On 12th January 2018, we held our second Facebook Chatter session discussing about the Future of Freelancing.
The discussion was joined by three awesome industry experts –
Harini Calamur : Digital Content – Entertainment, News, Education. Filmmaker. Write on Politics & Society. Teacher, Wry Observer & the main slave to an imperious Houndess.
Harnidh Kaur : is a policy work, pop culture nerd, and author. She writes on the intersection of policy, culture, feminism, and sanitation.
Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma : Is an ex-journalist and currently owns Cover To Cover Writing Studio since a little over seven years where she provides writing solutions including content creation, social media outreach, editing, etc. She is also a travel writer and a freelance journalist with footprints in digital as well as print.
After a few initial technical snags the discussion was kicked off by a question from Rashi Aggarwal Mittal as she asked about the role that blogging could play in freelance work.
Harini opined that it is unlikely that you will get a job offer after someone reads your blogs but it helps to serve as a database of your work and helps you hone your skills. It helps you make a footprint for freelancing and that it is practice. Harnidh shared her inputs by saying that blogging is practice for freelance work. She discussed the belief that writing is treated as a flash in the pan or a stroke of genius whereas in reality it is more like a muscle which needs to be exercised and warmed up in order to achieve the best results.
The facet of future of freelancing as a full time career initiated a debate about the perks that a person may enjoy in a corporate job which wouldn’t be available for freelancers. As Harini pointed out, corporate setups have organized structures to take care of your taxes, health benefits and savings for the money you may need in 10-20 years whereas as a freelancer, all the burden of doing those things falls directly on your shoulders and no one else. Harini also acknowledged the presence of a support group for freelancers in the TV industry who may help with gigs and charging, something which don’t really exist in digital content creation.
This was also the moment when Harini shared how important it is to have a specialization rather than generalizing and writing on multiple issues at once. It is clear that clients prefer the master of one trade rather than the jack of all.
The remuneration for freelancers, another big issue which was a big topic for discussion as Harnidh said that unfortunately the current digital clientele is more focused on undercutting the writers and paying as little as possible. The lack of a support group which might help you charge the appropriate amount also makes it harder to get the full value for your work.
An important point raised by Harini was how demeaning it is to charge by the word. It seems demeaning to the art of writing and to the writer itself. Harini hence prefers to charge by the unit rather than turn into a rag-picker who is paid by the kilos of trash.
To initiate your career as a freelancer, it is possible you will have to approach clients and pitch your ideas to them, it is also possible that you will get rejected by most of them or not even get a reply but when you do get an offer, it is very important to be humble and give the job your best shot as it helps you build a brand for yourself, Harnidh said.
To wrap it Samarpita shared the importance of having a niche to increase your writing quality and skills. Harnidh advised us not to lose our fascination for words and to always be excited for the work that you produce. Harini finished the discussion off by pointing out the importance of reinventing and rejuvenating yourself and not stay still in the ever changing world of blogging.
If the above coverage interests you then you can watch this Live Video here : Future of Freelancing
Additionally, we have been holding multiple conversations on what is it like to be Freelancer in India – and all our thoughts along with Blogchatter Community are covered here : Freelancing In India
FB Chatter is one of our fresh weekly tracks where every Friday we will be hosting three Industry experts and engaging their thoughts on a pre-scheduled topic.
In continuation of same, this week we have a Live Panel Discussion scheduled once again on Friday, 19th January at 9.30 PM IST on ‘Starting up In 2018’.