Six necessary skills for freelancers


How to define freelance

Freelance = free + professional

Freelance is a compound word, many people will first look at the importance of freedom, here I want to emphasize the occupation.
Career is your product (as an individual), which is the basis of your survival.

For example, if someone is a programmer, your product (output) is code; if someone is a writer, your product (output) is an article.

And freelancing is not for everyone. It depends on what everyone pursues.

Some people pursue stability, while others like to explore. There is a picture in poor dad and rich dad that can explain career well (as follows)

Each of us can be divided into four quadrants of EBSi:

  • E (employee) is suitable for people who pursue stability
  • B (business) start a business. It’s very exciting here
  • S (ELF emplyed) freelance, which is also very exciting here, between E and B
  • I (invest) investment, everyone here should do it

Dreyfus model

The promotion (Development) of each profession basically follows the Dreyfus model.

  1. Novice
  2. Senior novice
  3. Competent person
  4. sophisticate
  5. expert

1. Novice

The biggest feature of novices is that they need a list of instructions. Tell me how to do it, preferably step by step.

2. Senior novice

Advanced novices don’t want to think globally. They will be limited to one part, and they will not be able to see the whole picture.

3. Competent person

Competent people can solve problems. Competent people are usually very active and resourceful; they are good at solving problems.

4. Proficient

The master can correct himself. People at this stage will have a strong ability to think independently, and can self discover (or find through feedback from friends and colleagues) deficiencies and correct them in time.

5. Experts

Experts work by instinct.

–The above information is selected from Chapter 2 of the cultivation of programmer’s thinking (by Andy hunt)

Six necessary abilities of self employment

About 30% to 40% of the current American professionals are self-employed, and China will soon be the next US.
No matter in terms of income or career development.

As a freelancer, you must master the following skills to survive well:

  1. writing
  2. Marketing
  3. Connect (Network)
  4. English
  5. financial management
  6. Energy management

1. Writing

More than 80% of freelancers write from time to time. It may be product promotion, personal experience sharing, or personal thinking. In short, it is necessary to write output. If you want to be a freelancer, practice writing from now on.

The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, followed by now!

Start writing now.

If you think you don’t have much to write about, it’s because you lack independent deep thinking. Here’s a tip for you-
To know what’s hot, choose any topic to answer. Do research and give your answer.

2. Marketing

How to sell a product is your soft marketing skill. Traditional marketing has 3P, 4P, 6p and other skills, but now is the Internet era, marketing methods have changed. But the nature of marketing doesn’t change: let more people know you (or your product).

For the marketing of freelancers, we should focus more on buildingPersonal brand。 In 2012, I read brand you, which introduced in detail how to create a personal brand. Influenced by this book, I started to build my own blog.

In addition, we should maintain consistent image and personal introduction on various social media (more in China are in wechat circle of friends and microblog). There will be links to personal blogs, etc.

Marketing skills can not do without the support of writing skills, how to write a good copy, how to design a copy and so on. So the first step is to write, the second step is to spread.

For example, this article is from my online sharing of “six essential skills for freelancers”. At the end of the article, there is a link to share the video.

3. Connect (Network)

This is the age of Web3.0, where everyone can connect with everyone in the world. For example, I can now make a video call to a friend in New Zealand, an email to a friend in the United States, a collaboration request to a friend in Sweden, and so on. In such a network era, personal connectivity is very important.

That means who you can connect to.

The average salary of your friends around you determines your income level.

Think deeply, act and spread more, so that friends with the same interests will find you.

Another good way to connect is to attend offline parties, or meetup.
Get to know some friends on meetup, especially sharers; even go to meetup to share. So your network will become more and more interesting.

4. English

This is an interconnected world, with more than 5 billion people besides 1.4 billion Chinese. About half of these people speak English. In order to open a new world, we must learn English well.

There are many ways to learn English. The most beneficial way for me in the early days is Toastmasters. In Toastmasters Club, everyone can practice their speaking skills (English speaking) and leadership skills.

Another way to learn English is to read English articles and read them out loud. Like the American language I’m reading now.

Of course, teacher tinyfool’s English learning video is also a good resource.

5. Financial management

Financial management is not to be carried out here, but the necessary financial knowledge for freelancers is the three major financial tables

  • Cash flow statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Income statement

6. Energy management

Energy management comes from the book the power of full engagement. This book is very enlightening for me, and I strongly recommend it, especially for freelancers. The points of view in the book are as follows:

Time management or energy management to see many small partners in learning time management, can understand everyone’s anxiety, as well as expectations. But there is always more to do than time. So managing time is not necessarily absolute.

Besides time management, we also need to think about energy management. From the power of full engagement.

Energy is embodied in four dimensions: physical strength, emotion, thinking and will. These correspond to the amount, quality, concentration, and intensity of energy. Therefore, energy management requires physical management, emotional management, thinking training and will training.

In order to better manage and train, it requires individual change. There are three steps:

  1. target
  2. fact
  3. get some action

First of all, we need to set clear goals. Everyone’s goals will not be the same. Therefore, before proceeding to the next step, we must make clear our personal goals and values.

Secondly, we need to collect facts and data. The data is often slapping and ruthless. Only when we face up to our present situation can we go out of change.

Finally, action. No matter how well you think about it, no action is zero. Only action is persuasive. (real knowledge comes from practice)

Do you want to go to work all your life, or do you want to earn enough money like a professional athlete and do what you really care about?


For freelancers, what’s important (highlight)

  1. Independent thinking
  2. product
  3. Energy management

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This article starts from Bob Jiang’s blog. Please contact Bob Jiang for reprint