If you’re looking to break into the world of freelancing in Pakistan but don’t have any experience, it can be daunting to know where to start.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get started on your freelancing journey, even without prior experience.
In today’s blog post, we’ll explain how you can begin freelancing in Pakistan without experience and provide tips for success.
We will cover topics such as finding freelance work, marketing yourself effectively and building a strong foundation for success.
What is freelancing?
To get you started, let’s understand what you are getting into.
In a nutshell, freelancing is a form of self-employment whereby individuals hire themselves out to perform services on a short-term or project basis, typically for an agreed fee.
It offers the opportunity for people to pursue their passion and make money from it without having to be tied into one particular job role.
That means freelancers in Pakistan can work either part-time or full-time, depending on their circumstances and desired income level.
And instead of being bogged down by one client, you can have as many clients as you want.
That’s not all.
See the next section for more.
Benefits of Freelancing in Pakistan
RIGHT off the bat, freelancing is a great way to gain experience and make money in Pakistan.
It comes with a ton of benefits for those looking to make a living working from home or on the side.
a). You choose when to work
One of the biggest advantages of freelancing in Pakistan is the ability to choose your own hours and work at your own pace.
This allows you to fit work around other commitments, such as family or studying, while still being able to generate an income.
You can also take on projects that are interesting and enjoyable as well as more challenging tasks, which will help you develop new skills and increase your professional network.
b). Easily make a switch
Another benefit of freelancing lies in its flexibility – you can easily switch between different types of projects so that no two days are ever the same.
This helps keep work interesting and engaging and enables you to adapt quickly when needed.
Flexibility also means a greater degree of control over your finances.
You see, with no set salary or benefits package, freelancers in Pakistan can choose how much they charge per project depending on the difficulty level, time commitment, and their own experience.
c). Extra source of income
You need to know that many companies are now turning towards freelance workers to reduce costs while still getting high-quality services delivered effectively and efficiently.
This gives those who want an extra source of income more opportunities than ever before!
I am sure there are other perks of working as a freelancer in Pakistan, but these ones top them all!
Overview of The Freelancing Market in Pakistan
Before we talk about how to start freelancing in Pakistan with no experience, let’s take a bird’s eye view of the entire industry.
Pakistan’s freelancing market is thriving, with nearly three million freelancers operating there.
With such a number, it makes Pakistan one of the top five countries for freelance services.
And this number has affected the economy!
The contribution of these freelancers to Pakistan’s economy has been significant, with their export remittances totaling $2.616 billion during the fiscal year 2022.
This number accounted for 14.77% of all information and communication technologies (ICT) exports from Pakistan during that year.
Specifically, Pakistani freelancers attracted export remittances of nearly $400 million in the fiscal year 2022 alone, demonstrating a strong growth trend in this sector over recent years.
Most Pakistani freelance workers’ primary income source comes from online platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com.
However, many successful local entrepreneurs also use their websites to directly offer customer services worldwide.
According to the same report, the top IT freelancing services offered included the following:
- Web development
- Logo design
- Graphic Designing
- Mobile app developers
- Java developers.
These contributed around $265 million in FY 2022 to the economy.
On the other hand, non-IT freelance services contributed $131 million in FY 22, up from $33 million reported in FY 21.
These services include:
- Content writing
- Virtual assistantship
- Customer service
With that in mind, let’s look at the steps you can take to become a freelancer in Pakistan as a beginner.
How To Start Freelancing in Pakistan With No Experience
a. Research the Freelancing Market
Before you take the plunge into freelancing in Pakistan, you MUST understand what you are getting into before blindly entering the market.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic concepts and terms used in the industry.
But where do I start?
Well, research potential employers, average rates of pay, payment methods, and any relevant laws that may apply to you.
Don’t be afraid to seek out advice from experienced professionals who have been successful in their freelancing careers.
To better understand the Pakistani market, consider attending workshops or seminars that focus on freelance opportunities specific to this region.
Taking these steps will help ensure that you make informed decisions throughout your journey as a freelancer in Pakistan.
It also eliminates surprises.
Trust me, you will find some, but with a little research, you get insider tips into what goes on in this industry.
b. Identify Your Skills
Now that you know the freelance market, it is time to audit your skills.
This will give you an idea of what services you can offer as a freelancer.
See, it is better to use what you already possess and build upon them rather than starting from scratch.
Here’s how to go about this step…
Think about the things that come easy for you and focus on those first.
It could be anything from writing to graphic design, SEO, or web development; the possibilities are endless.
