Must Read for Kenyan Freelancers | Freelancing
The image below is a Nokia 2760 phone. I have a long history with this phone and attribute part of my successes to it. I started freelancing without experience, without a computer, without a station, without start-up capital, without…name it! I just had me!
While the freelancing world has so many already debunked myths that keep of so many people, Its all I wanted and that was two years ago. The journey of freelancing comes with woes, particularly if you are just starting out. Just like the saying goes, “every cloud has a silver lining,” it was just a matter of time before I began to see the fruits of freelancing. Here is how I succeeded and burst open past the toughest freelancing obstacles to a happy, successful freelancer.
The truth is that owning a laptop let alone a T.V set top box in Kenya is by far a luxury. Graduates are still struggling and talking to them about buying a laptop is a huge insult when they need money to keep them going. Despite this, most Kenya youth, especially those in college and universities can afford to buy better phones than the one shown above. As we speak, the number of China internet enabled phones/smartphones is tremendous. This is more than you can ask for if you are trying to break into the freelancing world without a personal computer. If you have an internet enabled phone, here are tips to get you started on your way to a successful freelancing business. I’ll take you step by step. Swing with me:
Know basic computer skills
Can you perform basic computer operations such as typing and maybe, researching on the internet? You don’t have to be a computer wizard to succeed in online work. If you still do not have such computer skills, why not take a small 3-month based computer course? Here are some of the questions you want to ask yourself:
- Can I browse the internet without being guided?
- Can I copy and paste my research, edit and create grammatically correct sentences in Microsoft Word?
- What is my typing speed?
- What knowledge do I have creating online accounts? These are usually dead easy. If you are already on Facebook then I wonder why you might want to give a different answer.
If you can comfortably answer these questions then you have a potential to tap into freelancing too.
Create a Gmail Account
I have worked with so many freelancing clients and the truth is that almost 90% of them use Gmail thanks to the ease of use and other great features such as G-talk. If you’ve created an email account before, then this is not going to be any different. My phone, Nokia2760 (shown above) is internet enabled and that was honestly my first step into the freelancing world. Most college students now have triple-better phones than the one I had and are therefore better placed to access more helpful features such as Google SMS et cetera.
Find a Fast but Cost-effective Cyber Café
There are a thousand and one cheap cyber cafes across the country and you won’t miss one in your location. Most of them are priced at 50 cents per hours (prefer these). The good thing about this post is that I speak from experience. Before you can think of buying your own laptop/computer, a fast but cheap cyber café can be a very ideal place to start. I begun freelancing from a cyber cafe and will say this all over again. As for the online freelancing websites, I recommend Elance.com, Freelancer.com, upwork.com (new Odesk), Rev.com, QualityWriters.net, DesignCrowd.com (for graphic designers) and so much more. I was hired and within very few hours. Spending 90 bob in a cyber café for a project that returns 500 shillings isn’t bad after all. Expert freelancers command up to $80 per hour. I honestly earn $20 per hour and with a steady flow of projects, I feel comfortable. Freelancing is about learning and you got to be ready.
Produce high quality content
The truth is that any client would want to pay well as long as you guarantee high quality work. This has opened doors for me in getting bigger paying jobs. The more projects you handle, the more equipped you become. It won’t be long before you get to compete with the “big boys.” You know what I mean? One other key factor to help you succeed in freelancing is having a good command of the English language. No client will accept fluffy, badly formatted and incorrect sentences. This is where the big question comes, “what was your English language score from High school?” Do you have any problems constructing simple yet easy to read sentences? Clients are not after incredible use of vocabulary but easy flowing copies. This will save you from having to perform multiple revisions for those projects. Otherwise, it will be a complete waste of time.
My Tips to Writing Quality Content with Ease:
- Practice reading every day. It’s by learning that you identify grammatical mistakes in sentences. Read whenever you get an opportunity. Always read content from high quality websites. Read printed versions or from the internet. I could access Google and therefore the world, thanks to my internet enabled 2760.
- Make sure you write at least on a daily basis. If you want to become a great writer, write!
- ALWAYS proofread your content before submitting it.
In one sentence what this means is: you should know your clients, workers, investors, audience and employers. Whether it is forex exchange, writing and translation or whatever your passion is, always keep the right kind of people in your online career circles. These people are the ones who will give you the techniques on how to make it online mostly from their experiences. You can use social media to find a good network and mentors who can help you to be successful online too.
I’m talking about the verb end of networking. In short, mingle with people that inspire and as the Kenyan saying goes, “Know people, Know Success.” Find your audience, workers, investors and employers. Whether its graphic design, article writing or forex exchange, always keep the right kind of people in your circles. These are the same people that can help open doors of success, quickly and hassle free. Assuming this people are experts in your niche, you’ll be sure to learn how to make it online thanks to their hard-earned experience. Wondering whether or not to freelance after graduation?