Meet Jacinta Moraa, a 28-year-old digital marketing freelancer based in Nairobi. She now easily earns over Ksh1,000,000 annually working just 20 flexible hours per week.
But Jacinta’s journey to successful freelancing was not straightforward. Just a few years ago, she was fired from 3 jobs in the span of 2 years.
Rather than see this as failure, Jacinta leveraged the setbacks as an opportunity to find more meaningful work. Today she is thriving as a freelance marketing consultant helping brands grow online.
For young professionals in Kenya seeking work independence and fulfillment, Jacinta’s story provides key lessons on how to build a prosperous freelance business from scratch.
Table of Contents
Firings Lead to Fresh Perspective
Jacinta excelled academically and landed a prestigious management trainee job right after university.
However, she soon found corporate bureaucracy stifling.
“I struggled with strict hierarchies and doing things just because ‘that’s how it had always been done’,” Jacinta confessed.
Eager to innovate, she began proposing new digital initiatives to help modernize the outdated company.
Leadership did not take kindly to this.
Her contract was abruptly terminated just 8 months into the 2-year program. The company cited “poor cultural fit”.
After bouncing between two other unsatisfying corporate gigs that also ended quickly in firings, Jacinta realized employment just didn’t suit her.
“Those experiences gave me new perspective. I belonged following my own path, not conforming within traditional company walls.”
The realization sparked Jacinta’s leap into freelancing in Kenya.
Developing Her Arsenal of Skills
During her brief corporate stints, Jacinta discovered she had a natural talent for digital marketing specifically in the areas of:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Google Ads
- Social Media Management
- Email Marketing
- Content Creation
She decided to center her freelance business around these skills that she genuinely enjoyed and excelled at.
When not working her 9-5, Jacinta invested time enhancing her digital marketing skills through online certifications and tutorials. She absorbed every bit of knowledge she could.
This development of highly marketable skills gave Jacinta tremendous confidence taking the freelance plunge.
Starting Small with Consulting
At first, Jacinta hesitated diving straight into full-time freelancing. To test the waters, she ran a side consulting business in addition to her job.
She promoted her digital marketing services through her network and on LinkedIn. Leveraging referrals, she signed 5 small businesses as her first clients.
For these early customers, Jacinta focused on providing tremendous value on a budget:
- Delivering measurable results and ROI
- Being highly responsive to inquiries
- Suggesting creative solutions to grow their brands
As she racked up small wins, Jacinta gained proof that she could turn digital marketing into a viable business.
Quitting Her Job for Good
After letting her passion project gain momentum for about 12 months, Jacinta took the leap.
She walked away from the steady corporate salary to pursue freelance marketing full-time.
It was scary giving up the perceived stability of employment. But Jacinta mitigated risk by having 6 months of living expenses banked as savings first.
“The security of savings enabled me to fully focus on the business with clarity, not desperation.”
Jacinta invested savings into professional branding, a customer relationship management system, and paid ads to reach new clients.
Within 3 months, her freelance digital marketing services were netting Ksh140,000 per month working about 25 hours a week.
Hitting Her Groove and Goal of 6 Figures
It took 2 full years of consistently delighting clients and reinvesting into growth before Jacinta’s freelance earnings finally hit over Ksh1,000,000 annually.
But by sticking to her vision and not compromising on her rates, Jacinta achieved her goal on her own terms.
She successfully positioned herself as an authority in digital marketing for Kenyan small businesses. Her proven results and raving testimonials enabled premium fees.
Today Jacinta runs a thriving freelance business centered around:
- 10 Retainer contracts with quality clients
- Marketing workshops and 1-on-1 coaching
- Affiliate income from digital courses
- Mentoring emerging freelancers
Loving Work and Life
Jacinta has zero regrets about transitioning to self-employment. She reflects:
“Leaving toxic work situations led me to my true calling. I should have started freelancing sooner!”
Her self-made success has granted Jacinta the freedom and fulfillment she so craved:
- Flexible schedule around her personal needs
- Ability to work from anywhere – at home or while travelling
- Earning significantly more than old corporate salary
- Fulfillment from seeing clients thrive due to her skills
Jacinta’s story proves that with grit and smart pivoting, setbacks can become a launchpad for achieving work on your own terms and skyrocketing income.
She offers this advice to aspiring freelancers in Kenya:
“Bet on yourself. Build scarce skills. Stay persistent. Freedom to live life your way will follow.”
The time is now.