Do you think improving your skills as a freelancer is important? We think it is!
In today’s competitive market, upskilling as freelancer is more important than ever. It helps you keep up with the latest technologies, techniques and industry trends, increases your value to clients, enables you to expand your skill set and offer a wider range of services, and helps you adapt to changes in their industry and remain relevant.
A recent survey of freelancers showed that 40% believe that continuing education is crucial for achieving success in freelancing.
But what is upskilling?
This article will delve into the topic of upskilling for freelancers and explain the significance it holds for them. We’ll also offer some practical tips on how to enhance your skills and maximize the opportunities available to you as a freelancer.
What Is Upskilling For A Freelancer?
Upskilling is the process of learning new skills that will help you move up the ladder; in your freelance career. Freelancers typically upskill in two key areas: Technical skills and business skills.
Technical skills are the specific skills required to do your job, such as software, tools, and/or equipment you use on a regular basis. For example, here are some relevant freelancer-focused software.
Business skills, on the other hand, help you achieve your business goals, such as marketing, time management, and sales.
Upskilling is often a necessity for freelancers. When you work for a company, you have a fixed schedule, benefits, and a regular pay cheque.
Freelancers don’t have that luxury. Instead, they have to constantly look for new clients while also managing their existing projects. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll land new or any clients at all. This is why it’s so important to stay up-to-date with your freelance skills.
Benefits Of Upskilling As A Freelancer
According to a recent study, the average half-life of a skill is five years. This indicates that the current workforce’s skills will be half as valuable in 5 years. When you upskill, you have a better understanding of your industry, your clients, and your role. It also helps you stay on top of industry trends, which can improve your overall business strategy.
Upskilling also has a number of other advantages: –
- A better understanding of your industry: The things you learnt at the time you first honed your skill may not be all there is to know about the industry. By upskilling, you charge yourself to learn even more.
- Client satisfaction: To satisfy today’s clients, your skillset has to be up-to-date. And that’s where upskilling comes in. It equips you with the most-recent tools and skills required to meet client expectations.
- Stay up to date with industry trends: When you upskill, you familiarize yourself with the latest industry tools, hacks, practices, and way-of-doing-things.
- Keeps your resume fresh and makes you marketable: By upskilling, you learn and apply new skills, thus improving your overall outlook in front of clients or hirers. Also, upskilling makes you qualified and marketable for new job roles that may not have existed when you first honed your skill.
- Increased confidence: Upskilling gives you the self-belief that you have the right skills the market demands.
- More competitive rates: Upskilling enables you to raise your rates to the industry standards. When you’re convinced that you have the latest skillsets, you won’t be scared to charge top fees for your service.
- Increased profitability: Of course, when you charge your clients well, you turn more profits.
How To Upskill Yourself As A Freelancer?
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 74% of hiring managers believe that the market lacks significant digital skills. This indicates that many brand-new, previously unnoticed, and missed opportunities are waiting for individuals with the necessary skills to fill them.
If you’re new to freelancing, you may not have a clear idea of how to upskill yourself. That’s no problem at all, and it shouldn’t debar you from doing the needful.
Start by looking at your strengths and weaknesses. From there, determine how you can improve on those weaknesses. Make a list of things that you can improve on. For instance, if you’re a writer, you may find that you’re not so great at copywriting. In this case, you should upskill by honing copywriting skills. You can do that by taking a course like this one on Udemy – Copywriting – Become a Freelance Copywriter, your own boss.
For perspective, here are some other courses that can help you grow as a freelancer:
|Google Data Analytics, Foundations of User Experience (UX) Design||Coursera|
|Graphic Design Masterclass, The Web Developer Bootcamp 2023||Udemy|
|Setting Your Rate, Submitting Proposals||Upwork Academy|
|Responsive Web Design Fundamentals||Udacity|
In all, here are some sites you can use to upskill yourself:
Visit any of the sites and find a course that interests you.
- Find A Mentor
Another way to upskill yourself is by seeking out mentorship opportunities. You can do this by getting involved in your local freelance community, participating in meetups and events to make connections and meet new people.
Below are examples of places you can find freelance mentors:
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization: This is an organization that connects freelancers with other freelancers and business owners.
- Meetup.com: This is an online forum that offers access to thousands of organizations and events around the world in various sectors. Here, you can find mentors to connect with.
