Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Graphic Design using PowerPoint – how to use PowerPoint for Social Media Design

Every day I need to create graphic content for my blogs, websites, social media and a good lot for my freelancing services as well. I was always looking to find an easier and faster alternative to Photoshop or Illustrator (Adobe products). That is when I first discovered graphic design using PowerPoint.

I say “discover” because it was always there, but I never saw it properly. And now that I see, I can feel the immense power hidden in that software. It can ‘really’ give a new dimension to the graphic designing that you do on a regular basis. And if you a beginner, then this tool can give you much more than basic support.

If graphic design interests you and you feel eager to know how you can create quick graphic content using PowerPoint for your social media and other usages, please read on. This article is just for you.

PowerPoint for presentations

To tell the truth, we do not look at PowerPoint as a graphic designing tool. We use PowerPoint only for presentations. Using transitions and animations on texts and images are all that we do on PowerPoint. Those who can do these effectively are satisfied and consider themselves masters – which is not totally wrong, though.

Microsoft PowerPoint is made to create presentations, and if you can create awesome presentations using that tool, you are awesome, no doubt.

But there is a whole lot of designing that we can do in PowerPoint, which even the masters should not overlook.

After I started a graphic design using PowerPoint, my life has become much easier than earlier. Not only I could create awesome designs with less designing knowledge, but also, I could create them quickly. PowerPoint made my designs cost-effective and enhanced my productivity.

Comparison between PowerPoint and Photoshop

Well, these two are different kinds of software and we cannot compare them on the same page. PowerPoint and Photoshop are distinctively dissimilar from each other in usage and concept. It will be very foolish to compare the two software.

Photoshop can create awesome graphics and do advanced photo manipulation, which you cannot even think of doing on PowerPoint.

Having said so, PowerPoint can do a lot too. If you know the various features and how to use them properly, PowerPoint can create awesome graphics content in quick time, with sufficient accuracy and awesomeness to attract, affect and mesmerize your audience.

PowerPoint for Social Media

Graphic design using PowerPoint is much effective when you use it for your social media. So, how to use PowerPoint for Social Media Designs?

Social media does not need very high-resolution graphics. Social media does not need a lot of image manipulation. Social media does not need you to “create” a lot of graphic elements too. You can “take” existing images and manipulate them a little to create memes and posts on social media.

PowerPoint lets you do most of that and in a much effective way. You can create memes and graffiti much quickly on PowerPoint, if you compare with any other software, provided you know how to use the various features of the tool.

Now, do not get confused by the statement where I said you do not need to create a lot of graphic elements for your social media. At times you need to create a few elements and bring them together on your design to create the masterpiece for your social media pages. PowerPoint can create a hell lot of these elements too. You will be amazed!

What all can PowerPoint create?

You can design a plethora of various graphic content using PowerPoint. PowerPoint can create Logos, banners, flyers, brochures, visiting cards, printable posters, calendars and all other similar kinds of printable content. You can even design book covers and interiors using PowerPoint.

If you are looking for social media content, you can create cover images, banners, ads, profile images, memes and graffiti of various kinds on PowerPoint. You can also create entire eBooks using PowerPoint.

If you take a look around my blog, I used PowerPoint for most of the graphic content that you see. PowerPoint created almost all of what I post on my Facebook Page or other social media pages. I also have gigs on Fiverr where I create deliverables on PowerPoint.

For me and my freelancing career, PowerPoint has contributed a lot. I cannot thank enough.

How to learn Graphic Design using PowerPoint?

So, what did I do to give back? I created a course, and it is live on Udemy for last few months.
The name of the course? Yeah, you guessed it!




This course is intended to talk about the various amazing things that you can do on PowerPoint as far as graphics designing is concerned. I have put in a lot of efforts in creating this course because I believe that just by using PowerPoint properly, one can create a regular source of earning online.

You can create a lot of various gigs on Fiverr or other freelancing marketplaces purely based on PowerPoint. From graphic designing to PowerPoint presentations to animations and even intro or promo videos on PowerPoint – all these are awesome options that you can avail to create gigs.

You can sell these services online and earn money on a regular basis. However, for that, you must learn graphic design using PowerPoint. My course on Udemy provides you an awesome platform to get started.

Please check the course description and go through the various free preview videos to know more about the course and if you like the content, please feel free to enroll to the course.

And yes, for you, my reader here, I have a SPECIAL COUPON which will reduce the course fee to $10. Yes, you can get the entire course on Udemy for just $10 if you use my free coupon. That is only for my readers here on my blog.

When you are on the course page, please use the coupon TIF.GDP.SUPER10 to enroll or simply click here. You will be able to take the $160 course for $10. That is a gift and a promotion that I am running for my readers. You are also free to enroll without using this coupon if you click here.

Take the course. I keep adding new lectures and hands-on tutorials now and then.

Conclusion

I hope you are now clear why I was promoting PowerPoint so much. It can kick-start your freelancing career. If you have already started, or you are doing something else where you need to create graphics content on a daily basis, PowerPoint is going to be your best friend.

Here in this article, it is not possible to show any hands-on demonstration of all that PowerPoint can do. I would suggest you head out to my YouTube channel and check a few videos that I have there specifically on graphic design using PowerPoint. Those will surely help.

You can also check the preview videos of my course, which are again, mostly available on my YouTube channel. Feel free to check whichever you like. And then, if you want to learn more, enroll to the course. I will make some money if you do.

That’s all I have in this article. I hope you liked the content. Do let me know in your comments. Also, please feel free to ask if you have any questions regarding graphic design using PowerPoint. I will try my best to answer your queries.

