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How to Remain Relevant and Get Access to Opportunities in the Gig Economy

Given the turmoil in the economic climate, freelancing is poised for imminent growth in India, predicts this expert.

Photo by Anna Shvets/ Pexels
Photo by Anna Shvets/ Pexels

The community of freelancers in India has been seeing a consistent rise over the course of the last decade or so. As jobs became more and more digital, remote working took precedence for many as a lucrative option. As of 2020, with the work from home movement in full swing across the country owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown, the opportunity is ripe for freelancers. This shift, or rather the new normal, is an excellent proposition for just about anyone but especially women who are looking to build or re-build their careers, albeit from the comfort and ease of their homes. 

Why freelancing?

As companies have had to pivot and adopt a mandatory work from home strategy, a lot of them are realising that it works, giving rise to a new working model in the country. Hence hiring freelancers is likely to be seen as more cost effective than hiring full time employees. Companies can reduce employee costs by working with freelancers whenever the need arises, saving them fixed costs. 

Therefore, now, more than ever before, knowing how to get freelancing gigs and what steps are important for any budding freelancer will become extremely crucial. It is important to remember certain guidelines on what one can do to pick up freelancing jobs in India: 

1. Build a portfolio

Whatever your key skill may be, it is crucial to have a ready repository of your work which can be easily shared with a potential employer. To begin with, choose an online platform to showcase your work as that would be more relevant to the current scenario. Make sure you then list down the services you offer, curate examples of your work, source testimonials, add your educational background and update it regularly. You can also find various websites in India that will help you in creating your profile, making your outreach more impactful.

Looking at a portfolio gives a deeper insight into the kind of work you can provide, giving your potential employer an easier choice to make. Testimonials do a great job of indicating faith in your prowess, making it easier for you to land the project. 

2. Choose your medium wisely

Where you display your work plays a very important role. Using social media to your advantage is a wise decision as apart from your personal websites, these platforms are a great way to showcase your expertise.

If your profession is in the visual arts, you need to focus more on visual heavy platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Similarly, if you are a freelance writer, Thrive, Medium, Facebook and Twitter would be more impactful platforms for you. Update these platforms regularly and make sure you tag the brands you have worked for. Use LinkedIn to keep a lookout for the brands you specifically want to work with and make sure you keep a track of job opportunities on their pages. Participate regularly in community focused groups on Facebook to keep visibility intact and keep an eye out for job posts that fit your profile.

3. Pitch yourself actively

Sometimes, rather than waiting for an opportunity to present itself, it also is wise to actively engage with the companies you want to work for. These companies may not be advertising to hire immediately but an initiative from your end could land you a potential project. Switch to cold-emailing which serves as the best form of communication currently and list down ways in which you could add value. Make sure you use appropriate addressing, be to the point in your communication, and ensure you follow up.

4. Network, network and network

The more you actively talk about your work, the more you will be able to generate genuine interest in your capabilities. Word of mouth is an excellent way to not only gain access to more opportunities but also to widen your circle of network. We often undermine the potential of talking about our work with family, friends, and even acquaintances we may have known in the past. You never know when an opportunity may present itself this way. More often than not, this also leads to a widened circle and helps build a potential network of clients in the future.

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