As more and more business is carried out online, freelancing is increasingly popular. Companies can benefit significantly from hiring freelancers for a multitude of jobs because freelancing costs less in taxes and in human resources processes.
Further, freelancers tend to be experts at what they do, so businesses who hire them receive high-quality work without having to make a long-term commitment.
Since freelancing is booming, freelancers like you may find the field more competitive than it used to be. For many, that means that having just one skill, like whiteboard animation or content writing, isn’t enough.
To stand out to companies searching for freelancers, develop these useful skills that boost freelancing careers:
1. Search Engine Optimization
Whether you work on the back end as a web developer or on the front end as a marketing expert, search engine optimization (SEO) may factor into projects you are hired for. Essentially the practice of ensuring web content ranks highly in online searches, SEO is carried out in a variety of ways and in different phases of the online business and marketing process.
Taking a free course on SEO is a simple way to gain knowledge of this important skill. It is also important for you to utilize SEO practices in your own work online as well as on your professional website or work site profiles.
Doing so makes your information easier for potential clients to find and serves as evidence that you do indeed know how to leverage SEO for success.
2. Social Media Expertise
Everyone from project managers to graphic designers to customer service reps now play a part in social media management. To prove your qualifications for this aspect of various freelance roles, get certified easily through a program like Hootsuite Academy or Coursera.
Courses and certifications range from theoretical knowledge to practical, hands-on portfolio work. Many programs offer badges or certificates that can be shared on your LinkedIn profile or professional website. As a result, potential clients can quickly see that you aren’t just someone who uses social media casually but actually have expertise in that area that is valuable to them.
3. Common Project Management Tools
Although typically listed as a proficiency, not a skill, being familiar with different types of online project management software can seal the deal when bidding for a freelance contract. Companies prefer to work with freelancers who know how to use their online systems- whether Basecamp, Teamwork, or even just Google Docs.
Set up accounts with and familiarize yourself with tools like these to get a competitive edge. Whenever possible, complete training sessions offered by project management software companies so that you can prove to potential clients that you know how to use them properly.
4. Whiteboard Animation Video Design
Used increasingly for a variety of business applications, whiteboard animation can be helpful for creating professional presentations and is even popular for marketing. This medium is popular because of its versatility and affordability.
Many companies offer contracts to freelancers who have animated video skills to complement their writing, marketing, and other abilities. They prefer to hire freelancers who can work on their video projects from start to finish.
5. Coding and Programming Languages
You may have assumed as many do that coding and programming knowledge is only important for coders, programmers, web developers, and similar freelancers to know. However, having a basic understanding of these skills or languages can be helpful to many types of freelancers.
Copywriters, for instance, may be required to know some HTML to format their submissions properly. Likewise, a freelancing tech consultant specializing in networking may be more valuable to a client if he or she can also participate in coding or programming needs. Those who excel in these skills can also branch off as a freelancer specializing in programming or coding specifically.
6. Analytics Tools and Applications
Unlike traditional employees, freelancers can easily be let go (or simply not be hired for another project) if their work does not prove valuable or does not offer a high return on investment. Many freelancers find that they must demonstrate the value of their services by offering analytics for their projects.
For instance, an SEO specialist may record analytics info for web rankings before and after a freelancing project to prove to their client that they improved their rankings.
7. Industry Specialization
Obviously having a strong portfolio showcasing your main skill as a freelancer is important. Satellite skills, like SEO or whiteboard animation, are also essential. What many freelancers overlook, however, is that clients often prefer to work with a freelancer accustomed to their niche or industry.
A healthcare provider, for instance, is more likely to hire a freelance writer who has written for others in the healthcare field before than one with comparable experience who has not.
Having an industry specialization can gain freelancers knowledge of a field’s vernacular, common practices, and more. As a result of specializing in a specific industry, freelancers often command a higher earning power.