Freelancing is a word that is commonly used by many Nigerian youths these days. When we hear the word “freelancing”, a picture that often comes to mind is that of a person comfortably clad in loungewear or pajamas, working on a laptop from the comfort of home with a nice cup of tea or coffee at arm’s reach. This image is relaxing and if your personality is compatible with it, you can decide to work in this way once you become a freelancer.
Freelancing can be a very lucrative opportunity in Nigeria if you know the right way to proceed. There are some factors to consider before becoming a freelancer. If you have a paying job in a field offering freelancing opportunities and you are thinking about quitting in order to become a full-time freelancer, you need to first consider some things.
There are rewards and risks to freelancing, but when done correctly, you definitely have a lot to benefit. Before analyzing how much you can make as a freelancer in Nigeria, here are the main advantages of freelancing:
Great Read: Surviving as a freelancer in Nigeria
Benefits of Being a Freelancer
You Work Wherever Suits You
These Days, freelancing entails more than just reducing your commute time to 0 minutes from an hour. There is increasing connectivity nowadays and this means freelancers can not only work from the comfort of home, but also from libraries, stores, malls, parks, as long as there is a good internet connection.
You Work When It Suits You
For a lot of people, an eight-to-five job doesn’t simply maximize their most efficient and productive hours. If you’re a freelancer in Nigeria, you could do most of your work late at night or very early in the morning, this will give you the freedom to adjust your schedule for work so as to better accommodate your working times that are most productive.
This will give you the flexibility you need to have more personal time to live your life by adjusting your schedule.
You are The Boss
Everyone knows what they do best and what they enjoy doing, but when working under someone else, this doesn’t really matter to your manager or supervisor. As a freelancer, however, you’ll be able to choose the assignments you wish to accept and you get to build a career the way you really want to.
Your Potential Income is More
It is always sad as a salaried or hourly worker to find out that your employer charges a client or customer 10 or 20 times the amount he/she is paying you for a particular project on which all the work is done solely by you.
When freelancing, you’ll be charging what you know your work is actually worth and after paying your expenses, you get to keep all the profit. Your total income is also not determined by your salary or hourly rate.
You can also improve your potential by putting more effort into landing new jobs and finding clients.
How Much Certain Freelancing Skills Can Earn You in Nigeria
When considering being a freelancer, there are hundreds of skills to choose from. The truth is that not all of these skills are really lucrative and you may need to put in a great amount of effort to boost your income on certain skills.
However, here a few freelancing skills that are in high demand presently and it will be easier to get clients and boost income:
Software Development and Programming
As a freelancer, you should be aware that programming jobs such as mobile app and software development are paying really well right now. One of the reasons for this is that mastering this skill is quite difficult and there aren’t a lot of good coders available. This increases the value of good coders and the demand for them is pretty high.
If you learn how to code and you are really great at it, you could be earning about ₦360,000 ($1,000) per hour when you work as a freelance developer. In order to be good enough to be earning that kind of money, you’ll need to invest your time and money into learning to develop real coding skills.
The truth is that it is not possible to be charging ₦350,000 per hour when you just become a freelancer; you’ll first need to build your reputation. If you are good in programming languages such as WebGL and iOS, you could begin charging about ₦54,000 per hour, or even more. You’ll be able to build your reputation quicker this way.
Web Design and Development
One of the biggest platforms for freelancers, Upwork, released a report in 2015 and it revealed that the top skill in demand is PHP Development. Web Design was number 7 on the list.
Web designers are in very high demand. It is important to know that a lot of people are starting to join the community of freelance web designers and it is getting a little crowded right now due to the fact that one can easily learn web design and begin coding websites.
There was a time I also did some work on web design and I even had a personal web design agency.
The field is pretty large, so a good strategy is finding a niche. I made about ₦1.5 million ($5,000) in a month by using WordPress to build websites as well as doing little theme customizations.
Offering great services to the right customers can help you earn much more.
Also see: Top Freelancing websites in Nigeria
Content Writing or Marketing
The development of improved methodologies, such as Inbound Marketing, as well as the boost in internet marketing trends, has made content writing a very hot field for freelancers.
Freelance writers are very successful and you don’t really need to go far looking for proof. An associate of mine earns about ₦1.5 million a month ($5,000) writing and doing content marketing. There are many freelance writers that do a lot much better than that.
The fact is that everyone can’t be a skilled freelance writer. It requires reading a lot, writing a lot and the most important thing is a really creative mind so as to write good articles with great pay. It is not about having A+ essay skills or a master’s degree in Literature either.
On the statistical report by Upwork mentioned earlier, Graphic design ranks 2nd on the list of skills in highest demand. Under the category of graphic design on the web-based platform, you’ll notice some freelancers make up to ₦30,000 per hour ($85) doing graphic design work.
These days, Infographic design has a great demand. Illustrations, icon design, and logo design also pay pretty well.
In order to become a good graphic designer, there is a need to cultivate a great eye for design, just like in content writing.
This skill is different from content writing and marketing. Copywriters specialize in creating content for web pages, descriptions of services, products, etc.
The level of a freelancer’s skill and experience will determine the charge rates for copywriting. An experienced copywriter can make more than ₦90,000 per hour ($250).
When you check the list of copywriters on UpWork, you’ll notice the top ones charge between ₦5,000 per hour to ₦36,000 per hour for simple copywriting jobs. You’ll need to hone your skills in order to increase your income.
Freelance video editors can earn about ₦25 million per year. More experienced ones can record an income of around ₦44 million per year.
In the past couple of years, this industry saw a great rise in the demand for good video editors and this was attributed to the opportunities created by platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
If you’re skilled at creating great video content and putting video clips together, you should consider getting into this as a future-proof career.