Freelancing is embedded with many benefits. One such benefit is social networking through freelancing platforms.
Although freelancing is a good-paying career, deciding to start working as a freelancer is quite challenging, particularly when you do not have tips about the ideal marketplaces for freelancers and the freelancing challenges that are particular to these marketplaces.
Knowing the best platform to leverage, use your abilities, and meet like-minded people is essential.
You might be wondering if a freelancer works in Nigeria. Freelancers work in Nigeria for Nigerian companies or organizations remotely or onsite. You can browse through jobs on LinkedIn to find employment that best suit you as a freelancer who wishes to work in Nigeria. You can as well get a Nigerian client on Upwork.
Alternatively, you can register as a freelancer on freelance marketplaces. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Behance, and We Work Per Hour are among the many that accommodate Nigerians. Once you register as a freelancer on these platforms, you can work within or outside Nigeria remotely or onsite.
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The Benefits of Freelancing Platforms
The benefits of these freelancing platforms are:
Freelancing platforms are a secured marketplace for clients and freelancers. These platforms have strict rules and regulations that both clients and freelancers must follow. Freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr verify your contact details, Government issued means of identification and visual identity.
One good thing about freelancing platforms is that you will be able to meet and interact with other freelancers from different countries. These platforms have freelancers and clients from different countries. You can form a long-term relationship with your clients if you provide a satisfactory service.
Read also: Pros and Cons Of Freelancing in Nigeria
4 Problems Nigeria-based Freelancers Face
However, these freelancing platforms also have their challenges. Some of these freelancing challenges are:
Competition is one of the prominent freelancing challenges; millions of transactions are done monthly, which gave rise to competition. The freelancing marketplace is competitive enough; Being a Nigerian makes it more competitive. Some clients provide detailed specifications. They will tell you they want a freelancer who is an English native speaker, has a job success score of 80% or above and must be independent.
Most Nigerian freelancers might feel discouraged and would not apply, while some Nigerians will submit proposals.
New freelancers with little or no experience on these platforms often feel frustrated because of the freelancing challenges. What makes it more frustrating is that you might be limited in what you can do on the platforms.
On Upwork, for instance, you cannot earn your identity badge until you have completed a gig or project. After writing many proposals, it took me months to get my first interview invite from a client on Upwork.
Knowing how to write a compelling proposal to stand out among your competitors is important. Being a Nigerian makes it very difficult to get a project on various freelancing platforms. However, it is necessary to keep improving your skills and getting better. You will rise above the competition if you are good at what you do.
Another important point to note is for you to niche down. This part is important because if you become an Expert at what you do, the client from foreign countries will not be bothered about you being a Nigerian. They will work with you.
To overcome the competition, you need to niche down. For example, if you are a developer, you should specify your niche in your bio and title. Do not write “software developer as your title; instead, write iOS software developer or AWS cloud engineer.
Nigerians are not valued due to the lack of trust
Lack of trust is among the significant freelancing challenges Nigerian freelancers battle with on the freelancing platforms. The fraudulent activities of some Nigerian freelancers on the freelancing platforms have made it difficult for foreign and local clients to trust Nigerian freelancers with their projects.
Some Nigerians have resulted to changing their location on these platforms via VPN. Upwork and Fiverr have blocked many freelancers’ accounts because of this act of insincerity. Change of location depicts you as a fraudster or freelancer they cannot trust.
Most freelancing platforms do their transactions in foreign currency, so clients expect you to reduce your hourly rate based on the exchange rate for your country.
With the fluctuation in the exchange rate and CBN policy, Getting a payment below your normal rate is painful just because you are a Nigerian freelancer.
Some clients will ask if you are supposed to charge a high rate because you are a Nigerian. They believe that living in Nigeria is very affordable, and you will not spend much on the tools you will use to do their project. It’s normal for a client to negotiate but painful when the negotiation rate depends on your location.
Problem with the payment platforms and methods
Payment methods and platforms are freelancing challenges that limit Nigerian freelancers’ activities on some freelancing platforms.
A question like how do I get paid as a freelancer in Nigeria? Runs through the mind of many Nigerians.
For instance, Freelancer is a freelancing platform that accepts payment using PayPal, and some platforms that do not favour Nigeria.
I tried registering on Freelancer, but I got discouraged when I did not see any payment platform for Nigerians except using a third-party account, and that is not secured.
If you find yourself in this scene as a freelancer, you can use a reliable third-party account if you have one or register on other freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. They have payment methods for Nigerians.
Read also: 6 Myths About Freelancing in Nigeria
A freelancer without access to the premium version of some working tools does not get recognition in the freelance marketplace.
Tools like Copyscape, Grammarly, Canva, Simplify, Videoscribe, and Powtoons are few among many that clients ask for. These tools are quite expensive and are not affordable for many Nigerian freelancers.
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There is no denying that these freelancing challenges can discourage and frustrate you, but it is worth enduring. If you build your reputation and an excellent relationship with your clients, you can gain their trust and work long-term with them.
You may even get a referral. Follow the advice in this article on overcoming the aforementioned freelancing challenges, and you will enjoy the benefits of these platforms.
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- Barakat is a professional content writer with competence in academic writing, ebooks, and blog posts. To help you convey your ideas to your audience, she provides articles written in the most appropriate style and tone.
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