Diversifying into related fields

It is easy to diversify to various related fields when you are a freelancer. All that you have to have is the energy and determination to learn more. Diversifying may sound a bit too general. But diversifying can be very strictly specialization as well.

Diversifying helps in many ways. It paves for easier application of theories of one project to another. Your learning curve may be slow but you may end up reaping the benefits of being an expert at what you do. They are measurable when you get higher paid projects. This may result in spending less on advertisements since you will have the good will, which an expert can command, from the client who may refer you to many others as well.

Diversifying helps specialization since every time you diversify; you also specialize in a new subject. Which means the term diversification goes hand in hand with specialization on a new line of business. While concentrating on your primary strength, it is also necessary to ramp up and diversify. Clients can see through your specialties or expertise very easily. Hence, it is necessary that you need to be a master at what you do. Which also means, that every time you diversify, ensure that you learn the ropes of the new technology well enough to generate an income out of it.

Let us take the example of journalism graduates. They can diversify into writing books, magazines, or articles and publish them. This will ensure that they have their own set of working norms. But here, they have to try hard to publish their work. What they need to have is experience working in a publishing house or even at a newspaper to learn how they need to manage both aspects of the business viz writing and publishing.

People in the technical field have a better chance of diversifying. They can learn new programs and computer languages. There are ample certification courses available as well. In fact, they necessarily need to diversify since technology gets outdated faster. The individual has to update himself with newer technology to keep abreast with the trends. This also allows this field to be very dynamic in terms of inventions and changes.

Web developers have an advantage here. The internet is the place where all the new things happen and web developers will get opportunities to develop new websites about the new industries and technology. Thus, a freelancer who is a web developer will have vast knowledge about every single aspect of the business that he is working with.

Marketing consultants can double up as advertisers. They know the product they sell and they know the different aspects of the product. Similarly, once you are successful at marketing a product and has the knowledge on the skill sets required, you could sell anything. Same is the case when it comes to advertisements. Marketing professionals double up as advertisers for their products. Both these skill sets go hand in hand.

The above throws light on how a freelancer can diversify into different skill sets and use them to generate income. While diversification generates income, it also generates more business. One could create new products while selling some other products or invent a product that goes well with the ones that you are selling already.

The question is whether you prefer to be in the comfort zone or not. Being in the comfort zone means lesser risk. And being away from the comfort zone generates risk. But experience will tell that even while you take calculated risks you could have success calling on you with huge profits and business opportunities.

The key to diversification is to start slowly. Learn each new technology at a pace set by you. Then master them. Once you know where to keep your next step you will know how to climb up the treacherous path. It is a full time job in itself for a freelancer to expand his business.

Another way of diversifying is to outsource less and to do more. Many occasions warrant that some of the work related to your project be outsourced to another freelancer. But situations like that can be a hidden opportunity for the freelancer to learn those new aspects and to be a master of his work. The key is to recognize learning opportunities and outsource lesser and lesser. This way you can earn more and generate more business as well. The new learning will be helpful in future as well.

Do some training to your subordinates or peers and impart knowledge. This way, you are sharing your knowledge and get to know some form them as well. Follow the above techniques and it sure will help your diversification process.

Keeping in touch with your clients even after completion of the project

It is easy to keep in touch in today’s world. There are more ways to be in touch than to be away, from people. So why not continue association with someone who has employed you for some time? It is important to keep in touch with past employers. Especially for freelancers who have been on a project for a longer period of time, say six months.

To find ways to be in touch is not difficult. There are ample opportunities that present itself for such a situation. Freelancers can take this opportunity to inform clients about the new things they have learnt. They may also talk about some prestigious projects undertaken. Talking about your achievements will create a positive picture in the minds of the client about you.

After completing a job well, don’t you think that your earlier employers should know what you are up to? You may update them in many ways. One such way is to occasionally give a courtesy call to the employer. You may have a casual chat with the contact point and inform him about what you are up to. You may also update him a bout you latest achievements.

There are networking sites like LinkedIn where you could update your latest projects, learning, interests etc. This gives you visibility. Not only past employers but also future recruiters who are looking for people who have talents like yours, are able to see your work profile.

