Thousands of young Kenyans graduate from college each year. The graduates are usually eager to enter the job market. The rampant lack of jobs currently being experienced globally is, however, a rude shock to most of these ex-students.
As the age old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Kenyans are known to be chap chap (fast) when it comes to creativity and finding opportunities where many people would find none. Tired of relentlessly searching for jobs that seem to be unavailable, many of the young graduates are now taking advantage of the availability of online job opportunities to make huge amounts of money.
Freelancing Popularity in Kenya
As is quite common with human beings, Kenyans tend to flock where success stories reign. This has led to the popularity of online work so much so that the government recently launched Ajira digital, a project to educate and train the youth about online jobs. The objective of this portal is to empower Kenyans to find and manage alternate online income earning ventures.
Today, there are many online platforms where job seekers can find online jobs. This article seeks to explore some of these platforms in depth. This article will help Kenyan job seekers identify the best freelancing platforms to work from.
Upwork was formed when two major freelancing platforms merged, i.e. Elance and Odesk. Upwork is the world’s most popular freelancing website. Job seekers can find numerous job opportunities from the millions of jobs posted here every year.
Available Jobs on Upwork
Upwork is home to some of the most qualified and skilled individuals. Companies and businesses can find graphic designers, content writers, social media marketers, and web development technicians. Upwork has transformed the way employers find workers and how freelancers find clients. The site is very convenient for both clients and freelancers who can easily interact from wherever in the world.
How does Upwork Operate?
Clients looking to hire freelancers start by posting a comprehensive description of the project and the qualifications or skills they require. The website has been designed to include a search functionality which helps employers find the best candidates for their type of job with ease. While Upwork sends the employer a list of the most skilled candidates for the job, employers can peruse the site in search of qualified individuals. Additionally, the job remains visible to freelancers who can submit proposals or bids for the job.
Upwork has strived to make the site reliable and convenient to both employers and job seekers. Moderators on the site are strict to ensure that freelancers are authentic. This has been done through the use of stiff rules when it comes to verifying identities. Freelancers are also provided with online tests to gauge competence. The public display of client feedback and the freelancer’s job success is also helpful in determining the credibility of freelancers.
While these precautions have been able to curb rogue freelancers, employers should be extra careful before hiring freelancers. Customized questions can be included in the job description, or they can utilize Upwork video conferencing or messages to vet freelancers further.
Finding Projects on Upwork
Some of the most successful freelancers today credit their prosperity to Upwork. They have been able to expand their freelancing careers and gain worthwhile experience working on the platform. Upwork is the perfect platform where individuals can land the best clients and flourish in their online businesses. Freelancers seeking for jobs need to first complete their profiles in order to be able to access their preferred jobs.
Upwork helps individuals find jobs according to their qualifications. Once registered, freelancers can search for any available jobs as well as get invitations from prospective clients.
Succeeding on Upwork as a freelancer is highly dependent on dedication and submission of quality work. Freelancers with a high rate of success have better chances of getting job offers from new clients.
Working on Upwork
Every job on Upwork comes with a set timeline specified by the client. Upwork provides a platform where clients and their employees can send, receive, and share files. Both the employer and the freelancer can share feedback during and after the project.
The Upwork mobile app makes it convenient for users to access the platform using mobile devices.
How to Get Paid on Upwork
Upwork comes with a payment protection service that ensures freelancers are guaranteed of pay after the successful completion of a project. Projects can either be paid hourly or by fixed milestones. Invoices for hourly projects are submitted on Upwork through timesheets. Individuals working on fixed price jobs should set up milestones which enable them to get paid through the Upwork escrow feature.
What Payment Options are there on Upwork
There are various payment options on the website. Freelancers can use whichever method they find convenient. These include Mpesa, PayPal, wire transfer, direct deposit, and Payoneer.
Does Upwork Charge Freelancers?
Upwork charges freelancers a percentage of their cumulative earnings from their hourly and fixed price projects as service fee. For every first $500 a freelancer makes from a new client, a service charge of 20% is billed. This percentage decreases with the increase of the total earnings.
Are there Scammers on Upwork?
Just like many other online entities, chances are that freelancers will be susceptible to scammers. These are people who hire freelancers and disappear without paying them. This can be very demoralizing.
How can freelancers avoid scammers?
Some freelancers, especially newbies, do not take the time to understand a project before submitting a proposal. It is important to read the job description word for word. This will help them tell the difference between legitimate clients and scammers. Authentic clients post clear requirements including the volume of work, duration of time required for completion, mode of payment, and their budget. Scammers are likely to sugar coat their job postings to attract freelancers.
Beware of clients who ask for free samples
While providing samples of work is a vital requirement in landing a job, some freelancing sites advise freelancers against giving free samples. This is because more often than not, scammers ask for free samples for their own gain with no pay to the freelancer.
Scrutinize client’s profiles
A client’s profile can help freelancers differentiate between authentic and non-authentic clients. While some clients with blank profiles are not necessarily scammers, freelancers should be wary of them. Legitimate clients should have a verified method of payment. Individuals can also read through to check feedback left by previous freelancers. Online workers who are able to identify scams can save fellow freelancers from falling into their trap by reporting them.
Guru is a global online freelancing network where thousands of employers and job seekers can work together. Currently, the site has more than 1.5 million gurus and the numbers are expected to rise with the increasing popularity of online work. Employers can find qualified and skilled technical staff, web developers, content writers, creative writing editors, app developers, and marketers. Guru provides employers with the opportunity to view prospective freelancer’s profiles and browse through their previous work to find out how competitive they are.
