An Interview with a Pakistani Freelancer- Ehtesham Hameed

Tell us about yourself?

Ehtesham Hameed: I have done Bachelors in Software Engineering from COMSATS Abbottabad in 2016.

When did you start freelancing?

Ehtesham Hameed: I was introduced with the Freelancing world for the first time in KPYEP Freelancing program at COMSATS in 2016. After graduation, I started to elongate my wings towards self-dependency, so I started work as a Freelancer at Upwork because I was so moved with the success stories all around.

Are you a full time freelancer or you do freelancing beside your job as part time?

Ehtesham Hameed: Mixture of both as I’m working as a writer/web developer for 3 freelancers on monthly basis, therefore, I am unable to provide proper time to Upwork in these days.

Which Online Marketplace (Peopleperhour, Upwork, Freelancer, fiverr) you use and which one you will recommend?

Ehtesham Hameed: Upwork. I will recommend Upwork

What kind of work you do online?

  • Web development (PHP, CSS3, HTML, JavaScript)
  • Database Designing
  • Academic writing
  • Content writing.

How many jobs/projects you have completed online so far?

Ehtesham Hameed: On Upwork, I have completed three projects with 5 stars rating. Among three, I got 2 projects there from one client. He was so elated with my quality work that he hired me on monthly basis. So far, through social media (Outsourcing), I have completed 70 projects.

When did you get your first project online and what was your reaction?

Ehtesham Hameed: I got my first job at Upwork in September 2016 and I was too elated with that.

How many hours you work in a day and does this affect your social life as well?

Ehtesham Hameed: I work 8-10 hours a day and yes it has affected my social life to certain extent.

Your best and worst experience working as a freelancer?

Ehtesham Hameed: So many best experiences I would say. Those moments were so cherishing when my three top clients offered me a job to work on permanent basis because they were too overwhelmed with my top-rated work. The other best experience is that I got gem of people in the freelancing world, which is marvelous learning experience. Unfortunately, I had one bad experience. I got an offer from one client through Facebook group about writing an essay of (1500 words). I did that essay as per client’s requirements. He accepted my work but he blocked me from Facebook and didn’t pay.

What kind of advice would you like to give to people interested in Freelancing?

Ehtesham Hameed:

  • First develop your skills, polish them, and then start earn through freelancing
  • If you want to be flourished, then be sincere to your own self
  • Be professional and honest.

What do you think are the pros/cons of freelancing?

Ehtesham Hameed: To be honest, this is quite interesting to discuss because freelancing completely changes the daily routine and life-style.

Pros

  • Self-dependency. You can enjoy various perks of the life with your own money
  • Enhances professionalism
  • You are boss of your own self. You can work as per your own will.
  • Guaranteed payments in case of freelancing platforms

Cons

  • No social life.
  • Creates health issues like obesity because of less sleep, intense work load and tight deadlines

It is very difficult to get your first project online so would you like to share any tips/tricks to get your first project online?

Yes, I had this experience and its indeed difficult to grasp first project at Upwork or any other freelancing platform. I still remember of my early days that were so frustrating. Although I tried my best to put my best foot forward for various projects at Upwork, but all in vain. I didn’t give up, and finally after mammoth endeavor, I got my first project at Upwork, So I would like to share certain tips to avail first online project

  • Always bid low in early projects.
  • Saturday and Sunday nights are so important for bidding. Do maximum bidding in these two as much you can because software houses usually don’t bid in these two days due to holidays.
  • Cover letter should be well-focused and powerful. If your cover letter appeals the client, then its 90% chance that client will allot you project

Other Tips to be a successful freelancer

I would like to share certain tips to get into the list of successful freelancers

Upwork Tips

  • Be focused.
  • Your Upwork’s profile should be unambiguous, neat and clean.
  • Keep on applying for concerned projects especially at night because mostly clients are foreigners.
  • Always read the instructions of the client in aptly manner. The cover letter should reflect client’s needs. Don’t copy paste cover letter from the internet.
  • Install smartphone application of Upwork or any Freelancing platform that will help you out in instant replies.
  • Strong communication skills.

