We are all used to our formal education system, where a child doesn’t go astray from what is taught in the school syllabus. A child is only nurtured according to a defined path of education, not having the privilege to have other defined extracurricular activities.
Some NGOs understand that gap/changes in the learning system as per technological changes by providing chances for secondary schools students in developing countries to have extra studies, especially digital skills that will help them adapt and evolve in the digital era.
This is the story of a young girl, among many others, who has been empowered by digital skills to achieve not so much but at her age, a lot in her career and life from an NGO known as Apps and Girls. Highlighting a story of the determination of a young girl in the digital era.
Her name’s Doreen Fatuma Habib, Currently a 3rd year student at the Tanzania Institute of Accountancy (TIA) pursuing a degree in marketing and public relations. Her journey in digital technology goes back to 2019 when she graduated from her O-level studies.
She then joined Apps and Girls, which gives girls in secondary schools opportunities to learn digital technology. Basically, she learned how to code and how to create websites and applications for use. These skills helped her come up with a website.
Her first website, Doreefy, where people could see job advertisements, was a product of this training. In 2020, when she joined A-level, she had a chance to teach other students at O-level within the same school how to code, create websites, and develop applications through her knowledge.
It wasn’t all smooth to date; this website was shut down in 2021 because she couldn’t afford to pay the hosts of her website. That didn’t hold her back; she still uses social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to keep posting job advertisements through her Doreefy account.
Doreen can’t forget the chances she got at Apps and Girls in 2019. They were involved in the first global challenge that happened to be held in Dubai. And she got an opportunity to represent her country, Tanzania.
The focus was on creating robots that could be used to collect waste in oceans. With other members, they learned and created a competition. Though they didn’t win as a group, the experience and exposure gained from attending it were enough treasures to be kept.
In the future, she plans to revamp her website and add a shopping section for her clothes and snack business. Isn’t that enough to brighten up your life as a youth? Empower yourself through the digital economy.
Being in the 21st century is a blessing, through digital we are able to witness different journeys of youth at young ages being empowered by digital skills to discover their talents and make an impact in their life and communities.
Have you just graduated from UDSM and don’t know what to do next? Still at SAUT or any college and feel like the future of employment is uncertain? Don’t sit with your skills; get started with freelancing.
Online freelancing may be a mere story because it’s not a common way of working in Tanzania. But the story of Baraka Mafole, a successful freelance digital marketer, may be an example of this new way of employment.
Here are steps to get you started:
1. Choose one monetizable skill
There are many high-value skills that will get you paid in 2023 and beyond. According to Upwork’s In-Demand Skills 2023, the top skills businesses seek from skilled freelancers are found in Technology, Marketing, Customer Service, Accounting & Consulting, and Design & Creative skills. See the infographic below 👇🏼
To start your freelancer career, pick any of the skills you’re interested in, study about it online and start charging for it as a service.
No one wants to hire a freelancer without knowing what to expect; a mock portfolio will speak volumes about the quality of your work, more so than a CV. Have a sample of your personal work that you did to showcase your abilities and qualities to prospective clients.
3. Create your offer
Consider the service you provide to your client and make an offer on how much you will charge for that particular service. Make sure your offer meets the quality of work a client expects from you.
4. Plan your pricing
To get a base for what to charge per project, look at the pricing of freelancers who offer similar services to yours. Don’t undercharge or overcharge; charge according to the value of the work you are putting in.
5. Set Work Terms
Determine how you are going to provide your service in terms of payment model, delivery time, reviews, and other important requirements. All of this should be written into a contract to establish a clear working environment and understand the boundaries of both parties.
6. Reach out to 10 people every day
Who are the people that you’re looking for to use your freelancing service? Where can you find them? Most are found on social media, where you can send them personalized emails, DMs, or a direct call and ask for a chance to pitch your offer.
An example of a reach-out message with your offer:
Hello Shukuru, I came across Tanzlite Digital on Instagram and noticed that you guys haven’t posted for months. I’m reaching out to see if you may need a hand on keeping your page updated with engaging educational, humorous, and even entertaining posts around your industry.
I am just starting my freelancing journey and here is my mock portfolio.
If the idea of keeping your page updated sounds great to you, I can do that for you for an entry fee of Tsh XXXXX per month. Let me know what you think.
7. Follow-Up and Book Calls
After reaching out, make sure to follow up and create a connection. Ask them for a response to know where they stand regarding your offer. Don’t get tired of checking them out.
8. Repeat the process
It won’t take more than 10 days of constant dedication to steps 6 and 7 before you find your potential client. Keep revising other steps whenever necessary to upgrade your profile after getting your first client.
The job market in Tanzania has become intensely competitive. Everyone is a graduate these days. You have two choices; find a normal job in a company (if you’re lucky), or put yourself in the open market (the internet) where there are millions of people willing to pay for your services.
Above all, you need determination, consistency, and a commitment to continuous learning.
Thank you for reading. I am Geraldina Komba, I write about the digital economy, freelancing and personal branding.
Companies are now abandoning traditional marketing methods and invest millions of money into online marketing and digital branding.
These are the top 5 highest paying jobs in digital marketing industry so far.
Digital Project Management/Planning
Salary in US ranges between $78,750 to $118,000 while In UK it is from £60,000 to and £80,000.
Job Roles: Digital project managers are essential for overseeing the implementation of a variety of digital campaigns and strategies. Main duties often include establishing and documenting goals and objectives, creating comprehensive project plans, setting timelines and project milestones, and allocating/managing budgets.
Salary in the US ranges between $1,250 to $115,000. In the UK it’s from £70,000
Job Roles: Developing and managing a complete content strategy that is tailored to a company’s digital strategy objectives, as well as the needs and preferences of their target audience. Being able to conduct content audits, create style guides, populate editorial calendars, and where, required, either create or curate relevant, high-quality content.
