How To Start A Freelancing Business In Nigeria – It is no news that the unemployment rate in Nigeria is on the rise and many individuals are looking for cool ways to meet their needs and pay up bills and with the rising rate of remote jobs in the country in recent times, more and more people are now entering into the freelancing business.
There are a lot of benefits that comes with freelancing business both to the clients and also to the freelancers. Many companies in Nigeria now love to hire freelancers to do jobs for them than to employ workers as they believe that there is less cost in working with freelancers. These companies do not need to pay for healthcare or any other expense that comes along with employing a full-time staff.
Starting up a freelancing business in Nigeria presently is going to be one of the best decisions you will make as you get to enjoy some benefits like working at your own convenience and time. The list of the benefits of a freelancer goes on and on.
The question now is how do you start a freelancing business in Nigeria? Well, we are going to be answering that question and also giving you answers to some other questions concerning freelancing businesses in Nigeria. There is no doubt that the outbreak of the pandemic has made the need for freelancers to be on the rise.
We implore that you read through this article from start to finish so you can grasp the information will be revealing in this article and if you feel like jumping through to get the most important information in this article, below is a table of content that will take you to each section of the article.
Without further ado, let’s proceed…
Table of contents
- What is freelancing?
- Benefits of freelancing
- Is freelancing self employment?
- How to start a freelancing business in Nigeria
- Do I need a license to start a freelancing business in Nigeria?
- Can I be a freelancer and also work a full time job?
What Is Freelancing?
If you are not used to the word “freelancing”, you might be wondering what it is. Well, freelancing means working as an independent worker for a company and on a short term basis where you are being paid per job or task carried out.
In freelancing, you are hired by companies for a particular job and there is no actually commitment to the companies that hire you to work for them. In freelancing, you use your skills, education and experience to work for multiple clients.
Freelancers are also called independent contractors and they can work for different companies at the same time charging their ratings either based on the time spent on the job or the effort used for the job. They offer services to their clients or employers and they work at their own convenience. The jobs done by a freelancer are called gigs.
You should know that not all freelancing jobs can be done from home and so you shouldn’t mistake freelancing jobs for working from home. Though most work from home jobs are freelancing jobs but not all freelancing jobs can be done from home. You might be required to work at your client’s office as a freelancer depending in the type of job you do like repairmen.
Benefits Of Freelancing
Freelancing is really an interesting career that has a lot of wonderful benefits tied to it. Since you are not committed to a single employer or organization, you would know that the benefits of working as a freelancer are endless. These benefits of freelancing are both for the employer and also for the freelancer. So let’s look at these benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of Working With A Freelancer?
- Reduced risk
Freelancers are not employees of the company and so any risk incurred by these workers are not bore by the company. You don’t need to put up with them if they are not performing their jobs. You wouldn’t have to pay for any insurance that are offer to full-time employees as freelancers are hired on a short term basis and for a particular job after which their services might not be needed again.
- High quality of work
Freelancers believe in giving their best as this will make the companies always want to work with them. They do their best in building business relationship with their clients as this is how they get paid. Many companies hire freelancers as they are always consistent in delivering high quality jobs and this will help in the growth of the company.
- Working with specialist
Most freelancers are specialist and experts in their field and working with them means they will certainly deliver quality jobs. They might have work on different jobs and have become very experienced in the field and this makes them fast and reliable. These freelancers might offer services that none of the company’s full-time employees can offer.
- Less supervision
These freelancers are specialist like we have mentioned and so they do not really need supervision and so it will reduce the cost and headaches of supervising the job. They know that their chances of being called for another gig depends on how well they perform on the one given to them and so they will always want to put in their best even without supervision.
- Less cost
Working with freelancers means you wouldn’t have to cater for their transport allowance, healthcare insurance, retirement benefits and many others. Freelancers are paid on a per job basis and have not commitment to a single company or employer.
- Work at a fast rate
Freelancers know that the more they work, the more they earn and so they have to deliver gigs given to them on time so as to get other gigs and earn more. They try to meet up with deadlines as they believe that it will help build a business relationship with the clients they work for. So companies prefer working with freelancers as they improve efficiency and work rate.
