ESSENTIAL HARD AND SOFT SKILLS EVERY FREELANCER SHOULD HAVE
A freelancer should possess both soft and hard skills to enable them to run and maintain their career successfully. These are fundamental requirements that should be practiced and improved on with time.
Soft skills are character traits that enable a person to relate and work well with others. They are difficult to quantify. They enable one to perform effectively and to achieve their goals.
1. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
This is one of the basic soft skills every person should possess. As a freelancer, you need to communicate effectively with your client, colleagues, and associates.
You should be able to eloquently make your client aware of what you will do for them and how you will add value to their business. Your written communication should be informative and concise.
In the course of freelancing, you will take on a task that requires you to work with other freelancers and professionals to get the work done. Being tolerant, respectful, and open to accept other ideas will enable you to complete the given task effectively and efficiently. You will also be able to form bonds that result in trust and long term friendship.
3. PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS
A client will hire you to help them work around a problem, situation, or challenge they are experiencing. You should therefore come up with different scenarios of how to tackle the issue at hand and come up with desired results. Remaining calm and collected will boost your confidence levels. Being flexible enough to adjust and accept changes and add-ons is vital. You should also have at hand a plan B just in case you need to approach the situation from a different angle.
Being able to bring in new and fresh ideas on how to solve a problem your client is encountering builds confidence. You also show your client that you will add value to their business. Having workable and realistic ideas will enable you to find interesting alternatives to solve a problem.
5. STRESS MANAGEMENT
Working on tight schedules and timelines can be a daunting task. Moreover handling multiple clients and some being troublesome can push you against the wall. A freelancer should be organized to avoid pressure and burn out. Learning to prioritize tasks and limiting taking up a lot of workloads will ease the stress levels. Accepting competition from other freelancers and upskilling to be on top of the game can lessen the tension.
Punctuality is vital to a freelancer. It shows courtesy and respect. Being late to an interview, appointment or meeting gives a negative impression to your potential or current client. Submitting your tasks and projects late or not meeting set deadlines could make you lose a contract or job. Having a sustainable schedule will ensure your tasks are prioritized according to importance and timelines. It also ensures you are organized, saving you a lot of energy, time, and money. You need to also set time to edit and proofread your work before submitting it.
7. NEGOTIATION SKILLS
Being able to convince your client that you are the best person to hire is essential. You should be prompt in marketing your skills and expertise to your potential client and make them interested in hiring you. When marketing a client’s product or service, you need to convince and convert the audience to actual buyers.
Having an open mind to sudden changes in your task or project is important. A deadline being brought forward, an additional task, or change in team members should be taken positively. Learning and adapting to changing trends in the freelancing world will make you remain relevant. Upskilling to in-demand skills is vital too.
The ability to keep going despite setbacks, disappointments, and challenges is vital for a freelancer. Many are the times you will receive negative feedback or a turndown. Remaining positive and hopeful will keep you calm and collected. Being patient as you wait for your potential client to hire you, a proposal to be accepted, or to watch your network grow is important. To achieve your goals, you need to remain optimistic always.
Paying attention to details is crucial to a freelancer. Following instructions precisely will build a long term working relationship with your client. Planning for each task from start to finish will make you organized and be able to achieve set targets. Checking and counter checking every step will ensure you deliver quality work
Hard skills are learned and specifically tailored to a specific job.
1. WEB DEVELOPMENT
We are living in the internet era where every business is looking to have an online presence. Many business owners do not have the expertise to successfully run a website. There is therefore a demand for web developers to design the site layout and to make the application and programs user-friendly.
2. CONTENT WRITING
The majority of people can write, but writing content that converts readers to buyers is a vital skill for a freelancer interested in content marketing. Online businesses are looking for content writers who are skillful enough to make their business rank highly on search engines. Writing high-quality content which is unique and targeted at the right audience will bring in the boost the business needs and secure you a long term contract.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Most businesses big and small, have multiple social media platforms that they use to reach a wider audience with the intention of converting them to buyers, subscribers, or followers. The need for a specialist in social media management is rising. Managing and maintaining the online presence of a business is crucial. This involves managing the online content as well as moderating the audience’s feedback.
4. DIGITAL MARKETING
Businesses are looking for digital marketers to help them sell their services and products as well as maintain positive public relations online. Being able to effectively use digital channels to increase brand awareness and to generate leads are core functions of a digital marker.
5. VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
With most businesses and companies working and trading online, the workload can be overwhelming hence the need for a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant or personal assistant is expected to carry out basic technical and administrative tasks. The work ranges from managing emails, booking appointments, managing events, data entry, or performing personal errands.
Do you have another essential skill you believe should be included here? Kindly comment and highlight its importance.