Unemployed? There’s so much you can do with those skills you don’t even know you have.
1st February, 2019
1st February, 2019
It’s appalling how fast unemployment rates keeps increasing, from year to year, there always seem to be a new higher index. But in all of these, is it safe to just wait for solutions?
I think It’s okay to wait... waiting for the interview call back, waiting for that business proposal to come through, waiting for the government... but while you're waiting there’s so much you can do.
Basically as a freelancer, you work based on contract terms for as many requests/jobs/companies your skills allow you to. I can’t think of any downside to this arrangement. You’re your own boss, it allows for multiple income source, it’s usually mobile and you keep learning.
Also with advancing civilization and technology, freelancing is becoming popular in almost every industry. Most jobs that would require setting up an office for years ago can be done over the phone or even via mail. And it has be successful so far, generating great income, sometimes even more than the 9-5 paying jobs. There’s no conclusive statistics for Nigeria or African freelancer but according to Payoneer's data, the average freelancer works 36 hours a week at a rate of $21 per hour, giving them an annual pretax salary of more than $39,000. This is significantly higher than the average non-freelance wages in most of the countries in the survey.
How do we get started ?
Pick a skill and get really good at it
Before you can sell a skill you have to be good at it. This is important if you really want to make it in the freelance industry. Hence you have to find that skill you’re good at or would want to be good at. There are so much sought after freelance skills. Most common in this environment are Digital Marketing, Video editing, Photography, Animation, Graphic design, Website design, Website development, Content writing, Review writing, Proposal writing, Events planing and logistics, Social media management, music production/mixing, Beauty services etc. You’d be surprised how much beauty services and related skills generate. You could make so much money from tying the traditional “gele” or from even telling people what to wear.
All of these may seem easy but you have to put in work to be seen, for your skill to be sought after. You have to get really good at what you do. Learning is so easy nowadays, from YouTube tutorials to free online courses, there’s so much knowledge out there to grasp. You can check sites like linkedin, coursera and udemy.
Here’s a link for over 200 free online courses: https://medium.freecodecamp.org/ivy-league-free-online-courses-a0d7ae675869
There’s so much emphasis on improving your skills because in all honesty I wouldn’t want you to dress me if your Instagram isn’t “mad popping”. I need to see evidence of the said slay you want to pass onto me.
Once you’ve established what you want to do and you’ve taken the necessary steps to learn the said skill better, the next step is to be seen by prospective companies/individuals. There are some freelance websites that allow you to bid for work from all over the world from your base in Nigeria.
Here are some Freelancer websites
- freelancer.com (Sort of a freelance social media where various freelance jobs are constantly pitched and bid for)
- Guru.com (Grow your business with the top freelancing website.)
- Upwork.com (Grow your business with the top freelancing website.)
- Iwriter.com (get paid to write)
- Talent.hubstaff.com (companies look for talents form all over the globe)
- Fiverr.com (marketplace for freelancers)
- affiliate-program.amazon.com (Earn advertising fees by becoming an Amazon affiliate)
- Market.envato.com (sell your digital contents, photos and videos)
- Almay.com (sell your digital contents, photos and videos)
- Photodune.net (sell your digital contents, photos and videos)
- Slicethepie.com (Get paid to review songs, fashion items, accessory etc)
- Takenotetyping.com (get paid for notetaking and transcription)
- Textbroker.co.uk (get paid to write)
- Buddyschool.com (get paid to be an online tutor)
- Thewordpoint.com (get paid for working on transcription and data entry)
- Peopleperhour.com (A freelance design marketplace also has SEO, copywriting, video and apps)
- Ifreelance.com (Work as a freelancer to plan , write , design , build and market peoples project all in one place)
- translatorstown.com (Work as a freelance translator)
There are so many other freelance platforms that maybe more befitting to your set of skills. Do your research
Define your target market
Defining your ideal client is essential for the survival of your skills and mental health. You want to avoid getting unnecessary frustrated, worked up or undervalued, at all cost. There’s so much unnecessary competition in the freelance market because everyone is always trying to do it exactly like the next person. And most times they don’t have the skills or experience like the said “next person”. It’s important to know what you can do, know your limits, understand and appreciate your value, accept jobs that’d ensure you function at the most effective capacity, and know the type of business that has the problems you can solve with your skills. Before you jump on any bandwagon always evaluate your situation. It’s better to leave a lasting “mouth dropping” impression on a small project than doing it like everyone with average effectiveness on a big project.
Build a quality portfolio
A portfolio could be a blog, Website, Instagram/Twitter/Facebook page, a Sound Cloud link, a YouTube channel etc. You cannot be passive about this. A portfolio showcases a first impression of your skill. And you know what they say about first impressions.
With a portfolio you want to demonstrate your expertise, previous successful jobs, showcase why you’re different from others, showcase why you should be valued higher than others and most importantly a contact information. A portfolio shouldn’t all just be aesthetics alone. You need the quality of services to be showcased in every bit of aesthetics.
Take opportunities of trends and collaborations
It’s important to be consistent with what you do. And with so much fleeting information and distractive social media contents, people’s attention are always moving. You just have to find a way to be tangled in trends. Not in any annoying way but subtle, indirectly pitching your craft in ways you remain relevant. It’s a craft you have to learn how to do, based on the dynamics of your skill.
Collaborations are useful too. When you work with different people their fans get to see your work and vice Versa. Blogs, media outlets and website contents are great collaborative platforms
Keep up with the consistency. It’ll pay out soon.
There are so many “in betweens” not mentioned in this article, but in most case that’s for you to figure out yourself. A lot of what you’d need as a freelancer you’d probably learn on the job. So why not start something now?
Usually the popular doctrines fill your heads with rhyming quotes and the idea that there’s a particular blue print to follow, when in reality there isn’t one particular way of doing it. You just have to peg down the basics and structure out what works for you. Keep learning, keep networking and keep selling that skill.
You should also save, invest and take opportunities of Stocks, Treasury bills, Euro-bonds and fixed deposits. You never know the investment (time, labor, financial) that would pave the way.