How Varun Grover Built a Full-Time Freelance Career With Pepper
Working from the heart of Delhi, Varun is a freelance designer at Pepper Content. Design, for Varun, happened by chance. He found his passion for design while pursuing his software engineering degree.
“I didn’t connect as much with software development as I did with design. So I pursued the latter as a freelancer in college, before I took it up as a full-time job,” he recalls.
When he started out, his freelance journey was full of ebbs and flows. But his dedication to self-growth and passion for design kept him going. And the techie-turned-designer never looked back.
Initial Challenges and Self-Growth
Varun’s first interaction with design was through a module in his college curriculum—digital design—in which he did exceptionally well. “My professor acted as a mentor and guided me with learning resources,” Varun says.
However, he wanted to get first-hand experience in design before venturing into it full-time. So, he started freelancing to build his portfolio. For a year after graduation, he mastered the important software used in the design field.
Varun was just getting his feet wet, and freelancing came with its own set of challenges. Going back and forth with clients on projects was difficult for him at first. He decided to learn stakeholder communication and management to effectively tackle these problems.
The Transition to Full-Time Freelancing
After gaining some amount of experience, Varun joined a Mumbai-based creative agency as a full-time designer. He continued to work on freelance projects on the side. After a while, he sensed a lack of freedom with the agency job.
“I realized that for designers, there is less scope for growth in corporate setups. It takes years to get to senior positions. Freelancing, on the other hand, has unlimited opportunities from the get-go. No brands can do without design, so the earning potential is higher as an independent designer,” Varun shares.
His freelancing revenue was continuously growing. He also observed people older than him doing really well as freelancers. And Pepper gave him the extra support he needed to sustain a full-time freelance career. After a lot of deliberation, he took a leap of faith and quit his agency job in February 2022.
Joining the Pepperverse
Before Pepper, he managed all aspects of freelancing himself. He used to visit cafes and restaurants, pitch his work to brands, and even run social media ads. But Pepper took care of the grunt work and brought clients to him.
From communicating with clients to managing invoices and following up on payments—Pepper shouldered all of these responsibilities. “I can just focus on creating and honing my craft now,” Varun beams.
He found Pepper through LinkedIn and joined us in March 2021. He has earned over 10 lakh through Pepper within such a short time. Because of the consistent income from the platform, he was able to take up freelancing full-time.
“I joined Pepper when everything was still communicated through email. When the creator portal was introduced, I soon got used to it. It is designed quite intelligently. With the click of a button, I can track my projects and payments, and follow up on the briefs,” he says.
Varun has always been focused on self-growth. Over time, he invested in better tools and equipment. He also undertook several courses to sharpen his skills. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement in myself within a year,” he says proudly. According to Varun, Pepper has also made big companies accessible to freelance designers who are just starting out.
Advice to Budding Freelance Designers
Varun considers time management the most important skill for freelancers. He also advises fellow designers to keep a buffer for reviews and client feedback. Next, he emphasizes hard skills like operating industry-specific design software. Constant learning is another requirement in the freelancing arsenal, as per Varun.
“Keep yourself updated with the latest design trends and understand how the field is evolving. At the same time, learn from the history of design to create good work,” he advises.
We are making freelancing a sustainable career choice for many creators like Varun. With added flexibility and good work-life balance, our creator community brings its best to the table. Join us today if you want to take the next big step in your creative journey.