Freelancing has taken the internet by storm. More people are taking up freelancing as they look to take control of their lives and live the dreaded 9-5 routine.
According to a survey, more than 50% of the US population will be working as a freelancer in the next 10 years. In countries like India, independent workforce stands at 15 million and fills 40% of the world’s freelancing space.
As a freelancer, you’re a one-man business, you call the shots and determine the direction that’s going to be taken.
With this in mind, you understand the importance/need for constant improvement. Improving your skills will bring more jobs which in turn will bring more money. Here are the best tips you can use to improve your skills.
1.Perform a SWOT analysis from time to time
Many freelancers tend to just jump into the gig economy without properly assessing themselves as well as their skills. Like any 9 to 5 job, you have to play to your strengths. This is why we advise that you do a SWOT analysis from time to time.
Look at your areas of strength. What are you doing right? Where are you excelling at? This allows you to know whether you’re utilising your full potential.
Where are you lacking? What have your issues been in terms of freelancing? What have clients said you can improve? What do you think you can improve? These are just some of the few questions that you need to answer to evaluate areas of improvement.
Look at other freelancers around you? Look at the market? Look at your clients have been telling you? Or extra work they provide you outside of your skill set? Are there any opportunities you can take advantage of? By examining the opportunities, you can get ahead of your competitors.
By looking at the market, are there any threats that you can see? How are other freelancers in your field performing? Are they doing anything differently than you? What is the biggest threat to you as a freelancer? Analysing threats helps you stay ahead and also see what competitors are doing so that you can improve as well.
2. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify!
Always look to diversify your portfolio. You know the old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” With that said, we’re not against specialists. If you excel at one skill, then go for it and specialise in that area, but don’t do it just because everyone is doing it.
You can excel in more than one skill. You can be a graphics designer that also does social media ads. By diversifying your portfolio/skill set, you keep your open up your job pool. For example, if you are a content writer, don’t stick to writing blogs or some articles.
There are other avenues that you should explore in the beginning and then settle for the one that you think is best for you. Try academic writing with UK Essays or other assignment writing service in UK.
Read assignment writing service review and find the best for yourself. Try landing pages, try ad copies, product reviews and everything that you can get your hand on. This is how you learn and grow.
3. Always Look to Improve
Never stagnate if you’re looking to develop in the freelancing world. There’s a lot to learn! The beauty is, the internet provides you with a plethora of options for you to learn. You could join an open course, pay for a course online or simply go back to school and earn a degree.
All of these are options. Knowledge is power, the more you know, the more valuable you become. You can even up your prices because of this extra knowledge.
4. Build your own personal brand
For 29% of the total freelancers, freelancing is their only source of income. They take their freelancing jobs as their personal businesses.
Many freelancers rely on platforms to get them jobs, which is good. Many of these platforms have allowed for people to make a living through freelancing by connecting clients to freelancers.
With that said, these platforms also have their downsides. For starters, they take a chunk of your pay. On top of that, they make all the rules, so a change in policy/guidelines could leave you pushed out of the site.
To manoeuvre around this, you need to build your own brand. Building a brand, more so a personal one is not easy. You can first start by building and maintaining your personal website or social media pages.
On this website, you’ll add your portfolio, skills and showcase how you can help clients achieve their goals. By having an up to date personal website, you’re giving yourself credibility to prospective clients.
On top of that, you’re diversifying and choosing not to fully rely on the freelancing platforms, which is a good thing.
5. Look Ahead
Many freelancers are myopic. They think of the here and now. By doing this, you’re only placing yourself in a rat race to the bottom. You’ll only end up competing for low barrel jobs and living paycheck to paycheck.
Like your 9-5 counterparts, you need to look ahead. Where do you want to be in the next year? What are you going to do to achieve your goals?
By looking ahead, you’re allowing yourself to structure your life and prioritise the more important things. Getting the right clients, achieving work-life flexibility and more.
The key to any freelancing career is clients. Without clients, you can’t make a living. To succeed, you need to build a good relationship with all your clients; previous and current.
Talk to them, ask them for honest feedback and deliver/even over-deliver on your promises. Always evaluate yourself from time to time. Do an annual review of yourself to assess areas of improvement. Read more and increase your knowledge. By doing this, you’re bound to have success in your career.