Home » Welcome To Our Blog! » How To Start A Freelance Business in Nigeria (10 Easy Steps)

How To Start A Freelance Business in Nigeria (10 Easy Steps)

start a freelance business

If you’re looking to start a freelance business in Nigeria, this article covers 11 steps to effectively do this.

The steps to starting a profitable freelance business are easy and they include:

  1. Define your reason for starting (Side hustle, full-time job, or Passive income)

    Before you start your freelance business, you need to pinpoint why.

  2. Decide on Your Service

    This freelance service you choose to offer can either make or break your entire endeavor to make money as a freelancer

  3. Decide on Your Niche

    The freelance world is becoming more and more saturated and to scale properly, you need to decide on a particular group of people to focus your business on.

  4. Outline your ideal client profile (ICF)

    Who is your dream client? you need to make a perfect description of your ideal client. This way you are in a better position to market in a way they resonate with.

  5. Choose your freelance model

    It’s time to decide how you want to run your business. You can choose to build a brand of your own or offer your services on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork.

  6. Brand your business

    Let’s take your freelance business idea from idea to paper. You get your choose your logo, tagline, brand name, and lots more.

  7. Create a Portfolio section

    Compel your clients to buy by showing off a catalog of your professional potential with a portfolio.

  8. Find Clients for your Freelance business

    At this point, you are set to start signing clients and offering your freelance services.

  9. Plan your delivery process

    Freelancing is a one-way game, there are so many ways you can get the project done after being paid by clients. e.g Hiring a team or Outsourcing.

  10. Plan your payment process

    Decide on how you want to get paid. You will need an invoicing tool to do this. You can use Paypal, Paystack, or Local bank transfer.

Freelancing is the single most amazing way to start making money online as a complete beginner, especially for Nigerians.

With freelancing, you don’t need to be an expert or have any experience. You just need to have a skill or talent that solves a particular problem for your clients.

If you already know you should be freelancing, this article is going to cover all that goes into starting a freelance business in Nigeria.

What is a Freelance Business and Who is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is an individual who provides a service of any kind. Freelancers don’t have to be affiliated with any company or business like corporate workers are.

They work on their own terms and can function anywhere in the world.

Freelance businesses are one of the most scalable businesses you can start online. You can build one with barely any technical know-how.

Follow the steps listed below to get started with your freelance business.

How To Start A Freelance Business in Nigeria

1. Define your Reason

For any business to be successful, there needs to be a reason. These reasons will help you set smart goals and take the specific actions your business needs to thrive.

Your freelance business whys could include any of the following:

  • To Have a side-hustle
  • To build an extra income stream
  • To offer affordable services
  • To scale your freelance business into an agency.

2. Decide on Your Service

What’s a freelance business without a service?

Your service is the core of your freelance business and you should therefore be particular about your choice. Becoming a successful freelancer will hugely depend on the service you’ve chosen to offer.

There are several services you could offer as a freelancer. A quick way to decide on this is to look at your present skills and talents.

You could even use a professional skill you acquired in college at your workplace.

Qualities of the perfect freelance service.

Make a list of all of your skills and talents and make sure they meet the following qualities

  • It needs to be a service in high demand
  • It should solve a problem for your target audience. (A quick tip: if your service helps your potential client save time or make money, you’re on the right path).

Here’s a list of profitable services you could consider offering.

  • Bookkeeping
  • Coaching
  • Video editing
  • Digital Marketing services like copywriting, and Facebook advertisement.
  • Photography
  • Film making
  • Modeling
  • Music productions
  • Graphics design
  • Writing services
  • Website design services

You don’t need to conform to this list when deciding on services to offer in your freelance business.

Rather focus on the skills you already have while making sure it ticks off the qualities I’ve listed above.

For your own sanity in your freelance business, always make sure to focus on just a few services.

3. Decide on Your Niche

Your niche is a targeted subset of a bigger market that most likely needs the solution you offer.

The problem with the profitable freelance service ideas I listed above is that most of them are way too competitive.

