An MBA graduate turned digital marketing consultant, Surojit began his career by writing business case studies. Along with being a marketing enthusiast, he is an artist and a teacher, training new minds in marketing.
A self-taugth marketer, he wants to be a leader and contribute to the changing industry and work dynamics. He started freelancing as a side income but got into it full-time once he had expertise in the field and that more richer experiences. As a freelancer, he highlights the importance of having a personal brand and work portfolio for premium pricing of freelancers.
He believes that freelancing gives you the hope to earn more by tapping into the entrepreneur side of you. A creative mind, who loves to experiment, he is also a focused and a determined person. We wish him success for future journey and hope to read his book one day.
Read his journey of growth:
1. Introduce yourself to us?
An artist at heart, a marketer by profession, and a teacher by passion. While I try to keep a good balance of all three, currently I am spending a lot of time mentoring young and enthusiastic marketing minds.
A little bit of background – I had a blog since my college days, and started working as a freelancer pretty early. After my MBA, I got a much-needed boost in my knowledge and skills. Initially, in my career, I was into writing Business Case Studies and I thoroughly enjoyed that phase of my life.
Each case study would take around a month to write, and I spent the days lost in researching & writing. I Developed around 27 Business Case studies on Marketing & Strategy, which were published in ICFAI Journal & The Case Centre, London. I also won the Oikos International Case Study competition in Switzerland, in 2015 and was mentioned in The Hindu.
2. Why did you choose the field of digital marketing? How did you get introduced to this field? What fascinates you the most about your career choice?
I enjoyed writing. I wanted to write novels someday. I still do. But, when I started spending more time working with clients, I realized writing is just an element in marketing. I wanted to become a complete marketer. I wanted to lead the team, not just be a member of the marketing team.
So, I learned everything that was needed. I learned to design, worked on paid campaigns, SEO, website development, data analysis to get wholesome experience and knowledge. It took a couple of years and I self-learned it.
I think the internet is changing the way our society/organization/politics works. However, we are yet to see the complete impact of it. Companies are yet to adapt to this completely and I want to be a part of this change.
3. Why did you choose to freelance? When did you begin to freelance? Were you planning it, or how did it happen?
Digital Marketing is skill-based work. When I developed a level of expertise in all areas of this field, I started getting offers from LinkedIn for freelancing work. I never chased it. A couple of years back it started like a hobby/side income which gradually turned into a full-time profession.
4. How did you get your first client? What was your first project?
My first client was from LinkedIn. They were looking for a full-time employee, and they liked my profile and work experience. But I wasn’t looking for a job change. So, they offered to work as a consultant in my free time and help them. That was the beginning.
Initially, it was very hectic, with a full-time job and freelancing clients I barely had time for myself. But, I was building my portfolio and it was needed at that point in time.
My tip for new freelancers: Initially, focus on building your work portfolio and parallelly build your personal brand on social media by sharing your knowledge, documenting your journey. When you build a brand you can charge a premium to your clients.
5. How do you handle stress? What are the steps that you take to overcome it?
I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by including a lot of fruits in my diet and going for long walks regularly. There is no magic formula to handle stress. You can better manage it with awareness. Meditation helps. But I am not regular with meditation (Even though I want to).
6. How do you price your services as a freelancer? Any essential points that a new freelancer should know of?
Pricing is very complicated. What works for me might not work for others. It depends on how you portray yourself, showcase your experience/expertise, and convince your clients.
If you are completely new, do research and find out what others are charging, then compare the quality of your service and find out a figure that your client would be happy with and would justify your efforts.
7. What is the one major pro and/or con of freelancing, according to you?
Freelancing gives you hope – to earn more. It ignites the entrepreneur inside you in some way. Initially, it might be fun to work on a couple of projects but slowly you need to think like an entrepreneur to optimize your business.
8. Have you turned down a potential client? If yes, why?
On multiple occasions, when I had too much on my plate.