Apexlistings is a Kenyan Freelance Website and pays freelancers through Mpesa. Are visions of being a freelancer dancing through your brain? If the answer is yes, and you really want to make money online in Kenya then now's a great time to give it a try. As businesses in Kenya scale down on their costly workforce due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, they're more and more turning to freelance websites such as apexlistings and fiverr for help with running their day to day tasks. If you've got skills in the right areas, there's a good chance you can have a successful freelance career by sharing them in form of services.
Freedom always reigns
There's no doubt about it; freedom is a major advantage of freelancing. As a freelancer, you'll work when you want. You can have holidays when you want, for as long as you want. Random getaways won't have to be a once in a while affair, and that heavy briefcase will be a thing of the past. There's no boss or supervisor nagging you. And there are no irritating colleagues in the office gossiping, driving you nuts. But in exchange for all those freedoms comes risks and insecurities. As an online service seller, your next MPESA or AirtelMoney message is never guaranteed. Thats "Confirmed. You have received ... Kshs from" text sometimes might seem elusive. The best way to ensure your freelancing future is to offer a service you know people want and need. But just because you prefer offering a specific service doesn't mean there's a ready market for it.
There is a slogan that says, "always do what you love" but in these current times when things like covid-19 and curfews are always reminding us of an impending global recession, we need to get real. If you're not willing to offer a service people are willing to spend money on, you're going to have an MPESA dry spell.
That being said, online jobs in Kenya are expected to increase in the next coming months and years. So before you start being pessimistic, learn how to package your skills into professional services buyers will be willing to spend on. After all there will always be a buyer for the services you're selling. Always strive to find online jobs that pay via MPESA or PayPal on websites such as Fiverr, Upwork or Apexlistings to market your services.
If You Still Have a Job, Don't Quit—Yet
Once you've decided you want to work and make money online as a freelancer, take the time to establish yourself. "The biggest misconception people have is that they're going to start making money immediately. While this might be true, in some cases it might take months, sometimes years to build a client base. In my first month as a freelancer, I only got one job. At first, I was very discouraged, but as time passed by I realized that patience is key when it comes to freelancing. For this reason, many freelancers moonlight while still holding on to their day jobs.
Turn Your Skills into a Service
As in any business, your online freelancing career is only as strong as the services you offer and the sales you make. Finding buyers is the number-one challenge for any freelancer starting out. It's almost a catch-22 situation: How do you attract buyers when you've never won any bids or proposals? Here are some practical steps that will help you package your services lifting you out of this dilemma and winning you those bids.
- Develop a portfolio of your previous jobs be it accounting jobs or logo designs to prove the scope of your services. If that means working for no pay or low pay at first, do it. Samples of services rendered before will be your best chance for getting a nice client base.
- Preach! Inform all your; colleagues, friends, family, neighbors; about your new freelance venture. Referrals will make up the bulk of your freelance jobs at first. Online jobs in Kenya that pay via MPESA are very competitive. So do your due diligence when looking for buyers. Don’t wait for buyers to contact you. You can always look for them yourself. Once you have set up your profile on Apexlistings, share it on all your social media channels, same goes for your services.
- Join professional organizations i.e the community that serves your field. To add to all the other benefits you'll gain, you'll also pick up insider tips of where to find work.
Another important point to remember is that freelancing doesn't only mean doing something you love. It also means knowing how to sell and market your services. When starting out, about 90 percent of your time will be spent on typing, sales and marketing tasks. Bids won't be won with ease. You can be very talented but it won't mean a thing if you can't sell yourself online. This is why online freelance websites that help you package your skills as a service are important. A lot of people get into freelancing thinking, talent is all they need. What people need to realize is a lot of people have talent. What makes a successful freelancer is how strong your client list base is and how you package, market and sell your services.
Choose Good Titles and Images...