How many graphic designers, writers or digital marketers do you see on a regular basis? You’ve most likely lost count of this number.

This is why you should decide on a niche before you even launch your freelance business.

The more narrow you go with your freelance business, the more likely you’ll be to find clients for your freelance business.

Freelance businesses are much more attractive when they’re for a particular set of people.

So instead of offering a basic website design service, try being a web designer for a certain group of people e.g NFT Website design.

Simply doing this will slash your competition in half and help you break into your market a lot easier.

4. Outline Your Ideal Client Profile [ICP]:

Once you’ve chosen a niche for your freelance business, it’s time to craft your ideal client profile.

An ideal client profile is an exact description of who your dream client is. Knowing who your dream client is will help you better market to them.

When you know who your ideal clients are, you will be able to learn how to find them and sell your services in a manner they resonate with.

To outline the perfect ICP, follow these step-by-step process

  • What problems do these people have and how big are these problems to your ideal client?

You need to understand what problems your ideal clients are facing. Pinpoint how you can solve these problems through your services. Ideally, you want to solve bigger problems as you’ll get paid a higher price.

So does your service solve a problem? because if it doesn’t, you should consider finding something else.

  • Where can you find these types of people?

Don’t believe it when people say, you just have to build a business and clients will come.

If you want your freelance business to be successful, you need to build a strategy to get clients online.

For this, you need to think about where your ideal clients hang around.

This is because when you’re first starting out your freelance business, you’d need to actively fish out your ideal clients in the right places.

To do this, you need to know where they live online.

5. Choose how you want to run your freelance business.

These are 2 freelance business models you can choose to adopt.

a. Marketplace Model:

You can decide to freelance on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru.

Freelance marketplaces can be a huge avenue to start getting clients to your freelance business ASAP.

Millions of buyers are actively searching for services you can provide, and the best thing you can do for your business is to make sure you show up as results for these searches.

Pros of the Marketplace Model
  1. You can start getting clients to your freelance business from day 1
  2. You have access to a database of your ideal clients actively looking for the services you offer.
  3. You can start with this model for free and work from anywhere in the world.
Cons of the Marketplace Model
  1. You need to have a deep understanding of how Fiverr or Upwork SEO work to be able to rank your services on the platform and have them show up for searches made by your ideal client.
  2. You’ll have to share the money you make with these marketplaces and this reduces your final commission
  3. You’ll be up against the fierce competition already present on these marketplaces.
  4. You’ll be at the mercy of your clients and get paid way less for services.

b. The Standalone Model:

With the standalone model, you will be marketing your services and finding clients all on your own. Once you have your first few clients, it becomes a lot easier from that point onwards.

Pros of The Standalone Model
  1. You get paid a lot higher
  2. You don’t have to share the commissions you earn.
  3. You’re not at the mercy of your clients
Cons of The Standalone Model
  1. It takes a lot of work and effort to see results
  2. You’d need to have background knowledge of marketing

These two models are awesome, and I highly recommend you get started with both of them and juggle them as you grow.

For more information on this, here are a few of the best freelancing platforms in Nigeria to start making money online real quick.

6. Brand your business

Now we have a plan for the freelance business we want to build.

It’s time to bring it to reality. You need to build a business that looks legit and professional and to do this you’ll have to get into the business of branding.

Branding covers so many areas of your business.

You need to make sure your business looks attractive to your target audience.

Everyone can decide on starting a freelance business, but only the truly professional ones can build a powerful brand that attracts the right type of audience.

Here’s a simple outlook on what branding for your business should look like: Have a consistent color palette, an attractive logo, and consistent usage of fonts and graphics.

You’ll also need an attractive tagline and website.

For branding your business, your website might be the single most important aspect of your business branding. People need to land on your website and know you’re truly a professional freelancer.

Here’s an entire article on how to create a professional website for your freelance business.

7. Create a portfolio section on your website

A portfolio is what it has always been. Clients won’t buy from the next newbie freelancer in town. You need to showcase your expertise not only in your branding but also in your previous works.

For example, for example as a writer, you should showcase all of the articles you’ve written.

