Starting and maintaining a business, regardless of size, is a daunting task since it requires one’s utmost commitment and attention. Ghulam Abbas, an Islamabad, Pakistan-local, took on the challenge and found success in his new website and mobile app developments venture.
After graduating from Islamabad’s Institute of Space Technology, Ghulam applied for a faculty post in his alma mater’s electrical engineering department and was accepted. He saw teaching as an arena for him to grow professionally and also as an avenue to give back to his community.
Ghulam’s earnings from teaching were just enough for a little bit of savings and his necessities. It was far different from what he envisioned growing up: leading a successful business and living comfortably. To jumpstart his entrepreneurial aspirations, he used his savings to put up his own startup -- Digital Applications Islamabad (DAI).
Finding local clients was difficult due to the stiff competition, so Ghulam searched for clients online instead. He found Freelancer.com and was determined to try the site out.
“Freelancer.com offered me the opportunity to work with clients from all around the globe, and the diversity of markets paved the way for my professional growth. It was something I just had to try,” said Ghulam.
He took the first step by signing up on the jobs marketplace platform. Not long after, he was awarded his first job. It was with an employer from India who needed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) assistance with his business website. Since his knowledge on SEO was sufficient for the project, he gave it a shot. Business has been good ever since.
A year into his stint on Freelancer.com garnered him the status of Preferred Freelancer, a title given to only the most successful of freelancers. It allowed him to rake in more projects with the help of Freelancer’s Recruiter Team.
He believes that in order for freelancers to succeed, they must:
Start small. “Since you are new to the platform, your main concern should be building a good reputation and a jaw-dropping profile. However, it’s not something attainable overnight. You’ll have to put in the work and dedication to get this rolling,” he said.
Bid on projects that are their strong suits. “Go for projects that are relevant to your fields of expertise. Do something you are confident in, and you are sure to finish. One thing employers dislike is finding a freelancer who isn’t willing to commit their 110%.”
Be honest at all times. “If it’s impossible to complete the project by the proposed deadline, mention it at once. Just be open about everything. If there are unseen delays, point it out immediately. All employers appreciate the honesty.”
Deliver! Deliver! Deliver! “Just like in any job you are selected in, whether it be a freelance gig or a full-time job, do what is expected of you.”
Acknowledge the people responsible for the successful project. “If you are part of a team, praise everyone who made an effort in doing the job. By keeping the team’s morale high, the output will also be of high-quality.”
Working on Freelancer.com for the past three years has given Ghulam the opportunity to grow his business into something much bigger than what he had in mind since its incorporation back in 2014. The business started with just Ghulam and his co-developer Hassan.
Nowadays, he leads a team of over 40 members who are skilled in several fields such as website development, mobile applications development, SEO, graphics design, internet marketing, content writing, and business research. Digital Applications Islamabad has branched out to different fields and now offers an array of services aside from its original offering of website development.
“If I was able to achieve something so great, everyone else can chase their dreams as well. Freelancer was there for me since day one and is still with me up to this day. It’s a great platform for one to reach great heights.”