Despite the fact that we’re a 15 million strong freelance workforce bagging 40% of the worldwide freelance jobs, we face insurmountable problems getting freelance work. However, with the dominion of Indian freelancers improving, situations are changing in our favor.
In this article, we will see how we can get freelance jobs from the international markets.
Freelance Jobs Marketplace
Personally, I don’t recommend use of freelance jobs marketplace beyond a year of freelancing journey as they markets are saturated and cheap price often triumphs quality, which is a demotivating factor for any freelancer worth their mettle.
Nevertheless, that’s my personal opinion and if you want to check out freelance marketplaces, try out these 2 recommended ones:
Previously known as oDesk, Upwork is the world’s leading freelance marketplace. It has clients and professionals from all over the world. Simply sign up on the website and browse through thousands of job listings. Improvise job search based on your skills. Clients also hire on the basis of billable hours and the number of hours are easily traceable.
Few Things to Remember:
- Fill your profile completely.
- Take the Upwork Readiness Test and other skill-based test to show credibility to prospective clients.
- Link a withdrawal option in the account before taking up the first project.
- Include a cover letter for every job.
- Do not request upfront payment if you don’t have any feedback to show or experience.
Explore your skills. Don’t be afraid to apply to something different.
Headquartered in Israel, Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger founded Fiverr in 2009 as a global online mini-marketplace where sellers list services for buyers, or buyers can enlist tasks for interested sellers.
Initially, you could charge only $5 for services but now, you can extend the pricing with add-on services. According to recent statistics, Fiverr has more than 3 million listed services, ranging between $5 and $500.
Create an account with Fiverr and list the services, known as ‘gigs’ there. Promote them socially or wherever you want.
Gigs are prepaid and the payment is released when client accepts the submitted work.
Freelance Jobs on Contractual Basis
With 15 million freelancers, India is at 2nd position with US freelancers ruling the industry at 53 million freelance professionals. Half of the US freelancers work on contractual mode as consultants with one or more companies.
With reference to India, our contractual system is at a nascent stage because we aren’t serious about drawing contracts. Most of our work is done via emails with no work or payment guarantee. This is a huge problem, domestically and internationally.
We are realizing the need for contracts; however, the journey is way ahead.
If you’re a freelancer working with private clients, draw a contract to secure yourself. A contract ensures seriousness of the work in question, and both you and the client reach a win-win situation and mutual understanding level.
Use Network and Referrals
Even with all the technology at our disposal, network and word-of-mouth referrals still work best. If you’re already freelancing for some clients, talk to them for referrals.
If they are in the mainstream professional or business space, chances are high they will know someone who can use your freelancing services.
With good work and rapport, it’s not difficult to find referral clients.
Learn to Price Your Work
Indian freelancers lag behind because of our incapability to ask for an appropriate price for our work. Harsh but it’s the truth.
It’s not new to hear that international companies seek Indian freelancers because we offer the same job at a ‘cheaper’ price. Always remember there is a difference between ‘affordable price’ and ‘cheap price’.
If you can’t respect your own skill, no one else will.
Certainly, there is a lack of resource / guides which will enable freelancer to price their work appropriately. There is no official guide but you will find plenty of other freelancers sharing their pricing mechanism on their blogs.
If you’re a freelance writer, you can check out my article on demystifying the cost of article writing and make use of it.
Have a Portfolio / Website
It’s necessary to have a portfolio or a website that showcases your skills. Many a time we miss freelance jobs because we don’t have anything to show for our skills. This also applies when freelancers perform a lot of ‘ghost’ work, that is, freelancers don’t receive credit for their work.
As such, when a new prospective client asks for samples, there is nothing to show. With a portfolio or a website, you’re better equipped to sell services.
For example, if you’re looking for freelance jobs as a designer, build a website with your skills and use it as a sample for future clients. If you’re a write, become a guest contributor on blogs and build a portfolio and so on.
It’s simple to build credibility with the right way and attitude.
It’s uncomplicated to find freelance jobs in international markets. Just hustle, and hustle hard.