ince 2004, the freelancing industry has been flourishing in Pakistan, with the country now among the top five states that contribute the most to the global freelancing industry. Freelancing is truly a blessing in disguise for many Pakistani students, as finding a job in the already saturated Pakistani job market has become quite an arduous task. The real positive of working freelance is that workers can choose their own schedule and work from the comfort of their homes, avoiding the grind of the 9–5 routine. The freelance industry of Pakistan has shown an extraordinary growth in the last five years, with Pakistan’s freelancing exports crossing $500 million per year in 2019. Companies around the globe have begun outsourcing work to Pakistanis and the latest report published by UpWork says that Pakistan will become the top destination for freelancing work in 2020. If you too plan on taking up work as a freelancer, consider these top platforms that will help you find work and excel in the field of freelancing.
Upwork is a merger of two acclaimed online freelancing giants, Elance and oDesk. Today it has 12 million users that makes it the biggest freelancing portal of the world. Chances of getting hired are real high if you have a good profile on UPWORK, as it has a large pool of employers. It also has A+ rating on BBB (Better Business Bureau) which means it’s a legitimate website with secure payment protection system. However, it’s impossible to weed out scammers. You can get jobs and offer jobs on the platform on hourly and fixed-rate basis. The processes like signing up, post talents and getting clients onboard are simple and complete guidance is available on the site on how to go about finding work on the platform.
Similar to UPWORK, Freelancer is another prodigious website for Pakistani students where they can work as independent professionals and look for work that matches their talents. You can set up to 20 skills on the time of registration and can bid on 8 projects a month with your free account. However, freelancer takes minimum 10% of your project earning as a fee but the pros are way higher than the cons. Another much-needed benefit that directly attracts Pakistani students is the easy encashment as you can get your money to your local bank account.
Founded back in 2010, Fiver is another great online freelancing website that Pakistani students can use to earn some extra cah while studying. Unlike other freelancing websites, Fiver works as an offer website normally called “Gig website”, where you can post offers such as “I will design a logo for $10” or “I will send email to 1,000 target users with design for $80”. Fiver allows you to place a gig (offer) from $5 to $1,000 and anyone who buys your gig will pay you in your Fiver account. You can withdraw your money by using your PayPal account, bank account or simply from your Fiver Revenue Card that works as MasterCard. Fiver fees are 20% of project cost, which is higher than its competitors, but Fiver is still the only place that can work as get-rich-quick scheme for students who want flexibility in working hours.
Tips for Pakistani students to get started with freelancing:
Freelancing is quite a business among the students in developing countries like Pakistan because of limited part-time job opportunities. There is an array of other resourceful platforms available that can help Pakistani students to earn while pursuing their studies but keep these tips in mind if you don’t want to end up frustrated and annoyed.
- Find and portray one core skill in which you are really good
- Set your own prices but aim for good reviews in the beginning
- Don’t overcharge your clients, win them by giving discounts or go some extra miles with your deliverables
- Define your work process and professional certifications to earn extra trust of clients
- Act as a problem solver and think out of the box solutions for a job to stand out the competition
- After winning a project, document all needs and set milestones for yourself
- Make yourself available for quick feedbacks from client even if you are away from your work station by installing mobile app
According to PTA’s latest report, Pakistan has 70 million broadband users and 69% of these users are youngsters, or we can say students. As they are equipped with basic English skills and expert level skills related to IT industry such as programming, graphic designing, content development, data entry etc., chances are high that Pakistan can achieve its goal to become the premier destination for online outsourcing work in the near future.