How to earn money as a Freelancer in 2021 : A step-by-step Guide
The question that we have today is a question that is being asked all the time and that is How do you make money as a teenager? How do you make money as a 20 y/o? Or how do you go out there and make a side income?
But before we get started there are a few disclaimers that I wanna give you. The first disclaimer that I have for you is that I primarily believe that it is important for you to go out there and seek an understanding of the people around you because people skill is by far the most valuable skill that you can cultivate during your school times and during your college times. WHY?
Because the moment you jump into corporate, the moment you mess up with people in the corporate it’s going to get you into trouble. In college it might get you into less trouble; so I would say fail over there so that the stakes will be low and you will acquire your learnings before the stakes go high.
The second disclaimer that I have for you is that the teenage or the early 20s is the time wherein you’re supposed to explore a lot and as much as people think that you have to find what you love I think it is equally important to find what you do not love.
The Next Thing!
So, I would say go out there and try a lot of things and then try to understand what you love and what you don’t love because the moment you find what you don’t love you go one step closer to what you love. So, go out there and explore a lot, fail a lot, eventually, you will begin to understand that this is your thing and this is not.
If this is very very clear to you, let’s get started. Now, this episode is divided into 3 segments. The first segment is where I will give you an understanding of the freelance economy. The second segment is where I teach you how do you exactly go onto become a good freelancer.
I’m gonna give you a framework that you can use no matter which profession you belong to. And third and most importantly, I’m going to introduce you to a few tools. I’m just gonna give you a glimpse of 1-2 tools, rest of them, you can find in the description.
The First Thing to Understand.
So, let’s get started with the first segment and that is understanding the freelance market. The first thing that you need to understand is that Internet is becoming more and more important by the day. When it comes to the early 1990s wherein India actually opened up to the foreign markets.
That’s when Internet was merely a tool, a fancy tool that could be used in the offices. Several companies were very reluctant to use the Internet but as we started going towards early 2000s Internet became an essential tool because of which your organisation could perform better and could become more efficient.
By 2010, Internet became a necessity because of which if you did not use the Internet, your competition would outperform you. BUT As soon as we started to go towards 2014-2015 we started to see startups like Ola and Uber lay their foundations in India.
The Jio Wave
And in 2016, the Jio wave happened. So, practically speaking, although Internet is not new to India the accessiblity of Internet is something that is fairly new to India. And after 2016, when everybody started to get access to the Internet today Internet is not just a tool that will turn you into an efficient organisation.
It is the very foundation based on which your organisation has been built. So, Ola cannot exist without the Internet. Uber cannot exist without the Internet. And so is the case with Zomato, Swiggy and the rest of the startups. Now, let’s say Mani Meme itself.
If Internet weren’t there, we would be teaching in classrooms but because we have the Internet today we do not teach in classrooms, as a result of which Internet is the very foundation of our organisation.
And because of the rise of Internet based companies the accessiblity of employment has also increased by a large extent. Now, one of the best ways to actually draw a correlation between Internet and the freelance economy would be to have a look at the average speed of the Internet and try to understand how this happened in the US.
In 2014, it was 12-13 Mbps which is now the case in India. The average Internet speed in India is close to 12-13 Mbps. And you will see that from 2014 onwards the US freelance economy started booming and today the United States is looking at $1.2 trillion freelance economy.
Coming back to India.
Now, come back to India. We are at the stage that US was in 2014 because of which by 2025, even India could be looking at a trillion dollar freelance economy. So, this is my economic projection to tell you as to what exactly is the future of freelance economy.
Now, I come to the second point that is why do Indians have an upper hand as compared to the citizens of US when it comes to freelance economy. Well, if you look at the rise of companies like TCS, Infosys these are consultancy services which have clients in the US and because labour is extremely cheap in India they have their entire setup in India because of which they are able to provide cheap labour hence maximise their profits.
And even companies in the US are able to benefit from companies like TCS and Infosys So, practically speaking, they would rather hire and Indian keep him happy in India and pay him more than the average salary offered to Indians as compared to paying the exact same amount to an American who will be extremely sad because it is way below the average American income.
