Pritesh: Learning with each step along the way

Wanting to build his own website one day, Pritesh started his career by blogging on Quora during his college days. Putting to use his engineering knowledge, he selected ‘Tech’ as a niche for his website content. He believes that having your own website as a freelancer adds great value to your career growth. Focusing on providing quality work to his clients, He suggests maintaining consistency with your work as an effective marketing strategy. Acknowledging the freedom that freelancing offers, he also realizes that at times you feel lonely in this journey. With his promise to deliver value for money service to his clients, we wish him success for his journey from hereon. 

Read his inspiring journey:

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

I am a 23-year-old guy residing in Mumbai. I usually don’t mention much about my childhood or past life as it was rough. Not having a normal childhood probably shaped me into a better and efficient person today.

Now I am completely focused on helping businesses to grow online. Not only businesses, but I also keep mentoring beginners and students for free. It gives me the satisfaction that I need.

Post doing engineering, why did you choose the field of advertising? Speak to us about your journey into digital marketing? 

Honestly, it was not an intentional move to join this industry. I just loved writing and I kept writing on various platforms right from my school days. Gradually, I started getting content writing projects from Quora as some of my answers went viral. 

Then the clients started asking for unheard terms like SEO, Ad copies, etc. That made me curious.

So, I started picking all the Digital Marketing terms one by one and learned them by practically applying on my own social platforms.

Engineering never appealed to me and I was not a very good student to have an outstanding career in the IT or Engineering field.

I was anyway getting projects right from my college days so I decided to rather stay in the marketing industry. It appealed to me. I love Ads and brands being creative about it.

Tell us about blogging and your own website? Mention the value and the credibility it adds to your portfolio?

I started blogging on Quora. But I always wanted to build a website in my name. So, I started learning about websites and WordPress. I tried with 4-5 platforms to build websites and ended up with WordPress as it is the most flexible, affordable, and widely used platform.

Now people ask why I picked up the Technology niche for my website. Niche has to be something that you can tirelessly create content on!

After testing with multiple categories in my 1000+ Quora answers, I decided to settle with the Tech category because I was good at it due to my Engineering degree.

My website is not only acting as a guide for non-techy people to make purchasing decisions and know about technology but it is also adding a heavy value for my growth.

I learned the whole Content Marketing, SEO, and WordPress on that website. It helped me to experiment and learn before applying for clients. Apart from that, I am a better researcher as compared to what I was 2 years back.

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

I was doing what I loved. I kept posting daily on Quora. I was not really aware that anyone can even make a decent income by writing.

One day an American entertainment website approached and asked for my writing charges. I was clueless. I charged as per the industry standards and it worked.

This is when I decided to start providing services as a content writer. After all, why not encash something that you love doing? It is a thrill to pay your own bills right from your college days.

As a freelancer, how do you market your services? Tell our readers about your essential marketing strategies.

To market your services, you just need two important things – a portfolio and social media to promote your skills. I believe in inbound leads.

A portfolio can be anything like your website, or some past work in cloud storage, or simply an Instagram page. The important thing is that your client should get an idea about your working pattern.

Also, be consistent. If someone finds your work that was done 3 years back then it is a turnoff. It creates a doubt on your deliverability if not the quality.

In my case, my website and social media platforms act as my portfolio. I don’t believe in pushing too hard to sell my services. People are watching you. They know what you do by just looking at what you do. You don’t need to force a sales pitch to everyone.

How do you price your services? Give insights on the points for structuring an effective pricing strategy.

Pricing services is the most important factor for freelancers. Some freelancers undervalue their work while others overvalue it

In my initial days, I used to do a lot of competition research. I still have that habit to spy on my direct competitors. How did I do it? I made a list of some agencies in my area and emailed them as a prospective client. Most of the time, they drop a brochure of their rate charges. I tried to match the industry standards and priced my services accordingly.

With time, I increased my charges and decreased the number of clients. It made me deliver quality service at a premium charge. I see beginners charging so less that they end up providing poor services to too many clients. This drops the trust factor in the market. According to me, individual freelancers should serve fewer clients but the quality of work should do justice.

What according to you are the most essential skills that anyone interested in this area of work should develop? Mention, if any recommended tools or resources for new freelancers/digital marketers to use.

Most essential skills – consistency and ability to learn new things.

Digital marketing is such a rapidly changing industry that it is extremely important to stay updated with the trends and algorithmic updates. Things that were working last month might not work tomorrow because some platform decided to push a core update. We need to survive these waves.

Talking about the tools, I highly recommend the master office tools like MS Office or Google tools. I feel it is highly underrated to know the advanced features of office tools. Automating some tasks on Google spreadsheets can increase your efficiency and similarly, discussing the workflow with clients on Google Slides boosts the level of your professionalism.

I am mentioning these things because nobody tells this in the industry. No doubt, beginners in digital marketing require tools for their dedicated work but that is available all over the Internet. It keeps on changing for every role.

For example, an SEO person would need Google Analytics while a graphic designer would need Adobe Illustrator.

What mistake did you commit in your early days that beginners should avoid?

I see beginners trying to become an agency. I made the same mistake. Avoid it.

When I was just a content writer, everything was fine.

But when I started learning multiple skills and applied for myself then I tried to monetize all those skills. I tried to become a one-man agency. I tried providing all services including website development, content creation, social media handling, and even SEO.

But the clients that need all the services often approach agencies and not freelancers. It becomes hectic for a freelancer to provide too many services.

Life becomes easier when you specialize in one thing and gradually grow other skills.

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

Pro – As a freelancer, you have complete freedom. You can reject and accept your clients. Your workspace is your choice and you are not under any restrictions. The amount of work, charges, clients and everything is under your control.

Con – You are often lonely on this journey. A freelancer does not have that privilege of gossiping over long lunch breaks with coworkers or celebrating success. At most, he/she can share with the close people around. There are very few people to understand because every freelancer has a different set of struggles and journeys. To combat this, it is better to network and talk more with other freelancers.

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

Although I didn’t face many issues with my clients because I am extremely choosy while picking up the projects. However, I would mention a few on behalf of my freelancer friends.

Clients need to be aware that freelancers have timely bills to pay. Postponing the payments is a bad idea that they anyway need to complete some other day.

Also, it would be great if business owners remain clear with their expectations. The difference between expectations and reality becomes a nightmare for many freelancers just because there was a lack of clarity.

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

Those are huge words. I still need to experiment a lot and learn more to figure that out.

Making it simpler, I always strive to deliver the most value for money products or services to my clients. In short, clients should not regret working with me. When someone consumes your services or products, it becomes the responsibility of that business to provide the ultimate satisfaction for the price.

I want history to look at me as someone who uplifted a part of the society to grow digitally.  

For that, I have been continuously working to share my knowledge using my blogs, free ebooks, podcasts, consultation calls, and even keynote speeches.

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

The best part I feel is that I don’t have any regrets yet. I try and fail but it gives the satisfaction of experimenting with something new. We get so many lessons that are simply priceless and no university or course can provide that.

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

If you are also facing frequent edit requests from your clients, read our article on ‘How To Deal With Frequent Edits as a Freelancer? to know a few tips on the same.