Written by: Hasan M.Mudafer
You have to wonder sometimes, why do some freelancers make so much money compared to others? While skills and expertise play a large role, it's not everything. There is a secret behind their success as a freelancer in Iraq, and that secret is…
✨Large population, small talent pool✨
What does that mean for us?
Well, it means that there is a big problem. Although Iraq has a large population of over 40 million people, many lack the professional skills required to satisfy the needs of the rapidly growing private sector. This leaves many sectors and roles understaffed, and the high demand for certain skills and expertise is met with a low supply of workers which creates a gap in the market.
Now for the good part, every gap is an opportunity that you can take and use to your advantage. There is a high demand for freelancers, especially in the IT sector for jobs like graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video editing, data analysis, etc
This research by Kapita shows the number of specialized skills required in the Iraqi market. All these skills and job titles can be filled by freelancers and are highly in demand.
Contrary to what many people think, the Iraq freelance market offers many opportunities and a good future for you to establish a career and skyrocket your earnings.
Now that you know the secret behind earning money as a freelancer, here are five steps to use that information to your advantage:
No one knows how good you are except for you. This is why you must market yourself and build your personal brand to increase the number of clients that you have and help you get the work that aligns with your expectations. You can market yourself and your services by cold calling, content marketing, and building an online profile. Read more about the importance of branding here.
Specialists have deep knowledge and experience in one or two skills in their field while generalists have a broader skill set and experience in different fields. Specialists earn more money per project but have fewer clients, however, generalists get paid less per project but have more clients.....the polar opposites.
The choice is completely yours but you have to research and choose which skill you’re going to monetize.
An easy way to maximize your profits is to sign up for freelancing websites where you can find a variety of clients that need your services. Make sure to research the platform first and see if its environment aligns with your expectations. Job Studio offers you a productive environment where you can showcase your profile and source clients.
We have covered marketing, but what about sales?
It's very important that you learn how to negotiate with clients successfully and upsell your services and or create customized offers to your clients that satisfy both parties. Marketing can only bring you leads and potential clients but when the client starts discussing the job with you, it's time for your sales skills to shine and help you secure the best deal.
Keep an eye on the market that you work in because with time it's very likely that:
At the end
Maximizing your earnings as an Iraqi freelancer comes down to understanding and leveraging the unique opportunities presented by the country's lack of skilled workers.
We should point out that this deficiency is not due to Iraqis lacking the intelligence for such roles but mainly it is due to the lack of an efficient education system that focuses on critical thinking rather than memorization, lack of professional training and human capital investment.