Our team chatted with Fatima Zehra to learn about their freelance journey and what helped them be successful on Contra.
What was the reason you decided to go Independent?
After working for several startups and small companies, I realized that no matter how great the role and the company were, it wouldn’t be enough for me to fully realize my potential as a remote creative & strategist.
I wanted to be able to work on projects that allow me to continuously push my boundaries as a creative, while also having control over my schedule. I also wanted to travel and have some extra time to invest in passion projects on the side.
Thus, in 2018 I decided to go on my own and create my dream role myself by starting my creative studio - I haven’t looked back since 😊
How did you learn social media marketing and branding?
I graduated from university with a bachelor’s in commerce, specializing in marketing. I then went on to study design for my second bachelor's degree, which led me to want to merge my educational background in design and commerce. Branding and social media have been the magic zone for me, allowing me to exercise my passion for design, as well as utilize my knowledge and expertise in marketing and communication.
How do you get inspired?
Pinterest is my happy place when it comes to finding and retaining inspiration for creative projects. Additionally, I have a very small circle of talented friends whom I consult and talk to on a regular basis to hash out ideas and brainstorm creative concepts for fun.
I find that creativity is seldom brewed in isolation, therefore it is important to keep looking for inspiration not just on social media and digital spaces but by also connecting and interacting with other creatives.
How do you find most of your clients?
Currently 90% of my clients have come to me from Contra. The rest of the 10% come via referrals, social media and conducting search on search engines. I have stopped all efforts to generate leads as I am fortunately at a place where I can source leads from Contra or have my clients find me through other channels.
What is your #1 portfolio building tip?
Start with your ideal client. Consider their likes/dislikes, focusing on what they’d need to see to want to work with you. Then, carefully curate your most aligned projects. Often times we make the mistake of showcasing all the projects we have worked on but this only confuses your dream client when they land on your portfolio.
Instead, focus on quality over quantity, only adding work that would leave no room for any doubt that you’re the creative your dream client is looking for. If you happen to not have any real work that would impress your dream client, make them. Many of the work I displayed when I first began were passion projects solely created to attract my dream clients.
What is your favorite way to use Contra?
My favorite way of using Contra is as my portfolio/service website. Previously, I had a full-stack website where I housed my blog and my service pages; however, they’d often clash, and I struggled to find a balance to keep it both professional and personal. Ever since I migrated my portfolio and service page onto Contra, it has allowed me to separate the two without putting in extra effort or designing and managing two different websites. Also, the website design on Contra is so good without needing to put any effort into which was a double win for me. I simply love using my Contra website as a sales page, whereby I direct any new inquiries looking for more info and/or booking my services to my service page.