Thanks for reading this article. I will be back with another one next week. Have a great one!


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, December 04, 2018

Amazon Influencer Program – what you should know and my Exclusive Store

Amazon started its Influencer Program a while ago, and last week, I registered for it. I have created a store (Buddhir Dhenkir Dokan) where I have listed products which I feel will be excellent for my audience, friends, and family. It would be best if you had a Social Media page with a huge following to qualify for Amazon Influencer Program and create such a store of your own. 

In this article, I am going to talk about all that you should know about Amazon Influencer Program – how to qualify, how to get started, etc. I will also take you to my store for a walk through and tell a few things that I like about this program. If this sounds interesting and you want to know about this, then please read on.


What is Amazon Influencer Program?

Amazon Influencer Program selects influencers and allows the participant to promote various products of their choice on their Social Media pages. 

Now, who are these influencers? Influencers are regular users of social media who have a big following on any of their social media pages – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. These are the people whom people subscribe to or follow on these social media platforms. These people are called influencers because they can influence the buying decisions of their followers or subscribers.

Amazon provides the participants with their vanity URL, with the same name as their qualifying social media page, where they can recommend products available on Amazon. In this way, these influencers promote Amazon’s products to their followers. In return, Amazon would pay some commission to these influencers.

The commission paid is similar to that in the Amazon Associates Program, which is nothing but Amazon’s affiliate program. However, the advantage to the participant here is that now, with the custom vanity URL, he or she can send the followers to one single page on the internet where all the recommended products are listed.

I feel this will also bring along credibility to the participant or the influencer. Followers, fans, and subscribers would know that this program is not available to everyone. Hence, whoever can qualify for it would be someone who has that knowledge or followership on social media.

How does the Amazon Influencer Program work?

This part is straightforward. For the participant, there are only two steps. First, add products you care about and recommend to your Idea Lists – or sections on your store. Second, share that store, or that exclusive vanity URL with your subscribers or followers and promote.

When someone buys from your store, you get paid similar to that of Amazon’s affiliate program. Now, you will have one particular link to send all your traffic to and generate affiliate income!

How is this different from Amazon Associates?

Now, this is a good question if you are asking. There are a couple of visible differences between the Amazon Influencer Program and Amazon Associates Program

In this new one, you get an exclusive vanity URL for your store where you list your products. You do not have to use Hyperlinks to send your subscribers to your products.

Secondly, this would be your 'own page' on Amazon. As if you have opened a new shop in the marketplace or shopping mall, called Amazon.

Still, you are not selling products directly, as in drop-shipping but you are only redirecting your traffic to the actual sellers on Amazon.

The influencer program gives the participant exclusivity, and I guess that is the most significant difference.

Who qualifies for this Amazon Influencer Program?

It is open to everyone who has a good following online, to tell an orange and orange. Presently, Amazon is looking for your followership or subscriber count on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. There is no particular number as such – at least I did not find any – but I guess it is based purely on the kind of content that you create and relevancy of that content with products available on Amazon.

If you have a Social Media page with a good number of followers, you may try applying for it (CLICK HERE) and check if you are eligible. I guess this is the only way to find out.

Select the account which has the most substantial following while applying. You will need to login to that account to provide authentication. If you choose your Twitter or your YouTube channel, then you can get approval instantaneously, in real-time. However, if you are applying through your Facebook or Instagram accounts, it might take up to 5 days for approval.

This process is the current system, but as things evolve, even this system may change shortly. So, if you try and find that you do not qualify, don’t worry too. Keep an eye on the program page and look for the latest updates.

How do I get started with Amazon Influencer Program?

It all depends on the eligibility as of now. Once you qualify, you will get a vanity URL which will look like Amazon.in/shop/YourHandle. I have used my YouTube channel, and hence, I got my channel name on it like that. It can be your profile name too if you choose a different social media page.

How to create your Store?

Once you are logged in to your account after qualification, you will have to update your information and create a new ad channel handle with Amazon, if you do not already have an Associates handle. You can choose existing or create a new. 

After that, you will get a simple page, where you will have to create or edit your storefront. At the storefront, you will update your store name or Page Title and Page Tagline, which shows below the title on your store on Amazon. 

You may want to add a store profile image and a cover image. The later is not mandatory. Image upload guidelines for Amazon Influencer Program tell that the profile image must meet the following guidelines:
  • Minimum width:105px
  • Supported file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, or .bmp
  • Maximum file size: 5mb
  • Greater than 72dpi

Once you are in your store, you can click on “Create an Idea List.” Here is where you create lists of products that you want to recommend or promote. These lists are groups of products. 

You can enter a List Name and an optional List Description in the next window. There is a limit of 140 characters for the List Name and 600 characters for the List Description. I will tell you what I did here. I have written an excellent and lengthy description of all my lists. I am not sure now, but it may help with SEO later on, as it develops. Also, my list names are all “call to action” names, like “Buy a Self-Help book.”

Now, hit the Create button to create the blank list. It will be empty because there are no products added to the list as of now. You will add the products or the items next.

Either you can write the name of the specific product that you want to add in the search bar and hit enter or click on search, or search for a category and add products from that category.

To add from the list that pops up, click on the plus (+) sign on the top left corner of the product that you like. Try different keywords in the search bar to find various types of the same product. Once you have added sufficient product for the list, you can close the list using the cross on the top and done! Repeat this process if you want to add more items. 

Also, you can delete items from the list by clicking on the cross on the top left of each item listing. Additionally, you may write something about each item by clicking on the comment option on the top right corner. Add a comment about a specific item, if you want to mention something specific.