Social Media Tips

  • Create proper CV/Resume
  • Join all the groups named “Pakistan Freelancers” on Facebook and apply for concerned tasks/projects.
  • Be professional. You are supposed to inbox client with certain details that how will you do that job and show him/her that you are the best person for his/her project. It is more like cover letter. Don’t forget to send resume and samples along with cover letter. You can use your assignments as your SAMPLES.
  • You are ambassador of your own brand. So do not beg for the job. Trust in your abilities.
  • If you want to progress in Academic writing, then learn referencing. For referencing, install Endnote X5 and see its various tutorials on YouTube.
  • Before taking any project on social media via Freelancing groups, make sure to check concerned person’s profile. There are too many scammers there.
  • Freelancing is unstable. Sometimes you have plethora of projects and sometimes you can’t find a single project/task for weeks.

Hire Ehtesham Hameed on Upwork. If you want your story to be published here you can inbox us at write (@)outsourcepk.com

Youth Employment Program

Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar in collaboration with KP IT Board will provide four weeks of free training on “Freelancing”. The training will include setting up accounts on different marketplaces such as fivver, peopleperhour, upwork, applying for jobs/projects, setting up payment methods and a lot more.

Procedure

  • Fill and submit the form.
  • Wait for the E-Mail.
  • Appear for the interview.

You will be notified the date of the interview through E-Mail.

Requirements

  • KP Domicile
  • Good Communication Skills (Written/Spoken English)
  • Female students are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Existing Freelancers are welcome to take their skills to the next level.

This training will be conducted in 7 divisions of KPK which are Peshawar, Mardan, Malakand, DI Khan, Bannu, Kohat & Hazara

For Registration visit http://www.youthemp.com/registration/

NXTGEN 2016

NXTGENabNXTGEN 2016 will be held from April 04-30, 2016 and it is being organized by Peshawar 2.0 (peshawar2.org). Peshawar2.0 has created a PKR 1 Million Scholarship Fund to provide accelerated education to Ten (10) aspiring Designers, Coders and Artists in NXTGEN 2016. NXTGEN (Next Generation) is a movement of young people. NXTGEN is designed as an accelerated and hands-on learning initiative for inspiring and educating our future techies, designers, artists and entrepreneurs in Peshawar2.0.

In 2015, more than 100 enthusiastic and passionate techies, designers and artists attended NXTGEN sprints and workshops at Basecamp. 70 individuals from 15 campuses in KPK were given scholarships, who received accelerated education in the areas of Technology, Design, Art, Communication, and Entrepreneurship.

Workshops and Sprints of NXTGEN

  • Dress Up Your CV
  • Learn the Art of Pencil Sketching
  • Learn to Code iOS Apps
  • Learn the Art of Public Speaking & Presentation Skills
  • Master the Basics of Adobe Photoshop
  • Build a Million-Dollar Android App
  • How to Become a Better Photographer
  • Arduino: Hands-On Introduction with Projects
  • Learn How to Earn with Freelancing
  • Biology going Digital: What is Bioinformatics & Computational Biology?
  • Master the Basics of Adobe Illustrator
  • Become a Rockstar Social Media Marketer
  • Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization
  • WordPress: Design Websites in 2 Hours
  • Introduction to the Art of Calligraphy
  • Create & Animate Stop Motion Videos
  • Paint What you See: Introduction to Digital Painting
  • Convert you Idea into a Startup
  • Learn the Basics of Fashion Illustration

P2 Scholarship Fund Application Form (Deadline: 30th March 2016, 10:00 pm PST)

http://goo.gl/forms/ruogygQlUw

Calendar

http://bit.ly/1T2VAFf

Tickets

http://goo.gl/forms/iYNWQatAyk

NXTGEN Booklet

http://bit.ly/1pVn702

 

An Interview with a Pakistani Freelancer -Waqas Manzoor

OutsourcePK: Tell us about yourself?
Waqas Manzoor: I have done Bachelors in Computer Science BCS(H) 6 years back. I started my career as a network administrator but then I found the Customer services industry as a most booming industry and decided to change my direction and joined a multinational organization. I got experience in almost all areas of customer services industry.

OutsourcePK: When did you start freelancing?

Waqas Manzoor: I started work as freelancer in 2011. One of my friend told me about Odesk and I showed keen interest in it and start exploring this industry.

OutsourcePK: Are you a full time freelancer or you do freelancing beside your job as part time?
Waqas Manzoor: You can say both permanent /part-time as I am doing it side by side with my job and doing 40 hours in a week on odesk.

OutsourcePK: Which Online Marketplace such as elance/odesk you use and which one you will recommend?

Waqas Manzoor: I use odesk and will recommend odesk.

