As any Freelancer in Africa will tell you, getting clients is a rather difficult science. Most employers have second and third thoughts about giving jobs-especially writing jobs- to Africans. Sometimes, their reservations are justified; English is not our first language, meaning that we often have some trouble speaking or writing it properly.
What is worse; we often don’t even know how deficient we are at the language, and therefore we make our errors with all the confidence and boldness we can muster.
Nevertheless, working as a freelancer in Africa has a lot of advantages; for one thing we can work with minimal expenses, and yet make money in Dollars, which means the maths are in our favour.
How To Do Freelancing As An African
Write For Us
Rather than suffer the indignity of being filtered out by bots and computers at the biggest freelancing websites on the internet, try using this button to apply directly at any website you may be interested in writing for. The best part about using this approach is that you already know what is expected from you because you have access to hundreds of content on the blogs and websites, so you can see examples of their writing style.
Your skill level as a writer can boost your confidence, although you can start with local blogs in your country, before gradually moving up to the content websites and e magazines in that serve global audiences. Do not be intimidated; such websites (including the one you are reading now) are always looking for writers.
By reaching out to them you can have a list of editors who you can work for; you can work with the highest bidder, and if demand should go down on one website you can easily switch to another.
LinkedIn has been the freelancer’s secret since 1960. By creating a professional profile on there, you can have the opportunity to meet with fellow professionals some who are hiring workers in your particular area of expertise. On your profile you can list jobs you have done, or freelance positions you have previously held. You can also talk about current projects you are doing, and also share ideas on what you think you can do.
LinkedIn also allows you to blog about your field of expertise; you can talk about how to do things like graphic design, SEO, and so on. You can even discuss the best use of new technology.
The purpose of the whole thing is to look like a professional, and thus attract offers. Yes, It takes some doing, but if one wants to make consistent money as a freelancer in Africa, he just has to make the extra effort.
Twitter is another great resource for African freelancers; the platform is designed to broadcast information as far as possible as fast as possible. Happily; website owners as well as other employers directly announce the workers they need, and so you can reply directly to their posts, from where it is then your duty to convince them that you can live up to expectation.
You do not even need to wait until a business owner announces that he needs a freelancer; with the proper use of hashtags you can spread the word about your availability by posting jobs you have done. These samples will go a long way to tell the potential employers that you are the right man (or woman) for the job.
Build Your Own Website
This is a least travelled route for most freelancers in Africa; it causes an over-dependence on these same websites that refuse to give us an opportunity. Nevertheless, it is something that anybody who wishes to do freelancing as a serious business must consider because of the numerous advantages it offers.
- Having your own website gives you more control over your work, and over how far you will go in this business.
- It also helps you make more money because now you do not have to share a percentage of your earnings with the owners of any freelancing website.
Yes, this will require an initial investment in designing and publishing the website; and one may also need to spend some money to get the SEO right. When that has been done; you can reap the rewards forever, soon forgetting the initial investment.
The website does not have to be complicated; in fact, the simpler it is, the better! The website just needs to show samples of your work; talk about what you do, and provide a means of contacting you. That is all that is necessary; from there you can just exchange emails or texts, until you start working for the customers.
An important point to note is that your website must communicate right away why they should give you a trial; what do you offer? A better price, faster completion of jobs, or something else. You should also consider doing something extra to show your readiness to work with the client; you may offer one free trial job.
Just for the sake of meeting up with the allotted word-count, Freelance Websites get a mention here. Yes, it is possible to get freelance jobs on these websites, but remember that it was the lack of opportunities for Africans on those websites that prompted this article in the first place.
Nevertheless, for the sake of getting experience about the going rates for freelance jobs, and for having a first-hand taste as to why Africans must find alternative means of getting these jobs, one may devote some time to pursuing jobs on these websites.
Keep in mind that your efforts may be successful; but regardless of the methodology one employs, there is just not guarantee that one will indeed get the freelance jobs on a regular basis.
Another problem one will have to contend with is that many of these Freelance Websites have been invaded by fraudulent people who give out jobs without any intention of making payments.
In order to avoid the numerous problems associated with using freelance websites as an African, one can use any of the methods highlighted above, including:
Visiting the blogs and websites individually
Using Social Media
Building Your own Website
Freelancing can provide an opportunity for Africans not only to subsist, but to thrive, using the same economic forces that cause many Africans to flee the continent in search of menial jobs abroad. With this one can do decent work right in his own country, and even provide employment opportunities for others.
The trick is finding out how to do this gig successfully. It is difficult, but doable.
Further Reading: How To Make Money Online