This process is pretty much the system that I have seen, learned and followed as of now. You can repeat the same method to create multiple Idea Lists, as I have already done on my store.

If you want to delete an Idea List, you need to click open it and edit the description by clicking on the pencil. Then, in the next pop up you will see the option of deleting the list at the bottom. Confirm the query to delete the list.

Where to go to know more about Amazon Influencer Program?

Well, if you have questions left, you can ask me in your comments. I will try to answer them as much as I can. Still, if you want to know more about the program, you can visit their Frequently Asked Questions page and check out the detailed answers that they have provided. For even more queries, probably you can reach out to Amazon’s customer support.

My Store

Here is my store on Amazon which has all the products that I use, like and would recommend. Please take a look at Buddhir Dhenkir Dokan.


That is all I had to talk about Amazon Influencer Program. I have told everything that I know about the program. I will share more about it in the future, as and when the program evolves. As of now, please understand that this is an extension of the Amazon Associates Program, with the difference that you are awarded exclusivity through your 'own page' or store on Amazon. 

I loved this concept. What are your thoughts on this? Please do let me know in your comments. Also, do you think this should be open to everyone and not only the influencers? Do tell me about that as well. I will be pleased to read your comments.


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, November 27, 2018

What to know before starting your YouTube Channel – basic concepts

Getting started with YouTube needs you to be smart, sensible and disciplined. Well, anything in the world which you want to succeed in needs these three virtues. Let's talk about some basic concepts before starting your YouTube Channel.

In this article, I am going to talk about a few other things that you need to do to succeed on YouTube. If you are looking to learn what to know before starting your YouTube Channel, this article is for you. Keep reading.

Many friends keep asking me how to start a YouTube channel. Some have started, produced a few videos but did not see any traction and stopped. A few of them want to start again. This post is specifically for them, who are looking to start or restart their YouTube journey.



I have written an article earlier on how to consider YouTube as a business, and I am sure it will be beneficial too. Please click here to check those if you have not read them already.

In this article today, I am going to talk about the two basic requirements or rather expectations, that you must fulfill to grow on YouTube and remain there on top. 
  • Quality 
  • Consistency

Apart from that, there are a few things you need to focus on while publishing your videos. We are going to talk about those as well, in brief. These are
  • Title
  • Description
  • Tags 
  • Thumbnail

First things first; let’s talk about the basics.

Quality of your videos


There are no two thoughts on the quality of your videos. You must produce the highest quality videos. Viewers do not like low-quality videos and will dismiss them straight away.

There are many channels on YouTube which create content similar to yours. Your content may be a little better than those videos which are already there, but your presentation must match theirs or even exceed if you want to make your mark on the viewer’s mind.

When a viewer is watching a video on YouTube, he is giving up his valuable time. He deserves to watch the very best so that he can justify the time he spends on YouTube too. If he does not get a high-quality video, the viewer has every right to reject your product and move on to another. Moreover, trust me, he will have many options.

When I started my Bengali Puzzle channel – Buddhir Dhenki – there were no such logical or significant channels on YouTube on the same niche. My channel grew and even inspired other YouTube channels to start (which eventually have a much bigger following than me now). However, today, when there are many options for the viewer, we all know that we must bring in our A game to succeed on YouTube.

You already know what you need for your videos, don’t you? If you are creating talking head videos, you would need a great camera, good lighting, nice background, and high standard audio. These are basics of shooting your video.

Once you have shot the video and it is time to edit them, you must obtain a great tool (video editing software), learn how to use it and give your videos awesome looks.

All these when applied together, will help you in creating awesome videos. I am telling you some basic concepts before starting your YouTube Channel. It would be nice if you can focus on these.

Many people are doing screencast videos, where they record the screen of their computer and do a voice over. In such a scenario, you need a good screen recording software and a microphone.

Arrange these things and make some practice videos – a lot of them – and you will be able to improve your techniques of arranging, shooting and editing post-production. 

Quality of your videos needs to be top notch!

Now, not everyone can get an expensive camera or a set of studio lights or costly editing software or even a high-end computer. I understand this, and I agree that you should not spend too much while you are starting the journey.

However, you must be knowing your limitations. You would know how much you can afford to spend. Spend that much and bring up the quality. Improve your videos as much as you can.

If you are not able to get a DSLR Camera, you can use your phone camera for shooting, and this is what I do.

If you are not able to arrange proper studio lights, shoot during the day (or the golden hours, if possible), and this is what I do too.

For my own YouTube videos, I have spent on two microphones (Blue Snowball ICE and Boya BY-LM10 Lavalier mic) and the editing software. I use Camtasia. I also use a few other software, and I will talk about those in a future post.

So, what is the bottom line? The bottom line is that you must try to produce high-quality videos for your YouTube channel. Put in as much as you can. Consider YouTube as a business where you need to put in your money, time and effort. It will be very wise to do that!

The consistency of producing videos


A myth buster! Producing consistent YouTube videos does not mean you need to publish one video every day. It merely says that you need to create a schedule for your videos, inform your audience about that and stick to the plan.

If you choose to publish 3 or 4 or even a single video every week, notify your audience about it on your social media or on your channel itself, and stick to that plan!

Sticking to the plan that you have set for yourself is the best way to be consistent.

Remember, it is not only you for whom you are setting up this schedule. It is for your audience as well.

Correlation with Television
In India, many people spend the lion's share of their time watching daily soaps on television. Whereas in the US, many people have switched from TV to Netflix and YouTube. 

That is not what I want to talk about in this article. I was hoping you could focus on the timing and scheduling of these daily soaps on television. 

