Freelancing in Nigeria
By : Martin -
Freelancing in Nigeria
The term “freelance” or “freelancing” is not a very common term among Nigerians, I remember showing my colleagues some of my posts on freelancing and they were like “what on earth is freelancing?”. However, I’ve noticed a sharp increase in awareness on freelancing with an increased number of sites owned by Nigerians offering freelance services especially writing (academic writing, creative writing and even content writing).
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing is simply rendering services for money to a client (could be a person, company etc.) over the internet without being a full-time employee of the client. It’s like being a contract staff who renders service online to a wide range of clients. In fact, freelancing is the online equivalent of being a contract staff but with the added advantage of having access to much more clients since you meet with them and transact business over the internet and don’t really need to by physically present with them.
Advantages of freelancing
Freelancing has several advantages which are general, that is, they don’t only apply to Nigeria but to anyone from anywhere who ventures into it. These advantages include:
You set your work hours and can adjust them easily to suit you. This is much unlike a regular day job with fixed work hours.
Work from anywhere
With freelancing, you get to work from anywhere and are not restricted to any office or location. For instance, I’m almost always with my laptop if I’m out and with it, I can simply log in to any of the sites I freelance on (mostly writing & transcriptions) and take a quick job, complete it and get paid for it.
You determine how much or how little you make
You determine how much or how little you make and this is especially the case when you are well established with lots of clients. This means that if you put in more time and effort, you’ll earn more, much unlike having a job with a fixed salary.
You get to decide which jobs to take
With freelancing, you have greater control over the jobs that you work on and can easily decide to take or leave a particular job.
Less expensive to set up
Starting up as a freelancer is less expensive than starting a physical business because you wouldn’t have to go through the long process of building or renting an office or fulfilling other money intensive requirements needed to set up a business. You work online in freelancing and this can be from the comfort of your home.
Great opportunity for self-improvement
One other advantage of freelancing, one I particularly love is that with it, you have great opportunity for self-improvement because you get to take on challenging tasks which improve your capabilities and make you even better at what you do. The market is wide, platforms are many, you just need to acquire a skill, get listed on a platform selling the skill and you’re in. You however need to just get better and better at what you do and soon enough, you’ll have clients running after you. Don’t forget that consistency at a particular kind of job has a way of building you up to become exceptionally good at it.
Why freelancing is really profitable in Nigeria
In Nigeria, because of relatively high exchange rate of the Dollar to the Naira coupled with the fact that you get paid mostly in dollars, freelancing can serve as a really good source of income (or additional income if you’re already working another job). Let me give an example with one of the platforms I freelance on; some of the top earners on the platform earn about $8,000 in a month, although this is quite small compared to some other platforms but in Nigeria, $8,000 is a good income for a starter. Using an exchange rate of about 314NGN to 1USD (which MasterCard® via Payoneer offers) gives you about 2.5million in Naira. Believe me, that’s way more than what a lot of people working regular day jobs earn in a month and who says you have to stop there, why not put in more work to earn even more? Who says you must stop at $8,000?
Several challenges however face Nigerians who want to venture into freelancing and I will outline these challenges as well as how to overcome them in my next post.
Note: Freelancing in this post (and my other posts) refers to freelance work done over the internet. Also, the contents of this post apply not only to Nigeria but to most other developing countries as well.
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