How to Become a Successful Freelancer in 2022: The Complete Guide

By Gebeya

May 12, 2022

Considering branching out as a freelancer? Wondering how to get a freelance job? Statistical data shows that Africa accounts for 10.1% of all freelancers globally, despite being the world’s second-most populous continent. Africa has immense potential yet to be explored.

Freelancing provides the opportunity to work on projects you have always desired with diverse teams across the world with the freedom to choose and decide how you work. The earning possibilities you have as a freelancer is unlimited. Unlike traditional jobs, where you have a fixed monthly salary, you can set and negotiate your work rates and earn higher as you move up the ladder to become a top freelancer.

What does it take to stand out? Being a top freelancer signifies that you as a talent, have a successful history of consistency and quality. In this article, you will learn the step-by-step guide on how to be a top-rated freelancer.

Top industries for freelancers

Fintech and Logistics are the biggest sectors in Africa, accounting for around 38% share of all sectors in the economy. Smart remote work directly translates into efficient results. In a survey done by researchers, it was noted that 232 out of 657 companies offered job opportunities in sales and marketing. Skilled professionals are wise to explore these verticals for freelance work.

Below are some of the most popular freelancing jobs in 2022, you may consider:

9 Tips for Becoming a Top Freelancer

The journey to becoming a top freelancer includes many parts, but we will focus on the most important three below:

  • Hard skills
  • Soft Skills
  • Client relations

1. Upskill on the latest hard skills

Whether in a technical or non-technical role, having the right skillset and experience to get the job done is the first step to being a top freelancer. Across practically every industry and skill set, clients are constantly looking to hire successful personnel to address their problems. Regardless of your area of expertise, a client is looking for a talent like you. To show you are qualified for the job, you need to showcase a compelling portfolio showcasing your work accomplishments and past projects.

2. Refine your soft skills

Soft skills are character attributes and interpersonal skills that distinguish a person’s relationships with other people. In many organizations, they are considered as an addition to hard skills. As a freelancer, your soft skills have more to do with who you are than what you know. They are skills you may have learned through experience or developed through life lessons. They enable you to interact effectively with others. You must possess these key important soft skills to to become a top freelancer.

3. Put your customer first

Your client remains the most important factor in any business relationship. Keeping your client top-of-mind and aiming to serve the customer to the best of your capabilities will guide smart decision-making. From the very first interaction to the delivery of the final product.

4. Be an expert problem-solver

This requires critical thinking and the ability to pose questions to oneself about a situation. Working through a series of of “what if?” scenarios and observing what results you get is an excellent way to improve your problem-solving skills as a freelancer. Turn challenges into opportunities.

data engineers

5. Work solo, cooperate with a team

As a freelancer, you might primarily work alone; but there will be instances when you will need to collaborate with other freelancers or even work with full-time workers of an organization so you need to be open to learning from others and be open to collaborating with them for a collective goal.

6. Communicate early and often

Effective communication is undoubtedly the most crucial skill for a freelancer to refine. As a freelancer, your ability to communicate effectively with clients, suppliers, and colleagues might mean the difference between success and failure. For example, being punctual for meetings, and especially giving notice if you’ll be late, shows how considerate you are of your client’s time and how much you respect team members schedule.

7. Be open to critique

As a freelancer, your ability to accept and learn from criticism will test your resolve. Even if you’re proud of the work you’ve done for a client, they might not share your enthusiasm. They can also believe it doesn’t meet the brief and isn’t appropriate. Consider whether you are truly willing to learn and improve as a person and as a freelancer.

8. Flex your flexibility muscles

The ability to be flexible with your availability and project timelines is a valuable soft skills every freelancer should have. You have to be open to new challengers on the job . . A client may push a deadline forward, or a new client may inquire about a project that you will need to fit into your schedule at short notice, your flexibility will help you navigate through this and adapt quickly.

9. Hold yourself accountable, and let others

Being accountable is one of the most important skills you can posses as a freelancer. This is both a soft and hard skill and it involves taking responsibility, or standing up to be counted, or owning your mistakes. The most important thing to remember as a freelancer is that you are responsible for everything you do, every action.

Closing Thoughts: Find a Trusted Freelance Platform

Gebeya is an online freelance talent marketplace for the Best of African Talent. Top companies across the globe are matched to a multicultural, multilingual talent pool of freelancers who are dedicated, professional and highly tested and trusted. Quality matters most when we talk about working in the freelance industry; quantity shouldn’t be a concern. Nevertheless, there persists a large need for skilled freelancers all around the globe. Gebeya aims to solve this demand problem by leveraging professionals for companies in need. 

The marketplace is home to hundreds of skilled professionals working in freelance roles. Companies across the globe are facing the need for such talent. Growing nations in Africa prioritizing digital transformation must make use of such an opportunity.