Salary in the UK is between £350,000 to £70,000. In US it’s from $90,000 to $126,000
Job Roles: To optimize product pages, from creating compelling descriptions to the perfect placement of buttons and CTAs with the goal of increasing conversions. Ability to using analytics and heat mapping tools to identify patterns in website user behavior and make changes accordingly.
Digital Media Manager
Salary in the UK is between £41,00 to £70,000. In the US it’s from $70,000.
Job Roles: Digital Media Managers are responsible for delivering multi-channel marketing campaigns and defining a brand’s digital strategy and messaging, with the intention of driving awareness, consideration and adoption of your organization’s product/service offerings. There’s often a strong focus on paid media channels, including social, display, programmatic and retargeting channels. A Digital Media Manager’s key objectives include driving online sales (sometimes in collaboration with e-commerce specialists), delivering revenue and developing new commercial opportunities through strategic management and optimization.
Brand Media Manager
Salary in the UK ranges between £40,000 to £53,000. In the US it’s from $66,000 to $98,000.
Job Roles: Brand marketing involves having a detailed understanding of a variety of content formats (both visual and written) and distribution methods and being able to utilize them in order to increase engagement, create brand advocates and encourage repeat sales. As a brand marketing specialist, you will be able to produce tight creative briefs in line with your brand goals when engaging external stakeholders.
In countries like Tanzania where Digital Marketing is still growing, an individual with a digital marketing role in a company may cover all of the roles above and even more. Even salary standards are not yet known.
All you need to keep up with today’s digital world is a smartphone and a laptop. And good English of course. If you are like me (I hate being left out in this fast-changing world), you’d probably have learned a few digital skills by now. The world is becoming digital. And so should you.
Here’s a random list of things you can do to make sense of the digital world. Perhaps even develop a career and earn a living out of it. Thanks to distance learning, you can even enroll in an institution remotely.
You can do web designing
Thanks to automation tools like WordPress, now everyone can become a web designer with zero coding skills. I created this very website using no coding at all. However, if you are looking to establish yourself as a web designer, you’ll need to learn at least basic coding skills like HTML and CSS. You can create your own blog and start earning from it by placing ads, selling e-books, or writing sponsored articles on it.
Social media marketing
Ever heard of a job called social media manager or social media handler? You’ll excel in this field if you are passionate about social media and have good communication skills. Companies get on social media platforms to engage and build relationships with their customers as well as getting new ones.
Managers are also aware of how overwhelming it is to run a business and keep an eye on online conversations. They need someone to do this. You can be the one. You can also use social media to promote your own service or products.
If you are like me, (I hate the learning curve of photoshop) Canva is there for you. It is a simplified graphic designing platform for everyone to use. Thanks to Melanie Perkins for bringing graphic design to everyone. I do lots of designing for my digital agency using Canva.
What is the largest search engine next to Google? Is it Yahoo? Or Bing? The answer is YouTube. People spend a lot of time watching videos online. Many companies need to be exactly where their people are. If you’re good at making videos then you are the most wanted person in the job market.
Content Writing and Copywriting
Everyone can write but not everyone can write for a company’s reputation. Especially online reputation. Companies are looking for someone who can create content that’s not only about their products and services but content that builds trust in their audience. Are you good at storytelling? You could be the next content writerto be hired.
How about Influencer Marketing?
People are now becoming brands and brands are trying to be people. Managers are looking for credible third parties to push their brand’s awareness to people. If you have a bigger following on social media and have the ability to engage them, you can approach big businesses and brands and offer to help them reach a bigger audience (your audience). Think of Idris Sultani and Uber in Tanzania. Your online visibility is a goldmine! Start digging.
Job searching and networking
If you can’t use the internet for learning new skills, you can use it to land your next dream job.
The truth is, some of us will not rely on family connections. We will have to build ourselves from scratch. If you are like me, who grew up in the village where the only connection my parents could give is to introduce me to a fellow farmer, then you have no choice than to invest in your online presence. There are professional platforms like LinkedIn where you can showcase your skills and connect with hiring managers.
Every rising sun presents an urgent need for new and relevant skills. Schools give us organized education but the internet gives us everything. With the increased access to free information, you can learn just about anything online. I have honed my skills in digital marketing and writing by reading articles and taking courses online. The world needs those who are comfortable with learning new skills every day —lifelong learners.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
As managers are launching their businesses online, the struggle becomes how to be visible on top of search engine results. Every business online wants more traffic, more leads, and more sales. However, this is not something that can be achieved easily. It requires a dedicated digital strategy. If you happen to be good at these skills, everyone is looking for you.
You can learn Web Analytics
Today’s world is about data. Data is the most valuable commodity just like it used to be with factories during the industrial revolution. Many companies have a website, they have social media accounts and they run ads. But they don’t monitor their online efforts.
They don’t know what is working and what isn’t. They have no ideas about what people do when they visit their sites. If you’re good at analyzing data, you can help businesses make data-driven decisions or implement these skills on your own online platforms.
Just like social media, email is a great way for businesses to engage with their customers. Today’s email marketing is built on people who have opted to receive information about your services through email. It starts with the subscription button. Then what happens after that can grow or kill your business. This is why people who know what they are doing are highly needed. Think you can do it? Go for it.
Paid Per Click Ads – PPC
Sometimes as a business, you just need to get in front of your customers online real quick. Well, you need to pay for that. Paying isn’t the hard part though, but creating a great display advertisement can be very challenging. Now, whether you want to implement PPC on your own online campaigns or use it as a service to offer to others, you can start by learning it online.
The opportunities in the digital world are endless. I just shared a few of them. These opportunities are not limited to coders only. There is a place for everyone in technology. You just need to find out where your interests are.