My son / daughter wants to work online as a freelancer

Does your son or daughter want to work online as a freelancer and you are wondering what you can do to help them get started?

Having worked with different client online I am going to share with you some of the things you can do to help your child get started as soon as possible.

I am going to show you some things you can tell them to help them get more out of freelancing online.

 Note: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on something I recommend and purchase it, I will receive a commission for the sale – at no extra cost to you. 

First, let’s look at….

What you can help them with to get started doing freelance jobs online

Buying them equipment they can use to do their work. This is one of the best things you can ever do for your son or daughter if they decide to freelance online part-time or full-time.

Some of the things you can buy them include:

A laptop. You can get them a decent second hand machine at KSh 20,000. Or you can buy them a new one from say KSh 35,000. Something that can stay for 2 to 3 hours on a full charge will do. Then make sure the machine has a word processor and WiFi / Hotspot / Bluetooth features. It can be on Windows 7 / 8.1 or 10.

Or you can buy them an Apple machine. Or a machine running Linux operating system. A Windows machine will usually do.

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A modem or router. So, a USB modem from Safaricom, Faiba or Airtel Kenya. Or you can get them a universal USB modem online from online shopping sites like Jumia Kenya for less than Kenya Shillings 2500.

Or you can buy them a MiFi router. Faiba has them and so does Airtel, Telkom and Safaricom. And then there are unlocked MiFi routers as well. Generally these go for between KSh 4500 to KSh 6500.

External storage. An SD card / memory card and a flash drive should suffice. These go for between KSh 750 to KSh 2500.

Helping them figure out what skill of theirs they can turn into a freelance service

Another thing you can do is to help your child figure out what they can offer clients online. Help them take an inventory of:

  • The skills they already possess
  • The subjects they like / liked in school
  • Passions they have built over time (or hobbies)
  • New interests they are developing / skills they are building on their own

Once you narrow in on one or two things, check online to see if there is demand for it. For example if you settle on web design, go to Google and search for ‘freelance web designer for hire‘. If it is writing, go to Google and search for ‘freelance writer for hire‘.

Or just go to big freelance marketplaces like UpWork, Guru, Fiverr or PeoplePerHour to see if they are people with such a skill offering their services to freelance clients outsourcing work through such platforms.

Also take time to look at the categories listed on homepage. Browse the ad listings in the various categories to see if there others with that same skill already offering their services to potential clients coming to the site.

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Also check some of the blog posts I have added to the site where I mention some of the popular services freelancers in Kenya offer clients. Check this one and this for starters.

Helping them get their first freelance client (suggestions for job sites and more)

Here all you can do is suggest methods your son or daughter can use to land their first gig.

The popular methods freelancers use to get clients are these two:

  • cold pitching
  • placing bids

With cold pitching, a freelancer will usually send emails to potential clients to see if they would be interested in working with them.

With bidding, freelancers on the various marketplaces I have mentioned will usually see listings of available jobs and show interest by placing bids. Think of it like an auction.

All the people interested in a particular thing will raise their hands, say how much they are willing to put down to get that thing and then it is up to the auctioneer to choose who gets the thing. The same thing happens on some of these online job sites.

You can also suggest they slowly build their own platform (like a blog or YouTube channel) and use that to draw clients to them.

Or suggest they look for jobs on niche job boards and classified sites. Or even suggest they work for a digital agency and then branch out on their own later down the road.

Helping them channel their money in the right place

Once they start making money, help them get the best out of every cent they make. Here some things you can suggest.

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Saving money for school fees. So, if they are still in primary school, high school, college, polytechnic or university, you can suggest they save 30% to 50% of what they make for fees. Place it in their account (or let them do it themselves) and then let nobody touch the money, including you. Only when the money is taken out to pay for fees, that is when it can be touched.

Paying education loans. If they have HELB loans or if you took bank loans to pay for their tuition, the income they make from freelancing should go towards paying down these debts quickly.

Using the money for offline projects like farming. Not all the money, but some of it. They can do poultry farming, pig farming, dairy farming, become a reseller for various cereals, keep bees for honey, grow vegetables and fruits, rear sheep, rabbits or goats.

Investing in NSE. They can put some of the money they make towards shares of some of the publicly listed companies in the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Saving with a SACCO. There are may good SACCOS in Kenya that your son or daughter can join to start saving money. Plus some of these SACCOS allow their members to borrow up to three times the amount they have saved. So, in cases of emergencies, having someone money saved in a SACCO can bring some relief to them.

Insurance. You can also suggest they take insurance cover in one or two areas. Life insurance for example. Or health insurance. Or general insurance from KCB.

The tips in this article should help your son or daughter get started and keep the momentum going.

Tell them to keep learning and testing new things – and to have a blast.

As long as they keep learning (from ebooks, online courses and Facebook groups), bidding on jobs (sending pitches) and delivering quality work whenever they are hired, they will do well.

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