If you have a website that publishes your work, you have visibility in the web as well. You may promote your website on social network sites. There are ways to advertise your work well. News letters can be a medium through which you may publicize your work. It is used by many to keep the clients updated on their work profile use this mode.

Well, that said, why is it important to be in touch? Keeping touch can be a follow up of what has transpired earlier. Hence, it need not necessarily be on work related matter and meetings. It can be a regular exercise you do, to exchange information or ideas or just casual chat. It further leads to more work from potential clients who were also past employers.

Always remember to appreciate the client for giving you an opportunity. This is another strategy that could earn you brownies. Clients will appreciate that you remembered them. Sending them a New Year gift or a Christmas gift as a token of appreciation will have an impact on their view about you and how you maintain professional relationships.

Remember to invite your clients to promotional events that you are participating in. This could be in the form of a trade meeting or a community event that you are using as a platform to promote your skills or product. The clients will have an opportunity to attend the event and also view some interesting products and promoters as well. This way you are extending good will to both the client and others around.

Sponsorship of events is another way to promote your business. While clients may have sponsorship requirements, you may take up this opportunity to meet more people from the client’s side as well as other participants who might be interested in your work.

While all the above are mandatory, there is no comparison to the occasional face to face meeting that you might want to have with the client. This may not be a true professional meeting, but these meetings could turn out to be great relationship building exercise that will benefit both parties. You could deliver some important facts and figures while you are at it. This could make you an integral part of your client’s contact list.

Refer your clients to prospective business contacts as well. This way you are opening up another channel for mutual help. The client may also appreciate the fact that you are extending support to them. Refer good people to them who might be of mutual help. Remember, what goes around come around. You never know when you will get a similar help from people you have been in business with.

Ultimately, it is these small gestures that will pave way for greater things to happen in future. All individuals great or small will reciprocate the good will shown to them. The results may turn out to be amazing experiences that one can never forget. Or they may just promote your work and business to higher levels ensuring your success.

Understanding the expectations of the client

What is client expectation? If you ask the client, the answer will vary from one client to another. Certain clients may expect you to deliver his work within stipulated time frames and will be keen on keeping with deadlines. Some others may only expect good quality work from you, irrespective of time frames.

So how do you manage the client’s expectations? There are quite a few circumstances that bring up varied experiences on client expectations while working with a wide spectrum of clients. The key to managing expectations is to have a plan and a back up plan for all situations that you may foresee a crisis. However, there are also unforeseen crisis, which one has to prepare for.

If there is a crisis or if there is good news, let your client know immediately. This way he will be confident that you will get back to him, whatever the situation you are in. Let them know if you are away from work or if you are unable to complete your tasks. This should be part of your regular communication plan.

Whenever you are unable to complete the work as per schedule, offering workable solutions to help them, complete the work is a good way to manage client expectations. Guide them on how to complete the pending task or even recommend a few people who may be able to pitch in and save the situation.

Building good rapport helps when the deadline of a project needs extension, especially when the client is far away from you. At any stage, the rapport that you build will help, to even question certain decisions that the client may make. Many times the clients are willing to explain a certain stance or change, elaborating on how it is going to be beneficial for both parties involved.

Having said the above, most clients do not have any expectations around work hours, as far as freelancers are concerned. This because they are aware that freelancers do not abide strictly to the number of working hours due to their nature of work.

Most clients expect quality of work to be topnotch, when they outsource projects for freelancing. Output, irrespective of the number of working hours put in, has to comply very specifically with depth, class, quality, and accuracy. These, freelancers, have to keep in mind while doing his work. The expectation from the client here is a superior job that will earn a lot of appreciation.

There are situations where more than one person is coordinating, with you, for work. There may be three or four people who are co-coordinating with you over a particular work say development of a curriculum etc. Here the SMEs, trainers, managers, sales personnel etc will have their views shared over a telecom or meetings. It is important to filter information that is necessary and crucial to suit the developmental work, the most. The freelancer requires a lot of discriminatory ability to know what should go into the curriculum and what should not.

If the situation demands it from a freelancer, it is quite alright to stretch work hours and offer to do a few extra assignments. Going the extra mile will help you gain the good will of the client. You may gain valuable experience while doing these extra assignments. This need not be a habit but, a freelancer should make use of a proper opportunity to learn and get the extra edge over others.

