Are you interested in working remotely? What if I told you that you could have a successful freelancing career in India?
The path through which the world is taking in its nature of evolution is definitely a tech one. With technology, everything our ancestors saw as impossible is becoming the norm.
As if to prove its intention to stay, technology gained ground after the Covid-19 pandemic. If that was the case, then that was a nasty way to simply say ‘am here to stay.’
To cut the long story short, the world has changed and it’s the era where working remotely is glorified. It goes without saying that freelancing is the future of the career world.
Gone are the times when having an 8-5 job was the dream. After all, if you can work from anywhere, on your own terms, then why not? Also, why be jobless if that is your case?
In this article, I’m going to show you how not only to start freelancing but also the tips to use when building a successful freelancing career, in India. I will also list the most popular freelancing jobs and their estimated salaries in India.
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing is a type of self-employment in which an individual works on their own terms and operates independently from any superior authority or organization.
A freelancer determines the value of his labor and is compensated on an hourly, daily, or project-by-project basis. As a freelancer, you find clients through online sites or networking, operate from the comfort of your own office, vacation, or home, and have flexible work hours.
As you move from one assignment to the next, it becomes clear that freelancing gives your work adaptability. It also exposes you to a range of genres and experiences. You also get the chance to lead a healthy lifestyle with flexible work schedules and a pleasant working environment.
A freelancing career in India
Formerly, there was a false impression of freelancing in India.
Freelancing was considered to be a lower-valued engagement, primarily undertaken by individuals who are unemployed owing to a lack of skills or an inability to get jobs.
Freelancing was once avoided by many people who thought it was a low-paying career. However, the narrative has changed.
According to statistics, India now ranks second only to the US in terms of the astonishing 15 million people who work as independent contractors there.
Since many businesses closed due to the rapid onset of the Covid-19 epidemic, there was a dramatic decrease in employment in India among other countries.
As the pandemic hit, many competent but unemployed workers chose to freelance as one of their survival strategies.
Increasing societal and corporate adoption of the work-from-home culture, technological advancements, and governmental rules and restrictions have made it easy for people to adopt this form of self-employment.
Additionally, businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to large companies, are now contacting freelancers to enlist their services for a variety of projects.
Indian freelancers have the opportunity to work in a wide range of industries, including IT and programming, writing, marketing, and design.
Many internet platforms are not only supporting and educating the community of freelancers that already exists but they are also encouraging this transformation.
Importance of a successful freelancing career in India today
Establish your work schedule
As a freelancer, you have the flexibility to work whenever you want because you decide how much or how little you want to work.
In a full-time job, someone is constantly there to dictate or choose your working hours for you. No matter how much or how little you work, if you can provide the highest quality service, you will succeed as a freelancer.
If you like to work at night or are a night owl, then you can enjoy your day while working as a freelancer. After all, we all are looking for freedom.
Travel while on the job
You have the freedom to work from anywhere in the globe as a freelancer. In order to enjoy their lives and travel, many people choose to work for themselves.
People often refer to individuals who travel to other places while simultaneously making a respectable earning as “digital nomads.”
You can choose the time and location of your work when you are a freelancer.
No long commute
Freelancing has the additional benefit of allowing you to avoid the long commute of a regular job. This is crucial for time management because it allows you to operate as a freelancer and save a ton of time.
Because your clients might be living in other countries, as a freelancer you get to work from home without having to commute. Freelancing is your greatest option if you want to work from home and save time.
Take charge of your workload.
Being human, we all have a personal life as well. We frequently lose motivation and put off finishing our work. Hence, you as a freelancer can choose how much work you wish to do.
Being a freelancer, you can choose your off days as well. You can’t take too many days off from a full-time job because you are working for someone elsewhere. Yet, as a freelancer, you are in charge of setting your own hours and workload.
But, both full-time employment and freelancing require a lot of work if you want to succeed financially.
Now that we have a clear description of freelancing in India, let’s find out how to start.
How to get started with freelancing in India
#1. Set your objectives
It is crucial to have goals that are precisely stated and include quantifiable milestones. You’ll go to work with more motivation if you know what you’re working towards.
Hence, prior to everything else, consider your motivations for freelancing. Where do you see yourself in the near future?
No matter what the objective is, it is imperative that you are clear about it. Several of the most successful businesspeople concur that setting goals at the onset make the journey simpler.
#2. Evaluate your skills and choose a niche
Make a list of your skills and interests before you begin working as a freelancer.
This gives you the opportunity to consider your options, evaluate the market competition, choose a lucrative niche, and test your freelance idea.
As a starting point, many independent contractors present their services based on their basic experience. If, for instance, you have experience working as a photographer, you are able to carry on in that capacity as a freelancer.
In order to develop your talents and build experience, try to start with a specialization that interests you.
You can experiment with several projects and leave the niche open if you are unsure of what you like or what is your area of interest.
The more time you devote to identifying your specialization, the more value you will be able to provide through your freelance services.
#3. Create your professional profile
Create a portfolio on reputable job-hunting platforms like Indeed to connect with businesses looking for freelancers and obtain top-notch jobs.
Being a newbie, you might not always have the option to choose the projects you want to work on, but having an online presence on a number of job boards may let others know you are open to work.
If you have previously worked as a freelancer, add your work samples to your profile and include a description of your experience to let future clients know your area of expertise.
One of the best ways to secure your first freelance projects is through applying on job search websites.
#4. Determine your target clients
The target market is just as important to any freelance business as the specialization. When you first start out, you can approach the first few clients more randomly.
