Being employed as a freelance worker carries many benefits that typical 9 to 5 jobs do not offer. As a freelancer, you can enjoy a degree of flexibility that most employment opportunities simply cannot offer you. This makes freelance work perfect for those who want to live life according to their own schedule. However, there is a reason that not everybody is freelance – you need to be pretty confident in several skills that supplement your professional skill, as freelancing is akin to running your own small business after all. Here are some of the most important skills for you to acquire if you’re thinking of going freelance.
1 – Accounting
Accounting can seem very intimidating to many people, but if you go freelance, you’ll need to know how to manage your own finances so you can tell when a job is worth doing. Working out your Return On Investment (ROI) and, of course, knowing the information necessary for taxation purposes is vital. You should be able to keep accurate records about your invoices and payments that come in and out and use them to be able to calculate tax. You will be able to use these records to measure the development of your business and they can be very handy if you need to make a big decision about how to keep your profitability up.
You should also know how to create invoices, which aren’t too hard nowadays as there are an abundance of tools online that can help you do this. Most of which are paid for, but some websites allow you to create a free invoice, which is great as you’ll be wanting to cut costs as much as you can when you’re self-employed.
2 – Networking
Networking can feel like an awkward work component, and many people feel a little uncomfortable being so apparent about furthering your career. That being said, it is possible to thoroughly enjoy the challenge of networking and it’s one of the best ways to acquire clientele. Networking is a great way to increase recommendations, referrals and word-of-mouth job opportunities.
You can network through special events and conferences, but you can also become e-quainted with helpful people online. You can now even combine the two, with companies like Lunchclub using machine learning to help match you with people who would benefit your network every week. Social media sites like LinkedIn can be great ways to make connections with people that can further your business. A good attitude to have is to consider everybody as being able to provide an opportunity to help you, either by using your service, introducing you to somebody who wants to use your service or by talking about their experiences in your field. Make sure you’re polite and respectful even when somebody can’t offer you much – heed the age-old business maxim: be as nice as you can to everybody when you’re on your way up, as you’re sure going to need them if you’re on your way down.
3 – Marketing
Marketing is a must for any enterprise, and the same goes for your freelance business. You need to be able to provide interested clients with information that they need to solicit your service, as well as provide information about your service to those who don’t know about you at all. You should have a website that looks professional and essential. If you don’t know how to code, you can develop a site easily with a Wix type site-building tool. You should feature a blog on this website, as well.
Don’t underestimate the power of a blog – content marketing. According to Kapost, you can generate 3 times more leads if you use content marketing instead of outbound marketing (and content marketing costs 62% less – even if you pay for content writers). You should manage your blog correctly, though, and make sure you feature articles that actually provide value to customers.
You should also be active on social media, whether it’s having a Facebook page or using Reddit of Quora to connect with people that are curious about your industry. You can also use these sites to establish yourself as an authority on your field, which can serve as a reassurance to anybody thinking about employing your services.
There you have it, three absolutely essential skills you need to acquire if you are serious about making it as a freelancer. These may seem a little difficult to teach yourself, but there are countless guides online about all three of these – if you try hard enough, you can brush up on the basics and get to a level where you can operate a business in a week.