Diksha: Taking all the right turns

Going where destiny takes her, Diksha is a commerce graduate turned content writer. She started with actively taking part in college societies, to doing an internship, to having her own blog and to now having a list of her own clients. She is taking on an unplanned journey as a freelancer. She believes that with time management and staying organized you can ensure productivity. She considers staying active and maintaining consistency on social media platforms to be an effective marketing strategy for freelancers. She says that ‘being your own boss’ as a freelancer can be the biggest advantage and a major challenge too. She aims to do her best in all that she does. With her learning spirit, and dedication towards achieving great things in life, we wish her success for the future. 

Read Diksha’s unplanned journey to freelancing:

Introduce yourself to us? Where are you from? About your family, parents? How was your childhood?

I am Diksha Sinha. I was born in Howrah, West Bengal and this place is my hometown. But my upbringing and schooling was done in Delhi. We are a nuclear family consisting of my father who is an HR professional, my mother a teacher, and my brother who is pursuing his engineering from TIET, Patiala. My childhood went decent wherein I studied well, participated in every school activity, and was active in sports too.

Post studying commerce, why did you choose the field of content writing? Speak to us about your passion for writing?

Well, as mentioned, that I was active in school activities, so I couldn’t stop myself from engaging in college activities too. I was associated with the Debating Society in college. After one year, while I was selecting the profile for my internship, there was an open position of Content Writer. I thought I have experience of preparing Content for debates, so why not try here. With this, I got selected for the internship and got the opportunity to learn and explore the field. When it got over, I thought of pursuing content writing further too. Hence, later I got selected and headed the Editorial board in my college Society. This is how things continued and I developed my passion for writing.

Tell us about blogging? Mention about the value and the credibility it adds in your portfolio?

Blogging was the first thing with which I started writing. I wrote blogs for the company products in the initial stages and then I explored and wrote in various niches like packing and moving, food, health, makeup, beauty, skincare, and writing. The research and creativity helped me a lot in contributing to the best of my knowledge and also added up to my portfolio. I also contributed to guest blogs which helped me to expand my horizons and led to reaching the information to the right audience. All of this builds and adds credibility to my portfolio and if someone approaches, I can give them the needful.

Why did you choose to freelance? When did you begin to freelance? Were you planning it, or how did it happen?

Ah well! The story behind choosing to freelance is a result of circumstances. Freelancing was nowhere in the picture because I had my plans to pursue my post-graduation. This was the reason I didn’t sit in placements too. But as said, nothing goes as planned. I had the most challenging months from April-September due to health complications and then followed by a mishappening in house, I couldn’t sit in the exam. So honestly, I was in a dilemma.

But as said, what happens, happens for right. I met a person and after the conversation, he approached me for his website content requirement, considering my experience of writing in college. To that, I said yes, because that was something that I could do.

With this, I got my first client and this was the mark of my freelancing journey.

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.

Freelancers’ life can get overwhelming at times, considering the factors of time, constraints, challenges, deadlines, clients, individual handling of things, and overall managing everything at one go.

As far as my practice, I keep sure of the following things which help me deliver right and as per the time.

  • Preparing a To-Do-List every day, from basic works to major ones, following it regularly. 
  • Preparing Content Calendar for the respective set of clients to not miss out any work.
  • Following up within the time frame to avoid any kind of ambiguities and completing deadlines on time.
  • Make a schedule and assign the time to the respective clients on the basis of requirements and manage them.
  • Working within the work hours and taking a few breaks to maintain the energy level.

These are the things I follow and duly consider every day and try to avoid distracting myself within these hours 

How do you market yourself? Tell us about the effective marketing strategies you use to generate leads.

I am very much active on social media which includes Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Quora & Twitter. I contribute content on these channels on an individual basis. But I didn’t take up all in one go. At first in December 2017, I joined Quora and started contributing answers under the University of Delhi. Gradually, I got a chance to become a Partner and then a creator to have my own space ‘Foodie Stop’ which has over 52K+ followers. Then, in September 2019, I joined LinkedIn to curate content and share my experiences. Later, in April 2020, I thought of creating an Instagram and Facebook page to write posts related to updates, writing, and experiences, and finally, seeing the demand for short content. I joined Twitter last month.

