Freelancing is the act on taking on jobs you work for yourself, mostly work remotely and time schedules are flexible. Freelancing is a new job market that is carving itself a niche over the years. For a long time, freelancing has been taken as an informal sector in the majority of the countries like Kenya to the extent that it is not considered in the tax structure. Therefore, the freelancing industry has become somehow lucrative for those indulging in it. The environment in the nation is characterized by a high employment rate while institutions are churning out new graduated every year. The phenomenon sways most of the graduates into the freelance market.
However, that is not the only apparent reason that has caused scores of people to opt for freelancing in the Kenyan job market. The current COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the status quo for job security in the country. The pandemic resulted to pay cuts and retrenchment in the majority of the formal sector.
If you are one of the people affected by either of the situations and need a way out, here some tips to consider when starting to freelance.
Prioritize Skill over Paycheck
Coming out of formal employment could mean that you have amassed a lot of experience in your area of expertise. Therefore, incoming freelancers could be tempted to charge higher for their services translating into failing to get clients. The notion should be creating contact with a client, establish a rapport after a couple of assignments, then renegotiate the price later on.
Concentrate on Your Skills
Commencing work as a freelancer is a new gig but this does not mean that you do not have any skills to bring to the table. Consider your skills when beginning freelancing because it is easier to hit the ground running than learn a new skill to employ in freelancing. However, you could consider learning a prevalent skill in the freelancing to increase your chances of getting more work.
Lean on Your Network
Sometimes, being in a developing country makes it hard to land international freelance work. The phenomenon forces you to concentrate locally which narrows the scope for freelance work. As such, it is advisable to rely on your family network, friends and former colleagues to give you work and connects depending on the kind of work.
Social Media and Website
Social media and a website are tools to help you get clients in the form of ads and a landing page respectively. Billions of people all over the world are on social media and businesses have used this platform to get to their potential clients. Through posts and ads on the platforms, businesses have been able to sway customers to visit their websites and purchase products and procures services hence your reason for having a website.
The above considerations are key to beginning freelancing work, however, it is important to consider a contract mechanism that stipulates the mode of payment and clearly states the soliciting of services from you to the individual or organization in need of your services.