An English Literature graduate, Rashmi started working to become independent and to expand her writing caliber. She says that it is her writing skills that has allowed her to gain so many experiences. When started to freelance, for her, word-of-mouth and LinkedIn helped worked to get leads.
As a freelancer, she thinks it is essential to develop negotiation skills to keep your finances sorted. We agree with her advice that the only way to move forward is believing in your work and knowing your worth. She believes that it is her values like integrity that makes her stand out from the crowd.
In love with the freedom that freelancing allows, she appreciates the choice that she gets of working with clients. However, she also acknowledges the challenges that come along with freelancing and takes adequate steps to overcome them.
A strong and confident personality, she wishes to make her journey more exciting and helps others understand freelancing opportunities. We wish her success as she aims to fulfill all that she has been wanting to do. We also can’t wait to read the books that she writes one day soon.
Read Rashmi’s exciting journey:
1. Introduce yourself to us?
I am Rashmi Singh, a professional content writer, and freelancer. It has been more than four years since I started this career. I hail from Delhi and have done my graduation and post-graduation in English Literature.
I also did a post-graduate diploma in mass communication. Though I have explored a lot through my jobs, my profiles always revolved around writing. Today, I am working as a full-time freelance writer and looking forward to the surprises it holds for me.
2. Why did you choose the field of content writing? How did you get introduced to this field? What fascinates you the most about your career choice?
Honestly, I did not choose content writing, it chose me. I was never sure about my career when I was in school. But what I knew was that I liked reading. Novels fascinated me. So after my school, I took up English Hons. at Delhi University.
I think it was during the college years that my writing developed. When college was about to end, I was so excited to be independent that I decided I will start a job. Like most English Literature students, I gave an interview for a content writing job. I aced my first interview. In June 2016, I started my journey as a Junior Writer at AsiaOne Magazine.
It was during my first job when I realized that this is something I want to keep exploring. Then, from a magazine and digital marketing agency to a media firm and now finally freelancing, I have been trying different things to expand my writing caliber.
The fact that this writing skill has taken me through so many experiences, fascinates me a lot. I am glad it happened.
3. Why did you choose to freelance? When did you begin to freelance? Were you planning it, or how did it happen?
Just like content writing, freelancing also happened unintentionally. One of my friends used to work as a freelancer for a side gig. He had to deliver some articles and he approached me for that. I was already in a 9-5 job but worked on the articles to help him. That’s it!
More people from past jobs contacted me for a project or two. Just before the lockdown, somebody approached me with a pretty big project. I said yes. Then one day, LinkedIn happened and here I am.
4. How did you get your first client? What was your first project?
I got my first projects through acquaintances. An old friend of mine connected me with a guy who was just starting his website. We talked and discussed the project and that’s it. He already knew about my work so there wasn’t any pitching or anything. He further recommended me to other people who approached me for work.
At the beginning of my freelance career, projects mostly came from word-of-mouth. Later, I stumbled upon LinkedIn from where I received projects. For others who are just starting, I would suggest that they should work on their LinkedIn profiles and work portfolio. It can work wonders if you just stay active and post relevant things. Keep striving and it will come to you.
5. How to negotiate your deal with clients? What are the important points and techniques to keep in mind?
Negotiating with clients is a skill that takes a lot of time if you are not an extrovert or marketing professional. I still find it difficult every now and then. But then again, if you can’t negotiate well, it will affect your finances.
So the most important thing is to feel confident about your services. If you know your worth, it will reflect the confidence in your negotiation and chances are high that the client will say yes.
Some other tips and techniques that I believe work well are:
- Establish your personal brand and credibility
- Prepare and research about client’s needs
- Set a realistic price target
- Offer discounts on the project
- Have the ability to walk away when the deal doesn’t work
6. As a freelancer, speak about having integrity as an essential characteristic?
For me, integrity is a key characteristic if you want to feel satisfaction in your career. The market is full of freelancers and in such a situation, it is these values that make you stand apart. Your authentic content, USPs, and credibility are all that takes you ahead.
7. How do you price your services as a freelancer? Any essential points that a new freelancer should know of?
For me, there is no specific way to charge the services. My charges depend on the projects. Normally, there are two ways I charge: rupees per word and per project charge. For instance, if it is a blog, I opt for the former. But if it is a creative story or website content, per project charge is what suits me.
For new freelancers, I would advise that never ever work for free. You can also set a limit to the price range you would never accept. This helps in keeping yourself in a confident position. Believe me, there is so much work in the industry. You just need some simple tips, focus, and a little bit of luck.
8. What is the one major pro and/or con of freelancing, according to you?
One of the best things that I love about freelancing is the freedom it gives me; both financially and personally. While I do have to follow what my client wants, the fact is that I get to decide on those clients.
As for the con, freelancing is challenging. It puts me in difficult situations every now and then. Since I am not actually an extrovert or good with social media, I find personal branding and networking difficult. I am learning though. Every new project is like a baby step to learn more about this field.
9. Have you turned down a potential client? If yes, why?
Yes, so many times and the reasons vary for each one of them. For instance, one client I turned down because the project was taking a toll on my confidence, while the other one had to do with pricing. But if you try to look for that one thing that is always there is that I didn’t feel good with either the work or the client.
10. What’s your best piece of work to date? Why do you think that’s your favorite piece?
Labeling any one of my work as best is not justice since I have written on so many different topics and each one of them had a different style and angle.
11. What mission and vision do you have? How do you want history to look at you?
In the future, I want to work and excel in my career while trying to help people understand how freelancing can be a great opportunity. As for how I want history to look at me, I would one day want to become an author.
12. What would do you differently if you had to begin your career again? What would you focus on once you restart?
I do think of various things or decisions that could have changed my career drastically but if I get the chance to restart, I am sure I would have chosen this same path again. It has made me stronger and confident not just professionally but personally as well.
I had my share of lows but then who doesn’t. So right now, I am just planning how to make this journey more exciting and do the things I have always wanted to do.
Post learning from Shrutika on how to leverage social media as a freelancer, read our article on How To Write a Perfect Cold Email? to optimize another efficient marketing technique.