In short, identify your strengths and how they can be used in conjunction with other skills to create comprehensive packages for potential clients.
With this knowledge, try listing all the services you can offer and explore different ways they can be combined into one package.
Still feeling stuck?
Look at your work experience and previous projects, and think about how these experiences have shaped who you are today as a freelancer.
Here’s a simple breakdown of skills alongside the freelance services you can offer in Pakistan.
- Writing and editing: You can offer services such as copywriting, content creation, blog post writing, proofreading, and copyediting.
- Graphic design: You can offer services such as logo design, brochure design, social media graphics, and branding.
- Digital marketing: You can offer social media management, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
- Web development: You can offer website design, e-commerce development, and WordPress customization services.
- Programming: You can offer mobile app development, software development, and data analysis services.
- Translation: You can offer services such as translating documents, websites, or subtitles from one language to another.
- Photography: You can offer event photography, portrait photography, and product photography.
- Voiceover: You can offer voice-over recording for videos, podcasts, and commercials.
- Video production: You can offer services such as editing, animation, and creating videos for social media platforms.
c. Polish Your Skills
If you want to start freelancing in Pakistan without experience, honing and developing your skills is essential.
Don’t jump into applying for work.
Take some time to improve your abilities.
This will go a long way to ensure that you have the best chance of success when freelancing.
You should first get certified, if possible, as this will give you the credentials employers are looking for.
But certificates cost money, Kevin!
While that’s true, many online free courses offer certificates.
These can be used to demonstrate competence and knowledge in certain areas.
It can also be useful to join industry forums or online networks where professionals exchange information about trends and techniques.
This will help keep you up-to-date on new developments within your sector, which could potentially make it easier for you to win projects or clients.
Getting certified helps in two ways:
- You stand out from the rest when applying for jobs, which increases your chances of scoring the job
- Give you a good dose of confidence to go out there and grind.
d. Set Up Your Profile and Portfolio
Now that you know what you want to do and even have a couple of certificates under your belt, it is time to build a portfolio.
A portfolio is essentially an online collection of your work, showcasing the skills and projects you’ve completed.
It can be as simple as creating a blog to display all your work, or it can be more complex with a website to present your achievements.
Portfolio work is to provide potential clients with proof that you have the necessary skills for the job is key to making them feel confident about hiring you.
And don’t overthink this step.
A portfolio may include screenshots of websites or apps you’ve created, photos of art or completed design projects, etc.
If you are going after freelance writing, your portfolio should include samples of your previous work
But I don’t have any experience!
Well, get some!
- Work for free. Find someone who could use your services and offer to help them. And in return, they agree for you to use the work as your sample. They can also give a testimonial, which you can publish on your site.
- Find random projects online and work on them. For example, for writers, you can start publishing quality articles about trending topics. Tools like Buzzsumo can help here.
Setting Up Your Freelancing Business in Pakistan
The next step to start freelancing in Pakistan with no experience is to set up your business.
You see, the only to succeed in this industry is to treat everything as any startup entrepreneur would.
a. Create a Freelance Business Plan
A good plan should include detailed information about your services, the value of your services, and the strategies you will use to market and grow your client base.
While at it, be realistic and provide estimates of income and expenses.
And the only way is through researching the market.
Doing this should give you an understanding of current rates for services similar to yours so that you can set competitive pricing.
At the same time, think about any additional costs associated with running your freelance business, such as insurance or software subscriptions, that may be necessary to complete jobs on time.
Finally, build regular goals such as increasing revenue each quarter or gaining five new clients per month so you have something concrete to measure progress against.
b. Determine Your Rates
Let’s talk about the money part.
What will you charge for your services?
There are several examples of ways that freelancers get paid.
- Hourly rates are the most common way for freelancers to be compensated, and many use platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to determine an hourly rate based on their skill set and experience level.
- Many freelancers also set flat fees for specific projects; this method can be beneficial in ensuring that a project is completed within the agreed-upon budget.
- Some clients may offer commission-based payments, including a percentage of sales generated through your work.
- And retainers allow freelancers to receive regular payments over an extended time in exchange for providing ongoing services such as content creation or website maintenance.
When setting your rates, take into account the industry standards, your experience, and the amount of work needed.
c. Set Up a Payment System
Now that you know how much to charge for your services in Pakistan, the next step is to set up a payment system.
It’s best to have several options for clients so they can pay you via whichever method is most convenient.
And banks like Bank Alfalah and Allied Bank offer debit card services that can be used to make secure online payments from anywhere in the world.
Now, beyond getting paid, it is also important to keep track of your income and expenses as you start freelancing in Pakistan.
