Developing new skills may increase your opportunities during a job search, as this may help you meet the qualifications for a wider variety of jobs. This is especially relevant for freelancers, whose services match the specific needs of clients. As freelance work continues to grow in popularity, clients are looking for freelancers with specialized skills to perform important tasks. In this article, we explain the fundamentals of freelancing, and the benefits of a freelance career and list eight top freelancing skills currently in demand.
What is freelance work?
Freelance work is a type of self-employment in which an individual provides services to independent clients. Using a variety of diverse skill sets, freelancers can find work in many fields and industries. Some choose to specialize in just one area—like the entertainment or financial sectors—while others prefer varied opportunities in different niches.
Freelancers work either part-time or full-time, depending on their income requirements. They typically set an hourly rate for their services based on their experience level and industry standards. Freelancers can also work for multiple companies or clients at the same time.
What are some benefits of freelancing?
Freelancing offers certain benefits that are unique to self-employment. These benefits can include:
Working from home: Many freelancing jobs allow you to perform all job duties from the comfort of your home. You can choose your location, move with more ease, and spend less of your budget on commuting.
Managing your schedule: Aside from adhering to deadlines, you can specify the scale of the work you provide and choose the number of assignments you take, allowing for scheduling flexibility.
Varying your work: Freelancers can work on simultaneous projects with different clients or companies. This allows you to meet new professional contacts while using different skill sets to fulfill assignments for different clients.
Setting your rates: As the quality of your work increases, you can adjust the rates you charge accordingly without needing to consult a supervisor.
8 helpful skills for freelance jobs
To develop your freelancing career and enhance your resume, you can try learning new hard and soft skills. Consider these helpful skills that clients commonly look for when hiring freelancers:
When freelancing, It’s important to meet your deadlines and stay punctual. Since you control your daily schedule, you determine which tasks to prioritize and when. Your workday may involve several different tasks for different clients. Being mindful of how long you take to finish a task—and how many breaks you need between them—can help you maintain high-quality work, set accurate goals, and receive more positive feedback from clients.
Some freelance jobs that require time management skills include:
Assistant project manager
Your freelancing clients may each have different styles of communication. It’s important to stay proactive when communicating with clients, particularly when updating them on your work status and responding to queries. Providing straightforward and accurate information can help you build positive relationships with your clients and address any potential concerns before they happen. Strong communication skills can also allow you to network with other freelancers, who may provide you with helpful resources or leads on job opportunities.
Some freelance jobs that require communication skills include:
Real estate agent
When freelancing, you may have multiple clients with contrasting schedules and work styles. It may be helpful to learn how to make adjustments and compromises so you can successfully address each client’s needs while still maintaining your work preferences. Knowing how to adapt can also help you learn new skills and work effectively in different settings.
Some freelance jobs that require adaptability include:
Freelancing clients may offer you feedback that differs in content and style. For instance, you may receive feedback that appears contradictory if one client especially appreciates one skill and another doesn’t mention that skill at all. If you can assess what advice is most helpful to your work performance, reflect on your choices, and stay open to learning new skills, you may find opportunities to grow your freelancer techniques. You can also set specific goals for yourself and the dates you plan to reflect on their outcomes.
Some freelance jobs that require self-assessment skills include:
Call center agent
Most industries use modern technology and hugely benefit from an online presence, so many clients value freelancers with hard skills in computer programming. Learning a programming language can help you perform many in-demand tasks for clients, including website design, building online portfolios or encrypting confidential data. Knowing the most recent version of each language can also help make your resume noteworthy to potential clients.
Some common programming languages include:
Some freelance jobs that require programming skills include:
Data entry often involves using software programs to enter information on a computer, so knowledge of computers and a fast typing speed can help you develop this hard skill. You can perform data entry tasks in multiple sectors and complete assignments like managing spreadsheets or entering new information into a database. Clients often require certain company information to be available to themselves and others, so they may value a freelancer who can efficiently process information and accurately input it into their database. You may also find data entry skills beneficial in managing your information as a freelancer.
Some freelance jobs that require data entry skills include:
Data entry clerk
Quality assurance specialist
Successful marketing efforts can lead to an increase in engagement and sales, so clients often hire freelancers with marketing skills to promote a new service or product. If you enjoy engaging with people on the internet, you may enjoy learning how to create effective online content, optimize content for search engines and analyze consumer trends for social media marketing campaigns.
Some freelance jobs that require marketing skills include:
Social media manager
Clients often hire freelancers to edit their writing. This includes everything from blog posts to advertisements to manuscripts. Clients may want your advice on story structure, readability, or grammar. Being able to critique your own written work can also help you communicate more effectively with clients.
Some freelancing jobs that require editing skills include: