One may leave struggle, but a struggle doesn’t leave anyone! It rewards. And this perfectly goes with SEO expert Nazmun Nahar. Today we are going to tell her story of being a successful freelancer. Now she is a top-rated freelancer of Upwork, and has also become an excellent example for Bangladeshi women. Though her arrival at this arena was a bit whimsical, it turned into bliss ultimately. Moreover, like some other successful persons, she had to face some obstacles too. Then eventually how she surpassed them can be a good impetus for many. Let us listen to her journey.
Nazmun Nahar was very meritorious from her childhood. She completed her graduation and post-graduation in Information & Library Management from Dhaka University. Ms. Nahar dreamed of being a BCS cadre. Since a BCS achievement has been regarded as more prestigious in Bangladeshi society. However, after completing masters in 2013 she joined a private company. She tried to continue her preparation for govt. job, but failed. Simultaneously family maintenance and job after marriage gets so tough for a woman, especially when she has a child. She suffered the same way.
She says, “Then I had a daughter 1.5 years old. So overall it became very problematic for me to attend a full-time job leaving my daughter at home. I couldn’t maintain that for long. I prioritize caring for my baby. Hence I had to leave that job.”
But Ms. Nahar was very ambitious for a good career from the very beginning. She always dreamt of being a good professional aside from being a good mother and wife. Naturally, she got very depressed after leaving the job. She was passing a bitter time.
“It was very tough to tolerate those jobless days. A die-hard professional cannot lead a typical woman’s life you know! Everything became gloomy. But my husband paved the way for me. I’m very grateful to him as he used to encourage me a lot about freelancing. He used to suggest articles on freelancing written at the daily Prothom Alo even when we didn’t have our daughter! Just due to my BCS dream I didn’t consider it earlier. Anyways, from then I started delving on. I can well remember I studied a lot on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I felt that only die-hard research can help me reach my destiny. I even sacrificed sleeping for this!”
At the outset, she emphasized more on learning than bidding on projects. That’s why despite having an Upwork profile, she patiently prepared herself. Then it was 2015 when she secured her first job and gradually became regular at freelancing. She adds, “Thus that journey began. I didn’t have to look back anymore. All praises to Allah, now I’m a top-rated plus freelancer at Upwork!”
She is now employed as an SEO consultant and managing expert. SEO is a vital part of digital marketing. We were curious to know. Then she met our thirst and explained.
“In brief, SEO is all about optimizing digital content, managing good rank at various search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, as well as link building that ensures organic traffic for a website. Anyway, I got engaged in various SEO projects one by one. These tiny and fruitful experiences enriched my learning. SEO job comprises On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, Link Building, Content Optimization, etc. These are prerequisites for working as an SEO professional.”
As an SEO expert, she opined that creative thinking along with some knowledge of technical issues is a must. According to her, one must have ‘the ability to think logically’ to work as an SEO professional. She says, “SEO related jobs depend on the knowledge of algorithms. These changeable algorithms are complementary to one another, can even be contradictory. Here you will need the ability to think logically as I mentioned above.”
“According to me, the ‘data analysis skill’ is very necessary to succeed as an SEO professional. Some issues like- from where the organic traffic is coming, what devices are being used by most of the users, which page of a particular site is securing good rank are worth knowing. You can ease the analysis process through data processing techniques of Excel. Mastering them will save your time also.”
She further says, “Apart from these, I’d love to suggest the newbie become good at English. Proper communication skill is another must in freelancing. This has huge importance! Since SEO is related to worldwide digital marketing agencies and all the marketplaces consist of clients or project owners from different countries. Whenever someone shall approach clients, she or he will have to sell the service and explain the marketing plan. So they should equally be dexterous in their niche and English. Otherwise, it would be tough to survive in this highly competitive field. However, above all, you have to have the passion and patience to keep working.”
We couldn’t but wonder how she maintained her family life and freelance business simultaneously. We all know that in our Bangladeshi society a woman owns lots of responsibilities after marriage in father-in-law’s house.
“My family members weren’t familiar with this type of job. They used to think that I was free and request to take part in some household activities while I was assigned by my clientele. Else, I failed to realize the urgency of having any routine. As a result, I had to work till late night hampering my health. But Alhamdulillah, soon I construed to organize my both types of works through maintaining a routine. From then I didn’t have to struggle anymore.”
Many Bangladeshi women are getting into the freelance world. One of the reasons is- inspiration like Nazmun Nahar is just before them. So our next question was what advice she has for them.
She says, “It’s important to convince your family how you can contribute financially despite being a wife, a mother. Especially if you are a part of your father-in-law’s house you must make them perceive that you can manage both i.e. family and freelance. The beginning days may be stressful. You know issues like guest maintenance, kids’ sickness all bother a lot! Get prepared to overcome that period. To reduce the stress and cope with everything, just follow a routine as many other high-profile married women freelancers do. Also, don’t compromise with being good at English and learning basic computer skills.”
Ms. Nazmun Nahar further focused on the importance of patience. She observed that many of the newbies get frustrated due to the lack of patience. She strongly feels that it’s formidably wrong to lust for dollars at the beginning.
She says, “Seek a sustainable career through a hard-working mentality. Don’t rush after money like a fool. Think of basic skill development and hard work instead. Always try to give your best, exceed your client’s expectations. The money will embrace you. Let me share my personal experience. I preferred a 3 dollar job to a 7 dollar worth as my first job. You know why? Because I chose an hourly job and joined a team where I could learn many things. This sort of approach consequently rewarded me, alright! And of course, don’t lose hope. Always hope for the best! While using Fiverr or Upwork you may have your profile suspended. But never get frustrated and leave. Make yourself believe that you must have done something wrong. Then try to resolve it and learn from your mistakes. Learning has no end. Follow the established freelancers of your marketplace in need. Never give up. Lastly, remain updated at any cost. Industries evolve, new technology arrives. Clients won’t hire you unless you know the latest things. I mean only experience doesn’t work at all! So keep pace with them all to succeed.”