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Freelancing in any industry can be quite rewarding. It’s an excellent way to work with a wide range of clients while fine-tuning your skills and abilities. Not to mention that it can also be quit lucrative if you play your cards right. Before you jump right in, it’s a good idea to know what kind of skills you offer a prospective client. After all, it’s all about what you can offer others that play a part in your success.
What Skills Do You Offer?
I’ve seen quite a few people who wanted to jump right into the world of freelancing without having a clue. They often try to turn a hobby into a career. Which isn’t always a bad thing. However, many of them don’t have the necessary skillset in order to succeed.
Knowing what you have to offer and having a competent background in those abilities will greatly enhance success. The hardest part is being realistic with yourself while trying to make a few bucks to pay the bills. Here are a few things you may want to consider if you’re looking to be a freelancer.
Write Down Your Skills
Before quitting your day job and trying your hand at freelancing, take a few moments to really discover your abilities. Write down what you can offer clients in terms of skills. This is helpful both online and off, by the way.
Personally, I created a special “resume” of my abilities and experiences. I went back through everything I’ve done in the past and jotted down things I’ve learned, used and developed throughout my adult life. It didn’t take long to realize just how many years I’ve put into various abilities.
This resume-of-sorts can be quite enlightening as to what you can do as a freelance professional. Go deep into each job and pull abilities you may not realize you developed. For instance, you can easily pull customer service skills from working at fast food restaurants or gas stations.
Be Realistic with Yourself
A lot of people often have trouble with freelancing when it comes to being realistic with themselves. They have thoughts of grandeur and reach far beyond their capabilities. Now, there is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars as long as you keep your feet planted on the ground.
Try to take a realistic view of your skills and abilities. It’s a bit difficult to be unbiased when focusing on the good points of yourself, but it can be quite helpful if you’re able.
For example, I know one person who thought he was an excellent writer. It was something he was very interested in and loved to do. When he applied at Textbroker, his skill was rated as a “3,” which is about average. He was so upset that he quit writing altogether and went on to work at places like Walmart. Why did he fail? Because he didn’t have a realistic view of his abilities and was unwilling to develop himself as a writer.
He rage quit.
Just because you think you would be good at something doesn’t make it true. His true failing was his failure to learn from the experience and giving up on his dreams.
Having a Strong Personality
Depending on the type of work you wish to do as a freelancer, a good personality can go a long way. The type of person you are can greatly influence clients as well as your own determination to succeed. Here are just a few things that demonstrate having a strong personality:
- Good customer service skills
- Having a positive attitude even when things look bad
- Willing to go the extra mile for a client
- Follow-through with instructions from a client even if you think he or she is wrong
- Having confidence in abilities to get the job done
I’ve seen many companies keep lesser-skilled employees on the payroll simply because they had such a great attitude. They were people that seemed more like they were there for morale than anything. It goes to show that having a strong personality can easily keep the work heading your way.
Converting a Hobby Into a Career
Converting a hobby into something that pays is how a lot of freelancers get started. However, it can be a double-edged sword. While it may give you a boost to your abilities to perform a task, it does have potential to ruin one of your favorite pastimes.
Case in point: I was always good with my hands and loved working on computer systems. I put that hobby to work and built my own computer repair shop from the ground up. Unfortunately, it soured me on one of my favorite hobbies. I now find myself getting angry when I have to fix someone’s computer here at the house.
You need to be careful when converting your favorite pastime into a career. A lot of people will have the mindset of, “I do it all day at work, why would I want to do it at home?” I can understand this way of thinking.
Give Yourself Time
One thing I would advise anyone is to take their time when getting into freelancing. Whether you’re a writer or a graphic designer, you want to take it with your eyes open. Too many people will quite full-time jobs to work from home only to fail because they didn’t consider what was involved.
I worked for the school district for more than a year while ghostwriting on the side. My family and I made the decision to give it time and see if this would be something I could make more money at. As it turned out, I was. At least, I did before I started falling apart – which is a story for another time.
If you have a stable job, don’t give it up just yet. Develop your skills over time and see if turning your hobby into a career is something you’ll be able to handle. Otherwise, you could put yourself in financial dire straights while ruining one of your favorite passions.
What Skills Do You Have?
Freelancing from home can be quite beneficial in regards to time, money and overall experience. However, you need to make sure you have enough skills to be as successful as you dream. Keep in mind that there are millions of people in the freelance pool all waiting for work from clients.
This shouldn’t discourage you from trying, though. Of those millions of people, not all of them will have the same skills as you to succeed. Know what you can offer and do what you can to enhance those abilities.
When it comes to freelancing online, you’re but a small fish in a very big pond. You need to demonstrate attributes that attract clients. Otherwise, your competition can easily take your work. Be mindful of your abilities and don’t be afraid to enhance them. Never assume that you’re doing enough to keep your clients happy.