7 Skills Top Freelancers Need

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Freelancing is an idea many individuals consider at one point or another. Freelancers are self-employed professionals hired to fill roles and help complete projects on an as-needed basis and in several fields. There are many types of freelancers: graphic designers, writers, editors, developers, IT specialists, etc.

Unlike typical employees who only have to be good at a specific skill, freelancers have to learn all kinds of hard and soft skills to accommodate their ever-demanding workload successfully.

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Regardless of the type of freelance work you do, you will need some essential proficiencies to succeed. Here are the top skills freelancers need and how to use them to find success and career growth. 

1. Grit

Being a freelancer is not easy, as it has many ups and downs. A good freelancer needs the grit to endure the challenges they face and stay motivated even when things do not go their way.

Freelance projects will come and go, but the freelance business you build will continue to grow if you take on every challenge with grit. Think of it as the application of sustained persistence and passion in your pursuit for long-term achievement, even when freelance jobs are scarce.

2. Good Communication

Strong communication skills are vital at all stages of a freelance job, from the interview and proposal stage to project execution, follow-up, and future relationship with your client. Focus on finding a way to communicate with your client that accommodates your needs and theirs. This will help improve the accuracy and overall quality of your work.

Clients often ask freelancers to communicate with them via their messaging platform or a particular format. Do your best to accommodate the communication needs of your clients while also meeting your communication needs. Always provide regular updates and notify the client if obstacles arise. 

3. Industry Knowledge

Knowing your industry is essential for finding success as a freelancer. This helps you to position yourself against the competition, know the trends and happenings in your industry, and give you the knowledge to flourish in your business.

Many clients will hire a freelancer based on their research skills, industry knowledge, and specific skills. A good freelancer explains the industry to the client, not the other way around. 

4. Project Management

There are a lot of projects and people to keep track of as a freelancer, and having project management skills often helps in balancing priorities. 

Establish a system that helps you stay organized and up-to-date on your workload and communications. You can consider using a project management platform or app to help you visualize all the moving parts and keep notes in one place.

5. Financial

A freelancer needs some financial skill to quote jobs properly and manage their income stream. Your taxes will look very different as a freelancer, so staying organized and tracking all payments will help tremendously. Consider creating a system for invoicing and tracking payments to ensure you stay on top of things

6. Marketing

You will need an appealing portfolio or perhaps a website to attract potential clients to book jobs. Like any other business, you need to market yourself effectively.

You need to know how to present yourself as a brand to hit the niche in your market that you are best suited for freelance work. Also, utilizing social media and other networking resources will help get your foot in the door with potential clients. 

7. Analytics

Offering potential clients analytics and statistics about your work shows that you are business savvy and understand what works well in your industry. This often demonstrates that you have the right personality to freelance for them.

Besides, showing existing clients how the project progresses based on data and analytics is an instrumental skill. Consider taking a data analytics course to learn how to use some of the basic tools available.

Find Freedom

Freelancing is an exciting career choice that provides freedom, flexibility, and autonomy. But it is not as easy as it may seem. Taking the first steps into a freelancing career often feels overwhelming and can sometimes be intimidating, especially when transitioning from a traditional work setup. Whether you want to become a freelance marketer, programmer, transcriptionist, writer, or anything in between, these essential skills can help you be successful. 

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