New Delhi: Working from home or working remotely has become the new normal and is likely to stay for years to come. This shift has brought about a big opportunity for freelancers, working mothers, mothers who are expecting or anyone who would prefer to work out of the comfort and ease of their homes. Since freelancers have mostly always worked remotely and hiring freelancers would be more cost-effective for companies going forward, there is going to be a visible peak in people wanting to make a shift to becoming solopreneurs. It was foreseen by many researchers that in the near future, a much larger number of people will be employed as freelancers. The remote working style accelerated this transition as the nation-wide lockdown had made it mandatory for companies to let their employees work from home.
Many companies, small and big, are now looking at reducing costs as revenues have taken a hit, making their futures look uncertain. Hence, working with freelancers becomes a favorable decision for many companies. Employee cost can be reduced when working with freelancers on a project basis as this will be a flexible arrangement and staffing for the companies basis their project and business needs. Companies like Tech Mahindra, Accenture, Deloitte would be looking to hire freelancers with certain specific skills, rather than hiring people full-time.
Freelancers have always been able to prove themselves by working remotely and have easily adapted to this form of a working environment. A lot of organizations are looking at allowing their employees to opt to work remotely and as this pattern grows, there would also be a rise in the demand for freelancers. There will be a revolutionary change in hiring freelancers.
Here are some tips to how one can pick up freelancing jobs in India:
Freelancing websites and social media groups/ Communities are playing an important role. You can find various websites in India that will help you in creating your profile, making your outreach more impactful. The most important thing is to find the right platform to start your freelancing career.
Ensure you use social media platforms to your advantage i.e. if your profession is in the visual arts (Influencer, Photographer, Designer, Makeup artist) you need to focus more on Instagram and Pinterest. Do your research well to understand where exactly your target audience is. Similarly, if you are a freelance blogger/writer the platforms you can use to showcase your work will be Medium, Facebook, and Twitter. Always make sure your social media is updated with your recent work and accomplishments. Ensure that you tag the brands or people you have worked for and if possible, make sure you get testimonials from them as well.
A way to drive traffic to your social media pages is through the use of LinkedIn. Reach out to the heads of particular departments of the companies you want to work with and always keep a lookout for the job opportunities they post. Facebook is a great platform not only just to share your work but also to connect with like-minded people. Be active and participate regularly in online communities and job-related groups. Make sure you look out for posts that have mentioned project requirements and see where you can fit in and provide value.
For women, platforms like KoolKanya, SheCo, JobsforHer, etc also provide access to opportunities.
Cold pitching can also work in a few situations if you have a list of potential clients you’d like to work with but are not actively advertising their need to hire. You can reach out to them highlighting your skillset. Nowadays, cold calling has graduated to cold emailing. People prefer sending and receiving emails over the phone or personal communication these days. However, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind while cold calling – Begin with appropriate addressing, do thorough research on requirements and the kind of freelancer the client is looking for, give a short, crisp and to-the-point profile of yourself and most importantly, don’t forget to follow up.
Word of mouth and networking: There is no shame in promoting your work yourself. Word of Mouth is the most reliable way of getting work. Start talking about your work with family, friends, and people you have worked within the past. At times, even acquaintances who you may have known in the past or have known briefly could be of help. These channels allow you to connect with many more people, which in turn can help build a network of potential clients. This process may not necessarily help in converting leads into direct clientele immediately but would widen your network and help with work in the future as it leads to recall.
In the current times, one can never really know when an opportunity to collaborate or work knocks upon your door. Therefore, it’s best to actively keep showcasing your work through not just your own channels but putting yourself out there as much as possible and pitching yourself to your network of friends/communities as well as acquaintances. As they say, any opportunity not identified is a lost opportunity.
Vanshika Goenka is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.