Neha: Venturing onto success carrying optimism and commitment

A voracious reader, a movie buff, and a skilled photographer, Neha’s love for these three things led her to become a content creator. Her enthusiasm for research, writing, and curiosity to understand people sparked her interest in marketing. She acknowledges that the freelancing life teaches you beyond the execution part. Along with the freedom that freelancing offers, she cherishes the developed ability to become self-sufficient. She believes that networking is a crucial part of marketing for freelancers. An optimistic person, she believes in grabbing every opportunity that comes her way. Giving her 100% in all that she does, we know she is going to reach new heights with each work. 

Read Neha’s vivacious story here:   

1. Tell us about yourself? Where are you from? About your family, parents? How was your childhood?

I am Neha, a social media marketer and content creator from Mumbai, Maharashtra. We are a family of five, with three daughters. My mom is a homemaker, whereas my Dad is a business person. Growing up, I loved staying indoors with little to no interactions with outsiders. My two elder sisters and a book beside me is all that I needed. 

2. Tell us about your educational background? Why did you choose to study the field of commerce?

While I have always been the nerd kind, I didn’t want to pursue the traditional Science route. I was good at understanding commerce and subsequently knew I wanted to get my hands on marketing and management. 

When I was pursuing my graduation, I was also preparing for my MBA entrance exams. It was during this time I realized what I really love to do is – create content.

3. Talk to us about your passion for reading, movies, and photography? In what ways do you follow them and spend time on them currently? 

At the age of 6, I began to fall in love with reading. As a child, I’d barely stepped out because books were my getaways. At 22, reading still is my escape and I believe it will continue to be so even when I’ll be 60. 

Movies and photography happened to me just about the same time. When I used to watch movies, I realized I was more drawn toward the shots/scenes than the story itself. I started emulating this in photography. Today, whenever I click a photo, the first thing that comes to my mind is “This is how Christopher Nolan might shoot it too!’’

No matter how busy my day gets, I always take an hour for reading. Just as reading is for the mind, watching films is for the soul. That means I spend a considerable amount of time researching even the 2-3 films that I would want to watch in a week. 

4. What about “marketing” appealed the most to you? Talk to us about your interest in research, writing, and creating content.

  • I have always had a knack for understanding the pulse of people, what better field for this interest than marketing? 
  • My interest in marketing and research blossomed through that, which led me, along with two other good friends to create Social Shiksha. It is a community for fellow marketers to better understand the why’s and hows of marketing. Creating content for this, helps me take a deep dive into the popular strategies adopted by companies, through which I educate people better about the brands around us. 

5. Why did you opt for freelancing? When did you start freelancing? Did you plan it or how it happened?

To be frank, I never intended to be a freelancer. I wasn’t at all serious about going ahead with it. When it did start in May, in the middle of a pandemic, I started realizing the number of things that the freelance life teaches you, beyond the execution part. From making strategies all by yourself to writing your contracts

Going forward, even if I do land a high-paying full-time job, I’d still never leave freelancing, for the sheer number of things that you learn about management and the greater control that you get through gigs. 

6. As a content writer and creator, how do you stay aware of the happenings around the world? What are your key strategies?

To be a content writer or a creator, one should always be on their toes. Yes, that means signing up for all the possible marketing newsletters and following the right people on social media. A lot of people underestimate the power of Twitter’s trending section, this might sound weird, but most of the time, that is my source, even for global news/affairs. 

7. Tell our readers about, as a freelancer, how do you market yourself?

I figured out my niche first. Since Social media marketing is a wide term, I started getting deep into Instagram Marketing and creating content for IG. Then, it becomes easier to market yourself. I started creating content revolving around IG tips/hacks on LinkedIn. While I am not just restricted to Linkedin, I market myself on Instagram equally by sharing useful information on how to get your content game smarter. 

A crucial element in marketing yourself also includes networking, when you help someone out, they start associating you with what you helped them for, which is like soft positioning an image of yourself in the minds of the people around you. 

8. What according to you is the best or worst thing about freelancing?

The best thing about freelancing has to be the freedom to take naps whenever you want to. But jokes apart, it has to be how you become self-sufficient, you don’t just provide services, you also learn to manage it. 

The worst thing about freelancing has to be that your schedule is never fixed. One day, you are working for 10 hours straight and the next day you are barely doing anything. 

9. What is the one thing you hate about clients? What can they do to make your life better?

The lack of clarity is one. I have met so many clients that don’t know what they want to achieve in the first place. It affects your communication and increases the time taken for approvals. The other thing is the delay in payments, and I am sure I am not the only one saying this. 

10. What is your best work to date? Why do you think this is the best?

I do not think I have the best work to date. What is considered ‘best’ can always be further improved in many more ways. 

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

“The best plan is to not have a plan at all’’ – Parasite, 2019. 

I truly believe in just going with the flow, today my mission is to educate people about marketing better in a fun way through Social Shiksha, tomorrow it may just be to serve 100 small businesses in India scaling their digital presence. 

I want history to look at me as this enthusiast who caught every opportunity that came my way. Luck favors all those who grab the right opportunities with 110% dedication. I believe in not doing even the smallest of things half-heartedly. Be it researching your brand crush or writing a copy, do it with 100 percent, or don’t do it at all. 

12. As you look back, do you feel satisfied with yourself or do you think you missed something?

I do not regret anything I have done, even if I think about the silliest mistakes today, it has only taught me things that have helped me become a better version of myself every day.

Neha can be reached on Refrens, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Post learning from Neha on how to market yourself as a freelancer, read our article How To Write a Perfect Cold Email? to optimize another efficient marketing technique.