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  • Ankit Uttam

How Saheli Chatterjee Made ₹16,420,000 as a Freelancer

Saheli Chatterjee has made ₹ 16,420,000 from freelancing and coaching


A few months ago, Saheli Chatterjee posted about her income as a freelancer.


As per the post, In the last 7 years she has made ₹16,420,000 in revenue as a writer.


So, the question here is -- How she did it and what lessons other freelancers can take from her journey.


She started a side hustle as a content writer in 2017 made ₹20k in revenue.


2018 - ₹ 2 lakh (She niched down to marketing content writing)

2019 - ₹ 7 lakh

2020 - ₹ 15 lakh

2021 - ₹ 30 lakh

  • She started moving to premium clients.

  • Started creating info products like courses.


2022 - ₹ 35 lakh

  • Decided to turn her side hustle into a full-time gig

  • Started taking her own personal branding seriously.

  • Started consultation as premium service.

 

2023 - ₹ 75 lakh

  • 7 year in freelancing

  • Info product

  • Started launch services for coaches & creators


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So, if you see the progressions, from a side hustle during her college time, she turned full time freelancer in 4 years.


But as a freelancer, she was actually trading time for money, which is similar to a job. Even worse as in job you have one boss, in freelancing you have multiple.



How Saheli Chatterjee Made ₹16,420,000 as a Freelancer

Also, freelancing is tough as the barrier to entry is too low. All you need is a laptop and Internet to start.


Also, most freelancers charge dirt cheap prices so you are actually competing with a lot of those people.


That is why most freelancers struggle to grow after a point.


Saheli understood this hence she diversified in creating info products like Freelance 101 Academy where she has paid courses on;


  • Content Writing

  • Copywriting

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Ghostwriting


Which I am assuming has helped her in getting out of the trading time vs money mode.



Another challenge for freelancers is the consistent need for finding clients. Prospecting and cold outreach is a big part of work.


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Saheli countered this is by creating her own personal brand based on writing, her existing client success stories on social media. She has;


  • 260K+ followers on LinkedIn,

  • 320K+ followers on Instagram, and

  • 230K+ followers on YouTube.


I am assuming most of her clients now reach out to her without any active outreach from her side which helps her in 2 ways.


  1. Save her time and effort.

  2. Charge premium prices as people who reach out to you negotiate less.



Do you need 800K+ followers?


No, you don't but a personal brand will help you stand out in a cluttered market.


One point to note here that this ₹ 16,420,000 is revenue and not profits.


As there is no info on how many people she employs and how much she pays them, plus what tools she uses to run her biz, so difficult to get an idea of her margins.


Bottomline - Saheli has built her brand over 7 years which is now paying her back in loads.


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How To Become a Freelancer in 2024: The Complete Guide


Transitioning from traditional employment to independent contracting can be a life-changing decision. Freelancing offers numerous benefits and opportunities that are worth exploring. In this section, we will delve into the different aspects of the freelancer landscape, highlighting the advantages of freelancing over traditional employment, the importance of identifying marketable skills, and the significance of choosing a niche.


Transition from Traditional Employment to Independent Contracting

Freelancing provides a unique alternative to the traditional employment model. By becoming a freelancer, you gain the freedom to choose your projects, set your own schedule, and work from wherever you desire. Gone are the days of rigid 9-to-5 routines and office politics. Instead, you have the flexibility to design your ideal work-life balance.


Moreover, freelancing opens up a world of possibilities in the gig economy. With remote work on the rise, you can tap into a global marketplace of opportunities, connecting with clients from around the world and expanding your professional network.


Self-Assessment: Identifying Your Marketable Skills

Before embarking on your freelancing journey, it is crucial to assess your marketable skills. Take the time to reflect on your strengths, expertise, and experiences. Consider the skills that make you stand out and that are in demand within your industry. These marketable skills will be the foundation of your freelance business.


Additionally, identify any gaps in your skillset and invest in acquiring new competencies. This continuous learning mindset ensures that you stay relevant and competitive in the ever-evolving freelance market.


Nailing Your Niche: The Importance of Specialization

In the vast sea of freelancers, finding your niche is key to standing out and attracting the right clients. While it may be tempting to offer a wide range of services, specializing in a specific area allows you to develop deep expertise and position yourself as an expert in your chosen field.


When choosing a niche, consider your passions, interests, and the market demand. Focus on a specific industry, audience, or type of project that aligns with your skills and interests. By doing so, you become a go-to professional in your niche, commanding higher rates and attracting clients who value your specialized expertise.


By understanding the transition from traditional employment to freelancing, identifying your marketable skills, and nailing your niche, you set yourself up for success in the freelance world. Let's move forward and explore the next step in crafting your personal brand.