Now as far as the strategies are concerned, I have a content calendar in which I schedule the set of posts on a weekly basis with the proper content, layout, and description. This is how I make my presence over these platforms and be consistent in publishing posts that can add value to readers. As a result, it helps me to generate leads, particularly inbound where the prospect reaches out referring to only posts, the content I share, and also outbound, if there is something very interesting to look forward to.

Secondly, I also make sure to update my profile on every fortnight basis because it says a lot about you. A prospect always looks over to your profile before approaching you or even if you approach them, they duly keep a check about your profiles, contribution, and your experiences. This becomes another factor to consider when generating leads and trust me, I have got a few of them particularly only after they got a chance to know more about me as a person and work in detail.

So these are two ways that I duly consider when it comes to generating leads. 

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 a yes to the client.

Negotiating with clients is indeed a very challenging task because neither you nor the client know the level of negotiation that will happen over a call. In my experience, few clients didn’t negotiate at all seeing my level of contribution and previous works. But few prospects talk with the motive to negotiate at the very first conversation and this always happens, when you quote your price first.

Now here there are two ways – one, if the negotiation is acceptable at one or maximum two levels down the price mutually, considering the level of work demanded, you can accept the contract. Second, if the negotiation is way down the price or maybe the price they are quoting is very less, then it’s not worth accepting because it will be low considering your brand, value, and expertise.

All clients are different and their approaches are different, it depends on the level of work, how much they accept and what value you can offer to them and this is how you set prices and negotiate as per your experience. 

Well, a few points to consider before saying yes to any client are as follows:

  1. Always get over a call and have a conversation with the client
  2. Research about the prospect and client such that you are also prepared well
  3. Get clear of all the work requirements, deliverables by you and the client
  4. Be very specific regarding the payment terms, mode of transfer, and the time expected. Prefer to charge in advance to avoid dues and no payment
  5. Make and send a proper contract of all the mentioned points duly signed and accepted by you and the prospect.

With this, you are set to say a yes to the client. 👍 

What is the one major pro and/or con of freelancing, according to you?

According to me, one major pro of freelancing is that “you are your boss” wherein you can do everything as per your requirements. You have the freedom to handle things as per your level.

One major con of freelancing, or to say a challenge, is that here you are the only individual handling so many things without any external support. You are the sole manager of everything, so it may become stressful and overwhelming at times.

What is the one thing about clients that you dislike? What can they do to improve your work life?

One thing about clients that I don’t like is that at times they demand content at a very last moment. This becomes a little problematic when there is always a set of work aligned to doing it at a very last moment, which seems not to be acceptable.

It is not a problem if it’s on an urgent basis, but not giving enough time to research, thinking and drafting the content is not fine. So, understand our situations too. If we are ready to deliver, then give us the desired time to research, craft, and complete the content such that we can give you quality work.

What mission and vision do you have? How do you want history to look at you?

My mission is to provide the work as promised, delivering right, on time, and as per the expectations. I feel this as respect towards my work in providing the best.

Adding to it, I also ensure to provide value and help as many people by letting them know everything regarding the field such that they can also start and practice it successfully. Also, helps in building fruitful connections with the network.

Talking about vision, I will keep on doing and achieving new things. But I will definitely consider my roots and can never forget them. Also, I want to keep the spirit of learning intact which I practice on an everyday basis. 

Do you feel content with yourself as you look back or do you think you have missed something?

Honestly, I am liking how life has turned out to be. What I was before and what I am now has a huge difference in a positive sense. Though there were challenges physically, emotionally, psychologically that I faced but it’s fine. It happens and this is how we grow, accept, and move accordingly.

So I am fine and hope it goes and remains the same way.

 Diksha can be reached out on Refrens, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

If you are a freelancer, and are struggling in this competitive space, read our article about how to become a better freelancer right now to stand out from the crowd.