Now that the winter doldrums have set in, you may find yourself daydreaming of a warm sunny beach. Or maybe you just wish you were able to sleep a little longer in your soft cozy bed in the morning. But alas, you are at your office desk. And you’re freezing! That’s because even though it is getting colder outside, your office leaves the AC running for entirely too long into the season. Not fun. However, dreaming about developing some freelance skills to pursue your own side hustle is fun.
Perhaps you’ve dreamed of working for yourself. You’ve imagined the joys of being able to work whenever and from wherever you choose – working AND getting your tan on. Sounds good to me!
But what would you do? What type of business would you start? And who would hire you? Well, you are in luck! Below we’ve listed some of the most highly prized and in-demand freelance skills. If you are lucky enough to be gifted in these areas and are willing to start small with a part-time side hustle, you’ll be building clientele in no time. And your small side business will have you well on your way towards having a flexible schedule of your own creation.
These freelance skills are the most prized
Social Media Marketing. According to USA Today 63% of business owners say that this is the most important expense when it comes to growing their business. With ever-changing algorithms and a plethora of social media platforms, many owners are just too darn busy running their businesses to keep up! But a lackluster social media presence can really hamstring a small business. Hiring freelance social media gurus is a huge trend that you can capitalize on if you have some skills and knowledge.
Writing & Editing Content. Everyone has the next “novel turned into silver screen hit” somewhere in the back of their head. However, today we’re talking about writing and editing for businesses and companies, not concocting the next Harry Potter series. Companies need content and they are willing to pay for it. Hop on to Pinterest and you can find a million websites that will pay you for writing and editing. It’s a great place to start while building your clientele.
Web Design/Management. Small business owners have a lot on their plates. And while some small business owners are comfortable becoming a jack-of-all-trades, many find it necessary to hire people with expertise in areas where they have little knowledge. Building and maintaining a website has gotten easier over the years. WordPress and Squarespace can be a small business owner’s best friend. Still, web design and management are crucial to how a business functions and how its customers perceive it. So if you have web design skills, you can drum up some serious business of your own. If you are a Wix/Etsy/Shopify/Wordpress wiz, your help is needed! And the pay can be really good too.
Graphic Design. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that jobs for Graphic Designers have grown 13% over the last decade. It’s also one of the easiest freelance gigs that you can pick up clientele for because business owners are always looking for logos! Many graphic designers have found Fiverr to be a great way to list their services and find businesses that need their help.
Photography. As our buddy Matt the wedding photographer well knows, there is money to be made here! And while wedding and portrait photography is probably where your mind immediately goes to when you think of photography as a freelance gig, many companies are also keen to work with freelance photographers for their needs as well. Whether they require good employee headshots or sleek pictures of the products they sell for their website, businesses often turn to freelancers for the job.
Accounting and Bookkeeping. I am a personal finance coach and blogger. And you know what I know barely enough about? Taxes. Tax laws and regulations are always changing. And if you have the skills in the accounting and/or bookkeeping department, there are so many small businesses (like mine) that need your help! Not only businesses who need help managing their day to day cash flow, but OTHER freelancers who need to know how to manage their earnings.
And speaking of managing the day to day…
Virtual Assistant. You know what can take a lot of time? All of the seemingly small tasks like scheduling appointments, responding to emails, and color-coding spreadsheets. If you are an organized master of productivity, virtual assisting has become a hot freelancing gig! And the great thing about becoming a virtual assistant is that you can truly work from anywhere you like! That warm sunny beach doesn’t have to stay a daydream for long.
Getting started doing freelance work
Have I described you above? Great! How do you get started? The first step is a really easy one on paper, but truthfully, it can be a little daunting:
- Ask Your Friends and Family. Write up a little Facebook post that says “Hey! I do this now, shoot me a message if you or someone you know needs help with XYZ!”. This can be a little scary. Putting yourself out there in front of people you know is harder than advertising to total strangers. However, this is the best way to start, precisely BECAUSE they know you. Your friends and family will want to support you in any way they can!
- Set Up A Page. It doesn’t have to be a full website right away (unless your freelance gig will be creating websites). Whether on Facebook or Instagram or Etsy- wherever your skills are best showcased, just make a page where you can send someone if they want to see your work.
Great websites to help you find freelance work
Fiverr (as mentioned above) is a great site where people go to find help with jobs they need doing and they also offer course to help you hone your skills. Whether that be graphic design work or editing copy, gigs are posted and you can pick them up! Another place to start is Upwork. Build a profile and list your skills and Upwork will highlight some posted jobs for you to choose from. Though there is a small service fee that Upwork charges for the work you do, they make it really easy to find jobs and connect you with groups looking to hire.
Don’t forget to network locally for freelance gigs
The internet is a great place to look for these types of freelance jobs. But don’t forget to consider local small businesses and their needs. Tapping your local network can help you score a gig with a nearby company. It doesn’t hurt to drop in on local businesses that you are a fan of to offer your freelance skills either. It doesn’t take long to create a proposal that gets your foot in the door and starts you hurtling down the path towards freelancing success.
Freelancing can be just the start…
Honing your freelance skills can pay off handsomely – especially in the current job market. And what might be a part-time gig helping out a local business with their social media accounts or web design can turn into something much more. It might lead to a dream position with that particular company. It could even potentially springboard you to starting your own full-time business that specializes in those areas.
You might be thinking, “I don’t have any of these skills. So maybe I should just stick to my day job.” And while freelancing isn’t for everyone, developing some of these skills has never been easier. So if the idea of freelancing interests you – and one of these skills in particular sounds like it could be fun to learn – don’t let a current lack of knowledge stop you.
There are incredible resources online to help you acquire new skills so that you can partake in the freelance boom we’re seeing. Many of them are free. And one book that we highly recommend if you are serious about making freelance work a reality in your life is the eminently helpful book “Freelance to Freedom” by Vincent Pugliese.