For most of us, 2020 was one of the worst years of our lifetime. However, 2020 also gave rise to an unprecedented boom in freelancing. With an increasing number of highly qualified and skilled people losing jobs, freelancing began emerging as the single most popular way to earn money while ensuring a steady income.
While freelancing provides excellent opportunities to earn more than an average hourly position, working as a full-time freelancer isn’t a cakewalk. Today, freelancers compete with a wider field of contenders, many of whom have a better education and impressive skills.
The best way to ensure we succeed is to hone our freelancing skills. Here are eight fun ways to improve your freelancing skills assuming you’re willing to exert a little extra effort and invest some resources.
Eight Top Ways to Improve Your Freelancing Skills
If you’re planning on working as a freelancer — or are already one — try some or all of these eight enticing ways to earn a steady income all year round.
Take Some Online Courses
Thanks to e-learning portals and platforms, there’s no shortage of quality online courses you can take to improve your freelancing skills. Generally, every freelancer works in a specific niche. Customers enlist your services only when you meet their need for a specific skill.
Technology is changing rapidly and it seems that everything nowadays revolves around the latest technology in any specific field. To keep abreast with the latest developments, it’s important to improve your learning skills as a freelancer. Online courses provide a convenient way to do so.
The new normal will require workers to continuously acquire better skills or face the threat of obsolescence. There’s intense competition in the freelance market nowadays and keeping your skills sharp is imperative.
Many online courses are available for free and hosted by prestigious universities. However, you should expect to pay fees for advanced courses and certifications. However, investing in your skillset is a great way to improve your experience as a freelancer.
Develop Your Own Global Network
Another fun way to improve your skills as a freelancer is by creating a global network of like-minded professionals worldwide. That’s possible nowadays through career-focused websites such as LinkedIn and, to a lesser extent, social media platforms such as Instagram.
LinkedIn allows you to connect with people around the world working in your specific field. Many talented professionals also create posts on LinkedIn related to your particular freelancing niche. By networking with people around the world, you’ll learn about various trends in the market, skills that are in demand in a specific location, and more.
Read and Subscribe to Blogs
There are now countless successful freelancers operating highly successful blogs, but it’s not necessarily because they need the added revenue stream. Instead, they create and post relevant content about their skills and experiences in their niche and profession for self-branding. These resources help establish their credentials as a freelancer even as they share expertise.
Most blogs (though not all) are free to read, without paywalls. The only requirement is that you take the time and effort to find ones that are relevant for your niche. Subscribing to updates and newsletters ensures you receive alerts whenever new information is uploaded.
Search for Instructional YouTube Videos
The practice of reading blogs relevant to your field applies to YouTube videos. Professionals in different fields create and upload tutorial videos on their channels. Often, these videos contain how-to sequences that provide a level of clarity you wouldn’t get otherwise.
As with blogs, you can sign up to receive email alerts about the latest videos posted to a specific YouTube channel. Since video bloggers post from all around the world, you can learn a lot of new, in-demand skills you might miss otherwise. You’re far more likely to learn about the skills that are currently in demand elsewhere, too.
Become a Member of Professional Organizations
Membership in an organization or forum of professionals working in a specific field typically isn’t free. However, these memberships are one more way you can invest in moving your freelancing to a new level.
Professional organizations frequently offer lectures by members and guest speakers. These events often deal with the latest developments in your niche. Attending these lectures can help you acquire many new skills. Plus, you can easily network with these members and benefit from their personal experiences and narratives.
Take On Some Part-Time Work
One of the greatest advantages of working as a freelancer is the ability to work with flexible hours. As long as you maintain strict time management discipline and meet deadlines, you are free to set your own routine.
By interacting with employees in multiple settings, you have an opportunity to learn a lot of skills free of charge. You’re also earning an income for your part-time work. It’s a great win-win situation.
Consider Out-of-the-Box Solutions
According to psychologists, all of us have an inherent ability to “think outside of the box.” As we fall into routines, we neglect this capability in favor of shortcuts, textbook formulas, and solutions.
One of the best ways to improve your skills as a freelancer is through creative thinking. This involves trying to work on a project differently to deliver superior results. This requires some extra effort on your part.
Join Crowdsourcing Platforms
For the uninitiated, crowdsourcing is a way of freelancing that allows you to work in teams on a specific project. There are several superb crowdsourcing platforms available.
Typically, a customer will post a project on a crowdsourcing platform and freelancers bid on it. If selected, you become part of a remote team of professionals in your field from various parts of the world. Some of these freelancers will have more experience, educational qualifications, and skills. You can learn a lot from these remote team members to upgrade your skills as a freelancer.
Start Slow and Build Steadily
These eight ways to improve your freelancing skills do require some extra effort and investment of resources, including money. However, you’ll never regret upgrading your skills. Start by adding one new practice each week or two. Having the latest skills is important to succeed as a freelancer and ensure your skills are relevant to buyers.