Freelance work is exciting! You get to choose projects you like, and you’ll be earning money from your home. Being a successful freelancer, however, is not easy at all. You’ll be facing a huge competition out there. Each client has an ability to choose among several freelancers with impressive skills.
What skills are clients looking for? Well, the skills relevant for the particular job are a must. If, for example, you’re applying for a graphic design project, the client will review your resume to evaluate your graphic design skills. However, the clients are also looking for universal soft skills in each freelancer they hire.
Today, we’ll focus on those soft skills. These are the most important ones you need:
1. Stress Management Skills
Self-employment sounds like a dream – you’re working on your own terms and you make as much money as you want to. Oh well, that’s what it seems like in theory. In reality, however, freelance work can be really stressful.
The clients know that. They are aware of the fact that freelance workers have to deal with multiple projects and close deadlines. That’s why they need someone who can handle all that pressure. You’re showcasing your stress-management skills through the way you handle a job. If a client notices that you lack this capacity, they won’t continue working with you.
When you apply for freelance gigs, you have to sell yourself. What makes you better than the other applicants? What makes you the perfect choice for a job?
You’ll have an online interview for each job you apply for. Your self-confidence will be a determining factor in the client’s hiring decision.
3. Time-Management Skills
How well will you do at freelancing? It all depends on your time-management skills. Of course you can work on your own schedule when you’re a freelancer. That doesn’t mean you can work whenever you feel like it. There are still deadlines to meet, remember?
Proper organizational skills are a must if you want to be successful in this industry. The client may understand if you miss one deadline. If that keeps happening, however, you’ll lose the contract and you’ll be left with negative feedback on your profile.
4. Finance Management Skills
The clients won’t care much about these skills, but you certainly will. As a self-employed worker, you’ll have to take care of your healthcare and all taxes you need to cover. You don’t have a traditional employer to take over these things, so you’ll have to understand all state rules and play by them.
While there are countless websites and platforms for investing, there are a few worth noting for the freelancer who doesn’t want to worry about money (both of these allow you to set up and invest with an IRA):
- The no-fee robo-advisor, M1Finance: A robo-advisor is a platform that automates your investing based on your risk level. They’re fantastic and stress-free. Recently, M1Finance just became the leader of the pack by setting their minimum investment to $100 and eliminating all fees!
- Real estate investing that does good with AHPFund: AHPFund targets a consistent 12% annual return, while helping keep people in their homes. If you want to do good and make money, AHPFund is a great place to start.
Set money aside for retirement, healthcare, taxes, and emergencies — and you’ll be able to sleep peacefully.
When you continuously work on the same project or you choose similar projects (which is natural when you have a freelancing niche), you’ll inevitably come to the point of burnout. You’ll be bored by the work. You’ll want to procrastinate. In that moment, your self-motivational skills come on stage.
Are you able to push yourself forward no matter how difficult it is? Your clients will expect you to be.
6. Ability to Resist Distractions
Distractions are a freelancer’s worst enemy. Are you going to do your research or are you going to waste time on Reddit? It’s easy to start doing research and get distracted by tons of online resources you don’t really need.
If you want to be successful as a freelancer, you’ll have to fight those distractions and stay committed to your job. If you need some help, you can use browser extensions that limit your access to distracting websites.
7. Communication Skills
Freelancing is great for introverts! They are not required to attend meetings and give presentation. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t need any communication skills as a freelancer. You absolutely will!
Most of the communication between clients and freelancer goes via email or a platform’s messaging system. Some clients will also require conference calls. You’ll have to handle the communication like a champ! It’s necessary to express yourself in the clearest way possible, and maintain regular contact with all your clients.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Each project requires multiple freelancers for completions. The client will hire a programmer, graphic designer, writer, editor, photographer, social media manager, marketing expert, and other types of freelancers. As a part of a bigger whole, you’ll have to show your teamwork skills.
Sometimes you won’t be in direct touch with all other freelancers working on the project. However, you’ll still be guided by the client’s instructions, so your work will fit into the whole picture.
If you intend to become a great freelancer, you have to be a great communicator. You need an ability to work with other people and meet halfway. Plus, you’ll need to take care of your own finances. Needless to say, your clients will expect to see great self-motivational skills, ability to resist distractions, and manage stress in the best way possible. Yes; the whole package is quite demanding. However, you can work on all these skills and improve them with time. Isn’t growth the best part of being a freelancer? You’ll be getting better by the day.
Eva Wislow is an Entrepreneur and career coach at CareersBooster.com. She is on a mission to help people find their true calling. Eva maintains a strong interest in bringing the digital revolution in human resources. She finds her inspiration in writing and peace of mind through yoga. Follow Eva on Twitter.