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5 Foolproof Freelancing Tips: How to Upskill as a Freelancer

Want to to expand your skillset? Here’s 5 ways to broaden your horizons and succeed as a freelancer.

Posted 22 Apr 2022
How to Upskill as a Freelancer

Whether you’re in marketing, video production, writing, or design, the creative landscape is constantly shifting and transforming – and it’s up to us as professionals to keep our finger on the pulse and jump aboard that upskill train. When we focus on life-long learning and engagement, the possibilities are endless in the ever-expanding freelance market. 

Personal and professional growth is a must for building a successful freelance career. While you might be known as a sought-after designer or a marketing whiz, freelancing also requires you to hone other skills – such as invoicing, social media, pitching, and creative innovation. 

Ready to start upskilling? Here’s how to excel in your field and broaden your skills as a freelancer

1. Further Your Education 

Active learning is paramount if you want to succeed as a freelancer. With ever-changing trends and advances in technology, freelancers have to stay on top of newfound industry demands – whatever sector they’re in. If you’re continually honing your skills and learning new ones, your earning potential rises, as does the quantity and variety of projects you can work on. 

Upskilling is particularly necessary if you work in industries that rely on software applications and other technological platforms, such as design or video. If you don’t bother to learn the latest programs in your field, you run the risk of becoming redundant.

Upskilling essentially enables you to perform better by helping you refine your abilities and teaching you faster, easier, and more productive ways of completing tasks. The more skills you add to your repertoire, the more in-demand you will become. In this day and age, there are many ways to learn and upskill. Some popular avenues include:

2. Focus on Personal Growth

 While professional growth is a must for succeeding as a freelancer, personal growth is just as important. It will help you to strengthen your character and enhance important skills that will benefit your career – such as leadership, management, and communication. When you focus on personal growth, you’ll be better equipped to set (and achieve) long and short-term goals, which will ultimately enhance your success. 

If you plan to expand your business and hire staff down the line, these skills will help you better manage your team and communicate with clients. Luckily, there are many personal growth courses, books and tutorials online, and a simple Google search can yield some life-changing results. 

3. Say Yes to Passion Projects

It’s understandable that freelancers are often motivated by the financial aspect of a project. However, it’s imperative to say yes to projects that motivate and inspire you at least every now and then – even if they don’t have the heftiest price tag. These projects will encourage you to get creative and learn techniques that you might otherwise never have tried. One of the greatest joys of freelancing is that you can work on your own terms, and working on projects that spark joy is a brilliant way to do so. 

While we understand that every freelancer needs to pay the bills, make sure that you choose passion projects from time to time. If you’re creative, it’s also essential that you take time out to build your own portfolio and produce work that inspires and excites your clients. 

4. Collaborate with Other Freelancers

One of the best ways to grow your skillset and expand your horizons is to network with other professionals in your field. This will expose you to different ways of working, and open up the possibility of collaborating with like-minded individuals. Some fantastic ways for freelancers to meet other creatives include:

  • Joining a co-working or shared office space 
  • Attending exhibitions and events in your field
  • Use social media channels to communicate with potential collaborators and clients 
  • Joining professional online communities and groups on social media 
  • Broadening your horizons and advertising your skills in new sectors

5. Stay Organized

One of the best ways to enhance your freelance skills is to ensure that your business is well organized. When administrative tasks and client interactions become too time-consuming, there is little room left for upskilling. This is where freelance management systems like Indy can save the day. Freelancer platforms can help you navigate daily business tasks with professionalism and ease, and can offer the following features:

  • Professional invoice, contract and proposal templates 
  • An online calendar to share with fellow freelancers and collaborators 
  • Task checkers to ensure every step of a project is completed 
  • A time tracker to easily clock hours spent on tasks 
  • An online chat portal for easy communication with clients 
  • A well-optimized Macbook or PC for work

These platforms can be easily accessed from anywhere, making them perfect for travel or commuting between offices. Once you’ve taken care of the administrative chores and tasks, you can spend more time creating stunning work and enhancing your personal and professional growth.

 Final Thoughts

Upskilling is imperative if you want to stay ahead in your field and expand your abilities. There are a plethora of ways to do this in the digital age, and excitingly, some of these are entirely free. By broadening your network, committing to learning, investing in freelance management software, and focusing on personal growth, you can endlessly expand your horizons.

Guest Author: Kristi Carignan

Kristi Carignan has written on a variety of subjects including B2B, tech, marketing and more for the past 20 years. She has freelanced for dozens of international companies and organizations. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Literature from the University of British Columbia. Her hobbies include interior design, travel and fitness.

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