Becoming a freelancer in Nigeria is just as similar as becoming a freelancer in other countries. All guides, methods and protocols to become a freelancer are all the same worldwide. By now I believe you have knowledge about what freelancing is and who freelancers are, just incase you have no idea, take little of your time to follow the link below to learn everything you need to know about freelancer:
Right now I will be putting you through seven easy steps to become a successful freelancer in Nigeria.
How do I become a freelancer?
The freelance market is growing by the day, and if you want to be competitive, you have to prepare accordingly. Follow these seven easy steps to get started.
- Be sure freelancing is really for you.
- Search for freelance services platforms.
- Build your profile
- Build your portfolio
- Conclude your pricing
- Find gigs
- Pay attention to client relationships
1. Be sure freelancing is really for you.
Freelancing has its pros and cons, in a nutshell, you must possess some certain mindset to be a freelancer. Being your own boss is a great thing only if you’re disciplined and reliable. Freelancing enables you to set your schedule, so you can take a day off whenever you want, but you won’t be paid for that time because there is no such thing as paid leave.
If you want to be a successful freelancer, you must maintain a daily work routine, be ready to carryout several projects simultaneously and continuously seeking out for new projects to maintain a steady work flow.
If you’re still working full time, don’t immediately quit your job to start freelancing. Instead, combine freelancing and full-time work until you accumulate enough clients and connections to support yourself as a freelancer. Working from a comfortable place of steady work and safe income is a much better environment for developing your freelance business.
2. Search for freelance services platforms.
Most freelancers uses freelancing platforms to find work. While recommendations and social media channels like LinkedIn can also be a great source of gigs, freelancing websites are popular because they allow you to effortlessly connect with clients looking for freelancers. There are always jobs available there.
Also, most of these platforms have policies and offer protection both for freelance workers and those doing the hiring. On freelance platforms, every project or gig you take on is a mini contract, and both you and the client are required to adhere to its terms.
Choosing the platform with the model that fits your needs and earning expectations is ultimately essential for your success. Plenty of freelancing websites encourage the so-called “race to the bottom,” where freelancers provide discouraging quality work in exchange for poor compensation.
Ultimately, it doesn’t help anyone – buyers cannot find good quality of work and freelancers cannot earn enough money.
Some freelance service platforms, like Hiremotely, base their business model on admitting only top freelance software developers and connecting them with clients based on very specific requirements. Being a member of such an exclusive platform allows you to connect with serious clients and get paid for high-quality work. The admission process on these types of platforms can take several weeks and include several rounds of relevant tests.
3. Build your profile.
You don’t have to prepare a classical CV, as most freelancing websites have a predesigned template you need to fill out with your information, but you shouldn’t treat your freelancing profile as a check box exercise.
Take time to create a substantial profile that will inform potential clients about your education, skills, expertise and experience. You don’t have to write novels – keep it short and sweet. List your skills, experiences, special achievements and explain why you’re the best person for the job.
4. Build your portfolio.
Your profile may state that you’re a pilot, but unless you upload your selfie while controlling the flight of an aircraft, potential clients are unlikely to believe you. So, when you create a profile, make sure to provide a portfolio that illustrates your skills and experience.
If you’re a beginner in your chosen field, take time to create a portfolio with sample works, or simply accept several jobs at a discounted rate in exchange for experience.
5. Conclude your pricing.
Meanwhile your hourly rate or gig price mainly depends on your skill set and experience, don’t work for peanuts.
If you have only a couple of years of experience, of course, you cannot charge the same rate as freelancers with a decade of work under their belts. However, if you eventually want to turn freelancing into a full-time job, the rate should cover your monthly expenses if you have steady work, no matter how experienced you are, [Consider a credit card processing solution to help process client payments easily and efficiently.]
6. Find gigs.
Gigs are jobs, especially one that is temporary or freelance and performed on an informal or on-demand basis.Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers, and temporary workers.
If you’re actively looking for projects and clients, here are a few tips to help you find them.
First, apply only for the gigs you are capable to do. There is no point in applying for a project you cannot complete on time with satisfactory results. As a freelancer, you’re building your reputation from scratch, and especially in the beginning, it’s of utmost importance to secure positive feedback.
When you apply for gigs, ensure you craft a genuine cover letter that proves why you’re the best choice for that particular job or project. Highlight the skills and experience that are genuine to requirements.
Over time, freelancing platforms reward top-rated freelancers with badges, lower fees and access to specially tailored gig offers, so it’s in your best interest to keep your clients impressed.
Some freelancers avoid online marketplaces because they come with the fees (usually between 5% and 20% of your earnings), which can add up by the end of the month. In that case, try to use various groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to find work. However, be aware that with these gigs, there is no contract in place and no guarantee that someone won’t take your work and never pay for it.
7. Pay attention to client relationships.
Relationships with your clients is one of the most essential part of freelancing. By maintaining a good connection with your current clients and providing quality work, you’ll be more likely to secure more consistent jobs in the future. Make sure you meet up with every deadline, listen to instructions, make any necessary edits and communicate efficiently with your clients. While you aren’t tied down to set hours, you should still be available to your clients in case they have any questions, requests or concerns. Try to be polite and friendly as much as possible to your clients.
Additionally, you’ll want to build your portfolio to attract new clients. A good reputation is crucial as a freelancer, so make sure you are delivering your best work and earning high reviews/ratings. You can advertise your services on social media and on your website if you have one, which should be updated regularly. A strong digital presence is critical, as clients want to feel like they can trust you and your brand before working with you.