Guru enterprise is the perfect answer for employers who have a myriad of jobs and freelancers to manage. It provides them with an opportunity to partner with Guru experts who study their businesses and support them in managing their projects. In addition, Guru experts help employers to design and execute a workflow management system for their jobs and their freelancers. Employers will benefit from the personalized training that the experts give to ensure they maximize on their projects.
Clients release payment to Guru before freelancers start working. Once the employer approves the work, Guru goes ahead and pays the freelancer via safe pay. Freelancers can then choose any of the following methods to transfer their funds. PayPal, direct deposit, wire transfer, and prepaid MasterCard.
Creating an account on Guru is easy. It provides clients with an opportunity to interact with thousands of qualified job seekers who are capable of submitting quality work. Clients on Guru are rated as some of the best paying among many freelancing websites. Freelancers should always exercise caution when working on any freelancing site to avoid falling prey to scammers.
Fiverr was coined from the fact that freelancers sell their services, also known as gigs, on the website for $5. Fiverr is perhaps one of the few sites where freelancers can find any service regardless of how bizarre it is. Some of the gigs available include digital marketing, content writing, transcribing, and translation. Many successful freelancers on Fiverr attest to the fact that it is a fun platform.
Joining and signing up on Fiverr is easy and straight forward and so is creating a gig. Unlike many freelancing sites where buyers post their job requirements, sellers post their gigs on Fiverr which gives the buyer an opportunity to select what they are interested in and proceed to buy.
Payment on Fiverr
Freelancers can transfer their money from their Fiver accounts through the revenue Fiverr account, Paypal, and Payoneer.
Almost every established freelancer has heard and worked with Freelancer.com. Despite the fact that they may not use it as often as they did before, many freelancers have gained tremendous experience working on this website. Freelancer.com is among the biggest freelancing sites where newbies have high chances of landing jobs. Joining and bidding for a job is also quite easy.
Newbies, especially, can gain a lot of experience from Freelancer.com since it is one place where minimum expertise is required. Many clients on this freelancing website are flexible when it comes to choosing freelancers. Freelancer.com gives starters a chance to grow their talents and develop their skills. All these factors notwithstanding, freelancers should not expect to earn much as clients here pay very little.
Available jobs on Freelancer.com
There are numerous jobs available on Freelancer.com. These range from web design development, content writing, data entry, and digital marketing. Employers get to interact with skilled and qualified freelancers through a chat system. Freelancers can access services on the site 24/7. They can also make use of the Freelancer.com mobile app to get updated while on the move.
Money Withdrawal Options on Freelancer.com
Freelancer.com provides various money transfer options ranging from Skrill, Payoneer, Paypal, and direct transfer. Freelancers in Kenya have for a long time had limited money transfer options. Thankfully, Skrill offers the convenience of withdrawing through Mpesa or to a bank account. Freelancers can also transfer money from their PayPal accounts to their Kenyan bank accounts. In addition, a Payoneer MasterCard can be used to withdraw money from selected ATMs both globally and in Kenya.
How to Prosper on Freelancer.com
The more freelancers bid, the more their chances of landing jobs. Bidding continuously ensures that individuals have constant jobs and a sustainable income.
· Ask for Milestone Payment
Freelancers should avoid working outside the Freelancer.com platform. Additionally, they should ask clients for a milestone payment before they begin working. A milestone is a payment released to the site by a client before the job is done. Clients can not cancel milestones once they are released. This guarantees freelancers of payment at the completion of the project.
· Take Tests
Freelancer.com provides users with various tests which can increase their chances of landing better-paying jobs. However, the exams on Freelancer.com do not come free. Freelancers can use part of their earnings to invest in an exam as the benefits far outweigh the cost.
· Do not compromise on Quality
Despite the fact that clients on Freelancer.com are not very strict on quality, a freelancer should never compromise on quality. Individuals should strive to use this opportunity to learn and elevate their writing skills in preparation to joining better-paying sites. Delivering poor projects can lead to poor feedback from the client which discourages other prospective clients from hiring the freelancer.
On Iwriter, freelancers do not bid for jobs. They only need to sign up, select the job they are interested in and start working right away. Once freelancers join Iwriter, they automatically become standard writers regardless of their writing prowess. Standard writers do not make a lot of money. Clients rate articles depending on their quality which determines how fast a freelancer rises up the ladder to become a premium, elite, or an elite plus writer.
Articles on the Iwriter queue come with different instructions which can be viewed by clicking the plus sign at the left side of each description. Once an article is written, the client should approve it within three days; failure to which Iwriter approves it automatically. While automatically approved articles are paid for, they are not rated.
Freelancers on Iwriter should strive to get high ratings always as low ratings can lead to a warning and an eventual ban.
Types of Jobs on Iwriter
Iwriter is a professional website where clients seek writing services. Freelancers can access numerous writing jobs including article writing, blog posts, Kindle books, and cover letters.
Payment methods on Iwriter
Freelancers on Iwriter receive their payment through PayPal. It is necessary that freelancers include a verified PayPal username against their accounts to allow Iwriter to release their money. The minimum withdrawal amount on Iwriter is $20.
These online freelancing platforms present Kenyan writers with an opportunity to begin and develop their freelancing careers. Many young graduates in Kenya have a mentality of waiting on the government to provide jobs. Instead of this degenerate mentality, today Kenyans can take advantage of the availability of freelancing work.
For ages, Kenyan freelancers have experienced a challenge when it comes to accessing their earnings. However, thanks to the popularity of mobile money and bank account transfers, freelancers can now withdraw money with ease at very minimum charges.
The future of freelancing for Kenyans is bright.