Selecting good titles and images for your services can make a huge difference. Whether you're a virtual assistant, wordpress developer, logo designer or a data entry specialist, a good service title is a powerful tool in the online job market. Combined with a good overview, a service title is critical in creating a good first impression to buyers. This is because these two components are the ones which show up on search engines results. Also most buyers tend to search for freelancers based on their profile titles and overviews.
One thing a lot of people also tend to overlook is the type of images they select when creating a service online. Quality images can help potential clients visualize the service you're offering. "A picture can say a thousand words" and we all know advertising space is both scarce and expensive. Thus, when offered free advertising space to showcase your services, use it well. Always select quality images that show the service you're offering in detail.
Combination of good service titles and images can help skyrocket your client base.
There are many ways to write a good title for your service. Here are a couple of ideas to help you figure out the best approach for your services:
Aim to be simple and brief. When creating a service title, focus on describing your expertise. Say the type of projects you’re interested in to help buyers understand. But keep it short! The ideal length for a title is 10 words or less.
Strive to be specific. The more precise you are, the more likely you'll catch the attention of buyers that need your service. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant, you want to highlight specific services such as live chat support, email support, or ticket support.
Be Distinctive. Design an original and meaningful title that captures your occupations, specializations, and skills. Avoid generic descriptions, such as “hard-working” or “reliable”—use your overview section to get that message across!
There are slightly over 800,000 freelancers on Fiverr and about 25,000 jobs on any given day.
How then, exactly, is a freelancer going to find that "perfect" project and how is the buyer going to weed through all those services to find the "perfect" freelancer to hire for their job?
The answer is by having the right keywords that will:
- Make the connection with your client
- Differentiate yourself
- Demonstrate your uniqueness
Apexlistings being new in the industry with only a sizeable number of freelancers, still applies the same principle.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are the words that describe you and what you can provide for a client/buyer.
They describe your distinctive skills, experiences and interests that make you the perfect fit for a specific paid online job.
How do Keywords Help You Sell Your Service?
Connection is the key to success as an online freelancer.
According to barefootconsultants.com one must “connect” with the client and the job to stand out from the freelancers’ glut.
Buyers use keywords to find freelancers that fit their needs. In other words, they use them to find the best person for their task. That's why it's so important to be on point with this!
Keywords differentiate you and show your uniqueness.
Buyers want both your general skills and your passions, interests and talents. Millions of people can proofread, edit, write, do bookkeeping, etc.
But, by using keywords in your service titles and / or profile, you set yourself apart from the normal and become a specialist!
Here's a quick example:
If you are a medical transcriber on Fiverr and you put that in your profile, when a buyer searches for potential transcribers, your name will be on the list! If you have a specific area of expertise in the medical field, even better!
Below is a link to show an example of how freelancers are posting their services online:
Market Your Services
Many freelancers think posting their services and profiles on freelance websites is enough. What about social media? Pin your online portfolio and services link to your Twitter for most visibility. Do the same on Facebook if you have a personal or business account. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile as well. Do this on as many social media platforms as possible.
If you are a good article writer, open up a blog and write good, compelling articles and create back-links to your profile. This is what I like to call "Writing for yourself".
Marketing your services is not only limited to online means. Many freelancers believe that an online platform is the only way to showcase your skills. What if I told you that word of mouth can be a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing your services? As mentioned above, telling people about your skills and services can really improve your profile and services views and attract potential service buyers, and if you have a good profile title and service description together with carefully selected images then you can rest assured that you'll be fishing buyers like never before, getting you more online jobs and getting paid via MPESA more often than you think.
Many people are in need of services they can't seem to find. So a little word of mouth goes a long way in bringing you closer to you freelancing dreams.
Freelance Services Options
Think the online job arena might be for you? If you can do it, there's a big chance you can offer it as a service. Here are some of the most frequent freelance services across many freelancing websites:
- Logo and Banner Designer
- UI/UX designer
- Data entry specialist
- Business Plan writer
- Grant writer
- Graphic designer
- Wordpress developer
- Virtual Assistant
Article By : Joseph Kanene; Writer, Researcher, Freelance Trainer.