Lately, we’ve been talking to people about online freelancing. A lot of the people seem to think that the life of an online freelancer is chaotic at best with low pay and long hours. This doesn’t have to be the case and to prove that, here’s a plan on how to make at least Kshs 30,000/- per month from online freelancing.
1. Belief – Have you ever heard the song, “it is all about belief”? Well, it is. You have to convince yourself that you can do this; you can make 30,000 a month working in your underwear. The easiest way to bring about belief is to break down the target (30,000) and make it seem more achievable. So, 30,000 a month is 7,500 a week which is about $100 a week. Achievable? On sites like getafreelancer.com, the lowest that you can be paid for one freelance job is $30. Do three of those and you have your $100 a week.
2. Pay Yourself - The biggest mistake freelancers make is undercharging. You’re so desperate to take a job that you’ll do it at any price. This is wrong – do not underpay yourself. Ensure that your time and energy are well compensated.
3. Target a Niche Market – contrary to popular belief, the people who will buy your services are not “the whole world”. Only a specific group of people with specific characteristics/needs will be interested. Find this group of people, and target them. This makes your advertising and marketing job pretty straight forward. Be warned that some niches are not worth it. All good niches have the following:
- Your target market is able to afford your charges
- There is a good number of potential customers in the chosen niche
- Your market is not going to disappear overnight
4. Marketing Plan – Who is your target market? What do they want/need? Where can you find them? Is the market seasonal? You don’t need a 30 page document, but you need a marketing plan.
5. Prepare Your Marketing Material – first things first, get a website. Today, right now. If you do not have a website you won’t make much money. Can you do e-commerce if you are not online? No. Can potential customers who hear about you check you out later on the internet if you do not have a website? No again. Can current customers find out what your new offerings are if you lack a website? Not easily. Get a website! Nickel Pro offers a sweet deal on websites for freelancers.
Apart from a website, you probably also need business cards, a cover/introductory letter and samples of previous work done.
6. Execute – Many, many, many freelancers give up before they get anywhere. I never said freelancing is easy in any way but it can be sweet. Once your name is out there and jobs are coming in regularly, life gets to be very good. It is similar to climbing a hill: the climb is difficult and tiring but once you’re at the top…well, you’re at the TOP. Do not give up, just do your thing until you make it.
A very practical example, Maria, joined Biashara 30 being totally green. She wanted to get an online job but had a little problem: she didn’t even know what she could do for money as a freelancer let alone how to get an online job. But she’s a hard worker – she kept at it and kept learning and trying. About a month ago and after applying for numerous online jobs, she finally got one paying $30 to write some articles. Her online freelancing career thus took off and she is now doing pretty well for herself if I say so myself.
What about you? Do you want to make 30,000/- a month online?