In recent years, the freelancing industry is rapidly growing at a record rate. In fact, it is reported to have grown by about 12% according to the Financial Times.
This growth has seen jobs posted on freelancing sites to have had about a 50% increase in engagements in a period of 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 Game 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 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 the recent events happening in the world.
You may have wondered why I chipped in on my friend’s story; it is because he told me about how much he dreads working under a boss. For him, it’s about freedom!
He told me he could never go back to seeking 9-5 jobs. He tried it before and he 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 get 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 start even with no experience.
There are a lot of benefits that come with freelancing. You’ll be able to work at 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:
Becoming a Good Freelancer in Nigeria
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 in, you have to do a little mind exercise and answer some questions.
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 will 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 of your acquired skill domain; take it and outsource it.
Read Also: 10 Cheap Lucrative Businesses In Nigeria
After you have acquired skills, the next thing is for you to start but you have to start small. Don’t rush it!
Start From The Scratch
To be a successful freelancer, there’s no two ways about it than to start from scratch.
Although, there’s no absolute rule if you can start it is better for you to start small and be learning in the process. You may decide to 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 that we have on the internet. Examples are Upwork.com and Fiverr.com.
Sign up or create an account with anyone of your choices. Post job gigs and wait for your clients to contact you.
There are so many of these websites and I will be giving 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 be able to stay afloat of the harsh tides of the competition, you need to build a formidable brand.
Your brand will become your identity over time, and it should distinctively describe what you do and your unique ways of approaching your clients’ job offers.
To build a unique and great 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 the past and prospective clients. So it’s better to get on the social media platforms earlier on at the start of your freelancing career.
Niching down will also position you as an authority and expert of what you do in the eyes of your potential clients. For instance, if you’re a web developer, make a clear statement of your specialty – whether you use Drupal, WordPress, etc.
In essence, build a beautiful brand that communicates your specialization to your clients even before they contact you.
Build a Portfolio and Show Testimonials
In freelancing, before any client decides to trust 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 thing; they just want to be sure that you can do justice to their requirements.
I talked about the fact that you may 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 always keep records of every job you have executed.
Compile those works you did for big clients or companies in a separate folder. Also, it is important that you ask your satisfied clients for testimonials.
To be honest with you, when you are just starting out 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 testimonial and offer to do a free job (on-job sacrifice) for them. In return, if they are satisfied, they give you an impressive testimonial and also recommend that you are good at what you do.
Another advantage of the free job offer is that, if the notable clients really 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!
Pitch Your Brand
By now, it is safe to say you’ve selected a particular skill, started off the ground, built a formidable brand and also you’re keeping a recording of completed or ongoing jobs with scintillating testimonials.
The next step to take after all the above steps is mapping out an outreach strategy by the way of pitching your brand.
Like marketing, pitching is a way of reaching out to potential clients with the aim of selling 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! Make sure you are reaching out to those that your services are relevant to.
Who would you rather take seriously; a person that came to tell you he’s good at sewing any kind of clothes or the person that came to tell you he’s good and specialize at sewing for people like you (gender)? Your answer is right and that’s what you should do with pitching your services. Be relevant!
Another important 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 important sometimes.
All the above-mentioned steps are necessary steps to take to kickstart your freelancing career.
Here is a list of top freelancing websites in Nigeria that you can leverage on to start your career as a freelancer.
Top 10 Freelancing Sites in Nigeria To Get Local Freelance Jobs
Freelance marketplace is places where potential customers/clients meet their service provider.
Need a skilled individual to do something for you or you want someone that’s unskilled that can be a virtual assistant and help with some non-technical aspect of your business? You’d probably want to hire someone online temporarily.
Nigerian Freelancers can register and login to pitch their gigs on their websites:
1. Asuqu: best freelance marketplace for creative 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 very easy to use and simple platform.
3. Alance.co: one great feature of this Freelance website is a great 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, and photography and illustration marketplace for Nigerian freelancers.
6. Freeciti: arguably the Nigerian freelance community with the widest range of freelancer jobs in Nigeria. You want to try this.
7. Jo-Lancer: this website gives opportunities to freelancers to execute their skills and get clients.
8. Yokebay: no matter what type of freelancing gig you offer – Yokebay got 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. Oyeer: it is a Nigerian freelance marketplace where buyers and sellers meet. You can also find digital marketing jobs here.
The above steps are a complete guide of how to start freelancing in Nigeria with no prior experience. Freelancing is a simple business model anyone can start even with the 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 it as a part-time job and face it squarely as a full-time job when you’re gaining more recognition with it.
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.
If you love and would want to get more of this kind of article delivered to you, subscribe to our newsletter below.