Following her passion for writing, Vagisha is an English Literature post-graduate who was featured amongst the top 10 content writers of India. She says that it is easy to create a path with established credibility and regular clients. According to her, building your own brand, leveraging social media platforms, and having your own website can help you get quality leads as a freelancer. Appreciating the freedom that the freelancing lifestyle offers, she also reveals that dealing with everything alone can get overwhelming at times. Therefore, She ensures a work-life balance. With her dedication and commitment to work, she has a network of happy clients. We wish her success as she aims to explore other niches in writing.
Read her story of success
Introduce yourself to us? Where are you from? About your family, parents? How was your childhood?
I belong to an upper middle class family in New Delhi, India. My father is a government employee whereas my mother is in the teaching profession. I was brought up in a family where reading was considered to be of utmost importance. I remember my parents gifting me a book on every birthday.
During my graduation days, I got immense exposure reading novels, poetry, essays, etc. That is how I developed my passion towards writing. My parents and lecturers played an instrumental role in encouraging me to pursue my career in content writing and content marketing.
- Why did you choose the field of content writing? Speak to us about your passion for writing? Tell us about being amongst the top 10 content writers of India?
I decided to pursue my graduation and post-graduation in English Literature. I consider it to be the golden period of my life when I was exposed to versatile writing styles and immense reading material. I developed my interest in reading and writing ever since then. After completing my education, I got an opportunity to work with Accenture as a Content Analyst which further widened my perspective to understand nuances of digital marketing and writing. It was during this period of time that I started taking freelancing projects more frequently. Working on different types of projects with versatile clients kept me happy and satisfied. I realized that it was something I wished to do for the rest of my life.
I decided to quit my job to become a full-time freelancer. I took a leap of faith to start this exciting journey. It was a bit unconventional for people around me and many questioned my career choices. I knew that with established credibility and regular clients, it would be easy to carve my path. What did wonders for me was LinkedIn as a platform which helped me connect with the right clients. I am very much satisfied with my decision and it makes me happy every single day.
Being featured among Top 10 content writers was a matter of chance. The founder of the website (EngineerBabu) asked me to share my work and overall portfolio. After that, he verified the testimonials and feedback from my clients. He was sure that I deserved to be in that list of 2018. Ever since then, he has been kind to include me in the upcoming lists as well.
I agree to the fact that such curated lists are very subjective in nature. It is not possible to evaluate 1.33 billion people on the basis of their performance and skills for creating such lists. Yet, it gives me sheer pleasure to have been able to make into this list as it gave a big boost to my portfolio. I strongly feel that it makes me more responsible and dedicated as a writer. Accomplishments and accolades are to be applauded and I feel proud to have made into the list. I am improving every single day to live up to the title. I am sure there are many out there who can be better but each of us are working hard in our own ways.
Tell us about the importance of having your own website and a blog? Mention about the value and the credibility it adds in your portfolio?
Having a website helps you establish your credibility and authority in a much better way. I feel that building one’s strong brand can help one get quality leads. It becomes easy for clients to go through your testimonials, previous samples, work experience and accomplishments in one go. Hence, it makes the process of working with your clients a bit easier. Apart from that, you don’t have to struggle to tell them about everything and convince them to work with you. Your website is like a one pager resume which speaks everything for you. Hence, it is essential to own your website to make things look professional and work in a hassle-free manner with clients.
Why did you choose to freelance? When did you begin to freelance? Were you planning it, or how did it happen?
I began freelancing back during my college days. To be honest, I never planned to be a freelancer but stumbled into becoming one. I chose full-time freelance writing because of the following reasons :
- Exposure to work on versatile range of projects
- Flexible work timings
- Leverage to explore my creativity and potential
- Independence to work according to my own timelines
- Great financial incentives
- Better work – life balance etc
I feel liberated as a writer while working in freelancing mode. It was really tough to be working in a corporate environment which hardly allowed me the opportunity to explore my creative abilities.
Considering the freelancer’s flexible working style, how do you ensure productivity? Talk to us about time-management. Give tips to our readers on maintaining efficiency through work-social life balance.
As a freelancer, planning is extremely essential to be able to take things smoothly. From creating invoices to managing client calls to creating proposals to doing writing projects, every step is time consuming. Hence, effectively managing time is a priority to prosper. Some of the things which I take care of include :
- Setting fixed timelines during the day for doing each task
- Completing day’s targets before going to bed to avoid confusions
- Taking up projects with reasonable timelines to complete
These are a few things I do to ensure work-life balance. I feel that time is more precious than money. As a freelancer, utilizing it optimally becomes even more indispensable otherwise you won’t be able to manage so many tasks on plate.
As a freelancer, how are your services priced? What are the key strategies for you?
I like to charge on a per word or per project basis to avoid confusions. As a freelancer, I like to work with clarity in mind and hence per word model suits me the best. I take into account the niche, research involved, nature of project, etc before quoting my prices. However, when it comes to LinkedIn profile makeovers or writing social media posts, I like to charge per post basis model. It all actually depends on the type of project I am expected to handle
How do you market yourself? Tell us about the effective marketing strategies you use to generate leads.
I believe that it is more about establishing your credibility and trust than marketing yourself as a full-time freelancer. A lot of people talk about the importance of personal branding these days. But, most of them forget about providing value in the process. I strongly believe that if you are posting quality content consistently, then people are bound to notice you and acknowledge your work. All you have to do is be sincere with your work and deliver what you promise. That is the best way to market yourself. Let your work speak for yourself.
I am an avid user of LinkedIn and leverage it to get 90% of my leads organically. I feel that having strong social media presence on various social media platforms can help you build your target audience and get you the visibility you want.
As a freelancer, how do you negotiate your deal with each client? Tell the new freelancers about the essential points to keep in mind before saying yes to the client.
I don’t like to negotiate with my clients. When I feel confident of delivering what is expected of me, I like to stick to my quoting pricing. If a client really wishes to work with you, he will be willing to listen and mould his terms according to you as well. I think it is a two-way street. I usually charge 50% advance before beginning the projects I take up. This simple step ensures transparency on both the sides.
What is the one major pro and/or con of freelancing, according to you?
Pro : As explained, I like the feeling of working independently without being answerable to anyone but my client. I enjoy that freedom to the fullest.
Con : Some days become a bit too overwhelming when there is a lot to do. From writing proposals to creating invoices to writing projects to having client calls, some days can be too tiring.
What is the one thing about clients that you dislike? What can they do to improve your work life?
I think most of the clients are unaware of what they are looking for and lack the clarity to hit their target audience. A client who is well versed with understanding his audience, his requirements, etc can definitely be an ideal client for me. It can streamline the work needed to be done from my end.
What mission and vision do you have? How do you want history to look at you?
I am slowly stepping into book editing and poetry writing. Definitely, I wish to explore other niches in writing to enhance my skills. I have also started my own website customisedpoetry.com which allows people to order personalized poetry for their loved ones. I realized my long lost passion for writing poetry and decided to start a new venture to keep the creative juices flowing. I love to light up smiles on other people’s faces with my pieces of poetry. Happy to be doing something innovative this time.
Do you feel content with yourself as you look back or do you think you have missed something?
I feel completely satisfied with my decision and thank god every single day. It is good to follow your heart when you are passionate about something. It is definitely worth a shot.