Setting Up for Success: Crafting Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is a powerful tool that can attract clients and set you apart in the competitive world of freelancing. By creating a strong personal brand, you can establish a professional image, showcase your expertise, and build trust with potential clients. Here are some key elements to consider when crafting your personal brand:


1. Building an online presence: In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for freelancers. Create a professional website or portfolio that highlights your skills, experience, and past projects. Utilize social media platforms to showcase your work and engage with your target audience. Remember to maintain a consistent and cohesive brand image across all online channels.


2. Clearly defining your value proposition: Identify what sets you apart from other freelancers in your field. Highlight your unique skills, expertise, and the specific problem you can solve for clients. This will help potential clients understand the value you can bring to their projects.


3. Developing a compelling portfolio: Your portfolio is your opportunity to showcase your best work and demonstrate your capabilities. Include a diverse range of projects that highlight your expertise and skillset. Make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and optimized for different devices.


"Your personal brand is not just a logo or a tagline. It's the perception that others have of you as a freelancer and the impression you leave on potential clients."

4. Consistent messaging and visual identity: Create a consistent brand message across all your communication channels. This includes your website, social media profiles, email communications, and even your invoices. Use the same colors, fonts, and tone of voice to reinforce your personal brand and create a memorable experience for clients.


5. Leveraging testimonials and reviews: Positive feedback and testimonials from satisfied clients can significantly boost your personal brand. Display these testimonials prominently on your website or portfolio to demonstrate your credibility and expertise. Encourage your clients to leave reviews and share their positive experiences working with you.


By investing time and effort into crafting your personal brand, you can position yourself as a trusted and sought-after freelancer in your niche. A strong personal brand will not only attract clients but also help you build long-term relationships and establish yourself as an authority in your field.


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Connecting with Clients: Where and How to Find Work

In the freelancing world, finding clients is a crucial step towards building a successful career. This section will explore various strategies for finding freelance work and connecting with clients who are a great fit for your skills and expertise.



Defining Your Target Audience for Tailored Outreach

One effective approach to finding freelance clients is to define your target audience. By identifying the specific industries, niches, or individuals that can benefit from your services, you can tailor your outreach efforts to reach them effectively.


Start by considering your skills, experience, and areas of expertise. Think about the type of clients you enjoy working with and the industries that align with your interests. This will help you narrow down your target audience and create a more focused and compelling message when reaching out to potential clients.


Once you have defined your target audience, you can craft personalized pitches, proposals, and marketing materials that speak directly to their needs and challenges. This tailored approach will increase your chances of attracting clients who value your services and are more likely to hire you for their projects.


Utilizing Online Marketplaces and Platforms

Online marketplaces and platforms are excellent resources for freelancers to find work and connect with clients. These platforms act as intermediaries, bringing together freelancers and clients in a streamlined and efficient manner.


Popular online marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com provide a wide range of job opportunities across various industries and skillsets. By creating a compelling profile and showcasing your portfolio on these platforms, you can attract clients who are actively seeking freelancers for their projects.



When utilizing online marketplaces, it's essential to optimize your profile with relevant keywords, showcase your best work, and provide clear information about your skills and expertise. This will help you stand out from the competition and capture the attention of potential clients.


Networking and Word of Mouth: Building a Referral System

Networking and word of mouth can be powerful sources for finding freelance clients. Building relationships with other professionals in your industry and creating a strong reputation can lead to valuable referrals and recurring work.


Attend industry events, join professional associations, and engage in online communities related to your field. This will allow you to connect with potential clients, collaborate with colleagues, and stay up to date with industry trends and opportunities.


When networking, focus on building genuine relationships and providing value to others. Offer your expertise, share useful resources, and be proactive in helping others succeed. By nurturing these connections, you increase the likelihood of receiving referrals and recommendations from satisfied clients and colleagues.


Word of mouth referrals can be incredibly powerful in the freelance world. Happy clients who have had a positive experience working with you are more likely to recommend your services to others. Therefore, prioritize delivering exceptional work, providing excellent customer service, and maintaining strong relationships with your existing clients.


By combining targeted outreach, leveraging online marketplaces, and harnessing the power of networking and word of mouth, you can establish a strong presence in the freelance market and consistently find work that aligns with your skills and expertise.


Pricing Strategies for the Modern Freelancer

Establishing fair and competitive pricing is essential for the success of your freelance business. In this section, we will delve into pricing strategies that will help you understand your value and set rates that reflect your expertise and market demand. Additionally, we will explore the flexibility of billing options, such as hourly versus project-based rates, and the importance of transparent communication regarding pricing and any additional costs.