Everyone who watch these serials, finish up their work and get themselves ready for the episode scheduled at a fixed time during the day or the evening. They know by heart of the exact time of when that particular channel will telecast the next episode and are sure that it is going to happen without a miss; which is why they prepare themselves and often arrange their chores so that they remain free during that time.

You also have a channel on YouTube, and you also publish your videos or episodes. Why not release the videos at a predetermined day and time? Doing so will make your audience wait for your video, and even they will prepare themselves and keep themselves ready so that they can watch your video the moment you publish it.

Even YouTube is stressing on the point where they want the viewer to watch your videos instantaneously. The two new features of Bell Notification (which is relatively new) and YouTube Video Premiere (which is brand new) point towards stressing on this fact.

Importance of the first two days
The first 48 hours are most important for your video. The popularity and reach that your video receives on the first two days will determine how it is going to do in the future too.

Focus your promotion for your videos on these first two days, as much as you can. The more people your video can reach in the first 48 hours, the better.

YouTube is trying to help the creators with these new features so that they get the bulk of the traffic as soon as the video is published and for the next 48 hours.

When YouTube’s algorithm sees that your videos are consistently getting the push during this time, it will further push your videos up in the list and bring more views and hits. Your channel will grow with leaps and bounces, doing this.

Best Practice Check List while Publishing video


By now, you know how producing high-quality videos and consistently publishing them will help you grow. I cannot end this article without sharing a few best practices that you must do while you release your videos. Though I will talk about these best practices in very brief, this will serve as a checklist while you upload and publish your video to YouTube.

You must do keyword research before finding the topic of your video and choose the keyword that you would want your entire production to revolve around. We are going to use this keyword within the video content and also while updating the YouTube metadata before publishing.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, after Google. Moreover, these searches take place using keywords. It would be best if you made your metadata, the hidden information about your video, friendly to YouTube’s search engine by using the correct keywords in the right places.

The YouTube metadata consists of the title of your video, description and the tags that you use. Each of these is so important that I can write a dedicated post on every segment mentioned below. In this post, I will keep everything short. Let’s look into these segments, one by one.

Title
The title is probably the most critical part of the metadata associated with your video. More often than not, your video gets a hit because someone is searching on YouTube with the title of your video. Ensure that you have the keyword is there in your YouTube video title.

It is only 100 characters long. So, it would help if you were very wise in writing the title of your video.

Description
The description of the video is where you talk more about the video. It is a good idea to write 150-200 words for each of your videos in the description, talking about what the content is all about. Ensure that you have used the title at the start of the description and the keyword(s) at various places in the description. 

You may also add links to your social media pages in the description.

A few people also add affiliate links, but it is a good idea to check with your affiliate provider if they allow you to link to your YouTube videos before you add links.

Tags
Tags, though are significant for your video to surface on YouTube’s search results, these are to be used very wisely. You are bound to write the keywords in there, but also ensure that you write tags that are related to your channel in general and your motives with YouTube. 

There are various types of tags that you can add, apart from the keywords or the title. You can add words that mean similar, words that sound similar, and misspelled keywords to your tags.

We will do a separate post talking only about the YouTube metadata in the coming days as I can see that it will prove to be of great value to you, the reader.

Thumbnail
One of the most important things about your YouTube video is your video thumbnail. It is that image that appears on the side when you are watching a video on YouTube. 

Most of the clicks that your video gets are based on the thumbnail. Even though it is not part of the YouTube metadata, it is something you cannot ignore at all.

Ensure that you create or design awesome clickable thumbnails for your videos and don’t just upload anything that you wish to!

If you need professional help, you can even Hire Professional Freelancers who can create awesome clickable thumbnails for your YouTube videos. Hiring a professional to design your thumbnails will be an excellent investment to the channel.

With this, we have come to the end of this article. These are a few basics that you need to keep in mind if you want to start your YouTube channel. If you can follow these in mind while you get started or get back to your YouTube career, you will be ready to grow on YouTube. I hope you understood and will remember these basic concepts before starting your YouTube Channel.

In future articles, I will try to focus more on various aspects of YouTube one by one. Do let me know in your comments if you have any specific question regarding this. I can even take it up on a video on my YouTube channel or also write a note on my Facebook Page if needed.

The following video was streamed live on YouTube, yesterday where I talked about the same topic. Though I have added quite a bit in this article, still I am sure you will love watching the video too. 

Check it out!




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!

Friday, November 23, 2018

How to Succeed as a Freelancer in 2019? Execution & Consistency

Every time when I meet someone who is thinking about or getting started with freelancing, I get to hear this one question, which is very prominent. How to succeed as a freelancer? Do you have this question in mind too? If yes, this post is precisely for you. Keep reading.

I am going to divide this entire post into smaller segments where you will learn the following:
  • What is success?
  • What is success in freelancing?
  • What are the two main aspects of being successful as a freelancer?
  • Consistency
  • Execution
  • How can you execute plans consistently?


Let’s get started and look into each of these in an order which will help you in understanding the concept better and assist you in bringing clarity of thoughts. At least, you will be able to plan a path for yourself because you would know how to succeed as a freelancer, by the end of this article.


What is success?

Success is generally a state of mind, I would say, which tells you whether you are satisfied with your goals and achievements. When someone sets some goal for himself, he consistently strives to achieve that goal. And thus, he perceives success as he reaches that goal and achieves it.

Broadly, when we achieve our goals, we call ourselves successful. Goals are integrated with success.

