So you want to be a successful freelancer?
You might think that all you need to be successful is above-average grammar skills, but working with clients involves a lot more than that.
You need to round out your soft skills in order to keep those clients coming back for more!
Ben Walker from Transcription Outsourcing is on the blog today to share his top tips on the skills you need to develop to get more freelance clients.
Take it away, Ben!
6 Language-Related Skills You Need to Get More Freelance Clients
You want your hazelnut latte with a side of work-life balance? Well, you’re in absolute luck! Not only is the gig economy allowing boatloads of work to be executed outside the traditional office setting, employers too are uncovering the benefits of this modern philosophy.
The workforce is rapidly mobilizing, strapped with AirPods and laptops. According to recent statistics, there are 57 million freelancers in the US alone, and this number is likely to get a huge boost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As businesses shift to a remote first model, freelancing opportunities will likely get a boost. However, with greater opportunities comes increased competition. And with increased competition comes the need for freelancers to keep acquiring additional skills from time-to-time so they can stay ahead of the race.
In this piece, we will be looking at six such language-related supplemental skills that can help freelancers land more gigs.
Being adaptable when looking for freelance work is crucial for a number of reasons. For one, employers value employees that can easily manage changes in schedules. Additionally, the more adaptable you are, the more productive you’ll be.
Being well-versed with the various tools available today that can streamline your work as a freelancer working on the language front is also another important attribute of adaptability. For instance, if you’re a freelance content writer, you can easily look at adapting yourself to the use of tools such as audio-to-text transcription, which will get you quality results faster.
When a freelancer is adaptable, it showcases his/her ability to be resourceful and displays determination, leadership skills, analytical skills, and more. These are all valuable qualities that an employer looks for when hiring a freelancer.
It will also greatly help you with furnishing your language-related skills since the more styles you can learn and the more quickly you can adapt, the more value your work will provide.
2) Honing Your Grammatical Prowess
While there’s no doubt that good writing and proofreading require both creativity as well as the ability to articulate a compelling narrative or an argument, these tasks also require a deep understanding of the rules of that particular language. That’s where grammar and punctuation come into the picture.
Grammar expertise will not only positively impact the quality of your article or your proofreading skills, it will also enhance the readability and comprehension of the piece you’re working on, which in turn, will attract the attention of readers in a way that keeps them hooked throughout.
In an age where slang and colloquial language is common, it’s easy to overlook the importance of grammar. But if you wish to stand out from your counterparts and bag that freelance gig, you need to make sure that your grammar skills are up to the mark.
3) Strong Research Skills
Soft skills are increasingly becoming the hard skills for today’s freelance business owners, especially if you’re working on the language front. While your technical skills may get your foot in the door of opportunities, your research skills are what will open most of the doors to come.
Having a robust research ability will not only equip you to deliver better content, but also teach you all about problem-solving. This quality will help you tackle issues better in your career. It also adds more credibility and value to your words and level of commitment since a person that knows their stuff naturally comes across as confident and knowledgeable.
Due to all these reasons, having a strong research ability is one of the top qualities that will help you display yourself as the ideal freelance candidate and land more gigs.
4) Extraordinary Organizational Skills
As a freelancer, you’re going to be the only person in charge of getting the job done and keeping yourself organized throughout. If you don’t have the patience and discipline, chances are you’ll gradually end up ruining your career.
Organizational skills are much more significant for freelancers than for other professionals since the former have to manage tight deadlines and multitasking all by themselves.
Being organized revolves around coming up with a work routine that’s viable and easy to stick to. Learning how to prioritize tasks is another important aspect of a well-organized work day. Last but not the least, keeping some time at hand for final touches is a must, since there won’t be anyone double-checking your work once you are done.
You may need some time to find the right work flow in the very beginning. Experiment with different set-ups until you can finally pinpoint the one that will deliver the best results possible.
5) Excellent Communication Skills
Every client you will work for is going to be different, and therefore, their specifications will be different too. Being able to make every client equally happy and handle all their requirements well can only happen when a freelancer has highly developed communication skills.
At no point, while executing the project, can you simply assume that your potential clients understand what working together will entail and know what they’re looking for. Just about every last detail should be discussed in advance for the purpose of managing expectations. Delays in communication are bound to be as unacceptable as poor communication. This is where organizational and communication skills start working together for you.
If you want to work outside of a corporate establishment, you surely need to master the art of speaking to others. Just about every aspect of your career will depend on this skill — your ability to negotiate the right terms and conditions, your ability to find clients, the follow-up, the execution of the project, and the chance to form a long-lasting partnership.
6) Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solving embeds within itself various skills that prove to be invaluable for freelancers. Right from having an eye for detail to the ability to think calmly under pressure — it entails a certain sense of self-awareness and a lot of professional skill.
In essence, problem-solving brings numerous other essential skills together for a freelancer. It involves analytical thinking. It also builds upon a person’s project management abilities, creativity, and conflict resolution skills.
This particular skill usually also requires a lot of flexibility. As a freelancer, you will face a range of highly specific challenges with every single client that you work with. There will be no universal formula for addressing such problems. Rather, you’ll have to be quick on your feet for the purpose of turning the situation around.
With the skills mentioned above, not only will you build your freelance career better than before, but you will also take every challenge confidently as it comes. While being an expert in your respective field is the most important quality you possess, there are several other essentials you’ll also have to focus on. Just brush up on them as you take one day at a time.
Ben Walker is the CEO of Transcription Outsourcing that provides transcription services for the academic, medical, legal, law enforcement, and financial industries globally. A resident of Denver, Colorado, Ben enjoys tennis, hiking and watching college football. Also, he loves to help companies grow and has made relevant contributions to publications like Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc, Forbes, and the Associated Press.
So what do you think? Do you have the soft skills you need to get more freelance clients? Or do you need to work on them?
Thanks so much, Ben, for sharing your top tips with us!
Struggling to get proofreading clients? Now that you know what skills you need to attract and keep more clients, all you need to do is brush up on your proofreading skills! Check out our FREE Intro to Proofreading workshop to learn more.