Just a decade ago, Pakistani freelancers had very few places to turn. Educational programs and community events were nearly unheard of, and even the simple act of mentioning that you worked independently was enough to create a stigma. However, this uninviting environment for freelancers has dwindled dramatically over the past few years. An eye-opening 2014 study by the International Data Group (IDG Connect) revealed just how many Pakistanis are catching the freelance bug and running with it. Data showed that among employed Pakistanis, at least 40% were freelancing in some way. A 2014 report by Upwork listed Pakistan as one of the top 10 countries earning through the site, with a 10-25% earning growth rate. Luckily, far more resources exist today for the average freelancer who’s just getting started.
As a new home-based worker, one of the most important things to understand is the law. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, underpaid, or unaware of your rights as a worker. But unfortunately, this is quite common for new independent workers. Paycheck explains many of these complex legal issues in an approachable way using straightforward language.
- Tracking Time
One of the most common mistakes among new freelancers is failure to track work time. Even if you don’t charge by the hour, you’ll want to gain a general idea of how long you spend on various tasks. This will help guide you in knowing when to temporarily adjust or permanently increase your rates. TrackingTime is a free and simple app allowing you to sort projects and time them individually.
Transpay assists freelancers in getting paid by foreign clients. Funds transfer quickly, typically within three days and often on the same day. Clients are required to cover fees when sending payment to freelancers. The company is looking to expand and help more small businesses and independent workers throughout Pakistan, but the process is slow due to the high volume of interest. Some freelancers report being “placed on hold” while waiting to register with Transpay.
- Likho Pakistan
With articles such as How to Become a Successful Freelancer in Pakistan, and How to Build Your Upwork Profile, Likho provides the bare essentials to get started as a freelancer. One entrepreneur shares his story of building a tech company with 100 users while still holding his day job.
When Techhub Connect opened in Lahore, a longstanding gap was filled in urban Pakistan, providing the community and support freelancers needed to expand their businesses with confidence. Their current offering is a Foreelancing Workshop, a 6-week intensive program training freelancers In WordPress, web development, graphic design, and more.
- 99 Designs
As a brand new graphic designer, it may appear impossible to break into a saturated market full of experienced artists. But 99 Designs is a site to showcase your work, grab your first few clients, and build a portfolio with respectable startups. The site also offers free webinars. While it may not be the sole place to grow your income in the longterm, it’s a useful site for new designers to get their feet wet.
- All Indie Writers
This blog answers many of the toughest questions when in comes to freelance writing. Everything from determining your rates, getting published, and how to send pitches is covered in detail. Writers can gain a ton of new insight through the hub’s podcast, blog posts, and writer’s forum.
Portfoliobox is a web tool especially designed for freelance photographers, stylists, models, and other creative professionals that want to display beautiful visuals. While any type of freelancer can create a website through this platform, the stand-out feature is visually polished images and a sleek display. The site offers a free and pro option depending on your needs.
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