Sarthak: Journey Is What You Grow Through

Sarthak is a freelance graphic designer whose interest in designing ignited at a young age while creating memes. At the age of 17,  he started freelancing as a side hustle and now is a full-time freelance designer, marketer, and artist. 

He believes that the three best words that describe him are – Creative, Ambitious, and Motivated. For him, freelancing is all about giving more value to your clients to build long-term relationships. As a freelancer, he suggests social media platforms, cold emails and calls, and referrals for generating leads. He lays emphasis on creating an online website to showcase your work and always having a contract for the projects. 

His biggest learning in life is – If you have any great idea start on the same day don’t be a perfectionist. While the one mantra he swears by is to “Be a giver in life without any intentions”. He aims to represent India with his quality services and we wish him success for the same. 

Read his exciting story:

1. Introduce yourself to us?

Hello there! I’m Sarthak, a Freelance Graphic Designer and 3D Artist. I love connecting with creative people from all over the world.

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

Since childhood, I love to spend time on computers. When I was 16, I made a meme page on Instagram and Facebook. I started learning Photoshop through YouTube just to learn how to make good memes. After high school, I saw a career opportunity in Design and I found it fascinating. Since then, I learned about the principles of design including typography, color theory, golden ratio, etc.

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

I chose to freelance because I wanted the freedom to choose whom I work with, what projects to simply accept, and what to do with my extra time. Freelancing since 2018, however, I didn’t plan to freelance. I started freelancing while I was 17 just to make few a bucks to pay my bills.

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

I joined startup Facebook groups and created a professional profile on LinkedIn and started doing cold calls and cold emails. Asking for referrals is usually the simplest way to start freelancing. 

Reach out to everyone you know personally and professionally, allow them to know what you’re doing, and that you are available for work. If you know other freelancers, asking them about work is additionally a good source. 

Often developers are trying to find designers and the other way around. Local agencies are another good start. It’s better if you know someone at the corporate, but local agencies outsource frequently and are always trying to find talent.

5. Talk about the importance of having an online portfolio to generate leads. What are the tips that one can keep in mind while creating a portfolio?

Before finding out the way to best create your online portfolio, know what you would like others to ascertain about you. First and foremost, an online portfolio is there for you to show your final result to the world, on your terms. You can choose the layout of your portfolio, what pieces to show at the forefront, provide background information on every piece/project, and much more.

Sure, you can technically showcase your work on platforms such as Instagram, but a website gives you the freedom and creativity to choose your display. You work hard at what you do, so prove it with an awesome online portfolio. You should have a site that showcases your strengths and gets you one step closer to achieving your professional goals.

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

First, I recognize the proportion of time, effort, and research needed to put in the project. On the basis of that, I determine my pricing

Based on your experience and expertise, decide whether you will charge on the higher or lower end. Figure out what hourly rate is worth your time and effort, and below what price you prefer to refuse the project. Come up with a pricing method that is based on this hourly rate.

7. What do you do to polish your skills as a freelancer?

I spend so much time exploring and learning new design trends and techniques. Also, Practice, Practice, and Practice! 

“After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillful, swift, and steady.” ― Bruce Lee.

8. What according to you are the most essential skills that anyone interested in this area of work should develop?

I would say Time management and Communication are the most essential skills. Always upgrade yourself, try to learn new design trends, softwares, and techniques. I think that would help you stand you out from the crowd.

9. What according to you are the most essential skills that anyone interested in this area of work should develop?

Finding clients is one of the biggest challenges. Oftentimes, finding clients is an ongoing challenge and not something a freelancer can do once and be done with. The fact that clients are basically what keeps a freelance business alive makes this all the more stressful. 

My biggest mistakes are not making contracts and not taking advance payment before starting the project.

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

The Pro of freelancing is the freedom with a flexible schedule, hours, and location.

The con of freelancing is that you are hustling 24/7 for new gigs.

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

Our Vision and mission are to provide the best services to our clients and represent India to the world.

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

Great Question! I think I would give more value than I get paid for and try to focus on creating long-term relationships not just on making money.

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

If you are planning to make your digital portfolio, read our article on ‘15 Elements You Must Implement in Your Portfolio Website’ to gain the maximum benefit.