- Reliable for emergencies
They are sometimes seen as the last resort in times of emergencies. When companies encounter problems that no employee can solve at the moment, the company can hire freelancers to solve the problem even if it is at odd hours.
For instance, a company’s website goes down during the weekends when no employee is available to work on the website, a freelancer can be hired to work on it even before the resumption of work on Monday so business doesn’t have to wait till Monday as a freelancer can attend to the issue immediately.
What Are The Benefits Of Being A Freelancer?
Working as a freelancer means that you are on your own; some people say that you are your own boss. It means you choose how you work and for whom you work. You are not restricted to any work rule as you can choose not to work with difficult clients.
- Freedom to choose clients
Like we have mentioned, you can choose the kind of clients you work for and why you want to work for them. As a freelancer, you are an independent worker and so you are not committed to any employer or company though they can always call on you for gigs because of the relationship you have built with them over time.
You can decide to work with many clients depending on how your strength and ability can carry and you can also choose to work with few.
- Improve your skill
One thing with freelancing jobs is that you tend to improve and get better as you carry out more jobs. You become more and more experienced in your field as constant practice makes perfect and permanence.
When freelancing, you can work for multiple clients and even on a wide range of job; this will help improve your skill and experience unlike when you are working as a full-time employer of a company. It will help you kill the boredom that comes with monotony.
- Opportunity to work from home
Like we mentioned earlier that some freelancing jobs can be done from home and this will increase the flexibility of your work. You get the chance to work remotely and at your own convenience making your enjoy what you are doing.
So when freelancing, you might not have to get out of your pajamas to get dressed for work as you can actually work from your home.
Working with multiple clients gives you an opportunity to learn and improve your skill. When freelancing, you can work for clients from anywhere as you are not bound to a particular employer, country or industry. So you get to learn different cultures and lifestyle.
- Ability to control workload
As a freelancer you get to choose the number of clients you work for and the amount of work you get to do. Since you are an independent worker, you can work with multiple clients as you strength and ability can carry.
You can choose to work on gigs that will improve your skills and experience and also choose to leave the less important ones.
- Ability to choose working hours
One great benefit of being a freelancer is that you get to choose the time you work and the pace at which you work. As a freelancer, time management is very important as you might be working on different gigs and will need to complete them before stated deadlines.
You can also get to choose to take a break anytime you want as you don’t work with fixed hours.
- Ability to choose rates and earnings
Since you are not committed to a single employer and you are paid per job, you get to choose the amount you would charge for your clients for the job. In as much as you are not entitled to incentives like bonuses and promotion, you can choose to charge higher for your services especially if you are experienced in the skill.
Is Freelancing Self-Employment?
We are not going to be giving a straight forward answer to the question above; and from everything we have said so far about freelancers, you would know that a freelancer is self-employed. We said that they are independent workers and for you to be an independent worker without being committed to a single company or employer, you are said to be self-employed as you work for yourself.
You work for your clients but you don’t work under them as you charge your own ratings depending on the time or effort you spend on the job.
One other thing you should know is that not all self-employed person is a freelancer. A self-employed person can also be a business owner that sells goods and services to consumers. They can be seen as entrepreneurs.
How To Start A Freelancing Business In Nigeria
Starting a freelancing business in Nigeria is really easy and you could do this with little or no money provided you have a skill that is in demand. You can earn a lot of money from freelancing business as most companies now hire freelancers to do some jobs for them because of the benefits they get from working with freelancers like we have highlighted above.
We are going to be putting you through how you can start your freelancing business in Nigeria.
- Set out your freelancing goals
Freelancing is a very wonderful business and for you to succeed in being a freelancer in Nigeria, you will have to set out your goals. You wouldn’t get into your car without a destination in mind; your destination is your goal. Your goals are to be defined, realistic, measurable and also achievable. If you don’t have a measurable goal as to becoming a freelancer then it is going to be kind of hard for you.
In setting your freelancing goals, you will have to ask yourself:
- Why do you want to become a freelancer?
