How To Be A Successful Freelance Worker: Essential Skills
Becoming a freelancer sounds amazing on paper. After all, who wouldn’t want to be their own boss, work on their own terms, and have a more flexible lifestyle? While these benefits are real, the skills required to function according to effort (and remain so) are often overlooked.
While an employee should only be good at a basic skill, a freelancer must learn all kinds of other skills to accommodate an increasingly demanding workload. As an entrepreneur, you need many other skills to run your freelance business smoothly. Check out an easy way to start a dropshipping business with the best guides and tools.
Self-learning is one of the most important skills you must have as a freelancer. While the employee can be trained by the employer and given developmental courses, the self-employed person has no one to rely on but himself. He must be self-motivated to learn new things and especially upgrade his necessary skills.
This takes a lot of conscious effort and taking the time to develop skills on a regular basis. But the real hard part is deciding what to learn. It’s one thing to be instructed on what to learn by your employer, and quite another to know it yourself. Check out the best tools for finding online learning courses and study partners.
Whether you learn a complementary skill in addition to your existing skill or hone your craft, this is a decision you will have to make on your own. You can read books, watch videos, buy courses, ask other freelancers to share some tips, and so on.
2. Time management
While it’s true that freelancing brings a lot of flexibility into your life since you don’t have to work fixed hours, it does make it really easy to procrastinate. You may find yourself wanting to delay a project because you think you have enough time to do it later, but this can become a problem very soon.
Creating and sticking to a schedule is a great way to avoid wasting time and plan your day. The more disciplined you are as a freelancer, the easier it will be to not get swept away by constant distractions and wasting those precious hours. Check out the perfect habits that will boost your writing productivity.
3. Logical thinking
There will be plenty of times when you have to justify your actions as a freelancer. Perhaps the customer wants to know why you chose a certain approach for the project they assigned you, or maybe they’re not sure that the amount suggested on this month’s invoice is much higher than last time.
If you are not able to reason well with your clients and explain to them why something is the way it is, they may doubt your expertise as a skilled individual and even cut ties with you. To get a better mindset, it might be a good idea to talk to another freelancer and understand why they do what they do.
4. Speed of thinking
Logic and quick thinking go hand in hand. Not only to talk to customers, but also to maintain a productive workflow. The faster you can think and connect the dots, the less time it will take you to do the research and get the job done.
Remember, a faster job is a service that charges more because you’re helping your customer save valuable man-hours. This is also why it is a good idea to price your services on a per job basis rather than an hourly basis. The latter option will affect the real cost of being an express worker.
5. Problem solving
Your job as a freelancer is to understand, clarify and solve your clients’ problems. This would have been an easier task if the customer knew exactly what problem he was trying to eliminate. But this rarely happens.
Most of the time, you will have to diagnose the problem and figure out what to fix. These complex problem-solving skills are what set you apart and help you position yourself as an expert rather than a replaceable service provider.
6. Accept criticism
While self-learning has its place, some lessons come in the form of criticism and most of it will come from your clients. Maybe you didn’t do enough research or forgot to follow the style guide. All of these mistakes are part of the journey.
But be sure to distinguish between constructive criticism and unconstructive criticism. The first is circumstantial, specific and suggestive of what needs to be improved. The latter is inappropriate, unprofessional, and doesn’t take your side of the story into consideration.
Being able to adapt is crucial in your freelance business because it helps you weather bad times like recessions. For example, many fashion outlets and tourism companies have lost business amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but e-commerce seems to be holding up well.
The point here is to understand where money is in the economy right now and steer your business in that direction. It may be more profitable and perhaps necessary for your freelance business to shift from the industry you currently serve to the one that will soon flourish.
8. Take high risks
It’s not news to anyone that freelancing is a risky career choice. Unless you have signed a long-term contract with your client, financial stability is always a challenge for freelancers. Some months you might get a lot of work and have a really good job, other months you might struggle to find new projects.
In addition, the lack of benefits such as paid vacation or sick leave is another issue that you must account for as a freelance worker. The only choices you can make are those you allow yourself, so make sure you take them at the right time and for the right length to avoid losing sight of pending work.
Entering the world of freelancing
Freelancing is a great career option, but it’s not for everyone. It requires a very specific set of skills in addition to the ones you market yourself. From self-learning to time management to taking risks, it’s a constant balancing act that’s hard to practice and hard to master.
If you are willing, learning these above skills will help you stand the test of time and become an experienced freelancer. Make sure you practice it regularly to train yourself and discover the methods that work best for you. Check now Self-management skills to gain personal and professional productivity.