Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How to choose between offline and online freelancing?

Namaste Friends and Freelancers!

Hope you are having a good time during these last few days of the year. It is nice cool and comfy weather here in Bangalore as well. The best part of the year. God, I so love winters!

Today, I came across a nice question when I met a friend who is trying to launch herself into freelancing. It happened so that we were in a discussion about freelancing – very preliminary things when I mentioned about the offline and online freelancing concepts that I wrote earlier as well. Click here to check The Concepts of Freelancing.

I am sure she understood the concept very clearly. Now, she wanted to know how to choose between offline and online freelancing. Well, it is not as easy as it looks like from the outside. Offline or physical freelancing and online or digital freelancing as I call them, have different positives and negatives and one should choose based on her abilities or skillsets, desires or aspirations and feasibility. Not everyone can get online, hit the apply button and start working! Similarly, it may not be feasible for everyone to walk up to the client in her office and talk to her directly for a job. One might seem very simple than the other to you, but many are enjoying a full-time employment doing the other one! Right?

www.TheIndianFreelancer.com

To start with, I can tell you that choosing between offline and online freelancing is largely dependent on the three things we just saw:
  1. Your skillset
  2. Your aspiration of a workplace or environment
  3. Feasibility of working in that environment

Skillset:

The most important thing that decides whether you should work offline or online is your skillset. Your skillset will decide whether you CAN work offline or online. There are few skillsets that need to be showcased physically – remember the person who plucks the coconuts from your trees? In his domain, he has to work physically. He has to come to your house, climb up the tree and get those nuts down for you. His skillset is that – and it is hence, restricting him to working offline. He cannot offer such a skill to anyone online. Similarly, a plumber, a carpenter, an electrician or a gardener has to work only offline as their skillsets won’t allow them to offer those kinds of services online (Yes, they can teach their skill to others using online videos and live video sessions, but we are talking about direct service providers here). Correspondingly, a web researcher who provides web insights to his clients, has to work online as all the material he needs to search is only available online. He can go to his clients’ office only to maybe pick up his paycheck or have a cup of tea together. But the main crux of his work has to be done and delivered online.

Can you think of a few other service providers like this who have to work online because they are bound by the limitations of their skillset? Do write to me in your comments.

Hence, we can say that skillset is a major (probably number 1) attribute of a freelancer who wants to choose between offline and online freelancing.

Aspirations:

This point is more like ‘aspirations of the workplace.’ Few people, right from their childhood develop some aspirations towards their place of work and the environment that they want to work in, when they grow up. While it is very easy for few (like me) to work alone, long hours, stuck in front of the computer at some lonely corner of the dark room, few want to go out and have an office building to work in, with colleagues indulged in gossips, with coffee vending machines, extended break times and fixed time of login and logout plus the travel to and from home (like my wife). Well, I apologize for stereotyping, but all I wanted to say is that aspirations often prevent us from choosing a certain format of work. The formats of offline and online (freelancing) work are very much different from each other. We choose the format that we like based on our personal aspirations and motivation. Online freelancing can also be done in a group, sitting in office, under a common supervision – but the moment this happens, it rather becomes a corporate scenario. Don’t you think so?

Feasibility:

Now, the third attribute is feasibility. Even if you have the right skillset and the correct aspirations, it may not be always feasible to choose one of these two formats of work – offline and online. Let me give you an example.

Suppose you are an expert of Microsoft Excel and you work as a freelance consultant or analyst and help the local firms with their finances. You work offline and visit the clients’ offices to build and deliver your work. All of a sudden, if you need to help someone sitting in a distant country with a quick problem in one of his Excel Workbooks, can you work offline? NO! You probably cannot physically go to that person’s place and help him solve the minute problem that he has. It has to be done Online!

So, even if you have the right skillsets to work locally and you love going to the offices physically and work there, it may not be feasible to work offline every time. Hence, we need to do a mandatory feasibility check before we choose between offline and online freelancing projects. If we find that it is only feasible to work offline, we choose that. Simple!