People need proof of what you do or they won’t buy from you. Creating workpieces to show off on your portfolio website is a good step to take.

You’ll need to show off the very best of your work as this will compel your clients to take action on becoming clients for your business.

8. Find Clients For your freelance business

Below are some of the best ways to get clients to your freelance business

A. Content Marketing:

This form of marketing involves creating content like blog posts, videos, and social media posts with valuable tips and tricks to solve your client’s problem.

By creating content for your potential clients, two things can happen

  • They either order your service as they trust you and the results you can bring or
  • They Become followers and fans of your brand and help promote your services.

For newbies, I highly recommend Instagram, where you’ll be creating simple posts using Canva to grow a following for your freelance business.

Topic ideas for a copywriter can include:

  • How copywriting can grow your business
  • How to increase your conversions with copywriting
  • How to create your email copy
  • Copywriting mistakes

These types of content will help educate your clients on the importance of your service and show them why they need you.

B. Joint Ventures:

This is another amazing strategy for getting clients to your freelance business.

In this case, you’d need to form a partnership deal with an influencer or small business owner. You simply need to find an influencer that has access to your exact type of clients.

To make this work, you need to make sure your service isn’t in direct competition with theirs.

A good example to illustrate this is my agency, I formed a joint venture with the Admin of a Facebook group with new coaches.

I helped the admin drive clients to his business and to show gratitude, he promoted my services on his Facebook group.

This way, I was getting clients to my agency on Auto-pilot without even trying.

C. Cold Outreach:

This is the last way I use in my agency to get clients. There are 3 ways to go about it. You could do sales calls, send emails or do cold messaging.

All the same, cold outreach involves sending bulk emails and messages to strangers that fit your ideal client profile. In hopes that a small percentage of them see value in your service and get back to you.

If you’re a newbie, I’d highly recommend you focus on the other strategies I’ve shown but if you’re confident about your services and feel like more people need to know about them, then you should definitely try cold outreach.

If you are new to digital marketing, take our digital marketing masterclass to learn the basics of digital marketing.

9. Plan Your Delivery Process

Now you have clients coming in, it’s time to plan how you’ll be delivering these services.

You need to outline a setdown process for fulfilling the service orders you’ll be getting. It needs to be as effective as can be as well as should provide actual results every single time.


This simply stands for “Do It Yourself”, with this model, you’re going to be the one single-handedly delivering and fulfilling each order as they come.

This model is not too scalable as there’s only so much you can handle with the 24 hours you have every day.

Leverage a Team:

This model is one step ahead of the previous one. It involves you educating a team of professionals on your tried and tested delivery process and having them fulfill these services on your behalf.

This way you only have to be the face of your brand and find clients. While your team handles the rest of the work.

Try Dropservicing:

This is the hybrid version of the previous model. In this case, you don’t need a team.

Instead, you find clients, charge them at a higher rate, then have someone on Fiverr or Upwork do the work for much less.

This is a perfect model for new freelancers especially if you lack testimonials.

You’re able to leverage the reviews and portfolio these existing freelancers have during your client scouting process.

Moreso, you don’t even need to be a professional at a service to drop service it. You are simply the middleman between a freelancer and a customer.

You just need it to be in high demand while you have a general understanding of what your ideal clients want.

10. Plan Your Payment Process

Once you have everything set up, it’s time for the money.

Without being paid, your business is just a passion project.

With marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork, you don’t have to worry about how you’ll receive payments from your clients as they take care of that aspect.

You’ll only need to withdraw your funds using a Paypal account.

If you run the standalone freelance model, you could send invoices to clients. Have them pay the funds directly to your Paypal account for international clients or directly to your bank account for local clients.

a woman sitting at a desk with a laptop holding a credit card
Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com


I’m glad you are choosing to walk the path of entrepreneurship by starting your own freelance business. So as a gift to you, I’ll be offering my website design service to you for free.

To get you started with your freelance business, I will be giving the first 100 freelancers to apply, access to my professional website design services for free. Apply now to get started.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


error: Content is protected !!