OutsourcePK: What kind of work you do online?

Waqas Manzoor: 

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Personal Assistant
  • Web Research
  • WordPress
  • Data Entry Projects

OutsourcePK: How many jobs/projects you have completed online so far?
Waqas Manzoor: So far I have done 50 jobs and worked more then 6800 hours with 4.98 feedback score out of 5.00 which is exceptional.

OutsourcePK: When did you get your first project online and what was your reaction?
Waqas Manzoor: I got my first job in 2011 and that was only 0.30 cents/hour and I was just so much excited to get this job.

OutsourcePK: Do you have a blog/portfolio that you want to share with us?
Waqas Manzoor: Not Yet. But I do have a plan to start my personal blog.

OutsourcePK: How many hours you work in a day and does this affect your social life as well?

Waqas Manzoor: I work 40 plus hours in a week and YES I am enjoying my social life. Time management is the key to success in freelancing.

OutsourcePK: Your best and worst experience working as a freelancer?
Waqas Manzoor: I have 90% excellent experiences with my clients and just 10% was below average.

OutsourcePK: What kind of advice would you like to give to people interested in Freelancing?
Waqas Manzoor: – Time Management

Always ready to work for client

Be Prompt (give response to employer’s email very very efficiently)

Since you are competing with whole world so you should be very very organized and able to respond to your employer as soon as you can. If you make a little delay then there are million of other peoples who can win this battle.

OutsourcePK: Share your online profile links
Waqas Manzoor: https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/_~01e2b62e6c54b72a2e/ 

OutsourcePK: What do you think are the pros/cons of freelancing

Waqas Manzoor: It’s a huge debate
Pros:

    • Can work at your ease. Can work whenever you want
    • Get weekly payments
    • Guaranteed Payments
    • Can do multiple jobs at same time

Cons:

  • Less Sleep
  • Sometime get boring to sit in front of Laptop.

OutsourcePK: Last Question: It is very difficult to get your first project online so would you like to share any tips/tricks to get your first project online?
Waqas Manzoor: 
Always bid a bit low in early jobs but as profile gets growing then you may apply on better rates.

Most Important Tip: When you are planning to get a job then just sit in front of laptop and refresh the desired jobs page after every 5 minutes and apply only those jobs in which you are in top 10 in applying candidates. This is a guaranteed way to get the job no matter you are new or old freelancer.

An Interview with a Pakistani Freelancer- Rizwan Abbasi

OutsourcePK: Tell us about yourself?
Rizwan Abbasi: I am Software Engineering student at Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. I did my bachelors in Computer Engineering from Comsats Abbottabad.

OutsourcePK: When did you start freelancing?
Rizwan Abbasi: I started freelancing regularly in 2010 although got my first project in 2009

OutsourcePK: Are you a full time freelancer or you do freelancing beside your job as part time?
Rizwan Abbasi: I am a part time freelancer.

OutsourcePK: Which Online Marketplace such as elance/odesk you use and which one you will recommend?
Rizwan Abbasi: I use odesk and will recommend odesk.

OutsourcePK: What kind of work you do online?
Rizwan Abbasi: – Mobile/Smartphone Website Development
– Smart Phone Simulator Development for your Website
– Shopping Carts
– Ecommerce store development
– Mobile Redirection Scripts
– WordPress Websites’ Management
– Implementing WordPress Security
– WordPress Websites’ maintenance
– Developing Membership Websites
– Developing Custom Affiliate Websites
– Developing High Quality Squeeze Pages

OutsourcePK: How many jobs/projects you have completed online so far?
Rizwan Abbasi: 14-18 in past but from a long time I am working with a client on hourly basis.

OutsourcePK: When did you get your first project online and what was your reaction?
Rizwan Abbasi: I got my first online project in 2009 and was quite excited and happy.

OutsourcePK: Do you have a blog/portfolio that you want to share with us?
Rizwan Abbasi: http://rizwanabbasi.com/

OutsourcePK: How many hours you work in a day and does this affect your social life as well?
Rizwan Abbasi: I work around 10 hrs/week. As, I am currently in a European country so there is no social life here.

OutsourcePK: Your best and worst experience working as a freelancer?
Rizwan Abbasi: My best experience is with my current client and worst was with a Romanian client as she paid too less but was expecting too much.

