How to become A Freelancer in India?

Piyush Mishra Piyush Mishra
Feb 13, 2021 13 min read
How to become A Freelancer in India?

Freelancing in India has become quite popular for the last few years. The freelancing industry is growing so fast that freelancers are expected to comprise about 50% of India’s workforce by 2021. Nevertheless, freelancing in India is quite a private haven that not only breaks monotony but also provides room for one’s personal development. Sounds great? We can bet!

Do you feel that your day job is a rather monotonous drudgery with no scope to learn, explore, improve your skills or open doors to new ideas? Well, there you go! The growing freelance culture in India, as well as the stats, both tell the same story. If you have a skill, chances are, you are more likely to survive and thrive better on your own in freelancer service in India than working under someone.

So, here is a complete guide on how to become a freelancer in India. Let’s take a look,

What is Freelancing?
Why Choose Freelancing Over Regular Job?
How to Get In The Freelancing Game
Can You Be a Freelancer?
Best Freelancing Websites for Beginner
Common Challenges Faced by Freelancers
Benefits Of Freelancing in India
Freelancing in India

What is Freelancing?

freelance jobs for students
What does freelancing mean?

Going by the popular definition, freelancing is a form of self-employment, wherein an individual works at his or her own accord, independent of any superior authority or organization. A freelancer gets to decide his work’s worth and is paid accordingly, on a per hour, per day or per-project basis. As a freelancer, you seek clients through online sites or networking, get to work from the comfort of your own office or home and have flexible work hours.

As you shift from one project to another, you can pretty much sum up, freelancing brings versatility to your work, introduces you to a variety of genres and experiences, while giving you a chance to lead a wholesome lifestyle, with flexible work schedules and a comfortable work environment.

What are some sought after freelancer jobs in India you ask? Well,b today, Freelancers have specialised skills in Social Media Marketing, Copywriting and Publicity. Some Freelancers are experts in writing content and blog posts while serving the web programming and graphic design needs of a business. Freelancers also deal with Bookkeeping services.

That being said, freelancing requires dedication and putting in enormous effort since one has to find work on their own, and sometimes might be dealing with multiple clients at the same time. The rising number of freelancers in India shows how fast this is gaining popularity.


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Why Choose Freelancing Over Regular Job?

If you are an independent, free-willed worker, you are already familiar with the frustration of being forced to work on substandard jobs, dealing with difficult clients dissatisfied with your working style, impossible deadlines and the preferential culture of quantity over quality. Freelancing, on the other hand, allows one to choose their own clients, create and develop their own working style, opt to undertake projects one wishes to work on and conclusively, leads to personal growth and development.

Apart from skill development, freelancing also allows one to have diverse working experiences (since the work is undertaken on a per-project basis), get paid for what they are worth, and have a flexible work schedule, thus proving to be a wondrous opportunity for the Indian youth. Besides, freelancing is a great way of employment for young parents, specially-abled people as well as people who cannot leave their home for any personal reason.

The Indian market today, is ripe for freelancers, with no shortage of either the recruiters or the workers. As more and more people turn to the freelancing business, it should come as no surprise that today’s freelancing landscape is a diverse haven accommodating a variety of genres including marketing, publicity, content writing, advertising, technological support (such as web programming), designing, and even bookkeeping.



How To Get In The Freelancing Game

Build A Good Network

So you’re a beginner actively looking for an opportunity to find work. Our first tip would be to commence with building a good network. Start by reaching out to the people in your circle. Tell them what you intend to do and what is your area of expertise.

“It’s the equivalent of doing informational interviews. You’re just making clear the kind of work you’re doing now and that you’re available to help anyone who might need it”, says Sara Horowitz, head of the Freelancers Union.

Once you are familiar with the landscape, try expanding your network and making new connections out of your contact list. You can also use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to build your network.

