7 Core Skills Every Freelancer Should Learn, Master, and Sell

many light bulbs small freelancing goals lead to big onesYou have a unique skill that you offer as a service: writing, marketing and advertising, web development, design, photography, art, etc.

This skill is the primary product, the specialisation that makes you marketable. It comes with knowledge of the industry, of the craft, and your own personal touch.

But your clients aren’t just hiring you to write, transcribe, code, or design. 95% of the time they hire for reasons related to their business goals.

  • They want efficiency.
  • They want to save on business costs.
  • They want organisation.
  • They want to focus on growing the business.

Clients want people who can bring both skill and value to the table, so having these core skills along with your primary product gives you the juicy edge over your competition.

In short, enhance your service offerings to help your clients reach and achieve success. Master them, include them in your cover letter, emphasize them in your website even. Make sure your prospects know and understand that hiring you gives them a benefit they’d be crazy to refuse.

7 Core Skills of a Seasoned Freelancer

What are the skills every freelancer should learn, master, and sell? Here are 7 categories that are of great importance:

  1. Communication skills – how to receive clients and/or your clients’ customers; negotiate that leads to a win-win situation; address problems and issues; relay and explain your ideas effectively; handle virtual and personal meetings; deliver the client’s core message through your service offering.
  2. Problem solving skills – how to create solutions; suggest better ideas to clients; tackle work problems with minimal to no intervention; get out of a crisis situation; lessen the impact of bad decisions made on the business; prevent such problems from happening again in the future.
  3. Project management skills – how to meet deadlines every time; complete as many tasks without using too much of your resources; spend time wisely; delegate roles and obligations to other members of the team; focus and stay on track; be flexible if the project needs to change direction.
  4.  Customer service skills – value your client’s best interests; be responsible; offer to fix your mistakes; respond promptly to client messages and inquiries; inform your client when you aren’t available; offer alternatives; make your client’s life easier.
  5. Technology skills – how to use file sharing apps for easier file management; VoIP software to communicate with clients; set up payment options like PayPal or Local Funds Transfer; install and use a pocket WiFi device in case of internet connection problems; manage projects and tasks using project management software.
  6. Business skills – how to write a project proposal; price your services reasonably; come up with a reasonable quote for a project; how to draft a contract and have your client/s sign it; how to handle non-payment and other work conflicts; how to manage your finances; how to lower your overhead costs.
  7. Self-management and creative skills – how to be professional; be productive and efficient; improve your skills and enhance your service offerings; work faster without sacrificing quality; find time to self-study and build experience; build your own website and portfolio; care for yourself in all aspects.

Obviously these aren’t learned and mastered overnight, so gradually develop these different skill sets as you become more experienced. Practice continuously to create positive work habits that will make you attractive to your present and future clients.

What other skill sets or skills do you think freelancers should learn, master, and sell as part of the package? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.