Last Updated on 10 August 2020 by Gertrude
Once you decide to become a freelancer, you have to have an open mind. An open mind to enable you to learn new skills which will be high paying.
When I started freelancing in 2009, I knew I wanted to write. I didn’t have a plan in place to make me earn money – I wanted to earn money and that was it.
I quickly realised that I had to specialise in a lucrative industry like SEO Copywriting for me to make it big.
Looking back, I now see why I settled for VA or Virtual Assistant. When you don’t have a niche in mind you cannot make it as a freelancer.
You must learn the skill. Learning skills isn’t hard like in 2009 – these days with YouTube school, learning has become free.
And with places like Udemy, CodeAcademy or Coursera offering their courses for free or for a few dollars, there has never been a happier time than now to begin your freelancing career.
You have to keep in mind that freelancing pays and it pays well.
Don’t pay attention to what you read in the media with people talking about freelancing without them being freelancers.
You must have a designated workspace and working hours. You also have to set time aside to rewind.
The most important thing, you don’t have to rely on freelancing websites to make it.
I rely on this blog and clients reaching to me via my YouTube videos asking about beginning online businesses in Kenya.
You can’t give up when you begin working as a freelancer.
Before you begin working as a freelancer there are some few things you have to pay attention to:
What’s your niche? A niche is an area of specialisation. What’s yours? For example, when an executive secretary looks for a job what are they looking for?
Or a customer care rep? You have to stick to one goal if you want to succeed online.
Choose one area which fits you perfectly, then go for it by working your ass off and showing up daily.
You have to tailor-make your name or role to your clients if, for example, you manage Facebook accounts for clients, you may want to call yourself, A Social Manager Aware of How Facebook Ads work, make it sound pretty and professional.
You’re saying you aren’t a general social media manager but are aware of the struggles of many business owners and getting to work with Facebook Ads. That is more specific and gets you a job faster.
What skill set are you bringing to the online working world? There are some skills which pay very high in the freelancing working world like those in the tech industry or as I talked about, in the Upwork Most Lucrative Skills for Kenyans.
There are some tech skills which aren’t techie but pay well, like the skills of SEO.
How will you make your skillset profitable and who are your clients?
You may not know it but all skills you have acquired in your professional life or your university days are profitable.
And even if you never went to the uni, you can still make it if you know how to make your skills work for you as a freelancer.
Who your clients will be is like the business word of saying, who is your target customer and why? You must have a market for your products, right? A freelancer is self-employed.
You choose your own clients, therefore, you must know how to market to them.
Are you ready to face the market of oversaturation and be your own boss?
I have always insisted that oversaturation doesn’t exist, it only does when you don’t have a specific niche.
When you call yourself a customer care rep, you are too broad and you will find millions of other freelance customer care reps.
You must find a name that specifies your role or who your client is, for example, a Customer Service Rep Making Your Ecommerce Business Sleepless is more specific and lets the customers know what your offering is.
Do you want to work on freelancing websites or do you have your eyes set higher in the freelancing world?
Don’t be deceived, not every Kenyan who works online ‘needs an account’. Every time I tell someone I am a freelance writer/freelancer, they ask me, ‘do you have an account’?
Read about the thrills of freelancer ups and down in these articles to know more about the freelancing world in Kenya.
Freelancing Skills You Need to Become Rich or Earn Money as a Kenyan
The following are skills you need to acquire before becoming a freelancer in Kenya. And they include:
Product description writers
User testing (websites)
Microsoft excel for inputting data or Microsoft word a text editing tool