An aspiring CA turned content writer, Moksha considers freelancing as a blessing in disguise. She started freelancing in April 2020 through the power of LinkedIn to generate leads. She is specialized in writing non-technical content.
An avid reader, she has been passionate about writing since childhood. In order to connect with her creative side, she started writing again. As a writer, she finds zeal and excitement in putting forward a message weaved through her words for thousands of readers.
For her, freelancing was never a part of the plan, but something that came along. She says that networking, building strong connections, and maintaining consistency on social media platforms are some powerful marketing strategies. Her advice for the newbies is to never lower your rates for a big project, and to know that you are the best judge of your capabilities.
A sensitive and a guarded person, she maintains a perfect balance between her emotional and rational thinking. Her mantra to success is not pondering much over situations and to let them be. She strongly believes that time doesn’t wait for anybody. Looking forward to reading her book one day, we wish her success for the future.
Read Moksha’s exciting journey:
1. Introduce yourself to us?
I am Moksha Sharma, a B.Com graduate currently preparing to pursue MBA ahead. Basically I am a Delhite. However, I have done my schooling and degree from Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. As the circle of life works, it’s been almost a year since I am back to my hometown Delhi.
Currently, I live with my parents and my paternal grandmother. I would like to add in my introduction that I am an avid reader because somewhere I feel reading is an intellectual habit that many wish they practiced. I am so proud to have inculcated that habit since childhood.
Till 10th grade I studied science. All this while my parents were very hopeful that I’ll take up medicine as a field however I changed my stream altogether. During these years, I was inclined towards psychology. However, I couldn’t actually pursue it and thus got myself into B.Com and started pursuing CA (typical commerce student behavior).
I wouldn’t blame it on my parents that they didn’t let me do it, because I believe that my decisions and choices are my own. It was my inability to come out clean and confident with my decision. I was not sure of myself and thus couldn’t hold the argument.
I very much believe in destiny. Hard work is one aspect, however, luck and destiny cannot be ruled out. You can work day and night, however, if a particular thing is not destined for you, all that hard work is going to go for a waste.
Similarly, I slogged for three years, studied but alas didn’t reap the results I was hoping for. It took me 3 years to accept that CA is not for me and that I want to opt out from the same. This time, I backed my arguments and was firm with what I wanted.
My parents had seen me work hard. They had seen me be stressed for not getting the expected answers and thus they were with me in my decision. They let me make my choice and walk through the journey of exploring myself. Leading a new life from scratch.
There are times when one knows what the dislikes are instead of likes and that’s where I was.
I knew what areas didn’t interest me. Hence, I started working on myself.
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?
Honestly, I don’t remember how it all started. However, there’s this one memory from a long time ago though.
I was in a car waiting outside this weird looking building on this absolutely creepy street with my mum. We were waiting for my interview for the course of English speaking and drama under the Trinity College of London.
I was too anxious. Being an introvert does make things tough. To top that I wasn’t very comfortable with the foreign accent, although now I am. This was the first step towards my passion. Before this, I used to write poems and these were the best that one could get from an 11 year old child.
Honestly, freelancing wasn’t a part of my plan in terms of career choices. Frankly speaking, I had very little idea of what I want to pursue with respect to my education. I started with my CA but further deliberation made me realize that it wasn’t for me. I know people say there’s no such thing as meant to be but trust me when I say it is the gut feeling and one knows what’s supposed to be a part of their life and what’s not.
For the longest time, I remember I wanted to start a blog of my own. However, I couldn’t ever go through with it because I always felt as if I’ll leave it midway. I was always into writing and thus my participation in all the essay competitions, extempore events, and other online writing opportunities was a way forward.
I used to submit articles in magazines. However, in no way I was serious about making a living out of it. Soon it was the pandemic and I was in the last year of my graduation. This was when I opened myself to LinkedIn where I read posts by other freelancers and started understanding how the world of freelancing works.
I knew I wanted to establish on this platform and thus without the intention of being a content writer, I started posting on LinkedIn. They weren’t niche specific but just my opinions and a way to ignite conversations and healthy discussions on my profile.
Slowly within a month or two I was settled onto the platform and was being appreciated by the users from all walks of life. This is how I landed with my first gig – only through posting about issues that I felt were worth discussions or debates.