- Do you want to become a full-time freelancer?
- Do you want to do it as a source of earning extra income while working on your day job?
Knowing why you want to become a freelancer will guide you to know how you could become a successful freelancer in Nigeria. Whatever you goal is, it has to be clear; it can be a long term or short term goal but you have to state what you want to achieve at the end of the day.
It is after setting your goals that you would know your potential clients, the number of hours you will choose to work and other decisions you will have to make.
- Choose a skill for your freelancing business
After setting out your goal, you will have to choose the skill or freelancing service you want to engage in. in some cases, they are seen as your business niche. You cannot do everything or render all the services needed by a company. You will have to and understand what you want to do.
So if you don’t have a freelancing skill yet, you will have to decide on which skill you will want to engage in. It could be skills that you have developed over the years and so you will have to figure out how you could earn as a freelancer from this skill.
You could have several skills but you have to select a few of which you would be seen as an expert in and this will help you focus on your goal(s). You will have to take your time and don’t be in a haste to choose a skill as there are a number of profitable skills from which you could earn money as a freelancer in Nigeria. You will have to look at some factors in deciding the skill you want to choose as a freelancer. Some of these factors are:
- Market demand
- Needs of consumers
- Availability of resources
You shouldn’t think that freelancing business is a get-rich-quick scheme as you have to work and gain a lot of experience in your field or niche for you to boost your reputation.
- Know how to manage your time
For a freelancer, time management is a very importation skill to master. You are going to be doing a lot of gigs for multiple clients and will have to deliver these gigs on or before deadlines; managing your time properly will help you stick to time and deliver jobs as at when due. One thing clients love is a freelancer that deliver jobs without delay.
As a freelancer, you will have to avoid procrastination so that you will be able to deliver jobs on time. In this business, you should know that time is money and the number of gigs you take, the more you earn and so you will have to use your time wisely.
- Figure out your target clients
One way you won’t get frustrated in your freelancing business is when you work with the right clients. After choosing your skill and niche, you will have to also look out for the people that will pay you for your services. You shouldn’t be a freelancer that takes up any job because you are scared of not getting jobs.
You will have to identity who you want to work with as not everybody is your client. You will have to know who your target clients are and figure out how you could reach them.
Since you have chosen your skill, you will have to think about the people that need your services and who you would want to render your services to.
- Define your brand
Remember we told you that you will have to select a skill or niche so as to be single out your target audience. But it doesn’t stop at just selecting your skill; you will have to sell your skill. You will have to have a unique brand that is different from what others are bringing to the table.
One step to defining your brand is turning your freelancing skill into a service that offers solution. Whichever skill you want to engage in, you will have to brand it in a way that it offers solutions to problems; this way, it become easy for you to sell your services to your clients.
- Build a portfolio of high quality
This is a great way of selling your service and building your brand. Your portfolio really matters and so you will have to create a portfolio that sells you well. You can win any client’s heart if you are good at promising great deals and showing that you can offer solution.
Your portfolio is more like the first information your potential can know about you, your field, your style of work and also people you have worked with. Your portfolio will need to effectively tell your potential clients that you offer good services and that you are the best person to work with.
You could create a portfolio websites that has all the relevant information about your freelancing business; it should portray your skills and accomplishments and also testimonial from your past clients if you have any.
Your portfolio helps you position yourself properly in the freelancing business and as someone that is venturing into the freelancing business, you will have to relate with other freelancer especially those in your field and see how they are positioning themselves; this will help you know how to place yourself and sell your services.
Your portfolio demonstrates your expertise and so it should be of high quality and be able to impress your potential clients as it is a tool for finding clients especially as a starter.
- Know how to communicate with potential clients
In the business of freelancing, communication is key. As a freelancer in Nigeria, you will need a good communication skill to be able to attract potential clients and make them believe you are what they are looking for and you can offer the solution they need.
One thing is telling your potential clients that you offer a particular service another thing is making them take action and pick you out of a number of options. In communicating, you will have to show them how the service you are offering can improve their business. You are not the only freelancer in your niche or field and so the way you communicate with potential clients will move them to work with you.