Now, in many cases, these goals are not set by the individual himself. These are set by others – parents, teachers, peers, relatives, spouse, kids, offices and authorities and even movies and television shows are famous for setting up goals. Most of us want to be like someone else – an influencer, maybe and tries to achieve what that person has achieved in life. They want to copy and run behind some goal which is not particularly their own – it is just perceived like that – and more often than not, it is a goal of someone else who has an influence in that person's life.

I have talked a lot about goal setting in my POWER Freelancing Course. I am sure that all my students who have taken up that course know already that a goal needs to be set by yourself. You are the only one who can set your own goals, target them and strive to achieve them too.

When you achieve a goal set by you for yourself, you get the feeling of success. When you run behind someone else’s goal, you tend to remain unsatisfied even after achieving that because by the time you have achieved that initial goal, that someone who set it up for you, would have changed it to another level or something completely different. Achieving someone else’s goal is NOT SUCCESS!

What is success in freelancing?

Success in freelancing is no different from success in any other field. However, more often than not, the goals in freelancing are set by the freelancer himself. That is a huge difference though, and I love it!

Different freelancers set different kinds of goals. While some strive for a target revenue that they can earn from active sources of income over a period of time, some freelancers set a specific level of consistent passive income revenue as their goal.

When they achieve these goals, they feel successful. And the best thing about freelancers is that they can then raise the bar and level up their goal and set a higher aim and strive towards achieving it – everything controlled and dictated by the self.

Success in freelancing is to achieve the freelancing goals you have set for yourself as a freelancer. This is how to succeed as a freelancer.

What are the two main aspects of being successful as a freelancer?

We all know that just setting up the goals did not make anyone successful, did that? Success only comes to those who consistently work towards achieving the goals that they have set for themselves.

Planning a goal is one thing and putting in the right efforts in executing the plan is another. That who can do both will succeed for sure. It will be just a matter of time before he knocks off the peaks of success.

Once after you have set your goals, you will have a journey towards achieving it. The two main aspects of that journey are consistency and execution. Only when you put in the right efforts consistently so as to execute your plan (or a series of plans) that can help you to reach your goals, you will be able to achieve them.

Consistent execution of plans is how to succeed as a freelancer.

There are a lot of other virtues which one may argue to have a lot of impact on being successful. I do not say no to any of those, but if you look at the big picture, you will see that every other virtue converges or boils down to these two. If you are not executing your plans consistently, you will not succeed.

Consistency

What is consistency and how to be consistent?

If you want to be a YouTube sensation, you need to upload quality videos frequently as well as after a fixed and predefined interval of time. If you miss, you may lose a few subscribers because they would be expecting a video from you at a fixed time. Not getting that a few times may offend them.

Publishing a video on your YouTube channel regularly at a fixed time and day is very important. It lets you develop a habit in your subscribers to watch your videos. Some will even schedule their work to make time for you when you publish regularly at a specific time. This is called consistency. Constantly doing what you do is consistency.

Consistency can be in action as well as in thoughts. I always tell everyone that you need to think about what you want to become. Consistent thinking about your future self, accelerates your journey towards achieving what you intend to.

When you have planned your way towards your goal, be consistent. Do something about it every single day. Get closer to your goal inch by inch. Putting in some effort in reaching your goals every day is the best example of being consistent.

I just gave an example of a YouTuber. Consistency is a true necessity for anyone working in any field. If you are a blogger and that is how you want to be recognized as, you must keep writing and publishing your articles consistently. You choose how frequently you want to post – daily, weekly, monthly – and do that consistently; do that regularly. That is the key!

Execution

When you are consistent, more often than not, execution will take care of itself. You will be able to execute your plan and move towards fulfilling your aims and goals.

It is often found that people wake up early in the morning, with a clear vision of what needs to be done, opens the computer and sits there for hours actually DOING NOTHING!

That is where execution is hit. That is where aims remain unaccomplished and success is not achieved.

The whole purpose behind walking up early in the morning is to do what you are supposed to do, and not wasting time just by pretending to be busy. If you are doing that personally, it is time to STOP and get back on track of consistent execution.

At times we take too much on our plate and the plan looks overwhelming. This is a very common scenario when execution fails, even though we try to put consistency in what we do and remain engaged.

So far whatever we have talked about, I am sure we have understood that we need consistency and execution in whatever we do to succeed as a freelancer. Let’s find out now how to execute plans consistently.

How can you execute plans consistently?

This is where it gets trickier. Even when we are consistent, we fail to execute a lot of things in life and in business too. Don’t we?

The answer to this situation here is hidden in the question itself.

We fail to execute a lot of things when we have A LOT OF THINGS to execute or to accomplish.

We do not need to fill up our plate with whatever we get and then struggle to gobble them up. It is not a big fat wedding lunch party! There is no need to take everything on offer. Take a look at the entire buffet, plan what you intend to eat and then take only that much that you can eat and remain happy and healthy even after eating.

Plan a path for yourself. Design it for yourself. Break your plan into smaller parts and set milestones which you can achieve in a certain period. Then, work consistently in executing the smaller part-plans and achieve those small milestones.

After a certain time, when you add up your small achievements, you will see that you have actually achieved quite a lot. Often, this practice of achieving smaller milestones makes us ready to take up bigger assignments over a longer period of time. This is precisely how to succeed as a freelancer or as whatever work profile you have.

Achieving smaller milestones not only bring you closer to your ultimate aim but also boosts you with confidence that you can actually do it.

Set SMART Goals, where your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rational and Time-bound. I have talked a lot about goal setting and SMART Goals in my POWER Freelancing course, which deals mainly with Time Management and Productivity

If you have not taken up the course yet, please visit the course page and check the course curriculum and the FREE preview lectures. Only after that if you like the course, please take it up. You can click on the links in this article or use my coupon (POWER10) to get a 90% Discount. This course is specially designed for freelancers, though I am sure it will help everyone who is seeking to explore more about time management and productivity.

