How to Start Freelancing in Africa

$0 to $100,000 in 3 Years as an African Freelancer: The Ultimate Guide to Freelancing in Africa.

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With the growth of technology, rampant unemployment, a need to seek one’s true self, and an increasingly competitive job market, freelancing opportunities have been on the rise. People no longer want to spend years trying to find the perfect job and doing what is best known as tarmacking with their degrees. With companies downsizing and entry jobs becoming even harder to get, the youth in Africa have now considered other options, including how to become a freelancer in Africa. We will cover what freelancing entails and how you, too, can be part of this growing market sector!

What is freelancing?

Did you know that African freelancers make up 10.1% of the world’s freelancers? It shows that more people want to know how to become a freelancer in Africa and have actualized their plans. You could also be part of the tribe! Freelancing works for anyone, regardless of if you want to be self-employed, start a new career or even earn secondary income from your primary job.

So, what does a freelancer do? Simply put, this is a person who works for themselves, detaching from the traditional form of employment where one works under a company or a boss. A freelancer deals directly with companies and organizations on a contractual basis. As a result, they have more say in how much they earn, how many hours they work, what kind of work they do, how they pay their taxes, and other pertinent matters. It’s no wonder many people envy their lifestyles and cannot stop looking into how to become a freelancer in Africa.

A freelancer is not an employee but rather is a contractor. That’s the main difference between a freelancer and the average employee who has to clock in their hours and do as the boss says.

How does freelancing work?

In your quest to learn how to become a freelancer in Africa, you must understand a few things.

First, you will rely on your skills, education, and experience to provide services for your clients. These three aspects determine how much work you can take on and how well you can handle the tasks. For example, if you offer MS Excel services, you need to have a great set of skills, hands-on experience, and some learning on the job. It’s only this way that you can do an excellent job and keep the income stream coming.

Secondly, freelancing is not the same as working from home. More often than not, many people want to know how to become a freelancer in Africa because they associate such gigs with working in pyjamas. It’s not always the case. Sometimes, your client may require you to show up in their office or handle a task in another city or country. Not all gigs are the same, and you need to understand what work requires what.

Thirdly, most freelancers do not earn salaries. Instead, they earn commissions, wages, and other payments made periodically or at the end of a contract. While quite a few earn salaries, you will likely get your money streaming in at different times and amounts.

Catch up on the best free time tracking and billing apps for African freelancers here

Is it easy to find freelance work?

Another common query with how to become a freelancer in Africa is how easy it is to find jobs. Of course, nobody wants to leave their 9-5 well-paying job to enter a field where they might end up making nothing. Like with any other sector, you have to understand which sectors require your skills the most and apply yourself to these.

Luckily for you, learning how to become a freelancer in Africa has become much easier with the growth of third-party platforms such as 99designs, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork, which allow you to sign up and use their platform to grow your business. Once you set up an account and start building a good rapport with clients, it becomes much easier to get other gigs, build your portfolio, and cement your position in the industry.

It’s not easy per se, but it’s doable. And if others have done it, so can you!

What Freelancing Options are available?

When looking at how to become a freelancer in Africa, it’s easy to feel discouraged and think that you do not have a great set of skills to sell to the market. Most third-party review sites tend to focus on writing, transcription, and video editing services. However, there are so many other skill sets required in the market. These include:

  • Administration duties (have you heard of virtual assistants?)
  • Writing
  • Creative design
  • Customer service
  • Computer and IT
  • Accounting and finance
  • Medical care and health
  • Editing
  • Human resources and recruiting
  • Transcribing
  • Modelling
  • Running errands
  • Translation services
  • Training
  • Voice over actors

Guess what? These are but the tip of the iceberg. You can freelance in almost any career, including law! There’s no need to limit yourself as you look into how to become a freelancer in Africa. No matter how small it may seem, whatever you have is worth a lot to someone out there.

Is freelancing worth it?

Do you know one thing that keeps people from pursuing a freelancing career? – the lack of a guarantee! With salaried jobs, you are assured of getting X amount of money at the end of the month. People love this security, and waltzing into a career without this financial security can be scary. However, once you look at what people have to say about how to become a freelancer in Africa, you soon realize the good outweighs this primary con. As a freelancer, you get to:

  • Decide how much work you want to do: The more you work, the more money you get. How many bosses can give you that?
  • Determine what work you like doing and forgo anything that’s not in line with this. At a regular workplace, you must handle everything given to you.
  • Choose how much you get paid: As you get better, you start earning more money, and you can work part-time and still meet your expenses and investment needs.

Flexibility is a huge pro in this case. After all, who does not want to choose when and where to work? As long as you meet deadlines, the ball is in your court!

Are you ready?

Not many people will tell you that discipline is a critical factor in how to become a freelancer in Africa or that you have to be persistent to finally earn a steady stream of income. Additionally, you must remain organized, embrace proactiveness, network, learn on the job, read more and open your mind to new opportunities.

There’s a learning curve ahead of you, and once you master it, you will be well on your way to a full-paying career! Get started today!

Author: creator