What Skills Do You Need to Be a Freelancer?


If you’re considering becoming a freelancer or trying to get your freelance career off the ground, one consideration is what skills do you need to succeed? Having freelanced for over a decade, I’ll let you in on the range of skills you need to be a freelancer—both specific skills and general skills. So, let’s take a look…

Specific skills

Of course, the primary thing you need to succeed is specific skills in whatever freelance service you’re offering. That might be proofreading, writing, web development, graphic design, or something else. Whatever freelance job you choose to do, you need to be highly skilled in this area if you want to compete against already established freelancers. And you need to keep these skills up to date by following industry information and constantly improving.

You can find out how to choose your service offering here.

General skills

Aside from the specific skills of your service offering, you need many general skills to be a good freelancer, from basic skills to the mindset and characteristics that enable freelancers to succeed. These are:


  • Organisation
  • Communicating with clients
  • Problem-solving


  • Money management
  • Time management
  • Project/workload management



  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Risk-taking


  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Drive/self-motivation
  • Self-discipline
  • Independence

You can find out more about the key characteristics needed here.

Growth mindset

Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these skills right now. No freelancer starts out with all of these skills in their back pocket. This is where a growth mindset is important. When you embrace a growth mindset, you realise that you can improve over time. Freelancing is a journey—and you can develop and hone these skills along the way.

What skills have been most important to you so far? Which skills do you need to work on? Comment below or get in touch.

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