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Navigating Creative Entrepreneurship & Freelancing During COVID-19 With Sazi Mbalekwa

Meet Sazi Mbalekwa; producer, production manager and freelance career consultant. Having worked on the sets of major motion and commercial productions, Sazi Mbalekwa is a budding young expert in her field. She holds a BA in Motion Film Production from the prestigious, AFDA, which has now propelled her to oversee creative executions on behalf of Viacom Media Networks, Disney Africa, Boiler Room, Ola Films, Giant 95, Eggs Films and continue to secure the trust of brand, film and television executives around South Africa. 

With her now four years of experience in full-time freelance creative projects, Mbalekwa is inviting more young South Africans to explore the over-mystified yet highly gratifying world of freelancing with her career consultancy offering. With the hopes to clarify what is often misunderstood about freelancing in the creative industries, she produces easy-to-access educational and advisory videos for new and prospective freelancers through her over-20 000-strong combined social media platforms, including YoutubeInstagram and Twitter. Content covered by Mbalekwa includes pitching yourself for opportunities, quoting, negotiating with clients and navigating creative entrepreneurship amongst others.

Below, Mbalekwa offers five essential tips on how creative freelancers may make themselves attractive hiring options, find and create new opportunities during the reality of COVID-19 effects on companies and clients:

  1. Many companies are currently experiencing changes and navigating hurdles that they have never encountered before. This means that there are more clients who are open to receiving suggestions that might help them get back on track. This is the best time to pitch yourself as a solution. Identify how you can help companies in your industry manoeuvre their business approach during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  1. Adjust your rate: businesses are losing money fast, so showing your understanding by adjusting your rate to be slightly more competitive than the standard might put you in a better standing to winning over the client.
  1. Add an additional service: What else can you do? Identify some of the other skills that you can monetize; maybe you are a photographer but can edit videos too. In a normal world, video editing is a skill that you don’t really rely on for an income because photography kept you busy but perhaps now is the time to dust of that skillset and put it work. 
  1. Start creating and packaging content on what you do. Are you a web designer? Why not create educational content on the most asked questions about web designing. The more people that know about you and your services, the greater your chances of landing a new client. 
  1. Reinvent yourself. After the pandemic dies down, things will not go back to what they were. Things will have changed and it will be the best time to demonstrate an acute awareness of the new times and ways of working that we are living in, in your services and practices. 

For further creative entrepreneurship and freelance consulting, connect with Sazi Mbalekwa on InstagramTwitter, and YouTube.

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