5 Soft Skills You Need to Freelance From Home

Important Traits to Be a Successful Freelancer

Important Freelancer Skills
Develop success skills for a profitable freelance career. Credit: PeopleImages | Getty Images

The digital world is changing business. It’s not just changing which products businesses sell and how businesses reach their audience, but also how businesses are structured. The purest example of this is the rise of remote freelance work.

Employees want flexibility, growth, and experimentation, often in the form of short-term freelance gigs. This concept of brief stints of work, often done remotely, followed by new projects, is a relatively recent development.

It wasn’t really possible until the Internet brought clients and freelancers together through different freelance platforms, and tools and communication apps were created to streamline and simplify the daily lives of freelancers.

Yet even with these resources, freelancing is hard. It isn’t just about being capable of doing a job; freelancing requires a specific type of person who has the skills to handle the nature of the flexible work environment. Regardless of the work provided, there are certain soft skills that all freelancers need to succeed and flourish in the gig economy.

Here are the top 5 most important soft skills for remote freelancers in 2017:

1. Excellent Communication

If you want to work out of the office, then great communication is an absolute must. Excellent communication not only means that you can explain what you’re working on and what you need to do your work better, but also it means staying in regular contact with your client.

As a remote freelancer, you should be in touch with your client, team or manager every day, asking clarifying questions and providing an update on your work. Regular communication helps build trust between your client and you, and also ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal.

2. Discipline

Remote freelancing has many advantages, including working from wherever you want and setting your own hours often. This means that you’ll no longer have that annoying coworker or overbearing boss constantly looking over your shoulder. However, this comes with a consequence: if no one is checking on you to make sure you’re working, it’s up to you to get out of bed and work rather than watch YouTube or browse Reddit. It’s crucial that you have or develop the discipline to get work done and hit your deadlines. Otherwise, you won’t get hired for a second gig.

3. Organizational Skills

If you’re a remote freelancer, you lose many of the conveniences of a regular job, whether it’s an assistant to schedule meetings, an HR department to handle your healthcare or disputes, or a regular paycheck. Instead, freelancers have to handle all of these tasks on their own, on top of their workload. Without organizational skills, issues like getting paid, scheduling meetings with clients in different time zones and juggling multiple project tasks become more difficult. Developing a system for staying organized is crucial for ensuring you’re completing quality work on time, as well as getting paid.

4. Selling Confidence

Tying into the need for communication skills, remote freelancers need to sell their ideas with confidence. You need to be able to convince clients that hiring a freelancer is to their benefit, as well promote your ideas and defend them when a client disagrees with you. Even more importantly, no freelance gig lasts forever. Successful freelancers are able to sell themselves and their value to find new opportunities when needed. If you want to freelance from home, you need to convince your potential client why you are a better choice than an in-office employee or even another freelancer competing for the same gig.

 

5. Stress Management Skills

Despite its perks, remote work is stressful. There will be times that you have to deal with a difficult client who expects too much. There will be times that you can’t find a new gig and the bills are due. Freelancing from home requires knowing that there is an element of unpredictability to flexible work and having the emotional stability to handle the inevitable obstacles. Keeping a level head and developing stress coping skills will go a long way in helping you stay in the freelancing game.

Remember, you can’t think of remote freelancing as an excuse to work in your pajamas. It’s a job with responsibilities like any other form or work. If you take your work seriously and develop the crucial skills for success, you’ll be prepared to freelance from home.