Skill may simply be defined as the ability to do something very well, and in freelancing rendering your services well is always the main priority because it will enable you to retain as well as convert potential clients.
So as a freelancer, you must develop or improve the skills as they align with the kind of job or service you are offering. And as a matter of fact, every freelancing job has its own preferred skill.
For instance, you can never be a good freelance writer if you don’t have research and writing skills.
However, there are certain skills that align with every freelancer job, examples are negotiation, communication, time, and project management to mention but a few.
Having been a freelancer for over 5 years now, I believe I am in a better position to utilize my experience and help you learn about the best skills that are needed for freelancing.
So without further ado let’s get into this article.
What are freelancing skills?
Freelancing skills are simply the abilities possessed by freelancers to better equip and position them well to advertise their services and attract potential clients whom they will efficiently complete and deliver their work.
As a freelancer, you can utilize these skills in any area of your expertise or freelance career.
Below are some of the ways freelancing skills are going to help you as a freelancer:
- To know how to advertise your freelancing business to get clients.
- Know how best to communicate with clients and negotiate projects it tasks.
- Be able to plan, execute and deliver projects efficiently for your clients.
Best skills needed for freelancing.
Below are the best skills needed for freelancing:
- Time management.
- Project management.
- Research and writing.
- Social media.
- Industry knowledge.
Freelancers need to be creative in order to know how best to initiate any given project or task and execute them properly to attain the client’s expectations.
Even though most clients are going to give out an exact hint on how they want their project to be, you must also know the best way to contribute your own ideas and ensure you deliver the work even beyond their expectations.
Remember, your goal should always be your client’s satisfaction because that is the only thing that will make them keep using your services as well as recommend you to others who will patronize your service.
As a freelancer, your profession is going to revolve around too many clients as well as team members in the case you are freelancing for a corporation, and this means that communication is going to play a very vital role.
Even before you are given a project or task to execute, clients are going to bombard you with so many questions which you must provide accurate information.
While working with a team on a project, you are expected to keep in touch with them to get the information that will help you execute the project as expected.
And lest I forget, you will also need to have very strong communication skills that will help you network with established freelancers who will connect you to freelancing jobs.
3. Time management.
Deadlines are an essential part of projects or task execution when it comes to freelancing.
And oftentimes, you will have more than a project or two to deliver within a specific period of time.
And to meet up with every deadline of your freelance jobs, you must have the ability to schedule your task and determine how long you are going to work every day to meet up the required deadline.
Before you embark on any project or task for a client as a freelancer, both of you need to reach a common understanding to avoid conflict when the project is finally completed.
For example, every job you land will have a price that comes with a mood of payment that may require the client to pay a percentage of the whole price before you start the project and make the balance once the project is finished and delivered.
While embarking on a freelancing project or task, there are certain challenges or changes that might occur and as a freelancer, you need to be able to come up with the options that will enable you to find alternative solutions that will help you deliver the work efficiently.
6. Project management.
In freelancing, project management is simply the ability to plan, execute and complete a project or task.
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to make this happen exactly as you wish or prefer.
Marketing skill is very crucial for freelancers who are marketing or advertising for firms.
And it entails the ability to understand how potential clients or customers are considering a business and use the result to present a brand in the light that will make them patronize their products and services.
8. Research and writing.
This skill will work best for freelancers who are into freelance writing like blogging, content writing, copywriting, etc.
And it involves being able to thoroughly research topics and titles and use the result to produce unique content that will help present s brand or business in a way that will increase their conversion and sales.
9. Social media.
Since social media platforms are easy to join, billions of people walk around the world have signed up for a free account or page where anyone can connect or interact with them.
Therefore, as a freelancer, you must understand how best to use social media to your own and your client’s advantage.
This might include creating effective social media profiles and the kind of content that’s going to grasp the attention of social media users.
10. Industry knowledge.
As a freelancer, you are going to be working independently most of the time, which means there is going to be no one to supervise or advise you on what to do.
For this reason, you must be very confident in your ability to deliver, and this will be made possible by the knowledge you have about the freelance industry.
Some people are fond of getting mad and abandoning a project whenever problems arise somewhere in their career, but I forbid you to follow in such footsteps as a freelancer.
Indeed, you must have it at the back of your mind that problems are inevitable when executing a project or task, so that if they eventually arise you will look for ways to solve them instead of getting mad and giving up on the whole job.
Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of your clients or co-workers, and you must have it as a freelancer else you might find yourself falling out with a client because you misunderstood their intentions.
I remember when I almost fell out with one of my long-time clients because I misunderstood her intentions in telling me to wait until she see positive results from the website I built for her before she pays my balance.
On my end, I was thinking she taught I would abandon managing the site as I promised so I was trying to let him know that the money she is paying me for building the site is too small for me to run away with.
Not until she replied that I was misunderstanding her that I put my empathy skill to play and it helped me to avoid the problem or issue I would have created with my client.
Thus, you must always ensure you understand what your clients is driving at before you seek any redress or adjustments.
How to learn freelancing skills.
You can learn freelancing skills from well-established freelancers who have had years of experience in the freelance industry. Lots of them are organizing online courses and webinars that will help you a lot.
As you are also growing in the field, your experience will help you to learn more and update your freelancing skills effectively.
How to improve your freelancing skills.
You can improve your freelancing skills in the following ways:
- Undergo free projects: especially when you are starting out, do not wait until you land a job in order to improve your freelancing skills, rather take on free projects or tasks from clients. The biggest disadvantage with free projects is that everything is going to go strictly under your own terms and conditions. You can therefore utilize the opportunity to give yourself enough time to improve your freelancing skills.
- Learn from other successful freelancers: you can find successful freelancers on their personal blogs where you can use a contact form or email to reach out to them. Social media is another place to dig them out, and you can send DMs to let them know what you really want to learn from them.
- Conduct industry outreach: You can also reach out to both freelancers and their clients through industry outreach to discover the views they have about the freelancing profession based on their personal experiences.
- Ask for your client’s feedback: anytime you complete and deliver a project for a client, ensure you ask them to feedback on the service you provided for them. This will help you to know the areas you are inconsistent and use that to make improvements.