As many companies opt for remote work, so are many employees opting for freelancing. It is a form of self-employment where instead of being employed by a company you employ yourself by sourcing work, piece jobs. Starting as a freelancer is not an easy task, especially in Zimbabwe where many companies are traditional and formal, and the competition is strong. Let's take a look at how you can become a successful freelancer in Zimbabwe.
The most important thing for any freelancer is a skill. What are you good at, what can you do well with just your computer and internet at home?. There are a number of skills that one can easily acquire in a few days, such as:
- Virtual assisting.
- Website design
- Social media management
Pricing is another determining factor. With many freelancers resorting to self-employment so comes the pricing competition. Some developers, designers, marketers or writers can charge peanuts for a job that normally pays a lot. For example. in Zimbabwe, an eCommerce website can cost you around USD 300, but in South Africa or Nigeria that can be around USD 1200 or something close.
For you to better compete, you need to charge people a reasonable amount for your work, know your quality and prove your worth then charge people based on how they perceive your work. One mistake is to start charging people a lot of money for a job that someone can charge less and do a better job than yours. So start cheap and negotiate your way to the top.
Social Media Presence
This is the hardest of them all. You can be very good at marketing, programming, and designing but if no one knows you then there is no point. Maintaining a social media presence is the most important thing or ingredient of a successful freelancer in Zimbabwe. Use TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to market yourself, and show your previous work. It may take time to realise the benefits but it'll definitely work out with time.
Attend Events & Gatherings
So uncomfortable I know. But networking is crucial for any business person. Meet like-minded people, ask how they're managing to stay afloat, learn a few things, and share your own experiences. And most importantly, show them your work, youtube channel, or that thing you're most proud of. This will help you get feedback, make friends and have a little exposure to how others are doing things.
Help Others, Do Free Work
There is a tendency to charge for every job or task you do. This is a very bad habit. Learn to help other developers, marketers, and writers. Use forums such as StackOverflow or Quora to find problems and help with solutions. This is another form of networking that can help make friends that later become your clients or contributors.