In starting a career as a freelancer, there are some basic skills that you must possess in order to function effectively and efficiently. These are not skills you will rely on to make money online, although you can actually use them to do some work but they are necessary skills that you must have in addition to other professional skills to enhance your competence, speed and accuracy.
- Typing Skills: If you truly desire to be efficient in whatever service you render online, then you must possess a typing skill. When starting off in the world of ICT, the first fundamental tasks you will be given is to learn how to type with your computer using ‘Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing’ software. Its ridiculous when people take this practice for granted by not complying to the rule of the teaching, which states that, the learner should place his hands correctly and avoid looking at the keyboards. Please if you cannot type at a minimum of 50 WPM (words per minute) or 200 CPM (character per minute), then you need to improve your typing speed. You can test your typing speed using these free online typing websites – Typing Speed Test, and Typing Cat.
- Research Skills: Well, you must have heard the saying that everything you need in this world is on the internet, you only need to research to get what you really want. The ability to search for information online and get it is among the basic skills that every freelancer must possess. You need to know the right keywords to use, the right tools to use, and the appropriate research method to employ.
For instance, if you are researching for guide on how to do something, you should know that video tutorials might be better and easier to understant. Likewise when you are researching for contact information, you can use tools like Email hunter to research for emails, yellowpages, manta and white pages to research for company information.
- Writing Skills: Whether you are into graphics, website design, video editing, you must be required to write at some point in your freelance career. As a web designer, you might have to write the content of the website. Aside writing for your client, you need writing skills to communicate your work proposal, portfolio and expected work delivery to your potential client. In some cases, you may have the relevant skills required to render the service but ineffective communication makes you appear inexperienced for the job. So, writing being the first and mostly used means of communication in freelancing business since it majorly involves anonymous and international relationship is the same as communication skills. You need to possess this to sell yourself very well. To improve your writing skills, write daily and read more books and articles.
- Design Skills: You are not required to be a photoshop expert, but basic graphic design knowledge. Imagine a web designer that cannot reduce the size of a client’s logo? Or a social media market that cannot edit the pictures that you are required to use to create social media ads. This makes you look incompetent even when you are expert in your own field. Learn how to use graphic design software like Photoshop, Corel draw, Indesign, to create and make some basic edits to images and objects.
- Marketing Skills: A diamond is useless unless it is discovered and put into use. Your skills are not useful to you unless you market yourself very well. You must learn how to package yourself to appear professional. Brand yourself, get a logo and a website, communicate professionally, post your services in online communities, let people know what you do. It is very important and that is the only way you can make headway in your freelancing career. Don’t wait for job to come to you, go out and get the job, and when you are established, your referrals and portfolios will be doing the marketing for you.