This was all about consistency and execution, the two main aspects that you must follow if you want to know how to succeed as a freelancer. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions regarding what you have just read. I will be more than happy to answer all your queries.

I am gearing up for the new year. Are you too? Do let me know in your comments on how you are preparing yourself and your business for 2019.

Until next time, keep hustling, and enjoying whatever you love to do. Let’s learn and grow together.


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!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Top 5 benefits of learning a foreign language

Hello friends,

Here I am back with another post where I will talk about the advantages of learning a new language, specifically a foreign one. I will also talk about how you can learn and where to go from here. This is going to be informative. Please keep reading…

Firstly, let me give you a backdrop – why did I think of this topic and what made me write about it.

As most of you already know from the posts on my blog and the videos on my YouTube Channel, I have recently shifted base to Dharamshala, in Himachal Pradesh.

Dharamshala is a nice place to stay with the mountains all around you and presently it is getting a lot of rains too. So, you can see a lot of clouds all over the place.

When we went to places like McLeodganj and Dharamkot, which are not very far from Dharamshala, we saw that these places are full of people coming from different places. We have met people from Russia, America, Germany, Italy, and Australia and I am sure there are people from other countries as well.

Everyone talks in English here and most of them have learned English as their second language. Few learned only before coming to India.

So, I was thinking that if I have to go to different countries around the world, I must learn a few languages which are local to those places. It would make my life a lot easier on foreign strands.

That is when I installed an app, about which I will talk later in the post. I am on the app for a few days now and I am trying to learn Spanish through it. It is already exciting!



I am sure you will have your own reasons for learning a foreign language too. If not, the following discussion will surely help you.

Let’s now read about the top 5 benefits of learning a foreign language.

1. Essential while traveling

As I gave my example earlier, if you learn a new language, it will help you when you travel to a foreign country.

In many countries, English is not their first language. Most of the things are done in their own language and they do not need to talk in English. Hence, the regular shopkeepers and hoteliers may not be able to communicate in English or even if they do, it will not be the best.

But if you know their local language, you will have a smooth stay there and will never face such difficulties and you will be received with a smile, more often than not.

Now, I know that it is not possible to learn the local language of every country that you go to, but it is very much possible to learn a common language that is spoken in a particular region. Like, if you are going to South America, you can learn Portuguese or probably Latin as well. If you are going to Europe, you may probably choose Spanish or French or German. That can help too.

Learning a foreign language has other benefits too, apart from making your life easier when you travel. Let’s look into a few more.

2. Open up to new people and cultures

Learning a foreign language will definitely help you widen your horizon.

When you learn a new language, for example, the Spanish language, you will try to make friends with Spanish people and probably join Spanish groups on social media and participate in ongoing discussions.

This will instantly give you a bunch of new friends and a gateway to a new culture altogether. You will be doing everything in a whole new different way and that will enhance your networking skills too.

When you join these groups and talk in their language, you will be accepted more readily and you can easily get along with the people and their culture.

3. Essential in this global world

In this era of globalization, you often need to meet people from different regions of the world, with different cultural features and different languages.

It becomes almost essential that you know their language to quickly bridge the gap between two strangers. People using the same language to converse will become friends much faster and much more easily.

If you are from India and your mother tongue is Bengali, or Hindi, or Marathi etc. and you are talking with someone from Europe in English, you must understand that both of you are actually speaking in a language which is a little alien to you.

Just think what will change between the two of you if that fellow starts talking in your language or you start talking in his. It will be no less than a miracle and a joyous moment for both of you! You will stay friends for a longer time.

With globalization and increasing implementation of the concept, such situations will occur more often in your life and hence, learning a foreign language becomes almost essential these days.

4. Boost your career

Even if I do not say this, you probably already know that the knowledge of a foreign can boost your career quite a bit.

In corporate scenarios, we often see the need of someone who can talk to various clients in their own languages. This is when the offices hire language experts.

If you are good with your skills at work and you are looking for an acceleration in the near future, one of the best things to do is to learn a new foreign language. Language experts along with technical expertise are rare in the market and are always in demand.

Learning a foreign language will also offer you a wider range of career options to choose from. If you know a foreign language, you can even think of going abroad and settling down in that foreign country.

Like in Germany, if you want to work in local offices, you must know German. Many Indians applying for permanent residence in Germany learn the language by attending special language classes.

This situation is also the same in some other countries like the Netherlands, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark etc. You get that extra love when you talk in their language when you are there.

Companies these days are in constant search of language experts whom they can send to onsite locations, who can help them with the local knowledge transfer and training sessions.

Trust me, being a foreign language expert is one of the highly paid and most lucrative roles too, in Indian job scenario. I am sure it is almost the same in other countries as well.

5. Become smarter, cleverer and more creative

It is a fact that you become smarter when you can handle multiple languages together. This has been also proven by various scientific studies done around the world.

Learning a foreign language boosts your brain power. It can work better and faster than earlier and you become distinctively smarter.

A few recent types of research have shown that a bilingual person can defer the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia by years – by up to 41/2 years on an average more than a monolingual person. So, you stay smarter for a long time too.

It also boosts your creativity and makes you a more creative person. With the enhanced performance of the brain, your creative juices flow more easily and align your senses to create masterpieces.

Knowing and interacting in two or more languages also improves memory drastically. When your memory is improved, you remember more things in a short time and can recall them at the right instances. You will sound much cleverer to your friends and family.