Setting up a separate business account with a local bank can help you stay organized and ensure that all taxes associated with your business are paid on time.
d. Find the Right Tools
Up to this point, you’ve been working on setting up your business for success.
Now, you need to assemble the tools of the trade.
To get started, consider the kind of software and hardware you can use at home to make your job easier.
If you are a web designer or developer, then having the right software and hardware would be necessary to complete projects efficiently.
For example, accessing graphic editing programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator is important when working on website design projects.
Similarly, if you are providing online services like copywriting or content creation, it would be useful to have access to word processing applications such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
In addition to software and hardware, have access to various relevant contract templates in Pakistan’s freelancing industry.
These will help ensure that both parties involved in a project understand their responsibilities clearly before starting the project.
Finding Freelance Clients in Pakistan
It is time to hunt🏋️♀️!
a. Build a Website To Promote Your Services
If you want to be successful as a freelancer in Pakistan, it is essential that you create a website to promote your services.
A website will help you reach more clients and give them an easy way to contact you.
To get started, you will need to get a self-hosted service.
I’d recommend you use your official name as the website address. It is unique and can help build a personal brand.
I mean, look at Neil Patel!
Don’t forget to create a professional custom email address. This will come in handy when you start pitching your services.
No one will take you seriously if you still use the @GMAIL.com address!
Investing in some web design tools or hiring someone who can build your site for you might be helpful.
Once your website is up and running, keep it updated with new content, so potential customers find out about any new services or products you offer.
Additionally, make sure to optimize keywords for SEO purposes so that people can easily find your business online.
b. Use Social Media Platforms
Social media can also be a great way to find freelance work in Pakistan.
You should also join relevant forums and offer value before selling your services.
Providing helpful answers to questions, offering advice, and networking are all ways to show potential employers that you are knowledgeable about the industry, even if you don’t have prior experience.
For example, joining Facebook groups can help link you with potential clients and other freelancers who may have advice or connections that could help you get started.
Moreover, creating content for your social media accounts, such as writing articles or creating videos, will demonstrate your skillset to prospective employers.
And when pitching yourself on these platforms, make sure your profile looks professional; have a good profile picture and bio.
They help build your brand and pick up a few followers along the way.
c. Join Freelance Marketplaces
First, these sites provide easy access to a wide range of freelance opportunities and the ability to connect with clients worldwide.
Freelancers can create profiles and portfolios that showcase their skills and experiences, thus allowing potential employers to evaluate them easily according to their requirements.
Second, freelance marketplaces also offer a variety of services such as job search tools and negotiation support.
Such can help you as a freelancer in Pakistan to find the perfect job and ensure you get paid competitively for your work.
Above all, these platforms provide access to advise and resources about how best to develop your freelance career in Pakistan, giving you the best chance of success when starting out as a freelancer.
In fact, Some popular freelance marketplaces in Pakistan include:
d. Reach Out Directly to Businesses
Instead of relying on platforms to get work, reaching out directly to businesses is a great way to break into the freelance business without prior experience.
You can start by identifying potential customers in your area and reaching out with a customized message about how you can help their business grow.
Offer them a free audit of their current digital presence, whether that’s their website, social media accounts, or marketing materials.
This gives you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and make suggestions on how they can improve their online presence with your services.
Be sure to emphasize the value of investing in professional freelancers for better results than attempting DIY solutions.
Once you have established rapport with potential customers and made recommendations, tout your horn!
Recommend yourself as the perfect candidate for executing on any changes they may decide to pursue.
Having no experience in freelancing can be daunting, but with a little bit of dedication and hard work, anyone can make it as a successful freelancer. Here are some final tips to help you get started:
- Manage Your Time Wisely: As a freelancer, you will have to manage your own time to be efficient and productive. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Make sure to factor in breaks throughout the day as well as time for personal activities like exercise or hobbies.
- Stay Up-to-Date on Trends: To stay competitive as a freelancer, stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your field. This means researching and attending conferences or seminars when possible to keep up with what’s new and happening in the industry.
- Invest in Professional Development: Continuing your education is essential for freelancers, as it helps you stay competitive and develop new skills that can help further your career. Whether through online courses or attending conferences and workshops, investing in professional development will ensure that you remain a sought-after freelance expert.
- Establish Your Professional Network: Building relationships with other professionals within the industry is important when starting out as a freelancer—it’s how people hear about opportunities they may be interested in pursuing! Participating in LinkedIn groups or joining associations related to your field are great ways of building an effective network from which you can find clients and reach out for advice if needed down the road.