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How to Start Freelancing in Kenya & Make Money (Step by Step)

How to Start Freelancing in Kenya & Make Money (Step by Step)

Last updated on April 14th, 2023 at 04:49 am

Freelancing in Kenya offers an incredible opportunity to control the way that you work. As a freelancer, you can work from anywhere, at any time. The benefits of freelancing such as these are leading to the growth of a fast-growing industry that has seen tremendous success in recent years.

So, in this article, you are going to learn the exact steps you can take now to start freelancing in Kenya and make money. online.

There are many reasons you may want to start freelancing in Kenya.

You might be a recent graduate who feels that their degree is insufficient, or maybe you do not enjoy your current job or would rather work from home than be in the office daily. 

Whatever the reason is that brought you here, this article is going to cover everything you need to know about freelancing in Kenya.

How much is a freelancer paid in Kenya?

The amount a freelancer is paid in Kenya can vary depending on various factors such as their skillset, level of experience, type of work, and the client they are working with. However, here are some average rates for common freelance services in Kenya:

  • Content writing: KES 1 to 5 per word
  • Graphic design: KES 1,000 to 5,000 per project
  • Web development: KES 20,000 to 100,000 per project
  • Social media management: KES 10,000 to 30,000 per month
  • Virtual assistance: KES 500 to 2,000 per hour

Note that these rates are just averages and may vary depending on the freelancer’s negotiation skills, the complexity of the project, and the client’s budget.

Freelancers in Kenya may also charge in USD, depending on the work’s nature and target market.

Related: 6 Benefits of Freelancing in Kenya: Dollars, Freedom, and More

Do freelancers pay taxes in Kenya?

Yes, freelancers are required to pay taxes in Kenya. The Kenyan government requires all individuals and businesses that earn income to register with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and pay taxes.

Freelancers in Kenya are considered self-employed individuals and are therefore required to register for and pay taxes under the Self Assessment tax system. Under this system, freelancers must file their tax returns annually and pay taxes on their income earned during the financial year.

The tax rates for self-employed individuals in Kenya vary depending on the amount of income earned. For example, the tax rate for those earning up to KES 147,580 per year is 10%, while those earning over KES 885,920 per year are taxed at a rate of 30%.

It’s important for freelancers to keep proper records of their income and expenses and to register for and file their tax returns on time to avoid penalties and interest charges. Freelancers can consult with a tax professional or the KRA website for more information on their tax obligations.

Popular freelancing jobs in Kenya

Freelancing is a popular occupation for many people. It allows them to work from anywhere and have the freedom of choosing their own hours.

Freelancing in Kenya can be done in many different ways. Some freelancers may choose to work as content writers, graphic designers, or developers while others may choose to be photographers or videographers.

In 2022, the most popular freelancing jobs are in virtual reality content creation, the software industry, and customer service.

  • Software Developer
  • Writer
  • Digital marketer
  • Web/mobile developer
  • Graphic designer

How to Start Freelancing in Kenya in 9 steps

  • A Beginner’s Course in Freelance Writing in Kenya

    KSh 1,500.00
  • The Freelance Writing Starter Kit: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money as a Writer in Kenya

    KSh 300.00

1). Define your goals for freelancing

It is important to know your goals when starting a freelance business in Kenya. Some goals can be as simple as earning extra income while spending time with family or expanding your skillset and knowledge base.

In order to get started in your own freelance business in Kenya, you need to know the goals that will help guide you. Goals are the key to providing a destination for your business.

Start with why you want to start freelancing.

With freelancing coming into the spotlight, more people are questioning if they should give it a shot. There are many benefits to freelancing but one of the most important ones is that you can make your own schedule.

One of the most famous motivational speeches is that by Simon Sinek. His TED talk urges viewers to start with why they want to work in a certain field.

They should ask themselves this question every day, asking what their reason for doing so is. Then they must motivate themselves and find clients who are willing to hire them and do quality work for them.

  • To get some income on the side?
  • To replace your full-time income?
  • How much do you want to earn while freelancing in Kenya?

Here is my advice, and in fact, what I did myself;

Start freelancing part-time or as a side hustle.

Freelancing on the side is a great way to start a career as it removes the pressure to generate income quickly, allows you to spend more time finding your niche and the right clients, and gives you more freedom over your career.

2). Choose which skills you’ll start freelancing with

In order to be successful as a freelancer in Kenya, it is important to build your business around your unique skills. 

Freelancers are able to work from anywhere, shape their own schedules, and set their own deadlines. They can also benefit from not having to deal with office politics, as they don’t have to answer to management.

Identifying the skills you have that others may not have is a good step to take for finding ways to grow your career and make more money online in Kenya freelancing.

Freelance writers, editors, and photographers can get by without any special skills or education. But the same can’t be said for those in other fields.

The best way to really figure out what your skills are is by reflecting on all of your experiences and accomplishments throughout your lifetime.  

Write down all the different jobs you’ve had and what skills you would have gained from them.

