Roughly a year back when I decided to do freelancing full-time, I wished I had this article to read. But I didn’t. So in order to answer my question on how to find freelance jobs in India, the first step I did was to randomly search for freelance jobs online. I thought I could find freelance jobs easily and start working right away. I googled for freelance jobs near me and found a bunch of them on popular websites like upwork.com, freelancer.com and Fiverr. Excited, I created a profile on Upwork and waited for them to approve. And I got this:
I lost all the confidence I had and started doubting my decision. I didn’t know who to turn to. Today, I am much wiser and much more confident and I want to share all my learning with you.
So this is a complete guide on how to find freelance jobs in India.
What is a freelancing job?
Let’s start with what is a freelancing job. It is a work that is given to an independent contractor who is not employed with the company. He/She may be given more contracts/jobs but he/she never enjoys the benefits of of the company employees.
The benefit to the freelancer is that he is free to pick any work that he wishes to. He may choose the work based on his interest or money or both. He can choose who he works with and does not work with.
Freelancer earnings are purely a function of the efforts put by the freelancer and the work taken up by him. In most occasions, there is no regular pay. Some freelancers pick up something called as a retainer fee which is a fixed monthly pay for a certain type of work to be done every month.
Who gives these Freelancing jobs?
A lot of companies have a highly volatile flow of work. So they do not prefer keeping a lot of employees as it increases their fixed costs. These companies would rely on freelancers to do their work. These companies range from small startups to large Fortune 500 corporations.
Can I get a freelancing job without experience?
Yes. Freelancers charge for their work based on the experience they have. If you are just beginning the journey, it is advisable to charge low as it’ll help you get clients and gain experience to charge more later.
Can I earn well as a freelancer?
Many freelancers do the work full-time and earn much more than what they would have earned in a regular salaried job. This is along with freedom they get to work from wherever they want, with whoever they want.
If you are skeptical, you can start by doing work part-time, after work or during weekends and see how it goes.
Can freelancers get a loan?
It is true that freelancers find it more difficult to get a loan than regular salaried employees. So if you plan to do it full time, you should keep that in mind. Most freelancers end up becoming financially wiser as they know they have to plan more in advance.
Honestly, the safety of a salaried job is more of a false perception. The truth is one can get fired at any time when the company goes through a bad patch. We tend to see a job as somewhat permanent. And a consequence is that one tends to become lackadaisical.
Do freelancers have to pay income tax?
Yes. They do. But they have a slight advantage. Although they fall in the same income tax slab as a regular employee, the money they get from freelancing jobs is their “Revenue” not “Income”. Which means they can deduct all their expenses and reduce their net income. This means they’ll eventually pay lesser tax.
Do freelancers need to register for GST?
Only if they earn above a certain amount in a year. As of April 2020, the amount is INR 20 lakhs in revenues.
So, where do I find freelance jobs in India?
Now let’s tackle the main question – How to find freelance jobs in India? There are many popular websites like Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr to search for work. But before you start applying there, there are a few things that you must keep in mind.
- The standard cycle of earning as a freelancer is to pick up a skill and become very good at it. The more expertise you have in a field, the greater you can charge your client and the more options you get.
- So, start with picking up a skill and building an online portfolio. You need to give your prospective clients a reason to believe you and pay you.
- Once you have your portfolio ready and have published it online, start looking for work from your network. Slowly build credibility and apply to one of the freelancing websites.
- Establish your credentials there and then move to other freelancing portals. Fiverr seems to be less picky when it comes to new freelancers, so start there.
- Initially charge less in exchange for great reviews. Slowly you can start charging more.
How do I apply for these freelancing jobs?
Continuing our question on how to find freelance jobs in India. The proposal you send to your prospective client has to talk in detail on what you’ll and how. The idea is to gain the trust of the prospect and give you a small work first. Once you prove your worth, you can start charging more. There are many websites that give you proposal templates.
The one site I like a lot is Proposify. Have a look at it.
Should freelancers have a contract?
As long as you are getting work from the freelancing portals, the payment and deliverables are taken care of by the website. But when you have a separate work assigned by your client, outside of such portals – it is advisable to have a contract clearly mentioning the terms and timelines.
Common reasons why freelancers fail?
One of the main reasons I have seen many freelancers fail is that they see it as a money-making opportunity than a way to add value. This attitude often makes them short-sighted and focus on short-term gains than the value-add they can do to their client.
In summary, freelancing is a great way to increase your income many many folds than a regular salaried job. But one should not look at it from a short-term perspective. If you are in it from a long-term perspective looking to provide value to your clients – the money you can earn is limitless.
What do you think? Are you excited by the freelancing opportunities out there? Would you ever leave your job to pursue freelancing full-time?
Let us know in the comments!