What is freelancing?
Freelancing is working on ad-hoc projects and earning money from those without any long-term contract or obligation to work with the same people again. The clients are free to hire anyone else for the same job in the future. The service providers or the freelancers are also open to working for any new client if they want to. No rule binds the two parties to work together in the future as well.
However, in most cases, the clients would want to work with the same freelancers for similar projects if the quality of work delivered was superior. Clients hire freelancers who are comfortable to work with, polite in manners, and is a master of their craft.
How do I start freelancing?
Three steps to start your freelancing career in India
Step 1: Explore Top Selling Skills
As it is essential to choose what services you want to provide as a freelancer, you must also explore to at least know about the various possibilities that are out there and are in demand.
To do that, go to Google and search for “Top Selling Digital Skills in 2020” or “Top Selling Freelancing Skills in 2020.” You will definitely get many articles, and from there, you can get a list of at least 10-20 skills that are selling online at present.
In another recent video on my YouTube channel, I have talked about Top 5 Bestselling Freelancing Skills of 2020. You may check it out here.
Again, it will be only foolish to start with all those skills. Hence, you can shortlist one or two skills, to begin with, and go to the next step. Choose those skills which you think you will really love doing and will be happy to learn. If you can find something that you are passionate about, then it is the best!
For example, if you want to be a content writer and write articles for blog posts, your client may ask you to give her an image as well, which is very important for a blog post. So, you will have to acquire the ability to at least design a basic blog image for her. That is the auxiliary skill that I mentioned.
Step 2: Learn & Master your favorite Skills
Most clients hire freelancers when they find quality in their work. You must be polite and humble and behave appropriately with your clients, but if your work is of poor quality, they will not come back to you for more.
These days with the advent of the internet knowledge has reached your fingertips and you may not very well know about it too. There are a plethora of both free and paid sources from where you can not only acquire knowledge and learn a new skill but also sharpen your saw from time to time.
For free content, YouTube is probably the best source. It has free video courses for almost everything, ranging from graphic designing to web development and coding. Just search for the skills that you want to learn and look for the series of videos that teach that particular skill.
Additionally, if you can find out a little more about the speaker, it will be conducive. Check online if the coach has an online presence or any other courses online and look for his reputation.
Don’t worry. Clients will do precisely the same before hiring freelancers like you. So, if you are doing it to land on the best material before you start learning, what is the harm? Please do it!
Spend a couple of extra minutes to find the right material or courses online and then get started. It may save many hours in the long run.
At times you may find that the free content available on YouTube is not enough. You would want more. That is the time when you look for online paid courses on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Edx, Eduonix, PluralSight, and many more.
Even I have a few courses on Udemy. You may visit my profile and check out my courses, and who knows, you may find out something that would help you to start your freelancing career in India as well. Check it out here.
The other thing that you need to do while you acquire a new skill is to practice, practice, and practice. Practice makes perfect! And it is as real as anything else.
Make them real. Put in your efforts as if you are going to sell it to your clients. Treat them as real-life orders. Make them your best!
And do not worry about the products that you are making. None of these will go waste. I will tell you about this in a minute. Keep reading.
Step 3: Build Rapport
Why? Two reasons! One, because every successful freelancer that you see has done it. And two, because I am going to give you two steps here which will make sure that you earn your rapport that you so well deserve.
If that is not enough for motivation, do the following two things. They will surely help you in building your rapport.
Once you have your portfolio ready, it is time to gather some ratings and reviews. One of the best ways to get those initial reviews is to offer your work for cheap or absolutely free!
When you meet a prospective client and offer to work with her, ensure you do a little bit of homework and understand her business and her ability to pay you, before deciding whether you would want to work for cheap or for free.
On the other hand, if you know someone who is also starting and would not be able to spend a lot for the work, offer him your services for free. They may love it and return to you in the future for more paid work when they grow their business.
In both cases, make sure that your focus remains on their growth, and you clearly mention your intentions too. Express your interest to work for a mutually beneficial cause. You will be hired!
In both cases, tell your prospective clients that you are about to start your freelancing career, and you are looking for an initial few ratings and reviews for your work. That is the reason you are offering services for cheap or for free.
Show the prospects your work, using the portfolio that you have built. Put in your best efforts to make your work exemplary and simply awesome! And once you get the all-important ratings and reviews, ensure you put them back on your portfolio page so that you can show these to your future clients.
It is how you start and build your freelancing business online. It is how freelancing works in India and any other part of the world.
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!