If I were to choose one thing that really has me hooked onto writing or freelancing, I would definitely have to say that words have a way of making one feel emotions that no other creative process or means of communication can. Expressing yourself or what your organization aims to achieve in words is like experimenting and playing with different spices in a food recipe.
3. Why did you choose to freelance? When did you begin to freelance? Were you planning it, or how did it happen?
Freelancing was never a plan. Honestly I had no idea there was a thing like ‘freelancing’ and writing at your terms could be a career choice too. Becoming a freelancer was a blessing in disguise. I wanted a way to connect with my creative side again and joining linkedin was the best decision I ever made.
Like most teenagers, I had no clue what I wanted to do in life. There was no proper plan or decisions let alone be awareness of my own likes and dislikes.
I did get influenced by the friend circle and started mingling with peers thus slightly drifting away from the main purposes and academic-related things.Hence I never got really got an idea of what I wanted to do.
I had started writing since the 8th grade but thought of it as merely a hobby back then. While exploring myself I knew I wanted to take to writing in a professional setting and thus I joined a digital marketing agency as a content writer. I began taking up freelancing projects and started my own blog.
I chose freelancing because there’s this unexplainable excitement and zeal when one writes for clients and organizations. Someone with the help of your words is trying to put forward their visions for millions of people to read. They choose to believe in the services you offer and it is a heavy responsibility but at the same time very boosting.
4. What are the most prominent techniques that you use to market yourself?
Deep down I feel there’s an extensive process that a freelancer has to practise in order to be relevant in the market and be consistent at it.
However, I, personally, focussed only on my portrait on LinkedIn because this is one space where the entire professional world is watching you and monitoring every move that you make with respect to your work.
I was very sure of where I wanted to be positioned and how I wanted to be seen in the eyes of the people. Especially, the ones who want content writers and/or freelancers to work for them. Thus, I tried to be consistent with posting and networking on LinkedIn along with sharing my insights and experiences as a freelancer with new-comers.
Building a strong network is surely the most efficient way of moving forward in any field because word of mouth goes a long way. Connecting with not just experienced individuals and superiors in your own field but also budding writers is the key because there’s something to learn from everyone.
My marketing strategies weren’t extensive or super intense. It was just being consistent at what I do and improving each day to be better than who I was the day before. I believe my work will speak for itself.
Even today, people ask me how I started it all and all I have to tell is – write, post, be active on LinkedIn and things will work out for you. Because it is true! All I did was just that!
5. How do you price your services as a freelancer? Any essential points that a new freelancer should know of?
As a freelance content writer, pricing in the beginning was tricky for me. I didn’t want to be misled just because I was new in the business. I spoke to a few established freelancers concerning the same and I was told to start with a certain minimum number to begin with. However, keep in mind what were the requirements of the project with respect to time consumption, research, editing, number of words, etc.
So basically freelancers quote their services either per word, per hour or per project. The method to use completely depends on an individual’s discretion.
Personally, I feel that beginning with and doing justice with my services is essential. What suited me best was to start with Rs. 0.60-Rs. 0.80 per word. As weeks went by, I started increasing my price with Re.1 being standard and a raise depending on the kind of project I land up with.
To anyone planning to go ahead as a freelancer, all I would say is you are the best judge of your skill set. Hence, you are the best person to decide what your quote should be. However, never and I repeat NEVER lower your rates only to bag a gig. Just because every other writer is pitching with a lower range doesn’t mean you have to follow the herd.
Your clients will recognize why you quote yourself at the chosen number and agree to work with the same. Slight negotiations are obvious but asking for a huge drop is a red flag.
6. How do you deal with writer’s block? What are the steps that you take to overcome it?
Writer’s block is the most frustrating thing a writer will go through and trust me it can be demotivating to a great extent.
When I hit this end, I make sure to stop working. I don’t touch my work things at all nor do I read similar articles on what I am writing about. I cut myself from the line altogether.
All I do is take a walk, drink water, eat something and do whatever I like doing – which is most of the time scrolling ideally through my phone or iPad.
I don’t think of how much time I am losing or wasting doing the same because the more the thought bothers me and I decide to work again, a) that piece won’t be my best work and b) it would take twice the time to finish it.