- Create a strategy for finding clients
As someone that is just starting a freelancing business, you will have to develop a strategy for finding clients. Like we mentioned earlier that freelancing business is now on the rise in Nigeria and so there are a lot of freelancers out there. You will have to figure out ways in which you can get clients.
You can decide to use social media to search for potential clients as it is a fast and vast tool for finding potential clients. In this case, you will have to work on your online presence and update your social media profile with information about your freelancing business and the services you offer.
You can also decide to create your own website like we have mentioned while discussing how you can create a portfolio of high quality. This will make your freelancing business professional and it will make it easy for your potential and target clients to reach you.
You can also decide to involve a third party in helping you find clients but in this case, you might not get to work with the client directly as the agent will be the one to bring you into the contract with the client. But for someone that is starting up a freelancing business, this might be like the best option as you don’t have to worry about finding clients; this agency will do the work of finding clients provided you pay their commission or cut from the deal.
- Sign up on freelancing platforms
You can also decide to register with freelancing platforms as this will help expend your networking ability. This will help you get clients easily especially if you offer great services. Though as a freelancer in Nigeria, we would not advise that you put your mind in using freelancing platforms to search for clients as they don’t offer much for your services. Some of the top freelancing platforms are:
- Get a freelancing mentor
If you really want to grow in your freelancing business, then you should be ready to learn from people that are better than you. It is important that you get a freelancing mentor to put you through on certain things about freelancing and how to attract clients. You mentor will share his or her experience with you and this will help you prepare yourself as you have gotten information beforehand.
Also in addition to sharing their experience with you, through them you will get to connect with other successful freelancers and also learn from them. Your mentors are there to guide you to the top of your career.
- Determine how you set your rates
Remember that freelancing jobs are done on a per job basis and so you will have to determine how you set your price rates for your clients. In setting your rates, you will have to look at certain factors like:
- Market demand
- Freelancing environment
These factors will help you in selecting the best rate for your services but you should know that as someone that is just starting a freelancing business, you wouldn’t want to start charging high as you are looking to get clients, so you can decide to charge low, get your clients trust and loyalty and then overtime you can decide to start charging higher as they have seen your work and known your worth.
- Be consistent in delivering gigs
One red flag in running a freelancing business is lack of consistency in delivering gigs that is why it is advisable to take up gigs that you can do and deliver before the due date. For you clients to be able to work with you and also trust you, it depends on the rate at which you deliver gigs given to you; how effective and efficient you are.
Consistency will help you maintain relationships with your clients and boost your reputation as a freelancer.
Do I Need A License To Start A Freelancing Business In Nigeria?
Getting a license to start your freelancing business in Nigeria depends on the individual and also the type of freelancing services you want to offer. Getting a license makes your business professional and with this, getting clients might not be a problem as it is going to be legally approved.
Getting a license as a freelancer in Nigeria is not compulsory but it is necessary as it will help to boost your reputation. When clients see that you have a license, they tend to develop trust in you and want to work with you as they see you as professional enough compared to someone that doesn’t have a license.
Can I Be A Freelancing While Working A Full-Time Job?
Well, this depends on you and what your clients want but even at this, it is possible to run a freelancing business and still handle a full-time job. This is what most of the freelancer in Nigeria do; they run their freelancing business as a side hustle in addition to their full-time job. The economy in Nigeria is not funny and so it is advisable that Nigerians start up freelancing businesses as a way to help them earn extra money aside their salaries.
So you can actually work as a part-time freelancer while working a full-time job as you need is effective time management and knowing your priorities. This is one of the benefits of being a freelancer as you can actually go about your 9-5 job and still work as a freelancer.
Freelancing is now on the rise in Nigeria as many individual now see it as a way to generate extra income to pay up bills. You can also run your freelancing business as a full time business but before you quit your job, you must be certain that the income you get from your freelancing business is enough to meet up with your needs.
So becoming a freelancer is a step in the right direction; you will just have to look closely as the tips we highlighted to help you start up your freelancing business in Nigeria as they will also help you to become a successful freelancer.