Are you looking to start a career in freelancing in Nigeria? With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, there’s never been a better time to start freelancing in Nigeria. Freelancing offers flexibility, the ability to work from anywhere, and the opportunity to work with clients from around the world. If you’re interested in starting your freelance career, here are 6 easy steps to get you started.
What is Freelancing and how does it work?
Freelancing is when company hires an independent worker for a job and pay per project, per task or based on the agreed terms. With freelancing, companies usually work remotely with freelancers and by leveraging the internet, young people can now earn a comfortable living including those in Nigeria through freelancing jobs by accepting, executing and delivering clients projects from anywhere around the world.
A popular way companies uses to hire freelancers is through freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr or through websites like LinkedIn which is dominated by professionals.
How Profitable is Freelancing in Nigeria?
Freelancing is one of the popular ways to make money online working from home by offering services to businesses around the world using smartphone/laptop with internet connection and a skill. According to latest research, freelancers earn $28 per hour on average and the global freelance market size is expected to reach $12 billion by 2028
Pros and Cons of freelancing:
Being a freelancer in Nigeria comes with various benefits and disadvantages, let’s consider some of them:
- Access to Global Clients: Being a freelancer, you are not just limited to working only with local clients with latest technologies and platforms, you can connect and work with different clients from around the world. The popularity of Freelancing has led to increase in remote working opportunities and this is now the perfect chance for you to have access to foreign clients and earn in dollars.
- Flexibility: As a freelancer, you can work when and where you want. You can choose to work from home or while on vacation. The flexibility that comes with freelancing increases a better work-life balance.
- Set your own Prices: You are at liberty to set or decide how much you want to charge for each of your services, this is one of the major benefits of freelancing and you also determine your earning potential by the amount of project you handle.
- Freedom of work and clients: You decide the kind of clients to work with including projects you handle based on your interest and criteria.
- Self Improvement: The freelancing industry is becoming competitive and to stand out of the crowd, you must continue to deliver the expected results for clients, improving your skillset and learning new skills will help you to gain clients trust
Lack of job security: You may get a lot of clients projects now and struggle to land more freelancing jobs in future, though freelancing has become really popular, but there is no guarantee of job security unlike being in a paid employment.
- Loneliness: In freelancing, oftentimes you work remotely which is usually from home and this can be lonely unlike in an office with other workers, this can lead to isolation and increase boredom.
- Lack of Employee Benefits: You are self employed and this means not having any employer to offer you benefit such as health insurance, pension and others that’s common with full-time job.
How to start Freelancing in Nigeria?
If you are interested in making money from freelancing in Nigeria, here is a step by step guide to get started:
Develop a Skill
In freelancing, you simply use your skill to offer services to businesses and earn revenue that’s the simplest definition and that means to start, you must develop and have a skill. There are many high in demand skills you can learn and Upwork recently release a list of most in demand skills for independent professionals and some of them include:
- Full stack, Front-End and Back -End Development
- Mobile App Development
- Website Design
- UI/UX Design
- Ecommerce Website Development
There are many other skills, simply choose the one that aligns with your interest and passion and then get courses or training to start learning. As an alternative, you can use free resources on Google and watch YouTube videos that are relevant to your skill.
Build your Portfolio
Having a portfolio will convince potential clients to hire you and you should have a way of displaying your portfolio in order to attract businesses. Building a website is one of the best ways to showcase your portfolio online and apart from that, it will also make clients to rust you, build your credibility and establish you as an authority within your niche.
Follow these steps to build your freelance website:
- Get a Domain and Web Hosting: A domain is the name of your site for example, yourbusiness.com while hosting is the server that store your website files and make it accessible online. You can buy a custom and affordable domain name from namecheap and also get a fast web hosting from Dreamhost, Greengeeks, Interserver and Namecheap
- Choose a Website Builder: WordPress is the no 1 website builder in the world and you can use it to build a professional website fir your freelance business. Once you have successfully sign up for a web hosting account, your provider will give you access to the cPanel where you can install WordPress on your server.
- Pick a Theme: We use Astra theme to build many of our clients websites and you can use it too and design your website, you can start with the free version which offers limited templates but the premium version offers more templates and advance features.
If you are a complete beginner without any portfolio, you can start by offering your services to family and friends, create personal projects and offer discounted rates.
If you are struggling to design a professional website for your freelance service, why not allow us to deliver a stunning and custom-made website for you in 7 days at affordable cost?
Join freelancing platforms
Freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr connect thousands of freelancers with clients from around the world, joining these platforms is one of the surest ways to get consistent clients projects and with increased competition, you should ensure your profile is unique in order to stand out . Follow these tips to increase your chances of getting hired:
- Ensure you have a complete profile
- Showcase your best work to attract clients
- Share your profile on social media to raise awareness
- Network with other freelancers
- Bid on jobs frequently especially if you are just starting
Other freelancing platforms you should consider joining are: Toptal, Freelancer, and People Per Hour.
Promote your services
If you offer the best services and have an awesome profile, if nobody knows about you gigs, I’m sorry you won’t generate sales, consider using other platforms apart freelancing websites to promote your services. Follow these marketing tips to promote your freelance services online:
- Design a website to showcase your service and your portfolio
- Use social media to generate awareness, publish content that educate and engage your users and also leverage social media advertising to reach a wider audience
- Use search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your website rank high on Google and other search engines for organic and visibility
- Take advantage of PPC ad campaigns on platform like Google to generate leads and quick traffic
- Build an email marketing list and send regular and relevant content to your subscribers, include a call to action to persuade them to learn more about your freelance services
Combine with Affiliate marketing
Combining your freelance service with affiliate marketing is a smart strategy to increase your earnings online. Look for an affiliate program that relate your your service, sign up, get your affiliate link, promote the products and earn commissions.
For example, if you are offering web design as a freelance service, sign up for web hosting service and teach people how to install WordPress and build their websites.
Scale your business with drop servicing
You can increase your income online by simply leveraging drop servicing and with this particular business model, all you do is to get projects from your clients, hand them over to less expensive freelancers, once completed, you deliver to your clients without doing the work yourself. Drop service has a high profit margin and will allow you to double your revenue online while working less.
Alternatives to Freelancing in Nigeria
If the thought of starting freelancing in Nigeria does not interest you, there are other businesses you can venture into and still make money online, you should consider the following business ideas:
- Blogging: Starting a blog still remains one of the best ways to make money online and this is because people will keep searching online to get information for what they need, but due to the increased competition, becoming successful in blogging requires you identify a niche and further discover a profitable sub-niche in order to stand out of the crowd.
There is a full article that will show you step by step how to start a successful blog in Nigeria
- Affiliate Marketing: This is a trending and profitable business idea and it involves you promoting other people’s products and earning a commission for every sale you generate. You simply identify an affiliate marketing platform, sign up, pick a product with your unique affiliate link, promote to your audience and earn your commission.
Check this article about Getting Started with Stakecut Affiliate Marketing
Amazon KDP: You can make money by creating and publishing eBooks on Amazon, it is east to start and requires your smartphone/Laptop, internet connection and research. This article about Amazon kdp with Smartphone will guide you.
Starting freelancing in Nigeria remains one of the ways to earn a living online, it gives you the opportunity to work remotely with businesses usually from the comfort of your home. Joining freelancing platforms also gives you access to work on projects from foreign clients and earning in dollars.