Majolagbe speaks on the influence of technology on product branding and online marketing. She also x-rays the Nigerian market and her business, Terawork.
Olutola Majolagbe is a Branding and Marketing professional with over nine years cognate experience in Branding and Marketing Communications. She has a degree in English Language from the University of Ilorin, a diploma in Marketing Communications from Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK, and also attended the Orange Academy School of Brand Advertising. Her deep understanding of the local market and her experience in new media ensures excellent customer experience across all touch points.
In this interview, Majolagbe speaks on the influence of technology on product branding and online marketing. She also x-rays the Nigerian market and the crux of her business, Terawork.
Terawork is an online service marketplace or a freelance website that connects freelancers or professional services providers with companies or people that need their services, skills or talent. Firstly, we enable individuals with marketable skills or companies offering professional services to freely register, create impressive profiles or portfolios to showcase and sell their services globally. Secondly, we enable individuals or businesses in need of professional services search and hire competent professionals – companies or individuals – to help them get their jobs done at the right time, budget and at the quality they want without ever paying for poor quality jobs. Our platform is highly robust, and it contains all the features and tools that both parties buying and selling services can use to effectively manage their jobs or projects. The professional services on our platform include art and creative design, web design and digital marketing, social media marketing, technology and software programming, writing, business consulting, accounting, legal, virtual assistant, multimedia, fashion and lifestyle, among others.
For anyone thinking about freelancing, hustle, side hustle, selling gig work, means of earning additional income or looking for an alternative to regular employment, Terawork is here for them to sell their services globally. Likewise, for anyone thinking about convenience when giving out jobs or projects to someone to handle for them, outsourcing, one-off or short-term tasks, buying gig work, value for money, etc, Terawork is here for them to search and hire the experts they need globally.
Nigeria vs. other African markets
Nigeria is one of the leading countries in Africa when it comes to using technology to enhance our businesses and everything we do. Most African countries are fast embracing technology, no doubt. For example, Google is driving serious campaigns encouraging usage of their products, especially Google Search everywhere in Nigeria. E-commerce and FinTech companies are driving serious awareness and adoption of these services are increasing everywhere in Africa, including Nigeria. Likewise, taxi services enhanced with technology are gaining popularity everywhere. In the same manner, Terawork is championing the course of using technology to offer freelance services through our online freelance marketplace platform. Freelancing has always been part of our lives, but what we are doing is building technology solutions that enhance, increase awareness and adoption of freelance services.
One of the challenges of online platforms is fear users have with respect to safety or privacy of their personal and financial details when they have to use it to consummate transactions online. A lot of people feel reluctant to enter their card details, fearing that some unethical hackers, and truly they are very plenty online, might steal their details and use them to gain unauthorised access to their internet banking accounts to steal their money or expose their personal and very sensitive private data thereby causing them unnecessary pains, sometimes blackmailing them.
We are aware of these challenges and at Terawork, we take security, safety and confidentiality of our online users’ data very paramount. We follow best practices in everything we do, from our website designs to smallest changes or enhancements we make everyday. We take our time to think through processes and scenarios and build useful security features on our platform. We create options where possible to ensure that our users have nothing to worry about when they use our website to sell or buy freelance services. Our website uses https, i.e. secure http protocol with SSL certificate that encrypt our users’ data with the strongest security available globally. This security solution carries warranty worth hundreds of thousands of USD to further protect our users’ financial and private data. In addition, our users have various options ranging from using local or international cards, internet banking from bank accounts in Nigerian banks, PayPal, our own GiftCard, etc., to make payment when ordering freelance jobs on our website. Another challenge is that while a lot of people in Nigeria practice freelancing in one way or another, they don’t consciously describe the act as freelancing and somehow, we all found the word ‘freelancing’ not as popular as we actually practice it. Side hustle or company outsourcing jobs for a period of time is actually freelancing.
There are many competitors out there, both globally and within Nigeria, when it comes to freelance marketplace business, but what set Terawork apart from competitors are these: Freelancers and clients’ signups are free, secure and intuitive. Terawork does not charge our freelancers before they are listed for potential clients to see. Likewise, we don’t charge our clients before they interact with our freelancers. We actively promote our freelancers’ businesses and take it as a duty to source for jobs and match opportunities to the right freelancers on our platform. Unlike some of our competitors who only provide list of freelancers to potential clients, our website, in addition, provides features that enable freelancers and clients effectively manage their projects, collaborate and securely share project files, handle payments efficiently. We have dedicated customer support system and great documentation for timely resolution of problems. We have blog posts, helpful tips, news and users’ testimonials on our blog site. Also, we are conscious of the fact that people should like and trust our brand, and we are trying our best to see that this happens.
There are few occasions we meet with brands and freelancers physically, either in their offices or at events, workshops or seminars in the course of marketing our brand and signing them up. In most cases, we use other means to verify expertise claimed by them, including conducting telephone interviews with some. Most importantly, we vet every freelancer before they go live on our website.
Firstly, all active freelancers you see on Terawork are vetted. Secondly, our process is such that while buyers pay for freelancers’ jobs at the time they hire freelancers, the freelancers don’t receive payment for their services until they successfully deliver and we get positive feedback from the buyer on the quality of jobs the freelancers render. In effect, buyers ultimately determine whether the freelancers they hire get paid or not. However, our process ensures that freelancers get paid as long as they deliver jobs at the quality their clients specify. Also, clients are encouraged to write reviews about the freelancers they hire each time they engage them.
The reviews, after we approve them, are published on freelancers’ pages for all to see. If you check our website, you will see some of these reviews on the pages of freelancers that have already worked.
These reviews give first-hand insights from buyers that have engaged our freelancers, and they are the sincerest feedback we can rely on concerning how good the freelancers are.
Market value in Nigeria
There has not been any empirical study/research or market valuation of the freelance market in Nigeria. However, it is a huge market with enormous opportunities to create value for freelancers and offer convenience for buyers. I believe that very soon, there will be a market valuation.
Business projections for the future
We aim to become the market leader in the freelance space in Africa.
Ayo Alonge: [email protected]