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Thriving as a Freelance Developer in Nigeria: Tips

Last Updated on July 15, 2023


In Nigeria, the freelance developer industry is rapidly growing, with an increasing number of professionals opting for flexible working conditions.

To thrive as a freelance developer in Nigeria is essential as it helps to establish a reputation, attract clients, and earn a consistent income.

This blog post aims to provide insights and tips for developers seeking to succeed in the Nigerian freelance market.

Whether you are new to the industry or seeking to improve your existing skills, the information contained in this post will prove invaluable.

Build a Professional Network

As a freelance developer in Nigeria, building a professional network is essential to your success.

Networking helps you to connect with potential clients and colleagues, share your skills and experience, and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

Importance of Networking for Freelance Developers

Networking can provide a wealth of opportunities for freelance developers, including:

  • Referrals: Networking allows you to connect with potential clients who may refer you to others in their network.

  • Collaboration: Networking can lead to collaborations with other developers on projects and also enable you to form partnerships with other businesses.

  • Learning: Networking provides opportunities to attend conferences, workshops and other industry events where you can learn about new trends and technologies in your field.

  • Support: Networking can also provide emotional support through connecting with other freelance developers who have similar experiences.

How to Build a Professional Network

There are a variety of ways to build a professional network as a freelance developer in Nigeria:

  • Use social media: LinkedIn is a great platform for networking with other professionals and potential clients. Twitter, GitHub, and Stack Overflow are also effective platforms to showcase your work and interact with the community.

  • Attend conferences and events: Attending industry events enables you to meet other professionals in person, learn about new technologies, and promote your skills and services.

  • Be active in online communities: Join discussion groups, forums, and other online communities where you can share your knowledge and connect with potential clients and colleagues.

  • Workshops and courses: Enroll in online or in-person courses and workshops. You’ll meet other professionals in your field, learn new skills, and make meaningful connections.

List of Online Platforms to Find Clients

These are some online platforms that can help you find clients as a freelance developer in Nigeria:

  • Upwork: A global freelancing platform where you can find clients and bid on projects.

  • Fiverr: Another global platform where you can showcase your skills and offer services to clients worldwide.

  • Guru: A platform for freelance developers to find work and build their portfolios.

  • Toptal: A platform that connects top freelancers with companies and clients worldwide.

  • Freelancer: A global platform where you can find freelance work in a variety of fields, including web development, programming, and software development.

  • PeoplePerHour: A UK-based platform that connects businesses with freelance developers and other professionals.

Building a professional network as a freelance developer in Nigeria can help you to build your reputation, promote your skills and services, and connect with potential clients and colleagues.

With so many online platforms available, you can easily find clients and build relationships that will benefit your career in the long run.

Read: Freelancing in Nigeria’s Health Sector: Opportunities

Develop a Strong Online Presence

As a freelance developer in Nigeria, having a strong online presence is key to thriving in the industry. It not only helps you stand out from the competition, but it also makes it easier for clients to find and reach out to you.

Why having a strong online presence is important:

  • It shows potential clients that you are serious about your profession and are actively seeking work.

  • It gives you a platform to showcase your skills, portfolio, and expertise.

  • It provides a way for clients to easily contact you and learn more about your services.

  • It helps build credibility and trust with clients, which translates into more business opportunities.

Tips for creating a strong online presence:

  1. Create a professional website or portfolio that showcases your work and services. Make sure it is clean, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly.

  2. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and GitHub to connect with other professionals, share your work, and engage with potential clients.

  3. Join online communities or forums where you can network and build relationships with other developers and clients.

  4. Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that clients can easily find you when they search for relevant keywords.

  5. Keep your online profiles up-to-date and regularly update your website or portfolio with new projects and achievements.

List of online platforms where Nigerian developers can showcase their skills:

  • LinkedIn – a professional networking platform where you can connect with other professionals and showcase your skills.

  • GitHub – a software development platform where you can host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside other developers.

  • Upwork – a global freelance platform where clients can hire talented freelancers from all over the world, including Nigeria.

  • Freelancer – another global freelance platform where clients can find and hire freelancers for various projects.

  • Toptal – an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world.

By following these tips and utilizing these online platforms, Nigerian freelance developers can create a strong online presence, increase their visibility and credibility, and ultimately thrive in the industry.

Read: Freelance Virtual Assistant Jobs in Nigeria: Scope

Focus on Developing Marketable Skills

As a freelance developer in Nigeria, having marketable skills is crucial in order to thrive in the industry. Not only does it give you a competitive edge, but it also allows you to command higher rates.

Why Having Marketable Skills Are Important

With the rise of technology and the ease of access to information, the pool of freelance developers has become increasingly large.

This means that having generic skills will not cut it in the industry. Clients are more likely to choose developers who have niche skills that are tailored to their specific needs.

Developing marketable skills also allows you to work on more challenging and rewarding projects. Clients are willing to pay top dollar for developers who have specific expertise in certain areas.

This means that developing your skills can lead to higher paying gigs and, ultimately, more financial stability.

Tips for Developing Marketable Skills as a Freelance Developer

  1. Stay up to date: The tech industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important for you to stay current with the latest trends and technologies.

  2. Take courses and attend workshops: There are many online courses and workshops available that can help you develop specific skills that are in demand.

  3. Practice: The more you practice your skills, the better you will become. Take on small projects or create your own projects to refine your abilities.

  4. Network: Attend tech events and connect with other developers who have skills that complement yours. You never know when an opportunity may arise.

