Being a successful freelancer is the dream of many people. To be able to work from anywhere at any time that suits your schedule doing the thing you love sounds great, doesn’t it?
It can be great, but only if you make a success of it. Being a freelancer can be stressful, as there is no guaranteed income, and you tend to work longer hours. Being a successful freelancer is possible, but there are a number of key skills that you’ll need to acquire (if you don’t already possess them) or improve upon.
Here are what I think to be some of the most important skills for the fledgling freelancer to learn.
If you’re working on your own time, and are accountable to no one but yourself, then you need to get pretty good at focusing on the task at hand without any distractions. It’s all too easy to sit in your jammies watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls (my current addiction) all morning when you should be writing content for that new client you need to impress.
I find it helps to have a shower and get dressed before sitting down to work from home, and have a work space that you don’t do any other recreational activities at. DON’T work from your bed or the dining table.
Linked to the above, acquiring the ability to self-motivate yourself is also essential. As a freelancer, no one is going to make you get up, so take a workshop in motivation with Lifetime Learning. It will help you more than you think, even if you consider yourself pretty motivated already.
If you’re a freelancer, then you’re going to be writing the bulk of your own website content, marketing materials and social media posts, unless you can afford a great content writer. That means, you really do need to know how to string words together into engaging sentences and engaging sentences into powerful paragraphs, So, take a course or so some self-learning online, but do make sure you get better at using the written word.
Taking a web design or coding course with Training Connection will ensure that you have the skills you need to create and tweak your own website. If you’re on a tight budget and you can’t afford to hire a professional web designer every time your website runs into a hitch, your investment in this will see you well.
In business, you have to be a good communicator. You need to be able to clearly state the benefit of your products and services; you need to show that you are a cool confident and capable person and you need to be able to sweet talk potential customers if you are to get anywhere. Learning how to be an excellent communicator will see you go far, so even if you’re shy and lacking in self-confidence, start building it up.
The Ability to be Alone
When you’re a freelancer, you can literally work from anywhere you want. However a lot of the time you will be working alone. You won’t have colleagues and bosses to chat to or go out with at the end of the day, so you need to develop the ability to enjoy solitude because you will probably have more of it in your life.
To do this, think of the benefits of being able to work uninterrupted and be sure to schedule quality time and fun activities when the work is done.
Acquire these skills, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful freelancer.