Last Updated on 25 September 2019 by Gertrude

Are there qualities making you as a newbie Kenyan freelancer get hired? Some beginner freelancers get hired fast while others take too long. What makes them different and favourable to employers enabling them to get hired?. Are there qualities setting them apart from you?. 

Creating the laptop lifestyle and spending time globe-trotting is every Kenya’s freelancer dream. So, a Kenyan newbie freelancer sits down with a laptop in hand scouring sites like Upwork or Fiverr looking for work online. Is it easy to make a true living/income in Kenya via online platforms like Upwork/freelancer or Fiverr? 

A little backstory. When I started working online or my online quest in 2009, I didn’t know what I was looking for. Upon one of my searches, what came up was, ‘Earn Money with Facebook’. And I told myself if I can earn money with Facebook the online space is where I’ll create an income for myself. 

I kept searching and months later came across the word, ‘Freelancer’. I remember my sister telling me to stop wasting time and get a legit job. That how can I sit in front of the laptop claiming to make money and she cannot see the results?. It took two years for me to see my first dollar. And it was 10 dollars!. But the way, I danced and strutted around the house, you’d think I’d won a lottery. 

What Does It Take To Earn Money Online in Kenya as a Newbie Freelancer? 

What are the to-die-for skills, qualities? I explained in this article the skills that got me hired in 2012/2013 my first four-figure income and how I have never looked back. 

The Qualities/Characteristics Will Make You Earn Money Online as a Kenyan. 

  1. Resilience, Consistency and Diligence 

Resilience means surviving and living through the trials and tribulations of working online. Meaning getting another job while waiting for the one you are aiming for pick up.

I started a mandazi/cookie selling business. Because as you work your side-hustle to become a dream job, it’s important to have another income going. A residual income never goes out of fashion. And read the side hustles for Kenyans to get you started. Don’t give up.  

2. Patience 

Patience helps you wait out longer than others would. I didn’t have patience with my blog. If I waited a long time with my blog, I’m certain I’d be winning big right now.

I wanted to see results but I didn’t see any because the amount of work i put in didn’t reflect the results I wanted. Keep working and hoping. This is where the mindset comes into play, you have to believe that God didn’t reveal to you a dead-end job, He had and has greater plans for you.

And he will help you have patience when you give up. Wait on longer, persist and work even smarter. 

3. Adaptive 

When I got my first four-figure client in 2012, it was a pure miracle. A lot of hope and manifestation. But the client came with new demands, ‘Will you be my secretary?’’. What.?! I didn’t know secretaries worked online. It’s the role of virtual assistant you know about now. It wasn’t as over-saturated a field as it is now.

Stop saying over-saturation, because all the markets have a space for you. I had to learn a number of things very fast, I had to keep up with the changing trends.

So I learnt bookkeeping, booking flights and staying up to date with my boss’ calendar. I reminded him of the week’s schedules and plans and meetings. And I also wrote some articles for his blog. The world of SEO came into my life. Two years later, that’s when y article on daycare became a sensation and still is. 

4. Keep Learning 

There’s nothing as useless as staying stagnant. It’s better to expand your knowledge than stay stuck. If you’re working in the world of sales, check the trends. If you’re a blogger learn about google console and data analysis.

Know about keyword research and keyword research company. And how to write content according to your audience’s needs. Immerse yourself in absorbing as much knowledge as possible. Don’t stop learning because the moment you stop so does your growth. 

5. Charge Your Worth/Know Your Worth

Does it feel like a pain in the butt to get paid a dollar for 1000 word article? Then why do you keep writing the content?

The amount of time you spend researching and putting content together for that other person just to get footing online is the time you must spend learning and creating your own portfolio, be it a blog or graphic/web design content portfolio, according to your niche.

When you realise that you’re good you won’t sit tight as you get useless pay which doesn’t build for you your reputation.  

6. Failure is Growth 

For a year to two years, I failed miserably. I earned my first ten dollars a year and a half later. I learnt that failure is growth. There’s nothing like failure those are obstacles we keep for ourselves to help us not keeping move forward.

Failure teaches you to get analytical. To know what worked what didn’t and how to change the data to favour your future endeavours. Didn’t you hear jack ma failed to the extent KFC wouldn’t hire him? Don’t beat yourself up, learn from what doesn’t work is always a blessing in disguise. 