Learning a new language especially, a foreign language enhances your ability to multi-task; hence, you can become an office hero in no time too. Manager’s pride – teammates’ envy!

Studies have proved that learning new languages also enhances the power of decision making. This is one thing which is equally important in a job or a business – wherever you are.

And in the process, your first language also improves. Your brain starts opening up and compares the nuances of the two languages constantly and you discover and rectify the tinier missing information about your first language as well.

Learning a foreign language has also affected the school students, studies tell us. It improves the performance of the students in other academic areas too.

So, if you can, try to learn a new language from as early a stage in life as possible. You or your kids will never regret that decision.

And once you learn one, you can pick up others much easier. If you make it a habit to learn new languages, you will soon have a bunch of foreign languages listed on your CV or portfolio before you could even know.

Cheat sheet

Well, I think that there is no serious study possible without a cheat sheet. Just joking!

But I really want to talk about a few things here, especially for those who are thinking that there is enough time and they can probably start learning tomorrow, or the day after or the month after or even next year. This is for you.

If you are an Indian, you probably already know a couple of languages, apart from English. I know you know English because otherwise, you would not have been reading so far – so, let’s not count that here.

For us, who grew up learning Hindi, a local dialect of a regional language, that regional language itself (Bengali, in my case) and probably English and in some cases, the mother tongue as well are already levelled up, when compared to those from the Europe or Africa or other countries, where people learn only one or two languages at max, including English.

Isn’t it? Yes!

So, we have a better chance to be successful at learning a foreign language. I have already discussed the benefits that this exercise will bring to us. If you agree with what I have written, even partially, then you should start right away!

That is for the cheats that you can keep in mind and feel inspired.

Now, “how to do that” would be your next question. Let’s talk about this.

How to learn a foreign language?

Well, the most common way is to hire a foreign language expert and learn the language from him or her.

Invariably, you can also join language classes. I am sure that such classes exist in various cities in India and if you are not staying in a far-off place where the ghosts are afraid to trade, you should be able to find one out for yourself.

Check Link to the App Review Video below
With the advance of technology and the advent of it on our fingertips, there is another easy way to learn any new language. That is using mobile applications.

We use mobile apps for almost everything these days. Let’s use them to learn a foreign language as well. FluentU and Duolingo are two such apps which will help you in learning a foreign language from the comfort of your home, with just a few taps on your mobile device. Watch my video with the review of the app Duolingo.

However, one big drawback that I can see of using the mobile apps is that there is no classroom or human interaction here. These are completely automated apps which are very well equipped to get you started. Thereafter, you can put in your own efforts to learn the language in a better way.

If you are not very self-motivated and have postponed the plan of joining a gym or yoga class or starting morning-walk, then I would suggest that you look for a real-life and experienced teacher who can teach you the language well. He will keep you motivated with assignments, tests and regular lessons.

So, this is all that I have for this post where we have seen the top 5 benefits of learning a foreign language.

I hope you like this post. If you did, do subscribe to this blog and write a comment to let me know. Let’s connect and learn more.


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: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer.

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

Thursday, July 26, 2018

How to Get Started with an Online Business – the Mindset

Buddha says that you become what you think. It is all about the mindset. Getting started with anything that you want to do, has got a lot to do with your mindset. How do you think? What do you think? And that will actually define how easily you will get started. In fact, in more than one instances, I have seen myself that the whole journey of an online businessman will actually be guided by this first step – creating a valuable mindset.

Today I am going to share with you all a message that I sent to one of my clients. After a few interactions with him on what he wants and what not, I realized that he was still not very clear about what he wants from the business. Also, he was a little reluctant to invest. I was happy that he already thought of doing a business, but I needed to put clarity in his mind about what he wants. That is very important for him for obvious reasons; but it is equally important for me as a freelance consultant to have clarity, because without that I will not be able to form a solid plan of action.

So, in my message to him, I tried to invoke that urge in him to get things clarified in his mind first. And then, probably we could start working together. It wanted to tell him that you become what you think, though in a way of my own.

Click on the image to visit DLC and Instantly Download the Poster

I am sharing this message with you all so that you can understand the importance of this conversation. Also, I wanted to show with live examples of how you can talk to or interact with your clients and win their trust and confidence. Both parties need to trust each other and have confidence in each other to make it a favorable long-term professional relationship in business.

Money is a factor too. And both the buyer and the seller should understand that. A buyer only gets the value-added service from the seller when he adds the value to the seller’s wallet himself. It is a two-way process and both parties need to be happy in the transaction as well.

Well then, without any further ado, let me take you straight to my message that I sent. I have changed the original name of the client and a few things here and there to make you understand the context and also provide sufficient security for my client’s personal information. The context does not change at all, and you can easily get exactly what I meant to tell him. Here you go…



Dear David,

I guess you are still in the very nascent stage of setting up your business and you are also not very clear about how to go about it. I have worked closely with many startups and I know how things work, how to plan the start and initiate things and then, how to produce a sustainable online business.

I can help if you are really willing to put in your time and efforts in doing so.

A decent professional logo that is going to stay with you for a long time and will be the face of your business on the internet would be much more than $$ as you have thought of.

In my gig (Click here for the Fiverr gig), I have mentioned that I can ADD your LOGO on the Social Media images for $$, not design a logo. Logo design is not a one-hour job, unless you are OK with whatever I make, without any proper market research, branding, positioning and targeting (You must do all of these before you can even think of creating a logo for your new business, as a rule of thumb).

David, there is a lot of things involved in starting a business. However, you need to be utterly sure of what you are looking to build – both in magnitude and in depth. I mean, you should be able to tell how big your business will become and for that, how much work do you have to put in while laying out the foundation. I can help you, but you need to have a (clarity of what you need and a) decent budget to invest in getting things done.