Here are some of the tips to help you identify the right skills:

  • You may be able to start freelancing by using skills from previous jobs.
  • Start freelancing in Kenya with skills outside your job description
  • Start freelancing using your hobbies and self-taught skills. There are a number of different ways to make extra income on the side, whether you’re an experienced content creator or someone who enjoys thinking about new and inspiring concepts. You can consider teaching what you know, or even consider your hobbies to make some extra income.

Related: The 15 Most In-Demand Freelance Skills in Kenya

3). Define your target clients

Now that you’ve identified the skills that will be most profitable and enjoyable for your business in Kenya, it’s time to think about who is going to pay you for the use of them.

Find out who would benefit from your services and who might be interested in working with you.

You should identify the right client for your business if you are a freelancer. It is important to know what type of work they need and what your strengths are so that you can be sure that you will be able to provide them with the best service.

A good way to identify the right client for your freelance business is by looking at their needs and interests in order to see if they align with yours. You can also look at their budget and how soon they need the work done.

For example, a freelancer who specializes in web design might find that their skills are most profitable working for a company that develops content for the internet. As an idea, the freelancer would contact their partner and ask about possible projects.

4). Package your skills into a service offering

Choosing your skills was the first step to start freelancing in Kenya. The next step is to sell them.

Packaging your skills into a service offering is a great way to make money as an independent freelancer. It also helps you stand out from other freelancers and gain more clients.

For example, if you’re a creative person and have experience designing logos, you can offer logo design services as a service offering on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. 

You can also package your skill as part of a business such as an app development company or SEO firm by providing consulting services for your clients.

Here is another example:

Email copywriting is a service that helps to write effective email marketing campaigns. It’s the writing skill that makes you more efficient in your professional pursuits.

Creating custom mobile apps is a service if you have coding skills.

See, to sell your skills, you need to think of them as a service.

What’s more?

Turn your service into a solution.

Believe it or not, people generally only hire because they want one of three things:

  1. More customers, clients, subscribers, or followers
  2. To increase their profit (increase revenue or decrease cost)
  3. To feel better about themselves (vanity)

So, instead of telling your clients that you can help them with copywriting, tell them you will help them write better emails that convert more customers.

Instead of selling your service, sell the solution.

How will you price your services when you start freelancing?

Now that your service has been defined and you’ve determined the type of client you are providing services for, you’ll need to decide if you will charge for the services or if they will be free for these types of clients.

Here are some of the popular ways to price your freelance services in Kenya:

  • Hourly: A standard rate for each hour worked for the client. Hourly pricing is used for both ongoing and short-term projects and requires freelancers to track their hours.
  • Retainer: Retainer fees are a flat monthly cost based on an hourly rate and the number of hours that are predicted to be spent on the project. They are primarily used for projects that require ongoing support, but can also be used for one-time projects.
  • Fixed project fee: A fixed project fee is a one-time fee that is agreed upon by a customer and the service provider before work begins. This type of fee doesn’t change depending on the scope of work or the number of hours completed.
  • Value-based pricing fee: A fixed-fee project is an arrangement where one party pays a certain amount of money at the start, regardless of how much work is completed on the project. This arrangement has many potential benefits but can be difficult to sell to a client.

5). Create a portfolio to showcase your skills

Once you have packaged your skills as a service that offers a solution to your client’s problems, the next step on how to start freelancing in Kenya is creating a portfolio.

A portfolio is a collection of your work that you can use to showcase your skills and show off your talents. You should make sure that you have a variety of content, such as blog posts, articles, social media posts, YouTube videos, and so on.

If you’re not sure what to include in your portfolio, here are some tips:

  • Include the most recent work first.
  • Include links to all of the pieces or videos that you’ve created.
  • Make sure the pieces are diverse and demonstrate different skillsets and areas of expertise.

Why do you need a portfolio to start freelancing in Kenya?

Sometimes clients come easily, but most of the time, they will need to be convinced that you are worthy of their business. That is why you must build trust with them.

The best way to build trust with a new freelance client is by showing them examples of work similar to the work they are considering hiring you for.

Your portfolio should align with the services you are offering. If you are working as a blog post writer, don’t include web design projects in your portfolio.

It’s better only to include your best work in this situation so that you can highlight your skillset in a way that is most appealing to potential employers.

You can build a portfolio website, or use free website builders like OLITT, Wix, or WordPress.com.

6). Develop a strategy for finding clients

The next step to start freelancing in Kenya is to find clients.

A freelancer needs to develop a strategy for finding clients. There are different ways to approach this; some freelancers may find it easier than others.

That’s why you need to create your own personal brand. This will help you get noticed by the right people and give you great opportunities.

When looking for potential clients, you should always be on the lookout for people who are looking for a specific skill set that you have.

For example, if you are an SEO expert, look out for companies needing SEO work done. This will help increase your chances of landing new clients and make it easier to find future work.

