India is the second largest country in the world and the top outsourcing destination for IT jobs. A large part of the freelancers who offer their services thru various channels on the Internet are Indians.
The freelancer can live anywhere in the world. The good programmers and designers do not belong to a single nationality. However you can’t simply ignore each country economy and cultural specifics. Instead of that, better use them to achieve greater results.
If you are from India, these tips are for you.
1. Use Your Country Reputation
People know a lot about India. They know it’s a top IT outsourcing destination, they know that they could hire a good programmer for a fair price. Indians have reputation to be nice people and hard working professionals.
Use this at your favor, include India in your company name, freelancer’s profile or signature. Not everyone can understand this only by seeing your name. Just make sure that you mention being from India, but of course don’t think this alone can win you projects. You still need to provide good service.
2. Search for Indian Freelance Work
There are sites on the Web dedicated especially for freelance work in India. Of course you can (and must) search for good projects worldwide, but why not check also the Indian sites? Working within your country will save you bank fees when you get payments and also will eliminate the problem with the hourly difference between you and the Western world.
There are also sites for worldwide buyers who want to search only for Indian freelancers. That’s another good option for you because there is less competition in such places.
Some sites that you can check are:
Freelance Jobs India – you can publish your profile there and wait the buyers to contact you or search projects
E-guru.in – a typical freelance site only for Indians. It’s not very active, but still worths checking.
For sure you’ll find more such marketplaces – you just need to use your favorite search engine.
3. Manage Your Daytime
Your main problem is that you live in the East and most of the well paying customers are from North America or Western Europe. This means that you time is ahead with 4 – 12 hours. Often when your customer wakes up, it’s time for you to go to bed. This is definitely an issue.
One thing you can do is to work in the night and sleep in the day, but it is not good for your health and happiness. What you need to do is to try to find such a work time which will allow you to catch some part of the day of your target customers. No one expects you to stay with them online all the time – finally, you are a freelancer, not an employee. But people want at least to get responses and updates to their mails relatively fast. So try to make sure that you can check and respond your mails at least once late in the evening or very early in the morning (which ever you prefer).
4. Build Your Personal Website
This advice is good for every freelancer, not only for Indians. But still you have some advantages – for most Western people India is an exotic destination and they find it interesting to know more about it and its people. A personal website with your picture and few words about you can win you the liking of the potential customers.
Of course, you need to find the balance – don’t go too personal for example talking about your childhood and giving your pics as a baby. Try to speak about your professional experience, provide your CV, pictures and say a little about your other interest and the city where you live. This will give nice sense of personality without going too much offtopic.
Don’t push your personal website in the face of your client. It’s not an important part of your portfolio. Just have the link to it somewhere or best is to provide the link to your CV which stays there. The customer can look at the other pages from the site if they want to.
5. Report Your Earnings
There is a thread on Scriptlance Forum, explaining well why you should do it. Don’t cheat and don’t take unnessecery risks. Just report your earnings and you will feel better.
Do not use Xoom.com, Western Union or Money Gram to transfer your money. Use legal ways like checks and bank wires. You can also use e-gold and anonymous debit cards, but that is both costy and illegal.
You can also use Paypal – which I want to elaborate a bit more.
6. Use Paypal
Paypal is the most popular method of making payments via Internet and in 90% of the cases it will be the most preferred method of payment for your customers. Recently Paypal expanded worldwide and now it’s available in almost any country. In many of them however the users can only send money and not receive.
But you are lucky, because you are from India. In India you can receive funds with Paypal and withdraw them via a check. There is still no domestic wire offered, but that may also happen some day. Additionally, you can always spend these Paypal funds to purchase things online.
Always make sure that you are able to accept Paypal and let your customers know that. It is a big advantage, especially considering how many freelancers from other countries can’t do it.
7. Outsource to Other Indians
Outsourcing is one of the best ways to grow your freelance business. One can do only that much and there is no use of attracting hundreds of clients if you can’t serve them.
Being in India you have so much easier way to hire other Indian programmers and designers to do the tasks that you can’t or don’t want to do. You can meet them live, you can speak cheaply by phone with them, you can pay them via local bank wires or in cash. It’s a big advantage to have easy access to other great professionals like you.
Filed under: Finding Freelance Jobs