Hence, if you are still contemplating whether to work locally and physically or to go online and work, you need to think about these three features. I should have titled this post as “Three Steps Check on How to Choose Between Offline and Online Freelancing!” But anyways, follow these three steps when you are in doubt and I am sure you will find an answer. I hope my friend who asked that question has got her reply as well, (after reading this post, at least?)

We will slowly move into the bigger but most common questions in freelancing, but I feel it is very important to start small and clear your smaller doubts that you have before you dig into those. Many would wonder, how to choose between offline and online freelancing at the initial stage or may be at a later stage of their freelancing career. I am sure every freelancer must have thought about this once in her life! I hope this post would be able to answer your doubts. If not, write to me. I will try to help as much as I can.

What are you going to do? Offline or Online Freelancing? 
Let me know in your comments!

Cheers!

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us. 

You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! The Channel name is The Indian Freelancer and can be accessed here: https://www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer 

Thanks a lot, 
The Indian Freelancer 
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

Monday, December 26, 2016

How to start your freelancing career?

Namaste Friends & Freelancers,

Merry Christmas! Hope you had a great time...

I'm going to share something that happened today & it will help you if you're thinking how to start your freelancing career & how to proceed with it.

In one of my groups on Facebook, I saw few people asking about the best Institute that teaches freelancing, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There were various suggestions that the local community gave - naming a few institutes. I also commented on that post with my views & eventually posted fresh post in that group. I'm sharing the post here as well. But before you start reading the post, tell me in your comments below, do you also think that anyone who wonders how to start his or her freelancing career should join a Freelancing Institute to learn what & how to do freelancing? What are your views on this? I'll surely want to know.



Now, I'll talk about these points I mention below in details, one by one, in this blog. For now, I'm sharing this here so that my readers (you) will know what I think about freelancing institutes and the necessity of enrolling in one. This might as well work as a check list for anyone who's fresh & is trying to get into the world of freelancing. This will answer questions like where to start, how to proceed & what's next? In one question, how to start your freelancing career? Hope you find it useful. 

So, here's my comment on that Facebook group, unchanged:

"Don't go to any training agency - it is absolutely not needed. Spend 6 to 12 months in learning things as below, in order. You can learn all these on YouTube or online, for free. Don't waste money on learning institutes.
1. English.
2. What you want to do in freelancing - find out - research.
3. Choose domain - Focus - learn online.
4. Learn where to work - Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr or any other place.
5. Make resume + portfolio.
6. Then start applying for job + learn how to apply for jobs.
7. Keep sharpening your axes always - don't stop learning!
"

Now, please remember that this is just a check list on how to start your freelancing career. Each of these points will be discussed in great details in the coming weeks on this blog. Do let me know which among these topics interests you most & I'll bring that up earlier than the others, even though I'm planning for a chronological series of posts, but if you've any questions or concerns on something specific, that you want immediate attention to, I'll bring that to you sooner.

Thank you for visiting & reading my blog. Let me know if this helped. I'm also in YouTube where I post on similar topics. Please spend some time in checking out that as well. If you like do not forget to Subscribe! Here's the link: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer

I'll always look forward to hear from you. Do write to me.

Wish you all a very happy new year of 2017! Hope it brings happiness & success to all of us. God Bless!
Sincerely, 

The Indian Freelancer
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Facebook Fan Page

Namaste Freelancers and Friends!

It gives me immense pleasure to let you know that our Facebook Fan Page is in place now. Though I created the page a few days ago, but only now I could add a logo and a cover photo and update the ‘about page’ and everything else. So, now it is ready for you to view. Please visit the page at: https://www.facebook.com/theindianfreelancer/

Just creating a new page on Facebook does not mean, ‘It’s done!’ No, it is not done! There are a whole lot of additional things that go into it. URL, Cover Page, Logo and then updating the ‘about page’ section – with Name, Topics, Short Description, Impressum, Long Description and a few other small things. I was short of words today (not sure how) while writing the page description and impressum. I guess because I was in designing mode, where I designed the cover page and the logo. And then suddenly switching to the content writing mode, is everything but easy. Trust me!

