You may have checked the list of highest paying freelance jobs and saw a lot of tech-related disciplines such as Network Analysis, Cloud computing, Algorithm Development and the like. So, you wonder if the freelance space is only for tech guys. Well don’t despair, the freelance space in Africa is a whole different ball game demanding a largely different skill set and this article will provide a step-by-step guide to climbing to getting high-paying freelance jobs in Africa.
DEFINE YOUR NICHE
One major misconception we have in Nigeria is the confusion between freelancer and all-rounder, or jack of all trades. Freelancer doesn’t mean you should do everything. Who can write content? Me. Somebody needs a graphic designer. Is it not just Photoshop and Corel Draw? I can do it at a pocket-friendly rate. What about Affiliate Marketing? Is it not just marketing? I’m a good marketer.
This is a perfect recipe for failure. The first thing you need to settle on is what exactly you want to do. Focus on that field that you are most skilled in and brand yourself towards that line, so much that when people think of you, that activity comes up also. Leverage on social media to achieve this. According to Rich Pearson, Senior VP of Marketing at Upwork, a major freelancing platform, ‘The more specialized you are, the more premium you command’. Luckily for us, platforms like Jobberman, list the top ten freelance jobs in Nigeria include freelance writing, translating, sales representatives, virtual assistants, graphic designing, website development/design, SEO consultancy, social media management, YouTube vlogging, and affiliate marketing.
Even within these some of these fields, you still need to carve a niche. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to vlog about everything under the face of the earth or attempt to translate every language on earth.
ENHANCE YOUR SKILLS:
So now that you have a niche area you’d like to focus on, the next step is to enhance your skills in this area. Why do I say so? How does this translate to credit alerts? I’ll tell you why. Those fat alerts will come your way from satisfied clients. Take it from someone who has had his fair share of dissatisfied clients, telling him to redo jobs because they didn’t meet expectations. Not only is this embarrassing, it reduces the chances of that client giving you a second job or even referring you. So, to avoid this, ensure you develop competencies that will enhance your service delivery.
Wait. I know I want to try out freelance writing, which extra competency am I expected to develop apart from writing itself? There’s an answer to that, and luckily, it’s on the Internet. Are you on LinkedIn? If you aren’t, sign up immediately you’re done with this article. It’s a great platform to pitch your services as a freelancer. Sign up for LinkedIn Premium. Don’t worry, its free for the first month. Use this free period to check jobs that you would be interested in. In the Premium view, you won’t just see the number of applicants, but also the specific skills that you need to develop to give you an edge over the competition. For instance, when I searched for jobs that had to with research, I found that I had to develop skills in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.
SIGN UP FOR FREELANCE PLATFORMS
The big bucks aren’t going to come to you in the comfort of your sofa. You have to go out and get them and freelancing platforms are your surest bet. From global players like Freelancer and Upwork down to our local alternatives, freelancers are actually spoilt for choice when it comes to online marketplaces to ply their trade. In a subsequent article, I’ll explore these platforms in more details. You can sign for as many as you wish. Create a profile for the services that you wish to offer and ensure that you regularly log in to your account to bid for jobs. It might be a struggle initially to land your first set of jobs. This is because these platforms rank freelancers based on client satisfaction and feedback, so those who have been there before you clearly have an edge over you. But relax, they were once where you are now. With persistence, keep pitching yourselves. Ensure that you utilize the tools that these platforms offer to enhance your visibility. For instance, platforms like Freelancer require that you verify your account with any means of identification, your account details, and social media accounts. The more of these details you give, the more points your account get, and the better ranked your account gets, the more potential clients trust you and it increases your chances to get a consistent supply of high-paying jobs.
So that’s it. Our step-by-step guide to hitting the big bucks as a freelancer. It’s not a sprint. There’s no skipping the process. You have the price to earn the dime.