The Best Ways to Educate Yourself as a Freelancer
How often have you said ‘yes’ to a client, without fully understanding the task? How many times have you run to Google for help?
Freelancing is an ever-changing industry. It is constantly expanding, consistently growing and becoming increasingly competitive. All over the world, talented people in different industries quit the corporate world every single day in favor of going freelance. So, how do you maintain a competitive edge as a freelancer? Education. In order to keep up with the current trends and latest methods, you must educate yourself. This isn’t just a quick method to fix the latest task - constantly educating yourself will set you apart as a freelancer, and you might just find a new skill while you’re at it!
But why should you constantly educate yourself as a freelancer?
Freelancing is frequently found as a career path after you’ve been to school, had your first job, and then wondered what it would be like without a life dictated by a 9-5. This means that often you don’t have a formal education in whatever your niche may be. For example, you’re a history major: How do you transfer your skills in history to that of a freelancer? You educate yourself. You read up, you learn about marketing, blog writing - anything you can study to help take that first step. As you get more clients, you’ll see that specializing in an industry, subject matter, or client type is the key to easier applications, higher rates, and more frequent client work.
It can be hard to find the right place to start. That’s what this blog is here for - a stepping stone to get you on your way.
You can educate yourself online.
Online resources are an amazing way to start educating yourself as a freelancer! There are so many sites, blogs, and courses designed for freelancers just like you. And, they aren’t limited to industry or niche either, as more experts are realizing how vital it is to niche down, you can find online resources in a huge variety of niches. Some resources are free,which is amazing, but if you want high-quality content, you may have to pay premium prices. Thankfully, sites like Udemy frequently offer sales on the courses they offer.
You can listen to podcasts.
Podcasts are one of the best educational tools around, especially for freelancers. There are a huge variety of podcasts in practically every industry, and it’s becoming increasingly popular to use podcasts for professional development. The great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them on your down time - your morning walk, a Friday commute, or even just before bed. They are also super easy to listen to, which means you can digest the necessary information without tuning out or becoming overwhelmed. It’s a good idea to check in every now and then in your industry to see if there are any new podcasts available, just so you can continually keep up with the newest ideas!
You can read blogs.
Blogs (just like this one!) are an amazing way to educate yourself as a freelancer. Blogging has transformed itself into one of the most educational tools online; Every type of industry, from the arts, to accounting, to law has blogs to provide information to readers. Normally written by a professional (especially when providing specialized information), they are created in a friendly yet informative way that helps the reader easily digest what’s on the screen. If you like a blog or writer, you can subscribe to keep up to date with their content!
You can learn on the job.
If your career has already started, what transferable skills do you have that can apply as a freelancer? All too often, clients will ask for a specific type of task, one that they need done quickly, and without hassle. This is where your past career skills would come into play. If you’ve been working for a client for a while and a new type of task comes your way, then ask your client for any help or advice that they can give. This not only benefits them, because they recognize you are interested in learning more, but it also teaches you a new skill.
Freelancing is an incredible industry to be a part of, but it doesn’t come without hard work. As more and more people turn their back on corporate in favor of freelancing, the industry becomes increasingly competitive. That is why it’s SO important to always educate yourself on your industry or niche; learn new topics, skills, or methods that you can utilize and take advantage of. Plus - it is never a bad thing to keep on learning!