Understanding Your Value and Setting Rates

Before determining your rates, it is crucial to understand your value and the unique skills and qualifications you bring to each project. Take into consideration factors such as your level of experience, industry knowledge, and the complexity of the work involved. Researching market rates and evaluating the rates charged by other freelancers in your niche can also provide valuable insights.


As you set your rates, consider the value you provide to clients. Highlight the benefits they will receive from your services and how your expertise can help them achieve their goals. It's important to strike a balance between charging what you're worth and remaining competitive in the freelance market.



Flexibility in Billing: Hourly vs. Project-Based Rates

Freelancers have the flexibility to choose between different billing structures, namely hourly rates or project-based rates. Each option has its advantages and considerations.


Hourly Rates: Charging an hourly rate provides a clear breakdown of the time and effort dedicated to each project. This approach works well for projects with uncertain timelines or when clients require ongoing support. However, it's important to communicate transparently about the estimated hours and any potential changes as the project progresses.


Project-Based Rates: Alternatively, you can set project-based rates where you charge a fixed fee for completing an entire project. This approach requires careful estimation of the time and resources necessary to complete the project. It provides clarity for both you and the client, as they know the total cost upfront and can budget accordingly.


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Transparent Communication About Pricing and Additional Costs

Effective communication about pricing is crucial for establishing trust with clients and ensuring transparency throughout the project. Be clear and upfront about your rates, any additional costs, and potential payment terms. Providing a detailed scope of work and outlining any potential variables or factors that may affect pricing will help manage expectations and prevent any misunderstandings.


Regularly check in with your clients during the project to communicate any changes or adjustments to the pricing or scope. This open line of communication will foster positive relationships and maintain client satisfaction.


Building a Compelling Portfolio

A compelling portfolio is a powerful tool for attracting clients and showcasing your skills as a freelancer. It allows potential clients to see firsthand the quality of your work and the value you can provide.


A well-organized and visually appealing freelance portfolio can make a lasting impression and differentiate you from the competition. Here are some tips on how to create an impressive portfolio that effectively highlights your best work and demonstrates your expertise:


  1. Showcase your best work: Select your strongest projects and include them in your portfolio. Choose a diverse range of work that represents your capabilities and demonstrates your skillset. Make sure to include a variety of project types and industries to showcase your versatility as a freelancer.

  2. Highlight client testimonials: Include testimonials or reviews from satisfied clients to add credibility to your portfolio. These testimonials serve as social proof and can help potential clients trust your skills and abilities.

  3. Provide detailed project descriptions: For each project in your portfolio, provide a brief description that outlines the objectives, challenges, and solutions you provided. This helps potential clients understand your role in the project and the value you brought to the client.

  4. Organize your portfolio: Structure your portfolio in a logical and easy-to-navigate manner. Organize your work into categories or sections based on project type, industry, or skillset. This allows potential clients to find relevant examples quickly.

  5. Keep it visually appealing: Use high-quality images and visuals to showcase your work. Consider using screenshots, photographs, or videos to give potential clients a clear idea of the project. Pay attention to the layout and design of your portfolio to create a visually pleasing and engaging experience.

  6. Update regularly: Keep your portfolio up to date by adding new projects and removing outdated ones. Regularly review and refine your portfolio to ensure it reflects your current skills and expertise.

Building a compelling freelance portfolio takes time and effort, but it can significantly impact your success as a freelancer. By showcasing your work effectively and organizing your portfolio thoughtfully, you can attract the attention of potential clients and secure more projects.


Client Relationships: The Key to Long-term Success as a Freelancer

While honing your skills is crucial, building strong client relationships is equally vital for long-term success as a freelancer. Satisfied clients not only provide repeat business but also become sources of referrals and recommendations, helping you expand your client base. Communication, reliability, and delivering exceptional customer service are the pillars of fostering positive client relationships. Listen to your clients' needs, effectively communicate project status and deadlines, and exceed their expectations with your work. By prioritizing client satisfaction, you can establish a stellar reputation and a loyal client base that will sustain your freelance career over time.


Conclusion

Continuous skill development is essential to stay relevant and competitive in the fast-paced freelance market of 2024. The freelance industry is constantly evolving, and by dedicating time and effort to developing new skills, you can position yourself as an in-demand freelancer with a wide range of expertise. Keep an eye on industry trends, take online courses, attend workshops, and seek opportunities to expand your knowledge in your chosen field. This proactive approach will ensure that you stay ahead of the curve and attract high-paying clients who value your expertise.




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About

My name is Ankit Uttam

I'm an Author (20+ books- A few of them have been on bestsellers charts too), and I'm a solopreneur who is trying to learn each day about how to navigate this growing space and also help a few people along the way.

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