I believe the only way to treat a block is to not acknowledge it at all. Give yourself as much time because once you return in full zone, you’ll be working at light speed.
7. How to deal with isolation and loneliness as a freelancer?
Loneliness hits every individual irrespective of the work field. No one can be social all the time. However, if isolation is something that comes because of your work, it’s time to let loose a little and connect!
Every freelancer has something interesting to discuss and joke around about. Thus, this community is like a different world in itself.
It is said that words are a writers’ best friend and as long as they are with you, you can never be alone.
As for me, I am a very guarded individual. I like my ‘me time’ a little too much. Hence, the isolation works in my favour. I have never been too bothered by being left alone because I know I am sufficient. I also know that my people aren’t going anywhere, and a little time off from me won’t hurt them much.
8. As a freelancer, what were the biggest obstacles you overcame? What were your worst mistakes?
My biggest obstacle was to leave behind the fear of interactions. I am an introvert and I get anxious very soon. Hence, the calls were what gave me nightmares.
Anything through text and you would find me quick. However, when it came to calls I used to ignore a few in the beginning which I believe happened to be a mistake. It was too late when I realized why calls were important.
I still feel texting is good but again everything has a good side and a bad side. Hence, I worked on being confident and comfortable with my calling skills.
9. What is the one major pro and/or con of freelancing, according to you?
I cannot generalize the pros and cons for you because each individual is different and what may be a pro for me, may or may not be the same for you and vice versa.
However, if I was to speak strictly for myself, then the biggest pro is working on your terms. I like working through the evening, going into night and freelancing gave me that flexibility. I was able to connect with a bunch of people and interacting with them widens your perspective about a lot of things. Thus, freelancing helps you to grow not just professionally but also personally.
Nothing on this planet is all rosy and there are downsides to freelancing too. Not always will your work be appreciated or will all your clients be soft, humble and adjusting. Each client has their own way of command and requirement. Hence, what may work for one may not necessarily be okay with someone else. Therefore a little freeway from your end is also gold.
10. What are the most crucial aspects that a freelancer should focus on for growth?
- As a freelance content writer, you should be on top of YOUR game. Knowing what to make content from and what opportunities to grab that will work in your favour will give you an edge. As a writer, there’s always this confusion of whether to stick to a particular niche or be open to anything and everything. Honestly, if you are just starting, I would suggest to experiment and try to work on a variety. Being a master of one is definitely good but so is having knowledge about all.
- Slowly as you make your mark in the industry, you will know for yourself on what is best for you. As and when you touch sufferer niches, you’ll be able to judge what you are comfortable and good at, and what is not your cup of tea. Make sure you write in your unique style and voice. Nothing identifies a writer more than his/her writing style and working in your own approach makes it easy to be recognized. Obviously you’ll have idols and people you look upto but keep them as inspirations only and try not to ‘copy’ them.
- Consistency is the key. Being regular helps you be better and also polishes your skill sets. Thus, being at it is always a good option.
- Lastly, never get too attached with your work. Your piece getting approved at the first go is not always going to happen. You need to be welcoming of healthy criticism and not bothered by bad criticism. Editing is a critical part of writing, thus, if you fall in love with your piece, letting go of parts would be hard.
11. What mission and vision do you have? How do you want history to look at you?
All I want to continue doing is make words reach as many people and create impact on their lives with the same. Honestly, I don’t particularly have a mission but one vision is that I want to be writing or in touch with writing one way or the other all throughout.
Words have a power to speak for themselves. If used wisely and on the appropriate platform, they can do wonders! Individuals who are gifted with the skill of using alphabets and letters to their advantage sometimes fail to understand what their sentences can do. I hope to have a book called ‘Bunny hopping through life’ written someday which will be about all my experiences – personal and professional. I also wish to write columns in a leading newspaper or magazine.
We are privileged to have countless floors where we can voice out our opinions. Though this is something to be grateful about, at times, we as writers take it for granted.
12. What would do you differently if you had to begin your career again? What would you focus on once you restart?
I don’t think I would want a restart altogether as such. Whatever I have done and wherever I am in is because of all the choices that I have made in the 22 years till now.
The only trait I would want myself to imbibe is being better at knowing my worth and having a concrete path planned for me to have a successful and happy future.
Moksha can be reached out on Refrens, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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