If you are ready, I can put in my time, effort and brain into your business. Else, just creating something without any proper research and brainstorming will only waste your time and mine.

I seriously want to help you out and this is why I am writing so much, trying to make you understand how to go about it.

PS: If you want me to research and suggest you a name for your business, let me know. I will send you custom offer for that too (Yes, I do that too. Let me know if YOU need this service).

Dear David, there are different things that we are talking about right now. The costliest of all these is "time" and that is what is on my mind ‘all the time’.

If you already have a plan on how you would want to proceed with your business, then just tell me what are the pieces of the puzzle that you want to hire me for. e.g. the Name of your Business, Logo Design, Social Media Image Designs etc. I can give you specific and ad-hoc budget for each of these.

Like, I can create you an awesome Logo in about N Days for about $$. [Deleted sentence here] You will have to tell me the name of your business and how exactly you want the logo to be if you have any preferences. Colors, branding etc. I already know that it is for [Deleted] website.

Similarly, if you want me to brainstorm, research and come up with the name of the business that you want to start, it would cost about $$ and I should be able to get back within N days.

Remember, these are ONE TIME INVESTMENT for years to come - forever, almost! You are not going to change your business name or logo every month, right?

Then, if you want me to design social media content, then I can create your custom images for $$ each or N template images for $$ like it is written on my blog.

I am happy that you are taking my words in a constructive way. As I tell you, I have worked with a lot of startups - online and local - and I know how different people approach (at the services of a freelance seller) and more so on Fiverr, thinking everything is $5 here :) I have helped people with everything for their online businesses - from planning, to logo design, website design, social media design and formulating a sustainable growth strategy that can be implemented constructively. But all these come for a price, right? Not for $5!

You get what you pay for, I am sure you will agree...

Anyways, I have said a lot. And all for FREE :) (Just joking)
It all depends on you. How you want things to be done for your business. Please let me know what I can do for you. I will be happy if we can start working together - asap!



Well, this is what I sent him. The results were awesome. The client was intelligent enough to understand that he needs to get clarity first and then can hire me to brainstorm and polish his ideas. And also, in every stage, there is money involved. In whatever you start, even if it is a sweetmeat shop in the neighborhood, you will need to invest to set up your business. David got the message and acted accordingly. And since then, we still have a wonderful friendly but professional relationship. I am happy to see his business taking shape under my close supervision.

If you have any such story to share, please feel free to do so. If you want to write on my blog as a guest writer, do not hesitate to get in touch with me. You can contact me here or on social media, or even write in your comments. We can surely get something done together.

Hope to write to you soon again. And yes, please do not forget to visit the Digital Lama Creations shop on Etsy, which has wonderful printable posters available. The best ones are those of the Buddha Quotes on Life series. You can instantly download them, take a print, frame it if you wish to and hang it on any of your walls – just like the ones in the image in this post. I simply love these creations!

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: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer.

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

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What is Stopping You from Being a Success?

The other day I was on a Facebook group where someone asked why many people do not like to start their own business and prefer doing a job. Well, I personally think that this question is weird.  That is for two main reasons.

ONE, we should leave it to individual preferences and should not judge that person by her or his choices. This is very important. It directly talks about the proverb – Live and Let Live. If you are willing to do a business of your own, get started. Just do not expect that everyone else should also leave their job and start doing what you are doing. The other analogy to this thought is that if everyone starts doing what you are doing or selling, who will buy the products or services from your business? Hilarious! There must be some people who take from us when we are making right? Think about it.

TWO: The other reason because of which I think that this query is weird is the very fact that I am not much bothered about it. Why should I be? I guess rather than thinking why someone is not doing what I am doing or I am aspiring to do, I should better put in the effort and time in doing what I am – increasing the business! I can only show them by example that the life of a businessman is slightly better than that of a traditional office goer, but that is about it – nothing more than that. I will never stand in the road stopping people from going to work and asking them to start blogging or getting on with a YouTube channel. That would be the last thing in my mind to do and would be ridiculous to the core as well. Don’t you think so?

Well, the reason I started talking about this question from that Facebook group is that I wanted to show a definite cause for many people failing to reach where they should reach. And it is bothering too much about what others are doing.

If I ask you, what is stopping you from being a success, will you tell me that your neighbor is not successful and hence, you are not able to get there too? That will be hysterical! Thanks for not answering that.

The answering in most cases is that we ourselves are stopping us from reaching the heights of business, being successful and go beyond. There is no one to blame. There is no one else to point to – neither for our failure nor for our success. We do to ourselves what we become. As one of Buddha’s quotes on life says, No One Saves Us, But Ourselves. It is only us who can save us. It is only us who can destroy us.

Click on the image to visit DLC - the online shop & Download

And this is so true! When you are at an age in life where you look back at what you have achieved or what you have not achieved in life, you will find that every little thing is your own achievement. And if there is something that you wanted so dearly, but you could not cling onto it, it was you in some way or the other who stopped you from accomplishing that too. It is us who are stopping ourselves. It is your choices and attitudes that is stopping you from being a success.

Buddha quotes on life are there for every phase of life. In whatever you do, you can find that He has told something which is related to you and your situation. I so admire these quotes and sayings. And this is why I love this series of quotes which are beautifully crafted to printable posters which you can directly and instantly download from the internet, take a print, frame it and hang it wherever you want to. There is a wide range of quotes that you can choose from. Just visit the shop called Digital Lama Creations on Etsy and choose the one which is best for you.

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: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer.

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