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.

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