Set Strategic Prices

You want to attract clients and not drive them away. Consequently, you might want to earn the amount that is your job’s worth. The key is to strike the right balance, and evaluating your work’s worth would be step one on the beginner ladder. Start with relatively lower rates when you are still trying to establish yourself. Gradually increase your rates as you gain more and more experienced and recommendations.

One more tip, remember to ask your clients to drop feedback. Your clients’ feedback helps you to rise higher in performance ratings, on freelancing websites, and land more assignments.

Work Smart Not Hard

That’s the key! You might get a thousand advises on how to land many gigs, but not one on how to ‘manage’ too many. As a freelancer, you get to choose which jobs to undertake and which to not. As a beginner, when opportunities finally start knocking your door, you should keep in mind what projects are worth working for, which are the ones that add to your personal growth and which ones you intend to do just out of the good money offered.


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Can You Be a Freelancer?

how to start freelancing with no experience
Anyone with right set of skills can become a freelancer.

Sure, you can. You may be an independent worker, looking for a new experience; a homemaker wanting to restart your career; a full-time employee seeking some part-time work to unleash his passion; a job aspirant trying to find work online; a fresh college graduate trying to make some money; an experienced corporate job holder, wanting to explore something new or just someone looking for a home-based job. The list is endless.

As a freelancer one is at liberty to choose the work of his or her calling, working either part-time or full time. It is not a necessity to quit your job either. If you are looking to pursue some fresh opportunities and make some extra cash, freelancing serves as a rather comfortable option. Freelancing in India is growing fast and becoming a new job prospect for people.

The bottom line is if you are prepared to handle the erratic workflow, expertly manage the blurred lines between your work and personal life, and an irregular paycheck sans employer benefits, you are good to go. Ask yourself, is this what you wish to do? Is it worth giving up your job? Are you just doing it for the money? You will know on your own when you would want to quit your job and embark on this journey. And if you are determined enough, you won’t have much problem sailing through.


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Best Freelancing Websites For Beginner

This is an era of Internet and online marketing, there is a lot of opportunities and resources available by using those we can work from home. And there will be no need for a job. But the thing is you have to work hard for this too. There are a bunch of websites available that can provide you with a suitable platform to look for the ideal clients and jobs or projects that fit your profile. We have listed some of the online sites where you can find freelancing work for beginners in India.

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Freelancer.com
  • Envato Studio
  • PeoplePerHour
  • Toptal
  • Guru.com
  • DesignCrowd
  • Nexxt
  • DesignContest

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Common Challenges Faced By Freelancers

Challenges faced by freelancers.
Challenges Faced By Freelancers
  • A client will run off without paying. This happens with most of the freelancers. Make sure that the chances of this happening are as less as possible. Make it a habit to use contracts.
  • There will be people in your field who will be willing to work for next to nothing. Don’t follow in their footsteps. There are clients out there who prefer quality and are willing to pay for it. The fact that you value your work will also work in your favor as clients will trust you more.
  • Freelancers also have to face scams of all kinds. There are some projects out there that are just too good to be true and can turn out to be identity thieves. If someone is asking for your documents, make sure that they are authentic and there’s a good reason behind asking for them.
  • Try to plan and be willing to work during a scheduled time. Don't promise to deliver your work in a limited amount of time.
  • If you’re a busy freelancer then keeping a track of who’s paid and who's payment is due is a must. Make sure that you keep a good track of your payments. It’s really important. There are a bunch of applications available on the Internet that helps you in this respect.
  • Some clients have a habit of asking for more than what you are supposed to do. Keep a track of your rate and make them pay for the extra hours that you put in.
  • I know missing deadlines seem like a bad thing to do but it’s inevitable at some point so try not to stress too much about it. But yes, try not to make a habit of it. Nobody likes a slacker.
  • Creating a proper work-life balance is the key to success. Freelancing allows you to have more time for your personal life yet there are many freelancers out there who struggle to keep the two separate. Make it a habit early on in your career to keep the two apart. Otherwise, the problem will only become bigger with time.
  • If your freelancing career is related to designing or programming then you might want to keep yourself updated with the latest technologies in the market. In this respect, your life will be like that of a doctor’s life. Studying never stops.
  • Freelancers also have to face clients who have a habit of calling you whenever they wish to demand updates or make corrections. Make sure that you make boundaries early on. Set up parameters of communications. If they call at inappropriate hours then don’t pick up then instead send them a courteous email later on.
  • Getting bad reviews is normal. You cannot expect everyone to love your work. They may give you a not-so-good rating on the online platform. Try and ask for feedback and how you can make yourself better. Learn from every client.

