For most young professionals starting their career, getting a job is on top of the priority list. And when you have a job in an MNC that pays well, you have made it!
But that wasnt enough for our next pathbreaker Vagisha Arora, who set her sights on something bigger, Self-Employment and Freelancing, just 2 years after taking up her first job at Accenture. Not wanting to be tied down by constraints of a regular 9-5 job, Vagisha used her writing skills to grow her clientele, startups as well as established companies, helping them accelerate their business growth through the power of content writing and marketing!
Vagisha talks to Shyam Krishnamurthy from The Interview Portal about her career path, the turning points and the planning that steered her onto the path of self-employment. A must read for students who aspire to be self-employed !
Vagisha, tell us about your background?
I was Featured In Top 10 Content Writers of India in 2019. With an experience of over 5 years, I have completed 1000+ projects related to content writing and marketing. I have worked extensively with startups and established companies to help them accelerate their business growth through the power of content. Some of the renowned platforms on which I worked include HT, Myntra, Amazon, Shiksha and more.
I completed my post graduation in English from Delhi University. Currently, I am working as a full time freelance writer. Apart from that, I also conduct seminars and workshops in colleges guiding students about how they can make a promising career in the field of writing. You can find more about me at vagishaarora.com.
What did you do for graduation/post graduation?
I pursued my passion for reading and writing when I decided to go for post graduation in English Literature. I got admission on merit basis and that furthered my keen interest in exploring writing as a career option.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
During my graduation and post graduation days, I joined several content writing groups on facebook to explore my interest in writing. I did a few freelancing projects sincerely. The clients appreciated me for my writing abilities and good research skills. This played an instrumental role in helping me build my career in writing gradually.
Turning point in my writing career was when I got Featured in Top 10 Writers of India by Engineerbabu. It motivated me to work rigorously in this direction and enhance my skills.
My family supported me at every stage during my entrepreneurship journey. Their constant support and encouraging words have helped me achieve indefeasible feats.
However to sum it up, my passion for writing and inquisitive nature to dive deep to study about a particular topic have helped me make a full time career out of writing. It is a sheer misconception that one cannot make a living as a writer. As long as you are good in what you do and are ready to experiment and learn, you are bound to succeed in this promising field.
Tell us about your career path
To be honest, the journey to becoming a full time freelancer wasn’t planned. I just made sure that I make the most of every opportunity that I got. It all started with doing a few internships with Whitepanda during graduation days. Also, I started contributing my poetic and story pieces to Writm and Kalaage. After that, I joined Contentmart which was one of the renowned freelancing platforms. I completed over 240 projects with a rating of 4.5 there. These were a few baby steps which I took to understand the nuances of writing industry and improvise myself.
After my post graduation, I joined Accenture as Content Analyst. I worked with them for 2 years but very soon realised that it was not my cup of tea.
The work turned out to be monotonous and I felt that my creativity was being restricted by working under strict guidelines. Also, I yearned for the freedom that came with taking up different types of freelancing projects.
This turned out to be a turning point in my life. I decided to switch to full time freelancing as it gave me the opportunity to work on projects I really wished to do. Apart from that, I also wished to work at my own pace and freelancing turned out to be a sought after alternative.
The transition from part time to full time freelancer was not easy. My usual day revolves around writing, sending proposals, attending client calls, doing revisions, creating invoices and more. But, it is definitely more satisfying than 9-5 job.
How did you get your first break?
I got a chance to work with a client on a literature related project. When I joined facebook groups, I got several opportunities to explore myself in versatile niches like health, lifestyle, tourism, education and more. That is how I got started in writing. One piece of advice I wish to give to all the newbie writers is that pursue your passion to the fullest by writing on various publications. With time, you will find the right opportunities to showcase your skills and work with leading brands in the competitive market.
What were the challenges? how did u address them?
Challenge 1 : Standing out in the crowd in the competitive market. With thousands of freelancers, you need to be amazing in what you do. Freelancing can turn out to be a fulfilling career option only when you can build your regular pipeline of clients. Otherwise, you cannot make money by selling your creativity at the right price.
Challenge 2 : Sometimes, you have to work along strict deadlines and deliver quality at the same time. Writing can turn out to be monotonous if you take up projects which don’t interest you. Hence, making a choice can be challenging at times.
Challenge 3 : Freelancing might not be a good option for those who are looking for a steady income. The uncertainty associated with earning which comes with freelancing isn’t easy for everyone to tackle.
Where do you work now?
I am a content writer and marketer and working as a full time freelancer currently. I like to experiment with my writing style and that is what keeps me going every single day. My typical day revolves around preparing invoices, sending proposals, attending client calls, doing projects, etc.
I love the flexibility of working at my own pace by taking up projects of my choice. It is really fulfilling when you don’t have to work out of compulsion and rather out of passion.
I am adept at writing website content, social media posts, blogs, articles, book reviews, etc. Having worked with different types of clients, I have honed my skills with constant practise.
I strongly believe that content can play an integral role in helping a brand establish itself in the industry. Therefore, my ultimate goal is to add value to the client’s business with every project I take up. By serving delicious words on the platter, I try to bridge the chasm between potential customers and loyal customers for the brands I write for. I think that the purpose of writing is solved when you can drive more conversions with your actionable words.
Your advice to students based on your experience?
If you wish to make a freelancing career in writing then all you need to do is start writing. Trust me, your academic degrees and qualifications won’t really help you. Master the art of writing by experimenting with various styles and dabbling into various niches to find your core areas of expertise. Don’t shy away from sharing your write ups with your dear ones and embrace constructive feedback. Focus on improving yourself than wanting to earn money. That is what will help you in the long run. And last but not the least, don’t undermine your abilities as a writer.
I plan to start my own content marketing agency in upcoming years. Also, I am going to be an editor for two amazing books related to entrepreneurship this year. I wish to spread more awareness in students regarding taking up full time freelancing as a promising career.