You may, for instance, decide who you want to collaborate with and then approach them. After working with these identified clients, you’ll know if this is the type you require. If so, you can keep pursuing clients who fit that description. If not, you can choose a different group of target clients.
You should focus on a specific area to hone your talents, which is why you should narrow your target market.
Starting with content writing services and producing articles for tech companies and business influencers can help you become knowledgeable in the area.
Also, you’ll get recommendations frequently to enhance your domain reputation.
#5. Choose a pricing structure
The usual payment methods for freelancers are per assignment, per hour, or per word rates. Nonetheless, your pay rate can depend on your specialty and level of performance.
If you’re just starting out, you can do some online research to learn what factors to take into account when determining your charges. With time, you will be able to determine a fair price for your services based on the amount of time, resources, and effort you are dedicating to the project.
Consider various price models for your various freelance services.
Don’t, for instance, set the same pricing for all forms of content if you are a content writer. You may charge differently for writing blog posts than for generating website material, and the cost may change depending on the type of writing.
Maintain a profit log and monitor market prices to evaluate your progress and make sure you are making enough money to compensate for your efforts.
#6. Create a portfolio
It’s important to consider how you’ll present your work to the intended audience as a freelancer in India. A blog, Facebook page, Instagram account, or website are all good places to start. This will be determined by the nature of your business.
A website can assist you in developing your brand identification, expanding your company, advertising your service, and attracting your target audience.
A website may help you establish your brand, attract leads from natural sources, and display your ideas and work to potential customers.
You can also list your marketing services, client endorsements, contracts, and information about your various educational and professional backgrounds for prospective customers.
It may give clients the impression that you are serious about establishing a career as a freelancer and may boost your credibility as a freelancer.
Note that building a website is optional. Although it is not required, having one can be advantageous for independent contractors.
#7. Draft a work plan
Create an execution plan before you begin pitching your services. This requires thinking about how many hours per day and how many days per week you can dedicate to freelance projects.
How many customers can you serve at once?
What method of contact will you have with clients?
By having an execution strategy, you will avoid becoming overburdened and guarantee that quality is never compromised.
#8. Advertise your services and pitch to prospective clients
Marketing oneself is a freelancer’s main resource for obtaining work. By promoting your services, you can expand your audience and ultimately attract more customers.
You can sell your services both offline and online using strategies including word-of-mouth advertising, referrals, brochures, and social media marketing.
For any freelancer, social media platforms provide a fantastic platform for self-promotion. To expand your business, you can build templates and post them on numerous online portals.
Inform people of your freelance services and request their help in spreading the word to their networks.
Just make sure to keep the quality high and refrain from spamming.
#9. Build a client base
As a new freelancer, developing a clientele may appear challenging because you may need to demonstrate how your services are superior to those of other freelancers.
Finding new clients and exceeding their expectations are perhaps the main concerns that keep freelancers from actively marketing their services. Yet you can build a solid clientele for your company with a few tactics and approaches.
To keep your current clients, attempt to continually give high-quality service, original content, and timely responses.
Use marketing techniques to grow your network, establish your company website, and collect outstanding reviews and testimonials for your prior work. On your website or professional profile page, provide examples of your work, client testimonials, and a list of all the reasons why people should hire you.
#10. Keep tabs on your work and finances
You can use tools like Google sheets to record your tasks. This way, you’ll have a clear track of your work performance.
When you first start making money as a freelancer, you can have a number of clients who pay your invoices on various days and at various times. As a result, it’s critical to keep track of your monthly earnings and expenditures and calculate your income to determine whether you are being paid in full for your labor.
It can be simple to later raise invoices if you keep track of the work for each client. An excellent approach to do this is to construct a spreadsheet to track your monthly revenues.
Describe your clientele in detail, along with the services you offer and the fee you charge for them.
Tips for getting successful in a Freelancing career in India
1. If you have another job in India, don’t quit yet until you gain ground in your freelancing career.
2. Go into freelancing with an open mind. Be ready to learn and grow. And as I stated earlier, choose your clients randomly at first and then narrow down your niche with experience.
4. Another tip on showcasing your work as a first-time freelancer is by using spec projects. In this case, you tackle projects for free just to showcase your abilities. Just make sure to be upfront about it with your client.
5. Learn how to negotiate like a pro as a freelancer in India. Do your research. When the time comes, conduct yourself like the confident, competent professional that you are, to prove your worth.
6. Establish a top-notch client onboarding process. With an onboarding procedure, you can prove right away that you’re an expert who knows what you’re doing. Also, you’ll get more referrals and cut down on client churn if you do this.
7. Draft a freelancer contract. Google Docs has a very basic Freelancer Contract template in its template library. When doing business, nothing can go wrong with a contract in place.
8. Automate and outsource with the right tools. As a business owner and a self-employed person, you can’t do everything from scratch. Know what to automate or outsource and invest in the right tools.
9. Join online freelancers’ communities and meet like-minded individuals who share in your experiences.
10. Keep learning and updating yourself with current up-to-date knowledge and skills. The world is evolving every single second that passes by.
Popular freelancing jobs and estimated salary in India
1. Freelance content writer
National Average Salary: ₹16,513 per month
2. Freelance photographer
National Average Salary: ₹19,506 per month
3. Freelancer graphic designer
National Average Salary: ₹17,134 per month
With any type of work, there are ethics and discipline is your best bet for it. To be successful with a freelancing career in India, you have to stay up-to-date with industry trends and technology. That means you have to invest in continuous learning and professional development.
Now is the best time to take action and begin your freelancing journey if interested. Don’t wait for long, no one knows tomorrow.