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Freelancing isn’t as rosy as people project it to be. Starting out as a freelancer or creative in Nigeria is actually a daunting task given the economic conditions and standard of living in the country.

With an increase in the network coverage of internet service providers, we’ve witnessed an increase in the number of skilled professionals who now make a living off freelancing. From software programmers, game developers, graphic designers, writers, and photographers, many Nigerians are embracing working on projects sourced from international freelancing marketplaces such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, and so on. But then there few factors that impede on the success of freelancing in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian freelancer, regardless of her skills or way with words, may never earn as much or work with good clients because no employer cares about skills if you can’t meet deadlines”. – Week of Saturdays.

Agree to Disagree?

Erratic Electricity

Electric wires are pictured in Ojuelegba district in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, Nigeria June 18, 2018.Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Yes, Electricity topped the charts. It is a crucial factor in the world today no matter the kind of business you are into; you need electricity to thrive.

BORING FACT: We already know that the main source of electricity generation comes from fossil fuels especially gas Blah! Blah! Blah! Nigeria Serves other countries with uninterrupted power supply and neglects its own.

According to an article written by John Campbell for Council on Foreign Relations titled Electricity Distribution Is Holding Nigeria Back lol very funny and info read you should check it out sometime. According to him Power Africa, a U.S. initiative to promote public/private partnerships in the power sector, estimates that more than twenty million Nigerian households are without power. He also did fail to recall the nickname given to PHCN which was formerly known as NEPA J referred to by most Nigerians as “Never Expect Power Always, Please Light Candle.” (Well I’d pardon him for the error on PHCN, which is supposed to be “Please Hold your Candle Near”).

Because of this phenomenon makes freelancers residing in Nigeria seem as if they aren’t reliable, which in turn gives them a bad reputation on whatever platform they are affiliated with (You are less likely to land new clients if your rating keeps going down).

Perception of Clients

Freelancers do most of their scouting on job boards and other online platforms that create avenue for them to earn money. For Nigerian freelancers, landing potential clients from foreign countries has been proven to be difficult as people outside Nigeria have little or no trust for Nigerians as there has been an increase in the number of Nigerians who take part in online fraudulent activities. 

In life and in work, I never lie about my nationality — I am Nigerian. I’ve, however, noticed I feel a twinge in my heart whenever I have to say it, and it’s always followed with a prayer in my mind: Dear God, let them see me as a person, a woman, a professional, not a Nigerian.

Pricing

In feel this is an another factor that affects us as freelancers (well, let me speak for myself). People tend to look down on creatives and freelancers as the services being rendered isn’t carried out by an agency, ‘they’ feel the cost of service should be lower since it’s a one-man business. Such assumptions should be tossed as every service rendered by any freelancer (Photographer, graphics designer, web designer, digital marketer & strategist and others) cost them time and money to perfect their craft so they shouldn’t be neglected.

Getting taken for granted by friends and family

When you work from home, your friends and family might start asking for all kinds of favors during the day. Or your significant other, while they understand and support your work, might still ask you take care of chores during the daytime before they get home from the office.

I can speak to this personally; from changing a light bulb to taking the dog for a walk, there isn’t one hand-me-down task that hasn’t come my way. What’s more, friends and family might try to request your services for a lower rate, or even for free.

While you might want to help, working for free isn’t going to pay your bills or make others value your services as much as they should.

Well, there are a lot of other things I feel freelancers face on a daily so I wouldn’t mind if you let me know in the comment section

What are the challenges you face as a freelancer?

 

Emmanuel Eluwa

Emmanuel Eluwa

Freelance web designer | Budding Photographer. Assisting Business owners and entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses online is one amongst the numerous things I am passionate about. Hit me up if you want a website designed for you. sales@emmanueleluwa.com

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