Picture this. You wake up in the morning without any stress of going to work. You don’t have a boss to pester you for that presentation. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, many people are living this life already. By now you must have guessed that we’re talking about freelancers.
Freelancing has taken the internet by storm. More and more people are contemplating to take up freelancing as they look to take control of their lives and break away from the traditional 9-5 routine. In fact, according to statistics, 61% of people chose to freelance by choice. By 2024, 43% of the US population will switch to freelancing as their source of income.
As a freelancer, you’re a one-man show, you call the shots and decide the direction your projects are going to take.
With this in mind, you must also understand the need for constant improvement. Improving your skills will offer more jobs which in turn will bring more money. On that note, here are some insights you can use to improve your freelancing skills.
#1. Acquire a specialisation on a particular niche
Is there a niche that you think you’d be really good at or want to focus on? Specialising in a particular area allows you to develop trust with prospective clients more quickly.
For instance, a designer that emphasises on mobile design for Android may be more likely to have freelance jobs in that sphere than individuals with more generalised skills.
When it comes to freelancing, there’s no denying that the market is quite competitive. This means there are no guarantees, but if you position yourself in a specific way, you may be able to improve your odds of getting hired for freelance gigs.
#2. Learn the art of self-promotion
If you’ve decided to tread the freelance route, you need to indulge in self-promotion. However, that doesn’t mean you have to scream from the rooftop and go overboard. You just have to be ready to promote your expertise and services.
At the most basic level, this means developing a website with optional, supplemental PDFs. In fact, PDFs are an excellent option if you can’t have a fully-functional website to do all the work.
This is especially useful when you’ve just started out. It’s more convenient to put your work and references into a PDF if you don’t have the time and money to design a comprehensive website.
#3. Diversify your portfolio
Your freelancing portfolio is the greatest weapon for you. You may be acquainted with the old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It sounds contradictory, considering we’ve just asked you to specialise in a particular niche. However, hear us out. If you want to specialise in one skill, then go for it but don’t do it just because everyone else is doing it.
You can always choose to excel in more than one skill. You can be a graphics designer who also dabbles into social media marketing. By diversifying your portfolio/skillset, you open yourself up for the myriad of opportunities waiting to be explored. For example, if you are an academic content writer, you can try your hand at marketing aside from offering assignment help to students. Please don’t forget to get a little help from plagiarism checker to make your content free from plagiarised.
#4. Conduct a swot analysis of your skills
Many freelancers tend to simply dive into the freelancing bandwagon without properly assessing themselves and their skills. Like any typical 9 to 5 job, you have to emphasise on your strengths. This is why, you are advised to carry out a SWOT analysis from time to time. Here are the four factors to focus on, in this case.
List out all your strengths. What have you done right? What do you excel at? Thinking about these questions enables you to know whether you’re using your skills to the fullest of potential.
Ponder over where are you lacking or what your issues have been in terms of freelancing. Also, think about what your clients have said about the areas of improvement.
Look at other freelancers around you. Find out everything about your market. Pay attention to what your clients have been telling you, or the additional work they have been providing you outside of your skillset. Look for opportunities you can leverage. By assessing the opportunities, you can get ahead of your competitors.
Determine whether there are any threats associated with your specific niche. Also, keep tabs on how are other freelancers in your field are performing. Are they doing anything differently than you? What is the biggest threat you face as a freelancer? Evaluating the threats helps you stay ahead. Moreover, you also find out what competitors are doing, so that you can improve as well.
#5. Hone your leadership skills
When you work with different clients, it’s natural to get carried away by their visions and approaches. However, what differentiates great freelancers from mediocre ones is the ability to decipher where the client is coming from and suggest a different strategy if you find out that theirs isn’t viable.
“Maybe a client wants to have a functional mobile app with the ideas that don’t seem justified. You know that this will cost thousands and thousands of dollars and will likely fail”, states Alex Morgan, an academic expert on MyAssignmenthelp.
It’s alright to have an open discussion in such cases and recommend a different, lower-risk approach.
#6. Enhance your communication and interpersonal skills
As a freelancer, you’re going to communicate a lot with your clients. And it must be done efficiently. You should be able to convey what exactly you can offer and under what conditions, in a short and precise manner.
At the same time, you have to know why the other side communicates in a particular way. In fact, this may require you to reading between the lines, determining the red flags and understanding client expectations.
The bottom line is you’ll need to put yourself in your client’s shoes quite often.
Other than that, you will need amazing networking skills to connect with other freelancers working in your field. Also, attending conferences and events can work wonders for your freelance business.
#7. Building your brand is crucial
For many people out there freelancing is their only source of income. In fact, they consider their freelancing jobs as their personal businesses.
Many freelancers depend on different freelancing platforms to get work, which is fine. Many of these platforms have provided the scope for people to earn a living through freelancing by connecting them to the clients.
That being said, these platforms also have some drawbacks. For starters, they take a sizeable amount from your pay. On top of it, you need to abide by all the rules of this platform, and a change in policy/guidelines could leave you pushed out of the site.
To deal with this, you need to focus on building your own brand. In this case, you can first start by developing and maintaining your personal website or social media pages.
Freelancing can be tough at times. But then again, nobody has ever learned how to swim without touching the water. So, go out there, give it your best and see whether you have what it takes to attain success in freelancing.
Jedda Cain is a senior operations manager working for a distinguished corporate firm in Australia. She received her MBA from Murdoch University. She has an incredible freelance portfolio. She is associated with EssayAssignmentHelp where she serves assignment help to students as they have a team of Australian assignment help experts online. Apart from work commitments, she also dabbles into yoga and meditation.