Payment is an area where it is crucial to learn to negotiate. The client may not give in his expectations, but the freelancer can gently remind the client, the amount of work involved in order to complete the assignment thus justifying the charges. But there are certain times when the freelancer can push for charges, for extra work especially, when the work is well over that mentioned in the contract. Whether the freelancer is a tax payer needs factoring in as well. It is advisable to keep in mind that, if much of technical complexities are involved, then, it is only right to charge a steep amount. This way you are ensuring fair treatment as well. And you save the client from being unreasonable.

Last but not the least is something that you, as a freelancer, could do to manage your client’s expectations. Always over deliver while you may promise something less. This way the client will be delighted at the effort put in and will also want to reward you for your efforts. So then, what is that we need to promise? Always promise in line with results expected from you. However, when it comes to output, over deliver and do that little excess to delight the client.

As and when you keep growing in your area of expertise, it is good to give valuable suggestions to clients who are looking for it. This way you act as a freelancer and a consultant as well. The client will then have a one stop shop where he will get all the solutions related to his work. This yet another method of managing client expectations.

A tribute to freelancing veterans

Freelancing veterans remembered here are the people who have sown the seeds for this area of work to develop to what it is now. Many years ago when freelancing was not very popular, few people would have had an idea of starting a new trend. They must have struggled to get themselves interviews and audience with employers who are likely to offer them work.

This is the time when we need to remember them and thank them for the effort they put in to legalize freelancing. Today, they have enabled employers to lead to a large workforce working at different places and different time zones adding value to work done in office spaces and elsewhere.

It is good to know a few veterans, if you are into freelancing. They are sources of much experience and exposure and can guide you well in your work. All this while we were speaking of talent and skills that will make a good freelancer stand out. But, somewhere we have forgotten to mention the experience that a veteran would have to offer. All the training that you may attend may not match up to the experience a veteran can share, to help you learn a few ropes in the freelancing arena.

Most of them must have worked their way up from a very young age. Talk to them about the challenges they have faced at the beginning. They would have valuable lessons to share. Many willingly share their stumbling blocks and learning, so that it sort of guides the new comers.

There is quite a bit to learn on how these veterans would have done their marketing for themselves. Many would have used methods which are outdated now. Careful thinking can revive some of those techniques to adapt to the new world and new generation of freelancers.

What else can veterans offer from their experience? Veterans can offer insights on different styles of work. Some of the older methods may not be prevalent now, but one can revive a few of their styles of work in an innovative way to suit today’s need.

Many of the veterans would have a winning streak in them, which is the reason for their success in work. It is important to learn how they have coped with the demands of their job. The humane element which is missing these days was present during their times. Suggest that the younger generation learn these traits from the veterans. They will give you enough stuff to remember for a life time!

Veterans will have lessons to share on self assessment and evaluation of oneself. They will share with you details on how to keep records of your work. They will also tell you how to plan and construct your career path.

Another area where veterans can provide insight is on pricing. They will share valuable lessons on how you may quote for your work. The present generation is not aware that a good reputation far outweighs the financial status of a person. Hence, try to learn these age old values, which these veterans practiced. Not that they did work for free, but some of them actually was not materialistic or even greedy.

What else can a veteran share about freelancing? He will share lessons on how to balance life and work. He will tell you lessons about how he enjoyed his time with family and friends. He will have stories and funny events that happened in his life during his younger days. Memories of moments that the younger generations miss out due to their involvement in the rat race of life! The competition that is prevalent among younger people to show off and to become winners all the time. Talking of this, yes, the veterans will teach you to take your failures in your stride. After all, life is about winning and losing. It is all in the game.

While you go through the glossary of their life, you will realize that there is no good or bad work. Any work that a person does is honorable. One has to be sincere towards the work he does. That is what veterans in freelancing or any other industry will teach you. That is what the great Indian leader and freedom fighter, Gandhi, says. This is the message that resounds all over the world, even as centuries pass by. The ultimate truth that the next generations will watch and learn from their ancestors and from their experience!

So here, I am saluting those veterans once again. You have shown us the path and we are grateful for it.