Benefits Of Freelancing In India

how to work as freelancer in India
Benefits of working as a freelancer.

The big advantage of freelancing is that you can set your work hours. No one is there to decide how much you have to work. You can enjoy freedom while working as a freelancer.

Set Your Working Hours

As a freelancer, you get the opportunity to work whenever you want because it's up to you how much or how little you want to work. In a full-time job, there is always someone to tell you or decide your working hours for you. No matter how much or little you work if you can give the best quality service you will become a successful freelancer. While working as a freelancer you can enjoy your day if you are a night person or you like to work at night. Freedom is priceless.

Choose Your Clients

You can choose the person with and for whom you want to work. While working as a freelancer you get the benefit of working with like-minded people and also you can choose the projects on which you want to work or you are passionate about. In a full-time job, it is next to impossible if you want to change your role. But in freelancing, you have the freedom to do what you love to do.

Travel While Working

As a freelancer, you get the opportunity to travel the world while working. Many people are becoming a freelancer to enjoy their life and travel to different countries. The term people use is "Digital Nomad", that is someone who travels to various countries and along with that also earns decent money for their living. Being a freelancer means that you can decide the place when and where you want to work.


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No Long Commute

This is also a big advantage of freelancing that you can avoid the long commute. This is essential for time management, you can save a lot of time while working as a freelancer. Freelancers work remotely and there is no requirement to commute because your clients may be staying in other countries. If you want to work from home and save your time than freelancing is the best option for you.

Control Your Work Load

We all are human beings and we all have a personal life too. Many times it happens that we get demotivated and procrastinate our work. So as a freelancer you can decide how much workload you want. You can also decide your off-days while working as a freelancer. In a full-time job, you can't get off days too often because there you are working for someone else. But as a freelancer, you are your boss and you have the authority to decide the quantity of your work. But to earn money you have to work hard in both full-time and freelancing field.

Freelancing in India

How to become a Freelancer in India
Freelancing in India

There was a time when freelance work in India was rather frowned upon. The mindset that dominated the Indian society was that freelancing in India is no better than unemployment and that is it not ‘ real job’ but a consolation service that lacks ‘stability’.

The changing landscape, though, has added a whole other dimension to this mentality. Today, as the stats go, India is only second to the US when it comes to the number of people working as freelancers in the country; a number that reaches up to a staggering 15 million.

Indian freelancers get to work in a variety of sectors, from IT and programming to writing, marketing and designing. Companies, right from the startups to well-established corporations, are now reaching out to the freelancers to seek their services on various projects. While currently, no government scheme that exists to promote this work culture, many online platforms, not only encourage this change but also support and educate the existing freelancer community.

Conclusion

Hope this article will help you to understand how to work as a freelancer in India. So, if you are still considering freelancing somewhere at the back of our mind, it’s time you give it a serious thought. All the best to you!


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FAQs

Do freelancers need a business license in India?

As per the Municipal Corporations, every person or business engaged in any kind of trade, business or profession is required to obtain a trade license. So yes it is mandatory for freelancers and bloggers to have one.

How to start a freelance business in India or How can I start freelancing in India?

Steps to how to be a freelancer in India:

  1. Define Your Goals.
  2. Find a Profitable Niche.
  3. Identify Your Target Clients.
  4. Set Strategic Prices for Your Services.
  5. Build a High-Quality Portfolio Website.
  6. Create Examples of What You Can Deliver (on Your Portfolio Site).
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