As a freelancer, it’s important to always be looking for ways to improve your skills. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been freelancing for years, there are always new things to learn. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for professional development and growing your skills as a freelancer. We’ll also share some resources that can help you continue learning and expanding your horizons. So if you’re ready to start leveling up your freelance career, keep reading.
How do you improve your freelancing skills?
Freelancing can be quite tricky. When you are a newbie freelancer, you want to learn all you can to improve your chances of getting hired. But after freelancing for a couple of months or years, you may be so engrossed in your work that you forget about skills. And excuses such as ‘I have no time for that’ or ‘It’s expensive’ can come in your way.
If you do not take steps to grow your skills, it will be challenging to compete with other freelancers and survive in this competitive world of self-employment. How then would you improve your freelancing skills? Here are some tips.
1) Consider your current skills set
Before you can grow your skills, it’s essential to know what you’re starting from. How many years of experience do you have? What types of projects have you worked on in the past? How much education and training will be necessary for each project or job offer that comes along? You should also think about whether there are any areas where you may need more training and experience.
These are all questions that can help you determine the best way to improve your freelancing skills set. Determining what type of work will be most beneficial for your career is essential when deciding how much time should be spent learning about a specific topic or industry.
2) Where do you want to be in x number of months/years?
Think about where you want to be as a freelancer. Maybe you are a marketer but could use some SEO skills. How about social media marketing? How do you want to be perceived by the clients who hire you?
You should also think about where your ideal client will be. Do they live in a big city or small town? How old are they and what types of jobs do they have? Consider all these things when deciding how much time should go into learning new skills.
It’s also important to be realistic about the time frame you are working with. If you want to freelance for another five years, don’t expect to learn a whole new set of skills in that time period. But if you would like to add one more skill to your repertoire every six months, then it is attainable.
3) Create an action plan with deadlines
Once you know what areas you need to improve in, it’s important to create an action plan with deadlines. This will help keep you accountable and on track for achieving your goals. Having a specific goal in mind, such as obtaining a new skill or completing a training course, can be very motivating and make the learning process less daunting.
Setting deadlines will also help set goals that are attainable. If you want to learn a new skill or improve on an existing one, make sure it is something achievable within the time frame you have available for this project.
Breaking projects down into smaller steps makes them seem more manageable and helps keep your motivation high.
When setting deadlines for yourself, keep in mind that some activities require more time than others. A training course may take six months, while learning how to design websites can be done within a few weeks or even days.
Make sure you create an action plan for each of the skills you want to learn and that are related to your goals as a freelancer.
Why should I keep my skills updated?
As a freelancer, it’s important to always be learning and expanding your skills. Not only will this help you stay competitive, but it’ll also make you a more well-rounded professional. And the best part is, there are plenty of ways to do this!
Tips to keep your skills updated as a freelancer
With 59 million freelancers in the US, freelancing is the newest black gold. With the growth, competition is expected to be a little tight. And what this simply means is, as a freelancer, your skills have to stay updated. Fortunately, there are so many ways to go about it. There are online courses, webinars, books, articles – the list goes on. The key is just getting started. So if you’re ready to take your freelancing career to the next level, here are some ways that we recommend doing it:
Take an Online Course or Webinar
One of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to improve your skills as a freelancer is by taking an online course or webinar on something relevant. Whether it’s a course in marketing, SEO, writing.
If you’re wondering where to begin with your search for free or affordable online courses, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a great place to start. These courses are offered by some of the world’s most prestigious universities, and many of them are free or very low-cost. Another added advantage is that most of the courses are self paced. This allows freelancers to study at their own pace and fit the learning into their busy work schedule.
Some of our favorites include:
- The Open University
- Google Primer
- LinkedIn Learning
There are more sites available and the list keeps growing as more universities aim to offer free or subsidized online courses.
Another option for learning new skills is reading books on the topic at hand. This can be especially useful if you want to gain a more in-depth understanding of a subject, as opposed to just taking an online course. There are many books available on freelancing and professional development in general that can help you improve your skillset and gain a competitive edge over other freelancers.
While reading a book is great, as a freelancer, your schedule might not allow you to sit down to read a book. This is where audio books come in handy. Audio books are a great way to improve your skills and gain knowledge while on the go. You can listen to it while exercising, taking kids to school or shopping for your groceries.
Here’s a list of places you can go to find free audio books online:
- Loyal Books
- Open Culture
- Project Guternberg
Go to Conferences or Events
Another great way to improve your skill set is by attending conferences and events that are focused on topics related to your work. These can be anything from design-focused meetups like SXSW Interactive where designers share their latest projects with one another. They can also be more general events such as TED Talks where speakers cover various topics.
Meetup and Eventbrite are your best options to find online events or events near you.
Acquire Saleable Skills Outside of Your Expertise
You can improve your job prospects by learning new skills that are not related to your current profession. This can make you a more well-rounded employee and give you the ability to tackle new challenges. Alternatively, you could consider starting your own business in a field that you are passionate about. Although this may not be for everyone, it could be a great way to improve your career and get ahead.
The key is to explore new areas of interest that you have been meaning to learn about for a while but never had the time or opportunity. This will allow you to expand your knowledge base and skillset, which can have multiple benefits for your career.
Get Perspective from Other Freelancers
You can learn a lot by hearing about the experiences of other freelancers, especially if they have been in their field for some time. This is why it is important to network and make connections with other professionals who are doing what you do, as well as those that are totally different.
Networking is a great way to make connections, learn more about what others are doing in their profession and gain valuable insights into how you can improve yourself. It’s also an opportunity for you to share your own knowledge with other freelancers who may be new or just starting out in the industry. The key here is not only about learning new things but also sharing what you know with others.
Find a Mentor
Another great way to improve your skill set is by finding a mentor. A mentor can be anyone from someone who has been in the same industry for years, or even someone younger and more tech savvy than you are. The key here is that they have either worked in or are currently working in a field that you want to get into.
Mentors can provide you with invaluable insights and advice, as well as support and guidance when needed. They can help connect you with other professionals in the industry, teach you new skills and give you an insider’s look at what it takes to be successful in your chosen profession.
Attend a Class or Workshop
You can also improve your skill set by attending classes and workshops. These are usually held at local colleges, universities or other educational institutions. There’s no need to do the entire course if you don’t have time for it; just pick up some of the skills that interest you and will help you in your professional life.
Classes can be a great way to learn about new software, tools and processes that are used in your field. They can also provide you with the opportunity to network with other professionals, as well as teachers who may be able to give you valuable insights into what it takes to be successful in your chosen profession.
Improve your skills and grow your freelancing career
Every day is a learning day. This is so true for freelancers. In order to be better at your job, you need to continually improve yourself. How do you do that? By growing your skills. We’ve covered some of the best ways to do just that in this post.
How will you grow your skills today?