Arnab is a mechanical engineer turned content marketer. His creative spark led him to explore the digital world and his love for travelling paved the way for him to become a content writer. At a very young age, by optimizing various social media platforms and through building his network, Arnab decided to shift to freelancing full-time. While he admires the flexibility that freelancing allows, he is aware of loneliness that freelancers deal with at times. With his spirit to enjoy his work and learn as much as he can, we are sure he will be successful in every step he takes.
Read his promising story here:
Tell us about yourself? Where are you from? About your family, parents? How was your child hood?
I am from Howrah, West Bengal. It is my hometown, and I live here with my family. I never had much interest in classes or education in general. Not many people know it, but I love swimming and competed in various swimming competitions in my school days.
Except that, I had a pretty normal childhood. I’ve never been a bright student and performed fairly average in my studies.
Tell us about your educational background? Why did you opt for engineering?
After schooling, I opted for mechanical engineering. I was not sure about what stream to choose but wanted to keep all the options available. That’s why I chose mechanical engineering.
I did many gig works as a WordPress website developer for pocket money in my college. But I didn’t know that it could be a legit career.
After doing engineering, how did you come into the field of writing? Talk to us about your love for travelling?
After graduation, I got a job in a mechanical firm. But I always had the zeal of creativity. So when I was doing the job, I started exploring digital space to find something exciting and fun to work. I was casually applying to Internshala and got a content writing internship on one of India’s biggest travel blog. That’s how I got into the field of writing.
I already loved travelling, and the internship allowed me to write about something I love.
I love solo-travelling. It’s cheap, it’s efficient, and I get the full freedom to do whatever I want. Whenever I get a little window of time, I pack my bags and go to new places, mostly the Himalayas. I love the mountains. But someday I want to go to South India as well, especially the Kerala backwaters.
What was the trigger for you to shift to “content marketing”? When did you decide to build a business around marketing? What excites you the most about content marketing?
Marketing came to me long after writing. I started as a content writer. Soon, I got a couple of projects where I had to create a content strategy for a brand. After doing that for a couple of months, I got some confidence in building strategy.
Still, I was not sure if I could handle a full-fledged content marketing project by myself. But a marketer friend of mine helped to take up a project. With his help, I successfully brought results to my client.
It gave me a lot of confidence. So, that’s how I started my content marketing journey.
Also, I have a plan to build a SaaS product of my own. That’s why I work in the SaaS space mostly. It helps me learn the nitty-gritty of content marketing for SaaS businesses.
Why did you opt for freelancing? When did you start freelancing? Did you plan it or how it happened?
I am an accidental freelancer. As I said, I started my writing career as an Intern. Before that, I didn’t know that I could make a career online.
The internship helped me understand how the internet market works and how Linkedin can be a goldmine to get clients. I slowly started to build my presence on Linkedin. Initially, I was there for casual networking, but slowly, I started getting content writing leads.
After doing a couple of gigs here and there, I decided to quit my job and do freelancing full time. I did not have much difficulty making the transition as I had created a financial safety net of three months for myself, and the plan was, if this doesn’t work out, I can again go back to the job.
But thankfully, everything worked out well. I started building a pipeline on other platforms as well. That way, now I don’t have to worry about getting work often.
How did you approach your first few clients? How did you build and use your network effectively?
I got mostly inbound leads from clients. Previously I got inbound leads because my content had a lot of reach on LinkedIn, and I was very active on that platform.
But, the problem with that approach is that most leads weren’t qualified. Now I have changed my approach. Now I do more networking and use my blog to project authority in the subject.
How did you market yourself? What were the various effective strategies that you used to your strength?
Networking may seem like a hectic process, but in reality, it’s a lot of fun. First, you have to identify your potential customer on social media. You follow them on social media, engage with their content for a week or two.
Build a rapport and then ask them to get on a call to get to know each other. There is a 99% chance that the person will agree to get on a call.
DO NOT PITCH.
After you get to know each other, there is a high chance that, if they need a service you can provide, they will surely come to you. This is the most effective strategy I use. Apart from that, leads come to me after reading my blogs as well.
What, according to you, is the best or worst thing about freelancing?
The best thing about freelancing now is freedom and a flexible lifestyle.
While the worst thing about freelancing is that it’s lonely and can take a toll on your mental health.
What is your best work to date? Why do you think it is the best?
I do not have the best work yet— I do each work with the same dedication and same goal in mind.
But if you really ask, my blog is probably the best work for me. But it’s an ongoing project.
What are your mission and vision? How do you want history to look at you?
I’m 24. I am still figuring out a lot of things about my life. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do 5-10 years down the line. Right now, I just want to enjoy the work I’m doing and learn as much as I can.
As you look back, do you feel satisfied with yourself or do you think you missed something?
The only regret I have is, “Why didn’t I start early!”
If you have your freelancing business and want to optimize your social media presence, read our blog Social Media: 3 ways freelancers can use it to boost business to achieve great results.