Sakshi is a content marketer & a LinkedIn branding specialist. It all started with a piece of content & she scaled with personal branding.
Interview Graphic – Sakshi Darpan

Passionate about writing since childhood, Sakshi is now a content marketer and a LinkedIn branding specialist. For her, it all started with a piece of content and she scaled through personal branding. As a freelancer, it was important for her to experiment, learn, network & scale to unleash her potential. She found her way by optimizing LinkedIn and used it as a platform to earn additional income. 

Working since 2019, she is a creative person who markets brands and her skill sets. Her advice to freelancers is to stick to the price you have quoted and not lowering it just for the sake of getting the project. She lays emphasis on upskilling and polishing skills for growth. Along with LinkedIn and Instagram, she uses networking and blogging to reach out to more people.

She says that freelancers are just entrepreneurs who run their own business and the journey is fun if done your way. Like entrepreneurship, a freelancer needs to do multi-tasking, however, she agrees that there is no limit to professional and personal growth. Through her coaching and consultations, she wishes to help new freelancers.

Owing to her experiences, she is a dedicated and determined person. She is fond of traveling and likes to do public speaking. Her one mantra is ‘Don’t say “Yes” to everyone if you want to grow. Even we have the option to select (or reject) any prospect’. We wish her success in her journey as a content marketer and a LinkedIn coach.

Read her success story:

1. Introduce yourself to us?

Hey there! This is Sakshi. I am a content marketer & a LinkedIn branding specialist. Mainly, I help brands plan out & create their 360-degree content strategy that appeals to the target audience. 

I am really fascinated by content, the marketing side of a business & start-ups in general! 

I have created an enormous amount of content for multiple brands ever since my college times. With the years passing, I found myself being more interested in content & marketing. 

I am originally from a village in Jharkhand, currently putting up in Delhi (NCR). I have been away from home ever since I was 10. These years of staying on my own have given me the superpowers to work doubly hard on what I want without worrying about the world.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, I went full-blown into growing myself as a content marketer. That’s also when LinkedIn happened. 

In order to experiment, learn, network & scale, I discovered LinkedIn. 10 months later, all I can say is that Linkedin has helped me unleash my potential & gave me an additional stream of income which I absolutely love!

Now, I also help Freelancers, Coaches, CXOs grow their personal brands on LinkedIn.

2. Why did you choose the field of writing? How did you get introduced to this field? What fascinates you the most about your career choice?

I have always been fascinated by writing. Since my school days, I have wanted to be a writer. However, when I grew up I also found myself being really passionate about startups. While in the second year of my college, I launched an open mic poetry platform in Kolkata named “Redefined Rhapsody”. In my first event itself, 70 people had turned up.

In order to invest in this little passion project of mine, I needed some money. Someone suggested doing some part-time writing to earn money as I always had a fascination for writing. That was the turning point of my life. Writing content for some extra money got me introduced to a whole new world of content & online marketing.

From a full-time job to working for high-ticket clients, I found myself immersed in content while still trying to upskill every day.

3. Why did you choose to freelance? When did you begin to freelance? Were you planning it, or how did it happen?

Freelancing was never in the mind. It all started with doing internships to earn extra pocket money in college. The opportunities came crawling to me when I applied what I learned while making myself available on various platforms.

I grabbed those opportunities even when it was difficult to manage them with a full-time job. I loved making my portfolio and seeing my published work. As I grow, I see myself more as a marketing enthusiast with a knack for creating awesome content.

4. Throw some light on the importance of choosing niches and working on personal branding for freelancers.

Let’s talk about choosing a niche first. I cannot stress about it enough. However, when someone is just starting up as a freelancer in any field, I feel they need to do plenty of experiments. In the initial phase, saying “Yes” to everything that comes your way is a great way to analyze what you do & don’t like. 

Once, if you have experimented & tried enough, then you can choose a niche in that world for you. I mostly write for B2B brands & market only personal brands on LinkedIn. That niche is the consequence of trying and testing hundreds of other things.

Personal Branding is something that I feel is the need of the hour. How you showcase yourself on a digital platform speaks volumes about your strategy, your content, your work ethic, your consistency & your hard work. People resonate with people. If you create a personal brand around your expertise, you would be having raving fans around you wanting to work with you!

5. How do you use social media to your strength to build an effective network and generate sales leads?

My one hundred percent leads are inbound. I am active on LinkedIn & Instagram. I have been able to use these two platforms to my advantage. If you are trying to generate leads using these platforms, you can do the following:

  • Add CTA or call to action in your profile wherever you can.
  • Be clear about your services & showcase them through your profile’s bio or about section.
  • Be reachable. Give multiple ways for people to reach you. Provide your email, your Calendly link or even be welcoming on the DM option. 
  • Talk about your learnings, stories, reviews, results & discovery while working for clients.

6. How do you price your services as a freelancer? Any essential points that a new freelancer should know of?

Freelancing is lucrative only when you are valuable to a brand. That means, if you are just starting and don’t have much to show to your clients, it’s okay to work for less to build your portfolio. I believe that in the initial 6 months the focus should be on getting out there in the open and grabbing the opportunities.

Once you feel that you have learned something great and can deliver value, you move on to the clients who value your work. It’s important to stick to what you quote and not lower much for the sake of having more projects. 

7. How to deal with isolation and loneliness as a freelancer?

Freelancing is the word that we usually choose to use. But, at the core of it, we are just entrepreneurs who are running our businesses. There is a lot of work that goes into running a profitable business. Especially in marketing, I am always experimenting with something or other. The journey would be fun and not lonely if you do it right by yourself.

I am building my business alongside scaling a SAAS startup as a content marketer. Hence, for me, the whole journey is quite fun with so much learning along the way!

8. What do you do to polish your skills as a freelancer?

It’s essential to upskill and polish your skills if you want to grow. Here are a few things that would help:

  • Research like a crazy person. Use all the available platforms.
  • Make sure you are giving 100% to a project.
  • Take feedback from your clients and improvise.
  • Learn new things through courses & mentorship & implement them.
  • Talk to the people from your industry.

9. As a freelancer, what were the biggest obstacles you overcame? What were your worst mistakes?

I had the right skills in place. But, I didn’t know how to reach out to the right prospects. LinkedIn solved that issue for me. I am also branching out & diving into the world of Instagram Reels & Workshops!

The worst mistake I would say I made is not having a clear CTA or Call To Action. If you keep yourself reachable, you would potentially attract more leads. 

10. What is the one major pro and/or con of freelancing, according to you?

Freelancing is like entrepreneurship. You need to wear multiple hats. From marketing your services to negotiation skills to delivering the actual project, a whole lot of process is involved. That could be a con for many.

The Pros are that there is absolutely no limit to how much you can grow financially and individually.

11. What mission and vision do you have? How do you want history to look at you?

I have unveiled the power of content & Linkedin. In the year 2021, I have plans to launch my courses, market my consultations strategically & educate more people around me. I am hopeful that I would be able to provide a way to budding freelancers. 

Other than that, I am working on myself every day to learn more about marketing. I want to keep building that up. A few years down the line, I am keen on projecting myself as a go-to content marketer & LinkedIn Coach! 

12. What would do you differently if you had to begin your career again? What would you focus on once you restart?

Whether I had to begin my life or even my career once again, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I own my life and its experiences. There have been good and bad days. I have survived and grew through thick & thin, and I’ll continue to. 

Sakshi can be reached out on Refrens, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram

Framing a bid proposal for your business? Don’t forget to include an Estimate! Read our article on ‘Creating a perfect Cost Estimate’ for your next project.