There is a lot of preparation that one has to do before they can be able to start working online as a freelancer in Kenya. And knowing what to work on before getting your first client can be a bit daunting.
So, to help you get things moving along fast, I have prepared a list of some of the things potential clients will ask you when you reach out to them via email or when they come across your ad listing in any of the categories listed on Entity Marketplace page.
Use them to prepare yourself for your first task / online job. If you are an existing freelancer, use them to build an even stronger profile / portfolio.
Examples of your work
‘Can I see examples of some of the projects you have worked on?‘
If you are a web designer, you should be able to point them to some of the websites and blogs you have worked on – giving them links they can visit to judge the quality of your work for themselves. Or you can also send them files you have created yourself like Photoshop mockups that you have turned into themes for WordPress etc.
If you are a freelance writer, you should be able to share links to some of the articles you have written. What I usually do is point potential clients to content I have already published on my own blog. I also throw in a few links to Google Docs files containing some of the blog posts I have written for past clients.
If you are a coder, programmer or software developer, you should be able to show your client some of the things you have made yourself.
You can show them the raw code of some of the apps, software, extensions, plugins and add-ons you have created by giving them a link to your profile on repositories such as GitHub. Or you can just link to whatever it you creates in the relevant stores and repositories.
So, if you are looking for work as a freelance WordPress developer, you can give potential clients a link to a WordPress plugin you have created.
If you are looking for work as an app developer, you should be able to link to some of your apps on Google Play Store or Apple App Store so your client can take a look at your creation on their own smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
If you mainly write content monetized with affiliate links, you should be able to demonstrate that you understand readers intent (those seeking information vs those just wanting a simple nudge to click the buy button).
You have to demonstrate to an Amazon affiliate niche site owner for example that you can write great product reviews for their particular niche on a consistent basis. Sometimes all it takes to demonstrate this expertise is a few links to some review content you have worked on before for other clients or yourself (if you run a blog).
Basically, you just want the potential client know that they can get the results they are after when they work with you. Let your work speak for you. Let it do most of the marketing for you.
‘How much do you charge? And can you do it at this rate?‘
Once someone looks at your portfolio they will usually ask you about your rates – sometimes even if you tell them the first time they get in touch with them.
Tell them how you charge for your services (per project, hourly or per word). Ask them how much they would be willing to pay for your services. And reach an agreement.
Other things you might want clarifications on is if they would be willing to pay all the money upfront (using escrow services for example), pay half now & half later or pay only when the work is completed and they are satisfied.
‘When do you think this will be done? Can you estimate how long it take for you to finish the task I am hiring you to do?‘
Here is where to tell someone how long it will take you to get them what they want. If it is an article, you can give them the number of days it will take you to send them a finished copy.
If it is a custom plugin you are developing, you will tell them how many weeks / months it will take you to finish the whole project and send them back the code.
If it online research, keyword research, competition analysis or some data scraping work that you have to place in a spreadsheet and send over to them, you can tell them how many hours it will take you to gather all the necessary resources / data / numbers.
How to pay you
‘How will you accept payment? Can you send me an invoice once you are finished?‘
If you are working with a Kenyan employer, you can tell them to just wire the funds to your bank account or use Safaricom M-PESA to pay you (or Kopo Kopo, Jambopay or iPay).
You can also tell a client that you only receive payment via PayPal – then you can give them your PayPal email where they can send money to you directly or you can ask for their PayPal email and send them an invoice before they pay you.
You can also tell them to send you money to your Payoneer account if you have one.
‘The work looks great but do you mind changing this part…?‘
Sometimes you send work back to a client and they are happy but need some changes to be made before they can pay you. If you receive requests for revisions that are reasonable, just get to work, make the necessary changes and get paid.
If you can work on other projects
‘I liked the work you did. Can I also hire you to help do this other thing?‘
Repeat work, everybody in the online freelancing world likes it. When someone you like working with asks you if they can send you more work, and they are willing to keep paying you well, just say yes.
But to the guys and gals that don’t want to deal with you in good faith, the people that treat freelancers poorly, when they ask if they can send you more work, you can take the work. But it is better to just cut ties with some people – to tell them no and move on – and use your marketing skills to find better people, businesses, companies and organizations to work with.
Some tips when placing an ad for your freelance service on Entity Kenya
First, think about what the person who will hire you will want from you and create a title and description for your ad that speaks to those needs.
Show them the results you can get them (in your ad copy) if possible.
Then just look for the right category on Entity Marketplace.
If you have an image to accompany your add, upload those as well (maximum 4 images) and then use the website field to add a URL to your portfolio or some example of a project you have worked on that might pique the interest of whoever is viewing you ad on Entity. Remember placing an ad on Entity Marketplace is free.
You can also check your CV / curriculum vitae for some things you can add to your ad listing & use some of the tips mentioned in blog posts published on Entity.co.ke to create listings that will get more views / replies.