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!

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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!