Finding Her Calling After A Sabbatical
The industry is buzzing with great works of content writers and one such talented professional is Janani Marikani. Popularly known as Jan in her circles, she is a successful content writer, social media marketer, entrepreneur, and even a personal branding consultant.
Her choice of interests is definitely punch-packing. It was not easy for a mom of a 10-year-old to make a mark in a field laced with the competition. But here she is, setting trends for others like her. An Indian by birth, she studied in the country and then settled in the UK.
She studied B.Tech IT for four years but after just a year as a Software Tester, she realized that she was not cut out to be one. Not wasting time, she quit her job. She took a sabbatical for six years to focus on her newborn daughter. During this period, she felt lost in her career due to a lack of direction. She dabbled in website creation, painting, franchise, and even tried the role of Kindergarten Head. She took to writing finally and realized that writing was her calling.
The Important Elements Of Freelance Work Life
Right from tapping the clients, working on their brief, and servicing them, all is managed by a freelancer. A freelancer, basically, is a one-man, or in the case of Jan, a one-woman army. Says Jan, “I got my first freelance writing job for the online magazine pandagossips.com in the year 2017 on the website worknhire.com.
At present, she’s working full-time with a leading construction firm in the UK. However, for the past five years, she has continued being a freelance writer and an entrepreneur”.
One of the challenges that freelancers face is that of pricing strategies. She used to charge quite low initially. While she got clients but was overflooded with work. Then, she corrected her fees based on market research. A fee for the freelancer should cover all the expenses incurred and a premium for the invested hard work.
Jan adds that freelancers should make a point to collect feedback from their clients as testimonials. Feedback becomes the foundation of trust for the next client. Further, testimonials should be published on websites or incorporated in case studies, or written as a blog as well. Such case studies help generate leads.
Life As An Entrepreneur
When her freelance career started thriving, Jan decided to establish her business way back in 2019. She initiated Digital Enchanto and wore multiple hats apart from that of the founder. She began using Instagram as a platform to showcase her skills. Within a short span of 5 months, her followers shot up to 10,000 organically. She was glad to create an online community. In order to tap clients, Instagram has been her go-to place since the very beginning.
However, for some time, she has not been able to remain active on her favorite social media platform. But still, she continues getting inquiries for writing services.
Jan repents that she did not have the required working culture as she worked alone since the beginning of her career. She thinks that the major problem of freelancing is that one is not able to judge the standing with respect to the competition.
Jan kept on evolving to stay afloat in the industry. She begins with a detailed conversation with the leads to understand their requirements and expectations. Post this, she sets her schedule and organizes tools like Trello, WhatsApp, and Slack for seamless work. Her work involves giving a presentation to clients and creating and designing the content. She believes in maintaining tight relationships with her clients. That’s the reason why she ensures transparency at every stage of her work process.
Notable Experiences As A Freelancer
A freelancer encounters all sorts of clients in a short tenure itself. Jan had her share of good and bad experiences. Of all the clients to date, she loved working for a book coach, who helped writers write books. Always up for interesting projects, Jan enjoyed working for him. As she always wanted to be an author herself, she learnt a lot from this client. At present, she is working for Sun Yi, who is a Forbes Council Member and the founder of Night Owl Nation. He works with leading motivational speakers and coaches. He is building his online coaching community and has offered Jan the role of a small group leader.
Advising freshers, she says, “every freelancer must go through a rough patch as a lesson to be learnt.” Recounting her pre-pandemic experience with a client, she says that she had to end up things on good terms. But she decided that she will never take up projects blindly. A client should be one with whom the freelancer shares their beliefs and values. Jan has worked with a maximum of four clients simultaneously. When she feels overwhelmed with work, she hires freelancers to execute the projects.
Check out on 8 different ways to grow from freelancer to agency.
Tips & Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Freelancing
Jan says, “Freelancers should build a solid personal brand. This helps clients get in touch with you instead of you hunting them. With personal branding in place, leads keep coming in and you get the liberty to decide with whom you want to work. Further, pick one social media platform, to begin with. Here you should showcase your skills creatively as the competition is quite tough.” She asserts the importance of research and consistency in order to stand out in the crowd. While advocating the importance of documenting the journey, Jan says that networking with the right people is all, that matters in the world of freelancing.
Jan is proud of her journey as a freelancer. However, if she were given a chance to redo her career, she would have focussed more on building strong relations with the clients. She feels that although she took a challenging path, she ensured turning her mistakes into powerful lessons. She feels that if her journey was smooth, she would have gotten bored enough to quit her career.
Achieving Work-Life Balance
Jan admits that she is a workaholic. She tends to spend more hours on work than she should. But as she loves freelancing, she is working almost all the time. Jan says that she is blessed with a supportive husband and a caring daughter, who is always standing by her. Her family gave her a lot of liberty to work extra-long hours on some days when she was super loaded. However, to maintain a work-life balance, she has set working hours as 9 am to 5 pm. Sometimes, she goes beyond that to meet deadlines.