Our lives are unique and complex in nature, and so are our jobs. Different kinds of work require different skill sets, work ethics, and even behaviours. Today I am going to talk about the 5 key skills you need to succeed as a freelance writer, regardless of whether you work for one company or a variety of clients.
Getting started in the freelance world means being proactive. The market is full of prospective customers, but also competitors. You have to take the first step forward, engage with people and try to find opportunities. In the beginning, it might seem frustrating and you might feel insecure as well, but the key to solving this issue is to carry on doing it. It is like playing a musical instrument - the more you practice the better you will sound. Once you've been actively implementing new behaviors for a couple of weeks, you'll notice that it gets easier and your bubble grows as well. People will start noticing you.
Aristotle, the Greek philosopher claimed that “Man is by nature a social animal…” And we can not disagree with him. Almost every psychologist, especially social psychologists emphasize the importance of communication in our lives. Therefore, I believe that it is a skill each person has, but the doses vary. So, if you think that you are not a good communicator, you can simply start identifying the parts you have to develop, such as active listening, speaking, observing, and most importantly, being emphatic. Read books, listen to podcasts, or watch Ted talks about communication, and focus on analysing the verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as the goals and results you want to achieve through communication.
Planning and organising skills
After you have approached people and built relationships with them, you have to think about maintaining those relationships. That’s where you need to demonstrate your planning and organising skills. Thinking about customers, goals, responsibilities, and simply trying to succeed as a freelancer might seem challenging. Especially if you want to have a good work-life balance. In that case, the only solution is planning. There is a tricky part about sticking to plans (it is always so easy to abandon them). What I would suggest is to have a diary and make weekly or monthly plans, so you will be in charge of everything that happens and will happen in the future.
Every time you are chosen by a customer, you should realise that they need you. Then it is your time to demonstrate your superpower. Each project is different and each client requires an individual approach. You have to use your communication skills and find out the problem they want to solve with your assistance and the goals they want to achieve. Once you identify the needs of your customer, the problems turn into opportunities. You are ready to deliver amazing content!
Receiving feedback in an effective manner
Oops! There's a difficult part here, but you can turn it into something exciting. We don’t like to be judged, it hurts. However, you can start seeing it as an opportunity to develop yourself professionally. Once you are open to any feedback, it shows that you are working on yourself and that you are willing to improve your performance. Thus, you can drop the line between professional and personal relationships and gain the understanding that when someone gives you feedback about your work, you are not being judged as a person. See that as the way to becoming an expert.
Before I end this blog, I wanted to emphasize one more point. If you are not genuine, none of these skills matter. Love what you do, enjoy being around creative, smart, and dedicated people, and believe that life and work are all about honesty.