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How To Be A Successful Freelancer In Nigeria


Temitope Akinola
Freelancing is not a new concept; it has been a mode of employment for as long as we can think. A freelancer is a self-employed individual who provides services for a client or group of clients and is not necessarily committed to them on a long-term basis. You can build your entire work life on freelancing and record huge success in Nigeria. The freedom to choose who to work with and change such with time and work at your own pace is one of the benefits of freelancing.


In this internet based economy, the need for freelancers is on the increase and there is no limitation for anyone who chooses to be a freelancer. You can earn a whole lot of income consistently as freelancer in Nigeria both from Nigerian sources and international sources. Success in freelancing depends entirely on the freelancer.

If you have any skill that can be delivered digitally over the internet, whether it is writing, editing, translation, web designing, programming, accounting, graphic design, engineering design/drawing, architectural design, animation, HR, customer support, database management, business management, consulting, project management etc. indeed anything you can think of that can be delivered over the internet. Below are the steps you can take right away to become a freelancer.

Become A Member On Some Freelancing Sites

To start with, you will need to visit a few sites where freelancers are hired. Elance, Guru, Freelancers, oDesk and others are prominent among those sites. Registration is free most often. I will recommend that you start with oDesk. The site takes you on a step by step journey and guides you on how to become successful. It’s such a great site.

Update Your Profile

Profiles speak volume about you and it gives potential clients first impression. Build your profile in a way that will showcase your skills, competence and experience.

Take Some Tests

Tests certify your competence on the skills you claim to have. By taking and passing test, you’ll show clients that you really know what you claim to know. The tests taken and passed are one of those things clients look out for on your profile. Therefore take relevant test on your skills and areas of expertise.

Get Familiar With The Trends

Before you enter the market and begin to source for contracts, study the trend, the requirements, the offers and the rewards. Know what clients are demanding for and be sure you have what it takes to get it done before you apply.

Don’t Be Afraid To Start

Starting is important and that you should not be afraid of. If you don’t start, you won’t get anywhere and you never have to be perfect to start. Apply for several jobs and you’ll definitely land on one. You may have to relax your bills for the moment to gain experience and you can increase your pricing as you gain competence and experience all along.

Be Ready To Work Hard

Success as a freelancer depends entirely on you. You’ll have to be ready to work hard and work with time as well. Your work has to meet acceptable standards and you must be ready to meet up with deadlines. Meeting deadlines is very important and it’s one of those things that will keep clients to continue to patronize you.

You can read the contractor’s manual of some of those freelance sites to be acquainted more with the work styles, method of payments and other necessary things. Once you become successful on those platforms, you can replicate your success on any other platform and attract Nigerian clients as well.

Feel free to ask any question on this article.


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There is no mention of payment solutions here. One of the greatest hurdles for the fledgling freelancer is how to receive money for their work internationally. It's a really crucial point.

How does one go about that?


Temitope Akinola
There is no mention of payment solutions here. One of the greatest hurdles for the fledgling freelancer is how to receive money for their work internationally. It's a really crucial point.

How does one go about that?

I don't think that should be a problem any longer. Freelancers can now receive their payments easily in Nigeria without much ado. There are a number of payment solutions online. But one which I have used myself is Payoneer Card. It is one of the easiest way of receiving online earnings in Nigeria. Payoneer is well recognized by most US companies and other platforms where freelancers are hired. All you need do is select Payoneer as your payment option.

Opening a Payoneer account is free and simple, all you need is a means of identification that you are a Nigerian. Anyone of the following would do; Driver's License, International Passport, National ID or Voters Card.

Once you complete the registration, Payoneer will review your information for some days then they will send you an email if your application is successful. Once that is done, they will send you a Payoneer debit card at a later date to the address you provided. Once you receive the card, you can go to any ATM machine to activate it. If other machines won't do, GT Bank's ATM works with it perfectly.

As soon as you begin to earn from your work, you can move your earnings to your card and withdraw anywhere in Nigeria. You can also use the card to make purchase online. Your Payoneer account also comes with a US account which you can further use for your online transactions.

I can't forget my first experience withdrawing cash using my Payoneer card at an ATM located at Awolowo Bodija, Ibadan :)