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.

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