Freelancing in Nigeria: Guide on How to Become a Good Freelancer and Best Freelance Websites

In recent years, the freelancing industry has been rapidly growing at a record rate. According to Financial Times, it is reported to have increased by about 12%.

This growth has seen jobs posted on freelancing sites to have had about a 50% increase in engagements in 1 year. That is an increase from 200,000 to 300,000 job engagements.

“In 2017, I made a friend online via Steemit. Joe and I had a thing for Chess Games, so he invited me to play with him online.

He sent me a lichess.org invitation link, and we played. He was a better player. We got to know each other better, and we became good friends.

Joe is a full-time freelancer that makes about $100 per hour. He develops and maintains websites using Drupal.”

This growth can be traced back to the need for individuals to work from home and also the need for liberty in career pursuance.

These days, there is a lot of advocacy about the need for people to start working from home, especially with the rise of recent events worldwide.

You may have wondered why I chipped in on my friend’s story; he told me how much he dreads working under a boss. For him, it’s about freedom!

He told me he could never return to seeking 9-5 jobs. He tried it before, and it didn’t work for him. Now he’s doing well with freelancing.

Because you somehow landed on this page reading this article, I assume you are here to see how you can freelance jobs with the skills you possess, or you have already started but want to improve on it. This article will show you how to create even with no experience.

There are a lot of benefits that come with freelancing. You’ll be able to work on your own time and at your pace. No boss to order you around. No headache from commuting long hours going and coming from the workplace, among other perks and benefits.

Since you are giving or have given freelance a shot, I will gladly show you how to start freelancing in Nigeria and become a great freelancer, as my friend taught me. All you have to do is – follow my step-by-step guide:

Acquire a Skill or Craft

If you already have a skill you are good at, skip to the next step, but if you don’t, you need to read this to learn what skill is required to become a freelancer.

The fact is, you can become a freelancer with just about any skill you can think of.

Selecting a skill can be made easy if you think about your hobby or about what you enjoy so much seeing people doing it. 

Before you choose a skill you want to practice freelancing, you must exercise a little mind and answer some questions.

Questions like; 

Is this what I love doing, or is it what I’d love to do for a long hour without getting bored?

What time duration will it take me to master this skill or craft? 

Am I competent to learn this skill?

What are the basic requirements I need to start working on this skill? Here, you want to answer if you need a lot of money to get tools or even buy courses.

If all the answers to the questions above are satisfactory for you, there’s nothing else stopping you from getting that skill set.

Whether you have decided to learn Website designing, graphic design, writing skills, video editing, or even color painting, there’s always a job for you as a freelancer.

No matter what skill set you to possess, there’s a client out there waiting for you. Sometimes you may even get offers outside your acquired skill domain; take it and outsource it.

After you have acquired skill, the next thing is for you to start, but you have to start small. Don’t rush it!

Read Also: 10 Cheap Lucrative Businesses In Nigeria (2022)

Start From The Scratch

To be a successful freelancer, there are no two ways to start from scratch.

Although there’s no absolute rule if you can start, you should start small and learn in the process. You may ignore this advice if you have a huge budget to play around with but if you don’t – take it seriously.

However, there are several ways to start, but I recommend you start by registering with some freelancing websites on the internet. Examples are Upwork.com and Fiverr.com.

Sign up or create an account with anyone of your choice. Post job gigs and wait for your clients to contact you.

There are so many of these websites, and I will give you insights on some other ones we have in Nigeria towards the end of this article.

Build Your Brand

After you must have gotten some freelancing jobs from the websites you register with – you would want to build your brand in a unique way to be able to withstand competition in the industry.

Freelancing is gaining popularity every day, and that is making it to become even more competitive.

To stay afloat with the harsh tides of the competition, you must build a formidable brand.

Over time, your brand will become your identity, and it should distinctively describe what you do and your unique ways of approaching your clients’ job offers.

To build a unique and outstanding brand, get a great and resounding brand name that is related to what services you offer. Let your brand name alone speak for you.

You may need a website or a blog where you share ideas and insights on the jobs you offer in your freelancing niche.

Also, you need an active social media account that gets engagements from past and prospective clients. So it’s better to get on the social media platforms earlier at the start of your freelancing career.

Niching down will also position you as an authority and expert in what you do in the eyes of your potential clients. For instance, if you’re a web developer, clearly state your specialty – whether you use Drupal, WordPress, etc.

In essence, build a beautiful brand that communicates your specialization to your clients before they contact you.

