Freelancing has proved to be one of the most resilient and flexible approach towards work. India’s freelancing workforce of 15 million makes up to around 40% of the world’s freelancing sector.
According to the ‘Future of work accelerated’ report published by Deloitte, three out of five companies are thinking about replacing full-time workers with freelancers. This means that 60% of organizations will be hiring Gig(for micro tasks) and freelance workers(for independent tasks on hourly/monthly/yearly basis). Deloitte’s data has projected India’s gig economy at $455 Billion in the next three years and has predicted that the unorganized sector will be affected the most.
Hence, opportunities will be plentiful for people who want to jump-start their freelancing career. Upwork, one of the top websites for freelancers, has said in its report that Freelancing will become a source of additional income for a lot of permanent workers who will get laid off or will suffer a pay-cut.
In our previous post about freelancers, we talked about what are the top freelancing jobs you can choose. Here we talk about skills and websites to get work.
Top Soft Skills to kick-start work as a freelancer:
Although there is work available for almost every job profile in the freelancing market; there are specific soft skills that are essential to ensure success. We will list some of the soft skills you can hone along with the best resources.
Business Communication: Irrespective of your level of expertise in your core freelancing domain, you can not offer the best services to your client unless you master proper communication. Business communication involves both written as well as spoken dialogue. Effective communication not only helps in understanding the needs of the client correctly, but it also enables you to write professional-looking and error-free offer statements. Properly written descriptions and application letters increase significantly the chances of getting hired. The ability to communicate appropriately on phone calls also improves the chances of getting international collaborations.
Self Discipline and Time Management: Unlike in an office setting, there is no one to remind freelancers to stick to a schedule and finish individual tasks of the project on time. Freelancers have to monitor everything alone, and it helps a lot if you make a detailed and structured schedule of the project. It would be best if you prioritize tasks requiring a high level of concentration for the earlier parts of the day as efficiency and focus wears down with the passing of the day.
Empathy and Service: The only mantra to be successful as a freelancer is to satisfy the needs of your clients every time. This requires a service-oriented attitude from the individual’s side. The extra time that goes into understanding the needs of the client should not be seen as a burden but an investment and duty.
Flexibility and Adaptability: The needs of different clients and the new tools available in the market keep changing quickly. Continuous learning of new skills and adaptability according to different work requirements helps in staying relevant in the freelancing market.
Top Websites for Freelancers:
Websites help in connecting freelancers and employers. Some of them are free to sign up and do not charge any commission while others charge a fixed percentage of the invoice amount from the freelancer as well as the employer.
- Worknhire: The website charges 5.618% of the invoice amount.
- Freelance India: They offer both premium and free memberships and are one of the oldest sites in the freelancing business.
- Youth4work: They do not charge anything from the freelancer. They conduct skills tests and post the results on the profile to help the employers in the assessment of the freelancers.
- Freelancer: This is one of the best websites for freelancers in India. It is designed on a model akin to that of UpWork and offers premium and paid profiles.
- Truelancer: This website also has a user-friendly phone app and helps freelancers stay updated in real-time.
Top Global freelance websites for Indians:
- Upwork: Upwork has the maximum number of projects posted online and is the ideal place for beginners to start within India. Projects from organizations like Microsoft and Pinterest are also available.
- Guru: It has more than 3 million registered freelancers and has been running for the past 20 years.
- Craiglist: This website offers you to find work based on your area and location
- ProBlogger jobs: It is more of a job portal for writers and creative people.
- Behance: This is the right place for graphic designers, UX designers, visual artists and animation designers. You can create a portfolio and look for an online project.
- Fiverr: Fiverr is trending platform for freelancers and startups, which do not charge any commission as well as ensure payment guarantee.
Establishing yourself as a freelancer and securing a stable income will take some time, and you might face initial hardships along the way. However, if your focus is on providing top quality service to your employers from the very beginning and you continuously work on your technical and soft skills, then the stumbling blocks will become the cornerstones of your successful freelancing career.
For freelancers, creating a personal brand is crucial for getting big clients and recurring income. Do check out our post on how to market yourself/create personal brand in this digital realm.