“Follow the terms of Freelancing Platforms. Be connected with related communities…”

HBG – Entrepreneurs Presents Freelancers Virtual Summit
Interview # 8 – Zakir Ahmad Shah, Host: Muhammad Yousaf
For Interview & Notes visit >>> www.thevirtualsummits.com


Zakir Introduction:  Software Engineer, doing MS now. Got into freelance in 2012 by roommates who used to work on Elance. They started bidding through my profile. Learned few skills – WordPress, HTML through University and online. Eventually got clients. It’s been 6 Years now in the freelancing field.

Revenue: $35,000-$45,000 till date. My permanent clients paid directly to me.

Misktake. Worked out of the freelancing platforms.

Year 2018 Earnings: This year earned 1 million Pakistani Rupees.

Student potential: Teaching through Empower Pakistan, DigiSkills. Also, add those students in my agency. We teach everyone. Those who are curious and passionate. We take them onboard. 1 student earned $600 this month, another earned $70 through article writing.

Skills polished:  We have different seminars, boot camps in Islamabad. There I got to know which skills to learn. Focused on WordPress – learned it, took paid courses from udemy. Follow technology blogs.

Resources: Follow WPBeginner, Mark Hendrickson, Matt Mullenweg, Facebook community, avada

Expertise & Services: WordPress Services, SEO, Website Optimization

Advice for students: Try to connect with different communities. Avada community, DB theme, WordPress, woo ninja communities and local communities such as WordCamp, empower Pakistan. Interact with local communities for inspiration and ideas.

Fulltime Work: Freelancing is a full-time work. This week I worked 120 Hours+ freelancing.

Daily Plan: I follow a daily routine plan due to clients’ time difference.

Networking Experience:  Freelancing has its advantages – networking helps you get connected with people, get inspiration, social gathering. I follow Saad Hamid, get to know about him at Events. Other people Hisham Sarwar, Haris Zulfiqar, Salma Jafri, Syed Ali Shah, Maria Umar. Networking & Events helped me groom a lot. Also, got few people for outsourcing work through events co-work space.

Agency Service:  Be reasonable in pricing for building long term relationship with clients. Workload which you can’t manage can be done through outsourcing. Grew myself with people who deliver good work. I also got clients who were referred to by my current clients.

Onboarding Clients: Before bidding on clients projects, I Look at clients project history.  Check their feedback, spending on projects, hourly rate. I usually retain with the clients that I have already worked with. I use to contact my clients occasionally. Go out of the box and see clients’ needs if you can fulfill or outsource it.

Projects where no expertise: Say to the client that I will get it done. And don’t abruptly say no. Take draft (test) work from other workers, and send to the client for approval.

Maintaining Clients Data: I used to add clients’ data according to projects in an Excel Sheet – and similarly outsource workers data and upload on Dropbox, Google Docs.

Tools Use: Skype, Google Docs, WordPress, DropBox, Asana (project management tool)

Advice: Try to connect with local communities related to online work, to grow yourself & help others.

My NO. 1 Tip: Work on communication with clients. Be nice, soft in your language. Don’t be abrupt. Build your communication skills strong.

Connect with Guest:
FB Profile: https://web.facebook.com/zakir.a.shah

Connect with Us:
Muhammad Yousaf Saeed
FB Group: HBG Entrepreneurs