With millions of freelancers fighting for the same opportunities, closing long-term projects is more challenging than ever. Clients have a lot of choices. They’ll only work with experienced professionals who can effectively address their problems.
Instead of wasting your time pitching to uninterested prospects, level up as a freelancer by learning new technical skills. Strive to stand out from the competition. To jumpstart your research, we’ll discuss seven in-demand hard skills in the freelancing industry.
1. Content Writing and Copywriting
Writing is a lucrative, in-demand career choice. Business owners need copy written for several assets, including photo captions, social media posts, ads, landing pages, and emails. You’ll quickly find thousands of freelance writing opportunities online.
Copywriting and content writing have low barriers to entry. Anyone who reads and writes can start, but excelling in this field requires excellent command over your chosen language. Bad grammar reflects poorly on you. Even low-paying content mills require proper sentence formation, so you likely won’t land any decent writing gig with terrible grammar.
To become a copywriter, polish up on the grammar basics. You can write in any language you want, but note that most freelance writing opportunities online will be in English. Keep your sentences simple yet impactful. Once you can form grammatically correct sentences, work on creating informative, engaging content that resonates with your target readers.
Don’t slack off on research. As a freelance writer, you’ll spend as much time reading resources and fact-checking information as you would writing copies.
2. Website Development
Every modern business needs a website. It helps establish credibility, broadens brand reach, and serves as a stepping stone for marketing campaigns.
Also, consumers nowadays turn to the internet for all their needs. Companies have little to no chance of reaching their target buyers if they neglect their online presence.
Despite the importance of having a website, not everyone can start one. But if you have an aptitude for creating web designs and layouts, you could probably learn site development within a week or two.
Start practicing with easy, no-code site builders. Familiarize yourself with the process of designing a website, and then try launching a few sample web pages.
Afterward, consider learning to code languages. Knowing how to customize templates and code new page elements will set you apart from the millions of freelancers who use site builder templates as is.
Not all business owners have time for social media management. Between overseeing day-to-day operations and striving for work-life balance, they rarely have any vacancies in their hectic schedules.
Instead of compromising their workday, they hire freelancers like you to manage their accounts. The duties involved will depend on a case-by-case basis. For instance, some businesses might want to focus on publishing blogs, while others might prioritize sending press releases to media partners.
To become a successful social media manager, start by studying different marketing tactics. Learn how to use sponsored posts, paid ads, live videos, and content creation to improve a brand’s reach and conversion rates. Also, pick a niche. Clients will be more likely to hire you if you wholly understand their target market’s needs, buying motives, and pain points.
4. AI Programming
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology won’t wholly replace the human workforce, but it will definitely transform business processes across various industries. AI is here to stay. Instead of worrying about whether it will take your job, explore the new career opportunities it brings, like AI programming.
The concept might seem intimidating since it’s relatively new. However, building your first automated system might not seem impossible if you already know the best programming languages for AI development.
Improve your understanding of these languages. Apart from studying theories, hone your skills by exploring their real-world applications and functions in the AI industry.
5. Graphic Designing
Stock images are cheap, accessible visuals, but they’re also generic. Many business owners avoid overusing them since they rarely resonate with consumers. Users probably skip updates containing stock images.
With that said, not everyone can utilize original assets. Businesses often hire graphic designers to improve the quality of their images and incorporate them into their online platforms.
So if you already have a knack for art, try learning beginner-friendly photo editors. Most clients would likely want you to create assets for social media posts, articles, vlogs, and ad campaigns.
6. Appointment Setting
As an appointment setter, your duties will revolve around convincing prospects to hop on sales meetings and consultations. You won’t sell anything by yourself. The client’s designated marketing team will take over once you book an appointment successfully.
At a glance, the job looks simple. It might not seem as challenging as sales, but you’ll face a massive hurdle: warming up cold leads. Your prospects are still at the start of the sales funnel. And since they’ve shown little to no buying motive before, you must have excellent relationship-building and networking skills. Help them see the potential in your product/service.
Also, don’t fear rejection. Cold calling involves a lot of trial and error. Most clients will reject your pitches without giving you a chance to speak, so mentally and emotionally prepare yourself.
7. App Development
App development is an in-demand and long-term career choice. We live in a tech-dependent society, wherein people regularly run dozens of software programs for work and personal purposes. You can rest assured that millions of employers need skilled developers.
Despite the high demand for app building, newbies tend to overlook it as a career choice. They fear it’s too challenging. While launching complex programs like social media sites and instant messaging platforms requires world-class programmers, starting simple apps isn’t nearly as demanding.
You could probably code basic games and lifestyle apps within a few weeks. Sign up for courses teaching the basics of app development, after which practice launching various programs. Gather your best work for your clients to peruse.
Land More Freelance Gigs by Learning In-Demand Hard Skills
Although you might feel compelled to try your hand at all the above skills, note that doing so yields negligible results. To further your career, focus on a specific skill. Freelancers who demonstrate technical proficiency often charge more than newbies who only dabble in different niches.
Apart from mastering specific technical skills, work on developing soft skills like time management, problem-solving, negotiation, and creativity. They indicate integrity and professionalism. Technical skills make you a hirable applicant, but soft skills help you build good interpersonal relationships with clients and coworkers alike.