OutsourcePK: What kind of advice would you like to give to people interested in Freelancing?
Rizwan Abbasi: -Polish your skills (of course, your skill’s list will grow while working)
-Be up to date with the international market
-Always be fair, never never never cheat.
-Work until your client is happy.(within the contract)

OutsourcePK: Share your online profile links
Rizwan Abbasi:https://www.odesk.com/o/profiles/users/_~01ce9829e01e00f434/

OutsourcePK: What do you think are the pros/cons of freelancing
Rizwan Abbasi: It’s a huge debate
Pros:
-Flexible wrt timings
-Work whenever you want
-You can earn healthy amount
– You can easily work while studying.
– Location doesn’t matter, you can work from any corner of the world, client just needs work.
Cons:
-Social life disturbance
-Timings (Day/Night) are affected
-You don’t have fixed income like an employee.
-There is no guarantee of work. Sometimes you’ll too much work and sometimes you’ll be sitting idle.
-Another big disadvantage of freelancing in Pakistan is that it is difficult to convince some people that you’re working and earning online.

OutsourcePK: Last Question: It is very difficult to get your first project online so would you like to share any tips/tricks to get your first project online?
Rizwan Abbasi:
Fresh lancers are always inspired by other freelancers in friends’ circle, social circle and/or family. Due to this inspiration, they have high expectations from the very start.
-The very first advice is to keep your rate low.
-Showcase your skills and experience in a simple way.
-Have a portfolio/website to showcase your past projects.
-It is good to have a blog. I’ll strongly recommend you to have an active blog if you’re in content writing, article writing or SEO niche.
-Search for the projects because a very few projects are posted only for beginners and client explicitly mentions so.
-Do not commit for what you can’t do because if you got the project and you’re unable to do that task, then there is high probability that it was your last project as freelancer.
-If possible, mention to the client that you’re experienced and skilled(if you’re experienced and have skills) and you have kept your rate low because you want a start up.

Sample Cover Letters for Odesk

Good Morning.

I have reviewed your project and believe I am the right person for the job. I have more than two years of experience programming, and have worked for other comparable websites. My employers continue to be pleased with my final product, and often wish to hire me for future work.  I live in Pakistan and am on GMT+5. I can begin working on your project immediately. You can feel free to add me on skype so we can further discuss this job. I am an honest and loyal worker and believe we can both benefit from forming a working relationship.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am prepared to devote fifteen hours per week to your company. My daily schedule can be adjusted to fit your specific needs. I am completely flexible and my first priority is always my employer. I would appreciate the opportunity to help you ensure a successful project. You will never have cause to regret hiring me for this job. You may contact me directly at any time to further discuss this position.

Sir,

I can easily adapt my hours to fit your needs.  You can contact me through skype/google talk. When we have reviewed your project in further detail, I will be better able to assess the cost and create a workable deadline. Your satisfaction is my main goal. I am always open to negotiation. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Thank you for your time.

Sir,

This assignment can easily be completed by me within your time frame and budget. I work quickly and efficiently and always work hard to please my employer. I never sign off on a project until my employer is completely satisfied. Because of this trait, I am often sought after for long-term work. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.

Best Regards

Dear Sir,

I am very interested in completing this task for you. I can assure you that the completed project will be delivered in a timely manner. In the three years I have been working on this site, I have never missed a deadline. The prospect of a long term business relationship with you is highly appealing.  I look forward to discussing this with you after this arrangement proves mutually satisfying.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Sir,

I have read and reviewed the requirements necessary for this assignment. I have completed many similar projects to my employers’ full satisfaction. I know I can complete this task for you quickly and efficiently. I always guarantee my work by assuring my employer that I will not stop working on the project until they are 100% happy with the final product.  Let’s talk about this soon so we can get this project going for you.

Hello!

We are extremely interested in your project. We have reviewed all the necessary requirements and know with our expertise we can perform this task to your satisfaction. As we progress through the assignment, we will keep you posted with regular updates. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask. Our number one priority is ensuring your happiness with our work. We can be available to work at any time that fits your needs. We hope to begin working together with you soon.

Dear Sir,

We have reviewed the requirements for your posted project and are eager to begin. We have five years of experience creating websites. We have helped develop almost five hundred websites in this time and can assure you that we will work hard to make yours something to be proud of. We specialize in making websites as user friendly as possible, and we never forget to make it look good throughout. Your utmost satisfaction is our number one priority. We will continue to tweak the website until you are 100% happy. Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to serve you.

Happy Bidding!

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