little tough to get your first gig in the freelancing ecosystem. I’d say, you need to have one or two extra skills apart from your hard skills viz., soft skills and marketing or branding skills to surpass your competition. Given you’re one of many hundreds of freelancers on the freelancing websites, you need to brand yourself in an unique way possible, to stand a chance in the competition. Your time to get first call will depend on this.
Strategies to Get to Gig
Different people have different strategies to differentiate themselves on these platforms. Some will provide a 90%+ discount on their first gig. Some may even offer to do a sample work to prove their mettle and win the project. But don’t undersell yourself so much that, that will degrade the skill of the job and client start doubting your skill.
One extra thing you can do is make a portfolio of your projects as you progress with your career and use it as a leverage to win more projects. For a web designer, these can be the snapshots of the webpages on Behance. And for copywriters it can be samples of his past articles or a personal blog showing your niche expertise. For a programmer, it can be snippets of code and choice of algorithm with explanation no how robust is your program.
Once the project is won, you should deliver the project in such a way that you make your client your returning customer and ask for a review on the freelance website portal, which will bring you more clients in the long term. If you’re good at building relationships, your client may refer you to others too. Yes, you do get clients from Word of Mouth.
Where and How to Get Your First Gig?
There are multiple Freelance Portals where one can post their gig and land on their first client. Some of the notable ones are Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, Pepper Content, Hubstaff Talent. One can employ job portal (like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, AngelList, Stackoverflow Talent) to reach out to clients as well. Other way is to let clients approach you by posting content on Social Media like LinkedIn, related to the projects you’re interested to work on. I personally started with Fiverr, and it never let me down. Give it a Try!
One Last Tip. Actually Two.
One positive trait but can turn into a negative impression on you is if you list multiple unrelated skills on your profile, you will be seen as a jack of all trades and master of none. And the sad thing is everyone wants an expert for their job, even though the job can be done by amateurs.
And please add a headshot to your profile, without which your profile won’t look legitimate.
Let me know what’s stopping you from Freelancing by commenting below!