Well that reminds me! Before you read any further, why don’t you take a look at the page banner and the logo? Here they are:
Facebook Page Cover & YouTube Channel Art 

The Indian Freelancer Logo

Please check these and write a comment telling me how you felt about these. Only honest comments, OK? I did spend a lot of time, and I think these are fabulous; but then I would want to know what you feel about them as well. It is always good to hear from the on looker, how your creation (design, in this case) is – it gives very different perspectives to the thought process. I will look forward to hear from you.

So, like I said, after spending a lot of time designing above two, suddenly I found that I need to update the ‘about page’ section as well. This is when I felt lost! And I took a break. Whenever I feel stuck or gridlocked, I like to take a break and these breaks do work – trust me! After coming back from the break I wrote the Short Description and the Impressum for the page. You can find those on the About section of the page. Please feel free to check these minute details on the page as well and let me know, if you think something is not at the right place. I will modify it, if so. What I want you guys to read here is the Long Description I wrote and I think it deserves to be on this blog as well. 

It talks about the very basic idea behind The Indian Freelancer – the motive, the agenda and what to expect in the near future. Every Subscriber (and the new guy, who's trying to find out what this is all about) to my blog and YouTube Channel should actually read this, and I think it is just perfect. So, without much ado, here it is for you to read. Let me know how you liked it.

The Indian Freelancer - is a venture and a striving attempt to bring all the freelancers, in India or elsewhere, under one roof and provide all the information that one would need to involve in, implement and imbibe freelancing. 
It is an effort to put a process around the madness going on on the internet, as far as obtaining information about freelancing is concerned. The idea is to bring to you one stop shop for all your freelancing needs - to prepare and bring to you everything that you would want to know about freelancing and need to thrive well, while working as a freelancer. 
There would be lot of material and content with freelancing tutorials, tips and tricks that would be shared on our website and our YouTube Channel on a regular basis. Hence, you will get an update for all that is happening in our world, through this page here. Hope you like our endeavor. Your constant support, feedback and suggestions are what we seek to receive from you, in exchange! The information is anyways free :)
Do Subscribe and comment on our blogs and posts; Like, Share and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. 
Thanks a lot for participating.
Regards,
The Indian Freelancer
www.TheIndianFreelancer.com

How was it? Well, along with telling me how you liked it, also let me know if you have any specific query in mind that you want to get answer for. Feel free to comment and ask your query or you can even email me at: contact@TheIndianFreelancer.com. I will be happy to read and reply to your emails.

That’s all for today. Hope you have liked my posts this far. Here’s to a lot more!
You have a good time ahead!


Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us. You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! The Channel name is "The Indian Freelancer" and can be accessed here: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer

Thanks a lot,
The Indian Freelancer 
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The concept of Freelancing

Namaste friends and freelancers!

I am sure you all have heard the word FREELANCING by now.
It is a kind of self-employment where one works for someone else or some company on a contractual basis without a permanent commitment from either side.
One who works is called a freelancer, a self-employed contractor or a seller (as she sells her services and skills) and the one for whom the freelancer works is called a supplier, a buyer (as she buys those skills and services) or even an employer (as she hires the services). The concept is the same as of a buyer with a requirement and a seller with a solution. Wherever the buyer and the seller meet and interact (or transact), is called a marketplace. We will talk more about a marketplace later on. Let’s first talk about the concept of freelancing - and let me tell you that it is not a new one!

