Humble Beginnings to Booming Freelance Industry - 4 Tips for Aspiring Freelancers
Khairul Alam has turned developing Bangladesh into an epicenter for freelancing.
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There's no doubt that freelancing is an immensely popular career choice today, offering workers the flexibility and freedom to choose what jobs to take from the comfort of their homes. In fact, it's the fastest-growing career sector in the United States, with an estimated 50% of the population expected to be freelancing by 2027. Why? For the simple privilege it offers. You can come and go as you please, working to your own schedule.
This trend isn't confined to first-world countries. With the fast digitization of the industry, geographical boundaries are broken down as businesses are reaching across waters offering opportunities to educate the unemployed. Freelancing is paving the way as a reputable career path for many – and Bangladesh is just one example of its impact, due largely to the entrepreneurial work of Khairul Alam. Alam spearheaded the growth of freelancing through the creation of Fleet Bangladesh in 2018.
Converting the freelance market
There's no denying the benefits that come with a flexible freelance career. Technology has simply made it even more accessible to those living in remote areas, offering far-reaching benefits.
After losing his father when he was young, Khairul was led into the freelance world as he attempted to cover his educational needs. He worked full-time during the day, picking up additional jobs at night to help pay his way.
It was through his own personal endeavors that he discovered opportunites the freelance sector offered to the educated unemployed in Bangladesh. So he took the risk and left his day job to establish the firm Fleet Bangladesh, with the goal to completely transform the freelance market.
Soaring to success
Fleet Bangladesh grew from just 10 people to more than 500 freelancers on staff in just a few short years.
With the high number of educated, but jobless, youth currently residing in Bangladesh, Khairul has been able to tap into this market, offering employment opportunities that were previously unrecognized. Khairul says, "I can see a sizeable number of young persons are jobless, unutilized. I have an aspiration to convert them into solutions."
This is exactly what Fleet Bangladesh achieves, as they provide solutions to more than 300 companies worldwide, including Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.
How it works
Fleet Bangladesh handles the research and analytics for businesses, looking into current market trends and determining which products are selling. They find similar goods in the US and research any existing problems customers are currently facing. This information is then used to correct these issues before launching new products on Amazon or Walmart.
Fleet Bangladesh can help at each step of the process, from product research to setting up the online marketplace and expanding current systems.
It all comes down to reading the analytics and data available in order to help with future decision making, forecast sales, increase functionality and improve return.
Four tips to freelancing
Wondering how to make it as a freelancer? Here are four tips to see you through:
- Overdeliver: with all the competition out there on the freelance market, you want to stand out. It always helps to overdeliver when it comes to meeting your clients' needs. Go above and beyond to show them why you are the best candidate for the job, while also setting yourself up as reliable and hard working.
- Find a niche: whether you're in copywriting, specialize in tech or a VA, it always helps to have a niche. You can either find an untapped market that not many freelancers have ventured into or look for something you're passionate about and follow that. When new clients see you have plenty of experience in their specific industry, it helps you stand out.
- Grow your online presence: just like businesses rely on good reviews and word of mouth – so do you. Setting yourself up with an online presence that showcases your past work, while also offering feedback from happy clients, goes a long way in such a saturated market.
- Network: as they often say, it's not what you know, but who you know. Successful clients can lead to other successful clients. Going above and beyond on every task helps you stand out and get recommended to future clients. At the same time, always be willing to lend a helping hand online. Networking and getting to know businesses in your chosen niche means you are there to call on when they need work done.
Tapping into potential
Khairul has managed to tap into the undiscovered potential in the heart of Bangladesh, with plans to expand into 60 offices in 64 districts to offer complete coverage of this currently untapped talent.
In return, freelancers are offered insurance and bonuses that are based on performance. Their top 30-performing employees are rewarded with a Hajj fund for their parents. This provides financial resources for parents of Muslim employees to perform a religious pilgrimage to Mecca – and it's considered a deep honor for the child that provides it.
The concept is simple. Khairul understands exactly what's important to his team, and where their motivation lies, and rewards that. It's a reciprocal relationship that benefits all parties involved and is transforming the industry as it currently stands.