Harshita: Moving forward with freedom, there is no turning back

Proud of her journey so far, Harshita is a content writer who is fond of writing, speaking, and reading. A confident person, she was inclined towards English and Literature since school days. The turning point in her life was when she started interning as a content writer while studying engineering. Now, there is no looking back for her.

Seizing every opportunity that comes her way, she generates her leads through networking, referrals and a strong social media presence. She believes that choosing a niche and building a personal brand is an important part of a freelancer’s journey. For her, skills, strategy, and a healthy mindset are important for growth. 

An enthusiastic and a determined person, she wishes to have started building her career earlier in life. She aims to continue educating people through her writing and live sessions. We wish her success in the future and we look forward to watching her TEDx speech soon. 

Read Harshita’s inspiring journey:

1. Introduce yourself to us?

I am Harshita Garg, pursuing my BTech in the IT branch and currently in the third year of my study. Professionally, I am a Content Writer, Web Developer, Public Speaker, and Social media Content Creator. I am from a middle-class family where getting a job is cake and getting a government job is a cherry on this cake. My father and my mother, both are working in a 9-5 job to give me and my brother the life we are living today. 

I have everything that fulfills my needs and my desires, but I always wanted to earn something of my own and reverse the journey before getting a job.

Currently, I am running a talk series where I have hosted 45+ webinars in the tech and writing field and networking with so many amazing people who have a big role in making me what I am today. I am fond of writing, speaking, and reading to improve myself every day. 

2. Why did you choose the field of Writing? How did you get introduced to this field? What fascinates you the most about your career choice?

I was never the person I am today. I was never so confident to engage with people and build something of my own from scratch. 

Let’s begin from the beginning. I was born and brought up in the capital of our country, New Delhi. Since school, I have been an enthusiastic student. I used to participate in morning assembly, inter-house, and inter-school competitions and had the next level of interest in “Literature subjects”. It was due to my teachers who always appreciated me for having such graceful handwriting, poetry skills, and completing my work on time and helping others.

Still, after so much effort and appreciation in all my school years, I got an average mark in English subject and I was shocked. I got admission in an engineering college and to be honest, 

I had no clue about what I am doing and why. After my first year got completed, I landed a paid internship in content writing.

I was scared if I’ll be able to do that but I completed the internship with flying colors and that was due to my efforts, constant hard work, and ignoring negative comments, and concentrating on my work only. 

Later, I worked on some freelance projects for almost a year but at very low rates because I was unaware of this field. I was also fond of poetry, so after one day I randomly wrote something and sent it to my friend, she said, “Just post it, man”. Then, she encouraged me to open my own Instagram blog and post my poetry there. I got engagement on my page, appreciation from my friends and people around me and then that got to a halt. 

2020 changed my life and transformed me into the person I am today. We always complain about not having enough time. When the first lockdown happened in April 2020, I got an opportunity.

In 6 months, I completed 20+ internships, participated in 5+ hackathons, worked on numerous individual and group projects, and got unlimited opportunities. 

This made me more inclined towards content writing, personal branding, LinkedIn profile building, creating content, and networking. The thing which fascinates me about my choice of what I am currently doing is I can talk and interact with unlimited people daily through virtual media and I can learn from them by sitting at home. 

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

I took my first freelance project in May 2019, which was one of my seniors who was impressed by my work and offered me to work with him and write blogs for his website. At that time, I didn’t know I was freelancing. I didn’t have any idea about the same, so obviously I wasn’t planning it. 

Currently, I have started taking freelance projects to get familiar with this industry so that I have a backup plan in the future, although I would try to keep it as a side hustle and then as the main income for as long as possible. I don’t have any plan to leave this world of branding, marketing and writing any time soon.

4. How did you approach the first few clients? Give key suggestions to the new freelancers

I just got my first client and for almost a year, he gave me more clients. One of my seniors introduced me to more clients and I worked for them. When I have to approach clients, I use LinkedIn, Instagram, my contacts, and grab every opportunity that comes my way. 

My suggestions for new freelancers will be to make a solid profile on at least one of these- LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Quora. Building a solid profile means, clearly mentioning what services you provide, constantly updating your profiles, creating engaging content consistently, and engaging with other people’s content and networking with them. This will serve you almost everywhere in the long run.

5. How do you price your services as a freelancer? Any essential points that a new freelancer should know of?

There are different pricing strategies in freelance writing projects. 

