Brownstyleblog » How Do Creatives In Nigeria Make Money?

How Do Creatives In Nigeria Make Money?

Creatives in Nigeria deserve medals.

I’m not trying to say that they are doing what other creatives around the world aren’t doing. It’s more about surviving in this environment.

I have creative friends, I also read stories of other creatives in the country, what they go through sometimes isn’t a joke (forget Instagram and happy pictures).

Most people in this part of the world, don’t know how much work it takes to be a creative, to put content out for them or for the media. They almost never see why they should pay enough, or see it as a big deal.

Creatives in Nigeria

I’d also say until creatives in Nigeria get it right, in terms of skill acquisition, experience, growth and applying the right strategies. Then making enough money as a creative in Nigeria may remain farfetched for us.

Before I continue, did you see my previous post on ‘why you should take a creative break‘ ? It’s a post that explains who a creative is, creative careers, creative block, it’s solutions and more. If you have not seen it yet, you can read it HERE.

This topic will be divided into three parts. In this particular post, I will talk about photographers and fashion designers. In the next, I’ll talk about fashion stylists and makeup artists, and to conclude the series I’ll talk about bloggers in Nigeria.


It’s really not easy to make money as a photographer in Nigeria, or in any country in fact.

1• The basics

Photographer in Nigeria

~ Acquire the skill: learn about angles, lighting…etc, and (especially) editing.

Editing is where most photographers go wrong, invest in a good camera (and other equipments you may need) consider a good second-hand camera, it beats down the cost of buying a new one.

~ Decide your niche: there are several niches such as – lifestyle, fashion, maternity, celebrity, real estate, events and lots more.

It’s very possible to branch out later, just be a pro at one first, picking a niche helps people recognise you for that niche and it opens doors of opportunities for you.

~ Freebies:

You will have to spend time organising shoots to build your portfolio. And also taking on a couple of free jobs through which you will gain more recognition, experience and ultimately more to your portfolio.

2• Creativity:

Let me quickly point out the fact that because you picked a niche and it happens to be portrait photography for example, it doesn’t mean you should just take random pictures in the studio always, I doubt that people will be wowed by just that.

Creatives in Nigeria

You’ve got to mix it up, be creative, let your pictures trigger stories in people’s minds and tap into their emotional senses. Look to other creatives and cook up mad concepts.

3• Putting your work out:

Let social media be your best friend, upload your work, promote your best picks, organise your feeds, be consistent, engage with your followers and build a relationship with them.

Social media to make money

Offer certain influencers free shoots, if they like your work, they will most likely share with their followers who are potential clients for you.

4• Collaborate:

This is a very good way to put your name out there, instead of trying to compete with the best, work with them for the experience.

Collaborate to make money in Nigeria

Collaborations with the right people or right brands are likely to give you publicity.

5• How is money made? Read 3 & 4 above and add these to it;

By now, you must already be grounded in skill and experience. Approach magazines in your niche, enter contests, start a photography blog to showcase your photos, sell your photos through stock photography sites like ShutterStock.


Make yourself business cards, go to places that matter, meet people, socialize & let them know what you do, show them your portfolio. In no time, you will be getting calls and opportunities.

6• Pricing:

With photography, I’d say it’s best to charge per the type of client and the magnitude of the job, so you should have some fixed amounts and variable amounts.

Look at other photographers around, those on your level and those better, now do a reality check, are you overcharging or undercharging? Don’t rush to the top, the better you get, the more you can charge.

Ultimate Tips-


~ You will get a lot of NO’s and disappointments, but never stop pushing, keep running with the vision and set goals.

~What is the vision? Have it defined, because that’s what will keep you going.

Fashion designers

1• The basics

How creatives in Nigeria make money

Identify your passion and pick a niche, could be male or female fashion, unisex, wedding, casuals..etc

Although, you should also know that in fashion you have a lot of competition, so what are you bringing to the table?

Fashion in Nigeria

Get creative and functional with your designs, even brands with big names are now getting creative and functional – Kim Kardashian is releasing a new solutionwear line soon, Fenty by Rihanna Incorporated corsets into almost every piece, women were wowed by this.

2• Acquire the necessary skill from skilled hands.

3• Do your research and market analysis. What does your customer really want from you? in fact build a business plan, I have a simple guide to do that HERE.

4• Start with a few designs and figure out which your customers demand for the most, do more of what they want than more of what you want.

Designing in Nigeria

Try to incorporate trends into some of your designs, people love original designs but they also love trends, give them a mix of both worlds, the idea is demand.

5• Let social media be your closest friend:

Look to other designers and creatives for inspiration.

Social media for publicity

Put your designs online, organise your feeds, engage with your followers and make proper use of customer feedback, promote your most liked/demanded designs on social media, collaborate with other people or brands that you know can influence your own brand.

Influencers have a loyal following that may convert to customers for you.

6• Collaborate:

Collaborate with people or other brands that you know can influence your brand, influencers have a loyal following that may convert to customers for you.

7• As a fashion brand owner you’d have to go out and represent, meet people & socialize.

Socialize to make money in Nigeria

Attend events where you’re likely to meet potential customers or like-minded people. Let them know about your products, you never know where a sale or opportunity can come from. This is what is referred to as networking.

8• Figure out your sales strategy:

You must have a sales plan, remember number 3 above says you should build a business plan, it also covers sales strategies.

A business plan is everything you need at first, and even what you need to keep going.

Market research

As a new brand, you can’t entirely rely on the few people, family, or friends you know. You should also look at approaching web shops or retail shops, who can facilitate your sales for a small cut.

Rihanna launched Fenty through Lvmh, and this I’m sure was one of her sales strategies.

9• How is money made?

How creatives in Nigeria make money through basics

From sales of course! where does sales come from? Publicity! how can you get publicity?

Read numbers 3 4 5 6 and 7 above and add giveaways to that.

10• Price:

This is where a lot of new brands have gone wrong. Let me start with this – ‘nobody knows your brand yet‘ I repeat ‘nobody knows your brand yet’.

Don’t start out as a high-end brand (even if eventually that is the goal) except you already have a loyal following/potential customers/friends that can actually afford your products.

You’d have to carry out market research to be sure of this, again if you carried out your business plan, market research is also a part of it.

Market research for creatives

There’s always room for growth and price increase, don’t try to achieve those all at once, start small and you will grow.

Don’t spend too much on materials, production, or packaging, such that your final price will have to be high to avoid loss. These factors must be operated at the lowest minimum costs humanly possible.

Ultimate Tip:

Tips on making money in Nigeria

~ Whenever the going gets tough, you’ve got to buckle yourself up and keep running with the vision. This is why you’ve got to have your vision defined, because that’s what will keep you going.

I hope you found this post helpful, if you did, please don’t forget to share.

Is there a creative career you want to see featured in this series? Please let me know in the comments section below, I might know an expert in that field who can help me on a post.

|Thank you for reading|

Sending love & light your way. Xx

(All photos are stock photos)

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