India in the recent years has come up as a hub for aspiring freelancers and entrepreneurs. And freelancing as a career seems to be amazingly worthwhile in India’s gig economy, with far superior occasions in the coming years. The shift from the boring 9-5 job to being-your-own-boss has been phenomenal.

A recent study by McKinsey has estimated that up to 20-30% of the workforce in developed markets is engaged in independent work. Similar research by economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard University and Alan Krueger of Princeton University shows that from 2005-15, the proportion of Americans workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work”, jumped from 10.7% to 15.8%. “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category,” said Krueger.

Any budding freelancer or entrepreneur who is trying to establish his/ her own empire needs to know that every job has pros and cons, and freelancing is no different. Being aware of challenges ahead can ensure you’re prepared and dealing with reality. One needs to be updated with the current trends, improvise their skills on a regular basis and keep looking for job opportunities.

However, freelancing job can be demanding/ testing considering that one has to deal with all the administrative as well as financial   matters.  Nevertheless, being aware of these challenges   and staying informed can make the journey more fulfilling.

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Whatever your skill-sets maybe, taking mindful steps towards securing a job is extremely crucial. For those who have just kick-started their career in the freelancing industry, here are five steps that will help you grab the best freelance projects in the industry:

1. Create an Online Portfolio

The first step is to build a profile that promotes what you have to offer. Eventually, you’ll want to invest in business-building tools, such as a website that can offer you more customization and flexibility, but LinkedIn is free and it’s a great online resume that can highlight your skills. You might also consider Portfoliobox, SquareSpace, and Journo Portfolio.

2. Determine Your Target Market

You’ll have to see if there is a demand for what you want to do. This is also the time to decide your brand and your unique selling proposition. You may have the skills and experience to market yourself to large corporations or want to work only for smaller businesses.

3. Clearly state your skills and What Services You’ll Offer

Will be you a generalist in your area or specialize? For example, you might offer social media management across many platforms or focus on one, such as specializing in managing Pinterest marketing.

4. Build your own network

5. Enlist on all the top freelancing sites for greater visibility