For blogs, charging per blog/article is beneficial instead of per word. You can try saying, I’ll take Rs. 500 for a 500 words blog. Now, even if the word count is 450 or 510, you will get 500 only. 

For social media handling, every service has a different charge and it depends on every freelancer how they charge depending on what quality of content they are providing. Writing captions, creating posts, creating text-based posts, increasing engagement on the page, and finally converting that into leads. 

I usually price my services on a per-project basis. Some of the essential points a freelancer should keep in mind, is charging at least 50% in advance, preparing a contract before starting the project, and delivering your best content to any client irrespective of how small or big the project is. 

6. Throw some light on the importance of choosing niches and working on personal branding for freelancers.

Choosing a niche is an important part of a freelancer’s journey, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. When you are just starting, concentrate on finding a niche but don’t stop yourself until you don’t have a particular niche. Explore everything that interests you, and eventually, you will start taking projects which interests you more than others and that is what your niche is.

Personal branding is what I was unaware of for a long time until I started doing free webinars and creating my brand as a freelance writer and public speaker. There are uncountable freelancers in your field searching for work daily. How would a client looking for a freelancer come to you? This is where the personal brand plays a role. Until you are visible, it becomes hard to get inbound leads and it is even more hard to survive on outbound leads. 

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

One of the major pros of freelancing is you can pursue 10 different things at the same time and multitask to improve yourself as a person, increase your skill set and earn more.

One of the major cons of freelancing is there is no fixed income. Some days you get more, some days less, and when you get less or no work, that is when you start doubting yourself and decide to go in the other field. What I think, that is a signal to you that it’s time for upgrading yourself. 

Read books, take courses, experiment with social media content and be more visible than before to generate leads in return. You can try my technique as well. Don’t ever waste a single minute waiting for something new to happen unless you do it. 

8. What are the most crucial aspects that a freelancer should focus on for growth?

Networking. I always say this because I have realized its power. If you are among the right people, your chances of getting onto the right path are high. Connect, collaborate and cooperate to learn, unlearn and relearn every day and grow limitlessly. 

Apart from being with a growth mindset, as a freelancer, you have to work on your Skill, Strategy, and Mindset to grow in this field and to enjoy this process. 

9. Have you turned down a potential client? If yes, why?

I have turned down many potential clients due to various reasons. Some were out of my budget, some projects didn’t interest me, etc. Here is a tip for newbie freelancers, don’t take every project just for money. Delivering a high-quality project is more important than some pennies. Take the project which is under your grip and you think you can complete it well. 

10. How do you deal with writer’s block? What are the steps that you take to overcome it?

Writer’s block is one of the most common obstacles every content creator, writer, and author faces, the reason being we can’t think creatively every day every time. I go with the flow and when I go out of ideas and couldn’t create a good piece of content, I stop and get out of that comfort and move my body. 

This is because when we keep thinking, keep scrolling and keep hustling to get new ideas, we can’t think of one. Relaxing your body and mind is one of the most effective ways to get out of writer’s block. I either read a book with no digital media in front of me, walk/exercise/meditate to get into another zone, and take a break to set my room good and my mind too.

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

The mission and vision of a person will always be virtual if they don’t take action to accomplish them. But having a long-term vision is important to see that you are going in the right side. 

My mission is to build the largest writing community where people learn, apply and grow everyday. I want to improve my network, so that they can guide me to accomplish this milestone in no time. I just want to continue educating people through my writing and live sessions and once publish my solo books under various titles and an autobiography as well. 

Wanting to fight with my camera fear and my stage fear. I have started to speak on camera and my camera fear is no longer there. But I still need to work on my stage fear and give my TEDx speech before I turn 24. I want to see my past dots connecting and making my future. 

My vision is to uplift the writing community of this society and give them a more respected vision than today.

12. What would you do differently if you had to begin your career again? What would you focus on once you restart?

The only thing I may have done differently if I have to restart my career is starting early. Today I see young entrepreneurs making their career even before coming to college and that’s quite appreciable. Although, I am 21 but starting as early as possible is good. Going on what I focus on will be exactly what I am doing today. Everyone has one life to live, so I am living my best life.

Harshita can be reached out on Refrens, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and blog.

Post learning from Rashmi on how to leverage social media as a freelancer, read our article on How To Write a Perfect Cold Email? to optimize another efficient marketing technique.