Why do many writers prefer freelancing

A question worth pondering over is why do writers prefer to freelance? In today’s world, writing is a hobby or a vocation for many who are educated. While some write while at work, as part of their key result area, some do it as a hobby to showcase their creativity. There is another section of writers who publish the articles or books written by them. Yet another section uses their creative talents to do the work that interests them while also earning remuneration.

Yes, doing work that is interesting to oneself is the sole reason why an individual writer chooses to be a freelancer. While writing on any topic of interest, it is convenient to choose the area of expertise and join groups which require skills of similar nature. This results in growth of the writer, in the respective area of interest in terms of knowledge, experience, and exposure. Here the freelancer focuses only on a few known and interesting sections of writing.

Choice of language is a criterion which most writers are choosy about. While many are comfortable writing in English, there are quite a few who have flair in writing in their own local language. Translation related work – from one language to another – is one such area which offers real challenges to experts in vernacular language. Here again a writer freelancer who prefers to work on a particular language, as a specialized writer, benefits.

Education is another vast area of where experts in the field, as writers can contribute effectively. The role here is that of a Subject Matter Expert, developing content for curriculum. Good quality educational content will contribute to development of the intellectuals who are capable of creating a better world. Educational content has the power to influence children of a very young age, to mould their character. Imparting lessons and moral stories are a great way to inculcate values in the younger generation. So, here’s another specialized sector for freelancers to choose to work and showcase their expertise.

Opportunity lies in the translation of epics and religious books into languages which are popular. Epics have a lot to convey and someone who understands the complexity of the language used can do a very good work here. Again, the challenge present here, is to capture the accurate meaning of the word in the context of the situation, to deliver an effective translation. Here again freelancers and publishers compete with each other to write and publish abridged versions for the benefit of the readers.

What more can be said on freelance writers and writing? The above and more reasons contribute, to decision of the writer, to choosing freelancing as the preferred area of work. As you can see, if you have the expertise and knowledge to be independent and to contribute effectively, and ample creativity to support these, there are enough and more you can do, as a freelancer.

Some of the other decisive factors for a freelance writer does not concern the area of work as such but contributes to determining what the best option is.

Since a freelancer does not have a regular work schedule, he is free to manage his time effectively to get the best result. He may choose a convenient time to work, even have breaks whenever he feels up to it. All this without supervision and hence he is forced to be responsible for each of his action which directly impacts his creativity, his stance with his clients, and his success as freelancer.

As long as work is completed and delivered, there are no clear check points in this field of work. Complying with schedules set by the writer for self, and delivering quality work is important. But there are no set processes that will tie a writer down, except self discipline.

Talking about discipline, a disciplined worker can easily complete his work without much hassle. Whether he works as a freelancer or as a regular employee does not affect his decisions and determination to excel in his are of work.

Whether you are an accomplished writer or a beginner does not matter when it comes to output that you are creating as a freelancer. In any area, be it writing or development of software or photography etc, a first timer has the same opportunity as a veteran to showcase his abilities.

Hence, the trick is to try to give the best shot in whatever you do. Information pertaining to what needs to go into the output has to be top priority for a writer. The topic of interest of the reader needs top priority in the mind of the writer, as the most important guideline. Now, some readers may be choosy about the information that they are looking for. But as long as the writer is able to keep the interest of the mass, he is termed to be popular and effective!

Are there any guidelines to writing? A freelancer can enquire into this as well. There are guidelines to effective writing. As mentioned above, there are guidelines as to how to keep the interest of the readers. There exists a guideline on effective the communication and how it happens. Well, we shall cover all those topics one by one in the next few articles.

So, if you have chosen to be freelancer, here’s wishing you a great career!

Pages Your Website Must Have

An online and updated website is the need of the clay for any freelancer. It does not matter what type of freelancing jobs you do, a web page can help you land many jobs easily. Since most of the freelancing jobs happen online and most of the searches happen online, an attractive web site will definitely put you above the rest.