And this format is the reason why consultancy services like TCS and Infosys and all these IT companies have been very progressive and they were able to hit their pot of gold. And now, in the next 2-3 years, the same thing is going to happen to the freelance economy.
Over here, let’s take a very simple example of hiring an editor in the US versus hiring an editor in India. Both of you will use the exact same software. It will either be Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. Both of you guys might have the exact same laptop. You would have a Macbook Pro.
He would have a Macbook Pro Both of you might also have the same skill but when it comes to a US citizen, he would charge, say, ₹6000/min for the footage he is going to edit but in India even if you charge ₹2000/min and you edit a 10 minute long video that is enough to put food into your belly for the next one month but for him, that wil not even be sufficient for one week.
So, if you see the same win-win situation that was cost to TCS and Infosys is now going to be the cost for Indians in general because they can charge very less for the exact same work. And yet provide the exact same skillset with the exact same competency. And because of this, Indian citizens like you and me will have a much upper hand as compared to US citizens.
MONEY MONEY A LOT OF MONEY
This is the reason why freelance economy is going to become extremely progressive in India and in the next 5 years it wouldn’t be surprising to see people working from their homes. In fact, it would be weird if you see people going to office. So, to put that straight, there are 3 reasons you should believe that freelance economy is going to become extremely progressive in India.
Number one, is the economic projection from the United States. Number two, is cheap labour, hence the pivoting is going to happen from the US to India giving you the upper hand and number three is the rise of Internet companies in India which badly require the freelance economy because it is super cost efficient.
Now, let’s talk about how do you exactly become a successful freelancer in India. People, it’s very simple. Three steps Number one is go out there and do some market research wherein you just have to go to different freelance websites go out there and find out the skill that you could be mastering or you are a master in.
And after you pick that particular skill go out there and find out which one of those subset in that skill is actually trending. For example, when it comes to something like video editing. Let’s say making trailers is trending and that is a skill that is in demand. You should learn making trailers by using video editing and not video editing in general.
Obviously the general understanding is more important but you also need to know where is the specialisation required. And once you have a clear understanding of where the specialisation is required you can go out there and take up courses on that.
Now, I am using video editing as just a placeholder. This could be any skill. This could be SEO, Pinterest Marketing. This could be copyrighting. This could be anything. And then last and most importantly, find out people who are actually very good at it who have been given 5 star rating or 4 star rating by 1000 or 2000 people.
And when you go to their profile, check out the quality of work that they are putting out. Once you understand the quality of work that they are putting out that will be your benchmark that you have to achieve in the next one or two months.
If you are already a master in that you can just go out there and put out your gig and people will come and hire you. So, once you do this procedure, you will understand 3 things.
- Number one, is your skill in demand?
- Number 2, in that skill which is the subset of that skill which is in demand and will pay you well.
- And number three and most importantly what is the benchmark of that skill which you are supposed to achieve.
And once you have a very clear understanding of this pathway of which skill, which subset and what benchmark you can take up courses which will help you obtain that goal of reaching that benchmark. And here’s where here’s where Udemy, Skillshare and all these other websites come into play just make sure that you don’t do it for the certificate and you do it to actually acquire the skill.
Now, the one disclaimer that I wanna put out over here is if you want to learn a skill you take up one course it doesn’t look good, do not quit over there take up many more courses. Once you are done with taking up 4-5 courses which have got social validation and then if you feel this is not your cup of tea go out there and look for next skill and repeat the same procedure all over again.
Just keep two things in mind Number one, do not give up. Number two, you will require a lot of practice to become a master at that skill because now you are competing with the best of the best in that particular domain. Once you are done with all of this.
Once you have acquired the skill. Now it is time to go out there and look for tools which will help you become a great freelancer. The first one you require is the tool that can actually teach you that skill. As far as my understanding is concerned for something like graphic design or video editing you could go out there and learn it from Skillshare.
Everybody wants opportunities everybody is willing to do the hardwork but very few people have the roadmap. And if you’re somebody who is like this I just hope that you found the roadmap from this article. Thank you so much for reading. I’ll see you soon, bye bye. Take care.