Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into freelancing?
I got into freelancing pretty much by luck, fate, destiny… whatever you’d like to call it. I’d just moved to Dublin back in September 2018 for university, and I met the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, at an event there. We talked for a few minutes, and I went home and wrote a LinkedIn post about our conversation. This was the first post I had ever published on LinkedIn, and it ended up going viral: 1.5 million views and over 14,000 likes in about 3 days. Almost overnight, people started noticing my skills, and appreciated my narrative style of writing. Thanks to this post, I received a lot of messages, “Hey Shreya, that post was so well written, can you write for us too?” I closed my first four clients that way and have continued to post on LinkedIn ever since!
That’s exactly how freelancing started for me, by saying “yes” to certain freelance queries and opportunities on LinkedIn. And this was the start of a journey that just got better with each passing day.
Q2. Why freelancing?
Ever since I was a kid, I knew I would end up working for myself. My parents both had their own businesses, and thanks to this, they had so much freedom and control over their work and personal life - they made it to all my events and celebrations; we went on trips multiple times a year; and they were always around when I needed them. Even as a child, I knew how lucky I was that my parents had this freedom to spend as much time with me as they wanted. It inspired me to have a similar life for myself - one where I worked for myself and had control over my work and personal life. Freelancing made that possible for me.
Also read Why Freelancing is the Perfect Career for Women with different individual desires and lifestyles
Q3. What is the biggest challenge you face as a freelancer?
The biggest challenge (and thrill, and advantage) is being 100% responsible for my own work and success. If I don’t “feel” like working, then no one else is going to do it for me. That sort of responsibility and ownership is a lot to take, but it’s also one of the best things about working for myself.
Q4. How did you deal with the instability of freelancing?
Freelancing is unpredictable, yes. You could make $500 one month, and $100 another month. But you could also make $500 one month and $5000 another month. But I know that while freelancing can be unstable in the ‘downward direction’, it can also be unstable ‘upwards’. It depends on you and your hard work, which direction you wish to take your freelancing career in.
The important thing I have kept in mind is – everything gets better over time. So I aim to learn fast, work fast, fail fast… and then succeed faster.
Q5. What advice would you give to someone just entering this line of business?
You must realise that freelancing is 10% dependent on your core skill, and 90% about prospecting, sales, negotiation, people skills, etc. If you want to start freelancing, don't try to "perfect" your skill for 3, 6, 9 months. Instead, focus on finding your first client ASAP.
Shreya is a content writer, content creator, and agency owner. Along with running her agency, Shreya has authored three ebooks, and each of them has received rave reviews by freelancers across the globe. She also coaches budding freelancers who wish to build successful careers online.
For more, follow Shreya Pattar on Instagram and LinkedIn. Get her ebook Freelancing Freedom, the ultimate introductory guide to freelancing! Psst… Use the code “15off” to get 15% off the ebook!