  5. Be open to learning new things: Don’t limit yourself to just one area of expertise. Be open to learning new skills that can complement your current ones.

List of In-demand Skills in the Nigerian Freelance Developer Industry

While there are many skills that can be considered marketable, there are some that are in higher demand in the Nigerian freelance developer industry:

  • Mobile app development (Android and iOS)

  • Web development (front-end and back-end)

  • Data analysis and visualization

  • User interface and user experience design (UI/UX)

  • Cybersecurity and information security

  • Cloud computing (AWS and Azure)

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning

  • Blockchain development

Developing skills in any of these areas can help you stand out in the crowd and increase your chances of landing high paying gigs.

Developing marketable skills as a freelance developer in Nigeria is vital in order to thrive in the industry.

By staying current, taking courses, practicing, networking, and being open to learning new things, you can become a highly sought-after developer.

Also, by focusing on in-demand skills such as mobile app development, web development, data analysis and visualization, UI/UX design, cybersecurity, cloud computing, AI/ML, and blockchain development, you can increase your chances of landing higher paying gigs.

So, keep developing those skills, and success will surely follow.

Read: Balancing Freelance Work & Life in Nigeria: Strategies

Thriving as a Freelance Developer in Nigeria: Tips

Set Realistic Goals and Expectations

As a freelance developer in Nigeria, setting realistic goals and expectations is essential for success. It helps you to focus your efforts, stay motivated, and achieve tangible results. Here are tips to help you set realistic goals and expectations:

Importance of setting goals and expectations

  • Gives you a clear direction and purpose

  • Helps to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently

  • Increases productivity and performance

  • Encourages personal and professional growth

  • Provides a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction

Tips for setting realistic goals and expectations

  1. Define your objectives: Know what you want to achieve and why it matters to you. It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

  2. Break it down: Divide your goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This helps you to avoid overwhelm and stay motivated as you achieve milestones.

  3. Consider your resources: Be realistic about the resources, skills, and time available to you. This will help you to set goals that are achievable and within your capacity.

  4. Get feedback: Share your goals with trusted colleagues or mentors who can provide constructive feedback and support. They can help you to refine your goals, identify blind spots, and offer ideas.

  5. Adjust as needed: Things may not always go according to plan. Be flexible and willing to adjust your goals as needed. This will help you to adapt to changing circumstances and avoid frustration.

Importance of tracking progress and adjusting goals

Setting realistic goals and expectations is not enough. You need to track progress and adjust your goals regularly. Here’s why:

  • Keeps you accountable: Tracking progress helps to ensure that you are making progress towards your goals and taking action.

  • Identifies areas for improvement: You can assess your performance, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your goals accordingly.

  • Boosts motivation: Seeing progress and results can boost your motivation and confidence, and encourage you to keep going.

  • Facilitates learning: Regularly reviewing your progress and adjusting goals can help you to learn from mistakes and develop new skills.

In short, setting realistic goals and expectations is a critical aspect of thriving as a freelance developer in Nigeria. By following the tips discussed in this blog post and tracking your progress, you can achieve your goals, grow your skills, and build a successful freelance career.

Read: Freelance Job Trends: Nigeria’s Digital Marketplace

Manage Your Time Effectively

Effective time management is one of the most important skills a freelance developer must have to thrive in Nigeria. Proper management of your time ensures that you maximize productivity, meet deadlines, and deliver quality work to your clients. Here are some tips for effective time management:

Tips for Effective Time Management

  • Create a schedule: Prepare a weekly or daily schedule that outlines your goals for each day and stick to it.

  • Prioritize tasks: Determine which tasks are most important and tackle them first.

  • Avoid distractions: Turn off notifications on your phone and minimize distractions that can derail your productivity.

  • Take breaks: Take regular breaks to help recharge and refocus your mind.

  • Delegate tasks: Consider outsourcing or delegating tasks that do not require your direct attention.

Tools and Resources to Help with Time Management

There are several tools and resources that can help you manage your time effectively as a freelance developer. Some of them include:

  • Time tracking apps: These apps can help you keep track of how much time you spend on each task, which can help you identify areas where you need to improve.

  • Project management software: These tools can help you manage your projects, track progress, and collaborate with clients and other team members.

  • Productivity apps: These apps can help you stay focused and avoid distractions by blocking certain websites and apps.

  • Online calendars: These tools can help you schedule meetings, deadlines, and other important events, so you never miss a deadline or important meeting.

In general, effective time management is a key factor that can determine your success as a freelance developer in Nigeria.

By creating a schedule, prioritizing tasks, avoiding distractions, taking breaks, and delegating tasks, you can ensure that you maximize productivity, meet deadlines, and deliver quality work to your clients.

Additionally, utilizing time management tools and resources can help you stay organized, focused, and on track to achieving your goals.


Throughout this blog post, we have discussed several key points to help freelance developers thrive in Nigeria. We’ve explored how to set competitive rates, how to build a reputable brand, and how to network effectively.

It’s important to remember that freelancing in Nigeria comes with its own unique set of challenges, but by keeping these tips in mind, you can position yourself for success.

As a final thought, remember that thriving as a freelance developer in Nigeria takes time, effort, and determination. Along the way, there may be setbacks and challenges, but don’t give up. Stay focused on your goals and continue to learn and grow as a developer.

If you take action and implement the tips provided in this blog post, you will be well on your way to a successful freelance career in Nigeria. So go out there, put in the work, and watch your freelance business thrive!

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