7. Important Network Establishments 

We asked our dad why he only mingles with the rich and affluent. He said, ‘these are my tribe, my people, my push’’. Back then we didn’t understand what he meant.

Learn to associate ourselves with people who take your freelancing work beyond what you’d imagined. Talk to industry leaders make business cards and attend business meetings with industry gurus.

When T.D Jakes is in town and you believe his event will create for you a change as you will meet investors, stop complaining and get in the plane to T.D Jakes event.

And make sure to utilise your business card as well as possible. Talk to as many people as possible, they’re always willing to help you weren’t willing to learn. As a newbie, it’s time to let people know what you’re doing. 

8. Copywriting 

Learn how to Copywrite for your business. This means to write captivating messages for your audience. Learn how to capture their appetite for information by using great call-to-action. Copywriting is the one which will win your first bidding proposal. 

9. Put Yourself Out There

Putting yourself out there means you involve in networking events/conferences. You’re creating educative content to help educate the ones behind you and other business gurus.

It means you’re ready to receive criticism and grow through the criticism. You’re keeping your focus on what you want and getting the plans ready to arrive. 

10. Know and Learn How to Write Winning Proposals 

The art of copywriting is crucial in helping you carve a winning bid proposal. Now, do the work as best as possible because the reviews matter in freelancing sites.

If the client asks for 20 revisions, go do. And ask them for reviews. Other clients love to over-work freelancers, no wonder you must charge your worth.

Don’t get discouraged when a client says, ‘’Your bid proposal is too high I’d have chosen you’’. It’s about you and not them. Plan out your bid proposal and bid as many times as your connects will allow in a month. Respond to clients with solutions to their problems and avail yourself to answer as many questions as possible. 

11. Cold Calling/Emailing 

There’s nothing that creates shivers in a beginner freelancers hands like cold calling. It’s the approach of clients without them asking for your services.

Make sure to prepare a great elevator pitch, let the pitch touch the core pain points, why your service will be valuable to them. The value you’ll be bringing to their work/network. 

12. Understand Your Niche 

When I started writing, I never studied all the writing niches out there. I knew I loved to write but I didn’t know what kind of writing I love to do. Years later, I found my voice in parenting for single-parent families and business/personal finance blogging.

Know what your expertise is and go create the best content there is the industry. Don’t feel like you’ll lose clients by being too specific, in fact, you’ll cater to the small market but establish yourself as a guru. And that helps you expand and gain credibility. Be specific. 

13. Know What Clients Are Looking For 

What are the qualities clients are looking for when hiring experts? They want confidence and they feel it is the kind of bidding proposals you write. What solutions are you bringing to them and how will they benefit from your services.

You don’t want to come off as amateur even though you’re starting out. Starting out means you’re new to the client but not your job, prove you’re hireable and an expert. 

14. Know What Your Skills Are 

What are the offline skills you have and how will you translate them to the online working space. Many newbie freelancers keep saying they don’t have skills to work online.

I transferred my offline knowledge in customer service, leadership into a four-figure income and I barely knew what I was doing. What are your skills and do you know the difference between your skills and why skills matter in the job market. 

15. Go Back To Your Former Boss

Be in the habit of parting ways with your bosses in a civil manner. You have worked for this boss, there’s a way you can bring your new-found online experience to his business.

Most businesses in Kenya don’t have blogs, don’t blog don’t pay attention to blogs. They don’t understand that a blog is a lifetime money-earning opportunity. Or some do know this but don’t utilise this or ignore this information. 

It’s easy for a Kenyan to earn money online and a lot of it. Some Kenyans are already earning big online in the millions of shillings. Bloggers like Victor Matara or Venas News are using the online working world to make a name for themselves. Why not take a jump. You don’t need content mills site to slave away and wish you didn’t quit your day job, no, earn big bucks because Google Adsense and Amazon affiliate among other advertisers are waiting. Plus whetting the Kenyan people with your kick-ass content is what must be your drive. 

Are you interested in making a legitimate income online as a newbie freelancer but are stuck? I have tutorials, books on working online as a Kenyan/starting an online business, niche marketing guide plus a business plan. So your questions have all been answered in one topic. 

Email me at Gertrude.akinyiat gmaildotcom to get these online working treasures for Kenyans 

Will you start work online as a Kenyan newbie freelancer in 2019. 




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Online Businesses / Online Work in Kenya