Taranpreet is a content writer & copywriter who also does social media strategy & consulting. She has been in working in the field since September 2020.
Interview Graphic – Taranpreet Kalra

Freelancing since September 2020, Taranpreet is a freelance content writer and copywriter who also does social media strategy and consulting. Her writing journey began at the age of 9 when she wrote her first poem and fell in love with words. Since then, there is no stopping her. She realizes the power of writing and appreciates that it helps her develop her voice.

A curious, empathetic and ambitious person, Taranpreet considers her freelancing journey as an unexpected adventure, full of learning. She started her journey by working for a startup and later on started using LinkedIn to leverage more opportunities. As a freelancer, she believes that it is important to be true to yourself and stick to your personal set of values.

Her mantra in life is ‘You have one life. Live it on your terms’. She believes that having faith in yourself will drive you to success. Her goal is to put out the highest-quality work and inspire others. We wish her the best for her future. 

Read her exciting journey: 

1. Introduce yourself to us?

Hi! I’m Taranpreet. I don many hats – freelance writer, social media strategist, content consultant, and copywriter. On a more personal level, I enjoy reading books, watching movies, listening to music, and writing poetry.

I hail from New Delhi, but enjoy talking to people from all over the world (thanks, Internet!) and strive to create a positive impact in the lives of others.

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 fell in love with words when I wrote my first poem at the age of 9. It’s been 13 years now and I’m still very much in love with words. When I entered college, I had no idea that I could get paid for writing. I thought only legit authors made money writing. However, my brother introduced me to the field of content writing. Upon his insistence, I applied for one content writing internship and shut my PC down. 

I had no confidence in my writing ability until I was called for an interview! I ended up bagging that internship in the 1st year of college. After that, I just kept going, applying at agencies, companies, NGOs, and eventually working independently with clients, gaining more exposure and experience.

What fascinates me most about my career is how powerful writing is and what difference it can make. I also enjoy learning the nuances of good writing and developing my own voice.

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

Honestly, I had no idea I could pull freelancing off. I didn’t even know I wanted to be a freelancer.

I was approached by the founder of an American startup in September 2020. When he said he wanted me to write blogs for his company, I was apprehensive. I remember thinking, “this is a scam”. But I didn’t reject the opportunity. We had a video call discussing the project and it finally hit me that this opportunity is very real. 

I took on the project and was contracted for 3 months. During that contract, I realized that freelancing is so much more fun than working a 9-5, and decided that this was the path I wanted to pursue. Here I am now!

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

I’ve used many social media platforms over the years, but I never thought they could help boost my career. In the beginning, I used LinkedIn just to apply for opportunities, but soon I figured out that I can leverage it to build my own personal brand. 

I use it now to share my experiences and learnings and engage with so many people. Doing that consistently has led to opportunities knocking on my door regularly. LinkedIn is an extremely powerful platform, especially for freelancers. With so many founders, hiring managers, and executives regularly using it, you get a chance to be seen and attract inbound leads. The key is to create value-packed content and interact with people from different industries.

5. As a freelancer, speak about having integrity as an essential characteristic? Tell our readers about being original, giving credits, and having a USP with your work and services offered.

Integrity is about doing the right thing, even if no one is watching. As a freelancer, it’s important to not just have integrity yourself, but also to not engage with those who lack it. Be true to yourself and follow a personal set of values.

Originality is confusing for some. It doesn’t mean you have to think of ideas that have never been thought of before, it’s about finding your own voice in this noisy world. One way to develop it is to write for yourself. Jot down your ideas, opinions, and experiences. It will help bring out your personality. Also, never plagiarize! I call it the writer’s sin. It will lead to an instant loss of respect and credibility. Always give credit where it’s due.

Your USP helps to differentiate you from others in the market. It’s essential to think about ways you can deliver top-notch work and make your clients keep coming back for more.

6. How to negotiate your deal with clients? What are the important points and techniques to keep in mind?

Negotiation is a learnable skill. However, before you negotiate with a client, you should know the value you’re providing and be confident in your ability to deliver.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Never undersell yourself.
  • Be clear about your services and pricing.
  • Charge reasonably for your services.
  • Consider giving discounts on a bulk project.
  • Put emphasis on your USP.
  • Don’t work with clients who don’t see your value.

7. How do you deal with writer’s block? What are the steps that you take to overcome it?

Every writer dreads staring at a blank page with a blank mind. There are always going to be days when you cannot think of ideas. To overcome writer’s block, I do one or more of the following:

  • Take a break and focus on something entirely different
  • Write whatever comes to my mind
  • Seek help from my network
  • Do something physical
  • Read on the topic
  • Sleep on it

You have to understand though, you cannot keep procrastinating. You will have to face the page and put words on it if you want to get out of the writer’s block.

8. What according to you are the most essential skills that anyone interested in this area of work should develop?

Freelancing is a lot like running a business. So, the essential skills one should develop to be a successful freelancer are sales (how to sell yourself), marketing (how to build your personal brand), communication (being clear and listening effectively), and collaboration (you should be easy to work with).

As a freelance writer, you ought to read and write a lot. You also need to keep upskilling.

I suggest the following resources:

Blogs

  • Hubspot
  • Copyblogger
  • Ahrefs
  • Copyhackers

Tools

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Grammarly
  • Hemingway Editor

Apps

  • Google Keep
  • Microsoft To Do
  • Trello
  • Notion

9. What are the most crucial aspects that a freelancer should focus on for growth?

To grow as a freelancer, you need to build your network, build your personal brand, and always be open to opportunities. It’s a journey, so you should strive for improvement every day.

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

Major pro: Setting your own hours and ability to choose projects

Major con: Unreliable workload and difficulty maintaining work-life balance

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

My mission is to provide the highest-quality work without compromising on my personal values.

My vision is to become a well-respected, successful freelancer who inspires others on the same journey.

I want history to look at me as someone who wasn’t afraid of taking risks and charted her own path, someone who couldn’t be held back despite setbacks.

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

I’m still young and have my whole life ahead of me, so I don’t really have any regrets. However, knowing what I know now, I would have grabbed more opportunities and put myself out there sooner if I had the chance to restart my career.

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

If you, as a freelancer are looking towards financial growth, read our article on How to raise your price as a freelancer? to figure out some key strategies for the same.