This article doesn’t want to be so long that you won’t have the strength to read it all because it’s only “too much”: in fact, I want to give you a brief overview on how to improve your freelancing skills and a list of websites where you can improve your freelancing skills.
If you’re thinking “I don’t need to improve, I already know what I’m doing,” you are making a big mistake my friend: it’s our responsibility, as professional freelancers, not only to stay on top of our market but also to upskill our knowledge and, if possible, to add skills that can be beneficial to our daily job.
In a competitive world like the one we live in, the only way to stay afloat is by continually improving in what we do and, at the same, by increasing the skills we have to find more opportunities.
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How to Improve Your Freelancing Skills
As a seasoned freelancer, you may find yourself so busy to completely forget how important it is to develop your skills to move forward. Staying into the business model that you’ve given to yourself when you started your freelancing career may not be ideal. So before digging into the specifics, here you have some tips that can help you in planning your next steps.
1. Consider where you are now
Make sure you set some time aside to understand what your current situation is, what makes you happy professionally, and what doesn’t make you happy.
2. Consider where you want to be
Deciding where one wants to be in a while can be hard because it requires a lot of thinking. Just make sure you give yourself a goal, not necessarily an unreasonable one but one that you think you can achieve with dedication. You may be an SEO executive and wanting to become an expert, or you may be a junior developer to become a senior freelance developer, just to name a few.
3. Find the gaps in your skills
Finding a gap in our skills is well needed because it allows you to focus on what you should improve. If you a digital marketer, you may not know anything about affiliate marketing or PPC. If you are a Virtual Assistant, you may don’t know anything about invoicing. The gaps are the things you may want to improve to get better at your jobs.
4. Find your strengths
Aside from checking your skills gaps, it’s also a good idea to focus on your strength, both personally and professionally. Finding your strengths will allow you to decide what you want to improve or learn, based on how strong you feel you’ll be in that specific area. If you find yourself reliable with numbers, you may decide to improve your analytics skills, for example.
By combining all of these analysis, you’ll have a full picture of yourself, your career and what your next move(s) could be.
Effective Tips to Boost Your Freelance Career
Once you have assessed your situation, it’s time to make a move. It doesn’t mean you have to rush to get everything done quickly; simply, put a plan in place and start moving towards reaching your goal. Here you have some useful advice on how to boost your freelancing career.
1. Look For Challenges
The more comfortable you are in what you do, the less you will grow personally and professionally. Once you’ve understood what your strength and lacks are, it’s time to be bald: challenge yourself in a way that it is tangible, and that can offer you rewards both on a long and a short term. You may decide to learn a new coding language and give yourself milestones to reach every time you learn something new. Or even a new language, to see the signs of progress over time.
Or to start a new side project to gain experience in sales, if you don’t have any and you want to open up your horizons. Challenging ourselves is one of the best things we can do as freelancers, and it’s something that will give us the strength to become better.
Read Also: Why Freelancers Need to Start a Blog
2. Look for Mentors
Mentors are a fundamental part of the learning process: none of us has information and skills on everything, and for this reason, having the support of someone competent in something you don’t know but that you want to learn is a move you need to consider.
There are two types of mentors: the famous and well-known and the people behind the curtains. The first species is what everyone is looking for: they’re famous, well-known and they seem to have all the skills you may need. They’re usually expensive, and very often they’re way less competent in what they do than what we think.
The reason is that these people love to call themselves “guru,” and the majority of what they do is positioning themselves as guru and working on their brand. Focus on getting mentorship from someone that may not be famous but has the skills that you don’t have but also the proofs of these skills: you’ll notice that your knowledge will improve quickly.
Also, you may consider becoming you a mentor for someone else, to exchange knowledge and improve together.
3. Read the News
This advice may sound silly, but reading the news regularly will give you an idea of what is happening in the World. Reading news about your industry will make you aware of the changes and the challenges, and it will give you ideas on the services you can offer, the skills you can gain to get more work, the niches that work the more, and so on.
Make sure you read news from industries and niches collateral to yours and also completely different because it’s always from something that we don’t know that the best ideas come and become real.
4. Enroll in Courses, Workshops, Masterclasses
Courses, masterclasses, and workshops are the ideal solution to pick up additional skills or improve existing ones. You can go for an in-person class or an online class, for something that will allow you to earn a certificate or for something that will only be for your good.
Despite the type of learning environment you will decide to go for, these are great ways to hone your skills. Make sure you dedicate time to learn, plan your timing, and give yourself goals and milestones because having a focused purpose helps in learning more and better.
Best Websites to Improve your Freelancing Skills
If you’ve decided to improve your skills as a freelancer, these are a few websites you should consult and use to move forward with your career. Choose the one(s) you like the most or the ones that are more connected with what you do and explore at your pace to find the best resources for you.
Udemy is one of the best online places where you can learn new skills and improve existing ones. There are a plethora of courses for everyone at every level and in every possible niche. Some of the courses are extremely thin and useless; others are worth the investment and the time. Make sure you choose Udemy courses with high ranking and a good number of students and read the reviews: these are the best ways to get valuable directions. You can buy every class you want, without a recurring subscription.
Coursera is a different type of online “school”: in fact, it collects courses organized by Universities Worldwide, and for this reason, the quality is quite high. Users can avail of a 7-day trial period and start one of the courses before signing up for a subscription that will include as many classes as they like. The majority of the courses can give you a certification of completion, and there are also many specializations and full-time courses that will provide you with a valid certificate for your career.
If you work in online marketing, you want to check SemRush’s masterclasses that are offered for free. They are mostly focused on content and SEO. Still, they are so easy to understand and to digest, that enrolling is a good move also for people not in this industry or for people interested in improving with content.
4. TEFL Certificate
If you want to improve your chances to find a job as a freelancer and eventually make money teaching English to others, get a TEFL Certificate online. There are three institutes we recommend:
so it’s really up to you to go for the one you think it best suits your needs.
Skillshare is another platform where you can enroll in classes and courses of every type. Skillshare’s focus is on creatives, so you will find a lot of content created explicitly for freelancers to give them not only skills but also new ideas.
Stay Curious and Improve Your Skills
Curiosity is fundamental for a freelancer, and only if we stay curious, we can learn new things and improve our skills. Being interested means being able to be surprised by something unexpected, by people and their ideas, by items and products that we don’t know, simply by real life. Sometimes, learning lessons are hidden in things we know very well. Still, if we don’t train our eyes and our minds to be curious and explore, we will easily forget how everything influences our life, personally and professionally.
With a new set of skills, or revamped skills, you will become more and more desirable and your chances to find a remote job will be way higher than the usual. So, even if learning and improving skills require time and dedication, the end result can be extremely good.
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