The decision to become a freelancer in Nigeria can be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. Especially if you are looking to get new side hustles or desire to become a full-time freelancer.
Freelancing as a Nigerian, offers you the opportunity to earn in Dollar and spend in Naira. The freedom that comes with freelancing is second to none, as you can work anything of the day that you pleases.
It’s no big deal to see freelancers in Nigeria make a thousand dollar per month (approximately 450,000 Naira). This is even considered a small earning in as much as professional freelancing is considered.
Now, how many companies in Nigeria can pay their staff 450,000 Naira per month? And this is very possible with freelancing.
The earning potential as a freelancer in Nigeria is unlimited. The only barrier to your earning is the number of hours you are ready to commit to working.
The demand for freelancers is at an all-time high as the gig economy continue to gain traction and the need for businesses to minimize expenses as having full-time staff is very expensive.
Who is a Freelancer?
A freelancer is an individual or independent contractor that works for an employee or agency on a contract basis. Either for a short term, long term, or on a project basis.
A freelancer can offer his professional services to different employers at the same time without any legal issues. The freelancer works for these contractors without any form of long term commitment on their parts. Once the contract ends, it’s goodbye for both parties.
The freelancing contract can be on a project basis (When the task or project is completed) or repeatedly (for some months). The contract duration is different for each niche.
Why You Should Work As A Freelancer In Nigeria
There are many reasons for you to consider becoming a freelancer in Nigeria. I think the best of those reasons is the ability to earn in dollars.
The Nigeria Naira is highly unstable, losing its value every day. When you earn in a Dollar, Naira instability does not affect your income negatively.
The second reason I want you to become a is it offers you the opportunity to become your own boss. As a freelancer, you can select the type of clients you want to work with, and the time you want to spend working.
How To Become A Freelancer In Nigeria
Do Your Market Research
Freelancers get paid for the value that they provide in the marketplace. All freelancing skills do not attract the same fee. You need to conduct market research to determine which skills will give the highest return in the marketplace.
It’s advisable to check out the popular freelance platforms for their list of the most in-demand skills and determine the one you want to offer. You should look out for professional services that are in demand and also consider a high-income job.
Most in-demand freelance skills in 2021
Here are some of the best skills for freelancer in Nigeria:
- Content Writing.
- Graphic Design
- WordPress Development.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Paid Search Management.
- Graphic Design.
- Cloud Computing.
- Data Science & Analysis.
- Web Design And Development.
- Virtual Assistant
- Social Media Management
And if you don’t have the required skills, you can always learn online. There are many learning platforms online where you can learn these skills for free.
As a freelancer, you have the liberty to offer more than one professional service. That’s for example, you can be a freelance writer and also a social media manager.
The more skills you have, the better, especially as a newbie in the freelance space.
Build a Portfolio
Now that you have settled on high-income and in-demand skills. The next thing to do is to build your portfolio.
What is a freelancing Portfolio?
A portfolio is a compilation of your work samples. It is a testament to your skills, qualification and training.
A portfolio shows your future employers that you are competent in doing the job done because you have done something similar in the past.
When it comes to building your portfolio as a freelancer, you may want to work on different projects to show your versatility.
As a content writer, you might want to write articles in different niches like business and finance, cryptocurrency, make money online, and many more. This will show that you can handle content writing in any niche your clients may be in.
As a new freelancer, you might not have the work samples required to build your portfolio. The two things you can do depending on your niche is to:
- Look for volunteering opportunities and offer your skills as a volunteer. This will give you the chance to test your skills and get feedback. You can then add the experience to your portfolio.
- The second way to build your portfolio is to get other freelance job briefs and work on them. As a video editor, you can get video online as edit to your own taste to show your editing skills. This strategy applies to those in design, writing, programming and other spaces.
Make sure you put out your best foot when it comes to your freelance portfolio.
Join Freelance Marketplace
As your freelance portfolio is ready, the next thing is to start thinking about getting clients.
There are many ways to get clients as a freelancer, but one of the best and easiest ways to land freelancing clients is in the freelance marketplace.
The freelance platforms are where potential employers come to source talent for their gigs. The freelance websites are highly competitive, but with your superb profile (that’s why it is good to have a good portfolio), landing clients will not be a problem.
In the beginning, you might not earn much, but as you land many gigs and they give you good ratings. You will be able to land more clients.
Promote Your Freelance Services
Getting gigs on freelance platforms might not be enough to get you towards that a thousand dollar earning goal.
Let face it, these platforms are highly competitive, with clients looking to get quality professional service at the lowest price possible.
Promote your freelance services across different social media platforms. LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to start.
There are several groups on Facebook that aim to match freelancers with potential clients. Join these groups and apply for gigs on these platforms.
Also, network with other freelancers both online and offline. Let people know what you do so that they can recommend clients to you.
Build your Brand
Now that you have got the ball rolling as a freelancer, the next thing you have to do is to build your brand.
You don’t want to be another faceless freelancer making a couple of grand. People have to know what you are about.
The first thing you need to do is to specialize. You don’t want to be a “general-purpose” freelancer. There’s a reason specialist doctors earn more money than general doctors.
Look at your niche and choose a profitable and in-demand sub-niche to focus on. Don’t just be a content writer. You can become a technical writer, case study writer, responsive email writer, etc.
Choosing a sub-niche doesn’t mean you will not do other works that come your way. In fact, clients will still give you jobs in different niches but, you have to make sure that you are known for one thing.
A good way of building your brand is to maximize your social media pages and get a business website. The website should showcase your work portfolio, and clients feedback on your past gigs.
You should also make it easy for potential clients to reach you, always ensure your social media DMs are open and include your email address on your pages. You can embed a contact form on your website.
Learn how to pitch your service
This is one significant aspect of freelancing many freelancers don’t know about. You can not make $10,000 per month bidding for $10 gigs on Fiverr. You need to learn how to pitch yourself to clients that are willing to pay $2,500 monthly.
It’s every gig that is advertised. The ability to find potential clients who need your services and pitch your services to them will be the difference between making $10,000 per month or making $1,000 per month.
The majority of the high-income gigs are not advertised. You will have to send cold emails to the companies to get these jobs.
That’s how top freelancers in the game make their money. LinkedIn is a good source for getting these clients.
- Make a list of potential employers using LinkedIn or other platforms.
- Get their email using one of those email extraction software.
- Send them a short and straight to the point cold email, with a call to action for them to get back to you.
With these processes, you can land more high-income clients than on freelance platforms.
Have A Steady Source of Income
Let’s be real. Freelancing is not as easy as I might have made it seem. It’s not everybody that makes $1000 per month in their first three months of freelancing.
You will need a source of income to cater for your needs before your freelancing takes up. Remember that you will also be paying for data subscription and electric bills or fuel for the generator.
It’s advisable to start freelancing as a side hustle. When it’s now making you enough money, you can then resign and focus on your freelancing career.
If you have little Savings, that will be enough for you for at least 3 months, then you can start freelancing.
Freelancing offers you the opportunity to earn in dollars and work as your own boss. You get to sell your skills to employers for a fee while working at your leisure.
Also, remember to get yourself a freelance mentor, that will hold your hands in your freelance journey.
I have shown you how easy it’s to get started as a freelancer in Nigeria. What is holding you back from starting your freelancing career today? Let me know in the comment box below.