There are very many misconceptions about freelancing in Kenya. One of them is that you have to convince people through WhatsApp or any other social media platform to pay for a particular service, which often turns out to be an online scam.
When you think about it, you will realize that many people purporting to know about freelancing in Kenya are always trying to make you buy a virtual product or pay a certain deposit fee that would mysteriously multiply in a few hours or days.
If you have filtered out all that online trash and landed on this page, you are lucky. In this article, you will learn about freelancing in Kenya, the various types of this gig, and how to start and succeed. Just make sure you stick to the end.
Without further ado, let’s get our definitions straight.
What is freelancing in Kenya?
Freelancing is a form of self-employment. You get to offer your services to clients online who pay you before or after service. It all depends on the terms and conditions you set with your clientele. That said, it is essential to note that almost all freelancing jobs or hustles are online. Few offline freelancing cons have survived this decade, e.g., photography and freelance journalism.
You see, in the past, freelancing was less flexible than it is today. The most successful freelancers at the start of the 21st century were freelance journalists. However, these freelancers have become almost obsolete with the numerous social media platforms we have today.
Freelancing, not just in Kenya but the entire world, requires versatility. You will need to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the people.
Currently, there are many advancements in all fields of science and entertainment. With this comes an increased market gap for freelancers. Below is a list of the top profitable freelancing gigs in Kenya.
What are the best freelancing services/jobs to do in Kenya?
Blogging is writing and posting content on your website and monetizing it through AdSense or any other PPC (pay-per-click) company. With blogging, earnings are unlimited.
Despite much effort, top earners can make more than $5,000 (KES500,000) monthly from AdSense alone. This excludes affiliate marketing through Amazon, AliExpress, or any other company.
Do bloggers and other freelancers pay taxes in Kenya?
Bloggers are required by law to pay taxes. No clause in the constitution exempts bloggers, affiliate marketers, or any other online earner from paying taxes. However, many freelancers do not pay taxes on their online income. Many get away with this due to little or no scrutiny by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
Freelancers need to keep in touch with KRA terms and policies by filing monthly returns and paying taxes on time to avoid penalties and charges in court.
Generally, tax from blogging ranges from 10% to 30%.
#2. Content writing
Freelance content writing has several avenues that you may want to dive into. Of course, we have excluded blogging, as it has already been discussed above.
Content writing avenues include:
- Essential content writing – writing articles on a topic that clients can’t write themselves for posting on blogs or websites.
- B2B writing – writing articles for businesses to market to other companies.
- Copywriting – writing persuasive articles aimed at making sales- the highest-paid form of freelance writing.
- Technical writing – writing informative articles about a specific field of study, where having extensive knowledge in that field is an advantage, but it is possible to research and write about a new topic as long as you are a good writer.
#3. Social media management
When a social media personality needs someone to grow their account organically for them or manage it on their behalf because they are busy, they will look for a social media manager. In Kenya, social media managers have varying rates of pay.
It all depends on the status of your employer. If you work for a politician, you are assured of high monthly pay, ranging from about KES 50,000. On the other hand, other employers will pay an average of between KES 5,000 to KES 15,000 per month.
Despite being very lucrative, one employment criterion is a portfolio showing you can do the job. No one will hire you to manage their social media account if you have 200 followers on Facebook and 30 on Twitter. First, work on your socials, and then potential clients will contact you.
Honestly, I have previously lost a social media management job just because my Twitter account was weak. I had only 170 followers at the time, yet my potential employer wanted me to grow his base from 3,000 followers to 20,000+.
You see, I missed this chance despite having satisfied all other requirements, such as graphics design and brand management skills.
#4. Web development
Designing and managing a client’s website is very lucrative. You are guaranteed huge pay when large companies approach you to make them a well-optimized site.
All you need are basic programming skills and the ability to use WordPress, a Content Management Service (CMS).
Web developers with programming skills make more than those who use a CMS. This is because they are versatile and can make specific changes to the site according to the client’s needs.
Well-established developers are contracted by giant companies that pay not less than KES 50,000 for each developed website. In addition, these clients have to pay you to keep managing their site for the rest of the year.
Sounds good, right? Here is a sample of a portfolio that my programmer friend built so that he could attract clients for web development and other programming services.
#5. Video editing
Do you watch music videos or short entertainment clips on YouTube that have impressive graphics? These are all made by experienced video editors.
Video editors have exceptional knowledge of using software such as Premier Pro, After Effects, Light Room, etc.
Editing music clips and converting them into attractive clips could earn you an average of KES 20,000. Remember, these videos could be as short as 3 minutes or less.
#6. Mobile app development
Mobile app developers are high earners in this world of freelancing in Kenya. These developers earn a minimum of KES 100,000 for every Android or iOS app they develop.
Of course, this rate could be lower or higher depending on your client’s budget.
#7. Graphics Design
I saved the best for last.
Because graphics design is SO EASY, all you need to do is have a laptop, an internet connection, and good YouTube videos to teach you how to design your first concept.
What about Earnings?
You can make KES 2,000 per poster or logo design. Remember that designing a good poster will not take more than 2 hours. Of course, this depends on your level of experience.
I made my own after learning to make a poster in Adobe Illustrator. Here, I will tell you more about how I made my first earnings.
How much is a freelancer paid in Kenya?
Depending on the freelancing hustle you are into, payment varies depending on the terms you set up with your client. However, the table below lists the latest general earnings of freelancers per month.
|Freelancing Job/Hustle||Average Monthly earnings|
|Content Writing||10,000 – 50,000|
|Social Media Management||5,000 – 15,000|
|Web Development||10,000 – 150,000+|
|Video editing||20,000 – 200,000|
|Mobile app development||150,000+|
What are the most accessible freelancing jobs in Kenya?
Some freelancing jobs are more complex than others. Below is a list of the simplest to the most challenging freelancing employment in Kenya, in ascending order.
- Social Media Management
- Graphics design
- Data Entry
- Content writing
- UI/UX design
- Video Editing
- Web development
- Mobile app development
How do you start freelancing in Kenya with no experience?
Are you having no experience? Don’t get worried. Freelancing is so flexible that you sometimes don’t need a college degree to succeed. I’d advise you to visit YouTube and learn about any specific skill relevant to the freelancing gig you are targeting.
Once you get exceptionally good at giving a particular service, clients will be more attracted to your portfolio than your academic qualifications.
How to get your first freelancing job in Kenya
Getting your first freelance job will require combining several tools to succeed.
Firstly, you must have an excellent social media background so your clients can see you easily. Having a portfolio website will also put you on the right path – recommended but not mandatory.
You will then have to gain networking skills to connect with the right people who will propel you to success.
In addition, you have to be exceptional at what you offer to retain them even after attracting clientele.
Now that you have understood how to start freelancing in Kenya, it’s up to you to implement what you have just learned in this tutorial. Good Luck!