Jamaican Freelance Market; Untapped

Shandean™

Freelancers are persons who are self-employed to provide services (usually tailored) to clients through short, medium or long-term. As a freelancer, we usually have multiple clients at any given time or successive short-term projects. I’m a freelancer myself.

If you nurture your freelancing careers, it can become a viable career option, especially if you are a student, before facing the harsh realities of the unrepentant wave that is the job market.

Becoming A Freelancer

Becoming a freelancer is easy, in fact, if you have a skill or you are willing to develop and perfect one, the discipline to work without supervision and an entrepreneurial mindset, you are ready for freelancing. You just need a computer, a phone and the internet depending on the services you offer.


Booming Industry? 

It sure is! The freelancing phenomenon is especially attractive with the benefits and opportunities that increase steadily on  daily basis to work…

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A Beginner’s Freelancing Guide

If you have been following our social media pages, you’ve noticed that we provide freelancing tips daily. Freelancing is a lot of trial an error, and we need as much help as we can get starting out. We’ve put together a basic beginner’s freelancing guide will help first time freelancers or the potential freelancer to become better organized before you jump into the waters and getting their feet wet.

To Do List

Start a Blog

Whatever you’re freelancing in, blog about it or blog about yourself (depending on your niche). Help people to connect the dots to you and your product/service. Remember that freelancing is sales. This is how you will position yourself as an expert in your field.

Set up a Work Station

Wherever it is, set up a place so that you know that this is your workspace. It doesn’t matter where it is, as long you are able to be productive.

Plan Your Day

Plan your day even if you have no jobs. Looking for work and establishing yourself takes time and effort. So even if you plan to search and apply for jobs all day, put it on your schedule for however long you plan to do it and stick to it.

Create a Portfolio

You will need jobs of reference. If you have none, create some. Take on a friend as a client at a lower cost or for free to be able to use them as reference, for recommendation and as a part of your portfolio.

Get the Word Out

Use social media, emails, flyers, tell your friends. People can’t hire you if they don’t know you or know what you are doing.

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Resources

Work Tools

Laptop/Desktop

The degree to which a computer is required based on what it is that you do. If you freelance doing writing or graphics, you would need one to begin as you are unable to work without one. If you freelance tutoring or doing makeup, the need is a little less immediate.

Cell Phone

You’ll need to be accessible to your clients and potential clients. Even if they aren’t able to reach you immediately by popular social media channels, they should at least be able to call or text you.

Internet Service

Websites

Upwork (upwork.com), Freelancer (freelancer.com), Fiverr (fiverr.com), Freelance JA  (freelanceja.com) (For Jamaicans)

You can find jobs of practically any nature on the following websites. The more jobs you do on them, the easier it is to get others. The hardest job to land is your first.

Freelance JA Blog (freelancejablog.wordpress.com)

Follow our blog for useful articles, tips and information relevant to freelancing.

Pixabay (pixabay.com) & Creative Commons (creative commons.com)

Find great free stock photos you can edit for personal or commercial use.

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 Apps

Toggl

 Time your work and create invoices easily for time jobs or just to pace yourself.

 Remember The Milk

This is an excellent to-do list app.  You don’t need to set it every day. You can set a task to repeat daily, weekly, or indefinitely. You can also set work tasks and personal tasks with different ranks of priority.

 UpWork, Freelancer

Be able to respond to messages and job offers in real-time. That gives you an advantage. Remember accessibility is key.

Google Drive, Google Keep

Great for having easy access to documents

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10 General Tips

  1. Create a logo. Freelancing requires professionalism and you are your brand. Represent it well.
  2. Set work hours for yourself. Whether 8am – 4pm or 11pm – 5am (that’s the beauty of freelancing), have a scheduled work day.
  3. Designate a workspace. Whether that’s a home office, just a workspace at home, a coworking space or just a chill spot.
  4. Some clients can pay in benefits if not cash. An experience or opportunity in exchange for service is sometimes an option.
  5. Connect with other freelancers for advice, assistance and networking opportunities.
  6. Re-Invest some profits in work tools that’ll increase your productivity. Eg. Faster Internet, new laptop, etc.
  7. Be Flexible. Work with your clients to reach mutual points on projects. Clients like flexible freelancers!
  8. Don’t be afraid to say no. Set boundaries with clients early on.
  9. Ask for a down payment (% of your charge) before, especially on large projects. A big issue in freelancing is getting paid after the work is completed.
  10. Ask clients for feedback. You’ll know what areas to improve and they will appreciate that you are invested enough to ask.

We hope you find these tip useful to get you started. Happy Freelancing!

Freelance JA Goes Live

Press Release:

February 1 saw the live launch of Freelance JA Connection Network website, an online advertising platform for freelancers in Jamaica.

The website is an online advertising board, where a freelancer’s name, services offered, parish located and contact information for a low annual subscription cost. The website is free to use to find freelancers.

The company was created to help propel the local market in the exploding phenomenon of freelancing, a recently booming and flexible alternative form of entrepreneurship. With the harsh economic climate, tertiary graduates are encouraged to pursue opportunities of entrepreneurship. Freelancing offers that option to the individual with a skill the ability to chart a career that is tailor made. There are many platforms geared towards fostering making money online.

Managing Director, Shandean Williams-Reid said that the website was created after noticing that the local market of freelancers was underserved.

“As a freelancer myself, I was looking for freelancing opportunities locally and realized that unless there was a chain of persons who know someone, who knows someone, you really didn’t have a local starting point.” Reid said.

“All the other platforms are for online jobs in the UK, US, Asia etc, with hundreds of thousands competing and charging a 20% markup on every job. It’s not exactly helpful to the local freelancer looking to build a local reputation if they have specialized skills. Entrepreneurship is constantly advertised as the way forward and it is.”

Once an individual possess the skills needed discipline required to work from home, they already have all they need to get started.” The website also invites the posting of freelance jobs, so as to encourage freelancers with the required expertise to apply.

To enlist, freelancers can visit the website, www.freelanceja.com or send an email to info@freelanceja.com.