If those two sound like a stretch, you can check out the following groups on LinkedIn.
- Freelance Professional Group
- Writing Professionals Group
- Freelance Writers’ Connection
- Self-Employed Leadership Group
- Writing on LinkedIn
- Independent Contractor Alliance
- Freelance Writing Moms
- Take On An Apprentice
You can also take on an apprentice or mentee. By helping to upskill a new freelancer, you can learn new things yourself, expand your network, and build new relationships.
- Soft Skills As A Path
A Harvard study found that there was a 12% increase in jobs that required strong social skills and a decrease in jobs that required fewer social skills.
As a result, when you upskill, especially when you learn new technical skills, make sure you also pay attention to soft skills. Employers are given the impression that you are a team player who is able to collaborate effectively with others to increase productivity.
The Importance Of Upskilling For Freelancers
Freelancers have a lot to gain by upskilling. It can help you land more work, earn more money and get a better reputation. It can also help you better manage your time and improve your productivity.
Think about it this way: if you’re only earning money from one or two clients, you’re going to struggle to make ends meet. But if you upskill and land more clients, you’ll be able to make a comfortable living, even with just one or two clients.
Upskilling also helps when it comes to negotiating your rates. Clients expect a good return on their investment, so they’ll likely ask for a discounted rate. You will be able to charge a higher rate if you have skills that are in high demand. Plus, upskilling also helps you to expand your network, which can lead to new clients.
Read more: Will freelancing replace 9 to 5 jobs?
Good Resources For Upskilling As Freelancers
As a freelancer, you’ll want to stay up to date with industry trends. This can help you craft a better marketing strategy and provide better services for your clients. To stay on top of industry trends, you’ll want to check out industry publications and newsletters.
Here are a few publications that are worth keeping an eye on – Harvard Business Review – Forbes – Inc – Entrepreneur. To find even more resources, you can make use of a search engine like Bing or Google.
Experience speaks from the owner of Stormviews, checking out blogs written by industry experts, can help you stay on top of industry trends and discover valuable information that you can use to better 37% yourself and 42% your business.
The Importance Of Staying Motivated
44% of freelancers made more money than they did working a traditional job. So, more and more people are choosing to work for themselves.
But freelancing can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the industry. It can be challenging to maintain motivation and push through tough times. If you need help staying motivated, there are a few steps that you can take.
What was your reason for becoming a freelancer? The first thing you should do is reassess your goal. You may have to start over and remind yourself why you wanted to become a freelancer.
Secondly, you can set goals for yourself. You’ll be able to maintain your motivation and be on track with your career. You can set goals for your business and your personal life. Setting goals will help you to stay motivated and keep your eye on the prize.
Taking Action And Upskilling Yourself
If you’re serious about upskilling yourself, you need to take action. Think of it this way: you can read all the books about upskilling, but unless you apply what you’ve learned, you won’t see any results.
Therefore, what can you do to ensure you stay on track with your goals and upskill effectively? Here are some tips.
- Create a schedule for yourself: A schedule will guide you on how to learn and practicalize your new skills. For example, you can dedicate two hours daily to taking a new course and then spend your weekends practicing what you’ve learnt.
- Set goals for yourself: When you have a goal, it becomes easier to upskill effectively because then you’d be working towards achieving something. Your goals could be based on the number of courses you want to take, number of new skills you want to hone, a certain certification you want to get, and so on.
- Stay organized and keep track of your progress: Don’t allow distractions and mix-ups. Let your working hours not clash with your learning hours. Then make sure to keep track of how far along you are.
- Stay motivated and don’t give up: The best way to stay motivated is to anchor your goals to something. I remember when I wanted to get my first Google certification, I charged myself to achieve the goal before my next birthday. And that was all the motivation I needed. You, too, can find something to anchor your goals to and you’ll be alright.
As a freelancer, you need to be able to constantly keep up with new skills. This is because there’s no guarantee your old or existing clients will return with new gigs. To stay competitive in the market and earn more money, you need to continuously upskill yourself.
When you upskill, you have a better understanding of your industry, your clients, and your role. It also helps you stay updated with industry trends, which can improve your overall business strategy.
You can land more work, earn more money, get more connections and get a better reputation by upskilling yourself as freelancer. There are endless opportunities to upskill yourself, but you must be proactive in finding them.
To stay motivated and make the most out of these opportunities, you must be organized and focused.