8 Skills and Traits Every Freelancer Needs to Possess

8 Skills and Traits Every Freelancer Needs to Possess

Having the hard skills that you need to be a successful freelancer is only a part of the equation. You must also have certain character traits and soft skills. This blog explains 8 skills and character traits that every freelancer needs to have.

Do you have what takes to become a freelancer? The opportunities for freelancers have never been greater. If you have any skill that people are willing to pay for, you can offer your services online. But you need more than one skill to be a successful freelancer. There are also some general business skills and character traits that a freelancer needs to have. Here are 8 of the skills and character traits you will need if you want to be a freelancer.

1. Nerves of Steel

The first thing that freelancers need is rock-steady that you will have a steady flow of work. If you have had a steady income in the past, the lack of a guaranteed income that comes with freelancing can be your disappointment. 

2. Sales and Marketing Skills

You will need to be able to sell, and selling is something that some people find hard to do. Even if you use a freelancer gig website to sell your services, you will need some marketing flair. There is a lot of competition for most types of freelance work. So, you are going to have to
stand out from all the other people selling their services. If you want your freelance business to take off, you will need to be able to sell yourself.

3. Negotiation Skills

You will need to sharpen up your negotiating skills if you want to be a freelancer. You will find that some people want you to work for next to nothing. You are going to have to resist the temptation to take that kind of work. When you do receive a serious offer of work, you may have to negotiate your price. Negotiating a price for freelance is a walk away. If you pitch your price too low, you may miss out on better-paid work because you are working on a low-paid job.

4. A Thick Skin

Freelancers can't afford to take criticism and setbacks to heart. You may get work rejected when you know full well that your work was good. You will also get customers who think they know better than you. To some extent, you will have to grin and bear things like this and put the customer first. You are running a business, so the customer will always be right, even when they are wrong.

5. Communication and Networking Skills

Freelancers need to be good communicators. They need to be able to communicate with many different types of people. You will need to be able to build relationships with people you have never met. In some cases, you may not know your customer's gender, age or nationality. Not knowing the person that you are dealing with can make communication difficult. You will need to adopt a friendly, professional tone, that gets your message across.

6. A Head for Numbers

Freelancers work alone, so they don't have the backup of an accounting department. You will need to keep your own accounting records. You will also need to understand the tax rules that will apply to your business. You may decide to hire an accountant, but you will still need a head for numbers. Even if you have an accountant, you will need to cost and prepare quotes for customers.

7. Time Management Skills

One of the biggest problems that new freelancers face is time management. It's very easy to get distracted when you are working for yourself. You must manage your time well if you are going to get all your work completed on time. And then, there are the marketing and admin tasks to complete as well. If you think that freelancing is going to give you more spare time, you may have to think again. There always seems to be something that needs doing when you are a freelancer.

8. Believe in Yourself

A little bit of self-confidence goes a long way in freelancing. If you don't believe in yourself, you can't expect customers to believe in you.

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