As a freelancer, you have a lot of options when it comes to finding new clients. The three most common options are:

  1. Working with clients directly – A strategic approach to working with clients is the key to success in any field. By taking this approach, you can be confident that you are giving your business the best chance of being successful.
  2. Working as a subcontractor – A subcontractor is a freelancer paid for their work as an independent person. Other companies and organizations hire subcontractors to perform a specific task, which can be in almost any field. Subcontracting is using a third-party company to produce the products or services you need. This lets you hire people with specific skills outside of your own firm and still maintain production deadlines, without higher costs.
  3. Leveraging freelance jobs websites – Websites like UpWork and Freelancer bring together companies and individuals who need work done and then offer that work on their website.

7). Find The Right Freelance Platform

One of the most important things to consider when getting started as a freelancer in Kenya is how you’re targeting your online job search in Kenya.

Starting with the most popular freelance marketplaces can lead to a lot of opportunities, but you need to be able to hone in on your niche and target only high-quality clients. Don’t get lost in the noise!

These sites are currently filled with millions of people from all around the world who are looking for freelance work. Because of their competitive nature, they often engage in bidding wars to win jobs and will often lower their prices in order to land the job. It won’t get you anywhere.

To find the best opportunity to work from, it’s best to find a fairly new one. It will have fewer freelancers, so you’ll have low job competition. And it will increase the chances of landing a job. in your field.

Some of the most popular freelance marketplaces are Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com.

To find a good opportunity on these sites, searching for open jobs that require your skillset is best rather than bidding on jobs.

Related:

8). Send Your First Proposal

The next step on how to start freelancing in Kenya is sending out proposals. Writing a proposal to a client needs to be done with care.

They’re not like writing an email or social media post – it requires you to put serious thought into persuading your client and figuring out which task you would perform most efficiently.

The first step is to strongly understand your client’s business and industry. This will give you a clear idea of what kind of content they need and their goals.

The next step is to create a proposal that outlines the project, timeline, and budget. You should also include an estimate for how long it will take for you to complete the project. This can be done by breaking down your proposed time into hourly charges or by providing a list of deliverables that will be completed during the time period.

Next, you should provide examples of your previous work so that your client knows what they’re getting.

Lastly, make sure to mention any social media accounts or websites where you have published content so that they can get an idea of who you are and how well-versed you are in your field.

The following are some tips on how to write a winning proposal for freelancers in Kenya.

  • Understand what the company wants from their employees,
  • Know what skill sets they need, and
  • Create an outline of what you will offer them.

9). Deliver Beyond Expectations

After you find your first job, the next step is to ensure you deliver the project just as the client has asked. Or, in this case, I want you to overdeliver the job by going above and beyond the client’s expectations.

I will provide an example.

When I first began freelancing in Kenya, I would often get jobs for writing blog posts that asked for 1000 words. I wrote the article to be about 1100-1200 words in length and included a unique header image for the blog post when delivering it. 

Without charging extra for it.

The clients always said nice things about my work and awarded me 5-star ratings.

How to Find Your First Freelance Job

In order to find your first freelance job, you need to do a lot of research. You should have a clear understanding of what you want in your job, and where you want to work.

You should also have a good idea of what the industry is looking for in terms of skillsets and experience. This will help you position yourself as an expert in the field and get noticed by potential employers.

If you are looking for a copywriter job, search for copywriting jobs online or through freelancing websites like UpWork.

How Can I Start Freelance in Kenya With No Experience?

Freelancing in Kenya is a great way to make money and build a career. There are many ways to do it, like starting your own business or freelancing on the side. But what if you don’t have any experience?

The first step is finding out what kind of work you want. For example, if you want to be an app developer, start learning how to code by taking courses and tutorials online. If you want to be a graphic designer, consider taking a class or volunteering for a local non-profit that needs design help. 

You can also find out about opportunities in your community by asking around at coffee shops or other local businesses. 

Once you’ve found your niche, look for jobs that match your skillset and location on sites like Upwork and Freelancer. 

Related: Pros and Cons of Freelancing in Kenya: What You Need to Know

What Kind Of Freelance Work Can I Do?

Freelance work is a great way to make money on the side in Kenya. It can be done from home, in your spare time, or during the day.

There are many different types of freelance work you can do. Some of them include:

  • Writing content for blogs and websites
  • Writing articles for magazines and newspapers
  • Creating content for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • Working as an editor or proofreader
  • Transcribing audio files

Conclusion: Start Freelancing in Kenya

Are you ready to begin freelancing in Kenya? Freelancing as a whole is becoming more and more common as companies seek new ways to help them thrive in their environment. 

As a freelancer, you can get started with little or no upfront investment, and any skills you have can be used immediately. Don’t hesitate any longer; this could be the right time for you to take the leap into the freelance world!

Here are some creative ways to make money.

  • A Beginner’s Course in Freelance Writing in Kenya

    KSh 1,500.00
  • The Freelance Writing Starter Kit: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money as a Writer in Kenya

    KSh 300.00

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Kevin Freelancer
About the author

I'm Kevin and I'm excited to share everything I've learned about making money online through blogging and content creation. I'm an affiliate marketer, so I know a thing or two about how to make a profit. Check out my blog for tips, tricks, and tutorials on how to make money online!

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