If you have been reading about starting as a freelancer in India. You must have come across with data such as:
India ranks number second when it comes to the fastest-growing freelance market in the world. Also, India saw a 46% growth in new freelancers according to the report, ‘Freelancing in 2020: An Abundance of Opportunities’ by Payoneer’. Also read this news article.
Therefore, one thing is very clear: being a freelancer in India does sounds cool. But it’s not just a buzzword though—it’s a lifestyle many Indians have acquired and many more are willing to. The reasons behind this can be many. The Covid situation was of course a big one because people were frequently getting laid off and they had no source of passive income to keep them standing.
This made many people switch to freelancing. However, even before the pandemic, millennials had too many reasons to dive into freelancing. We are going to cover these reasons and everything else which you will need to become a full-time freelancer in India.
Why Freelancing over 9-5?
9-5! – one can feel the boundation of their work just by reading these two numbers. These numbers are not just working hours but they can easily kill the free-spirit and creativity of anyone who likes to think out of the box. A full-time job also forces you to cover the deadlines for the unhappy client. A client who most probably doesn’t believe in your work.
So to break these barriers and many others, one will always choose freelancing. Where you get to choose your own client, where you work with full independence on a project, and where you look quality over quantity.
However these reasons are already alluring enough, but it’s not just about being a working nomad. Freelancing can help you generate multiple sources of passive income. A passive income is crucial during rainy days like a pandemic or anything unprecedented.
Become a Freelancer in India in 6 easy steps
Step 1: Select a Profitable Niche
Let’s say you want to become a freelance content writer in India, and you like to write blog posts, ad copies, social media posts, or technical content. And writing about all forms of content will make you a content writer for sure, but not a successful freelancer.
Instead, choosing a specific type of writing under the content writing industry, would be much easier to set you apart and create dominance. It would also be lucrative for sure. Here’s how to choose a niche:
Pick something about which you already possess knowledge or had experience working. Once you’ve selected the type of content writing, go deeper and find out the profitable niche within that industry—and you’re done.
Step 2: Select your Targeted Clients
Once you’ve picked your niche, you’d want to know who your targeted clients are. Targeted clients are as crucial as picking out the targeted niche—you’d want to sell what you just made, to the interested people. Once you work out your clients, you need to reach them and offer your services.
So let’s say that you went to the right client and they liked your services. Taking this as a clue, you start to learn more about the needs and demands of your clients.
By doing this, you compress your client and market place. And slowly but consistently, you carve your services, skill sets, and offerings according to those needs. Hence, you can now have command over your niche and targeted clients.
Step 3: Set Up Portfolio
Freelancers in India many times overlook the reputation of a nicely done portfolio. By portfolio, we mean a personal website or any other place where a freelancer can showcase their work to the client. So whatever you choose to do, you should never skip this part.
This step is mandatory for any kind of freelancer in any industry. Whether it be graphic designing, photography, writing, social media marketing, SEO, or anything else.
Remember to keep the portfolio simple. Include only essential and meaningful details that make the visitor stay. You don’t want to increase the bounce rate by cluttering the website with too many details. The ultimate goal is to focus on CTA.
You’ll find this helpful:
- How To Build A Freelance Portfolio (To Get More Leads)?
- Freelancing for Beginners – Guide and Resources
Step 4: Start Pitching Clients
The next logical step is to actually go to the client and show them your work. For that, there are a couple of places one can go. There are freelancing websites like UpWork, Freelancer, Fiver, etc. You can also start leveraging social media to get your clients.
LinkedIn arguably is the best social media platform to get clients for almost every industry or niche. It’s also much easier to grow on this platform because of the organic reach and how helpful people on this medium generally are.
The last and the most powerful method might be cold emailing. And no, cold emailing is not dead—rather it’s all about reaching the right email ids and success rate. Because cold emailing is done on an extensive scale but you also get the highest quality of clients if done correctly.
Step 5: Come up with a Plan
You are going to lose too many clients if you don’t show up with a plan. What does that mean? let’s say that a client is interested in your services and he wants to go further with a project. Now your part here would be to lead the project and explain to him further about: ‘how are you going to help him’?
And everything would go smooth but only you haven’t figured out that how your services would be helpful here. Furthermore, the client is now confused and decides to go with some other freelancer.
Therefore, after the initial call/meeting, plan-out to dictate the whole process. Note that proper communication will turn things smoothly.
Step 6: Pricing Structure
The perfect negotiation is when both the parties have something in their pockets. Therefore, learn to offer a price point that is neither too high for the client nor too low for your hard work.
For this, communicate with your industry and learn what other freelancers are charging. After getting a fair idea, set a minimum price for your services. And you should never surpass that limit.
Also, decide whether you’re going to charge on a project basis or per hour basis. Remember to set the price which lets you provide maximum quality without losing your value as a freelancer in India.
Freelancing in India or any other place is a business and it should be conducted as such. Therefore, patience is a key component in building a freelancing business. Many freelancers lose their faith when they don’t get any clients during their beginner’s days.
However, rather than overthinking about not getting any work, you should work on building your skills in the meantime. So that you can offer the best service and good amount when a client does come.
And do trust—once you start working with this guide, you will eventually start getting projects. It might not happen exactly like this or at present moment, but it sure is inevitable.