Build a Portfolio and Show Testimonials

In freelancing, before any client trusts you with their job, they want to see what similar job you have done in the past. So, it’s a world of ‘what you see is what you get for clients, and everyone wants to get the best. Nobody wants to hire a freelancer with no experience.

Most potential clients won’t even bother about how long you have been into this freelancing; they want to ensure you can do justice to their requirements.

I mentioned that you might need to build a website for your brand (although not necessary). Websites are the easiest way to build portfolios and show testimonials from satisfied clients or customers.

From the beginning of your career as a freelancer, I would advise you to keep records of every job you have executed.

Compile those works you did for big clients or companies in a separate folder. Also, it would help if you asked you’re satisfied clients for testimonials. 

When you are just starting as a freelancer, top clients may not approach you as they would already have loads of freelancers working with them. Do not worry. I’ve got a hack for you to get their attention.

‘If they are not coming to you, then you go to them’ but in a very formal and decent approach.

Contact any big clients you’d love to get their testimonials and offer to do a free job (on-job sacrifice) for them. If satisfied, they give you an impressive testimonial and recommend that you are good at what you do.

Another advantage of the free job offer is that if the notable clients like the free job you did for them, they’d come back to give you a paid gig.

Doing that, you’d have built solid portfolios and highly impressive testimonials and recommendations. 

What you should do next is sell yourself out!

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Pitch Your Brand

It is safe to say you’ve selected a particular skill, started off the ground and built a formidable brand. Also, you’re keeping a recording of completed or ongoing jobs with scintillating testimonials.

After all the above steps, the next step is mapping out an outreach strategy by pitching your brand.

Like marketing, pitching is a way of reaching out to potential clients to sell your services to them. 

If every other step above is done right, pitching your services should be easy.

However, it is best to narrow down your outreach to potential clients only. If you make your area of specialization clear enough, it won’t be hard for you to recognize who your prospective clients are.

Relevance is key! Ensure you are reaching out to those whose services are relevant.

Who would you instead take seriously; a person that came to tell you he’s good at sewing any clothes or the person that came to say to you he’s good and specialized at sewing for people like you (gender)? Your answer is correct, and that’s what you should do with pitching your services. Be relevant!

Another essential factor to a successful pitch is volume. Reach out to as many relevant clients/businesses as possible. Not all of them will yield, and that’s why numbers are necessary sometimes.

All the steps mentioned above are necessary to kickstart your freelancing career.

Here is a list of top freelancing websites in Nigeria that you can leverage to start your career as a freelancer.

Top 10 Freelancing Sites in Nigeria To Get Local Freelance Jobs

A freelance marketplace is where potential customers/clients meet their service provider. 

Need a skilled individual to do something for you, or do you want someone unskilled that can be a virtual assistant and help with some non-technical aspects of your business? You’d probably want to hire someone online temporarily.

Nigerian Freelancers can register and log in to pitch their gigs on their websites:

  1. Asuqu: Best freelance marketplace for creatives and professionals to meet with potential clients. Such as freelance architecture jobs in Nigeria.
  2. Justfrom5k: It’s a freelance website I’d recommend for starters. It’s a very easy-to-use and straightforward platform.
  3. Alliance. Co: One outstanding feature of this Freelance website is its tremendous personal user interface. It makes everything else easy.
  4. FindWorka: Easily connects digital services providers with customers. Freelancers can easily create gigs and get clients across Africa.
  5. SourceGig: This is a Nigerian Freelance website. It is a web development, graphic design, photography, and illustration marketplace for Nigerian freelancers.
  6. Freeciti: Arguably, the Nigerian freelance community with the broadest range of freelancer jobs in Nigeria. You want to try this.
  7. Jo-Lancer: This website allows freelancers to execute their skills and get clients.
  8. Yokebay: No matter what freelancing gig you offer, Yokebay has your back. This website has 50 different categories you can choose from. Amazing!
  9. Gigs Nigeria: A well-laid-out platform for small jobs freelancers. It’s good for a starter.
  10. Oyer: This is a Nigerian freelance marketplace where buyers and sellers meet. You can also find digital marketing jobs here. 

Read Also: Best Selling Products on Jumia Nigeria Store

Conclusion

The above steps are a complete guide on how to start freelancing in Nigeria with no prior experience. Freelancing is a simple business model anyone can begin, even with a smartphone. 

Freelancing as an online business offers a wide range of earning opportunities. You can easily make money online from the comfort of your home. 

You can start a part-time job and face it squarely as a full-time job when you gain more recognition. 

It won’t take long if you show a high level of competency and consistency.

If you want to ask us anything about freelancing, kindly use the comment session, or you contact us directly.

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