Published 2023-07-18Blog Poster

The Secret Behind Making Money as an Iraqi Freelancer

Hasan M.Mudafer

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:

  1. Marketing Yourself: Let people see you

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.

  1. Specialist vs Generalist

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.

  1. Use every platform to your advantage

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.

  1. Work on your sales skills

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.

  1. Constantly update your pricing strategy

Keep an eye on the market that you work in because with time it's very likely that:

  • Prices change: Freelancing is a fresh market and rates are always changing depending on many factors such as demand and supply.
  • Cost of living may increase: The cost of living usually increases with time because of factors like inflation which mean that you have to gradually change your pricing depending on the economic situation.
  • Your skill and expertise will develop with time, which will allow you to charge higher rates for the services you provide over time, read more about pricing strategy here.

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.