Let me give you an example. Think of our village homes where we have coconut or beetle-nut trees. Not every one of us is skilled enough to climb a coconut tree and pluck the coconuts when needed, though many of us can do it. Those who cannot, have no option other than to hire someone who can do the job for them. So, we go to the village market and inquire for anyone who can climb up the coconut tree and pluck them down for us. When we get a suitable person, we hire him. He does his job and we pay him – either with money or with a share of coconuts he plucks, as in most Indian villages. He gets the payment and leaves; and that ends that particular deal. When we need this service next, we will either contact the same person again (if we were very happy with his work) or look for someone else in the same (or another accessible) marketplace.



In the above transaction, we acted as a buyer and the person who did the job for us, acted as a seller or a freelancer. Yes, we had a deal – we had a problem in hand and he had a solution for us and we bought the solution from him as well - just like any other corporate or traditional occupation. But the only difference here was that this guy and we are not committed to each other. That guy is not bound to pluck coconuts only from our trees and we are also not bound to hire him the next time we want coconuts to be plucked. Yes, we will definitely hire him the next time again, if he had done an exceptional work for us, but there is no obligation.

This is exactly what freelancing is! Both the seller and the buyer is free of commitment. The seller is free to sell his services to anyone he wishes to and the buyer is also free to hire anyone he desires to get his work done.

I hope the concept is much clearer now. However, there is a basic difference between this example of freelancing and the kind of freelancing that we are going to talk about here – can you guess what it is?
Congratulations, if you have guessed it already. It shows your mind is working and let me tell you now that apart from your skills, you would need a very sharp, alert, intelligent and actively working mind to be a successful freelancer. We will definitely talk a lot about this in the near future in this blog. Do keep an eye on the future posts.
Well, if you have not guessed the difference yet, then do not worry too. I am sure you will appreciate when you read along and understand. My intentions are to make your mind get active and if you stick with me here, I am sure it will happen very soon. You will be able to imagine, conceptualize, work and deliver more than you can now! It’s a promise.
So, the basic difference between the above example and the freelancing that we are going to focus on here on this blog is that everything we will do here is going to be using the computer – in a word digital, and to a great extent, virtual as well. And the example shown here is all physical!

In the world of digital freelancing, a seller meets and interacts with the buyer virtually. Builds solutions (mostly) using a computer and provides or delivers to the buyers through a virtual marketplace. So, you can understand that the skills and services we were talking about, are all digital in nature. Knowledge of computers and computer skills are mandatory things for a digital freelancing environment – both for the buyer and the seller. Apart from these, a freelancer needs to be a business person as well.

So, what all do we need to be a successful freelancer? We will talk about this in the next post. Stay tuned.

Cheers!


Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us. 

You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! The Channel name is also "The Indian Freelancer" and can be accessed here: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer

Thanks a lot, 
The Indian Freelancer 
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Hello World!

Hello Friends,

Welcome to my Blog & Website :) 
Today is an important day for me as it is my Birthday! And today also marks the launch of this new venture - The Indian Freelancer! I am calling this a venture because it is not going to be limited only to this blog. There will be lot more to come, if everything goes well and I have your constant support and companionship. So, keep calm, hold my hand and let's go!



I have lot of plans, hopes and dreams of taking this forward. It is a way of giving back to the society and to the entire fraternity of Freelancers - here in India and all around the World. I want to share things that I have learnt in the last decade and more of my association with Freelancing and probably help you (and others) in your endeavor, as well. I will also share what I learn in everyday of my life that can be beneficial to you. We learn everyday, don't we?
Thanks for being here and spending time with me. I will be grateful if I can help you reach your goals. Your constant support and feedback is what I will seek throughout, via this venture. So, keep them coming.
Here is the link to my YouTube Channel. I will insist that you keep an eye on that as it is a special place where I can communicate/interact with you directly, share my world with you and receive your feedback and suggestions and most importantly, answer your queries. So, do visit my Channel and Support it in every possible way you can: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer

Today is Day 1 and I hope we stay together as well as learn and grow together every day from here on! I will look forward to hear from you.

Thanks a lot. May God bless us all!
Regards,
The Indian Freelancer
Let's Learn and Grow Together!