However, a cluttered and unorganised website will do you more harm than good. The website should be clean and carry information and not useless things. Therefore, what pages should a freelancer’s website have? Here is a list:

Home Page:

Think of the home page of your favourite shopping website and think what makes you buy products from them. This will give you an idea of how the home page of your website should look like. The home page should:

→ have clear and definite links to all other pages

→have your recent photo

→ have your work and self-intro

→ have a readable theme

Select a hosting service that is fast because you want the web page to load quickly and not keep people waiting

About page:

The About page of your website is your mirror. This page should contain all the professional information about you. You can also write about your achievements and thoughts. Do not forget to include you photograph on the page. Readers will feel more comfortable if they have a picture to associate with what you have written.

Do not hide your interest or opinions on the page. Your fresh outlook to things is what most clients are looking for from a freelancer.

Samples /work/Portfolio:

This is the most important part of the website. This page should have the samples of your work listed in a neat manner. List a sample of each one of type of work that you have done. If there are any links, they should be updated and working. Also, make sure that you get the proper permission from clients before posting samples.

Your services

It is always a good idea to let the prospective clients know about what service you offer. This will present you a focused person. Be very specific of the services that you offer. Do not be too general like writing or web designing. On this page, you should also mention what you charge for the services. It is not a bad idea to let the clients know whether they can afford you or not. This will also help prevent misunderstandings after the discussions. Saves time too!


This is the page that will speak of your success. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to write testimonials for you that you can post on the website. The testimonials will take your profile to another level. Also if possible, post the client information with the testimonials.

Contact Information:

This one is pretty obvious. On this page post your picture and contact details (all updated and latest). You can integrate a direct messaging option in the website to enable people to contact you directly


If someone is going to hire you then feel she will want to know more about you, so why not tell them on the interest page. You can write down all your thoughts or the page, and other activities etc. Another good idea is to make the page interactive big polls, comments, etc. which will encourage the users to participate.

Always remember to keep the website neat and easy to navigate and read. Another important thing that I find helps a lot is to respond to comments and queries as soon as you get them.


Things A Freelancer Should Never Do

Striking out on your own or freelancing, as it called is never easy. You will have to answer a lot of question from your peers, you will have to work double hard to make a name for yourself. When you are trying to do something different there will always be people who will try to pull you down. But you should always keep in mind that it is only a small step that paves the road to success.

Today’s communication savvy world holds a vast number of freelancing jobs like software designing, writing, programing, web designing, data entry, interior designing, dress designing, research etc. Every job has different requirements, which will vary depending on the client needs, but there are a few rules, which apply everywhere. In this post, we will discuss about some things that a freelancer should never do:

Don’t procrastinate: This is the golden rule, which a freelancer should always remember. The more you drag your feet in submitting your assignments the more you lose the clients faith. Similarly, when you are in a process of discussing or giving an interview then make sure that you are quick in precise and correct response.

Don’t deviate from client instructions: This is one mistake that most freelancers make (although not consciously) is that they deviate from client instruction in order to make the project ‘better’. If you have any ideas, which will make the project better or will give better value to client then discuss with the client first and incorporate any changes if and only if the client agrees to it. Remember nobody likes surprises, which they did not ask for.

Don’t use ‘wrong’ language: When you are freelancing, the client will watch your every move because he/she has put their faith in you especially since you are not on their payroll. Therefore, you need to watch what you are saying at all the times. Don’t be too over familiar even when you have been working for the client for a long-long time. Always use the correct salutations, correct write up even when you are in chat. Don’t use icons, or acronyms or SMS language with words like thanx, BRB, ttyl etc.

Don’t change your fees: This is another one big mistake, which a freelancer should never ever make if he or she wants to really succeed in making a career out of freelancing. If you increase your fees in between the project or change the payment terms then the client is not going to be happy with you ever. Some freelancers start haggling for more payment once the job is near completion or they come to know that client is now dependent on the project or requires it urgently. This is an unethical practice.  This rule also includes not over charging the client.

Don’t take a job because money is good: A good freelancer knows what his/her skills are and knows what kind of jobs he or she can do. Imagine taking a software-designing job when you have a writing background just because the money is good. If you don’t have the necessary skills then how will you deliver a good product? Your reputation is more important than money in freelancing jobs.

Don’t compromise on your rates: If you are bidding for a job and see that, others have bid lower for the job then don’t compromise on your rates. If you know that, you can do a very good job then bid accordingly and in your bid write to the client about why you will be suitable for the job. Try to bid for the amount that will justify your skills and expertise.