Freelancing in Nigeria is pretty competitive as there are over millions of freelancers on every freelancing platform, you think of the best freelancing site, fiverr, 99Designs, Upwork, Guru, CloudPeeps, SolidGigs and all, the point is this site has over millions of freelancers and at least hundred thousand of freelancer offering the same service as you, so it doesn’t get easier, either you are a beginner or an expert stating freelancing in Nigeria or anywhere in the world there are some tips that will help you, they include the following;
1. Don’t Overcharge
It’s good to negotiate and get paid adequately for the services you render as a freelancer, but on the flip-side of the negotiation process avoid any temptation to overcharge your clients.
Business culture is cut-throat and modern life can be quite expensive, but one practice that is guaranteed to turn your clients off is excessively overcharging your clients, based on the wrong belief system of wanting to play smart.
2. Don’t get complacent with existing clients
As a freelancer when you have successfully build a working relationship with a specific client, it can start to feel normal and pretty comfortable. However, it’s important to maintain a working relationship, by not taking existing clients’ jobs and their revenue for granted.
Even if you have been delivering outstanding jobs for them consistently, do not stop improving your delivery “do not slack” just because you have been the one working for them, your delivery should constantly beat their imaginations, this is the best way to maintain the relationship with existing clients.
Ensure you frequently check on your regular customers to ensure they are satisfied with your previous delivery and to also check if they have new jobs for you, checking on them will put you in their mind and once there is a job, you will definitely be the one they contact.
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3. Learn to handle rejection
As a beginner, freelancing in Nigeria, one thing you should know is that no freelancing site is “a bed of roses”, as these sites are extremely competitive and it’s very difficult to get jobs.
Rejection is totally and completely unavoidable in freelancing, causes of this rejection range from employers opting for a lower rate freelancer and also opting for higher-ranked freelancers and some employers contact you just to know the level of your experience about the job and once you display some level of inexperience it leads to rejection.
You must first accept rejection, then you must do an assessment and find out the reason you were rejected and then you must forge ahead from that particular rejection as opportunities are constantly floating around, drowning yourself in the pool of one rejection will allow you miss out on so many opportunities.
4. Don’t neglect your real-world network
When you communicate with a freelancer, it’s not unusual to find that their biggest clients are their ex-employers, or that the client is via a “friend of a friend.” While the freelance job boards are a source of endless new leads, don’t forget the old adage that “it’s sometimes not what you have known but who you know.” Don’t forget that all of your real-world contacts can always lead you to a new direction for jobs.
5. Never rely on just one client
Here is another freelance tip that is based on my own past mistakes. Quite frequently, you can find that a single client sends more and more work in your direction, it’s super great when this happens and your monthly invoice increases in ascending order consistently.
However, you will discover that you are too dependent on that specific client for most of your earnings.
Regardless of how lucrative your relationship with that specific client may be, the basic fact is you are in a very precarious position as this relation can suddenly be brought to an abrupt end.
Honestly, working for one client is more the employer-to-employee relationship and this is not the idea of freelancing, as freelancing is not meant to guarantee specific job security as freelancers meant to earn through various employers.
A critical downside to this is that your experience is limited to only the type of projects that a particular client offers you, this will limit the improvement of your portfolio.
6. Keep your online profiles up to date
Having a personal blog, LinkedIn, Facebook business page and many other numerous online portfolios, keeping them all up to date can sometimes seem like an endless task.
However, it’s a task you shouldn’t ignore. In dealing with a new client, you can never ascertain accurately the part of your profile they are likely to check out, so it’s just best everything is up to date to continually reflect your personality, your skills and the services you offer.
If you are having difficulty in managing and updating all your profiles on sites and social media constantly, it’s best you assess your accounts, determine the usefulness of each accounts and just remove the ones you don’t need. This allows you to better maintain and update the ones you need properly and efficiently.
7. Be aware of your competition
It’s very easy to get bogged down in the day to day work and just feel you don’t have time to look out for your competition or check what they are doing out.
However, if you don’t keep a watchful eye on other freelacers, you might become ignorant of new promotions, initiatives, innovations, and trends that are on point to catch you totally unaware.
Keeping an eye on your competition isn’t particularly time-consuming, freelancing in Nigeria will require checking out your competitor’s portfolio, website, profile are things you can do easily within a short period of time. Your competitor can sometimes become a source of inspiration for your big new idea.