As a freelancer, you not only need to have specific skills to perform a job, you also need some soft skills that make the flow of the job easier for you and the other side. These skills will help you in not one job, but in your whole career and even beyond your career, they could help you in other aspects of life as well. So here are the top three skills that we deem essential for your career success as a freelancer.
Whether you work as a full-time employee or a remote working freelancer, you need to have communication skills that facilitate your interactions with people who hire you or the team you are a part of. There’s no way out of it. Otherwise, you might lose future opportunities and the chance to be recommended to the next client. Not having communication skills might also lead to an untimely ending of a project where it could continue and get extended have you had those skills.
One of the most important communication skills is being comfortable with conversing with strangers. Your client could be from a country where their English sounds different, or, he could have a very serious face which seems intimidating(if you are video chatting). She might speak either too fast or too slow or with a high or a low voice.
In each of these cases, keeping your composure and being resilient to the differences you experience to increase your chances of landing the job.
Not only that, communication is a two-way street. You should prepare yourself to speak clearly and energetically, with passion and enthusiasm. And not only that, you need to be able to convey your message in a way that a client from a different part of the world understands it too. It is not limited to oral communication. You should be good at written communication as well. Writing a good job proposal as well as clearing the misunderstanding that might happen in an encounter is easy when you are good at communicating.
This skill is essential when two parties are bargaining over something. In the case of freelancers and clients, they are bargaining over money and services they offer to the other party. Negotiation is an important skill when you have something to gain from the other side. This is the case for both freelancers and clients. It happens at one point if you are getting hired for a full-time position but happens frequently for freelancers and their clients. It is an art to convince the other side that what you offer is more valuable than what they offer.
Negotiation skills are also useful when a disagreement has happened and you want to achieve the best result for yourself.
In the freelancing field, negotiation starts even before the conversation; by the rate a freelancer has set for himself and the budget of the project the client has defined. We get anchored by the prices and the fees we see in front of us. And we anchor the other party by our rate and skills and how we describe ourselves.
It continues when we bid on a project and the client starts a conversation with us. There, we can really promote our professionalism and our skills if we know how to use the words and even the pauses. When we know our skills and the quality of work we can offer well enough, then we know when to settle on a fee and when to continue negotiating with the other party. And it’s not just about the money. Sometimes you may charge less than you deserve, only to get a better recommendation from the client. So that you can land higher-paying jobs on your next endeavor.
When you work as a freelancer, you are not faced with a simple routine day in and day out. Your jobs might vary and you may face new challenges with every new project you participate in. That’s why you should be good at problem-solving and it starts with not being afraid to face new unknown challenges.
As a freelance logo designer, for example, you should understand different criteria that the client sets to offer a logo which meets them. And it differs from one project to the next. As a freelance writer, you must comply with the likes and dislikes of the client and write not only based on the standards of writing effectively but also paying attention to the comments of the client and what they need. This might not seem an easy problem from afar; but when you want to do it yourself, there are a lot of issues to consider. And that’s why as a freelancer, you should be a good problem-solver as well.
You need to be creative if you want to solve problems effectively in your job. Creativity is one of the essential requirements for problem-solving; and not only that but the jobs you have at hand also require a degree of creative thinking to perform. And creativity can be increased if you train yourself for it.
Being a successful freelancer requires certain soft skills like the ones mentioned above but not limited to them. You should prepare yourself to be good at these skills in order to have a successful career as a freelancer; because they affect each and every job you get hired for. And they could be acquired and learned. So, consider working on them from today.